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Avatar universal

Once in a while I experience a total rage-out. How normal is this?

My long time girlfriend and I have a long running issue that we have learned to deal with.  It's always the same: She asks a question or makes a statement to which I respond, she ignores my response and presses again, I respond again, she presses again and with each successive repeat I get more frustrated and respond more emphatically and loudly.   What I have learned is that once she senses my frustration and closes up against my increased energy ... it doesn't matter how much louder I get or how more detailed my explanation ... she's not listening.  So what I have learned to do is just disengage.   We've even gotten to the point that we say "We have to stop right now before it gets ugly!" and walk away.  And it works.  Mostly.

But once in a while all that gets through all my filters.  Last week she said something in anger that she knew would cut right the heart of who I am.  If she had been in a rational mindset when she said it, it would have been pure evil, but since she was already upset and hurt and it was HER inner rage speaking, then it was beyond her control as well.   But the bottom line is I became so angry I punched a wall until I made a hole in it.

I know that's wrong.  I know there are better ways to manage one's anger -- when one has the luxury of control as I usually have and usually do.

My rhetorical question here (and YES! before you say it I'm looking for validation!) is this:
Why is punching a wall "emotional abuse that she should never have to put up with! Red flag! Red flag!
But deliberately pressing him to the point where he loses control isn't emotional abuse?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
The one of the 2 that you should be most concerned about is the one that you can control, namely the punching. You might start escalating in future (just a possibility), but most importantly you should stop because you understand right now that you shouldn't do it because it is counter-productive.
It isn't easy to ignore someone else who seems to have it in for you, but it seems from your story that you don't know why she does it so a better approach than the wall would be to ask her why she does this or maybe better to try to find out why from a professional.
The solution to the problem is not to be concerned about trying to even up the amount of disrespect or behavior issues because you think she is getting away with too much, it is to stop it from happening on your end if possible. Even if she won't stop, it is a separate issue and there is no reason to be carrying around the baggage of calculating how much more she deserves it than you - even if she is unfair it is best to try to work on your own behavior and not react to hers. I am not preaching - just trying to tell you how to lighten your load is not to get angry with someone else.

It is possible that she has a mental disorder like ADHD (or who knows what) that doesn't allow her to process your answer - but no one can diagnose her from here, so the best idea would be a joint therapy session.
You could tape a conversation in case she denies this ever happens but you can't force anyone to go for a therapy session so it is best to think about how you would approach her for a while first.
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