3 Things To Do When You Can't Stop
Your Anger After Your Partner's Affair
By Susie and Otto Collins
Celia knows that she should be over her anger about her
Alex's affair by now. She made her decision to take him back
give their marriage a second try.
Every single day she tells
that it's long past the time for her to get over her fury
But she hasn't yet.
When she gets angry, she counts to 10. She reminds herself
of all of
the reasons why she still loves Alex. She tries to steer her
happier times they've shared. She thinks about the great
they've created together.
None of this really works. None of these techniques, and
she's tried, seem to diminish that fact that she's still
outraged that Alex deceived her and betrayed her trust in
Despite her best efforts to contain her anger,
often resentful, cold and withdrawn when she's alone with
Sometimes, when she can't take the build up any longer, she
have it with yelling and shouting.
Because Alex still feels guilt about his affair, he tends to
sit there and let her call him names and scream at him.
them is happy, yet neither of them wants to end their
both hope that they can move past this one day.
If your partner cheated, you may be in a similar situation.
chosen to stay in your love relationship or marriage and you
move past the infidelity and repair the damage to your
As desperately as you might want to save your marriage and
move closer to your partner again, your anger is still
Celia, you may try different strategies to calm down, let go
rage and forgive your mate... but this seems impossible to do
We're here to reassure you that it's not impossible to
anger and rebuild trust after infidelity. Here are 3 things
do that will help...
#1: Give yourself permission to be angry.
If your mind is made up that you don't want to lose your
your relationship, your impulse might be to shove down any
feelings you have.
It might even seem, to you, that you've
only "focus on the positives" in order to heal the pain and
There is certainly great benefit that can come from focusing
the positives in any difficult situation. However, when
feeling angry but pretending that you're not, this is NOT
positive. It's also NOT going to help you or your
It's important for you to give yourself permission to be
that's what you feel. Know that the more willing you are to
yourself to be authentic and genuine-- even when it's uncomfortable
and possibly contentious-- the easier it will be for your
release and for you and your partner to rebuild trust.
If you've been taught that it's not okay for you to be
acknowledge those ingrained beliefs.
Perhaps you grew up in
where the adults argued and fought one another. Or, maybe
brought up in an environment where nobody was allowed to
In either extreme, the effects can be detrimental to your
and to the health of your relationship too.
Notice what your overall beliefs are about anger and
assumptions-- regarding your anger-- about what it will take
repair your relationship.
If you discover that denying,
pushing down your angry emotions is a habit for you, be
Challenge yourself to safely explore your anger. Know that
and moving through your anger is often the quickest and most
effective way to experience the ease, healing and ability to
that you desire.
#2: Be responsible with your anger.
When you give yourself permission to be angry, if that's how
feel, this doesn't mean that it's helpful to let it all out
Yes, he or she is the one who cheated and this can appear to
main reason why you're so outraged. To heap angry words on
to call him or her names or to throw things is only going to
you two further apart.
Be responsible for your own emotions and be responsible
you say or do with them.
Being responsible for your own emotions might mean that you
acknowledge that these feelings may go beyond the affair.
be a huge part of why you feel the way that you feel, but
there are some other things about your life and your
that you feel frustrated and upset about.
Maybe some of these things that anger you are habits that
or are a result of actions you've taken.
Being responsible about what you say or do with your
just as important. It might feel satisfying-- in the
destroy some object that is special to your partner or to
him or her in a cruel (and possibly inaccurate) way.
The question to ask yourself is this...
Will this expression of my anger benefit or cause further
harm to my
relationship? If you can provide an honest answer to this
you will know which impulses to act on and which to let out
different, non-harming, ways.
#3: Make short- and long-term decisions that will serve you.
The key to anger of any kind is to check in with yourself
and make a
conscious choice before you say or do anything from anger.
Again, it's so important for you to allow your anger. But,
just as important for you to make a very deliberate decision
what is the most effective and healing way to express that
Make short- and long-term decisions about what you will do
anger that serve your goals.
If one of your goals is to
rebuild trust in your
example, it's possible that working individually with a
coach might help you find ways to process and express your
professional can teach you useful techniques.
One technique that's often suggested is to take deep breath
to 10 when you're angry.
As cliché as this may sound, it can
be very powerful. Taking a deep breath in the heat of an
can give you space and clarity and encourage you not to say
something you'll later regret, but it's not the end of the
Regularly giving yourself the opportunity to really be with
anger and to get to know it-- on many different levels-- can
freeing. Instead of pushing it away, move closer to your
let yourself get to know it.
This knowing can be your key to making choices that will
now and in the future too.