Anger: What to Do About This Roadblock to Trust
By Susie and Otto Collins
Sarina has promised herself that she won't let her husband,
yell and scream at her again. They've both been under a lot
strain during the past year.
After Sarina had an affair,
She admitted the infidelity to Timothy, they took some time
decide what they each would do next and then, as a couple,
to stay together.
They both want to work things out. Sarina has apologized to
for her mistake, she's made her life an open book to him and
tried to make amends in any way she can.
Timothy has been working to forgive Sarina but he still
angry and hurt. He can see that she is trying to help
but he always comes back to images in his mind of her
In an effort to save their marriage, Timothy tries to just
He tries to stay focused on what's going on now
of on the past. But, unfortunately, those upsetting images
again and again in his mind.
He flies off the handle and yells at Sarina over even the
of things. Recently, he felt so mad at her, he had to
himself from hitting her.
Being violent to Sarina is the
Timothy wants to do.
Our aversion to anger.
Anger is one of those things that every single one of us
time to time. The intensity of anger varies from person to
and the way that anger is expressed is also different.
A lot of us have had frightening experiences in the past--
as children-- watching adults be angry with one another or
having that anger directed at us.
Anger can come out in
hurtful and even violent ways.
For this reason, many people have an aversion to anger. We
go into a defensive mode when we are around people who are
tend to deny or try to ignore our own angry feelings.
In short, just about all of us do whatever we can to get as
from anger as we possibly can...even if the anger is within
The trouble with this understandable reaction to anger is
just doesn't work.
Yes, of course, giving space to a loved one who is having an
meltdown is possibly a wise idea.
But, when you are the one
angry, there's nowhere to hide. You've got to own up to how
feeling and find ways to express those emotions that are
A first step to improving communication with your partner if
or both of you have a tendency to become angry is to
you do feel anger.
Practice responding instead of reacting.
Regardless of whether or not you are the one with the "anger
problem" in your love relationship or marriage, it's vital
learn how to respond instead of react.
Anger-- whether you deny it or spew it out-- can be a
rebuilding trust after infidelity.
If you two are trying to heal after infidelity, there might
tension, stress and uncertainty. This can most certainly be
challenge for anyone who has a difficult time with anger
includes quite a few of us).
If you tend to have a short fuse and you get intensely angry
take ownership for your habit.
Don't make this about your
Yes, he or she may have said or done things that were not
even very hurtful.
You are certainly entitled to feel how you feel.
However, if you want to heal and improve your relationship,
got to be responsible for what you do with your angry
Don't take them out on your partner-- no matter how much he
might seem to deserve that.
Most definitely, do NOT allow your anger to explode in
(physical, emotional, sexual or other forms) directed at
yourself or another person.
This is never okay and it's not
help you or your relationship.
If your partner is the one who usually blows his or her top,
still need to pay attention to your own habits. There are
ways in which your own reactions to a situation are fueling
During a calm moment, you two could create some reasonable
realistic communication agreements.
Be honest about this and come up with strategies for what
could do when tensions rise and anger is expressed.
boundaries and limits for what you each feel is and is not
when it comes to communicating about your feelings.
There are no wrong or bad feelings. Anger is just an
is a natural part of being a human being.
How you express your feelings and how you respond to your
feelings is up to you.
It can make a difference in whether
you two can rebuild trust and restore your relationship.