Anger isn't something we need to feel ashamed about. It's not an emotion we need to ignore. Anger can be a warning signal. So let's talk about how to handle it.
I’m so glad you are back Michelle- you have helped me so much over the years I can’t express my gratitude enough - I felt so crazy and you helped me understand why I was feeling that way - I have been angry for years but now I am to a point that the anger only hurts me - my kids are grown and it’s just the two of us - so I know from experience that expressing my anger to him only enables him to feel justified in continuing to drink. I take a step back now and say - “this anger I am feeling is a sign that I need to take care of myself - what do I need and what do I want?” And then I do it !
Lately I have been feeling angry. I think it's several things that are causing this. I feel angry because now that my AH has been sober for a few months I feel like he is short with me and rather than asking me for something or to do something, it's like he almost barks orders... I also am growing tired of the little snide comments about the fact that I am not being affectionate towards him. I am having a rough time with that. I have had to live so long with his alcoholic behavior that I have grown accustomed to living MY life and that really hasn't included him because he has alienated himself from family and friends due to the alcoholism. Sometimes I feel like he is going through the dry drunk stage but I am not sure. So it's been a challenge these last few weeks because I find myself getting angry. Angry at the smallest things that are a result of the big things. I try to step back and think before I blurt out whatever comes to mind first. Sometimes I just say 'ok' to appease him and that seems to irritate him. It's like I can't win. At least the 'ok' is better than what I was going to say in the first place. I don't feel like I am handling it well lately and maybe that is because I have a lot on my plate. It just makes me angry that this anger is yet another outcome from the addiction and something else that I must learn how to deal with.
This post came at the perfect time for me today. I'm in a high state of stress as my husband recently relapsed. I feel lonely, scared and am not sure what my next steps should be. I've vacislated between feeling numb, sad, bitter and angry. I couldn't sleep last night and it all came to a head this morning and I ended up screaming at my kids. To no fault of theirs. Of course then comes the guilt. I've had to opportunity to apologize to my youngest, but still need to take the time to talk to my older son. This is hard. I know when I'm not meeting my own needs, I can't meet theirs and I certainly can't keep my anger and emotions under control in the way that I want.
This was the perfect read tonight as I was just confronted with a slip/relapse from my AH. Immediately he goes back to the old behaviors of trying to make me feel like I'm the bad guy. What is wrong with me that I called him out on his lies?! That is not rational. I am angry about the lies, about the disrespect, about my naivety and hopefulness. Where is my dignity? Where is my self respect? Thank you Michelle for the message in this post. I need to process my anger so that I can rationally speak about my feelings. I have a right to be angry, but I also want to be heard. I'm a work in progress.
It is so frustrating when I get angry at the lying, drinking, watching porn, and then later I'm made to feel like I was being irrational by my husband. He's really good at making me feel like I'm the one at fault because of my reaction to how he's treated me. After all these years, I've finally learned that my anger is justified. I'm now separated and feel a lot less anger because I've created boundaries for myself. Your podcast has helped me so much to process everything and know that I'm going to be okay. Thank you.
I don’t wanna feel
Cuz feeling is real
I don’t wanna feel
I don’t wanna be frozen
The only way I know how to feel
If I’m frozen then
I don’t have to face reality
If I just ignore it
Cuz is it really that bad?
I’ll just remain frozen
Cuz if your frozen you won’t feel.
This phrase was really powerful for me: “There's no sense in talking to an addict about your feelings when they are trying to numb theirs.” I’ve learned I need to sleep on it before I open my mouth. While I don’t usually sleep well that night, it allows me to 1. Get my thoughts together, 2. Discuss it in the am when things are almost always less heightened, and 3. Sit down to talk. We had a marriage therapist who once told us to never argue or discuss hot topic issues after 9pm and always sit down to talk. While sometimes it’s easier than others, it’s helped me to “sit” on it and not be as confrontational.
In my husband’s world, only he is allowed to feel or express anger. If I do, I am “just trying to start something!” or “Why can’t you ever just drop it!” or “What is WRONG now?!?” For years and years, I allowed him to dictate my anger. Not anymore! I have every right to feel and express anger, just like any other human being can, and I am no longer afraid of HIS anger either. I don’t try to make him feel better anymore! Yay!!!
I stop myself from saying things that don’t matter especially when the other person is not really listening or taking what I say I to consideration anyway. Stop and pray and think, will this make any difference what I say or so at this moment? What will be the consequence? I definitely love to go out on our lane to nature and just have silence and try to keep my mind and heart on things that make me happy and give me peace. Thanks for sharing Michelle.
