So, how do you heal anger when you want to rip someone’s head off?

 

anger1What do you do when you are SO angry you want to rip someone’s head off? You actually think you COULD drown your kids or bash someone with your shopping trolley and you are not sure how to control it. In those moments, if another hippy tells you “you need to relax” or recommends that you try yoga or meditation, you feel like you just might shove a carrot into their mouth and light it.

What now? You are TOO angry for yoga or meditation – but it’s probably what you need. Right?

What if you are angry but never show the world you are. In other words your anger is DEEPLY repressed and it just needs a final trigger and you think you might lose it. What then?

OK, so you’ve realised you’re angry. You’ve always been angry. This is huge. Now you understand your problem, you can tackle it. All you need to do is…. what?

Chronic anger is dangerous. Not just because you could lose your temper inappropriately (a valid concern) but because of what it’s doing to your body. Repressed anger has been linked compellingly to everything from headaches to cancer.
anger2
First of all, let’s establish what we’re talking about. Chronic repressed anger may or may not look like anger. If you’re irritable and blow up at the slightest thing, or spend all your time seething about slights you know deep down a reasonable person wouldn’t give a thought, you might know you’re angry, but are probably repressing the cause. A buried trauma or the chronic, banal neglect of your legitimate needs as a child can both leave you imagining you have nothing to be angry about. When the anger erupts you blame someone else so it’s somehow not really your anger.

Or, neither you nor those around you experience you as bad-tempered or unreasonable – they find you gentle, understanding and helpful. Unfortunately, you can’t always help because you’re exhausted all the time, or in chronic pain, or have terrible period pains, or are frequently blinded by migraine. For women in particular, anger can be unthinkable – it’s not who we are. It’s not just that we can’t see any reason for anger – our self-esteem is bound up with the idea of selflessness and empathy. You’re not going to yell at loved ones because you understand intellectually that they’re not to blame, besides which, you feel things entirely from their point of view. (Except, perhaps, for those times of the month when you’re ‘not yourself’!)

Conventional medicine now accepts that chronic ailments can be caused by anger. WebMD, for example, lists its possible effects as headaches, digestive problems, skin complaints, high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also the prime suspect in chronic anxiety or depression, which can manifest as chronic fatigue or lead to alcoholism or self-harming.

Pioneering Dr John E. Sarno of New York University identified a strong physical link between chronic anger and chronic pain, most typically back pain. The brain alters blood flow to an area to create a physical pain intended to distract from frightening unconscious feelings. Chronic back pain can lead to awkward movements resulting in permanent injury. Psychologist John Bradshaw suggests this unconscious effort also has a muscular component which is behind the physical exhaustion many of us experience. Meanwhile, the constant quest against cancer has turned up some interesting results, with some studies suggesting people who find it most difficult to express emotions are more likely to develop thr illness. Shockingly, a University of Michigan study of anger’s affects on women observed three times as many deaths during an 18-year period among women with long-term suppressed anger.

None of which is helpful to hear if you’ve no idea what to do about it. Traditional anger management works to intellectualise the angry behaviour with a view to minimising damage to your relationships and the impact on other people. Unfortunately you can’t think your way out of anger itself. Respected spirituality and health guru Deepak Chopra believes repressed memories and emotions are stored in the body at a cellular level, but can be accessed and released to achieve physical healing. Only by actually releasing our anger can we rid ourselves of our anger. Cellular biologist and pharmacologist Dr Candace Pert has confirmed his findings. She went on to identify how emotions cause cells to release specific chemicals intended to temporarily block cell receptors, leading to permanent damage and disease from chronic emotional states. Safely accessing the cellular memories and resolving and releasing the associated emotions, on the other hand, allows cell receptors to stay open, maintaining physical health.

SO, tackling those irrational outbursts with traditional anger-management approaches (anger management classes, yoga, meditation, stress balls, therapy) could leave you feeling empty or not really fully ‘released of all your anger’. What you really WANT to do IS explode but it’s not really allowed. It’s essential not to blow up inappropriately at the people we care about, or at complete strangers – unfortunately a cathartic release could take years off your life.

