Four weeks almost to the day.
Several times, I thought it is a lot like dealing with a child. When you have a toddler throwing a fit, sometimes you spank. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes, you put them somewhere and go on life without them until they stop. Part of that mentality is to teach them that throwing fits will not get them what they want whether it be attention or control of a situation. It always works. Some tantrum throwing toddlers take longer than others, but they all learn.
It was a lot like dealing with a child throwing a fit. And we just went on with our lives, calmly, without fear, without attention, without trying to placate.... nothing. As if we were saying, "You're welcome to throw a fit if you want, but it will get you nowhere besides wearing yourself out."
And in the meantime - four weeks is a long time.... but at least during those four weeks we had what we usually do not have - calmness and control. We did not live in fear. We had the energy to survive and the strength to support each other. The kids and I survived without taking it out on each other or cracking under the stress of it.
It may have worked, and it did, but it is not without cost. To be married to a man who will blow over really nothing and who will remain angry for four weeks of not talking except for snide comments is tough. The repeated cycles of extreme irritation and sullen depression take a toll. The cost is that we, the kids and I, have less to invest each time around when we get to the "good" part of the cycle. We invest less of our lives and hearts.... we know that whatever we invest into this relationship will get damaged again on the next cycle 'round.
So I am quietly relieved that he is apologizing slightly and ready to move on, but I am not jumping for joy. I'm relieved, but not ready to invest my heart deeply. There is less and less of me available to give.
That is the cost of anger. It's sad, but it is reality.