Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship

How to Break the Cycle of Arguments, Put-Downs, and Stony Silences

W. Robert Nay

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April 22, 2010
ISBN 9781606236420
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259 Pages
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April 23, 2010
ISBN 9781606232835
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259 Pages
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Has your relationship become a battlefield? Does your partner's sarcasm, irritability, or hostility make you wonder where the closeness and trust have gone—and how much more you can take? If anger is poisoning your relationship, this book offers a powerful antidote. Anger expert W. Robert Nay provides clear-cut, practical techniques for responding productively to inappropriate expressions of anger. Learn how anger gains a foothold in a couple's life, why your usual responses may unwittingly reward bad behavior, and how to stand up for yourself in ways that promote lasting change. Self-quizzes and step-by-step suggestions for dealing with different types of angry behavior are illustrated with true-to-life examples. Grounded in psychological science, the strategies in this book are simple yet surprisingly effective. Try them for yourself—and for the person you love.

See also Dr. Nay's Taking Charge of Anger, Second Edition, which helps you understand and manage destructive anger in all its forms, and The Anger Management Workbook: Use the STOP Method to Replace Destructive Responses with Constructive Behavior, which builds core anger management skills using interactive exercises.

“One of the best books I have read on how to repair destructive patterns of communication in an intimate relationship. Dr. Nay's practical, step-by-step instruction firmly supports readers who want to work their way back from ugly fights that undermine their love and commitment. I was truly inspired by this book.”

—Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of Love Between Equals


“There are lots of books for angry people, but too few for people who have to deal with someone else's anger! This is a wise and practical guide to one of the thorniest problems in couple relationships. Dr. Nay shows how to change your own response to your partner's anger and feel better about yourself.”

—William J. Doherty, PhD, author of Take Back Your Marriage


“I loved this book. It's a powerful tool for understanding anger and its effects on relationships. I have applied some of the techniques and suggestions offered by Dr. Nay in my own personal life and have found them to be very effective.”

—Sandra, Maryland

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. Five Steps to Change in Your Relationship

1. Understanding and Confronting Anger: The Promise of Change

2. Recognizing How Anger Is Pulling Your Strings

3. Creating New Boundaries—Expecting New Behavior

4. Identifying the Thinking Patterns That Keep You Stuck

5. Taking New Actions and Getting Better Outcomes

II. Overcoming the Different "Faces" of Anger

6. Loud, Impatient, and "Over the Top": Confronting Hostility

7. When Words Do Hurt: Rejecting Sarcasm and Verbal Abuse

8. Threats and Beyond: Staying Off the Slippery Slope of Physical Abuse

9. Passive Anger: What to Do When It Seems Harmless but Feels Harmful

III. Making Boundaries Stick

10. Coping with the Expected and Preparing for the Unknown

Appendix: Daily Log

Suggested Resources


About the Author

W. Robert Nay, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in McLean, Virginia, and Annapolis, Maryland, and Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He has trained thousands of mental health professionals nationwide to work on anger management and relationship issues with their clients. The author of Taking Charge of Anger, Second Edition, and The Anger Management Workbook, Dr. Nay lives in Annapolis with his wife.

Audience

Anyone whose spouse or partner has anger management issues; also of interest to mental health professionals who work with individuals or couples.