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 over unresolved issues is also pretty common, and it takes a toll on everyone. Do you stay mad at your partner?
Anger Takes a Toll On You
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.
Neither resolves their issues with the other and both suffer as a result. Suppose you get mad. You might try releasing energy by yelling, but it harms your body. Rage stresses too many organs to mention. Even holding anger in takes a toll on your body.
Anger Also Takes a Toll On Your Partner and Relationship
Being yelled at isn’t fun either. So both of you suffer. 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’re affected too. You wind up feeling 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…” In other words, you wind up consumed by resentment. This is a difficult place to live, and some couples I counsel spend their lives right here.
How Couples Counseling Helps with Anger and Resentment
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 not only helps me counsel them, it helps them become more aware of and understand their partner.
It All Begins with Listening
This is often a new and eye-opening experience. Couples usually relate by one person saying their piece and the other countering their own needs. Both just try to be heard, while no one listens.
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?
Ready to Reduce Anger and Resentment in Your Relationship?
Read a Book About Making Relationships Work
Learn more about how to communicate with your spouse by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It has conflict resolution strategies, tips for feeling heard, and suggestions on how to express your love and celebrate your relationship. 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.