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This month I would like to address insecurity masked as anger and its tolls. I know we all get angry at times, but we have to learn to be constructive not destructive with it. We have also been on the receiving end and it has left its scars. I’ve learned over my past relationships that angry words can be as devastating as a punch and repeatedly done, it can leave a lot of damage.
But where does this come from? What is the source of this? How do we grow from this?
For me, I have come to realize in my past marriage, that most (not all) of this anger stemmed from my ex’s insecurities and it showed its face as anger.
Sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment, never realizing that when that moment has passed, those hurtful mean and or disrespectful things linger like a toothache. And it has taken its toll and has damaged the union I once had. Most devastatingly, I have watched my sons struggle with this emotional turmoil.
My ex could never understand why there was resentment and distance. Why I didn’t speak for a few days at a time. We were just to accept what she dished out. Never an “I’m sorry” or an apology but when her behavior was brought up, I would receive defenses. “Why are you attacking me?” It was most frustrating.
Eventually, I reached my boiling point. I had to take control of my happiness, sanity and well-being of my children. I had to take stock in what was truly important. I had to start recognizing my unhappiness with the way things were.
My first thoughts were, she’s angry with me, I’ve disappointed her, I have done wrong, but over time I began to realize that her insecurities dictated her actions. Her lashing out was her way of protecting her feelings from hurt, by trying to hurt me. I didn’t understand why she’d be so cold toward me and say such things, but I did understand that it was way beyond my knowledge of how to deal with it.
I’ve taken personal inventory and I need to release myself of these life barricades standing in the way of our happiness- separately.
So this month I added a letter to my ex. This letter no matter how painful had to be written.
His Two Cents: Insecurity Masked as Anger, A Letter to My Ex
First let me start by expressing my love for you. I want to tell you how much you mean to me. My life seemed incomplete until you came into it. So I’m writing this with a heavy heart. I never thought we would get here, where we can’t communicate to each other. I never thought our lives would clash so much.
I’ve tried to tell you these things but it always leads to arguing. I have repeatedly tried to explain my feelings, how certain things you do hurt me. Your anger, has taken control of any type of understanding you have, me saying one thing only turns into your lashing out with venom! I’m a true believer that you’re true feelings come out when upset. You say the most hurtful things when you’re angry and then when you’re no longer mad you expect things to go back to normal, not recognizing how they can’t.
Once something is said it can’t be retracted.
I sit stunned. Wondering how I got here. I feel like I’m in an abusive relationship.
In calm times I bring up what you said and you defend yourself with, “I was just angry, I didn’t mean it.” So when you say these things I don’t know where or how to receive this. I’ve treated you well. I’ve always respected you. I’ve given everything to you. I don’t claim to be perfect by any stretch. But I am always respectful, even when upset.
It wasn’t until a few years into the marriage that I realized that your anger wasn’t about ME, but unresolved issues you had with your family. Our arguments may have started with me, but they would always end with “The men in my life always leave” or “No one has ever had my back.”
This is when I recognized the bigger problem, one I could not fix by myself…
Our children see you explode on them, cursing and slamming things; how can I expect better behavior from them? I don’t want them thinking that’s acceptable behavior. I don’t like going behind your back explaining how you act to the kids. That’s divisive to me and I don’t like it. This is not acceptable behavior for any relationship let alone the one I want to spend the rest of my life in.
But over the years I have taken it, I have allowed you to push the boundaries, but I cannot anymore. How do you respect and love someone and say such hurtful and disrespectful things to them? I don’t think you can. I have come to the realization that all I have given and shared with you will never be enough. You say I’m too sensitive sometimes, maybe, but I shouldn’t have to feel like my partner doesn’t respect me.
Now you aren’t the sole reason for these feelings I am to blame too. I allowed things to escalate to levels that weren’t healthy. When I think of what I could have done more of? I couldn’t answer this anymore. I’ve tried to love, to care, to sympathize, but when you do not know what to do and therapy ran its course, everything I tried didn’t seem to work…
I will always love you, I just can’t continue in this chapter of our marriage. I know you have love for me; I just wish you had that same respect for me.
Now, as a divorced single father, my feelings are all over the map. Stress, relief, failure and joy. But I truly felt I had to go through that to find my own strength. I walked through a fire and became stronger steel because of it.
I do often feel sad that my marriage didn’t work, but I do not think that she is the one for me. My future relationships? Honestly, I do not know how this will affect them…
So now I ask you, how do you deal with your anger? Do you mask your insecurities as something else? Have you experienced something similar? Have you ever been on the receiving end and finally severed ties of that relationship? How do you heal and grow?
How do we make sure that these situations do not carry over to the next relationship?
These are all questions and thoughts I have when talking about relationships, sharing my little perspective on loving you and I would like to hear from you.