I got into an argument with my husband tonight, on the way to dinner. It was very stupid - we were just talking about moving the furnace and installing A/C for the whole house. In my excitement, I asked if we could do it before the party two weeks from now so we'll have A/C, and he said something like "Nobody cares about your party so give it up, okay?" My stepson in the backseat pipes in with "Yeah!"
I felt the blood rush to my head. When I get angry, I grow silent. It's mostly because when I'm really mad, I tend to explode and say incoherent things so over the years I've found it prudent to just shut up. While we were waiting for our food and my stepson was in the restroom, he confronted me. I said some hurtful words at him in retaliation to his remarks.
That's one very bad trait of mine - I seem to like
to hurt the people I love with mean words when I'm really upset with them. I don't think about the consequences or how this might do permanent damage, but I really push the envelope when it comes to arguing with those close to my heart. This is one characteristic I know I should really work on, but I haven't been able to shake it off.
What I failed to tell him, because I was still overcome with anger and thus inarticulate, was that he could've just told me "No" and not embarrass me in front of my stepson, which he has been doing quite a bit. I don't really care about the party, and I know they both will have a better time at it than I would. What bothered me was being disrespected by my stepson, and my husband knew this was a big deal for me.
My nine-year-old stepson and I have a great relationship. However, I'm more a friend to him than a mother. On our best day, no one can come between us. He hugs me more than he hugs his parents, and wants to play with me more than anyone else. Sometimes though, this friendly relationship backfires, and he treats
me like a friend - plays tricks on me, embarrasses me, makes fun of me. One time, he laughed at me for pronouncing "tortoise" as "tor-toys", because, after all, that is how I've been saying it all my life, in the Philippines. In the United States, it's "tor-tis". I tried to make light of the situation by telling both him and his father, because the latter joined in on the laughing, that if they ever go to the Philippines and say "tor-tis" they'll be hanged. Of course, from then on, I make sure that I think tricky words through before I say them, because I don't want them to have any more arsenal. Sometimes I overdo this and still say a word wrong, although I usually say it right otherwise.
Being the newest addition to the family, my husband and stepson tend to gang up on me. The target is usually my Filipino eccentricities, because they know I have them beat on everything else (especially Jeopardy!). Although we have a lot of fun with our bloody competitiveness, I remind my husband when we're alone to let up on the teasing, because my stepson gets bolder and I need to keep his respect. He acknowledges this but forgets once in a while. Tonight was one of those times. He still believes I got upset with the attack on the party but in actuality it's being made the butt of a joke once again.
Do you feel that you express your anger effectively? If so, how do you do it (because I sure need tips!)?