{sometimes} Marriage Makes Me Want To Yell

412 days of loving more!

Dearest Orange Rhinos. I share this post for two reasons. 1, so that you know that while I have gone a year without yelling everyday I am still taking the Challenge right along with you, especially now and 2, to share about a real personal trigger of mine that I imagine many people can relate to.

January 21, 2012: My handyman busted me yelling at my four boys and I decided to stop being a yelling mom and effective immediately start teaching myself to yell less and love more. I then spent an entire year working hard at my new goal of not yelling for 365 days straight. As I neared my end date of February 6th, 2013 (I had a few re-starts) people asked me, what’s next? What’s next? Will you do another type of challenge? Will you re-commit to another year of not yelling? Tell us, tell us! I didn’t know the answer. As I hemmed and hawed for direction, the answer unfortunately (fortunately?) became crystal clear. I needed to do The Orange Rhino Challenge for another year more than ever because on…

January 18th, 2013, my husband and I hit a bump in the marriage road. It wasn’t a pebble in the road, not even a rock; it was more like a wicked good-sized boulder that two people on their own can’t move. And to be clear, it wasn’t like Fred and Wilma Flintstone just dropped this boulder in our path out of the blue. Oh no. We’ve been looking at it together for years and have done a phenomenal job driving around it. Actually, such a beautiful job that we should be Nascar drivers. But there is only so long that you can avoid a huge boulder like this; it is only so long before you drive smack into it and your car comes to a crashing halt and the only thing you can do is finally admit that you have temporarily broken down and that it is time to address the problem.

So my husband and I, well, we are addressing the problem. We are finally talking about the big boulder in our marriage that we have tip toed around for ages. And let me tell you. It isn’t fun. It isn’t easy. It isn’t, well, it isn’t anything but really REALLY hard and sometimes really, really sad.

Every day since January 18th I wake up with a slight hole in my heart. I can feel it. I can feel the hole in my heart when I look in the mirror and see bags under my eyes from sleepless nights and crusty remainders of dried tears. I can feel the hole in my heart when my boys run into my room to say hi and I dig deep for energy and enthusiasm and find some, but not as much as I wish. I can feel the hole in my heart when my boys innocently try to help me by pouring (spilling) milk and my first inclination is to yell instead of respond peacefully like I had naturally begun to do for months on end. I can feel the hole in my heart when I go to bed and think “I did it, I didn’t yell today, but gosh was I closer than I had been for months and I am proud of myself, but still, I wish it was a smoother day.”

And I can feel the hole in my heart as I “try” to fall asleep after having just passed a wedding picture of hubby and I on my way to bed, and I can’t help but think, “How did we go from there…to here?” When I think, “I knew the path of marriage would be smooth and bumpy and that it would have beautiful views and some less than beautiful views, but I still didn’t think it would ever feel like this. I still didn’t ever think that we would get here.”

I didn’t think that my heart would break into a thousand pieces; that it would shatter like I imagine a windshield would in a high impact crash. But it did. And with that shattered heart has come anger and love and confusion and fear and hope and disappointment and immense utter sadness. Because I love my husband so; I love our family so; I love our life so. And with all of that, well, with all of those wonderfully strong emotions, has come a wonderfully strong desire to yell at my kids for no reason.

During my first year of The Orange Rhino Challenge I learned with clarity that most of the time the saying “it’s not you, it’s me” really is true when it comes to yelling at my kids. And right now, it is truer than ever.

On days when hubby and I talk about that status of things, I find myself wanting to yell at my boys for breathing too loud, for laughing too much, for asking too much.

On days when hubby and I don’t talk about the status of things and my mind wanders all over thinking and wondering and questioning, I find myself wanting to yell at my boys for being too rough, for being too messy, for being too whiny.

And on days when hubby and I talk but don’t talk about the status of things and instead hang and try to be normal, I find myself wanting to yell at my boys for not behaving perfectly, for not playing nicely, for not listening and ruining the family moment.

Yes lately, just about every day since January 18th has been a gigantic trial to not yell, a gigantic trial to stay calm and to not just remember, but to also live out all the beautiful lessons I learned during my Orange Rhino Challenge. And today, well today was no different except that another boulder got thrown in our path (I guess it is a good thing we have always enjoyed long car rides together, eh?)

And as I sat in my mini-van this morning, face in my hands sobbing my broken heart out wondering when the path will become smoother again, all I could think of was my boys. My beautiful, beautiful boys. The four pieces that make my heart whole even in the most difficult times. The four boys whom I love with all my heart and yet to whom I haven’t fully expressed it to recently because I have been so pre-occupied with my marital situation. The four boys who right now sense the stress in the house and more than ever need me, I mean really really NEED ME to show them love and not frustration.

MY four boys, who along side their mother, need The Orange Rhino Challenge more than anything in the world right now. We all need the extra calm, the extra focused attention, the extra security, the extra love that not yelling brings. Every day when I wake up and all I want to do is cry or hide or scream about the truth that is my life right now, I look at my orange toe nails, I look at my Orange Rhino signs, I think of the growing Orange Rhino community and I remember that of all things I want to do right now, there are some big things I don’t want to do. I don’t want to make my kids cry; I love them. I don’t want to hide from my kids; I love them. And I don’t want to scream at them unnecessarily because you guessed it – I love them. I might be angry at the situation in my life, but I will not let it impact how I love my kids. I will not let my anger and sadness drive me to yell at my kids. They simply do not deserve to be on the receiving end of any of my personal strife, I love them too much for that to happen.

