FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Relationship Issues due to anxiety, depression, anger issues...grudge holding?

Ijustneedhelp
Community Member
Hi,

I'm not sure where to start. I kind of just want/need to post here for help, tips, whatever else really. The state I'm in and how I'm acting, I am so close to having my wife leave me.

The main issue here is that I have anger issues and tend to hold grudges towards people in my wife's family for how they are as people, how they live their lives. I tend to believe they are not the best people when they havent done anything to me personally. I think I get my guard up unnecessarily to the point where it is hirting my wife and my relationship with her. I need help on how to move on and be more accepting and not so hot headed. I really need help because I really don't want to lose my wife. She is everything to me. I know, you're probably thinking- if my wife is my everything then why not act better for her. I know, to me it is so silly. I think I get paranoid that if her family can do average things, they could do it to me/us but they never have and I know they never have and I get my mind so caught up in thinking ridiculously that I just start thinking negatively and acting negative.

I am embarrassed of myself and my actions and I want/need to be better.

Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated or just a chat. Thanks.
5 Replies 5

FisherHawk
Community Member

I hear you.

I also feel the swell of riteous anger when I find people's beliefs or behaviour so immoral you can't help but feel their essential nature is almost downright evil.

But I usually find that when I honestly take a moment to consider it, they really do have peoples best interests at heart, it's just that they've subscribed to an ideology that I find abhorrent. Not saying that's the case here, but it's worth a thought.

When I'm annoyed, it's usually because I think someone's been unacceptably selfish, or we because have an ideology conflict. The core issue is usually that I'm very analytical, and they're very emotional/social. They only see the immediate good ends, whatever the method, whereas I want to see justice in the method first. Or sometimes it's just a cultural clash over what is and isn't acceptable.

I've also found that even with people I want to hold a grudge against, we can find a common ground. My totally unqualified advice: if you can look for a way to be objective, see if you can find a way to separate the person from the specific belief or behaviour that's getting your goat.

But in the end, there are some things we just can't change: our preferred candidate doesn't always get the vote, the jerk that cuts us off in traffic can't be confronted, and our brother in law might have already drunk our last beer without asking.

If we can't do anything about it, the only person that loses anything to anger is ourselves, and maybe in this case your wife.

These days it's less about whether somebody upsets me, and more whether anything I can do anything about it that'll make a difference. I think the old story about the two wolves is true, the feelings that grow are the ones you feed.

BonnieH
Community Member
I understand that my comment may not be helpful, but I have a husband that gets upset/angry when he thinks my behaviour is not appropriate in front of his family and I feel like im constantly stepping on eggshells when around them all and cannot be myself but I am always panicking that im going to lose him as he always seems to see the wrong in my actions and i do love him and i am always upset myself when i see that he is not happy because thats what i ultimately want him to be happy and then i also may be happy so if your partner may see that your happy, she may be happy also, I do understand that it may be hard to find that balance in your emotions but know that its absolutely wonderful that you are seeking it, all the best.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ijustneedhelp~

Maybe you are a glass half empty person and do not see things as positively as others, that combined with an analytical mind and moral values can make you see others at their worst and be very quickly prompted to anger.

I guess I'd like to make a couple of observations or questions.

The first relates to your view of the world, is this something that has come about due to harsh or abusive treatment by others, maybe in your youth, or even just a hard life? Having your guard up all the time may be significant.

Can I suggest you see your GP and explain all you normally feel, maybe in a long consultation. It might well be you have a conditon that might respond well to treatment.

The other is that anger is a behavior that can be controlled. Not necessarily by you on your own, but with proper competent medical help.

This would be another matter to raise with your GP.

You have the greatest motivation in the world to seek every avenue and make every effort to modify your behavior - with the appropriate help, not just on your own.

"I really need help because I really don't want to lose my wife. She is everything to me."

You have not lost yet - do you think you can try medical professionals to assist?

Croix

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Ijustneedhelp

It's a powerful and potentially liberating experience when we begin to question our self. 'Why am I this way? Why do I feel the way I do? Why can't I control how I feel?' and so on. A lot of people in this world really don't question them self as much as they should. Wondering if you feel your wife's family should really be questioning their own behaviour more. You obviously find their behaviour questionable and I imagine for good reason.

Myself, I'm a bit of a slow learner 🙂 Being a 50yo gal, I've only recently learned the art of emotional detachment. While I believe there is skill involved in understanding our own emotions, there is also skill in detaching from them. May sound a bit strange but, for me, such a skill involves 'wonder'. If a person is degrading me, I wonder why they're doing it. If a person behaves in a way that is highly questionable, I wonder why. If someone behaves out of character, I wonder why they are not being their typical self. In this last case, if a generally easygoing person is suddenly behaving like an out of control maniac, through wonder, I may reach the conclusion they've hit the absolute brink of their tolerance and have just spilled over to complete intolerance. I would ask 'What have they been tolerating for so long that has led them to this point?' I may even ask them, inviting them to vent.

Have you ever wondered why your wife's family behaves the way they do? Have you ever asked her? Does she say 'I don't know, that's just the way they are'? Personally, I believe everyone is the way they are for a reason. The reason can often be very revealing and can even change our perception of a person. Eg: We may not like someone because they resist trusting us. We know we're trustworthy. We may eventually find out, from their personal experience, they have encountered terrible abuse over the years. Suddenly our resentment turns into compassion.

I've found a lot of people have been somewhat conditioned to behave the way they do. So the question, in regard to understanding the behaviour of your wife's family, may be 'What are the conditions that have shaped their nature?'

It's definitely a mind altering experience to go from judging people to wondering about them. By the way, I don't let myself off the hook when it comes to wondering. I often wonder why I think and behave the way I do. A lot of the time I put things down to social conditioning. My ultimate goal in life is to return to being my natural self.

🙂

RPB
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Coming from the perspective of someone who has had anger management issues himself, I really hear you on this. I was so angry with others for their words, their actions and their treatment of me that it took me a really long time to realise that the issue was me and my perspective, not with the external scenarios and people themselves. I was deeply angry over some past traumas, where people had really hurt me and I carried that hurt (and my defensiveness against getting hurt again) around with me into every conversation - it honestly was just a matter of time before someone triggered me. I was like a bomb waiting to explode.

I'm not going to pretend that I've got it all sorted out these days; I still occasionally get triggered, feel anger coming up, and get lost in my emotions. The difference between who I am and who I was is that I can mostly contain it to myself these days, and I don't get into much conflict because I know that the stuff I'm dealing with is my own stuff, and not something to burden other people with. I believe our thoughts and emotions are often misleading, and that they should definitely be second guessed before they are brought into the space between people.

This has only been a recent development, even a year ago I was still very reactive to others, but I found that doing some research into emotions, the purpose of anger and having a good hard think about why I got so angry really helped put my anger into perspective. The psychologist really helped, but you can do those basic things yourself - try to understand emotions, try to understand your own emotions - and then get professional help to fill in the gaps if you need to. The end result is that I realised I didn't REALLY have anger management issues, I was full of a lot of hurt and sadness and instead of allowing myself to feel the pain, and to release it by crying or just simply allowing myself to feel it, I would do the "proactive" thing and get angry. Much easier to get angry at someone/something than to admit vulnerability and admit they've hurt your feelings (or that your feelings were already hurt, and they just reminded you of the fact).

People have written entire books on emotions, this is just one several hundred word perspective of many, but I hope it helps. Happy to chat further if you need