What is Anger?

Anger:- A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. A wide range of intensity from mild irritation to frustration and rage.

Anyone can be angry, that's easy. To be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way is not easy.

Although those words sound as though they might have  been written by a modern day psychotherapist, they weren't. They were, in fact written by 'ARISTOTLE' more than two thousand years ago. The antiquity of the phrase, however, does not diminish its powerful truth.

Anger is the most difficult emotion for any of us to manage. It tends to take over our lives, push us around and leads us to say and do things that under normal circumstances we probably would find repugnant, even unthinkable. Anger has a special power in marriage / courtship / relationship and friendship. Its impact is largely negative and often destructive. Having observed hundreds of couples who have sought marital therapy, i have concluded that unresolved anger between spouses is the most
potent marriage breaker of all. 
Anger in Relationships

Anger (which, in time, can shift to rage) eventually reaches the point where it can no longer be contained or restrained. When it finally explodes, often with volcanic force, the marriage or relationship may be damaged beyond repair. Like human beings, marriages or relationships can become deadly ill. Too much anger for too long a time is like a life threatening infection in the body. If it cannot be successfully treated, the "anger illness" may well prove fatal to the marital relationship.

This happened to Amaka and Uche's marriage. "Uche and I were married for twenty seven years before i filed for a divorce" explains Amaka; people were shocked beyond belief that i was leaving him, especially our five grown children. "We appeared to be the ideal couple, living out the perfect marriage. We had a beautiful home, a wonderful social life and great kids. So why did this marriage fail? 

Amaka sighs sadly and continues: "people judge a marriage on the basis of what they see, but most of the time, that's only what a couple wants them to see. The dark side of a marriage is often hidden pretty well inside. The fact is Uche was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive to me. There were times when i called in sick at work and told my boss I had the cold, when actually I didn't want anyone to see the bruises on my face. And I can remember wearing long sleeve blouses during some of the hottest days just to cover the welts on my arms.

"In the privacy of our home, Uche would fly off the handle at the slightest provocation and take his anger out on me. I was afraid of him, so for a long time, I buried my anger and hope things would get better, but they didn't. After a while,  i just couldn't take it any more. My anger at Uche for his behaviour, and at myself for allowing him abuse me, was eating me alive. I actually developed bleeding ulcers. Our marriage became an empty shell, with no life left in it. I finally had to leave to save myself.

Anger that has not been successfully eliminated from a relationship will manifest itself in a variety of negative and unhealthy ways. For example, the spouse who is unable to express anger, who bottles it up or "stuffs" it deep inside, may experience severe depression, a  condition that eventually renders him or her dysfunctional and emotionally paralysed. Passive aggressive behaviour is another way unresolved anger can surface. A passive-aggresive behaviour disguises or hides anger in passive and reserved behaviour. This can take the form of procrastination, indeference, giving the spouse the silent treatment, deliberate forgetting or neglecting of things and  in general, finding ways to annoy ones spouse without letting the anger surface directly.

Unresolved anger does not simply vanish or go away. It remains beneath the surface of a relationship and becomes more toxic with time. That is to say, it poisons the life of the marriage. As the poison is carried into the bloodstream of the marriage, every aspect of marital interaction is affected in some ways. Communication for example, is damaged by unresolved anger. The couple find themselves distancing, avoiding each other and no longer sharing even simple pieces of family information. A sense of basic compatibility is lost and the couple feels estranged and alienated. Like a bad tooth, a dull throbbing ache develops in one or both spouses, an ache that would not go away, an ache that constantly insist something is drastically wrong. I am often asked why so many long term marriages are ending in divorce. Although generalizing never capture the entire story, I believe that the primary factor responsible for the breakdown of these marriages is anger. Anger that has been ignored, repressed/suppressed and left unprocessed over the years or even decades as the case may be.

Continue reading here: ANGER IN RELATIONSHIPS (PART 2)

Also See:



Relationship Advice.....

Avoiding/Dealing with Adultery

A Man’s Need from His Woman

A Woman’s Needs from Her Man

Are single women always irresponsible?

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