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How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You

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How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You
YourTango Experts teach us how to get to the root of conflict and fight against anger.

Find us a long-term relationship that's never experienced conflict, and we'll check the sky for airborne pigs. The feelings of anger and disappointment we feel when a loved one seemingly wrongs us can be consuming, even uncontrollable. But anyone who's lost his/her temper can tell you: getting angry and getting revenge never pay off; they never make us feel better, in the long run.

YourTango Experts teach us how to distinguish between emotion, thought and action—and how to get control and keep anger from destroying a perfectly imperfect relationship.

More from YourTango: Do You Know When To Walk Away From Mr. Wrong?

Ask Yourself: What Is This Argument Really About?
As cliché as it may sound, relationships take WORK. They DO. That's because any adult relationship will always be the perfect "landing pad" for our past or what I like to call: our childhood "unfinished business." When unfinished business leaks its way into our current-day relationship, the result is irrational conflict within a couple. This is when the feelings take over thoughts and we become unable to think rationally about the situation. Love & Anger: How To Fight Right

Let's say the way a partner wronged you is about equal to the size of a soccer ball, but your anger feels like the size of a truck. That's a clear sign that something from your past is being triggered. So from there you need to ask yourself, "What is this REALLY about? Is my anger really about the fact that my wife accidentally ordered me the wrong dinner? Or is this really about how incredibly invisible I felt to my mother as a child?" If you're still having a difficult time understanding the nexus of your feelings, ask yourself, "What am I feeling in my body?" Are you experiencing a headache? Does your chest feel an immense amount of weight? Is your stomach in knots? If you're disconnected to the meaning of your emotions then chances are you may be storing it in your body. Use your body as a resource for understanding you.

Once you're able to connect with what the intense feelings are really about, then you're in a much better place to communicate your present day feelings to your partner in a mature, productive way. If you still find yourself struggling to make a connection, then simply pause before interacting with your partner. Just because you have a feeling, doesn't mean you HAVE to act on it. Sit with the feelings. Sleep on it if you need to. Give yourself the space to connect with you first. Only then will you be able to have a productive discussion with your significant other.
Carin Goldstein, Counselor/Therapist

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3 Reasons You'll Regret Revenge, Sweet As It Seems In The Moment
Burning her clothes. Emptying his bank account. Supergluing a certain 'member' to the inside of his leg…

We know relationships can be a force of heated emotions; but is getting revenge the productive or wise way to channel your anger? Contrary to what your emotions may be telling you, the answer is a definitive "no." Here's why:

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Carin Goldstein MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Carin Goldstein, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles as well as the witty writer of Be the Smart Wife where she writes about the trials and tribulations of how to naviagate through your marriage. Sign up for Be the Smart Wife bi-weekly posts and connect with Carin on facebook and twitter. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in learning more about Carin's psychotherapy services, visit her website at

Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women, Marriage
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