Sometimes,when you notice that you are fighting with your husband much more than usual, you will try to attribute it to stress or just a rough patch. But when your husband admits a very painful and difficult truth – like the fact that he would prefer not to be around you – then you often have no choice but to face reality and to deal with the matter at hand.
I might hear from a wife who says: “last night, my husband and I got into a huge fight. I was arguing with him because for the third night in a row, he didn’t bother to come home for dinner. This is disrespectful to my children and myself and it really bothers me. My husband tried to deflect the situation for a few minutes by telling me that I was overreaching. But I didn’t stop at that point. So he blurted out that he isn’t coming home because he doesn’t like to be around me. I asked him what this was supposed to mean and he said my attitude has changed and I’m not the person that I used to be. He is right about that. I freely admit that I am more on edge and I worry about more than I used to. But this is all his fault. He made some awful investments and now we are being forced to pay off money that we don’t have. He did all of this behind my back. So I am very stressed out and worried. I envision a scenario where we lose our home. And I admit that I frequently ask my husband if he has made any progress on our finances or what he is planning to do about the mess that we are in. He says that I bring him down all of the time. He says that things are bad enough without my always dragging attention to our problems and moping around the house like I do. I admit that I probably am not the life of the party these days. But I have a good reason to act the way that I am. This is his fault and he deserves it. If he wanted me to act loving and friendly toward him, then he shouldn’t have squandered our money.”
I am not going to tell you that you don’t have any right to be frustrated because you absolutely do. But, I think that you have to be careful that you aren’t adding marital issues to your list of things to worry about. I can’t argue the fact that you are dealing with a stressful situation. Of course you are going to worry and be on edge. And, as a result, you might be more short-tempered than usual. But I think that it makes a lot of sense to try to find other ways to let this out rather than to be abrasive toward your husband.
I don’t want to insinuate that he doesn’t owe you a huge apology or that there shouldn’t be consequences for his actions. But, think about it for a second. Your main worry here is your family. You don’t want for his money mistakes to threaten the security of your family. But, wouldn’t marital issues threaten it also?
I understand that you are dealing with a huge stressor and that you probably can’t even always recognize or control your anger. But I believe that there are better ways to channel it. It makes sense to release it in places other than your household (at least sometimes,) where it can hurt your family. I would recommend unloading on a very trusted friend or using a journal.
If you use the journal method, you want to be certain that you aren’t ruminating. And by ruminating I mean that you aren’t using the journal to just churn your anger and keep it going because this doesn’t benefit you. Instead, you want to release it and then ask yourself open ended questions in order to help you to let it go a little bit at a time. I found that for me, the easiest way to do this was to ask myself questions like: “of all of the options available to me, which is more likely to keep my family in tact and to get a good result for everyone?” Or “which option brings the most love into my household?”
It might sound like I am asking you to ignore your problems or to not deal with what your husband has done. I promise you that I am not. But, I also know first hand that you are so much more likely to get real action and true cooperation from your husband when you work together, when he is receptive to you, and when you treat him with respect. If you can make him feel sympathetic to you, then he is much more likely to want to come through for you and to minimize your pain. And that means that he will want to rise to the occasion and deal with the finances.
But if you are abrasive (which is understandable, but destructive) then it is easier for him to justify his own actions and you don’t want to give him this sort of out. Instead, you want for him to do the right thing because he loves his family and because he sees that they don’t deserve this.