When Couples Argue: Breaking the Cycle of Anger

Sometimes when we get our feelings hurt, we want to lash out at the one who caused us to feel bad. This is pretty common for some of us. I know it was for me.

I grew up in a household where my mother was overwhelmed and released her frustration by yelling at her children. I know she loved us, but as a child I learned that this is what you do when you don’t like something: you yell.

Recognize What Happens When You’re Hurt

Recognize what happens when you're hurt and feeling upset like the woman pictured.

Many people grew up similar to me and have this habit. So, what happens when you partner with someone who has the same habit? If you are in a relationship where hurt feelings turn into an argument where both of you are yelling at each other, then this article is for you.

I was a little fortunate, because when I met my husband-to-be, he did not yell his feelings, he kept them inside of himself. So, when there was yelling it was just me doing it. I had to learn a better way to communicate my hurt feelings. And I did.

But when two people go back and forth with their anger, it is much harder to pull back from the momentum. Both of you are right and you just keep pressing your thoughts to the other and the volume continues to get louder and louder.

Consider What You Really Need When You’re Hurt

Take stock of what you need when you're feeling hurt and upset like the man pictured.

This is a hardship on both of you. I know it was a hardship on me. It didn’t matter how loud I argued or stomped my feet or slammed doors, I did not get the kind of reaction I was probably looking for.

I most likely wanted the one who hurt me to say, “Hey, I see you are upset. I am very sorry I hurt you. I won’t do it again.” Only that never happened. No one is able to use kind words when they see someone getting really angry. It just doesn’t work that way in relationships.

I know when I would get mad and throw up my anger on my person, he would get steamed and get his feelings hurt, and then sulk. That’s the way people are designed.

So, I am not asking you to take care of your partner, I just want you to be able to take care of yourself. When you get mad, what can you do to not yell or be hurtful to your mate?

Practice Kind Habits That Help Meet Your Needs

Work on communicating more kindly to end arguments sooner and help break the cycle of anger, so you can be happy like the couple pictured.

I know you got your feelings hurt, but look back at your history and you will be able to tell that you probably haven’t been able to get what you have wanted no matter how you express your anger.

And that’s the truth. Anger gets anger. Kindness gets kindness. If you are mad, find a way to calm down, and you might have to do this alone. I know I did. I usually took the dog for a walk and by the time I came back I had calmed.

Do this because you deserve to calm down and not keep the anger going. Do this because it will help you find another way to express what happened to you. And here’s the best part, if you can describe what feelings got hurt and say it in a kind and thoughtful way, your partner who loves you will be very sympathetic. And that sympathy is what we all need, and that is to heal.

Ready to Communicate with Kindness in Your Relationship?

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to improve communication in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help both of you feel more connected, aligned, and loved. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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