Listening to the men in anger management is like listening to all that is wrong with the world. “If only she would…” “I would try harder if she….” It is all conditional on what she does before he will do anything. She is the cause of the man’s motivation. Doubtless on e would hear similar words from their respective spouses each blaming the other for their plight.
It’s hard to say “Act as if..” yet there is not much alternative. The purpose of a personal relationship is to enhance each other to be what he or she would not have been without the other. i.e. 1+1 can equal 2 or 11. It is difficult for an angry person to see the other in that light whenever they are concentrating solely on what is wrong with the other rather than what is possible. The focus is on the negative not the positive.
It is helpful to look back on those early courtship days to remember what the attraction was. If she was exciting there was something about her that brought on the excitement. There was stuff that he liked about her that turned him on and he was naturally complimentary about those things. How great she looked, what a fabulous smile she had. There must have been something. That would equal a positive. With that vision maybe he could compliment her. It might make him feel so good about himself that it might make him want to see her sparkle again.
It would take him back to when they felt as equals, and he respected both himself and her. Then he knew he had something to offer and he also saw he had something to gain by being supportive.
Source: Toronto Star