One question for Michelle or the readers please. I was able to get away for a couple of days and go out of state on a mini vacation. I put my phone on do not disturb and it was really nice not to hear from my alcoholic husband, even though he found a way to wake me up at 2 o’clock in the morning one night through a different app I’m sure coming back from the bar. But anyway, now that I’m home he’s begging to come back home again and of course he is not sober but he’s pulling out all the stops and trying to woo me back and it’s going to do no good. Please give me some advice on what to say to him at this time because I have to work on my own recovery and my anxiety is so bad I’m trying not to deal with him every single day. He just won’t give up, this kind of goes along with this anger topic because I’m getting to where I’m going to have to say some mean things to get him to stop and I’m not usually a very bold person. He doesn’t take it well when I flat out tell him that I love him but I do not want to spend any time with him and I do not want him home until he’s been sober for a very long time and he says he can’t do it alone and won’t go to treatment. I’m ready to move on from this. I can’t deal with this anymore. It’s time to put a stop to it and I just need some help.
It’s nice having you back Michelle and I needed this topic today. My husband recently has decided he can drink in “moderation” and refuses to take any honest accountability for his past actions and today, while driving...I could feel my hurt rising and it translated into a brief angry outburst. I was feeling so unheard! I pulled myself together though and said, “I deserve to have these feelings and I am frustrated that I feel so unheard”....Being calm and stating how I was feeling helped me to keep in touch with my own emotions and not over react(which never works out well 😞).
Almost everytime I would bring up how I feel with my AH he would never validate my feelings. He would become defensive and say I'm putting him down, talking negative, my voice was too loud, if I can't talk he wouldn't listen. I would let it get the best of me, I would get more and more angry as I would try to talk because now I felt like I was being scrutinized because his actions caused me pain and I was not a robot. I was and am a passionate person, I care, I would already be at my breaking point, everything had built up and I was ready to explode. By the time I was done trying to talk to him, I was screaming to the top of my lungs and he never heard a word. I still struggle with this, because as things come up that trigger emotion, the feelings start to flood back in. I'm learning though to wait, not to talk right away, let
my blood pressure go back down to normal, and try to talk about the issue without pointing blame, state how I am feeling, and try to make it about me. Would love to hear how others deal with this. Always working on being the best version of myself!
If I write a comment to “express my feelings” does it go to every paid member or is the comment just a journal to myself? New to this.
Thank you. One thing I strugghle with is that my spouse goes on binges that last for a week or more, so I wind up waiting to talk for a long time. Sometimes that makes me angrier and more resentful. Working on that.
Today my husband told me not to consider him an obstacle in my life. I told him his drinking IS an obstacle in my life and at this point the drinking is my biggest obstacle . I was clearly angry and he knew it but I didn't scream and I didn't name- call or swear. I felt a twinge of guilt but when I thought about it, I realized I did not want to take those words back. Was he drunk at the time? Hard to tell. It was 8 a.m. He might have had a drink or two by then. I didn't care. I wanted to say it and felt empowered the more I thought about it because I didn't fall for the ridiculous comment.
Thank you for coming back and giving people like me a safe space to get help , to vent, to talk, to encourage one another, to learn
I find that anger can be a motor that gets me moving when sadness and trying to understand just keep me in the same place. If I can channel my anger to get me to take steps toward changing my situation, then the anger serves a purpose. I am not taking it out on myself, but I am using it to steer toward the healthy life I know I deserve and I’m fully capable of living.
I just need to remind myself of this when he’s sweet to me. Then the anger wears off. I think that that sweetness is going to last instead of the behavior that got me so angry in the first place and, if I’m honest with myself, is going to come back unless I make a change.
This was so poignant and something I need to ask myself when I'm feeling angry. I have not learned to completely stay in my lane. He is not sober, but he resents anything I say for his own good and I'm drowning. I'm going to say this to myself. I'm just hoping things get easier.
I am experiencing a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety and anger toward my partner. I didn’t find out about his struggle with alcohol addiction until later in our relationship ( once I had fallen head over heels for him). He hid his addiction very well, however I did start noticing strange patterns in his behavior, things that just didn’t add up or make any sense at all. After so many frustrating conversations with him and trying to figure out why he was being verbally aggressive towards me, controlling and paranoid he opened up to me about his addiction including getting high on a daily basis. He expressed to me that he would seek help to quit drinking and asked for my support. Now everything made more sense! I thought that maybe it was embarrassing for him to admit his addiction and that is why he kept it a secret from me and that now that he finally told me the truth, and the real problem was identified, we could team up to work on the solution and I could be the amazing supportive partner who loves unconditionally and would do everything in my power to help the one I loved. That was a year ago. And my partner has not sought help once. And I am drained, I feel like I have been run over, and my life feels like it has fallen to pieces. My heart is broken, it’s hard to trust when so many empty promises were made, so many lies, so much damage. I had the energy then but not now.
I have 2 kids from a previous marriage and they love my partner sooooo much. He is amazing with them. And when he is sober, he is the most amazing, loving person. Maybe that is why I am holding on... but my heart is not strong anymore to handle it “him”.
Yes, I am angry now. And have acted on that anger in ways that I never would have and feel so guilty about it.