I’ve been trying to take better care of myself and to set boundaries with my husband. But doing so makes him angrier in the moment. When he raises his voice at me during arguments, I turn away to deep breathe or leave the room until we can both calm down and stop radiating anger. He grew up in a family that yelled, I didn’t, so being yelled at makes me really anxious. I always thought giving each other time and space to cool down before trying to talk was a good thing.
But it just makes him angrier when I create physical distance, and sometimes he follows me and I wind up feeling trapped in a corner. I’ve explained to him that when I walk away, it’s not a rejection of him, it’s what I need to do to feel safe and to calm myself down so we can talk constructively rather than in anger. Sometimes he understands. At other, more tense times he says I make him sound like a monster, and he criticises me for walking away from situations. Do I just keep reinforcing my boundaries, maybe articulating them more clearly? (“If you raise your voice or speak to me in anger, I’m leaving the room until we both calm down.”)