Anger rides over emotions, during a fight
Married couples are usually good at recognizing each other's emotions while they are fighting, researchers say. But if your partner is angry, that might tell more about the overall climate of your marriage than about what your partner is feeling at the moment of the dispute, according to a study conducted by a Baylor University researcher. "If your partner is angry, you are likely to miss the fact that your partner might also be feeling sad," said Keith Sanford, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences. "I found that people were most likely to express anger, not in the moments where they felt most angry, but rather in the situations where there was an overall climate of anger in their relationship - situations where both partners had been feeling angry over a period of time." "This means that if a couple falls into a climate of anger, they tend to continue expressing anger regardless of how they actually feel . . . It becomes a kind of a trap they cannot escape," he said.