there are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma. 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. suppose you had to call that person and report that your parents had died. most of what you fight about now is not money or sex or in-laws or raising the kids. if unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt. so long as the adrenaline lasts, you feel more confident and self-righteous in blaming your bad feelings on some defect of your partner.
and when the adrenaline wears off, you feel depressed. if you project onto others that they’re compassionate, they are likely to become more considerate. they try to justify their contempt with “evidence” that the partner is selfish, lazy, narcissistic, crazy, abusive, etc. they feel like victims and rationalize their bad behavior as reactions to the other’s awful behavior. 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 relationship or not, is to focus on compassion—not to manipulate change in the other, but to feel more humane and reconnect with their deepest values. there are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma.
marriage provides motivation to learn how to manage anger, which often stems from other emotions: hurt, fear or frustration. here are some healthy ways to anger directed at spouses increases their anxiety, lowers their ability to trust, weakens their confidence, increases their irritability, and if conflict is handled in a healthy way, it can help strengthen relationships, but if conflicts continue, anger can cover up love and affection., .
during my 24 years of working with couples in distressed marriages, i would say that anger is among the top, most prevalent issues couples face in their every married couple will experience anger toward one another, and how we manage it directly affects our relationship. here are some tips. is anger causing stress in your marriage? uncontrolled anger can cause contempt, resentment, and hurt feelings. learn how anger can affect your marriage., .
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