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Thread: Anger... What's normal and what's not?

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    #1

    Help Anger... What's normal and what's not?

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    Ok. I'm a newbie, but I have a very urgent question, so I thought I would cut right to the chase... but feel free to move the post if it's in the wrong place.

    First of all, I'm an American citizen *not* living in the US, but dating someone in what is roughly equivalent to the military here. I know that not everything will apply, but this is the best resource I have found so far, so I would be so grateful if you could bear with me.

    To avoid too many complications, I will just say that my SO is involved in black ops, high-risk operations, etc. They have been alone for a very long time and, moreover, involved in whatever it is they're involved in, lol. (I try to take a light hearted view of it and look at it like just another job... because it is! But a really intense one). Needless to say, relationship skills = not great. We broke up about a month ago because of my SO's jealousy issues and have gotten back together because they have been trying out therapy and making consistent and sincere efforts to be more communicative, less controlling, etc. I'm still a little on edge, but I've been in a similar situation before and I have to give them credit because it's very clear that they're trying to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. I'm doing my best to take care of myself, too.

    However, like I said, I'm still a little nervous. I've never really been in a situation like this before, and while there's never any excuse for venting your anger on someone else or controlling behaviors, I've also never had an abusive person or potentially abusive person really try to make amends and fix their behavior. I guess I'm kind of wondering if it's the job? Am I deluding myself? Everyone I know seems to think so, even I think so a lot of times, but something tells me to stick it out. I'm pretty good at ditching the losers in general, so I'm just totally dumbfounded.

    Has anyone else gone through something similar with their partner, where the stressors of the job caused aggressive behavior, but it was able to be worked through? Or have a partner who is involved in those secret spy-movie things? Please, I need clarity. Thank you in advance for your replies.
    Last edited by Frida_cat; 11-23-2017 at 02:09 AM. Reason: sarcasm didn't come across
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    #2
    No, it's not the job. Or at least it's not a part of the job. I suppose no one can say that he wouldn't be this way without the job, but plenty of people have these kinds of jobs and aren't mean toward their partners. And frankly, it wouldn't matter if it is the job. There's no excuse for behaving that way. "The job" doesn't get to be an excuse for bad behavior.

    Also, because military, super special Black Ops stuff is such a common schtick for catfishers, I have to ask. Are you 100% sure what he's saying about his job is true?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #3

    Confused Buy a saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Frida_cat View Post
    Ok.I will just say that my SO is involved in black ops, high-risk operations, etc... Needless to say, relationship skills = not great. We broke up about a month ago because of my SO's jealousy issues and have gotten back together because they have been trying out therapy and making consistent and sincere efforts to be more communicative, less controlling, etc. I'm still a little on edge, but I've been in a similar situation before and I have to give them credit because it's very clear that they're trying to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. I'm doing my best to take care of myself, too.

    However, like I said, I'm still a little nervous. I've never really been in a situation like this before, and while there's never any excuse for venting your anger on someone else or controlling behaviors, I've also never had an abusive person or potentially abusive person really try to make amends and fix their behavior. I guess I'm kind of wondering if it's the job? Am I deluding myself? Everyone I know seems to think so, even I think so a lot of times, but something tells me to stick it out. I'm pretty good at ditching the losers in general, so I'm just totally dumbfounded.
    .
    When that little voice inside you speaks... listen. Don't rationalize it away with your head, hear it.

    I don't mean to seem harsh, but how many "similar situations" with "abusive or potentially abusive partners" have you been involved with before?
    If you have had sufficient experience to become good at "ditching the losers" maybe you need to reevaluate your selection criteria?
    When looking at all the bad relationships you have had... there is one common denominator... you. When you realize that temporarily you can't trust you, listen to those around you. When everyone around you says the same thing, assuming those are real friends, trust them.

    Old dumb saying.
    When one person calls you a horse, look at them.
    When two people call you a horse, look in the mirror.
    When three people call you a horse, buy a saddle.
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    #4
    I don't think there's any excuse for being mean/abusive toward your partner. My ex husband (infantry soldier) was abusive literally since the weekend after we got married. Before we got married and moved in together he was really nothing but nice to me, so for a while I brushed it off and blamed everything but him. His job was stressful. He was having a hard time acclimating when he returned from deployment. I was asking too much of him. It was my fault, we moved too quickly and it was too many big changes all at once and he didn't know how to handle it. None of that actually mattered, it's just hard to come to terms with the fact that you picked a bad person.

    I'll never give somebody a second chance ever again if they treat me that way. He didn't have to hit me, words hurt too. Your partner should be a source of comfort for you. I could understand if he has a really stressful job and no coping mechanisms why he lashes out, but that doesn't mean you need to stay to be on the receiving end of it. Maybe it's a reason for his behavior but that doesn't mean you take it as an excuse and let it continue. Get yourself out of that situation.
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    #5
    You say you're on edge, did he hurt you before seeking therapy? If he gets angry and has anger issues but doesn't take it out on you and is going to therapy and working on his issues I think that sounds good. If he's controlling, abusive and takes his anger out on you I'd walk away therapy or no therapy! You can have the worst job in the world, the most stressful family drama, but that doesn't make it ok to use someone else as your outlet for your anger/frustration. Be careful!
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Frida_cat View Post
    Ok. I'm a newbie, but I have a very urgent question, so I thought I would cut right to the chase... but feel free to move the post if it's in the wrong place.