And I will not let the anger and sadness from the situation drive my husband and I into a sinkhole that we can’t get out of.  Because I also love my husband with all my heart. We’re not done and we won’t be. Although I know some days ahead will feel like a rock slide is happening and I that I am getting hit left and right with tough emotions, I know that we will dig out and one day this boulder will be in our rear view mirror.

Life can be difficult sometimes. Kids can be difficult sometimes. And well, marriage can be really difficult sometimes too and any of these things can push me to yell. I know all of that. What I also know though? Adding unnecessary yelling to the mix just makes it all that much more difficult.

My Name is The Orange Rhino and I will not yell at my kids (or my husband) even when things get tough. I will continue to yell less and love more with all my might and all my heart.

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92 thoughts on “{sometimes} Marriage Makes Me Want To Yell

      • I am so happy to have found your site! You made me smile. My kiddos are 22 (son) and 21 (daughter) and I know I have yelled more than I should have. I wish I could have seen a site like this when they were small. It makes me happy and sad all at once. The way only another woman could understand. Know that we are here for you too. And even though orange has never been a favorite color of mine it will now have new meaning! Thanks for opening up your heart and soul and allowing us in to “watch” you “make it”. Love and Hugz to you!- Debbie, Mom in Mundelein, IL :)

      • Thank you sincerely, for this particular post. I have always yelled here and there at my children….but they are kids and we are adults trying desperately to raise them the best we can.
        But… yes, around two years ago, My husband and I hit a large boulder too. Very large- in fact, surrounded by pits, gravel, hot lava, and a Pygmy tribe throwing poison spears.
        My children held me up through that impossible, deep well of sadness time, in ways I can never repay. I will always wonder if they are somehow damaged by this? Seeing me cry for days on end and me telling them, ‘Mommy is just feeling sick in the tummy again.’

        Well, My husband and I, as a couple have grown, adjusted, compromised, and come to love again. But after this long challenging journey, my nerves are not the same. My ability to see clearly through the trees is lost.

        So here I am…..yelling at every turn. Feeling a loss of control over myself, the kids, the house and the life I designed for myself.

        My life is beautiful, blessed, lucky and complete. The biggest thing I want in my life right now is to stop yelling.
        If I can control that, all else will follow.

        I can’t thank you enough, for sharing your challenges. We, as a family, are taking on this work. And look forward to each day there is less volume.

    • I pray for you and your family that your boulder gets smaller and smaller. I am so greatful to have found your site. I felt like I’m the only one going through this with my children.

  1. For all of the new options and renewal your blog of the Orange Rhino have given to me -I offer my hand out to you. Strength and prayers to you and your family.

  2. I will pray for that boulder to become smaller and smaller. You can do it! One whack at a time, it will be heavy but you can lift and swing the hammer.

  3. You are so brave to share this. Thank you for trusting us with it. You are doing a great job.

  4. OY! That was hard for me to read. I’ve got the tears flowing…I can relate so much!

    I have one hell of a boulder myself in my path and it makes our lives quite difficult. I always feel guilty because it’s my job as Mommy to keep it all going. To keep everyone happy and smiling. It’s not easy when you’re cracking under the surface.

    My son is my world. He’s the reason I wake up each morning. Thank you SO much for writing this today!

    • Hi, to both of you, omg i am new to the blog world and I absolutely love it and I can totally relate to your situation!! I hope for you that the boulder does get smaller and things work out but, you seem like one tough cookie, whatever it is it is meant to be either way!! Good Luck and I love your blog thank you for some emotional healing!!

  5. You just continue to inspire. Everytime I have a rough day or things don’t seem to be going well a post comes out from you that encapsulates my exact feelingss and emotions. Sending all positive vibes and love. You are so amazing, thank you for your honesty and insights!!

  6. such a great post! thanks for your honesty! my husband and i began addressing our own boulder 2 years ago. my world crumbled, and i hit bottom. we separated for a few months while going through intense marriage counseling. i wish that i had this same desire not to yell at my kids or my husband back then. i was so sad and hurt and lonely, and unfortunately it showed in my parenting and other relationships. thankfully, we were able to break down our boulder and are currently sweeping the pebbles off of our marriage road thanks to God and a wonderful counselor. it’s so encouraging to hear you say that even though you are in the middle of a huge storm, you are working hard at not taking it out on your kids. i applaud that! i will be praying for you and your husband and your sweet boys.

  7. You are an awesome human being. Thank you so much for all you
    are teaching all of us! Many Many Blessings to you and yours!

  8. I am very sorry to hear that you are having a hard time right now. I must tell you, though, what an incredible find this site has been for me. I just stumbled across your inspirational words yesterday and today has been Day 1 of an incredible change. It was a hard day, but we all made it through and for the first time in a long time my head will hit the pillow tonight knowing that nothing I said or did today hurt my children in any way. This is knowledge that even for one day has brought me blissful peace. So thank you for your inspirational words and your very brave honesty. Best of luck to you and your family and I will keep on my quest to be a better mom. Thanks for getting me started. You’ll never know how grateful I truly am.

  9. You have been a huge inspiration to me in the two short days since I learned of your existence. I wish you love and peace. You deserve it and you will get it. xoxox

  10. wow u r more powerful then u will ever know. life is messy but fun. marriage and parenthood is tough but so much better without the yelling thank u for daring me to take this challenge! i dare u to keep opening more of your heart….to ur hubs. ur kids. and to us and watch the greatness that will come from that

  11. Wow! That was incredibly moving, showed incredible vulnerability and proves why your mission to show mom’s everywhere that there is a different way besides yelling matters. Choosing to go about things differently, I believe, will do way more and accomplish more in your marriage and parenting than yelling can. My prayers are with you and your husband as you weather this storm together.

