There are reasons, and there are good reasons. You left off the "good", there.
Of course there is some reason why the guy did it -- he is mentally ill, or is sleepwalking, or misheard her and thought she insulted him, or something. The question is whether it is acceptable for him to do so, or whether it is Ellen's responsibility that he did so. The answer there is a simple no, IMO.
I left off the "good" part because it isn't important. A reason is a reason.
Whether his actions are acceptable is up to Ellen. Whatever she decides to do about it is up to her.
I agree that she is not responsible for his actions. Neither is he responsible for her's.
Well I can only share what has worked for me. It's been a bit of a process. Though really it's a life long process.
The first thing to remember is you need to know yourself and have an objective opinion. In other words, be able to look at yourself from a perspective other than your own. How we perceive ourselves and how others see us is usually quite different because we see from the inside out... they see from the outside in. They don't know every aspect of our lives, where we came from, what happened to us, how we became what we are. And that's ok.
When I say know yourself I mean look at the things that only you can see and realize those things are there for a reason. Not speaking just in negative terms here...
Once you know yourself you can then asses why you sometimes do certain things or react a certain way. This has been a really good tool for me in learning to not over-react to things. Most of the time when something happens I don't like I am able to stop and look at myself before I respond. It took me a long time to get where I am today with this and I'm still working on it...
A big key for me was realizing that everyone in the world wasn't out to hurt me or make me feel bad. That a lot of times it was things I was doing or saying that were actually evoking the response I was getting. It's easy to blame others for the hurts that are happening when we come at things out of a perspective of being hurt, or feeling like someone's motive is to hurt us. Yeah... I still struggle with this one...
Here's an example:
While in FL I worked in a residential treatment program for troubled teenage boys. They had cottages (houses) the boys lived in with a set of cottage parents there 24/7 and a youth worker (me) who came in for eight hours a day. I worked with one couple for a year and a half and to my dismay they left. The people they replaced them with... well... lol they just weren't what I was used to. After about a month of working with these people I began to have some serious issues with the cottage "mom". I constantly felt like she was treating me like one of the kids. Like she had no respect for me and so forth.
Things got really bad before I suddenly realized... maybe I was actually contributing to the problem. I went home that night and took a long hard look at myself and the situation. I realized the reason I was acting the way I was towards her was because she treated the kids and myself just like my mother did when I was their age. Sometimes just the tone of her voice when she asked me something was enough to just about send me through the roof. She wasn't the problem though. The problem was that I had past hurts I was still holding on to from my childhood and she was reaping the benefits of that. That wasn't fair to her. I was able to go and talk to her about this and apologize for how I'd been behaving. Do you know, still to this day those people are still my friends? It's Awesome.
Which brings me to my next point. Once you know yourself you can figure out what your triggers are. Once you know what they are you can start to work on not reacting to them. Believe me it's not always easy. This has proven to be one of the most difficult things for me to overcome at times because DARN IT! Sometimes I just want to be mad and lash out! My main trigger with the woman in the above example was her voice tone with me. Once I recognized that though I could stop myself before opening my big mouth. LOL. Regardless of if we are happy how our life has turned out we can't change the past. We can change the future though if we can learn to see it from a different perspective.
We can't take responsibility for our own actions though if we can't recognize we are part of the problem. Nor can one apologize sincerely while in the back of their mind they are thinking, "I know I'm right, but I'll do this anyway to appease them." I would rather have no apology at all than to have one that's not sincere. I've done it. It sucks. It doesn't mend the situation. It only makes the gap between you and that person much bigger.
I realize I'm not an end all authority on this. I only know what has worked for me. I hope this has helped though.
This is my first posting to this list. This topic is of interest to me, I sometimes get really furious and cannot control it, but this only happens with my wife. I do believe that I'm always fully responsible but the force seems sometimes to be greater than anything I can handle.
I hope you don't mind if I relate this question to my own situation. I'll try to be brief, but here is my problem with anger.
The funny thing is that people perceive me as a calm person, including my wife, and it is extremely rare for me to lose my temper with anyone else. Even with my wife it doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, I feel like I have next to zero control over it. Furthermore, the only thing that makes me angry is if my she is angry with me, and if it feels unjust. Very rarely something she does or says sets me off otherwise. We fight maybe a couple time a month on average, and usually these are typical couples' fights. But maybe every four months or so I just flip out. I don't do anything all that dramatic, I can sometimes say something mean, but I just physically visibly change. I hyperventilate, I tremble, feel so claustrophobic that I always start by saying that I'm "getting out", and raise my voice or shout. It feels sickening, and it makes her very upset. And afterwards, when I'm alone, I sometimes let it out. I scream and yell, throw things around, pound on the floor. In a word, I totally flip out and loose control. But always alone. And this does not make me feel good, it makes me feel miserable.
Fighting is a problem with me in general, I can't stand it. I rather lie and show a happy face than say anything that might lead to a conflict. Does anybody have similar experiences.
Hey, there. Welcome aboard.
It just might be that your explosive anger problem is caused by your desire to maintain peace at all cost. It is even likely that your poor wife is getting more than her share of the fallout. If someone pisses you off at work, instead of dealing with it, you might just save it all for her... not because you dislike her, but because you trust her.
My advice is to trust her more. Talk to her more. Worry less about keeping the peace and more about keeping it real. When you try to hide it away from her it eventually blows up in her face.
Of course, I don't really have any idea, but it may be that the reason she gets angry with you (for no apparent reason) is because she knows that you are not "all there". That could definitely be frustrating for her.
This was quoted by a friend of mine:
I believe that a gentleman should not be constrained in acting like a gentleman by the "belief" that the other party will not hold themselves to the same high standard.
There is so much of wisdom in these words. How you act should not be governed by how the other person act towards you.
Could never have said that better. Thank you for that.