Earlier today, my DXH ("dear ex-husband") asked if I remembered trying to kick him out of bed several years ago. Indeed, I do. Here's what happened:
We were going to sleep, and I was super mad at him for some reason I can no longer remember (I'm suuuure he was at fault, though). I told him to go sleep on the couch. He replied, "No."
"No?" I asked, incredulous. "You can't just say no."
"Why should I be the one who sleeps on the couch?"
"Because you're the man. I'm the woman and I get to banish you to the couch if I want to."
"What about gender equality?"
At this point, having no good argument, I began physically trying to push him out of bed. He was a lot bigger (and stronger) than me, so this was completely futile. I tried with all my might, to the point of grunting loudly. The scenario soon struck us both as so absurd that we started cracking up. And it's hard to be mad when you're laughing.
Remembering this made me think about what kinds of things we do when we get mad. My attempt to push my DXH out of bed was silly, but in the moment, it felt totally justifiable.
As a kid, I had a temper. (In high school, I even punched a hole in a door once.) My anger was usually directed at myself: a mistake I'd made or a situation that felt unsolvable. Somewhere along the way, 95% of my temper disappeared. Vanished. Kaput. I'm usually good at diffusing my own anger before it gets directed at anyone else.
But I have a confession to make: I am a leaver. On the rare occasions I do get mad, my first impulse is to get the heck out of the house. I become single-minded about getting in the car and driving as far away as I can. Sometimes this clears my head within a few minutes, but usually it takes longer. But for my DGF, walking out is the functional equivalent of saying, "I don't love you anymore." And that's the last thing I want to say, even when I'm mad. So without really thinking about it, I've found other ways to deal with being mad, and I thought I'd share some of them.