  12. Thank you for sharing your pain, sadness, hope and courage with us. You are not alone. I am sending you lots of positive energy and hugs at this really hard time in your life.

    Today was my first full day of the Rhino challenge and I didn’t do as well as I wanted to but not as badly as I could have either. I thought of you and the Orange Rhino and tomorrow I will work harder at it. I have read parenting books and tried other strategies and techniques to yell less but this is the first time I can get my mind around this concept in a real way. Thank you and blessings to you, your husband and your beautiful boys.

    Jenny

  13. Thank you for being transparent to all your Orange Rhino friends!! The fight is what will make you stronger, in Life, Marriage and parenting. Just as you have been here to inspire many, I hope we can be here (on the computer) for you! Keep up the good work!

  14. Thank you for sharing so honestly! I unfortunately, understand too well what you are describing! We hit our very rough, very bumpy patch a year ago. I wish I had found you then! Our house was often full of tears, full of yelling, and just so much tension. I know the kids got the brunt of my emotional turmoil! But, we are all much better and much calmer now. I still yell more than I’d like, so I am glad to have finally found you! I will be thinking of you and your family!

  15. Thank you for this awesome blog!!!
    I found you last night & decided this is the best idea ever. I made signs & hung them all over the house to remind my family & I of the new house rule. I put signs on our front door that said “you are about to enter a no yelling zone”. My kids love it.
    Today was a total success. Thanks for sharing such raw emotions. You are an amazing writer & mom.
    Best of luck to you!!!!

  16. There is something so beautiful about authentic about this post. Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with all of us. Life is hard, but we can do it together.

  17. Your honesty is refreshing and reminds me to do the same. It is necessary. It is the only way to move forward. It is key to letting go. Thank you!

  18. I applaud you for having the strength to write this post. I sit here with tears in my eyes – i know exactly how you feel. You should be commended for taking these “boulders” head on and however painful they are now, when they have dissipated, you will be so much happier. You are such a strong woman, and your will and tenacity will help you through this hard time. Xo

  19. You are an inspiration to so many. What a testament of character to be able to share this with such honesty. You are an incredibly strong woman. I hope you can find some peace in the middle of all the crazy. Thank you for sharing

  20. Words cannot express how I feel for you. I’ve been you…with the marriage thing….just days before Christmas. Devistating, earth shattering, life changing — but I want to offer you hope. We are chipping away out “our” boulder a day a time, and sometimes a minute at a time…but it will get better. Stay strong and thank you for the constant reminder that we need to love our kids through this and not add yelling to the mix. Its especially hard on days where you’ve cried yourself to sleep…when your “boulder” is all u can think about, when it consumes your every thought…but u can do it!!!! I just began a devotional called the Love Dare (inspired by the movie FireProof). Its been amazing! It might help. For all of the wisdom that you have passed onto us..thank u. :)

  21. I just found you’re blog last night and I have never been much for reading them in general but I love yours. You are very real and empowering great job, you’ll get though this!

  22. Obviously you are not alone. And I am so glad to hear I am not alone. It’s extremely evident in this post that you have a great amount of love for your family because you continue with your strong motivation of love to keep going. There are many out there that don’t have that love and they give up. Your love is so strong–although it may not be reciprocated in the ideal way right now–that it is an amazing power that keeps you going in this challenge. I guess when I say there are many I am speaking about myself. I found your challenge a week ago and I can’t get myself to climb aboard because I know I will just disappoint myself. It seems to hard and I feel almost like I need that relief of lashing out in anger (at my hubby not kids…they don’t deserve their crappy mom). You are amazing that you have the willpower to continue fighting and trying to be better. I can’t even get myself to try. I already expect failure.
    I am so sorry for your boulder. It’s not fair. Especially when you try so hard. Obviously things take time and your patience has to have grown at least somewhat with your challenge. Wow. You are awesome! Thank you for sharing that had to be hard.

  23. You are such an inspiration. I found your blog a month ago and it has been a huge wake up call for me. I haven’t always succeed every day with the rhino challenge but I’m working at it. If you can do it while going through this tough time, I have no excuses!! I will be praying for your family. Thank you for being so honest and for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

  24. Orange Rino your honesty is humbling. Remember that life is full of boulders and always will be. The fact that you recognize how much more hurtful the yelling would be is monumental in keeping a loving home for your children. Stay the course, where there’s a will there’s a way. I am going on week two thanks to you. I hope and pray things will improve for you and the hubby. Keep loving that family of yours and hug them a little, (or a lot) tighter and let them help you through the toughest times. Stay the course it will pay off!!!!

  25. You are so brave. Thank you for sharing and I will be hoping that things improve for you soon. The fact you are going through this and not yelling is so amazing to me- you are an inspiration.

  26. Thank you. You touched my heart. I know exactly how you feel. Thank you for saying it all outloud and for being a light in the darkness.

  27. God I can’t believe the connection i have with your blog.. Also struggling w a boulder & was feeling I couldn’t be successful at the ORC because of it.. I did get threw my first day today though! And the only reason we had a. Peaceful pleasant day today was because I found your blog LATE night unable to sleep… You were sent to me and I’m grateful!!!! Thanks for your honesty and speaking my thoughts for me better than I could have ever on my own! Stay strong!!

  28. That is my number one trigger for yelling at my children; when my husband and I are at odds. To tell the true my husband and I use to be very calm and we were very good at not yelling at our children when things got tough. Then our marriage hit a “boulder” too. That was about 18 months ago. We have worked so hard and come so far and I feel it is gone now or at least a pebble. The biggest problem was I did give into the yelling and anger. It was so hard to come back from that. Stay strong. All the work you have done over the past year has prepped you for this. Don’t give in it’s not worth it. It will get better faster if you don’t. Good luck.

