Getting past the anger of narcissistic abuse

Anger seemed to be a constant topic of discussion in my marriage and divorce with The Narcissist, and I wanted to break it down a bit into the big categories of Anger throughout my time with The Narcissist and my healing process post-divorce:
  • His Anger – he came back from a deployment and for a period of time absolutely everything made him angry. He would explode with rage at me over the littlest things. I vividly remember a full blown attack that started because I was cleaning the counter with a sponge. He went on and on about how I was someone who was okay with settling, just taking things from my past and never trying to improve, how I was putting us at risk with my unhealthy and uncleanly habits…. on and on and on. (From that point on I never bought another sponge… I used Lysol wipes to clean the counters and soapy paper towels to wash the dishes.) I lived a life where I was walking on glass at all times and when I wasn’t perfect, and he did get angry… he got violent. He always had a reason why I caused his anger… he would warp his words around in circles so that he wasn’t blaming me…. but he was sure as heck blaming me. I felt sad that I was making someone I loved hurt so much that he wanted to hurt me. I felt like I was the problem.
  • My Anger?– When he was at his angriest, he asked me to read the book: Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in an Healthy Way by Gary Chapman (Which for the record is a good read.) He started to convince me that my reactions to his angry outbursts were a sign that I was angry.  Over time this morphed to if I showed absolutely any sign of frustration with anything…. I was angry. I had uncontrollable anger issues… my anger was hurting our marriage. He manipulated the emotions I was feeling as a normal reaction to all of the terrible things he was doing to me and found a way to tie them to my past and try to convince me that I actually had anger issues… “You are angry because you lived a life you are unhappy with” “you are angry because of the decisions you made before you met me” “you are angry because you never got to be your true self.” On and on and on. This grooming resulted in me not only walking on eggshells to try to prevent him from getting angry… but then controlling all of my emotions to the extreme so that I never reacted to anything he did. I felt like I had to be perfect at all times and tried desperately to do so… any time that he reacted in anger… or that I was not able to control my emotional responses to his anger…. I felt like I was the problem.
  • Bottling up my real anger –  In my experience, all of those old sayings about bottling up your anger and eventually exploding are true. I held in my anger for all of the horrible things he did to me… for all of the abuse… for all of the control… all of the bullying… all of the mean things he did. I was calm. I was sweet. I still attempted to love him. I pushed it all away somewhere deep inside. Eventually I reached a point where I couldn’t store another ounce of it… it was oozing out of me. I was reacting extremely to almost anything. I started lashing out with anger if I even got the hint that he was trying to control me, trying to manipulate my words, trying to get me to do something I didn’t want to do. I yelled, I screamed, I broke things, I threw things, I punched pillows, I stormed out of the house, I called him horrible names, I walked away, I pulled the silent treatment… I gave him everything he needed to play the victim. During that time in my life I actually thought I was turning in to the thing I hated most (him.) I hated myself for the ways that I was acting, I thought I was doing the same things that he did, I thought he was innocent and I was the abuser. I believed him now that I had a problem… that I was the angry one because I couldn’t handle any of it. I felt constantly guilty, I felt like a horrible wife… I felt like I was the problem.
  • Processing my anger –  Finally, after I had moved out and left The Narcissist… I started being able to process my real anger. Through therapy, through thinking without The Narcissist controlling me, through long walks in the woods, through exercise and all types of other activities… I was actually able to start processing what I had been through. I began to recognize that anger is a healthy reaction to being wronged in life. It is how you handle that anger that defines if you are being healthy with it or not. (i.e. getting angry and punching a wall – not healthy… getting angry and figuring out what caused that anger and how to prevent that in the future… healthy!) In the beginning I was VERY ANGRY at The Narcissist… I was angry at the wasted years I spent with him, I was angry that my life was so off course from where I wanted to be, I was angry that he was instantly moving on to someone else, I was angry realizing that everything I thought was just a lie. I was angry at myself for all of the choices I made, for how long I stayed, for everything I let him to do me. I was angry. The good news is that I didn’t let that anger consume me… I let myself feel it, I let myself work through it, and I let myself heal from it.
  • No longer being Angry –  Somewhere along that healing journey I started to realize that if I was allowing The Narcissist to bring me to negative places of anger, depression, frustration, sadness, etc., that I was still allowing him to control me and allowing him to have an impact on my life. Somewhere, I found the quote posted above and realized that the absolute best revenge I could ever have with The Narcissist would be to lead an amazing, happy, healthy, life that I am absolutely in love with, and one that he has absolutely no power over. So that is what I started doing. I still struggle with understanding how much of the control, manipulation and abuse The Narcissist was actually aware of versus what he just really thought “normal” looks like in his messed up mind. So I also shifted from being angry at him for doing all of it to pitying him because he will never understand love and compassionate and truth the way that I do. I think that on some level that realization has also helped me to get past the anger.
I am happy to say that I actually do not feel anger towards The Narcissist anymore. I certainly do not forgive him for all of the things that I endured during my time with him, I’ve just made the choice to no longer be angry about it. Without anger filling up so much of my mental space, it is amazing how much room I have for pure love and light and happiness. ❤

