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Anger: A Path to Better Marriage, Coupledom & Sex

If you are frustrated by the opposite sex - your lover, your child or your parent - read on...

200,000 years of "tradition" and we are - in our lifetime - at the apex of the shift right now!

But can we really shift without awareness of what drives our anger? Here, Alexis encourages women to validate these drives...carefully.....and men, to soften beneath the trust.

Let us know what you think!

Woman, how does your anger mask?

As frustration, irritability, resentment or rage?

As despair, depression, despondency or blame?

Man, what does your anger protect?

Your vulnerability, your softness, your humanness?

Your sadness, your confusion, your inner conflict?

Woman, stand in assertion. Hold your man in his soft humanness.

Man, trust your vulnerability. Invite a woman into her assertiveness.

Women are exceptionally good at relating. We talk… a lot. We seek counsel. We seek mentorship. We listen. We respond. The primal feminine response to fear is to “tend and befriend” just as primates would have bonded together to care for their young, to collaborate on projects and to pool their resources. Women have learned to be agreeable to survive.

Men are exceptionally good at providing. They focus. They act. They win. They extend.

The primal masculine response to fear is to “fight or flee” just as primates would have protected their territory, their troop and their resources. Men have learned to be disagreeable to survive.

But what is the long-standing effect of men being disagreeable and women being agreeable? (

Just as any two people on a deserted island would soon know, the more disagreeable one gets more coconuts. Resentment is inevitable. Interestingly, the research shows, it is not only the agreeable one who suffers, but the disagreeable also. The disagreeable one is confused about why the agreeable one is not warmer....?!

Psychologists call this “Chronic Anger”. Marcus Andrew of Life Supports Counselling describes “Chronic anger feels like an ongoing and general sense of resentment of other people, a sweeping sense of frustration with certain circumstances, or often anger towards oneself. It’s embodied by a sense of nagging and perpetual irritation: the prolonged nature of this type of anger can have profoundly adverse effects on one’s health and wellbeing.

How do we reconcile the need for disagreeableness / assertion among women with the need for agreeableness / trust among men?

When a woman uses her masculine qualities wisely – her qualities of disagreeableness such as logic, rationale, respect and perspective – she invites her man to counterbalance with feminine qualities of openness, curiosity and exploration – his qualities of agreeableness.

Similarly, when a man uses his feminine qualities intelligently - his qualities of agreeableness, such as openness, trust, admiration, he invites a woman’s logic (disagreeableness).

When we react to our anger with aggression, violence or risky behaviour, it holds us in survival mode. We have little choice but to default to agreeableness (for women) / disagreeableness (for men), perpetuating the resentment cycle.

Keeping our cool is not only a discipline in “First do no harm” but the ONLY way to go beyond our default survival habit and embody a more actualised relating.

To understand another, and to be understood, requires trust, a parasympathetic mode. This is the experience of an abundance, as opposed to survival, mode.

Try it during decision-making! Next time your partner, spouse, parent, child-of-the -opposite sex takes an alternative view to you, pause. Acknowledge that your emotion points to something / someone important to you. Validate this as healthy and true. You do not need to prove it or justify it to them. Remember that in essence (except for a few rare and obvious circumstances) we are fundamentally safe and the thing or person we need to protect is safe too.

Keep calm under conflict and focus on your assertion and openness. Your understanding and feeling understood depend on it. Dropping out of reactivity, into a grounded, centred, self-regulated response is the key to the redistribution of agreeableness among the sexes.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and feedback. Did you try it with or without your partner's awareness? Did you notice your own competence? Did you notice your partners empowerment? What was the overall result?

Alexis Dennehy is a Somatic Naturopath, Yoga-Therapist and Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Coach. Following her Masters of Public Health from The University of Queensland, which has partnered with psychologists to make high quality psychological strategies accessible to everyone. Book an online consultation with Alexis by using the Book Now button at the top of this page.

Self-empathy / Self-resonance practice which stimulated this article:

I ask myself “Lexy, are you angry because you need to be seen for what you are truly worth? And are you doubtful because you’ve been undervalued / overlooked? Are you angry because you need your voice to be heard? And are you doubtful that you make a difference at all? Lexy, are you angry because you need support, collaboration and communication? And are you doubtful that this is even possible?”

Lexy, I notice the needs for assurance, hope, inspiration and encouragement and of recognising / companioning yourself. Would you consider keeping an eye out for evidence that you are growing in the way you always knew you would? And would you consider joining a community in which everyone can be seen and heard?

“Lex (my inner masculine), are you angry because you feel unseen and unheard? Are you angry because you’re hurt and need safety and sensitivity? Are you angry because you need patience and trust? Lex, I notice the needs for safety, tenderness, nurturing and calm. Would you consider joining a community who practices the value of non-harm?”


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