  29. Just got referred to your site via a Facebook share… It’s 3 am and can’t sleep b/c of stress w/ kids and marriage. I read several of your past posts, think about the orange challenge and how I have very little orange stuf and zero orange clothes. But then look down & realize the old tshirt I had to wear to bed tonight b/c others are all in laundry is orange…ALL of my other and way more frequently worn bed shirts are white. I’ve only worn this one a few times…and i then find your site…coincidence ? Hmmmm.

  30. ((((((((((((((((((( Orange Rhino ))))))))))))))))))))) I pray that you and your husband will have every ounce of every emotion you need to get through this. I’m sorry you are going through such a tough time. xxx

  31. Just giving you a big hug! You have touched the lives of so many people and your honesty in every blog is amazing. Read every comment on here and believe it! I agree and feel what every comment reads. You are a huge inspiration! I am so sorry you are going through such a rough time. Hugs and love. ♥♥♥

  32. It is so happy to find I am not alone in struggling with marriage and children and being the mother I want to be and the wife I know I should be. It is also so sad that so many other people are struggling to find that place of contentment and peace that exists when relationships are in harmony and not strife. Knowing that others are on the same road is such an encouragement- what did women do even 10 years ago? Thank you for the support community you girls provide. When I see how you have been successful it gives me courage to try and to persue the person I know I can be – I Mom who doesn’t yell :) and a wife who seeks out her husband and tries to love him.

  33. Thank you for sharing! I hope you and your hubby find some peace soon! Yesterday was Day 1 for me for the Challenge. All night last night, I kept chanting “Orange, orange, orange” as I wanted to scream at the kids! I haven’t informed them yet of my challenge to myself–but I think I’m also going to challenge our 4 boys (2 mine/2 his, we also have a 7 yr old girl and 2 19yr old girls in “our” family) to clean up their mouths. Maybe they can have their own version of a Orange Rhino Challenge! A couple of them just have nothing but negative things to say, and all of them, in my opinion have filthy mouths, saying inappropriate things as well. So we’re working on it!

  34. To love like that is such a gift. People who love honestly as you are doing are a light to the world. Thank you for shining your light on me and touching off the dying spark in me. I have been able to try with more determination since finding you. So thank you. My prayers include you and your family. That is my gift in return. :)

  35. I found your blog through Pinterest just yesterday and feel inspired in my mothering! So sorry to hear of your difficulties, but admire your courage to share honestly and your tenacity and determination to stick with it and plough through it! You sound like an amazing woman! All the very best!

  36. You have been such a blessing to me and my family. I came across your Blog a week ago. I have committed myself to no yelling. Crazy thing is that I started just as spring break started for my children. I started when I have all 5 of my young sons home ALL day. I guess that this will make it easier once school starts again right :) I am excited for the challenge. Already seeing the rewards! Thank You Again!

  37. I second all of the many sentiments about this post. I am proud of you for posting this as I know it must have been difficult to admit. It hit home with me as you always do and I too will keep you in my thoughts. You are strong though and it will get easier. I also find I yell more when I am upset with my husband or going through our issues. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your honesty and always keeping me on track. I am a better mother because of it. And I am BLOWN AWAY by how many woman so similar to me have also been changed by you. You are amazing and we will hold you up when you need the strength.

  38. I am so sorry you are going through a hard time. I hope you can feel how many people are rooting for you and are here to support you. You have helped so many (including me!). I just wanted to share a blog I found that helped me a lot during hard times in my marriage. It is such a great blog and seriously I would recommend just starting at the beginning and reading the whole thing, but since that may be impractical for us mothers of young children, here are a few of my favorite posts:
    http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2013/03/the-work-i-did-to-be-happy.html
    http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2012/01/are-you-working-away-at-hard-marriage.html
    http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2011/09/most-important-things-ive-ever-learned.html
    http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2012/10/dirty-socks-smacking-lips.html
    http://www.ablogaboutlove.com/2012/03/vulnerability-step-three.html
    And there are so many more but I better not list them all. Good luck with everything you are going through. Big hugs!

    • Thank you for these links. I am going to read them because I to am suffering from anger with my husband. I HATE his work schedule and also wish he would make more of an effort to help me with the baby and the house.

  39. As I am reading this, I can only remember a time when I too was facing a sad and terrible boulder that was dropped in my happy marriage. It’s so hard to face these boulders and sorrows and tough realities that most if not every marriage face at one time or another. Through much prayer, many tears, desperation, stubborn love, and forgiveness, we made it through. And from that first shaky step forward to now, where trust is continually reestablished, and our love grows deeper through the pain and from the forgiveness that is and was given…I can honestly say, my marriage is in a stronger and more beautiful place. My prayer for you, and all of those struggling with these boulders, is that you are given strength and hope daily. God bless you.

  40. Oh my gosh… This is the second post of yours that I read after finding you on Pinterest. The tears are still streaming down my face… I don’t know who or where you are, but I feel like you’re such a kindred spirit. My husband and I also have a “500 lb gorilla in the room”. In the past 10 years, we talked about it once in awhile, but there was never any positive movement toward fixing it. I retreated further and further away from my husband, until it felt like I was living with a roommate found in the newspaper, not a lover and best friend. When I said, “for better or worse”, I knew there would be times of both, but I had no idea how bad “worse” could feel. I know all about that little hole and feelings of desperation. It wasn’t until I packed my daughter up and moved out (without warning) on 9/7/12 that things started moving in the right direction. Six months later, we’re still struggling, but we’re getting the help we need to make it work. Some days, it’s been all I could do to just commit to hanging in there, to try to make it work, to give the benefit of the doubt… It’s hard and it’s rare to find someone who’s willing to share just how hard it can be. So, thank you for putting yourself out there to remind us that we’re not alone, in spite of how lonely it might feel some days. May God bless you and your family.

