Figuring out how to control anger issues in your relationship can be challenging. Everyone gets mad. Some of us even blow up.
Controlling anger issues, or learning your own anger behaviors, can go a long way in your relationship. It can make it better.
Some Background on Anger Issues in Relationships
As a relationship specialist, I often work with couples where one of the partners becomes angry when upset. I am very familiar with this situation as I am the angry one in my relationship too. So, let’s work on this issue so we don’t have to feel so terrible after we have an angry moment.
None of us who find ourselves in the “angry” category likes to get mad. I bet if we interviewed angry people they would tell us they hate it when they get mad. I bet they would also say they wish they could do something different.
That’s why we’re exploring how to control anger issues.
You Have Options Regarding How to Control Anger Issues in Your Relationship
And I am here to say that you can do different things. I will also tell you, I think you will always feel the anger inside you. You will just learn other ways to express your pain. I know every time I get mad I feel something terrible. It’s terrible to me. It doesn’t have to be understandable to anyone else because no one else lives in our body and feels what we feel.
So maybe the first thing I want to say about changing yourself, is to stop trying to explain the reasons why you got angry. Until you learn what your feeling is behind the anger, no explanation will do. You must learn the truth that’s locked away inside yourself. Because that truth is precious and I want you to be heard.
An Example Scenario of Building Up to Anger
Here’s an example of what I am talking about. My husband and I are addicted to watching the Tour de France. It’s a 21 day bicycle race every year in Europe. We literally spend the month of July watching the recorded shows together. It defines summer for us. (I know, we are weird).
During this year’s tour my husband had a work trip that took him out of town. I recorded the shows and watched the tour without him. The first night he was back I remember talking with him and saying, “I can record the tour, would you like me to do it?” He said, “No, I will get it. I will do it.”
So the next day when we started talking about the evening and when we would watch the tour he said, “I recorded the short show. I forgot to record the race. And I think we’ll be fine watching the shorter packaged one.”
Our Partners Shut Down in Response to Our Anger Issues, Rather Than Focusing on Why We’re Upset
This hit me like a brick. In my mind I am thinking, that’s the crappy show. I could have recorded the play by play, but you said you would. And after all those thoughts I got really mad, so I playfully hit him on the arm, but there was some intent with the strike. I was angry that I was overlooked when I offered to do the recording, and I was angry that after asking me not to do it so he could instead, he then forgot.
All he saw was my anger, though. He started to feel really bad about himself and then he didn’t want to talk anymore. I pleaded with him to listen to me and he finally did. I shouldn’t have slapped him on the arm. But I rejected the idea that he was trying to play me telling me that the short show was just as good, especially when we have been dissing even the idea of it for the entire tour.
Communicate Your Feelings to Your Partner, Instead of Focusing on Your Anger
I wanted him to know my feelings of being disappointed and for him to realize that I offered to record the show. It felt as if I was not valued and he wasn’t even able to hear my thoughts. We ended up talking about what happened to us. I can see that he felt bad and tried to cover it up the best way he could.
And after all that we both agreed that the short show was OK. We were not harmed and we enjoyed the tour just the same.
Understanding Ourselves is the Key to Controlling Anger Issues in a Relationship
I share this with you to illustrate what might happen inside us. We have a lot of stuff that goes on before the explosion. I had many, many thoughts about things that are valuable to ME. Your thoughts are valuable to YOU. After the anger, figure out what happened to you. Get calm enough to explain your thinking. Don’t apologize for your thoughts. They are important. You might have to say you are sorry for the “slap on the arm” or the raised voice. That’s what you apologize for, not for your ideas about what happened because those ideas make you special.
Learn More About How to Control Anger Issues in Your Relationship
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to control anger issues in your relationship and, when you just can’t control it, how to apologize and make things up to your mate. Read Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you improve your relationship or marriage be a slightly more peaceful one. Give it a read.
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