Dealing With Angry Silence and Angry Outbursts in Marriage – Marriage Counseling Advice
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, it’s perfectly healthy to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged by someone you love, but when it becomes consistent or explosive anger or spirals out of control, it can have serious consequences for your marriage, your health, and your state of mind.
If you are the hot tempered one in your relationship, you may feel like it’s out of your hands, it’s your nature and there’s little you can do about it. But you have more control over your anger than you think. Once you learn WHY you or your spouse keep it, you can then look at different ways to address it. This is what I will share with you today, so you can save your marriage and prevent divorce.
Why Anger Exists and Persists in Marriage – Marriage Counseling
1. TO PUNISH AND MAKE THINGS FAIR
People keep anger to punish someone, either with their bad attitude or anger led actions, and in doing so they get to feel like life is fairer. The angry mindset is “If they did something bad to me, it is unfair if they don’t get to be punished” But if you punish someone with your anger or your bad attitude you are just creating more punishment for yourself, as it doesn’t feel good to act un-lovingly or be spiteful. Guilt often follows angry outbursts and guilt is a horrible feeling.
Key to remember is that not our role to create punishment for others especially our spouses, that anger doesn’t make things fair…
2. TO TEACH THEM LESSON, SO THEY DON’T DO IT AGAIN
The second reason many people carry anger is they want to teach their spouse a lesson, so they don’t do it again. A form of retaliation to the behavior they did in an effort to prevent the same thing happening. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work.
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If you look at your own life, let’s say you do something you’re not proud of or happy about and you get angry at yourself and guilt yourself about it, you may feel terrible inside but nothing changes does it?
Let’s say you eat too much fried or sugary food, over spend, drink too much at a party or do something else you don’t like. Getting angry at yourself doesn’t help you, it makes you feel worse, which in turn can lead you to indulge in more unhealthy behaviors. If you truly want to change you need positive motivators for lasting results, not guilt or anger and find a replacement for habits and dealing with anger. That’s how you change behavior. The same applies to your marriage. Getting angry is not going to help them change and it is certainly not going to help your marriage.
If you are kind and compassionate towards your spouse you have a far greater chance of influencing them than being angry and they are less likely to turn it around on you. Next time someone hurts you show them compassion and explain the impact on you and your feelings, you will be far more effective in changing behavior.
3. GET WHAT THEY WANT
Another reason we get angry in relationships is because of the FALSE belief that if we get angry we will get what we want. The mindset is “if I get angry, they will do what I want them to” or “if I scare them they will back down” This is using anger as a form of manipulation, to get something which does not help save your marriage, it causes hostility, heartache and pain.
We tend to learn this from our role models growing up, parents, teachers and other elders we look up to, often have at some point got angry at us so we behaved and did what they wanted us to do. This is a disaster for marriage, true power doesn’t come from bullying, it comes from positive influencing otherwise all you will succeed in getting is a lack of respect and potentially love.
It is far more beneficial to be kind and compassionate to get what you want, as that creates a greater willingness to listen and accommodate.
4. TO AVOID BLAME, FAULT AND DEFLECT
Another way damaging way angry silence or outbursts can be used in marriage is to deflect away from the issue being raised. In my marriage counseling sessions this comes up a lot, where one person raises a complaint about something they would like changed and instead of being listened too, their partner turns it around on them and blames them, either for the way they said it or makes the attacking accusations back. Anger to avoid, deflect or blame will not save a marriage, it will crush it as no one will ever get to be heard. It can help to sit down and agree with your spouse the difference between what is retaliation and what is standing up for yourself, the latter should never hurt the person and retaliation does.
You may be wondering how can this help me with my marriage, well if you both learn to Recognize the root of your anger, show Remorse and make attempts to Repair the damage your be well on your way to save your marriage, recognizing where it comes from and why it is the first key step to change. The next steps are looking at ways to cool down, spotting and changing the triggers and tips to stop it in the moment, which I will cover later.