I’ve mentioned before that the one recurring issue in my otherwise healthy and good relationship is that my husband can’t deal with my anger or irritation very well.
Yesterday and the day before, I was uncharacteristically just in kind of a grumpy, irritable mood. He said it seemed similar to PMS, which is what it felt like to me, too. My hormones are kinda out of whack as I go through this whole perimenopause thing.
I apologized to him repeatedly about taking out my grumpy mood on him. And to be fair, he’s on chemo right now, which makes him feel extra crappy. I tried bringing him a drink he wanted from the bubble tea place as kind of an apology and a peace offering, which seemed to be received well.
But the fact of the matter remains that he doesn’t seem to want me to ever express any frustrations about anything, which I just don’t think is realistic or healthy. I get that it seems to trigger something in him that makes him feel unsafe, and I’m very sympathetic to that. And to be clear, at least from my recollection, I wasn’t yelling or name-calling, just venting my frustrations.
I don’t really know what to do next, to be honest. I’ve brought up the idea of therapy before and he seems pretty uninterested. I suggested he try micro-dosing and he said that he has so much suppressed rage that he’s scared that doing so would be a danger to himself and others.
I deeply believe that years of suppressed rage contributed to his cancer diagnosis (that and chronic lack of sleep.) He’s a good man and I love him. But at the same time, I feel like I have to walk on eggshells, suppressing normal and probably appropriate emotional reactions of my own, and I don’t think that’s right.
It’s one thing for him to suppress his own emotional reactions but quite another to ask me to do the same. Again, to be clear, I think I kept my expression of frustration to an appropriate level. But it seemed clear that he didn’t want me to be feeling that way at all and that he took it as both inappropriate and threatening somehow.
Normal relationships should have room for appropriately-expressed venting every once in a while. He even admitted that he couldn’t remember the last time I was in such a mood, so it’s clear that we don’t have a high-conflict relationship and I’m not usually an angry person. To be honest, I’m usually pretty chill. I also feel like we haven’t shown the kids how to deal with anger in a healthy way, which is a skill they need to have.
But I see his admission of his “suppressed rage” as a bigger problem. I don’t think it will go away if he keeps trying to ignore it. And if he wants me to only be happy all the time, well, that may be somewhat impossible with the hormonal shifts I’m experiencing.
It just seems like this could be an opportunity to learn how to express anger and frustration more appropriately and it feels like he doesn’t even want to try. He just wants to shove it down deeper.