  41. My Sweet Orange Rhino,
    I am thankful I found you. I have been the mom that I never wanted to be. Saturday I screamed “ PLEASE STOP SCREAMING!!” to my two sweet girls(6 and 2.5) and that was the straw that broke my back. I realized how silly my behavior has been. Then Monday I found you and took home 10 copies of the Orange Rhino and talked to my girls about how I wanted to yell less and love more. They, of course, ran around the house taping the orange rhinos all over the place……and wanted more copies! I am on day 3 of my challenge. Its funny how stopping yelling calms a person, makes you a softer person. I want the kids to always be able to approach me! So, thank you so much and I promise to pray for you so that things get easier in your life. I hope for you some good friends, good exercise, good whole foods, good love and good things ahead. Thank you for being you.

  42. I stumbled across your blog last night through a Facebook post. I was already pondering when I’d started to lose my patience so easily with my boys before reading about you on Facebook. Then I clicked through some of your helpful hints on not yelling, loved them, and kept right on reading until I finally decided I should read your most recent post. I felt like I was reading something I should have written a few years ago but was never able to find the words. I know I lose my patience with my children most often because of the boulder in my marriage. It was nice to see that I am not alone. More importantly, my husband and I have been chipping away at our boulder for years, and at this point, I am starting to feel like I was crushed by the boulder. Like I’ll never know who I am again. Your blog post gave me just a little bit of courage to take a few steps toward finding the me I was pre-boulder. The me who didn’t lose my cool over every little thing. Who takes the time to love my children and my husband. And like others who have survived the boulder, I can honestly say that our marriage is better for it. We pushed through, sometimes just out of sheer stubbornness, and while we still have some pieces to move off the road, we are beginning to see that our efforts are paying off. We love each other more deeply, understand each other better, and accept each other more readily. Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to keep chipping, even if just for a little bit longer. And to do it with a little more love. Thank you.

  43. Wow I am in tears cause I feel the same way. I LOVE MY KIDS more than ANYTHING and find myself getting angry and yelling at them cause I am pissed at my husband and tired of taking care of them by myself and getting no love in return. I am VERY bitter towards him and don’t want to be like that. Thank you for sharing

  44. Wow! I am a counselor and I absolutely live what you are doing here!! I am so proud of you!! And I am taking this challenge. A year ago, I was dealing with a similar boulder and you are doing great!! Lets do this! <3

  45. Me too! Very bitter at my husband for many reasons… and this is a big trigger at why I start yelling. I hope you work things out before the love fades. Thank you for sharing.

  46. I stumbled upon your blog on Pinterest somehow. After briefly telling my husband about your challenge, the entire house erupted in yelling. Both my husband and I were screaming at our 11 year old son, who has a propensity for lying and manipulating things. Afterwards, I felt horrible, of course. And my husband and I talked about the example we set, and that is how I am sitting here hours later, seriously contemplating this challenge, and reading through your blog. As I was reading you write about the boulder in your marriage, I just wanted to say, don’t give up hope. It doesn’t sound like you are…it is just what went through my mind as I was reading. I know a thing or two about working through “boulders” and it is worth. There is a life on the other side of it.

    http://www.lovingwhenithurts.com

  47. I have been yelling too much for a really long time. It has actually been worse lately. We unexpectedly lost our 13 year old son 3 months ago. It was (is) horrible. He died in his sleep. We don’t know why. I have 4 other beautiful children whom I love with all my heart. Yet, I find myself grouchy, grumpy, tired, less than enthusiastic about them… Not wanting to read, not wanting to help them, etc. And yes, having very little patience. Yelling. Anyway, I’m so glad I found your blog. I am going to print off your 100 things to do instead of yell list. I’m going to try really hard. And I am even going to challenge my kids to not yell. Because they have been yelling too much. We all have. Anyway, thanks.

  48. I want to thank you for this post. For weeks now, I have been crying myself to sleep. My husband and I have also a huge boulder in our paths. I too feel that this boulder is OURs and if we do not remove it from the path we will have to go on separately.
    As a result I feel like i have neglected my kids and myself, I have gone as far as sending them away with my parents for some clairity and the pain feels like it could kill me. For hours i have been searching for some real insight and I am thankful that I found your site. I too will join you in your Orange Rhino Challenge. I hope with all my heart that this helps my crumbling family, but refuse to just give up. Thank you!

  49. Thank you for this reminder that perhaps, possibly, maybe my hubby deserves my tenderness as much as my kiddos. After all he is a part of them (small part I have the dominant genes:)). We to ran smack dab into the bolder we has so carefully drove around for 7 years. The carnage was brutal but airbags deployed and emergence response arrived and we survived to swerv another day…kinda. I’m sending prayers to you and gratitude for your honesty. I appreciate how you so gracefully shared your pain without throwing anyone under the bus! I am inspired by you in so many ways. Now off to address some of the pebbles in my life :) thanks again.

