Insp-2Millie questioned her husbands sobriety and efforts at recovery.  It seemed to her that he was slipping back into some old habits.  He wasn’t being as diligent, skipping meetings and treatment sessions.  He was wandering bit on the internet to things that seemed inappropriate for a recovering sex addict.

Bill immediately became defensive.  He flushed with anger and felt himself “puff up”.  He spouted some pretty ridiculous reasons why he was looking for pictures of Kate Middleton recently taken while she was sun bathing.  “I wanted to know what lense the photographer used,” was his best defense.  Only an addict would find that reasonable.  (That is denial at work, by the way.)  He followed up with and angry rant that questioned her love for him.

A lot of us go to “puffing up” with anger.  It makes us feel powerful.  It does back people up a bit.  But as a relationship skill it has negative impact.  It just doesn’t advance our relationships in a healthy direction.

For some the emotional skill level is pretty low and absolute rage is the only time they think they have any personal voice and power at all.  Letting go of anger can seem like a scary proposition, especially if it is our “go to” tool.

Bill’s anger was designed to quiet Millie’s concerns.  It didn’t attempt to explain or justify, it contained no compassion, empathy or even understanding for her concerns.  It really had nothing in common with healing and rebuilding.

Sometimes we feel so justified.  We have been wronged!  We were taken advantage of, even abused. “How can I not be upset?”  Indeed a good question to ask ourselves, “How can I NOT BE upset?”

What would the outcome on your relationships be if you let go of anger.