How to get over being angry with someone who won't change

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Hmm, how to get over being angry with someone who won't change. I'm afraid there are no easy answers to this one, but you're probably not looking for easy answers. It's a complicated question, because the answers change according to the "someone" we're describing. If my husband's beating me every Wednesday night and won't change, you don't want to get over your anger with him, you want to get over him, period and fast. But still, you might be looking for ways in which your heart can be free of bitterness.

Other examples of someone who won't change are

  1. you have friend who always insists on using his basketball for pickup games. You don't want to use his basketball always for pickup games, you've got a brand-new one that fits the new NBA regulations and there's no reason you shouldn't be able to test it out with the fellows.
  2. Your husband or wife exhibits some irritating behavior, such as chewing with their mouth open, snoring in that peculiar manner where you feel "they're in the last stages of death, how can a human make that noise and not stop breathing suddenly."
  3. You have an elderly parent who won't move out of his home even though by doing so he could make a lot of money and save you a lot of trouble (e.g. the new place he could buy is close to your home, so that you weren't having to drive from one end of the town to the other on daily basis. But he won't change, it's the house he grew up in and he's not going to be packing up his false teeth, gel slippers, and bathrobe that would wouldn't pass muster in one of those "plastic surgery for cheap, right in my garage with only the finest gardening tools" places that have been getting so much attention in Mexico.

Let's look at these situations, not counting the one in the first paragraph, except for in a very brief way at the end.

  1. You're friend and his basketball. Now, one has to admit that he's behaving pretty selfishly. Babyishly, you might say. There's no logical reason, it seems, for not switching balls once in a while, but he gets so emotional about it. You're first step is going to be talking to him kindly and patiently about it. Tell him that it hurts your feelings and bewilders you that he won't try your ball. Finally he admits that he's afraid that his hands won't adjust to the new regulation ball and basketball tryouts are next week. Well, you say, what a great way to get practice! And life goes happily on. Of course, things won't always work this way, but in little instances like this they often do. If your friend finally and positively says no, no questions asked, you can either ignore this quirk because you want to keep his has a friend, tell him he's too immature to hang out with right now, or continue hanging out with him but put together another little team of basketball players who aren't NBAcially prejudiced.
  2. This is a sensitive area, but a careful husband or wife should be able to discuss solutions for snoring and so forth that the snorer will actually be glad of, in the end. Keep in mind that snoring isn't a vice; your companion isn't sitting there smoking big cigars and reading pornographic magazines; he (a) can't help snoring and (b) doesn't realize he's doing so. Be sensitive, maybe see a physician, and you're sure to find an easier way of sleeping at night. Don't resort to drinking huge quantities of hard liquor! They just did some studies that show drinking is bad for you, and smoking. Amazing.
  3. OK, this one's the hardest. You want your dad to make the money. You want the convenience of having him live near your home. But he's your dad. He probably spent most of his virile years slaving 9 to 5 so that you could eat eggs and pancakes and have a shot at college. This house is literally his last connection to a world that's gone forever. Yes, in this situation, the house counts even more than you do as a connection to the past. If you try reasoning, having him think about it, cajoling him with bribes such as you'll hire a fulltime Dutch nurse (formerly a princess before she was exiled in some silly European coupe, after which she devoted a few years to modeling for Victoria's Secret before turning to nursing because of her romantic preference for lower middle class octogenarians) to give him backrubs three times a day, and at the end of the day he still refuses, my advice would be to let him keep the house. Just think of all those freezing mornings when he stood outside for a half hour getting the car warmed. Let him stay in the house and hire the nurse anyway.

I hope these few ideas have been helpful. Returning to the abusive situation in the first paragraph, any psychologist, spiritual leader, teacher, you name it, would advise you to create some distance between you and the abuser. You're still going to be dealing with bitter, angry, hurt, confused feelings, however, so that therapy might be in order, and, if you're religiously inclined, prayer and the application of relevant scriptures can have a wonderfully healing effect.

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