  50. Wow…you have no idea how closely my life mirror’s yours right now…My husband and I have been “struggling” for almost 4 years and the yelling at my kids breaks my heart…after reading this post I feel a little more hopeful that I can become the Mom I want to be and pray to God I haven’t already done permanent damage to my little ones. I feel sick to my stomach and feel like a horrible Mom on most days and it’s time to really put things into prospective and get on with life. Fix the marital problem (one way or another – but all for the best) and build the relationship with my kids that I want! I want to feel excited about getting up in the morning, not dread it…I want to play with my kids, teach them new things – not hide away from them…Oh God…just writing these words breaks my heart but it has to be done…You have no idea how much you’ve already touched my life and I’ve only been following you for a couple of weeks…I’m still on day 1 (YIKES) BUT I have made it a day or 2 without yelling. Time to put my entire heart into it and do it for my kids! Thank you so much for sharing so many personal aspects of your life! It makes me feel less crazy and isolated knowing I’m not the only one going through hell with “life in general”
    Good luck with your “boulder” and thank you for sharing your story!

  51. I just came across this post today. So sorry your marriage is in a tough spot. When my husband and I hit our boulder our therapist had us buy the book “the Five Love Languages” GET IT!!! It saved our marriage. Truly honestly it saved our marriage. If you don’t want to read the while thing read the first chapter, then go to the back and take the “quiz” to find out your love languages then read the chapter on your own love language and then your husbands love language. Then everyday make at least 1 deposit in his love tank,in HIS loe language and vice versa. It works wonders. Best of luck. I’llbe praying for you.
    Thanks for the orange rhino challenge. Lets just say we are seeing a lot of orange rhinos around the house, literally and my computer is out of orange ink! :)
    Best of luck

  52. never in a million years would i think that so many women would be in this very same position. i have felt like i am in this little world all by myself knowing that it needs changed and just not having any of the energy or want to change it. i have no idea even where to begin with the marriage crater/boulder, but now i know that i need to begin with myself and my beautiful girls. i can’t chane anything until i stop beating myself up over and over again for not being what i think i should be. tonight is the night that i share this with my girls and tomorrow begins day 1.

  53. Found you today, Orange Rhino. Thank you. I am joining your community. And I want to share with you a poem I wrote when agonizing about such a boulder. It helped me. It still helps me.

    Love’s Labour

    Wave on wave of pain comes crashing o’er me,
    I’m swept away and frightened to the core.
    Then, brief relief, the pain recedes a moment
    But I’m scrambling still because I know there’s more.
    Every cell within me knows to flee from danger;
    I tense and try to flee the rising tide
    But it catches me again, again, forever,
    And I weep because there’s nowhere I can hide.
    There’s no escape, no rescue, no denial;
    The only way past this ordeal is through,
    So I gather strength to greet the growing onslaught
    Differently than instinct bids me do.
    As the waves approach, I reach out and embrace them,
    Pull them in and hold them like a friend,
    Breathe and breathe, remember pain won’t kill me,
    See the life it yields in the end.
    And I can cope. And I am safe now.
    Hurting, yes! But this is blessed pain.
    For the priceless fruit of overwhelming labour
    I’ll visit this extremity again.

    Wave on wave of anguish crashes o’er me,
    I’m swept away, defeated, long for death,
    But with shattered hopes, I have to keep on going,
    Care for my little ones and take another breath.
    I rage inside against the one that wrongs me,
    Rehearse offenses, steel my heart for war,
    Then my bitterness spills out upon my children
    And my conscience smites me, bids me brood no more.
    In honesty, I know my love was guided.
    I know I chose my course long, long ago
    But now I battle daily with rejection
    And an ugliness that only seems to grow.
    So shall I steel myself ‘gainst love that hurts me?
    Harden my heart til only ice and rock remain?
    No! I prefer to love, for love is safety.
    It’s fear that kills. I will embrace the pain.

  54. I found your website today, and boy am I glad I did. I’m jumping on board with this challenge, and desperately hope I can survive it. I truly want to do this for myself as well as my family. I miss the days when yelling never happened.

    This is such a heartfelt post, and I can so relate. I’m glad that you and your husband are working together to get through the boulders in your life. Marriage is never easy, but it’s definitely worth doing. I will have you and him in my thoughts and prayers.

  55. just found your site today – thank you so much for your honesty – although have to remember not to read this at work – tears are not professional! I have twin two year old boys who are just starting to push my buttons as they push their limits and I know my natural tendancy would be to be a yeller — so I am already looking for anti-yelling advice. thank you so so much. sending you positive energy.

  56. Dear Orange Rhino. Funny how God just puts us where we need to be at just the right time. I was actually using an app on my phone, and Sherpa (best assistant program ever) said that my yelling woke her up from her nap. So, I asked, “was I really yelling”, and she opened up the Google search to your blog. Praise God.

    How inspiring you are to mothers everywhere. I remember when my daughter, now 11 going on 27, was about 3 or 4, my sister said that “yelling is the newest form of child abuse”, and I was heart broken. Apparently, I come from a long line of yellers, all the way back to my great grandmother. No excuses, though. It’s time for a change.

    I have signed up for your 30 day challenge, and I am so excited to start. I believe I am going to opt out of telling my 11 year old, just because I can hear her nagging me if I slip not if but when. They love to point out everything we do wrong, don’t they :).

    Back to you, thank you, thank you and thank you for your openness, honesty and sharing words that have tugged on my heart strings. I pray that God blesses you as you continually bless others on this wild water adventure called motherhood.

    I’m painting my toes orange tonight. With Love and a Big Fat Hug Just for YOU BEING YOU!!!!!!

  57. Stumbled (more like tripped and fell, thank you boulder for steering me here) onto your site tonight! What a wonderful treasure trove you have created!!! This could not have come at a more perfect time – on all levels! Signed up for the Orange Rhino Challenge and I too (thanks DFS for the idea) will be painting my nails orange tonight! And picking up some orange napkins :-)

    It’s been awhile since I’ve said this but, I can’t wait for Monday!