This is why I created TANTRUM CLUB. It’s a club where you can get together and experience a complete and utter cathartic release which is safe and healthy. You can destroy things, break things and scream your lungs out. THEN we discuss what you are so angry about and work out how to strategise life in ways to avoid the build up of anger.

Awesome innit?

Read all about it here: www.tantrumclub.com/the-science-bit.  The new programme of meetings for women creates a non-judgmental space in which to use safe techniques to release repressed anger. Only then, free from unconscious sabotage, do participants consider the causes of anger and the unhealthy behaviour it generates. Seeing things from the other person’s point of view is entirely optional…

I am training Tantrum Instructors at the minute and the best ones are those who KNOW all about their own anger and want to deal with it whilst exploring helping others process and deal with their anger too. You can lead your own local Tantrum Club so contact us to find out more…

Till next time

Lots of hugs

 

Advertisements

Couples who don’t have sex but insist everything is hunky dorey

 

sadThere was a disturbing article in the Mail a few weeks ago. It was all about these couples who NEVER have sex but insist they are happy.

The article states that most evenings, with their little girl safely tucked up in bed, Charlotte and Chris Everiss enjoy a kiss and a cuddle on the sofa in front of the television. They have been happily married for a decade and they cannot bear to even imagine their lives without one another. Yet, astonishingly, they haven’t made love for more than two years. Both insist that their marriage, which followed a two-year courtship after meeting on a dating website, is stronger than most. It’s just that sex, they say, is not important to their happiness. The article goes on to say that ‘We still turn each other on but we don’t want to take it any further,’ says Charlotte. ‘We don’t have the time or the energy. ‘I find it hard switching off knowing that our four-year-old, Addison, is in the next bedroom. I think if Chris really missed sex he would tell me, or I’d catch him watching porn on the internet as a substitute.’

Another couple Tracey Dowler, 42, spent and her husband Julian, 55 also do not have sex. Tracey was concerned that Julian didn’t want to make love to her because he was attracted to other women. But she has now accepted that the stress of his demanding job as director of a motor mechanical and haulage company is the reason they no longer have sex. And, while she admits there have been times when she has felt like walking out of their immaculate, three-bedroom semi-detached home in Rugby, Warwickshire, over the lack of intimacy, Tracey values other aspects of their marriage too highly. ‘We talk about rekindling our love life but never seem to get around to it,’ says Julian. ‘We had a weekend away at a country hotel a couple of weeks ago and I was so exhausted I spent most of the time asleep.’

Another couple stated ‘But we’ve gone without sex for so long now, I wouldn’t want Keith to try Viagra,’ she says. ‘Our relationship has morphed into companionship, and I think to have sex now would be embarrassing.
‘We’re used to seeing one another naked, when we undress or are in the bath, but if Keith made advances now it would be like getting intimate with my brother, or best friend. Just not right, somehow.’

I think these couples are extremely courageous to come forward as this is an issue which impacts almost a quarter of all relationships. A recent survey estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of couples have sexless relationships – defined by experts as making love fewer than ten times a year – while around 5 per cent go without altogether. Most couples who find themselves at a point where sexual intimacy has died tend to confide their predicament to no one at all which make these couples all the more amazing.

However, they are fooling themselves if they think everything is hunky dorey.

Every successful marriage is built on the foundations of trust and intimacy. When a husband and wife trust each other without reservation, intimacy undoubtedly follows. A deeply trusting relationship usually rewards a virile sex life, therefore suggesting that the lack of intimacy in a marriage is all too often a symptom of a lack of trust. Since a large proportion of sexless marriages end in divorce, there is a real need to address the underlying problems, and try to come up with some remedy. That’s not to say that a flourishing sex life is the only thing required to make a marriage work, and indeed for the vast majority of couples asked about what makes their marriage special, sex won’t even make the list, but lack of sex is indeed an indicator for some deeper problems which need to be addressed. If you are in an intimate relationship and you are not having sex, you might as well be siblings or housemates.