11 thoughts on “Getting past the anger of narcissistic abuse

  1. HG Tudor (blog on WordPress) says in his book ‘Fuel’ that your anger and sadness are the two best emotional reactions that he needs to extract from his victims.

    By projecting anger on to you it had two gains – the first, to protect himself from the reality of who he is. That’s got nothing to do with you, that’s his protective mechanism for being fucked up. Second, to feel powerful by knowing he could emotionally control you. They’re addicted to control – they’re nothing but sad addicted power junkies.

    Recently I sent a picture to the narc that represents who he really is – a puppet on a string. You may think that you were the puppet but that was because he made you unaware of your own magnificent power. He was always the puppet on the string and used all those manipulations on you to hide it. It’s a shame we have to give all our power away to realise that, isn’t it.

    Again, I’m really glad you escaped that relationship and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anger is a necessary and valid emotion for sure. I’m glad you tapped into that reality. They always try to tell you something is wrong with you when you argue and fight back. Such craziness. I’m glad you’ve released your anger towards him regarding his abuse, I have too. It is true if you hold onto the anger they are still controlling you. I’m not made that way anyway. I can’t be angry all the time.

    You are doing great! You are a warrior 💪🏻! Hugs to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can relate to do much you wrote. Unfortunately, I’m going through an angry phase. I’m still stuck living with him until eother the divorce is final, or we can figure out something withy attorney. When there’s a child involved, sometimes you can’t just do what you want or need. Either way, I hope I’ll get passed this eventually. I admire you for feeling pity for him. I doubt I’ll wver get to that point.

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  4. I had a similar episode to the sponge with my ex husband. Mine involved a dishwasher lol. And I got the exact same cruel comments about how I was so complacent and I never try to improve myself whereas he is always working so hard (i.e. googling random ass crap no one cares about and making us try it) to “improve” us. Mind you, we had only been married about 6-7 months at that point. He would bring my dad into it by saying that I was complacent in life “just like your father.” At the time, I felt so guilty for having made this man that I loved so upset, I was relieved that there was an excuse for my horrid behavior of forgetting to check to the diswasher i.e. apparently familial complacency. It took a long time to even realize that he was insulting my dad for zero reason. I don’t know what his obsession always was with “improvement” and “not settling.” Crazy ass psychopaths. Good riddance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jane Doe, ugh mine was constantly harping on not settling and constant improvement and if you are not constantly climbing up the hill you are sliding down it. It was exhausting!! I am still waiting to find the Narcissist101 books they all seem to learn from… ❤


  5. had this exact thing. Projected all his abuse and anger onto me. I was the one with issues. I was obsessive about things. I couldn’t let go. (yeah like who would easily let go of someone who multiple cheated, lied every time he opened his mouth). He project all his issues as mine. Course I am angry. I am fucking livid. I really want to let it go. I guess it will take a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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