I’ve been thinking a lot about the anger of partners.
I wonder sometimes about the correlation between anger & empowerment.
I’ve never been a plate-breaking type; I’ve never thrown someone’s stuff out a window. And I wonder, when I see the kind of rage that partners can kick up, what it is in their brains that allows them to go so out of control. I have a lot of anger; Betty sometimes says I’m one of the angriest people she’s ever met. But at some point in time, I found yelling and screaming at the injustice of it all was perfectly futile, so I (mostly) stopped doing it. That’s not to say I don’t rant – I’m a professional ranter, actually – but I stopped thinking that my ranting was going to change anything.
My mother always tells me that I spent more of my time convincing her of why I shouldn’t have to do more chores than it would have taken me to do them, and it strikes me that misplaced anger is a similar waste of time. If being angry or sad or screaming is not going to change the situation, then why keep doing those things?
But what I’ve noticed is the anger and sadness don’t satisfy people either. They stop being angry just at the thing that made them angry, and start spreading it around. In our case, we had to deal with an ex of Betty’s who not only targeted Betty, but me, and a friend of ours who introduced us, Betty’s parents, etc.
I’ve heard recently that one of the reasons therapists used to recommend divorce if one partner was transitioning is for fear the therapist, or doctor, might be sued by the angry partner. And while I can understand the urge of a partner who wants to sue a therapist for being “encouraging,” I don’t really understand the misplaced anger: the therapist didn’t cause the transsexualism.
A couple of weeks back I put up a post about having to decide what to do when you’re done crying, and sometimes I wonder if the crying and anger doesn’t continue for some people because they simply can’t face doing something, either because they don’t feel that they can do anything, or have generally felt unable to exert real power over their lives, or that they don’t feel up to following through on whatever decision they might make. That is, I wonder if they keep being angry and sad because the other emotion they’ll have to confront is outright fear.