Arguments with Husband

Hi coaches. Husband and I have a fairly good 20-year relationship to which I’m committed. There are a number of things I like about our life together. However, one thing that keeps coming up – and to which I think I’m very sensitive – is his moodiness. He can get angry fairly often in response to (what he sees as) not being listened to or his opinion not valued enough. Often this can be a misunderstanding. The other thing I find very difficult is his anxiety / stress – e.g., about son’s grades, he tends to catastrophize with any ups & downs in grades, even though son generally does well in school.

But I want to focus on me. I hate the way I respond to husband’s moods – I hate that I want to change him, after all this time, and see it as a failure in myself that I keep trying. This ‘trying’ to change him and my responses to his anger lead to extended arguments which I can see I’m the one feeding – his anger usually just involves some hurtful words but then he diffuses very quickly, nothing comes from it if I let it go and I know in all other ways he’s committed & loving.

Here’s a model which I’m ashamed of! but shows you about the way arguments can go and shows very clearly the way I respond which is what I want to focus on. How can I accept husband’s anger when I hate it so much? How can I become able to genuinely not want him to change?

So this would be:
C: Husband talked angrily, raised voice while we were on street
T: I can’t manage husband’s anger, it traumatises me, I can’t live with this
F: very upset, distraught [and also frustration, fury, bitterness, dissatisfaction]
A: crying
ruminating thoughts
feelings of sadness, bitterness expressed through tears
Thinking & feeling negatively about husband which can go in circles
Wish to change him
explaining to husband repeatedly & with intense words why he should change
become furious myself, feel anger in my body
I sometimes lose sleep
don’t listen to husband, interrupt
self-blaming and helpless thoughts
neglect son during arguments with husband
don’t attend to son e.g. stay in bed when I’m angry & not watch a movie with him, can lead to son getting worried
tell myself there’s nothing I can do, ideas of failure in my marriage
claustrophobic thoughts – I am trapped in this situation
threaten husband with divorce
don’t respond to his efforts for reconciliation, push him away
re-ignite the argument the morning after
catastrophise about all sorts of aspects in our marriage, over-generalize
sometimes (in bad days) can lead to buffering – screentime, overeating, collapse, under-working
Can lead to inaction / stagnation in my career goals
My [childish] need to ‘be right’ doesn’t get satisfied, things don’t ‘get done my way’, I never achieve my goal of changing him
R: I don’t manage myself, damage myself, I undermine my ability to live with my husband & son as I wish