Anger and Resentment

Some ruffling of feathers today on the co-ed forum….

Athol: Everyone comes to MMSL in pain and wanting a solution to their problem.

It’s very easy to see the “opposite sex” as a whole as the problem, as opposed to your specific opposite sex spouse as being the issue. Then you get pissed off at the opposite sex on the forum, who have their own pain and suddenly it turns into a Mexican Standoff of Fuck You, No Fuck You.

The answer is very simple. Yes you’re going to struggle with anger and resentment.

As you run the MAP, it’s okay to use that anger and resentment as motivating factors driving you toward success in winning your war. But at some point, as you get yourself to the point where you have a more balanced relationship, you have to let that go if you want to win the peace.

The emotions are negative, but the goal of a great relationship is sufficiently positive that the good outweighs the bad. But once near the goal, all you have is the negative emotion and it turns into a net negative.

It’s easy to say “just forgive”, but the honest truth is forgiveness is some sort of impossible mental trick people tell you to do.

My advice is simply to seek to understand. Understand why you spouse did what they did. Understand what you did to create the situation yourself. Understand that mixed in with your anger and hatred of your partner, is anger and self-hatred of you. As you understand better, you can often find yourself less angry, less offended and less enmeshed in the past.

Also as you come closer to healing, all that locked away pain tends to erupt in nasty gobby chunks that take you by surprise. Your partner does one little thing and you explode on them… your partner can even be doing exactly what you asked of them… and you have a volcanic reaction to it.

SEE, YOU CAN DO IT! WHY DID I HAVE TO THREATEN DIVORCE, WHEN YOU COULD HAVE DONE IT THE WHOLE TIME?!?!

Expect it, plan for it, talk about it with your partner and when it comes, just express your feelings that you are experiencing with your partner, but do not direct them at your partner.

So breathe.

If we all get into a game of He Said, She Said, 98% of the time the person you’re really mad about isn’t even on the forum.

Comments

  1. alphaguy says:

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

    Litany Against Fear
    Bene Gesserit

  2. I really needed to hear that today. However, understanding hasn’t helped me past the anger yet.

  3. Ioweenie says:

    Owning your part in your problem helps with anger/resentment. The more you focus on your contribution to your problem, the more power you have. When it comes to men and women, our world views and wiring are just plain different. Expecting women to be as men is unrealistic, futile, time-wasting – even enabling as the undesirable behavior is allowed to become more entrenched as you wait for “her” to finally to “get it,” i.e., become like you. It’s like getting mad at a cat for not being a dog as you continue to treat the cat like a dog and the cat still responds as a cat. Sometimes the anger is at ourselves as we realize the blunder is ours.

    Forgiving is not always forgetting. For big matters, it’s more an ongoing process than a “once and done” thing. Some requires supernatural assistance. And, just because you forgive does not mean the undesired behavior is allowed to return. It also helps to realize each of us has our own brand of offensiveness that we rarely see. We may be as offensive as we are offended. Unbeknownst to us, we’ve probably been given grace and forgiveness numerous times.

  4. Red Pill Saluki says:

    On a day to day basis, dealing with these is one of the hardest things about the MAP.

    However, talking with my wife(‘s hamster) about her (it’s) feelings, does not, in my experience, help the situation. I don’t think what you suggest would work unless she had read the book or reads your blog a lot.

    I find it more effective to focus on her behavior and gauge how it responds to my MAP.

  5. Hey, I was the one who went bananas in there! …. Sorry about that. Ok, not really.

    But I did take your advice and talk to my husband, and despite the fact that it came out even more bawly and howly and inchoate in person than it did in text, it was still really helpful. To both of us, I think– I was trying not to derail recent successes by throwing negative reinforcement after it, yet on the other hand– suppression of “unnecessary” (eventually most) emotion in the name of preserving each other’s fragile lil egos is a huge part of how we got into our current mess. He could tell I just couldn’t deal with him yesterday, without knowing WHY.

    He wasn’t kidding when he said he was paying attention now. so he heard it all out, hugged me til I had to go to work, we talked about some stuff, past present and future. Truth is, we’ve both f’ed things up pretty thoroughly over the years. Toni Morrison describes our last several years well:

    ““She became, and her process of becoming was like most of ours: she developed a hatred for things that mystified or obstructed her; acquired virtues that were easy to maintain; assigned herself a role in the scheme of things; and harked back to simpler times for gratification.”

    Overall, felt like taking off a fifty-lb rucksack that nobody forced me to wear in the first freaking place. A (somewhat embarrassing) relief.

  6. Ioweenie says:

    I might also add, while forgiving is not forgetting, forgetting does help us to forgive. Time IS a healer. Yesterday, I happened upon a journal written over a decade ago and reread of a painful incident involving my husband and son. I’ve kept a detailed laundry list of what I thought were my husband’s offenses alive much longer than I should, but I could barely recall this event – at all.

    There are days I lament my aging mind (I’m over 50), but other days I recognize it has allowed me to let go and be freed from the pointless drain of energy that is unforgiveness. I do wish I’d employed a more forgiving spirit back then and not let a bitter root take hold.

  7. Peregrine John says:

    Ok, but you’ll have to explain it, because she’s unlikely to ever be introspective enough to comprehend, let alone tell me, why an ultimatum is necessary to do the easy, free, and patently obvious.

  8. momnotmom says:

    To understand all is to forgive all.

    -Voltaire

  9. whatever says:

    The difficulty with forgiveness lies in the fact that they are not actually sorry for their behavior. The problem with forgiveness is that most people in America are unbelievable jackasses.

    But heh, hatred is draining. It’s so much more effective to not care about the person anymore, at all.

    Works well.

  10. holdingallthecards says:

    The ugly underbelly of my marriage wass when each partner felt mistreated by the selfishness of the other partner, and the duel of Getting Even spiraled out of control.

    In my case, discovering MMSL was several years too late, as I’m only 3 weeks away from freedom from this whole mess. My move out date, serving the D papers date, and informing the (now 18) kids date are all planned out with the help of my attorney.

    I’ve learned quite a bit about marriage, men, and expectations in the last year, so it hasn’t really been a total waste. Learn, grow, and go. Thanks, Athol.

  11. alphaguy says:

    I am so grateful to Athol for saving my marriage and forcing the Red Pill down my throat! Just in time to save my marriage and much heartbreak, money and angst (especially for the kids) I know we can’t legally do this, but we as a nation (or all of western civilization) should hand this book to all men when they get married. I know I will be giving a copy to both my boys when they are old enough.

  12. momnotmom says:

    holdingallthecards-

    Never too late.

    But with 18 kids, I can see how you might like a little peace and quiet.

    :-)

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