Remember Marie’s question at the beginning of the month?
“I read your book and I’m trying to figure out what love style fits my husband. We have been married five years and lately he’s so easily angered that I don’t know what to think.” In answer to Marie’s question, we have spent January looking at how the emotion of anger is handled by each of the love styles.
What about the controller and the victim? While vacillators can be very reactive and angry (remember each style exists on a continuum from mild to severe) controllers use intimidation as a way of staying in charge of their world.
Both the vacillator and the controller tend to blame others for their anger believing if others could “get it right” they would not be angry.
Vacillators are angry because they cannot achieve the intense, consistent, connection that makes them feel seen and valued.
They want others to be available for connection and feel angry when that does not happen.
Controllers want compliance but don’t value connection.
They didn’t get enough caring connection as kids to even know what they are missing.
Controllers want to be in charge to keep from ever feeling the “out of control” feelings of childhood.
Demanding compliance with threats and intimidation protect the controller from ever feeling the shame and humiliation they experienced in their abusive childhood.
A look into the childhood experience of the controller and the vacillator can help distinguish between the anger of the vacillator and the anger of the controller.
Vacillators got some positive connection; enough to make them want more.
Controllers experienced more pain than pleasure in relationship. They control to try and not be in the painful “underdog” position ever again.
Maire, we doubt your husband is a controller because you say he is recently more angry. Controllers are often angry, possessive and jealous even during dating years. Anger is always there, just under the surface, and it does not take much to cause an outburst.
For victims, anger is turned inward on self. Victims accept the abusive anger of others as something they deserve. Feelings of self-hatred and unworthiness make it difficult for a victim to feel or express anger appropriately.
Milan and Kay