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The Dance Of Anger in a Relationship by Dr. Marty (licensed Marriage Counselor) Part I of 2

Young Couple Fighting - Marriage Counseling

This blog is the first of two blogs:
The first blog is “The Dance of Anger in a Relationship,”
The second blog is “The Dance Of Connection in a Relationship”

During couples counseling:

I share with couples what I call “The Dance of Anger” in a relationship. It involves two steps, one partner takes a step forward and the other takes a step back. The problem comes when the “dancers” step on each others toes.

As a Marriage Counselor, I look for patterns.

The Dance of Anger during a fight is one of those patterns. One person is “the pursuer” and they take one step forward; they can’t let the argument go. In response to the pursuer, the other person (Withdrawer) wants to take one step back, and they run away or just turn off. The problem here is the more the pursuer moves forward toward their partner, the more the the other person, the withdrawer, moves back.

Marriage Counseling 101 – a description of the dancers

The Pursuer
The Pursuer says: “Let’s not sweep things under the rug. Let’s deal with the issue.”
They may say to the Withdrawer: “We’ll never solve anything if we don’t talk about it.” or
“That’s your answer to everything – to run away.”

The Withdrawer
The Withdrawer says or thinks “leave me alone” or “I don’t want to argue.” They may say to the Pursuer, “I just want some time to think.” They may say to me, “My partner gets crazy and there’s no talking to them, so I just leave.”

And the dance steps continue – as the Pursuer takes another step forward, the Withdrawer takes another step back. The longer this dance goes on, the more frantic and destructive it becomes.

As counseling progresses, couples understand this dance, and they can work on finding new steps. Awareness is the first step to change.

In my next blog,  I will talk about how a couple can move in sync with each other, and enjoy the music of the relationship.

Please let me know your dance with your partner, and I will have a “surprise” $40 gift toward your next dance lesson.

You might also want to look at my Relationship Rescue Manual, which has techniques that I use during a couples counseling session.

When couples ask me, “How long does marriage counseling take?”, I answer “It depends on how hard you are willing to work.”


Marriage Counseling Manual

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