Anger in Marriage

Most marriages end in a whimper, not a bang. The final rupture is not caused by too much anger or abuse or infidelity. Rather, most marriages die a slow, agonizing death from too little compassion.

Compassion is sympathy for the hurt or distress of another. At heart it is a simple appreciation of the basic human frailty we all share, which is why the experience of compassion makes you feel more humane and less isolated.

Compassion is necessary for the formation of emotional bonds. Think of when you were dating someone you eventually came to love. Suppose you had to call that person and report that your parents had died. If your date responded with, “Well, that’s tough, call me when you get over it,” would you have fallen in love with that person? Chances are, you fell in love with someone who cared about how you felt, especially when you felt bad.

Most of what you fight about now is not money or sex or in-laws or raising the kids. Those are common problems that seem insurmountable only when you’re hurt. What causes the hurt, i.e., what you really fight about, is the impression that your partner doesn’t care how you feel. When someone you love is not compassionate, it feels like abuse.

As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

Neither can they see that their resentment and contempt have cut them off from their deeper values and made them into someone they are not.

The only way out, whether the couple stays in the relationship or not, is to focus on compassion – not to manipulate change in the other – but to feel more humane and to reconnect with their deepest values.

The problem is that most couples are afraid to embrace compassion once they’ve been hurt.

 

To read this post in it’s entirety go to: http://angerclinic.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/anger-in-marriage/

 

 

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