.....Anger of course, can be a perfectly normal and acceptable emotion. spouses can and should be angry at each other when there are legitimate reasons. However, a little bit of anger goes a long way in a marriage and most couples don't have a good sense for balance in  this regard.

The tendencies are  to over season rather than under season the relationship with anger's special spice to the point that the relationship becomes unpalatable and lacks nourishment. Expressing constructive anger is an act, an act that most couples have to learn. It is a marriage counselor's dream to teach couples to process anger effectively, to put each issue of anger to rest once and for all, and to free their relationship of the corroding effects of unresolved anger.
Developing such skills is possible.

Here is Laraba and Musa's story - "our marriage was troubled for many years, but Musa and I couldn't seem to put our finger on the problem. All we knew was that
we were living as married singles: two married persons sharing the same house but basically living the life of single persons. We had almost nothing in common. He did his thing and I did mine and we intersected less and less. I was smart enough to see a counselor who helped me discover that the underlying problem in our marriage was a lot of unresolved anger that went back to the early days of the relationship." I was angry because I got married young. I was pregnant and never had a chance to use my gift by developing a career. Musa was angry because he felt trapped in a dead end job and a dead end marriage. Now because of my anger, I never affirmed or supported him. My anger fed his and his fed mine; we were making each other miserable almost all the time.

Did their marriage end? Laraba smiles "thank the Lord, it didn't but it easily could have. When we finally started to work on our relationship, we were teetering right on the edge. One more thing probably would have pushed us over ". How was this marriage salvage? Musa went to counseling with me. He recognized and acknowledges his anger as well as our mutual anger, and together we started to do something about it. We had only four sessions with the marriage counselor: all the other work was done outside her office on our own.

The work consisted of a lot of dialogue between us, plenty of good food-fashioned talking to get our feelings out without annihilating each other. We really communicated, maybe for the first time in our marriage. The counseling was extremely helpful,the therapist suggested a technique that would help us facilitate better communication. Three times a week, we would sit down together a half-hour or more. I would talk for ten minutes, Musa will listen and then repeat back to me what he had heard me say, none critically and without judging the content. Then I did the same thing with him. It  was simple, yet it did the trick, it got us back in touch with each other without over reacting.

Laraba pauses reflectively, and then continues: I have to be honest and say today our marriage is by means perfect. We still get angry and argue but this get less and less. Whenever we argue we resolve things much quicker. We know that we really want to stay married to each other, so that means we have to invest time and energy in our relationship to keep it healthy. With all my heart, I believe there is a hopeful future for our marriage and I feel so good to be able to say that and mean it. Although there is a legitimate place for anger in a marital relationship, the anger must be successfully managed or it will eventually come to manager the couple. If you are not the master of your anger, you will sooner or later become it's slave. 

Anger is a major manifestation of psychological pain features prominently in virtually all close relationship. It is often intense, repetitive and violently expressed. 

Furthermore, it can be combined with high defensiveness in which you are unwilling to examine your behavior. All of you carry psychological pain into your relationships from hurtful events in your upbringing. Additionally, you are subject to current stresses outside them. Thus, from both past and current sources you import the potential for anger. Then you have the further stresses of each other's negative behaviors. 

The destructive consequences of anger scarcely require stating. Anger can be directed at each other, at other people, or at yourself (anger our, anger in). When directed towards, its two main negative forms are hostility and withdrawal. These behavior can lead to alienation and distress in relationships to the point of total breakdown. 

Anger can also have positive consequences. Possessing anger feelings does not in itself destroy relationships, but handling them poorly may do so. Anger can be a signal for yourself and your partner that something is wrong and requires attention. This should be a cue to examine your behavior and not just that of your partner. It can be an energizer leading to assertive request for behavior change and to confronting festering conflicts.

Anger can be a purge so that afterwards you may calm down and be more rational. In a loving relationship partners can work out rules that allow their anger to be used for constructive purposes such as the above rather than to tear each other apart.

THINKING AND ACTION SKILL -: Since anger can be the mortal enemy of love, it is important to develop the skills for both regulating and expressing it....................................

Continues reading here... ANGER IN RELATIONSHIP 3

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