Dear Dr. Romance:
Thank you for the Fair Fight Guidelines. I found a lot of wisdom and thoughtfulness in them. I hope my husband will agree. That said, I don't know what you mean by "rage is phony; it's drama created by not taking care of yourself." If a person is belittled or treated poorly or ignored consistently, even after that person tries to remain calm and factual and collaborative, the frustration may escalate into rage. A therapist we saw briefly suggested that my husband didn't really hear/believe me until he pushed me to tears. So do you mean that if you find yourself in a reactive rage, that somehow you have not taken care of yourself? Perhaps that is true.
If you have time to clarify the thought behind that sentiment, it would be so helpful
In the article, I'm talking about rage, not anger. Rage is overblown anger, like a temper tantrum, and it's not a real response to a real situation. Instead, it's a manipulation, trying to get a particular response (either 'give me what I want' or 'leave me alone') I think your husband would learn to believe you without tears, if you were strong, consistent and direct enough in your response. Your tears were an expression of helplessness, which got his attention, but you'd get more effective attention if you stood up for yourself.
"Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?" "Emotional Hygiene" and "Emotions as Weather" will help you understand healthy expressions of emotions, and "Asking for What you Want" will show you how to ask powerfully without drama. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction can clear up confusion about how healthy relationships work.
For low-cost counseling, email me at email@example.com