Now Available! Dr. DeFoore's New Book GOODFINDING
(Bossier City, La)
I've been married three times and I am responsible for all of the failures. I've just ended a four month relationship with a woman whom I adored, and I feel terrible about why it ended and how I handled the situation. I now recognize my anger problem and want help, but I'm not sure how to begin.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Malcolm, and thanks for submitting your story on this site. I respect your integrity in being willing to take responsibility for your part of the problems in your relationships.
I will help you get started, and you can take it from there.
First, let's get a clear understanding of your anger.
You can't hate it, or fight it and win. The only way to master your anger is to understand it and heal the emotions that fuel it.
Your anger has its own thoughts, actions and feelings that go along with it. So, start by answering these questions (for best results, write out all of your responses:
1) What are you thinking when you get angry, while you're angry, and after the anger has passed?
2) What do you do when you're angry? What do you do when you're starting to get angry? What do you do when you're starting to calm down?
3) What other feelings besides anger are you having while all of this is going on? Does something hurt you, make you sad, or feel rejected, neglected or abused? Are you aware of any fear while you're in the anger situation?
If you can come up with some answers to these questions, that will help to raise your level of awareness of your anger--and awareness is the first step to change.
Now, take a look at your personal history, to see what underlying emotional issues you may have that are fueling your anger.
Whatever your childhood situation was, that's where you were introduced to marriage. To get an idea of what your "training" was, try this writing exercise: Just write the unfinished sentence, "Marriage is..." and finish it as many ways as you can think of--positive and negative. Then ask yourself, "What part of that is my idea, and what part of that did I get from my own parents and from other people?"
Another exercise would be to write your response to these:
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