When You Stay Mad at Your Partner

Getting into disagreements with our mate is not only part of being in a relationship; it’s also a part of life.  Staying mad at your partner because you haven’t resolved issues is also pretty common, only this condition takes a toll on everyone.  Do you stay mad at your partner?

If you are holding a grudge against him or her you are not alone.  As a couples counselor I see couples in all stages of the relationship.  Sometimes they come in and they are really mad at the other person.  Sometimes it’s one person who does the yelling or scolding while the other just smolders and steams.

Both are not resolving their issues with the other and both end up suffering as a result.  The one who gets angry and yells releases energy, but having to scream at your mate to make a point doesn’t do much for your body.  You get all filled with rage and this puts stress on too many organs to mention.  If you are the one who holds everything in take the next moment to realize what you are doing to your body.  That’s right; all your rage is held inside, and your organs aren’t very happy either.

Both of you are suffering. Your bodies are in a constant state of battle readiness, waiting for the next round.  We haven’t even talked about what happens to your feelings yet either.  They get worked out too.  When you feel terrible about your relationship you might tell yourself things like, “I have to get out of here,” or  “I would be so much happier if he or she would only do…”  In other words, you might spend a lot of time talking to yourself under your breath about what your partner isn’t doing and how much you resent where you are.  This is a difficult place to live, and some couples I counsel spend their lives right here.

If I meet a couple in this state the first thing I like to do is listen.  I am not interested in any particular argument, not yet anyway.  What I want to do is hear from each person separately.  I want to know from each person how they see what is wrong.  This is an important step for me and the relationship.  I get to hear what each person thinks, feels and needs.  I also get to understand what each person feels is missing. This is not only a benefit for me as their counselor; it can also be a heavy dose of awareness as each partner listens to their mate.

Often this is a new experience for the couple and it can be an eye opening one.  In their usual way of relating, one person says his or her piece and the other will counter with what he or she needs.  No one is doing any listening.  Both are just trying to be heard by the other and no one is hearing anybody.

That’s why counseling works.  Each person gets to have their say.  Partners begin to understand their mates.  People develop ways of allowing each other to have differences.  Both people begin to get what they want in the relationship; love, support, and respect.  It may feel like there’s a big gap from where you are now and where you would like to be.  Sometimes it takes just a few steps to feel better.  And that’s what people who live angry at their mate are after isn’t it, to feel better?

Send your comments to linda@lindanusbaum.com

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