  58. It’s 4:30 p.m., June 2, in Japan where I live. It’s about half a day away to the EST cutoff time, but I just saw your site for the first time, and truly believe it’s a “God thing” for me to have this timing. I signed up right away.

    I have been a yeller pretty much all my life. I can remember when I was (in junior high) in a period when I was really trying hard to be good that I overheard my older sister describing me to a friend as being like Lucy in the “Peanuts” comic strip. That hurt a lot, and confessing to God that I couldn’t control my temper was a huge step in growing up.

    Even so, I still seem to waver at times between remaining calm, hating when I have blown it, and rationalizing that if the other person responded to me better then I wouldn’t “have to” blow up. And too often that other person is my husband – really more than my kids. I’m betting that many of these same principles will apply, and looking forward to taking the challenge and coming out of it a more peaceful person and a more loving wife and mother.

    Thank you in advance!

  59. I just cam across your site last week and have signed up! Thank you for doing this for all of us, and for yourself. You are definitely an inspiration to me, as are all the other moms that have signed up and shared their stories.

    I feel like I can relate to you in a way as I also have that marital boulder and I noticed that when I am mad at my husband, I yell at my kids more. I don’t want to, but just feel so angry I don’t know how to control it.

    I will be painting my toes orange and printing a picture of an orange rhino to hang on my wall as a reminder and inspiration. Hopefully we can help to inspire you in return!

  60. All of you ladies deserve a huge round of applause for being so open. I am going through a separation with my wife that I am hopeful we can reconcile. She always complained about me yelling (which really did not start till our girls(3 of them) became more vocal and difficult). I know it is wrong and I do not like when I do it but I was caught in a vicious cycle. I am happy to have found this community and look forward to working along side people with the same mind set to break the cycle. I do not want my children or my wife to fear me and that is where we are at. I know it can be changed and I am working so hard at it, because like others have said I do not want to cause permanent damage. I hope that my family sees it and my wife and I can begin the road to recovery. I have also started meditating which has given me huge insight into my emotions and reactions to them. I am not as quick to anger and when I feel the anger or frustration building I am able to let it go. Again I say that I am encouraged by the strength of so many others to be willing to change. I am truly looking forward to a life without yelling.

    • Wow! I am inspired to find a man here, going through the challenge. Thank you for your great efforts. I wish you all the best and a reconciliation with your family. You deserve it :)

  61. Thank you so much for your honesty. I also found that I was yelling at my son because I was frustrated with my husband. Once I realized that was a trigger, it helped me to stop yelling at my son (at least to stop yelling because of my husband). I am signed up for the challenge & am encouraged by all of the other moms out there who are going though the same struggles. I don’t feel so alone or that I am a terrible mom. I love my son more than anything & want to be the best mom I can be.
    Stay strong moms, we can do it.

  62. Oh, my. I wish I knew what the boulder is, yet I know it doesn’t matter in the slightest. What matters is how we handle the boulder. My marriage is crumbling around me and the hardest part is not taking it out on my kids and then blaming it on my husband. I get so, so mad at the state that is my failing marriage and am just so, so sad! I feel like if I’m not angry I’ll just be depressed, I feel so alone in this. Your posts are inspiring, though I’ve just discovered them. Really, our kids won’t remember what we yelled about, but they will remember we yelled. Thank you for being so open. And your openness helping people like me know we’re not alone.

  63. I am right there with you. My husband and I too have a huge boulder in our path, but we are still dancing around it. But it’s there. Glaringly there. I know partly how we came to this point, but there is nothing that I can really do. Some of the things that must change have to come from him and so far, he has been unwilling/unable to do them. I’ve tried to be encouraging, helpful, supportive, to no avail, so there it sits. I can’t do more than I have already. He needs to do some of it too. And it makes me mad. Mad that he knows what he wants and needs to do, but doesn’t. Mad that he seems content to be as he is. He doesn’t realize that when he yells at the kids it’s a HUGE turn off. I have just completed the 30 day challenge today. I have had one restart in that 30 days. I’m pretty proud of that. I’m reading up on the challenges that my children have and I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more accepting of their foibles because, really, they can’t help a lot of it. I accept that. I still catch myself wondering why my children can’t be as well behaved as others. Well, if they were, they wouldn’t be my children now would they? I am struggling with keeping my anger and yes, even a little resentment, towards my husband directed at him, and not my 2 precious babies. I so wish I could get my husband on board with this, so he could learn to yell less. Then maybe the tension in the house wouldn’t skyrocket when he gets home every day. Maybe we could have peaceful family evenings together. Maybe he would be more attractive and like the man I married. A lot of maybes, I know. I guess I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I am right there with you.

  64. Thank you for writing this. I can relate all too well to this right now. I too, will not yell, at my husband or kids, even though marriage is tough right now. Life is good and there is only love.

  65. I’m sure it’s no accident that I followed your Triggers section and landed up here. These last two days have been SO hard due to a marital boulder we’re working on. The hurt and anger are so intense, I failed several times today to keep it together while with my kids. I hate feeling I failed them and myself today, but the day got better, not worse. And Day Two was better than Day One. I have to forgive myself and have faith tomorrow will be better, for all of us. I’m praying for healing and for God to guide my steps and words every moment. Two steps forward, one step back it seems, but always, always striving onward and upward.