    First of all, I'm an American citizen *not* living in the US, but dating someone in what is roughly equivalent to the military here. I know that not everything will apply, but this is the best resource I have found so far, so I would be so grateful if you could bear with me.

    To avoid too many complications, I will just say that my SO is involved in black ops, high-risk operations, etc. They have been alone for a very long time and, moreover, involved in whatever it is they're involved in, lol. (I try to take a light hearted view of it and look at it like just another job... because it is! But a really intense one). Needless to say, relationship skills = not great. We broke up about a month ago because of my SO's jealousy issues and have gotten back together because they have been trying out therapy and making consistent and sincere efforts to be more communicative, less controlling, etc. I'm still a little on edge, but I've been in a similar situation before and I have to give them credit because it's very clear that they're trying to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. I'm doing my best to take care of myself, too.

    However, like I said, I'm still a little nervous. I've never really been in a situation like this before, and while there's never any excuse for venting your anger on someone else or controlling behaviors, I've also never had an abusive person or potentially abusive person really try to make amends and fix their behavior. I guess I'm kind of wondering if it's the job? Am I deluding myself? Everyone I know seems to think so, even I think so a lot of times, but something tells me to stick it out. I'm pretty good at ditching the losers in general, so I'm just totally dumbfounded.

    Has anyone else gone through something similar with their partner, where the stressors of the job caused aggressive behavior, but it was able to be worked through? Or have a partner who is involved in those secret spy-movie things? Please, I need clarity. Thank you in advance for your replies.
    What do you mean what s/he does is "roughly equivalent to the military here"? Also, people who are black ops don't usually say they are black ops. So, are you sure this person is even "military"?

    Even if s/he is military, the job is no excuse for abuse. I'm all for therapy but you're only dating! It's time to cut and run.




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    #7
    Thank you for all your caring replies. Pardon the vagueness, I've been online too much of my life to trust that there's any kind of privacy, and no, it's not exactly black ops, but I have been personally shown enough and respect the rest to believe my SO. Where I am, the conflict is at home, and in general, the less I know, the safer I am. I have also seen them come back from assignments, and that cannot be faked. I'm not a professional, but I would say that PTSD seems to be a factor here.

    I broke up with him after we had talked about and resolved a lot of issues, but he was still having a lot of trouble with jealousy. I talked to him and he would try to repress it, but it kept coming out and I got to them point where I couldn't deal with a partner who couldn't/wouldn't support me in my daily life. Coupled with the anger and "play fighting," I just didn't feel safe. I have since told him all this. He has admitted to having a jealousy/anger problem since and initiated his own treatment after I mentioned that was the only way I would consider getting back together. Since, he has listened to my side of things, been open about what was going on with him (fear, haha), and made an active effort to respect my space. The anger is still there, but it hasn't been directed towards me, and I have not let him off the hook.

    So... You may all be right, but that's a little more of the story for background. I don't know if it changes anyone's opinion, but please don't think that if I don't agree immediately, I haven't listened. What's really helpful to me right now is talking to other women in the same situation... No one in my family has been in the military or anything similar, and I have absolutely no context for what's going on, and I wonder how much PTSD plays a part. I want to make the best decision for myself, and since I'm not in immediate danger, I don't want to make it overnight.

    Again, many thanks to all who have replied.
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    #8
    PTSD does not make someone into an abusive asshole. It merely may bring that side out. Too many people use PTSD (theirs or their partners) as an excuse for the behavior.

    Tbi, other brain injuries may cause change in personalities. However, jelousy in adults is generally a good sign that the person is also likely to be abusive and controlling.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
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    #9
    The reason doesn't matter. If someone is mistreating you, they're not fit to be in a relationship.
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    #10
    It's an excuse, both for him and for you. You make excuses for him, and he uses those excuses (and the guilt most people have when dealing with someone with PTS) to get away with behavior that would otherwise never be acceptable.

    What he he was a controlling ass because his mother beat him as a child? Or he was abused by a teacher? Or his sibling had a terrible chronic illness and ate up all his parents attention? Or his mother used drugs when she was pregnant with him? Would that mean you'd tolerate it, because there was a "reason"? We are all who we are because of a million things that made us this way. It doesn't mean we are off the hook. It doesn't matter how we got to where/who we are. It just matters that that's where/who we are. This is who he is, PTSD or not. If you find his behavior acceptable, fine, I guess. If you don't, it doesn't matter why he behaves that way. It only matters that it isn't okay.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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