Part of having a happier marriage, I think, is learning how to express negative emotions to your spouse in a way that he or she can hear. If we yell and accuse (Exhibit A. That would be me) we just make our partners defensive and upset. But if we communicate and problem-solve together (Exhibit B. That would be Alisa Bowman, whose book I wrote about last week), we can work together to get to a better place in ourselves and in our relationships.
According to Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., a world renown specialist on anger and author of the best-selling book, The Dance of Anger, anger is both a natural emotion and an emotion well worth paying attention to.
Dr. Lerner argues that anger can be productive, and that recurring anger can help a person become aware of a more serious underlying problem.
Lerner believes that anger should not be used as an excuse to blame other people.
Instead, anger should be recognized as a signal that harmful behavior patterns need to be changed.
When men and women pay attention to their anger and use it as a starting point to change then anger, according to Dr. Lerner, is something for which we can be grateful.
How has feeling angry helped you make a change for the better in your life?