Letting Anger Rule When my affair was exposed, Samantha was far more hurt than she was angry. Initially what showed were hurt, shock and overwhelming grief. Our youngest was roughly 4 weeks old, so she was in the process of breast feeding and caring for an infant as well as processing the trauma of it all. Life was absolutely turned upside down. As she regained the ability to function and started to get her wits about her, she became angrier and angrier. As the realization of what happened for two years began to set in, hurt began to surface and be revealed, and then anger became the expression of that hurt. Anger wasn’t the primary emotion. It looked like it was, sounded like it was, and felt like it was. The stuff she threw at me, as well as the couple of punches she threw, would say it was all about the anger. Looking back in a healthy way though, hurt was the primary emotion, and anger was the manifestation of that hurt. For many it’s the same way. I’ve seen them get lost in the anger. Anger rules the day and they go from zero to 180 mph in a mere word, a text, a phone call, misunderstanding; you name it and anger is in charge. But it’s really the hurt that’s at the wheel and anger is trying to run the show. It’s when we can somehow, some way, get behind the anger and find out what the hurt is, that the unfaithful spouse can take responsibility and own the pain we’ve inflicted. Then we can eventually see some sort of ground gained. I know this for sure: until we own the pain we’ve inflicted and take responsibility for what we’ve done, we’ll continue to see anger. If we want to see less anger from our spouse, perhaps we need to take more responsibility for what we’ve done. Listen, absorb, and understand that anger is usually the secondary emotion and not the primary. Note to unfaithful: this takes more than a few weeks friends. You’ll need help to do this and this site and the programs offered here will help immensely. If you get into recovery with a third party expert, you can expedite this painful process to a certain degree. When I was able to get to the root of what was producing the anger, though I wasn’t able to make it all go away, I was able to help Samantha feel safe. Slowly but surely, I was able to help her extinguish the anger and get to the point where I could comfort her for the pain I caused. I’m sure you know what I’m going to say next. And it’s true. It wasn’t overnight. It was a process. And it did take longer than I would have liked. But we were gaining ground. Much needed ground to function in life. In the spirit of the season, recovery is much like football: it’s a game of inches. Progress, not perfection must be the goal early on. If we allow anger to rule, we’ll constantly go back and forth with each other and with ourselves. It becomes a cycle that you can’t break. But it’s a smoke screen. It prevents you and your spouse from seeing the roadmap to recovery. Though we have a right to be angry, it doesn’t mean it will promote healing or recovery. It will frustrate all parties, till someone decides to give up and quit, not even from the infidelity, but from the anger and frustration at the dysfunctional process that is killing you both, slowly but surely. I encourage you today, friends, to seek what your anger is seeking to cover up. The primary emotions are typically more difficult to deal with, which is why we wrap them up in anger. Dealing with that primary emotion, scary as it may be, will get you to healing much faster.