Anger Can Be A Thief If there is one universal emotion associated with infidelity, it has to be sadness to the point of grief. However, second place goes to anger. For some it’s a flooding anger which spills over into inconsolable rage and even hate as we talked about last time. For others, it’s hostility towards their mate, the affair partner and often times themselves for various reasons. Anger is a part of life. It can be used as a defense mechanism when danger is close, or it can be a manifestation of love and concern which prompts anger to be part of the defending process of a loved one. A deeper exploration reveals that anger is almost always a secondary emotion and is actually rooted in being hurt, violated or betrayed. In infidelity’s case, all of the above apply. When we’re angry, it’s usually because we’re feeling hurt or rejected. What I’m referring to though, is a bit deeper and more complicated. When we’re angry at our spouse and we flood, our anger becomes a thief. It can steal our ability to think clearly and process what our spouse is saying, doing, or trying to do. It often times completely diminishes our ability (which is already strained) to be objective and hear what they are saying to us. We have allowed anger to steal our peace, our security and our ability to see clearly. When a betrayed spouse is triggered, it literally takes 1/200th of a second to flood and typically that flood is filled with anger and hostility and even some acting out. Now, I get that anger is necessary at times. Samantha was angry. Any betrayed spouse has a right to be angry. But there does come a point when we need to look at our anger and ask ourselves what it’s stealing from us and what it’s preventing us from doing, seeing, or healing from. If we’re allowing our anger to dictate what we do or say or choices we’re making, it’s stealing from us. If we’re angry at what’s happened, we should be. If we’re angry at the state of our life, we should be. But for how long and at what cost? Make no mistake about it, as we allow anger to dictate recovery or the process of recovery, it attempts to steal from us and even steal from our spouse. In my own life, when I allow my anger to rule the situation, I have begun to see where I’m losing and allowing myself to be taken advantage of. As I said last week, anger boomerangs. While anger has a place in the grand scheme of things, I wonder if we aren’t letting anger steal from us after a while and if it isn’t time to allow forgiveness to diffuse the anger we’re living with?