Am I being unreasonable?

Postby Angel-Rose » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:03 pm

I don't know if I am being unreasonable when I lose my temper, so I would like to give you an example of when it happens, so I can have a fresh perspective and understand whether I am genuinely the issue.

So, my partner plays football of a Sunday. I love that he plays every Sunday as he is part of a community and has developed some great friendships. He is an introvert, very shy and quiet, so for him to thrive and be part of something is great to see. I would never ask him to miss a game to 'spend time with me' or to 'give me his undivided attention' because his team means a lot to him.
I live 300 miles away from my family and in such a demanding job, I rarely get time to visit them. When I do, they like my partner to visit them as much as I do because they adore him and they class him as part of the family. On three occasions over the past couple of years, I have invited him to visit them with me when he has happened to have a football match. We always rearrange the visit so that he can play the match, or cut the weekend short so he can be back on the Sunday to play, meaning we only spend 1 night and 1 full day with my family. This has led to arguments before because he always says yes to visiting, then lets me down last minute. On this occasion, Easter is the weekend that I wish to visit my family. Some other relatives are also coming to stay so they can meet my partner and we can all be together and go for outings etc. My partner has a football match that weekend, so although he agreed to visit them with me, it has happened before where he agrees and then decides not to last minute so he can play his football match. I mentioned this to him earlier, by telling him that I don't want to be let down again and I can't necessarily trust that he won't, based on previous times. I lost my temper, very badly, which led to him being upset because I got in such a state by shouting and throwing things. I don't know if I am being unreasonable- am I?
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:13 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:48 pm

It is not unreasonable to be upset and our disappointed when a person backs out of a commitment. knew there had to be a but...there is the old wisdom, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

You are entirely, 100% aware that:
-1- He doesn’t want to voluntarily visit your family...probably ever.
-2- He wants to play football with his friends.
-3- He will make a false commitment to appease you and then back out.

There is no reason to get upset when you are fully aware.

You are never going to address issues #1 or #2. He can’t be forced into enjoying visiting your family.

#3 you need to address, by:

-1- Don’t ask a person to make a commitment that you know they don’t want to make. Go visit family without him.

-2- Find a positive incentive. Make it worth his while to go. This can be fun...especially using certain types of incentives, wink wink. Associate the incentive with the destination.

-3- Explain consequences. Explain to him that you understand he is most likely committing just to appease you. Then explain, that is his problem, not your problem. If he says yes, if he commits and then backs out, explain upfront what he will lose. Explain upfront the negative consequences of backing out. You need to know what those consequences are and be ready to enforce them.

So prior to the next time you wish to go visit family, determine your incentives, determine your consequences and then have an open conversation where you allow him to decide if he is willing to accept your offer. If he says no, then don’t try to force a commitment to a deal he doesn’t agree with. Go visit family on your own.
User avatar
Posts: 10888
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1124


Postby Leo Volont » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:37 am

Hi Angel-Rose,

yes, of course, certainly you have just cause for feeling that your partner has been abusing your relationship by continuously reneging on his solemn agreements with you. BUT, you can't use the Just Cause argument to justify your Emotional Tantrums... which, with your "throwing things", was bordering on violence. I agree with Richard, that you had only the Justification to respond reasonably... even sternly! Indeed, if you think that you would want a Partner who would put some priority into getting along well with your family, well, you could reasonably tell your present partner that he is now walking on the very edge of Deal Breaking Territory, and that you have enough confidence in your Appearance and Appeal that if he won't be the Partner that suits you, then it wouldn't be that difficult to find one that would.

but, yes, I understand how Anger works. I used to flip out all the time over instances of Injustice and Insult too. the problem is that when Modern Evolved Humans feel socially threatened or frustrated, that their Bodies' react in the Primitive Animal Way -- as though in response to an actual Physical Attack. The driving force behind this response is Cortisol, a biochemical secretion from a gland in the brain that excites violent defensive responses. Cortisol also redirects the brain's activities away from the Higher Thinking Centers, which makes it almost impossible to Think Rationally after you have already gotten Angry with a Cortisol Rush. The Trick for dealing with Cortisol is in knowing that they First Sign of a Cortisol Rush is the Tightening of the Jaw Muscles -- clenching the teeth. It seems that the gland in the brain that secretes Cortisol is situated just above the roof of the mouth, so that the mouth and jaw muscles are the first to 'feel' the Cortisol. All you have to do is RELAX your tightened jaw muscles as soon as you feel them clench up. Apparently the act of consciously Relaxing your mouth is interpreted by that Brain Gland as a sign that that Cortisol was Triggered by a False Alarm, and then the flow of Cortisol is immediately shut off. One lady wrote in to say that she only has to Open her Mouth -- that she cannot get angry if she commits to breathing with an Open Mouth. You can read some of the posts below for more detailed explanations of this phenomena, and what some of the responses have been regarding it.

Good luck, Angel-Rose.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Senior Member
Posts: 1050
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 139

Return to Anger Management