Marriage Counseling Tip: Look Beneath Your Anger
Expressing anger can be an act of intimacy. When we identify it and deliver it in a loving way, we become connected to some of our oldest pains. For anger is always attached to places where we have been hurt. Thus in showing our anger, we expose old wounds. For example:
“I’m angry because you didn’t finish the fence. You made me feel unworthy–the way I felt with my father. He always promised but never finished anything.”
If we can express the old root of our anger, instead of having the anger be a divisive explosion, we unbandage some of our tenderest places, reveal our most vulnerable selves. So when you’re upset, don’t just express your current complaint. Try also to tell its history, what happened to make you so sensitive now. That way, instead of being the nasty abyss that separates you two, your anger can be a bridge to true intimacy.
–from “A Garland of Love” by Daphne Rose Kingma
Thinking of you,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin
P.S. If you want to speak to Shlomo about working with him personally, especially if you struggle with anger and are bearing the brunt of your spouse’s anger, take a look at our Marriage Counseling practice.