Friday, January 14, 2005

Anger Management

I called my wife at 5:00 PM on Friday afternoon to let her know that my new work phone was now operational. I was expecting her to be excited. She was not, she sounded quite subdued about this fantastic news.
"Can you pick up a pizza on your way home? From River pizza" She asked.
"Sure, do you want me to call it in?" I replied.
"Handle it however you want, but hurry." She said.
These words cut deep into my eardrums. I replied with a quick "Sure." and hung up.
I constantly feel pressure from my wife to get home early from work. I just started a new job and do not want to be seen leaving the office early. I was starting to get worked up over this exchange, and then took a breath and tried to see things from my wife's point of view. Three thoughts really helped:
  • She has been home all day with 3 kids and has been running her at home business. Our 11 month old is quite demanding and has taken to yelling to communicate everything. I called in the pizza, jammed on some code for 10 more minutes and booted out of there.
  • The second thought that helped me in that situation was to examine the selfish motives behind why I felt angered by my wife's remarks. I want to look good at work. I want to have job security. And I love to code. I was having fun trying to finish the last lines of my program. I might have stayed there for another half and hour, but that would have been very tough on my wife.
  • The third thought that rescued my from my anger was reflecting on the true nature of our relationship. My wife is an all world mother and CEO of an at home business. Her business as well as my job helps provide for our family. We are partners in the management of our house. When she is cooked, I need to get home and bail her out.

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