If you were to ask the typical Judeo-Christian religious person, including members of my church what they think about anger, I think they would say anger is of Satan. Here’s some thoughts from my church in regards to anger:
Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away…
Thus, to be angry is a choice we make; it is not “caused” by anything or anyone outside ourselves. If we can teach our children, in both words and actions, that choosing not to respond in anger is within our control, we will teach them one of life’s most valuable lessons….
I made up my mind years ago to be governed by certain principles. I resolved that I would never be controlled by my passions … nor by anger, but that I would govern myself. This resolution I have endeavored to carry out in my life…
For us to feel emotion we must first be aware of some stimulus—an event, a thought, a memory. Then we interpret that stimulus—and that’s when the emotional response comes. Our interpretation can be relatively positive, neutral, or negative. The stimulus itself has no inherent emotional charge; the emotion comes from within us because of how we choose or are conditioned to see the stimulus…
Thus, to be angry is a choice we make; it is not “caused” by anything or anyone outside ourselves. If we can teach our children, in both words and actions, that choosing not to respond in anger is within our control, we will teach them one of life’s most valuable lessons…
You get the drift. Emotions are dangerous, even passions. Occasionally, and most often as an afterthought, a bone is tossed to the righteous anger Jesus experienced, expressed and ACTED UPON when he discovered the temple at Jerusalem had become more like a modern day shopping mall than a sacred house of worship.
In short, anger and it’s subsets is an emotion to be avoided. So just as it is a choice to react to deliberately getting kicked in the nuts, we can just as easily choose to be happy, confused, or perhaps just annoyed about the pain as you roll around on the ground, clutching your groin.
All this is done to prepare one to know that I am angry today. extremely angry. And yes, by God, I am choosing to be angry! If one believes as I do that all our emotions¹ are part of our creation or you think they are just part of the cosmos, they serve a purpose. I don’t think we need be be afraid of our emotions no matter where they lie on the emotion continuum positive to negative. They are automatic reactions to situations. I believe all our emotions are a gift and their purpose is to give us information. They are a sixth sense which can be used to help us act in a way that can be beneficial to us. Yes, even anger. You can take any emotion and make something positive or negative out of it. Direct the emotion where it needs to go. Use it as best you can, in the place you are now to try to make something of it.
Where I am making my mistake now is not letting acknowledging the frustration and anger I feel over a number of issues, both with Susan and my own² personal issues get in the way of making progress on my own. Additionally, I’ve not acknowledge the stress that exists in our relationship.
One way to act on anger is to set boundaries for things you need. Here’s some examples of what I have done:
Of course I am angry with Susan’s multiple abusers because they have caused her to again another declare a sexual moratorium, this one for two years. (We are into the nine months into this latest adventure.) I didn’t get into marriage with the idea a back massage is the ultimate expression of intimacy and love. Neither did she. My anger is directed to abusers and has motivated me to find a therapist that works with DID to understand and vent. Yes, sometimes a portion of it is frustration with our relationship expressed to her. While not perfect in what I say as my partner she need to hear of my hurt.
I’ve asked her to wear some sort of frontal clothing when I am around. Yes, I’m a breast guy (and damn proud of it!) She doesn’t want to touching the nipples so I’ve asked her to put them away for the duration. In general no frontal nudity.
I’m one of those older guys you see on TV with the younger looking wife who can’t get his dick act like it did when it was 25. The deflation started immediately when I started taking a anti-depressant, Effexor XR about 8 years ago. I’m at an age now when stopping the Effexor might not make a difference. Tried the usual drugs and the one that work best was the big V. It also gave me the worst side effects; feverish hot flashes, pumping heart, and the general sense of felling oogy. I told her specifically if / when we can become physical I won’t be taking it. What I did not tell her now is that I do not like “Mother, may I?” aspect of asking ahead of time to get her permission, and hearing a most unenthusiastic, “Well……OK.” or worse, “Uh,…..how about tomorrow?” Then asking again tomorrow.
And speaking of tomorrow.” I got so tired of hearing that over the past 20 years I can no longer take it. I set another boundary: I told her no more tomorrows. She can say yes to today, or no to today. But no more spoken promises of the future. Either tomorrow never came or it was dissociated sympathy sex. She can think it to herself if she wants and try to do something about it tomorrow if she wants. I can say no, too.
More related to this another day.
¹Incomplete list of emotions:
nervous, tense, anxious, flustered, insecure, angry, cross, confused, bored, flat, apathetic, weak, frustrated, cross, irritated, annoyed, furious, livid, enraged, hurt, inadequate, trapped, tired, scared, uneasy, weak, insecure, inadequate, tense, anxious, nervous, scared, petrified, threatened, trapped, horrified, pleased, glad, wonderful, elated, excited, content, surprised, proud, relieved, satisfied, confident, distrustful, suspicious, scornful, disdain, bitter, stupid, shame, worthless, determined, forgiving, hopeful, motivated, inspired, daring, energetic, loving, eager, excited, receptive, happy, upset, lonely, guilty, miserable, bereft, despairing, devastated, lost, down, angry, frustrated, sad, tearful, hurt, miserable, hurt, upset, lonely, inadequate, cross, miserable, shocked, mixed-up, nervous, scared, discontented, foolish, weepy.