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Mar 18

Keep Your Love Alive – Good & Angry

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Unresolved anger tsunamis relationships.

In an office or a coffee shop I’ve met many men who believe that they could conquer their anger only to later find themselves swept under the wave of feelings they never saw coming.

Seemingly successful in every way they were destroyed by their delusions.

Corporate executives and daily laborers, academic professionals and the uneducated, men, women, young and old we’re all affected emotionally by hurt feelings, blocked goals, unmet needs and the internal challenges of anger.

We manage our feelings with our unique combination of strategies. Some strategies work better than others.

One strategy to manage our anger in healthy — “good” — ways is to see anger for what it is, a feeling followed by accompanying choices.

Gary Smalley wrote, “Anger is our choice. We can choose to see its powerful potential for destruction and take steps to reduce it within us. Otherwise, it’s an iceberg sinking our love.”

Icebergs, like people, are complex bodies with most of the whole unseen.

Yesterday I watched the movie When A Man Loves A Woman starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.  IMDB explains “An airline pilot and his wife are forced to face the consequences of her alcoholism when her addictions threaten her life and their daughter’s safety. While the woman enters detox, her husband must face the truth of his enabling behavior.”

Michael and Alice Green had an incredible challenge: alcoholism.

Alcoholism is like the top of the iceberg, it’s what’s obvious. The challenge is learning what’s below the surface. What’s behind the addiction that made alcohol abuse seem like a solution? What’s made it possible for the abuse to evolve into addition?

The Greens separated amidst painful and angry feelings.  Only when they dealt with their feelings and their unhealthy coping strategies did healing occur.

Day after day I spend time with couples young and old in conflict.

Some believe relationships should be like the happily ever after Disney films they watched as children.  They won’t admit it, but they do.  So when conflict arises it’s a deal-breaker.

Some couples see conflict as a game to play and a game to win; sadly, they “win” and everyone loses.

Some people minimize conflicts, and others embrace them.  The most successful relationships look for and see the positive side of relationship conflict.

I enjoyed James Creighton’s book “Don’t Go Away Mad“.

The Positive Value Of Conflict

1.     Conflict identifies problems which need to be resolved

2.     Conflict prompts change

3.     Conflict helps us define who we are

4.     Conflict provides an outlet to express our feelings

5.     Conflict can be stimulating and challenging

I loved Creighton’s title because I believe and follow the biblical principle, “When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.

Be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.

I wish we did.  Alas, as much as we want to we have not settled every conflict every day; most times it has not been on purpose.

I don’t always know everything going on within myself, and neither do you. Our best compromises, intentions and vows still leave us wishing things were different.

The best compromises — “Sure, let’s paint the house Robin’s Egg Blue.”

The best intentions — “I forgive you.”

The best vows – “To love and to cherish…”

When enough of those pile up unresolved anger arises.  And when we’re angry we have choices.  How will we respond?

My suggestion: Be Good & Angry.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] possible to be good and angry, but most of us don’t routinely practce that much discernment and self […]

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