When Anger is Not Your Problem

Anger Management Courses - When Anger is Not Your Problem

by James A. Baker

Dear AngerManagementSeminar.com:

I am writing to enroll in your online anger management class in an effort to save my marriage. My husband and I are separated and entering the early stages of what may be a very painful divorce. We had an argument yesterday, after my 18-year old daughter yelled at me and told me the divorce was all my fault because I have tried to rein in my husband's spending and drinking. She is staying with him, and her remarks to me are just echoes of his complaints toward me. When I asked him to please leave our daughter out of this and stop recruiting her to his side, he said something hurtful to me and I responded with anger. That is when he said I should take anger management because I have a bad temper. Suddenly, it seems I have an anger problem and that is the reason our marriage is in trouble. Yes, I got angry; I have been angry at him more than usual recently. Maybe I do have a problem. Will taking anger management help save my marriage?

Confused in Carlsbad

Anger Management Courses - When Anger is Not Your Problem

Dear Confused:

I think everyone should take anger management training, because most of us don't really understand the subtleties of how anger works, and growing in this area can help you in ways that you didn't even realize you needed help. Right now, with all the stress you are under, an anger management course might really help you, but I doubt that it will help your marriage much, and here is why: I suspect your husband is probably the one with the chronic anger problem.

Of course, I would need to hear both sides to be sure, but you have given me some hints that make me suspicious. You obviously feel your husband is not doing a good job of controlling his spending or his relationship to alcohol. Those are both addictive behaviors, and anger is often an addictive behavior as well. Also, he seems to be controlling and manipulative in the sense that he is recruiting your daughter to take his side, and he is doing such a good job of dominating and influencing you that he convinced you to accept responsibility for an argument, to the point that you are considering taking a class. This leads me to wonder if you aren't simply exhibiting the symptoms of someone who has done everything she can over the years to hold her family together in the face of a consistent pattern of covert - maybe occasionally overt - abuse by an angry husband.

Anger Management Courses - When Anger is Not Your Problem

You see, most people who have severe problems with anger have to be confronted and pushed and prodded to finally take a class. Most of the time, the only reason they take it is because it is mandated by a court or their boss (though it can also be mandated by a spouse as a last resort before a divorce). However, there is usually a long battle over the problematic anger behavior before the anger addict gives in and complies with a request to get help. So, I find it difficult to believe that you are the one with the anger problem, if it only became an issue yesterday after you confronted your husband with his manipulative behavior toward your daughter. Also, the fact that you crumbled under his accusation and immediately bought into the suggestion that perhaps you should take an anger class is very typical behavior for women who are enmeshed in long-term abusive relationships. These ladies have become masters of accommodation, willing to accept too much blame for their husband's emotions and desperate to try anything to keep him happy and keep the family together.

Anger Management Courses - When Anger is Not Your Problem

It sounds to me like you have reached the end of your rope and are finally starting to push back, and now that you are giving vent - even in reasonable ways - to anger you have been storing up for years, he has escalated his attack on you. Again, this type of behavior on his part is very typical of anger addicts. They are always trying to change the subject to focus blame on someone else instead of accepting responsibility for their own failures.

Anger Management Courses - When Anger is Not Your Problem

So, back to your original question, I never suggest that anyone should take anger management as a way to save their marriage, because I have no way of predicting what the other spouse may be thinking or feeling. Often, the other spouse reacts cynically when their husband or wife suddenly jumps to take an anger management class at the last minute. It just looks like a ploy instead of a sincere attempt to reach out for help. Maybe the class will help the marriage; maybe it won't. I know it will help you, and maybe that is enough.

The only reason to ever take an anger management class is to benefit yourself by learning important skills and strategies to help make yourself a saner, safer person in your relationships with others. The only person you have the power to change is you. I can't promise anything beyond that.

Therefore, I still believe you could benefit personally from taking this class. It will help you deal more effectively and responsibly with your husband, and maybe with your daughter, too. Everything beyond that is out of my hands, and mostly out of yours. This would be a good time to turn yourself and your family over to the care of Someone who can help you deal with whatever comes next.

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Welcome to the Anger Management Training Institute! We offer a variety of Court Certified Anger Management Classes which include our Anger Programs and Online Courses, Seminars, and our award winning Online Class to help people just like you overcome Anger Problems through the simple but effective Anger Management Techniques which are practiced and learned in James A. Baker’s Best Selling Book “The Anger Busting Workbook” by Bayou Publishing. Our fast and effective Anger Courses, Classes, Workshops, and Anger Management Seminars have helped over 60,000 individuals just like you resolve their anger management therapy issues and regain complete control of their lives. Get fast Anger Management Help.

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