As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband’s temper had been flaring up recently. He threw a fit while teaching our kids how to drive for the first time, causing them to cry. His reason for doing so sounded so unreasonable and not like him, so I had to take matters into my own hands quickly and get a counselor involved. I hoped to ensure that this would not happen again and make our children lose their respect for my husband.
My husband talked to the counselor privately for 30 minutes before his head peeked outside the door, and he beckoned me to go in there with him.
I didn’t want to do that because the problem was him, not me. When I entered, though, the counselor said, “Hello, Mrs. Smith. I want to talk to you about my initial findings since this is technically an issue that affects your entire family.”
All right, counselor. What have you found?” I asked.
“Let me start by saying that I am not a medical doctor. I cannot know if this is a side effect of diabetes or not, but from what you and your husband shared with me, I can say that he has a mild intermitted explosive disorder (IED). Based on my experience, and from what I have seen in many people with this chronic illness, they tend to develop prolonged irritability over the years. It tends to ruin relationships and families if left unchecked.”
As the counselor was explaining all this to me, my husband kept his head low. He looked so fragile and small in that instant, and I wanted to console him. Still, we both needed to hear this for the sake of our family. It was also more for his sake because he would lose a wife and two beautiful children if he kept this attitude going.
Turning back to the counselor, I asked, “So, what can we do about it now?”
“Anything can make your husband’s fuse explode, to be honest. When that happens, he would not care about everything that comes out of his mouth because his temper rules over his better judgment. But as you told me over the phone, our main concern is ensuring that your children will not lose respect towards their father.”
Be Aware Of Your Mood Changes
As soon as you wake up, you need to spend a few minutes in bed to assess how you feel today. Are you upset about something? Are you worried about a project at work? Don’t you want your children to chatter and make it difficult for you to think at breakfast?
Whichever the case is, you should keep a mood chart to draw or write your current mood. It will be ideal for placing it where everyone can see it before even talking to anyone. This way, your family members will know to keep their distance from you or quiet down a little to ensure that they would not upset you further. Although they would have nothing to do with your feelings, it would still be great if they would not trigger your explosive disorder.
Fix The Menial Issues
In my family’s case, my husband’s emotions got set off because our children could not understand his driving lessons in five minutes. Since there was no way anyone could do that (except maybe for my husband), I made an executive decision and enrolled our kids in an actual driving school. It was a little expensive for two teenagers, yes, but it would guarantee that they would not get yelled at and that my husband would stay cool-headed.
When my husband found out about it, he started arguing with me and insisting that it was a total waste of money. However, he turned mum when I countered, “ Dear, it is not a waste of money if it can save our family.”
Do Mindfulness Meditation
The counselor also recommended mindfulness meditation to my husband, so I immediately contacted my friend who teaches that. The basic idea was that my husband had to feel his anger flowing down his body and out of his system. He was supposed to repeat the steps every day, especially during stressful moments. Doing so will keep him from having an outburst and hurting everyone’s feelings.
It eventually turned into a family activity as my husband invited our kids to do mindfulness meditation with him.
It was overwhelming to realize that all the positive changes would not have been possible if my husband did not want to change for the better. He only hesitated in the beginning, but when the intervention started, he cooperated 100%. That was enough indication that my husband was not inherently evil – it was probably his medication that made him short-tempered.
Needless to say, my husband managed to repair his relationship with our kids and keep their respect.