Are you envious of those couples who claim they never fight? Anger actually serves a purpose as a signal there's a problem in your relationship that needs to be addressed. How you and your partner deal with anger is more vital than the emotion itself.

Our Gainesville counseling staff shares their most productive solutions for working through anger and rebuilding the connection in your relationship.

– Look beyond the anger to find the reason for your emotional response.

– Take ownership of your anger instead of blaming your partner.

– Recognize that you and your partner are coming from two different perspectives. You alone control your thoughts and emotions.

– Try to put your anger into words so you have a specific focus rather than attempting to cope with an intangible emotion.

– Anger often serves as a defense mechanism to mask a more fragile emotion. Are sadness, fear or other vulnerable emotions driving your anger?

– Keep in mind that temporary release of anger can lead to long-term negative consequences.

– If your partner is the one who's angry, help them through these steps. Refrain from passing judgment and concentrate on being supportive through thoughtful questions and active listening.

– Don't be discouraged if your partner reacts defensively to this process. Remain consistent, and in time the two of you will both become more adept at working through anger.

Anger management and conflict resolution are valuable skills for maintaining open communication in a relationship. Contact our Gainesville counseling center to schedule an appointment.