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Anger and Forgiveness

There's an old saying that the best part about fighting is making up. We think there is some truth in this. Think about whether you become angry very quickly or whether it takes a lot to make you angry. Now think about whether you forgive slowly or quickly.

  Quick to anger and slow to forgive

  Quick to anger and quick to forgive

  Slow to anger and slow to forgive

  Slow to anger and quick to forgive

Which of the above boxes best describes you?

  • Quick to anger. Some people get angry more quickly than others. They are often described as “having a quick temper.” Large things as well as small things can make them angry quickly. It's much better to be slow to anger and not let small things bother you. If you're quick to anger, ask yourself when you become angry if your anger is justified. Slow yourself down by taking a deep breath or going for a walk. Remember, your goal is to be slow to anger.
Soul Mates

Apologizing fully to your spouse involves three steps. Step 1: Admit to yourself that you did something wrong. Step 2: Say “I'm sorry” to your spouse. Step 3: Do your best to avoid repeating your mistake.

  • Slow to forgive. Some people forgive quickly, while others tend to hold grudges. When someone apologizes to you, do you forgive and forget, or do you tend to remain angry for a while? It's very important to be able to forgive someone and move on. If you are slow to forgive, ask yourself what your anger is really buying you. Would you be willing to give some of it up for a better marriage?
  • Slow to anger, quick to forgive. This should be your goal. Always keep in mind that you want to get angry as little as possible and forgive as often as possible. These are character traits that will both improve you as a person and strengthen your marriage. A relationship between two people who are slow to anger and quick to forgive will be an extraordinary one.

Every time you make up with your spouse, you renew your commitment to the relationship. Many important things are implied. You're saying that you accept his or her apology and forgive him or her. You're also accepting that your spouse isn't perfect and showing that you want to move forward.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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