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Anger Busting Workbook

Page 32

You Are Angry About Anything

normal conversation and then, I don't know, Jerry just kind of freaks. Pretty soon he is yelling and calling me names and …

Jerry: (interrupting) Wait a minute! Why did you leave out the part where you start whining and complaining about practically everything under the sun? Don't try to make this all my fault!

Carla: Honey, I know it is not all your fault, but you scare me when you start getting angry. Honestly, I don't know what's going on with you any more. Why can't you just back off and let us have a discussion like normal …

Jerry: (Interrupting again - to therapist) See what I mean! She blames everything on me. (voice tense and rising) Listen, Carla, when are you going to learn to stop telling me how to run my life? I have had just about all of your BS I can stand! (to therapist) Can't you make her understand that she is driving me nuts? She never listens to me!

Therapist: Okay, everybody settle down here. Take a deep breath and let's try to refocus. I think I have a pretty good picture of what has been going on. Jerry, when Carla called to set up this appointment she told me two things: she still loves you, and she is ready to leave you.

Jerry: Yeah, I know she says that all the time. It's just one of her games.

Therapist: Actually, Jerry, I get the definite impression that she is serious, and based on what I have seen so far, I can't say I blame her. I've been going over the anger questionnaire you filled out in the waiting room before you came in, and even without Carla's input here, it seems clear to me that you might be a nice guy at heart, but when you are angry you are probably not a nice guy at all. You may even be a dangerous guy at times. And it is about to cost you your marriage. So here is my question for you: Do you really want to save this marriage and help to make it better?

Jerry: Hell! Of course I do. Why do you think I am paying you all this money to sit here and let you both insult me!

Therapist: A simple yes or no would have been just fine. I'll take that as a yes. Now, I don't want to waste your time and I certainly don't want you wasting my time. If I could tell you something to do starting right now that would begin to break this cycle of fighting and blaming, and start you on the way to having a better marriage, would you be willing to give it a shot?

Jerry: I don't know, I guess so. As long as it isn't something girly or ridiculously expensive.

Therapist: No problem there, Jerry. It is very simple and it won't cost you a dime. What I want you to do, starting now, and continuing for the next 90 days, is to stop talking the minute you notice that you are angry about anything. Jerry, you can break the cycle of anger and fighting by just learning to shut up.

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