Have you been cheated on and since turned into an “angry” person?

The majority of people who have been cheated on will experience anger as of the many emotions they feel after finding out about their spouse’s affair. And for some, they find that, where they were once a happy person, they now feel angry all the time—and people are noticing.

Today’s blog will help you, if you’ve been cheated on, to defuse post-affair anger 3 different ways, as well as offer an explanation for why anger is lingering. And if you haven’t been cheated on but still experience bouts of anger in your relationship with your spouse, the same tips can help you, as well. Read on…

Why Post-Affair Anger May Linger

You’ve been cheated on—you have every right to be angry. For your spouse to betray you by developing a sexual relationship with someone else is the worst kind of double-cross.

You’re hurt, humiliated—and feel a deep sense of anger that your spouse could do this to you, and that anger doesn’t seem to let go. It’s tearing you apart inside, literally, causing sleepless nights, changed appetite and hostile, negative thoughts.

Anger is a normal emotion and nothing to be ashamed about. We all experience anger at times, unless you’re a saint. But if anger is clinging to your life and coloring your world a dark shade of gray, you need to find a way to let it go.

If it is the result of your spouse’s betrayal, the betrayal itself may have taken place months ago, but the anger still lingers today. There’s a point where your anger can become chronic—a bad habit—and you become what people refer to as an “angry person.”

One explanation for why anger can become chronic is because there is some issue that remains unresolved. It could be that your spouse is not being remorseful or hasn’t completely cut ties with the paramour. Or, it could be that you have not given yourself the time, space and attention to work through and process all of your negative emotions.

After you found out about your spouse’s affair, have you:

1-    Been acknowledging and working through the post-affair anger?

2-    Trying to ignore, sidestep or otherwise tamp down those angry feelings?

3-    Allowing the angry thoughts and emotions to take over, unchallenged?

If you are working through the anger, then you are on track for being yourself once again, taking pleasure in life and feeling positive.

But if you have been ignoring your anger, it remains below the surface, festering and growing. If anger has taken over and become chronic—and you allow this state to go on—then you are heading into becoming an angry person who is recognized for their anger instead of for your true, underlying personality.

Next, I’ll share with you how to defuse anger so you can begin to heal.

The 3 Different Ways to Defuse Anger

If you have tried to ignore anger in hopes it goes away, or allowed it to invade your life to the point that it defines you, I want you to try any or all of the following three methods for defusing anger. When you’re caught up in the post-affair, emotional maelstrom—you need a life buoy to cling to until you get to safety. These methods will help pull you safely from the turmoil you currently find yourself in to a place where you can once again feel solid ground beneath your feet.

Anger Defuser #1: React to Angry Thoughts Immediately

When you experience an angry or hostile thought, don’t let it slip past without a reprimand or challenge of some kind. Otherwise, angry thoughts can begin to feel a little too comfortable invading your mind and hijacking your emotions any time they like.

Angry thoughts serve a purpose—to let you know that something isn’t sitting right with you—so acknowledge that, but also challenge the thought itself: on what basis is this thought coming forward? Is it steeped in truth, or the work of imagination? Is it something that is true all the time, or in just one or two instances?

Anger Defuser #2: Cool Down Using Distractions

When you feel angry thoughts taking over, distract yourself with something else. Some people swear by exercise, working up a sweat and letting the anger ebb away. Others pick up a book, turn on the television, or cook. It’s difficult to focus on angry thoughts when your attention is needed elsewhere. And it is much more pleasant to focus on something that makes you happy until the anger passes.

Anger Defuser #3: Catch Anger Early

Often, we allow anger to simmer and then it boils over into a rage. At that point, the horse is out of the barn and difficult to lead back.

When you feel anger simmering, write out what is going on inside instead of waiting for it to build and then lashing out. Most people have a negative feeling about themselves after lashing out in anger, and you do not want to heap more negative feelings on yourself as you are trying to heal from post-affair pain or otherwise work toward saving your marriage.

My best to you as you work to defuse anger and heal.

Do you struggle with anger?

Have you become an “angry” person? How do you know: have others told you, or do you feel it?

How have you tried to manage your anger?

Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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