My husband and I had a fight today. It’s a similar fight we’ve had in the past that starts with miscommunication and his temper gets out of control. Basically, he says my tone was critical of him, and I think that no matter how I provide feedback it will annoy him. Tonight, it escalated into a larger nastier fight and in front of the kids. I’m having difficulty pinning down the circumstance. I have absolutely no tolerance for being yelled at (my father yelled at me when I was a child and being yelled at as an adult is so triggering for me). I shut down and don’t communicate and want to escape. So, I know that when his anger gets this red there is no turning back for him (rule book- I know I shouldn’t say that). I guess what I want to do is have a plan for how to communicate clearly the first time so we don’t get into a nasty argument – should I focus my thought work on what I could have done differently or process the feelings that came after?
C:? (husband is yelling)
T: this isn’t ok
A: shut down communication, try to walk away, plugging my ears/humming/shutting my eyes
R: ( I don’t see how I am responsible for this circumstance)
C: neighbor can hear us arguing
T: I can’t believe he is yelling like this with the front door open
A: believe neighbor will think less of us, don’t feel respected, and……
C: Disagreement with husband
T: if he really loved me he wouldn’t treat me this way
A: hate myself, don’t believe I’m worth loving
R: I don’t love myself?
C: Me: “I shut the water off, were you wanting to eat this early?” Husband sighs and says “my tone of voice and how I asked was critical making him feel stupid”, I say “I knew you were going to get annoyed no matter how I said it”
T: he is so sensitive and can’t receive any feedback
A: stop trying to communicate better, frustrated since I don’t know the solution
R: I am so sensitive to how I receive feedback from him