Enlightening Answers: Anger Issues and a New Love

I’m having issues with anger in a relationship. My boyfriend and I went through a really rough period and we’re now rebuilding our relationship. I find myself feeling so insecure that I’m questioning everything and getting angry often. I know for certain I have absent father issues, but surely there must be a way for me to work at this? I meditate, read every self-help book known to man, recite affirmations. The man I’m with is extremely patient, loving, supportive and willing to talk about everything any time I bring it up…

Angry and Mad About It

Dear Angry,

I don’t know what it is that happened in the “rough period” with your guy, but trust takes time to build (or rebuild as the case may be) and you may need more help or more time to feel truly safe in this relationship, and to know it’s not going to go away. He certainly sounds like a good guy, but you may be testing him on some level. It sounds like your anger is covering something else going on – it may be that you’re really angry with your father for the ancient history that you’ve mentioned. Of course, therapy can help with that. So can journaling. So can role playing. So can writing a “screw you” letter to your father, and burning it. There are many things to try. When you find yourself being angry with your boyfriend, ask yourself what you need in that moment. Do you need a hug? Are you sad? Are you scared? If you can zoom out and look down on yourself from a more detached, mature place, you’ll be able to see past the anger to what you need. The problem is that, even in healthy couples, anger begets more anger, so it’s best to go to him with a specific request or vulnerable emotions instead of blustering ones. It sounds like if you can ask for what you need he’ll be happy to give it, and you may find you’re not so ticked anymore. Give it a try.

I’m just starting a relationship with a guy I really like. It’s been ten days and last night on the phone I told him something about me I shouldn’t have. It was going well up ’till then but I’m afraid now I’ve lost him for good because I don’t think he can deal with it. We really do like each other but I just shouldn’t have said anything and I’m broken up about it. I don’t want to let him go.

Sorry I Said Something

Dear Sorry,

While it’s good to be on your best behavior in a relationship, especially a new one, you can’t be perfect. You’re going to blow it sometimes. And so is he. So here’s the deal – some part of you wanted to tell him, and you have to trust that if you weren’t supposed to tell him, you wouldn’t have. If you’re going to have a truly intimate relationship (which is what we all want) then you have to be able to be all of you with someone, and you have to find the man that can handle whatever “skeletons in the closet” you’ve got, no matter how “terrible” you may think they are. Secrets kill intimacy, and so does shame. So, forgive yourself for your secret, as well as your blabbing about it, and see if he’s the man for you. If you’ve scared him off, he wasn’t right for you anyway.

Good luck!

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