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Student Three Jeanine Stanko English 101 22 July 2013 Marriage Boot Camp Newlyweds enter marriage with varied expectations, and no one prepares them for all the responsibilities that come along with it.When two people get married, they expect responsibilities such as household chores, taking care of children, and shopping to be shared equally between them. In reality, these expectations are far from true. Eric Bartels, a Portland tribune feature writer explained this divide in his article titled My Problem with Her Anger. He contends that couples expect the responsibilities to be shared equally between them, but reality strikes when one spouse ends up doing more than half the share. This triggers a lot of negative emotions in the home with one spouse usually at the receiving end. He explains how these emotions can affect a marriage. Today, many marriages in the United States end up in divorce, and this scares Bartels who seems to value the institution of marriage. Hence, this is the reason why this topic is so important to him. A married man and father to two children, Bartels feels the dark heart of the divide between men and women slowly ruining their marriage, and he admits that their differences should be resolved before the family falls apart. Bartels explains that his wife has so much built-up anger that it blinds her to anything he does to try and alleviate her stress. He shows how even after working long days, he comes home and helps with household chores. In addition, he has given up on his social life with his peers so that he can helpwith the running of the family. His wife, on the other hand is so absorbed in her

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anger, which Bartels thinks stems from the fact that she has more responsibilities than he does, that she does not even notice or acknowledge her husbands effort. Bartels feels that his wife, in addition to the many responsibilities she has, is overwhelmed by motherhood, pressure from her part-time job, and her overall compulsion for order. He argues that in a home with children, it is unlikely that anything will be in order. Children should be able to play freely, make their own messes without parents breathing down their necks. He does not agree with her methods for disciplining their two children because she yells at them for acting like children. Bartels admits that he has not been a saint in their marriage, but one striking fact is how willing he is to work on controlling the anger. He does not want to see his family fall apart because they cant fix their anger issues. In his article, Bartels said Anger can spread quickly and I dont want us to poison the house where our kids are growing up (296). He makes a good point because children pick up on emotions, and they suffer the most when a marriage falls apart. He argues that a person as intelligent as his wife should know better than to victimize her family any chance she gets. She lets frustration take the best of her and is oblivious to the fact that her family needs her love and support more than constant ridicule. Her husband is willing to tackle the divide that is driving a wedge between them; maybe she needs to meet him halfway. Bartels presents very good arguments to show how his wifes angry outbursts are affecting the familys welfare. However, she does not get a chance to defend her honor. We only hear his side of the story. Sometimes men can be so insensible to their spouses, and they never want to be corrected. What if that is the case in their marriage? Would it really be fair to judge her as the villain then? We can agree that his priority is to make sure their marriage survives the wrath, and the children grow up in a safe and healthy environment. But is he taking steps to ensure that this is achieved? He might try to get to the root of their problems and not

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just make it through an arduous week, gleeful to have it behind (Bartels 293). Though he clearly points to motherhood and work as the reasons for his wifes anger, he does not explore the how. For example, motherhood can cause a hormonal imbalance in women; instead of finding out whether this is true in her case, he just complains about how everything is affecting him. Even in an instance when he felt that his wifes anger was affecting their marriage, or in his own words, that the negativity threatens to grind my spirit into dust, he did not think of getting professional counseling for her (Bartels 293). Seeking professional help on balancing motherhood and a career could have been the break they needed to rid their house of angry outbursts. Throughout the article, he keeps rationalizing why his wife behaved in such a way but fails to provide her with the opportunity to learn how to manage anger. Like he said anger is not power. Managing anger is power (Bartels 296). The article sheds light on the challenges of marriage. People who get married thinking it is always a honeymoon might learn a lot from Bartelss experiences and make informed decisions before committing to a marriage. For better or worse should be taken seriously, and spouses should not run at the first sign of trouble. Toughening it out is one option, but it is rare to see a happy ending when such anger exists in a marriage. Handling anger like the Bartels invites the impeding divide that throws any marriage into chaos.Spouses who are on the receiving end of the anger should not be like Bartels and just tough it out. They need to realize that there is help out there before they cause permanent damage to themselves and their families.

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Works Cited Bartels, Eric. My Problem with Her Anger. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. New York: Pearson Longman, 2011. 291-297. Print