I got to thinking about patterns in my angry episodes.

A very typical example will be when I’m paying the bills. I’ll be looking at the recent expenditures, and I’ll see some payments I wasn’t expecting, resulting in a low account balance. My immediate urge is to stop what I’m doing and hunt down Stacey and angrily demand an explanation. It may be couched politely but I know she knows that the finances are always touchy, and that she’s being called to account.

Introspecting a little, I realize that when I feel that first surge of anger, I want to make her fix it. It’s silly. But in a way it has a childish sort of logic to it – like a little boy who feels he’s been treated unfairly and makes his parents feel guilty so that they will either fix the situation or do something to make up for it. But I’m no longer a child, and there’s nothing she can do about it. I’m indulging in magical thinking. I guess at the very least I want her to “fix” it by redoubling her efforts to pinch pennies, or find a job, or whatever. But really I’m just lashing out in anger to try to change something that can’t be changed.

Hopefully I can use this knowledge to address my faulty belief systems and react to anger in more constructive ways.

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  1. She is redoubling her efforts to pinch pennies or find a job!

  2. Maybe she could take on some of the responsibility of bill paying? I handle all of our finances, but I get my husband involved in them when I can so he can see where our money is going and what we need to do to meet the goals for saving that we’ve set together. Having him aware of these things helps him think twice before spending money on frivilous things and to value the splurges he does make even more, and I don’t get angry when I see he’s bought a new PDA or iPod because I know he resisted plenty of other stuff to do it.

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