We are going to be discussing two different kinds of women. You will totally relate to one of them and the other one you will see as totally wacko. I want you to understand both dynamics because it will be helpful for you to understand how other women struggle (and perhaps your husband struggles) as it pertains to anger. Are you ready?
The first woman we are going to meet is like me. Let’s call her Susie (as in sunshine). Now unfortunately Susie has gone off and gotten herself married to a verbally abusive and controlling sex addict. When people look at Susie they see a nice, helpful, caring, sensitive, good-listening, merciful kind of person. And since it is very important to Susie that she has the approval and affirmation of others, she rarely gets angry or frustrated. Susie thinks that anger is a very immature emotion, that people who have a deep walk with Christ don’t get angry, and that the best policy is always to say a kind word instead of saying something that might hurt someone’s feelings. She isn’t exactly dishonest when someone does something inappropriate, but she isn’t completely honest either. Looking for the best in people or in a situation is one of her best traits, she thinks. She can always find the good in someone.
…The second kind of woman typically married to an addict… Let’s call her Sue—Stormy Sue.
Hang on, Mel. That’s not fair. The other woman got a nice name—Susie Sunshine. What’s up with the storm imagery anyway?
My codependent, people-pleasing self is trying to make a comeback, but I am going to risk your rejection and press on. Hang in there with me while I describe dear Sue.
Sue is a self-made woman. She is magnificent, really. She is the multi-tasker of all multi-taskers and always seems to be able to juggle a million things at once. Talk about your problem solvers. This gal knows how to manage people and situations. More often than not her physical appearance reflects her great ability to manage life. Usually slim, fit, and confident, Sue looks like God’s gift to everyone. (By the way, we Susie Sunshines are usually greatly intimidated by Stormy Sues. What in the world could we possibly offer someone like you who has it all together? We fear that pleasing you is out of the question, and so we tend to avoid relationship with you.) Now the only small dent in Sue’s perfectness is her temper. You see, when things get out of her control or she feels attacked or wounded, the gentle rain storm that brings refreshment to all living things turns into a raging hurricane, destroying everything that gets in its way. Sue knows she has a volatile temper and even feels guilty or convicted about it at times. Overall, however, she feels pretty good about herself and usually justified when she does get angry. When things get back to being manageable, Sue’s anger always subsides, and life is good again.
–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One