As we have learned this week, anger is a healthy emotion, as long as it is channeled in a healthy way. Dealing with anger constructively can actually help our marriages become stronger-- and closer. In order to not allow anger to become destructive, it's important to learn how to deal with it effectively. Today, we will finish up with two more ways to deal with anger that can actually help you improve your marriage: 8. Systematic Enrichment
What is systematic enrichment? It's regular meetings or planned events that help you get your anger out in the open and deal with it constructively. This could mean doing a planned weekend couples retreat where you address issues in your marriage, or doing a small couples group. Marriage counseling is another wonderful tool for systematic enrichment-- having regular scheduled marriage counseling sessions can help you keep your marriage accountable, and ensure that you are addressing the issues in your relationship. Doing this can actually help you to deepen your connection and attachment to your partner, helping to prevent boredom.
If you feel as though you are no longer learning about your spouse and don't have the connection to them you once had, this can be an effective tool to help. When we feel as though our spouse no longer cares about what is going on in our "internal world", this can often lead to anger, and then resentment. Prevent this by investing in some "couple time".
9. Brief Vacations
Often times in marriage, we let the brief moments of connection go out the window and wait until we can have a full week of vacation time to re-connect. Don't allow this to become a pattern in your marriage!
Everyday life has a way of stifling intimacy. We get sidetracked with kids events, work, our cell phones, the internet, etc., etc.... Get away from your routine regularly, but do this in small amounts.
Examples of brief vacations include: Having a block of time each week that are designated "technology free" (e.g., no cell phones, no internet, no television, no telephone), get up early and have breakfast together, take a drive on the weekend to go look at different parts of your city that neither person has seen, or go for a late evening walk. This tip can be as creative, or as easy, as you want it to be.
The idea behind having brief vacations is to not wait for a large chunk of time to dedicate time to your marriage. Waiting until we have "vacation time" will only allow issues to get 'swept under the rug', which can also lead to resentment and anger.
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.