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Monday, November 7, 2011

Question of the Week:
Ever Take Out Your Frustration On Your Significant Other?

Over the weekend I read a great post by the Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy titled 10 Things I’ve Learned From Living With Chronic Illness.  It is a solid article, one that I could totally relate to in so many ways.  But I admit when I got 2/3 of the way through it I started feeling kinda bad...

Here is what triggered that reaction:
7)  No matter how bad I’m feeling, no matter how much pain I’m in, it’s *not* okay to take out my anger and frustrations on other people, especially those who are close to me.
That is excellent advice.  But I admit that I don't always follow this advice and I'm sort of ashamed to admit this.  I mostly feel bad because it is my husband that gets the brunt of my bad behavior when I go "off the rails."

I hate it when my pain and fatigue turn me into an ugly person.

Thankfully this doesn't happen that often.  Although it would happen even less if I stopped pushing myself to the limits of what I can do and paid a little closer attention to pacing myself better.  And this time of year, with the holidays coming up and the weather making my symptoms worse, is a real challenge for me when it comes to pacing.    

The long and the short of this is that I need to redouble my efforts in trying to make this an operating principle in my life.  Because if you are married or involved in a relationship, you know how easy it is to take things out on your partner.  You don't have to be sick for this to happen!

It behooves us all to remember that our partners aren't our punching bags.  We need to learn mature and respectful ways to deal with our pricklier feelings.  So the next time I want to let him have it, I think I'll work on taking a time out instead.  Then, when I am cooled off, I can decide if I need to be angry at him or not.

Since I have been a bit remiss in this regard, I need to make it a priority to start replenishing the bank of good feelings between us. Maybe I can start by baking him a batch of his favorite cookies and doing one of his chores for him.

I do this for the sake of our marriage and to maintain a good relationship with my spouse.  I also do this because I can see how I'll be increasing my withdrawals from the bank very soon.  I know that the new year is going to bring me many more periods of feeling bad when I start Hepatitis C treatment...and I am going to really need my husband's support to get through it.

So can you relate?  Do you sometimes take your anger and frustration out of the people closest to you too?  Is this something that has gotten worse since you started living with chronic illness?

I'd love to hear your stories and some of the things you do to mend fences with your significant others.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment or over on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page.


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1 comment

abcsofra said...

Yup, I have been known to do this very thing. What has worked for me is having my own space that I can retreat to and escape from the firing range...so to say. Out of sight, I am out of the firing range and I can't fire negative things at anyone. I have insulated my own space in my home and it IS mine. I go there, close the door and do whatever it is to recoupe. This has worked magic. But...it is only in our most recent home that I have been able to do this...we now have an extra room I can use. My suggestion would be that husband and wife agree that the person needing the shared space get privacy until they get over or get out whatever is bothering them. And it sounds like you know about The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.