Psychologist Leila Collins says it’s all too common for mothers to ‘shut up shop’ and stop having sex with their partners once their family is complete. I agree with her wholeheartedly. BUT I see many people going through divorce and I can unreservedly say that what often follows is that their men then start affairs, or seek out the services of prostitutes.

SO what is the source of sexless marriage?

When something occurs that causes a couple to lose trust in each other, it can take some time to recover fully. Maybe there was a traumatic childbirth OR a life-threatening illness OR perhaps the couple simply got out of the habit of having sex. If those issues are not addressed immediately and in the correct way, the intimacy in the marriage may dissolve, and the relationship revert to a simple exchange of pleasantries and platitudes, without any real intimacy or closeness. In an intimate relationship, sex is the glue which binds a couple on a very deep level beyond simple friendship. It doesn’t mean that couples within a sexless relationship are not ‘close’ BUT they are close as friends can be but this is not a true marriage as the relationship lacks passion and intimacy. It’s not a risk I would be willing to make as so many divorces are as a direct result of a sexless marriage at the core. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of a failing marriage, and deal with them in the appropriate way. Small frustrations can build up over time and, much like the formation of scar tissue upon healing of an incorrectly treated wound, handling this marital frustration inappropriately can lead to irreparable damage to the marriage, and loss of any sexual heat from the relationship.

The key to avoiding the loss of intimacy in a marriage is to discuss any and all problems fully and without delay. It’s a good idea to set a time each day in which you and your other half can discuss exactly what is troubling you about the marriage, and about each other. Take turns to divulge fully the source of your frustrations. Most of the time your other half will be completely oblivious to their fault until it’s pointed out, so don’t be afraid to vent your frustrations in a constructive way during your time alone together. There’s no need to be spiteful or resentful; just tell your partner exactly how you feel. Afterwards, it’s their turn to air some of their frustrations. Keep going until everything is out in the open, and both of you have voiced all of your problems. It’s sometimes a good idea to come up with constructive solutions to the problems, and making suggestions about how these can be resolved, though be careful not to cause an argument by doing so, as some of the issues may be rather sensitive and unpleasant to discuss, even with your partner. After discussing your frustrations, change topic and begin to discuss some of the things that you are thankful for regarding the marriage. Pick around five things you love about your partner, and share them as reasons why it’s worth working hard to make your marriage work.

As well as becoming frustrated by your partner’s actions, when raising your children it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of viewing your partner as less of the person you’re attracted to, and more in the role of a parent or carer. While it’s important to view your partner as a carer, and to see in them the characteristics that make them suited for this role, it’s also crucial to maintain your attraction to them and keep the fire going even while raising a family. Letting the passion die out in favour of raising a family or realising career aspirations is all too common these days. Some think it’s a necessary sacrifice, believing that an active sex life and a vibrant family life or a satisfying career are mutually exclusive circumstances, but this is not the case. It is possible to have both of these things, but only by working hard to maintain your relationship, venting your frustrations, and working to keep the passion burning strong.

Some people have dug themselves into a dangerous rut by assuming that if the marriage was ‘right’, it would be easy to make things work. Some think that it isn’t necessary to work hard on a marriage if you’re really in love, but this is in fact completely untrue. Even couples who are deeply in love will disagree from time to time, and find reasons to become agitated or annoyed with their partner. It’s important to work hard with the one you love, to make sure that the passion and fire can continue long into your life together. If you have experienced any of the issues outlined in the article above, but have not been able to resolve them even with some hard work, get in touch with Naked Divorce. We are experts in supporting you through getting your marriage back on track OR if you are facing a breakdown, we can support you through your divorce or bad break up. All of our Divorce Angels are well trained in how best to deal with a relationship breakdown, so come to us today…

Till next time

Lots of hugs