My wife and I have been married for 25 years , high school sweet hearts. Recently I've noticed there had been a growing distance between us, nothing mean, just not as close. Turns out this is the result of years of her feeling the negativity from my depression and self esteem issues. It's not what I was thinking, that she was seeing somebody else.
So enter the incident. Our garage door had broken and was in danger of falling. I was trying to cut the cable to release where we could lower it, and I was telling her to hold her side up a little higher so I could get it released. This was very stressful, as I was thinking about it falling on us, the car etc. I know I was talking forcefully and with urgency in my voice. She said stop yelling at me in trying. This is where the vision of her with somebody else, and us never really ever having a real fight off any kind in our 25 years together. Sure we nagged at each other about little crap from time to time, but never a screaming angry fight. All I could think and said was "I'm not yelling at you, THIS is yelling". That 1 word as loud as I could. This shook her to her core. I never cane at her, or touched her violently. I would never do that, I love her deeply. I've always been strongly against violence toward women, something she loved me for. But in this 1 moment, with this 1 word, I shattered that. She said she doesn't feel safe now. Didn't know if she loves me. This has been 3 weeks of the worst hell I've ever felt. I'm seeing a therapist, and I've asked that she come with me. She's timid about it though. Just last night, after 3 weeks, she finally told me what has scared her. So I guess that's progress. I apologized that night for yelling, she nodded. I had no idea she was hurt so badly by my outburst. I never had any intention of violence, I knew exactly what I was doing. I was screaming out in protest because I thought she was cheating. She was never in any danger from me. Danger is what she felt though.
So how can I get her to see that the person she fell in love with is still right here? She doesn't have to be afraid that if I lose my temper, that I could be like that again. I have another therapy session tomorrow, and after management is on the agenda. But her being scared is not something I can fix.