Question: Dear Luise: I am inclined to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation and my husband is very even tempered. He sees me as “spirited” and “honest”…but I don’t like the way it feels. Is there such a thing as natural dispositions or am I in need to help with this? Thanks. Claudine
Answer: Dear Claudine: Good for you for being willing to take a closer look at what’s going on. It’s pretty easy to get used to our reactions and not see them as clearly as you have. Probably the contrast between you and your husband helps in that area.
It’s true that we can have very different natures. In addition we have all been brought up differently and have learned different methods of expression. What you appear to be asking is if your behavior is excessive or perhaps neurotic. I would say that if it doesn’t feel right to you, it’s wise to investigate it more thoroughly.
I have read that the releasing of anger is a very healthy thing and I have also read that the chronically angry person can do serious physical damage to themselves with the passing of time, so take your pick. Probably both are true at one time and another.
Check out anger management therapists or groups in your area. That’s a good place to start. It’s very hard to just stop a behavior that has gotten to the “automatic pilot” stage, as you have doubtlessly learned. Why not explore what’s going on and find out what you can do about it?
It’s wonderful that your husband is so accepting and, even so, he might like some time off from living with a volcano-type spouse. Often the person that is so calm, learned to do that out of survival, just like you learned to blow. Excessive control, even if it’s more socially acceptable, can cause problems. And yes, I think some people are naturally that way. My point is that even though your husband sees you in the best possible light, your getting a handle on this might be a relief for him. He may feel pretty helpless watching you express unhappiness so often.
Why not work on it, and offer both of you a more peaceful life together? Blessings, Luise