I need some help sorting through an incident from today.
The circumstance: My husband had a work meeting at 9am at his workplace. I had a meeting scheduled at 1pm across town. My husband and I discussed yesterday that he would be back by 12:30 to take over baby care/lunch so that I would have the 25 minutes I needed to load the car and get across town. At 12:30, I texted him to ask where he was, and he said he was running late and would be home at 12:50. I had to stay and wait for him, because I couldn’t leave the baby alone and there were no one else who could watch the baby for that time.
My thoughts were some mix of “he’s late again / I can never rely on him / now I need to rush because he didn’t manage his time properly.”
I felt angry (and stressed about making my own meeting on time).
When I get angry, I typically have trouble processing it immediately…it often takes a few hours or even overnight. If the person at whom I’m directing my anger is there, I end up resisting the anger pretty strongly so that I don’t yell at them or say what I’m actually thinking directly to them. So I withdraw or try to create physical distance so I don’t say something I might regret and have some time to let the anger dissipate.
All that being said, I’m spinning when I try to figure out what to do here. On the one hand, I know I have a manual for my husband that he should show up at the agreed time and he shouldn’t make my life more difficult by ignoring my scheduling constraints. On the other hand, I WANT to be angry because I don’t want to accept bad treatment with a smile. Last, I can’t think of an authentic action that’s not hurtful when I am angry: withdrawal or lashing out feel most natural in that state, but neither are helpful. Is there a way to process through anger more quickly? or more effectively?
Right now I just don’t even want to speak to my husband about this incident, because his behavior continually fails to measure up in this area and I don’t see the point of trying to talk through something that just won’t change.