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The Anger Advantage

Oct 10, 2007
This is my all time favourite grandma's tale which I think will strike a chord with all of us who have a 'normal relationship' with our spouses. And by normal I mean relationships where flames other than those of passion erupt often enough. The other factor that makes this story a rock of support (especially when you're tearing your hair in despair over a recent flare up) is the fact that my grandmother swears that this is a story about people she knew.

Just opposite my gran's house lived Mr.and Mrs. Dey. They fitted the definition of an ideal couple to the letter. In fact they were often reffered to as the ideal couple and, everybody who knew them wished their marriage to be modeled after Mr. and Mrs. Dey living down the same street were another couple. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander.If marriages are made in heaven I'm sure there are some that are made in hell.

The best example of a marriage made in hell (or atleast apparently) would be that of Mr.and Mrs. Alexander.Pots and pans flying about the house was a common sight as were verbatims in high pitched tones piercing the atmosphere both inside and outside the house. Then when my grandparents returned to their old neighbourhood after a short stay abroad they were surprised to find that Mr.Dey now lived alone as he and Mrs. Dey were separated. Mrs. Dey however, soon remarried.

And if the gossip mongers are to be believed then she was having this affair even while she was married to Mr.Dey. Mr. and Mrs.Alexander however are going strong. Pots and pans still go flying but the voices have lowered down and they can still be seen walking down the road to the evening market exchanging an occasional smile.

The moral of the story is that anger is a normal, healthy human emotion. And if expressed or harnessed
in the right manner it can prove to be extremely beneficial in a relationship. As illustrated by Mr.
and Mrs Alexander's relationship whenever, one of the spouses was angry or annoyed with the other he/she
expressed himself/herself (not in the most desirable way perhaps) but this created scope for discussion.

And at the end of the day there is nothing that communication cannot solve. According to David and
Vera Mace, who have pioneered the Marriage Enrichment movement, "anger is healthy and normal and present
at different times in all marital relationships. Couples should give each other time to be angry".

The Maces developed an acronym AREA to help couples cope more successfully with those angry moments.
A-is for admitting your anger to your spouse. R-is the desire to restrain your anger. E-is for explaining
why you are angry. A- is foraction planning or doing something to resolve the anger.

Researchers have found that more anger builds up in a marriage than in any other human relationship.In fact, unresolved anger is the main cause for violence in a relationship. Basanti who is middle aged and has three children(of assorted ages) and a drunken husband is a unique example of this fact. Very often when she is unable to pay for his drink there is fighting and bickering. This makes the husband angry. Basanti, tries reasoning saying she just has enough money for the evening meal. This statement causes her husband to become violent.

Ashok Rajagopal (a reputed illustrator and writer) admits that his marriage is fraught with innumerable
'angry moments'. But he says that when he and his wife Preetha are angry with each other they just stop
talking to each other. However, sometimes direct communication (not via the boys) becomes essential
for practical reasons like what needs to be bought on the way home etc. This eases the tension and gradually
things become normal again. But, one of us has to make an extra effort to get the ball rolling.

'For instance Preetha generally prepares a sumptuous meal.'Akansha and Gaurav have been married for about a decade now and quite naturally they have many more 'angry moments' than can be accommodated on the fingers of both hands and toes. According to Akansha'I am the one who gets angry more often. My husband generally listens to all my screaming without batting an eyelid. And after all my emotions have died down we generally talk it out.'

Shankari says, 'I seldom get angry. Most of the times it is my husband who has fits of anger. But I don't know whether my reaction is strange or not but I generally don't get affected so I continue to behave normally and after sometime everything just falls into place.'

What is amazing about the different ways in which these people handle anger are a few of the ways that the pandits of psychology have prescribed-relaxation, practicing patience, approaching the problem calmly and
so on.

Thus, one cannot help but marvel at the power of the human brain in dealing successfully with a situation. Handling those angry moments with more insight will help you get the most of those fiery moments and that will definitely spice up your life.
About the Author
Matrimony Xpress is a Relationship Blog, from BharatMatrimony.com that offers different perspectives on relationships. This blog is an ideal platform to share views and discuss issues that matter to a marriage.Relationship Blog. This article can be republished with a link back to our RelationshipBlog
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