For the core-styled, the containment of “aggression” is almost always a good thing. Negative repercusions generally follow when the core-styled discharge anger at their partner. The crux of the matter rest with two interacting dimensions. First, angry discharge meant “to shake” the more distancing partner into an awareness of their pursuing partner’s pain almost always results in the opposite; rather than “step up” or “awaken” to challenge, the outer-styled partner tends to shut down, defend, or become compliant. This leads to a compounding of pain and threat in the core-styled. Originally seeking redress for some issue related to the marital distance, the core-styled ends up receiving that which they fear most… more distancing. This deposits in the core-styled a feeling of being abandoned/rejected because of a “badness” inherent in their emotional reactivity, generally resulting in a powerful need to self-protect by even more attack, eventually resulting in reenactment of rupture in the marriage.
Second, the escalation that almost always follows the discharge of anger, has a damaging impact on the core-styled’s inner life. One person I worked with described it as “the monsters are loosed inside and walking the land.” Though this may seem an extreme example, it actually captures the feeling of many core-styled when they are caught up in rupturing escalation with their partner. At these moments the core-styled is thrown back into their most primitive selves, resulting in intense primal feelings and highly permeable boundaries. In this state, intense feelings of anger/rage/hate also result in intense anxieties regarding retribution and endangerment. This moves into a kind of normative paranoid state wherein the world is not safe. Throughout it all, it is very hard for the core-styled not to feel quite badly about themselves during these conflictual moments. At these times the core-styled often function as if their “worst case scenario” of the marriage is reality, resulting in increased polarization and often the spectre of marital breakup.
Core-styled individuals vary greatly, as do relationships, in the extent to which actual behavioral rupture result from marital conflict. The actual expression of the dynamics will vary depending upon particulars of the relationship, developmental level of the couple, and the emotional health in both partners. However, with varying degrees of both activation and restraint, most core-styled individuals will cycle through some degree of the above rupturing dynamic, following the highly predictable frustrations inherent in the marriageofopposites.