Love and anger are both strong feelings.Sometimes when we feel unloved, we lash out and it manifests as anger. This anger hides our underlying pain, and can distance us from our loved ones.
A Story of How Love and Anger Intertwine
I worked with a couple recently. The man was very angry at his wife. The man wanted his wife to end a work situation that he resented. He resented this work situation very much and considered this to be the problem, the only problem in the marriage.
The marriage was suffering. The wife was unhappy. The husband was unhappy. He believed that if she left her work situation the marriage and their happiness level would improve. The wife however, LOVED her work and derived a lot of joy from it.
Even in Love, Anger Can Tear Important Things Away From Us
She felt empowered by it and carried a great sense of pride over what she had accomplished. These feelings were discounted by the husband as proof that he had been left. His anger prevented him from feeling anything except her not valuing him.
This session was anguish; for the husband, for the wife, and for me—the counselor. The reason for the anguish is that there was no easy way to make the situation better. He wanted a huge concession from his wife. He had many reasons for wanting these and they all made sense to him. He believed he deserved to become number one in her life, not be secondary to the work. He felt this was non-negotiable, and that if she could not make the sacrifice then the marriage was over.
How Anger and Feeling Unloved Can Hurt Those We Love
The wife was in a great deal of pain. She did not want to end the marriage and she wanted to do what she could to make her husband happy, even it if meant giving up something she had worked hard to create and which made her happy.
This was one of the most difficult sessions I had experienced in a long time. It just felt like everyone was losing something. The husband got what he wanted, but the wife loses her accomplishments and her joy. I see her acquiesce to his demands and she just folds into a heap of tears.
Feeling Unloved Can Bring the Worst Out in Us
Maybe you have been under this kind of pressure in your life. Maybe you can understand what it’s like to feel unloved by your mate. If you can relate to these phrases then you understand what happened to these two people. The husband felt unloved. He felt it every time he saw his wife happy at her work. He wanted to be the source of her happiness. He longed to be the center of her life. He believed it was the work that he hated, but I know when you strip away all the anger you get the real truth.
The husband was hurt and afraid she was leaving him. He didn’t feel as if he mattered to her anymore. He was sad and despondent and those feelings fueled his anger. He began to live in his anger until that was all he could think, feel and breathe, anger, just anger.
Beneath the Anger, We All Just Want to Feel Loved
I feel sad for this couple. They are good people just trying to find their way. It is my hope that the wife finds her way to continue to derive some sort of pleasure in her work in the future. It is my hope that the husband feels the affection, love and devotion he has been longing for from his wife.
We all look for the answers to our needs in the person we are with. This causes some of us to make difficult demands on our partners. If individuals could just realize what they are truly looking for in a relationship, and it’s always simple.
We all want to feel loved. We all want to feel like we are number one to our person. We all want to know that our mate will be with us and love us like this forever. That’s not a lot to ask for, and it’s very human to do so. But it’s a whole lot to give someone when they use a sword to get it.
Explore The Relationship Between Love and Anger in Your Life
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn how to express yourself and get at what underlies the anger in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you get to the root of the problem and help you and your partner reconnect. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.