Ep60 – Why are we still so angry?

November 2, 2020

If you’ve ever looked for the root cause of your anger, you’ve probably read or heard that anger is the outward manifestation of fear. There’s wisdom there, but it goes deeper. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the concept of considering what their anger means about themselves. We can’t change other people. To alleviate our own anger, we can leave the situation or we can make changes to ourselves. They talk about how much easier it is to understand this concept than it is to execute it.

When the alcohol left the relationship, and years of recovery work was in the books, the anger lingers. Why, and what can be done about it?

If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

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4 comments on “Ep60 – Why are we still so angry?

  1. This one is right on.

    I can remember the exact spot/time I just decided to step out and ask for help. I no longer cared what he thought. There were arguments and resentment from him. I was telling the secret to others.

    But the anger shifted. At first it got a lot stronger. I was way less willing to accept any disrespect or drunkenness. It was LOUD and SHARP. Sheri is right on, “the anger fueled the change”.

    I had to be angry to take care of myself and get through the barriers. Doing nothing was killing me slowly just as his drinking was killing him.

    Couple other things that resonated:
    -We maintain the stability in our house.
    -We must be the one healthy consistent adult.
    -I’m hesitant to believe your belief in what you are reading.
    -“I wish she’d speed up her changing”….we think that all the years you try to stop. So, I think it’s the same feeling but now the drinker is faced with the slow pace of change.
    -“the change I’m waiting for is isn’t working so what can I change in myself”

    I think the anger comes from a lifetime of trusting people then being betrayed. Over and over and over. So even in the soft moments we are anticipating the future pain. It’s like a defense mechanism against true vulnerability. It’s easier to have low expectations and a sharp temper then to to let down the walls and let you back in.

    Thank you for sharing and thinking out loud.

  2. Melissa Nov 8, 2020

    Sherri, this is gut wrenching. Could it be that the same lack of confidence that helped deter you from leaving Matt or getting counseling on your own is now undermining your relationship now that you are staying together? Who in your past made you think you weren’t smart or couldn’t handle stuff? Maybe some of your lingering anger is really at her or him. You seem vastly capable and with every reason to feel confident and worthy.

    • Sheri Salis Nov 8, 2020

      I think there was and sometimes still low self confidence/esteem issues. I don’t think it was something that resonated in me before. I had always felt confident and independent before I met Matt. I think as the years went on and realized I did not have a traditional 4 year college degree to fall back on with 4 kids to take care of, I felt outnumbered and unprepared. I also think playing into my anger was the idea of not getting what I wanted, hoped and expected to come form this relationship. I had not realized and verbalized to Matt that I had a lot of expectations from him in this marriage and with fatherhood. I think this is anger with myself and it came out in other non helpful ways.
      As far as outside help or counseling, I had talked and suggested it and Matt said it would not work, he did not want anyone to know, the usual stuff. It also would have been yet another argument. Looking back, I think to myself, one more argument that could have resolved 100 more if I had sought out help earlier. So now we recommend not waiting for therapy. It maybe wont save your the relationship but you can save yourself.
      Thanks for the questions and comments. It is a relief to get to the root of these issues and wished I could go back and do it over and better for my sake and all involved.