Dear Neil: I know I have an anger problem and I need help to control it. When things don’t work out, when I’m running late or when I’ve taken too much on, I can turn into a monster. I snap and yell at my kids, and I say the most terrible things to them that […]
Passing the “Do-You-Care-Test” After a Betrayal
Dear Neil: I need some advice. My wife recently ended a four month affair when I accidentally discovered that she had been stepping out on me. She has acknowledged wrong doing (she was caught, so she had no choice). She has said she loves and cares about me a great deal, says she will spend […]
Depressed and angry children are made, not born
Psychotherapists who work with depressed and angry people encounter the same emotions and self-images in nearly all of their clients – and most of those emotions can be traced to the messages that kids are given about themselves in childhood. It is clear that depressed and angry people have not just gone through a disappointing […]
What justifications do you use for blowing your top?
What attitudes have you adopted that give YOU justification for losing your temper? Here are some examples: “I know I am right, so I am entitled to demand that others shut up, listen to me and do what I say.” “I’ve had to deal with a lot of BS at work today, so people had […]
What are your Hot-Button Issues?
Note: This is the first of a two-part series. What sets you off? Are there predictable landmines that trigger fights, arguments or angry outbursts—in your intimate relationship, with your children or with other close people to you? Here are a list of hot-button issues and emotional triggers, many of which come from Ellen Wachtel in […]
Dear Neil: I can feel my husband’s anger, although he doesn’t say anything to me about it. But he is cold and dismissing toward me, has ceased to be affectionate and spends very little time with me alone. I know something is disturbing him, but I am clueless as to what. We have been together […]
Anger and Resentment is Related to Your Hurts
Note: This is the second of a three-part series. Think of a time when your intimate partner was resentful or angry at you and s/he was actually right—you did do something wrong. Even though s/he was right, you may have felt s/he was making too much of it, or overlooking crucial details, or reducing you […]
How Do I Stop Pushing My Boyfriend Away?
Dear Neil: I am hoping that you can help me get a grip on my inability to trust—before I push away my boyfriend once and for all. It seems as though I conjure up reasons to fear that he is not devoted to me, and then I become extremely anxious, panicky and explosive. So anxious, […]
Hidden Issues Often Destroy Relationships
Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Are you fighting a lot about small petty things? Is the anger or reactivity in your relationship seemingly out of proportion to the issue or conflict that began your fight? Are either of you getting worked up over seemingly small issues, gestures or slights? If so, […]
Why Do All Our Trips Get Ruined?
Dear Neil: Can you help me figure out why my girlfriend and I seem to fight a lot when we’re on holiday? We schedule time off, plan the holiday together, talk about it and look forward to it. But when we’re actually on the trip, she gets seriously touchy, reactive, jealous, critical, judgmental, impatient with […]