Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:43 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:47 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
I am learning something new every day. (Not something I would ever have wanted to learn, but helpful to me given my situation). My husband engages in a lot of ridiculous drama over every day events. This morning we had to go to the vet. We have two dogs (both with special needs), and I was going to go with the one dog. No big deal. My husband decided to come along with the other dog, which was actually very nice. But, we went down hill from there with ridiculous complications about who would drive, who would hold the dogs, getting out the door, getting into the car, etc. Talk about immaturity...it feels like I am with a child. I get annoyed. He gets angry. Here we go in one of those crazy scenes that make no sense whatsoever.

Now, to be fair, he is not escalating his anger the way he used to. I am starting to recognize the pattern and withdrawing sooner. But, I wonder. Is this about him getting intense emotional stimulation from anger? (Not pleasant emotions, but intense ones). I know he needs to keep his emotional arousal high due to the progression of his addiction, and adding anger adds intensity. And, I know it adds justification to the acting out since he feels entitled and "due" since I am such a "difficult failure" yet again.

Am I reading too much into this, or is this about emotional stimulation? Or is it just about getting attention?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:26 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Oh boy - does this sound familiar. Different scenario for me but similar complications which actually, in the end, helped me see how my H struggled with decision making yet felt the need to have control. Your H may not be fearful of making a mistake, but seems to have a need to control the situation creating drama as he goes.
Quote:
But, we went down hill from there with ridiculous complications

Quote:
I get annoyed. He gets angry. Here we go in one of those crazy scenes that make no sense whatsoever.

Here's my story. We had decided to do some minor remodeling to our kitchen which included a new countertop and new sink. I found just the sink I wanted and could afford. We had made arrangements for the sink to be installed by the "countertop man." My H and I were both excited and happy to see this project finally happen, but when the sink installation was to take place, it all fell apart. The installer didn't like the sink. He found fault with it and felt it would leak around the edges and ruin the countertop. So my H and I went sink hunting over a lunch break. It was a panic situation full of drama. Despite our scurrying around revisiting all the stores that carried sinks, we found nothing on such short notice. We decided that our original choice would work. Well.....once we got back home and dealt with the installer, my husband waffled back and forth changing his mind over and over. It became ridiculous. He was making himself sick and me crazy. I finally called the sink manufacturer and asked if the sink had any problems and were there any installation suggestions even asking the installer to talk with the company. Being satisfied with what they told me, I told the man to do the job and get on with it. My H fretted and stewed during the whole process and questioned my decision in strange passive aggressive ways. I was a wreck. He was a wreck. However, it was a huge insight into how easily he tipped over during the early days of his recovery process. I couldn't expect any stability from him at all. Our couples counselor had told me that months before but this was a huge eye-opener.

Later we talked about it. He admitted that he tipped over. He talked with his private counselor about it, too. He started to become more self aware. That is the key. Self awareness. Your H may indeed feel the need to refuel with anger. It may be part of his addictive behavior patterns. I know my H thrived on his anger for a very long time. His counselor eventually talked to him about the "Victim Triangle." He would cycle from victim, to rescuer, to the angry mean guy...sometimes within one sentence. He could be in anyone of those mindsets and then change on a dime. His counselor's take on it was that this pattern was all fear based - my H being afraid to face his fears. He did a lot of deep work on this. Is your H in any kind of counseling beyond SA programs?

Your H may be caught up in a similar pattern. I don't know. What to do? Stick to your values, boundaries, and tell him how you feel - you know the drill - without drama, expecting nothing. I kept it simple when my H fell into old patterns. I simply said "that's (name) being (name). He knew immediately what I was talking about. Sometimes he reacted with anger. Other times he took stock of his behavior gracefully. I worked on not letting his reactions tip me over. Hard work all around.

Hope this helps in some way. :w:

Nellie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:34 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Thank you, Nellie James, for the helpful post. My husband is getting individual therapy, which is really good news, and I am seeing the help it is providing him. I think he has a long row to hoe to get to self awareness, but if he sticks with this therapist, I believe he will get there. We are also in marraige counseling, and that counselor is very helpful. (And, before long, I'm going to go broke.)

This sort of craziness has been going on for so long. I think you are right. It is about control. And about feeling confident about saying what you want. He doesn't feel confident and so he does things indirectly, or passive aggressively, or aggressively. It's so exhausting. I remember your mentioning the victim triangle before and when I looked it up it seemed to fit.

I need to work on continuing to recognize these old destructive patterns and to disengage more quickly WITHOUT adding my own drama.

