How can you protect your relationship or marriage from the harmful effects of unmediated anger?
Extreme and uncontrolled anger issues can easily create a wide gap in a meaningful and solid relationship because it directly impacts how people interact and relate to each other especially during times of conflict.
Anger in its purest state wants only one thing: to explode outward however way possible. Feeling angry is not a bad thing per se, but how you react to it is the issue.
If you let anger lead the way and you harm or emotionally abuse your spouse and those around you just because you are not able to manage your anger, then you are not only definitely responsible for the collateral damage, but you should also seek help of a professional who can guide you to resolve your chronic anger issues.
What we are talking in this post however is a little different. We are trying to see how we can make sure to lead our anger to a positive reaction and experience. The type of anger that surfaces when two people co-habit for some time. We will leave the handling and treatment of chronic anger to clinical environment.
How can you safely release anger, especially if you’re angry with your partner or spouse?
Anger, like other emotions, can be transformed and vented safely. As one half of a married couple, consider yourself 100% responsible for the consequences of being angry at your spouse or any else in the family.
Do not fall for the misconception that just because you’re angry, you’re entitled to treat others poorly. You’re not a hurricane or storm; anger is not a natural disaster.
Always remember that you can always control your words and actions even in your angriest state of mind.
Unless you have some form of psychological disturbance or psychiatric mental health condition, there’s no valid reason not to be able to control or channel properly one’s anger.
Chronically angry people usually need counseling but there are different techniques you can use to make the feeling ease out your system and not let the poor behavior dominate your relationships.
Here are some guidelines that will help you deal with anger more peacefully and more productively, too:
1. Strategize and Reward Instead of Punishing –
Punishing someone for perceived negative behavior is the “easy” way to deal with anger.
Teenage son drove without your permission? Grounded for a month! Wife overspends the weekly budget and is oblivious to your pleas to save more? Get angry with her as often as possible!Is punishing an effective way of getting results with your spouse or other family members?
Punishment, like time-outs in a child's education, is actually a poor way to reinforce positive behavior because it instantly creates a negative mental state and people are naturally averse to any negative mental state. And it constantly turns the anger towards you instead of learning from it and correcting the behavior. It's not a positive experience for any of the parties.
So instead of becoming a raging Hulk when your son dents your car, think of a way to reward him for showing better behavior. If he doesn’t follow through with your agreement, reduce privileges but don’t make this the focal point of your interaction.
Emphasize the need for discipline but at the same time, remind him that you’re there to provide a nice reward for great behavior. If your spouse is overspending your weekly or monthly budget, don’t resort to anger.
Instead, negotiate with your spouse so that he focuses on staying on track and in return, you will make an effort to make the weekends more enjoyable for the both of you.
There are countless ways to reinforce positive changes in behavior without resorting to emotional punishments either – just be creative!
2. Act on the Problem Yourself –
There will be situations in your married life when your spouse seems to be oblivious to particular issues or problems. Sometimes, the obliviousness stems from old beliefs and deeply rooted values and, quite frankly, it can be very difficult to change these beliefs and values.
What should you do if your spouse doesn’t act on issues quickly enough?
Instead of being angry for long periods of time, it is often a better option to think of a solution on your own and act upon the problem so it doesn’t bother you anymore.
If something doesn’t bother your spouse, he will have minimal motivation to act. If it’s not a life or death situation, we can safely assume that you can act upon the problem without encouraging irresponsible behavior or insensitivity.
3. Seek Support and Appreciation in the Right Places –
In an ideal world, spouses would be able to provide an adequate level of support in any endeavor, be your best friend, understand your emotional ups and downs, and walk with you through your mental deadlocks.
However, reality more often than not is far from this idealistic picture. People have limitations, back falls and they have their own interests but also issues. It’s perfectly alright for your partner or husband to have a different set of concerns and connections; it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you or care for you.
Even if he wants to he may not be able to help you due to his state of mind and emotional development level.
So if you are unable to gain satisfaction from the type of support that your spouse can give you, then it’s possible that you’ve been seeking support from the wrong person.
It’s alright to move out of your comfort zone to find people who have the same passion and interests as you. When you find these people and they accept you, you will soon realize that you’ve been stressing yourself (and probably your spouse) over something that could have been easily fixed.
Are Your Anger Issues on the Way?
How can you stop destructive anger before it causes more damage?
Here are some expert tips to get you started:
1. Value Yourself and Learn to Say NO
Do you have to be “available” all the time in a marriage?
There is a general misconception that in order to be supportive of a marriage, you have to be available 100% of the time.
While this may sound sweet and idealistic, it’s actually a toxic ideal because it is not humanely possible to be available to think, speak and act for someone else 100% of the time.
If you try to stretch yourself thin just to fit into this idealistic mold, you will find yourself being angry with your spouse all the time.
Why? Because being too available can be an exhausting ordeal. Imagine being an “on call” professional who is expected to respond to every known situation from a broken TV to family-related heartaches.
When you feel that you can no longer keep up with your current responsibilities and you can’t take any more pressure and stress, just say no. I know that this can be quite difficult because saying no seems like a very mean thing to do to one’s spouse.
However, if you want to tone down your anger peacefully, you need to address the most common triggers of this emotion. And one of these major triggers is being forced to do something that you can no longer fulfill because you’re already overwhelmed.
2. Practice Assertiveness
What is assertiveness?
Assertiveness isn’t about domination or controlling someone to do your bidding. Assertiveness is being fully confident about yourself and what you believe in so that you can negotiate and communicate with your spouse as an equal and not as a subordinate.
This is an exceedingly common problem that I see in relationships where one party is more confident about himself than the other.Being the confident one in the relationship may mean that during negotiations, one party will automatically acquiesce to whatever the confident one is saying.
If you find yourself constantly agreeing with your spouse even if you don’t really agree with him/her, you lack self-confidence. You have to make a conscious effort to assert your wants and needs in a way that you can hold your ground during a negotiation.
How can acceptance help end rage and anger issues?
There are just some things in life that you can’t change and you just have to accept these things if you want a more peaceful life and relationship with your spouse.
There are two ways that you can accomplish full acceptance of a situation: first, you can make the most of the situation and accept it as a part of your life from now on.
Second, you can continue to find solutions to the problems you’re facing so you will gain satisfaction from the positive outcomes of your continuing efforts.
Acceptance is actually the final phase of actualization in a relationship. It’s also a sign that you are a psychologically and emotionally mature person.