“Are you willing to look more closely at this belief with me?”
I will get to choose?
Then let’s do it. What do I have to lose?
“When you stated that I was not there, there seemed to be a LOT of emotion around that!”
“How did that make you feel?”
I was angry!
“And with whom were you angry!”
The WHOM I as angry at was you.
“Thank you for being honest with me!”
But it doesn’t sound nice. I used to believe that it wasn’t acceptable to be angry at you.
“You thought that I didn’t already know?”
I guess I never really thought about that. I think that I expected that you would punish me for it.
But it is true that I was angry at you. That didn’t change just because I was a bit afraid to be angry.
“And you are still angry!”
When I think about it I get angry.
“Think about what, specifically?”
When I think about the times that I wanted… no… I needed you to be there and you weren’t.
“Does a specific time come to mind?”
I can think of many!
“Pick one that stands out for you!”
OK, when my wife was sick…
“And that made you feel…?”
“Anger is usually a secondary emotion.”
“Example…. A mother sees her small child chasing a ball towards the street. She can also see a car coming down the street that can’t see the child because of the parked cars along the curb. Her immediate reaction is terror and she screams… at which point the child turns to see what the mother is screaming about. The mother angrily runs to and scolds the child to never, ever run into the street.”
“The mother was angry but it was secondary to the real emotion that she felt before going to anger!”
“What was the primary emotion of the mother in this event?”
She was afraid! I would have been afraid in that situation, too!
“You understand then that anger can mask the real emotions behind the anger in an event?”
I can see that now!
“Now, are you willing to look at what emotions were behind your anger when your wife was sick?”