Yes, I think at base there is a lot of fear. Anger is a good way to shield against fear. And, it is habit forming. And it is fuel for his addiciton. And, I think there are ingrained anger rituals. But, I need to not get caught up in them.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:03 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Shoot. I had a nice reply started and lost it. I'll try again another day.
Nellie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Hi dnell, oh boy the old anger monster. Well and alive in our relationship also. I am not sure, but apart from anger being a tool to control his environment and functioning as a trigger and self appointed justification to indulge in unhealthy sexual behaviour and other compulsions, I sometimes get the feeling that my partner's anger could even be one of his what I call replacement compulsions when he is not AO. Sadly, often anger or dramas/creating arguments and crisis even can reach very intense levels as we all know. And would it be impossible that anger as such could be a compulsive behaviour life managing tool? Self awareness on his side would be the foundation to change and what you are doing, withdrawing when the anger monster pays a visit works to stop it from escalating. I do this too and it works in the acute situation, but may still leave residue anger and blame that my partner is holding on to. He does not seem to even recognize that he is acting angry. Bizarre really. Like when he is inside his AO, once inside the anger he looses himself in it too. Once it subsides, and to be fair he is a little mellower these days, he can at least see what happened. Which is a start. What can we do. Keep working on it. And you both seem very committed in all you do. There is hope.
Hugs to you!

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:58 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Anger is tricky to define. It is often a secondary emotion with a deeper emotion being the real culprit - fear. Our couples counselor, whom we saw for five months, from the get go told my H that he was addicted to anger, work, and sex. She was very clear that he was fearful of facing his emotions so anger emerged instead which prior to DDay fed his SA. She told my H that his being a workaholic kept him busy so he didn't have to deal with his emotions so she gave him the task of doing nothing but write about his life experiences and to keep a notebook to document every sad,mad, glad, fearful emotion he felt every day including how he felt when he got stuck in traffic. He was not to keep himself busy with "have to do" tasks." It was a game changer for him. He worked hard at it and little by little began to become self aware. Before that he hadn't a clue. He had been avoider for most of his life going back to childhood. He projected his anger onto me which was another ingrained pattern that previously was directed at his mother or women in general. It was a very long process of self discovery which continued after he choose to work with a private counselor who was the husband of our couples counselor. They were the dynamic duo for my H.

Nellie James


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:31 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
This is a really helpful discussion. I see my husband as being afraid of nearly all his emotions, most particularly fear. He fears his emotions. He fears his vulnerability. He fears abandonment. He fears fear. I think as well that he has sexualized most of his emotions from the self-soothing techniques he used when he was young. Feel bored? Need sex. Feel happy? Need sex. Feel anxious? Need sex. And on and on. But, anger is something he does feel. He also feels shame and guilt, but those were so comparmentalized. Self awareness is key. Good to hear that it worked for your husband, Nellie. NewDawn, I am relieved to hear your husband is less angry as well.

Mine is much less angry at me. It's a relief. I do agree there are anger rituals. I do believe there is both safety and protection in anger.

You know, I am also seeing lots of hatred of women. I don't think they see it this way. They would say they "love" women--just look at the way they appreciate their "beauty." Of course, this is a complete pile of poop. I think this anger at women goes back to childhood (I can't blame my husband, I'm mad at his Mom as well, but I'm also mad at his Dad and the other adults who failed him). But, this objectification of females; this need to control females; this need to evaluate and judge them based solely on some sexual desirability scale; this entitled view that women and girls are to be used to serve their needs; this entitled view that they are "due" something from women....all of this I see as coming from trauma turned into mysogyny. It scares me and makes me sad. I hope that as his awareness develops, his therapists can help him with this anger and hatred.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:00 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
I do believe there is both safety and protection in anger.
That may be a perception that some SAs subscribe, too, but it is founded in their skewed thinking.

The guilt and shame were big issues for my H and got in the way of his healing. He didn't want to face his choices, and until he did, he was stuck. Fear, guilt, and shame fit under the same umbrella, from my perspective.

I do feel, though, that this is not our problem to figure out. Instead our focus needs to be on our own personal insights in order to go forward. Our healing, again from my perspective, does not hinge on our understanding the nuances of our H's addiction. In fact, I think our need to understand can get in our way. There comes a time when we have to let go of analyzing the whys and whats of our H's behavior and focus on our own healing and self-empowerment so we can get on with our lives. Whatever labels we use really doesn't matter in the long run. What matters is the vision we determine and the values we protect in all walks of life, not just this one part of it.

Just my take on it at this point. Take what you can use and leave the rest.

Nellie


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group