Marriages are meant to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, they come to a premature end thanks to spouses who have no control over their tempers. What do you do when you are stuck with an angry spouse? Do you retaliate with anger, do you back down or do you get out of the marriage? It’s not easy to come to a conclusion. Even in an abusive relationship numerous things have to be considered before the victim decides to bow out like children, finances, support, shelter and the like. Moreover, it is difficult to forget years of birthdays, festivals and anniversaries celebrated in good times.
Abusive behavior begins when a couple fails to find a solution to a problem. One could be trying to impose his will on the other. When the other resists it leads to quarrels followed by abuse and domestic violence. Some of the reasons why spouses get angry are health issues, financial worries, infidelity, trust issues, work pressure, jealousy, unemployment and fear.
An angry spouse may react in several ways. In every situation he/she may not get violent. Violence is only one nuance of angry spouse behavior. Verbal abuse is often resorted to by spouses who deem it to be the lesser of the two evils. Verbal abuse may not physically damage a partner but it leaves deep emotional scars that dent the marriage. An angry spouse will not always express his anger. In many cases, he/she will refuse to communicate with the other partner and give him the silent treatment for days. The breakdown in communication coupled with pent-up rage can fling a marriage on the rocks.
Dealing with an Angry Spouse: Dealing with an angry spouse can be terribly nerve-racking and exhausting. Ultimately, you may end up feeling angry yourself. The first step is to determine if the anger is justified, moderate or excessive. Both the partners should examine their anger and encourage expressing feelings and frustrations in a positive and relaxed manner. Past blunders and gaffes should not be resurrected.
Everybody wants to be heard. Many marriages fail because partners do not listen. Communication includes listening, thinking and reacting. If we fail to listen, how can we act? Active listening is a must to figure out what’s troubling your spouse.
If things get too heated up, it is better to take a break and do something other than think about the situation at hand. Once the spouses are in a better frame of mind they can sit and discuss things rationally.
There are times when both spouses are fuming with anger. This is accompanied by heaping insults and abuses on the other. If both spouses are angry, the best thing to do in such a situation would be for one of the spouses to walk away and come back at a better time.
Value of Emotional Intelligence for the Angry Spouse: Emotional intelligence implies recognizing, understanding and regulating one’s own feelings and those of others. It involves not only coming to terms with your own feelings but also empathizing with the emotions of others. In successful marriages, one or both partners exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence. If we are in control of our emotions we can express our frustrations, fears, anxieties and anger in a way that does not cause the other to freak out. In the same vein, when faced with an angry spouse we are able to better understand what their going through and use this knowledge to seek a compromise.
For additional information about effective stress management, anger management, and assertive communication skills, along with tools to increase your emotional intelligence call the Anger Management Institute of Texas 281-477-9105 or visit http://www.ami-tx.com.
Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson ® provider.
Anger Management Classes and Anger Management – Executive Coaching available in Houston, Texas.
Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers