We recently learned in class that anger isn't just anger. It's a defense mechanism for another emotion, such as sadness or fear. When people get angry about something, there's really an underlying issue. For example, when a woman gets mad that her husband stays out late and doesn't call, her anger is code for her being scared he isn't committed to her, or that she isn't a priority. Or if a husband is angry when his wife breaks his favorite mug he's really scared she doesn't care about his things, and therefore him. Anger can be a mask as well. It's protects us from letting others know what's really going on. Past issues show up as anger in the present. Getting furious at your spouse for forgetting your anniversary may remind you of how your father used to forget your birthday every year. Old wounds don't just go away because you grow up- they just scab over and leave a scar. We are all products of our families, for better or worse. When it comes to relationships, we often marry or date people who remind us (usually subconsciously) of our parents. And if there was anger in your childhood, you either learn to cope with it by being angry yourself or retreating from it. Remember next time you get upset at your partner to slow down, take a breath, ask yourself what's really bothering you? What does this remind you of? Getting in touch with your feelings will help you communicate what's really bothering you instead of just screaming at your lover. Anger won't get anything accomplished, and it certainly won't solve any arguments. Be honest with yourself and your partner and tell them as calmly as you can what's really going on. Fear? Sadness? Embarrassment? Insecurity? Admit the truth and you'll be able to communicate better and solve arguments much easier than ever before.