Anger is a normal, healthy emotion that we all experience. It becomes unhealthy when we bottle it, don’t fight fair, and use it to manipulate. Here are some additional tips to help you deal with anger-in a HEALTHY way:
Like Tamara mentioned yesterday, carefronting is a healthy formula to address issues and frustrations experienced by couples. However, it is not a recommended approach if you feel you are being manipulated. If you feel your partner is manipulating you, it is best to approach them in a very low-key but direct way.
First, give your partner the benefit of the doubt. They may not realize that they were coming across to you as manipulative. Second, confront them in a healthy way. Explain how you interpret their words and behaviors, and how you feel. Using an I-Message could be very helpful. Next, give them the opportunity to present their side of things and share their perspective. Finally, decide together how to address situations like this in the future.
Andrew Greeley’s research on “Marital Happiness” states there are 5 key predictors for success: the ability to talk to one another, emotional satisfaction, sexual fulfillment, ability to communicate love and affection, and ability to express disagreement without causing damage to the relationship. What’s interesting about this is: Three out of the five predictors of marital happiness depend upon a couple’s ability to communicate!
This may be a new concept in your relationship, but it’s an important one. You both need to agree to prioritize time to talk together-even if it’s about seemingly unimportant things. Make sure it is a conversation, with both of you contributing. Check in with each other about your days, talk about plans for the future, ask each other about childhood memories, talk about your private worries and fears. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, and that’s ok.
If there are topics that cause either one of you to experience anger or frustration, agree together to handle it in a healthy way. Don’t stuff feelings or just ignore the anger. It won’t just go away. Finding a healthy resolution as a team will ultimately bring you closer together as a couple.
Continue to read this week for more tips to deal with anger.
Guest post written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling.