Anger, if it is not properly managed, can cause irreparable damage in your marriage. Though it is a common response when you don’t get what you want, you can’t let it control how you connect with your spouse. It is important to manage yourself and understand how to deal with an angry spouse. If you need a little guidance, keep reading for how to deal with an angry spouse and 5 techniques for cooling down your anger before you unleash on your spouse.
5 Techniques for Cooling Down Your Anger Before You Unleash on Your Spouse | How to Deal With An Angry Spouse
In This Article:
- Understand Your Anger
- Talk Yourself Through It
- Practice Your Pause
- Be Patient, Gentle, and Kind
- Talk With Your Spouse About It
One thing I value about marriage is sharing a safe space with my husband where we can love, disagree, and experience life together. We both brought ourselves into the relationship, and those two worlds don’t always see eye to eye. But one thing I have learned along the way is that we have to be in control of how we treat one another. And love and respect should always be demonstrated, no matter what.
When anger rears its ugly head in your marriage, equip yourself with the tools needed to learn how to deal with an angry spouse properly and be the peace and calm that is needed most in those tough moments.
Understand Your Anger
The first thing to note when considering how to deal with an angry spouse is actually to look at yourself. You have to determine if you are big mad or little mad and why. Sometimes anger can come out of nowhere. Other times it feels warranted. Your spouse does something you don’t like and it affects you a lot deeper than you thought it would. The situations that cause you to react can stem from a number of things. It can be a trigger that reminds you of a past hurt from either your childhood or another experience you are still holding on to. The first thing you have to do is understand why your spouse’s behavior bothers you in the way that it does. Take your situation and think of it as stimuli versus response. Then break it down until you can clearly pinpoint what has caused your frustration. What was the stimulus that resulted in your response? Is it a bad habit your spouse has that you have mentioned before and nothing has changed? Do you feel disrespected that nothing has changed? When you feel disrespected how do you typically respond? Once you answer these types of questions you will begin to understand your anger a bit better and connect the dots to your stimuli. An anger that is understood can be better managed. Take the time needed to know yourself so that you can take your power back and get on the same page with your spouse, especially when you are upset. Encourage your spouse to do the same, so they are also understanding and managing their own anger appropriately.
Talk Yourself Through It
I often have conversations with myself. Sometimes I am encouraging myself, other times I am talking myself through what I am feeling. Before I react or respond to something my spouse has said or done, I want to be sure that I am clear on what I feel and how to approach the issue appropriately. Self-talk is necessary. Talk yourself through your anger before even considering how to deal with an angry spouse. You want to make sure you are in a good space to have an adult conversation and get the results you desire. If you approach the issue angry, yelling, and screaming, it is almost a guarantee that your spouse will shut down and become defensive. The conversation will go absolutely nowhere. Think about the result you want and determine how you get that result. Remember you cannot control your spouse’s behavior, but you have complete and total control over what you do and say in response. Have a healthy discussion with yourself about what you want and how you want to show up in your marriage. Then be sure your actions align with that goal. When it seems difficult, coach yourself through it by reminding yourself that you are in control and do not have to respond in anger.
Practice Your Pause
Your self-talk is necessary and can take place at any time. It might seem a bit of a challenge when you are in the heat of the moment and just feel like you have to unleash on your spouse but this is one of the best ways to manage your own anger and a great tip on how to deal with an angry spouse. Before you go that route just pause. You might feel as though your spouse deserves the heat, but rethink that and stop. So much can happen in that pause. You can gather your thoughts, regroup, and even run through the consequences of your response and determine if it’s worth it and justified. There is power in pausing, even if just for a couple of minutes. When you pause, be sure to inform your spouse, gently, that taking a few minutes is necessary for this conversation to move forward in a way that is healing for you both. During this moment you can change the scenery, take a few deep breaths, or even count to ten. Whatever brings you back to a place of calm, use it.
Be Patient, Gentle, and Kind
These might be three action words you easily do for strangers but occasionally forget to share with your spouse. Your spouse won’t always get it right; they are human with flaws. You can help by being patient as they learn you and understand what you need. Gentleness means you’re listening for understanding and creating that safe space mentioned earlier where your spouse has room to learn and grow, that is judgement free. Finally, be kind. Consider your spouse’s feelings as you choose your words. You never want to use words to hurt your spouse. Coming from a place of love will always benefit you both.
Talk With Your Spouse About It
Now that you have navigated through the first few techniques it’s time to talk to your spouse about it. There may be times your spouse has no clue why you’re angry or that you are even angry at all. It is one of your responsibilities to share that information, especially if the goal is a resolution. You can inform your spouse that there is something bothering you and you would like to discuss it now, so that it doesn’t become anything more significant. As you prepare for the conversation know your “why” and be ready to share that with your partner. I have found in my coaching practice, that when couples share their reasons why things affect them the way that they do, the other partner is more open to listening and can come from a place of understanding, rather than judgment. Building a strong foundation for your marriage should also include being able to talk to one another about anything, even anger, and find solutions together.
Remember, you and your spouse have the power and control over your emotions and specifically your anger. Before you unleash on your spouse think about the long-term impact your reaction can have on your marriage. Decide if it’s worth it, or if there is a better technique you can use where love and respect are still evident. During these most difficult times with anger all around us, love and healing are needed most of all.
BMWK, what techniques have you used to control your anger in your marriage?