  66. OMG, I just want to hug you and tell you that everything is going to be allright. Then again, I am on a different continent, sitting at the office, very close to crying.
    So let me just say the following: you have come such a long way. If anybody is strong, determined and resourceful, it’s you.
    Plus you have us. Your Orange Rhino Community. Reading about you every day. Thinking of you. Sending you positive vibes :-)

  67. Thank you so much for this- my husband and I hit our own boulder about two months ago, and I have felt like I’m not even sure who I am, or who we are since then. We are fighting the fight of trying to make it better, keep us together, and move forward, but its hard SO much harder than I ever imagined. This week has been the worst week of the last two months, but reading this has helped me- and reminded me that although we try to not involve our children, they do have an idea that something is wrong, and its my job as a mom to make sure that the rest of their life is easy and smooth and that goes back to learning to not yell. And just maybe, that not yelling, can help my husband and I too.

  68. Dear TOR~ I want to know more. I mean, about the marriage boulder. What is it? What is it that makes you angry, and sad. I think that if you write about that, you will have many women’s interest. It’s something many of us struggle with.

    (still seeing red with my husband)

  69. My Husband and I crashed full on head first into a marriage boulder a little over 3 years ago. The underlying anger left behind is what started me on the yelling path. I found myself yelling at my children over little, stupid things when I really was angry at my husband for being the chief creator of the situation. We have been working on things in our marriage and it has gotten better. Our marriage is now at its healthiest. Unfortunately however, the habit of yelling has become ingrained. I am working hard to stop it. Some days are better than others, but over all I am yelling far less these days. Thank you for your great ideas in stopping the yelling.

  70. If I could only explain how much I needed to read this today! I’m grateful for the fact that this was one of the first things I’ve read – especially since I’m running off of 3hrs of sleep. (Oh boy) My situation is a little different in the fact that I BROUGHT the boulder into my marriage with my husband, and continuously carry it – day in and day out and because of it, I’m angry, bitter, depressed and downright lost most of the time. I’m a yeller and sometimes THAT is an understatement. Unfortunately, since the boulder is strapped to me, my 2yr old daughter gets a bit of the “not so nice” me as well. It is a seriously struggle for me to go a day without screaming my brains out and I have no one to blame but myself. What I’m working my way up to say is that I’ve been reading your FB posts and started following you on there, after someone had mentioned your challenge to me a few months ago. I must admit that it’s kind of scary for me to want to try and not yell only because it has become such a big and unnecessary part of my life that without it, I wouldn’t quite know HOW to act. (I know. That makes me sound horrible) But, I’m finally going to suck it up and try it today. I’m hoping I have half the strength you do! (Sorry this comment was all over the place. I hope some of it made some sense! Hah!) Have a great day and enjoy the sun!

  71. Will be praying that God will walk you all through that boulder. I know He can, all he needs is willingness on ya’lls part-and I believe you have that. May His peace and grace abound in your life as you struggle through this desert together.
    The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

    A Psalm of David.

    23 The Lord is my shepherd,
    I [a]shall not want.
    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    He leads me beside [b]quiet waters.
    3 He restores my soul;
    He guides me in the [c]paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.
    4 Even though I walk through the [d]valley of the shadow of death,
    I fear no [e]evil, for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    You [f]have anointed my head with oil;
    My cup overflows.
    6 [g]Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
    And I will [h]dwell in the house of the Lord [i]forever.

  72. Thank you Orange Rhino, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing so that we don’t feel alone or that we are the only ones. We hit a bolder at the end of last year and I couldn’t see my way round it but we got there. It is still there though and I don’t know if it will ever go away but if we can at least keep trying to get around it over it etc it can’t stand in our way or make us give up trying. xoxoxoxo

  73. I have to tell you, I have been secretly following your blog for quite some time now, and I am very impressed with the person and mom that you are. You are trying your best, and I applaud you. I have been working on a similar challenge for quite some time now, and I want you to know how commendable it is that you are willing to share your trials along with your triumphs. Motherhood is not for sissies. It is a tough, dirty job, but the rewards are so worth it, aren’t they?

    Thank you for being you, and for sharing that with us. What a great example you are. Keep it up, mama.

    PS I also read your post about yelling at your boys recently, and I want to tell you, I respect you now even more than before. I can relate to you on so many levels, and I hope you know we are all cheering for you.

  74. I’m really glad to have found this site. I grew up the youngest of 6 and don’t remember much yelling from my mother until around the age of 13…around which time everyone was yelling, father not included. When I became a mother at the age of 38 I was everything I wanted to be to my son…until my best friend and father got sick with cancer and passed within 6 mo’s after finding out. I was left without the one person I confided in, taking care of our 5 horses, my 3 year old son and having to deal with my mother and sister who I did not get along well with…due to their anger/yelling issues. It was a very difficult time for several years after my father was gone. I started losing my temper with my son and raising my voice sometimes flat out yelling at him and have been trying to fix myself. I have a better relationship with mother and sister, because I decided several years ago that I can’t chage them, but I could change myself…so I did. Now, regarding my son, who is now 7 1/2 I have my ups and downs, good days and bad. I struggle with myself to stay calm at times when he is not listening, etc…and sometimes I lose it. Just like everyone here I get super upset with myself and really down about my actions. Then I try again. Today is going to be my first day at not raising my voice at my son or husband. The person I want to be is calm and collected at all times. I know “at all times” is probably unrealistic, but I honestly want it more than anything in the world…
    Thank you Orange Rhino for being here and spilling your dirty laundry with us mom’s who need to know that we are not alone and who want the best life possible for our children and ourselves. Thanks so much!

  75. I know this post is a year old, but it really spoke to me as I’m hitting a crisis point with yelling and am looking for a path out. I feel I could’ve written this, myself, as I honestly believe that 99% of my angst and impatience toward my child is due to anger/hurt from marriage “boulders”. Thanks for sharing this.

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