Seeing as how the other posting I had under this title got to be a bit long I thought it would be beneficial to start a new thread on it. I also thought it prudent to do so seeing as how so much has changed since that original thread. I wrote the last time seeking answers to a question, a chance at grasping the sands of hope slipping through my fingers. I’m in a better place now and have a different take on this subject so I wanted to provide some of the insight as it applies to me. I’m not being selfish, I just don’t wish to assume I know how others feel so please take me with a grain of salt…….
Does the anger ever go away?
I asked this question many months ago. I wanted to know through others if my wife could see that the changes in me were making a difference. I wanted to find through others, a sign that the things I was doing were the right things. I wanted to be someone in wife’s eyes and make a difference in my kid’s lives. In response to my last thread I read of others hurting for different reasons and the heart that I found, mine, went out to everyone.
I’ve since learned that much of my anguish was the anger I had inside me. My diagnosis last year wasn’t what wrecked my marriage and it will not be what saves it either. I have defended my lovely wife from the beginning and will continue to do so because I personally find it easier to sympathize with someone when I’m only hearing one side of the story. You are only hearing mine. She has her own fight, just as I have mine. I have learned to not watch and react to my wife, but to allow her to live. The anger inside me is what got in the way of being who I wanted/want to be.
I believed that if I could aknowledge my faults and make visible changes that the differences would be seen as great things ahead. I look back now and I’m reminded of someone in the forums here that spoke of their spouse as a wolf and a sheep. The sheep being the apologetic husband, who as the wolf, was overly critical and very hurtful. I did not see how I related to that, but in hindsight I see that I do, or had. It’s much easier for me to see where I relate to the sheep in this persons story, but I failed to see that the reality of my situation is that the issue was with trust. How could my wife trust me, trust the things I perceive as improvements when there have been years of instances of me not being my best for her?
I tried books and marriage counseling only to be told by my wife that it’s too late. The anger continued to transfer between us both. Mine, as much as I tried to hide it from her and the kids came from feeling inept and useless. I’ve been told by Sherri that my wife has to make a conscious decision every day to be angry and/or resentful towards me. I’ve been told by PJ that my wife has to be exhausted from being angry all the time. I agree with both of them, but even though this has been ongoing for over a year and I don’t see an end in sight I’m looking at their comments a bit differently. And in addressing what I mean by this, I’m hoping to address the last gentleman who posted on my previous “anger” thread…..
As I said, I agree that my wife makes the conscious effort to not be happy with me and who I’m trying to become. What comes to my mind, is that I have a conscious decision to make and that’s what I should be working with. I can pull memories from my marriage of actions or things I’ve said that my wife would not or did not approve of. I also know my wife well enough to have known what she would feel even as I did or said those things. In my case, it’s mostly been about laziness and selfishness, but for others it can apply to many things. If I knew how my wife would not approve, why would I have acted that way anyway? I know that’s not who I want to be and that’s the conscious effort I make every day to not become. If I knowingly acted in a way that she would disapprove of, then I was not being my best for her and in retrospect I was not being my best for me either.
For many months after my wife sealed me off I would get frustrated and angry thinking I was doing what she wanted. I could only see that she was still angry. I thought that being what she wanted was supposed to bring us back together. I’ve since learned that through letting my wife live her life as she consciously chooses to do, I have in turn found out how to be happy -> by making a conscious effort to make myself happy and depend on anyone else to do it for me.
This doesn’t mean I go out seeking approval from others or partaking in vices. For me, it’s becoming the person I always wanted to be in the first place. The person I always knew I could be and should be. A person who’s not afraid to make mistakes and knows that making a mistake doesn’t mean I’m stupid because I’m forgetful. I’ve learned that when I’m not so critical of others in an attempt to make me feel better about myself really makes me feel good and that makes me happy. Knowing that difficulties happen for a reason and that when the lesson is learned something truly amazing will be experienced. This brings me happiness. Not my wonderful wife and not the accomplishments of my children. My happiness comes from within me and that’s how I can be the best for my family and for me.
Does the anger ever really go away? Yes. I need only read Melissa’s story to know that.
My story is ongoing. My wife is still angry, but our relationship is better today than it was at this time last year. It’s not where I would like it to be, but I do believe that her ongoing resentment towards me is her way of telling me that my work on me is not yet where it needs to be. Instead of getting frustrated by this, I choose to be optimistic that every day is a new chance to be the best person I can be.