Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Although it may feel like it after every exploding fight, anger is not a sign of a failing or doomed relationship. To feel angry is human, and people all over the world regularly experience it—it’s a universal experience, but its presence could signify other important things. It could mean that something needs to be done, which can help you achieve a better and healthier relationship.
Anger means you’re now aware of the potential problem, thereby empowering you to do something about it. Overcoming your problem requires consistent action, and how you choose to deal with it can become a part of the issue. For many couples, not knowing how to deal with anger is part of the issue.
If you and your spouse find yourself in endless circles of anger, here’s what you can do:
Step 1: Try to Understand Why You’re Angry
Exploring and uncovering your emotions is the first step towards a better perspective, particularly when it comes to your spouse. What are you angry about, specifically? It can be so helpful to dig into this. You’ll need to be as specific as possible, however, as this is the only way to understand the hows and whys of your current emotions.
Could it be an action or inaction of your spouse, or perhaps you’re merely taking it out on them? Is anger present due to a misunderstanding or perhaps an emotional wound has been uncovered? Is it possible that you’re taking your anger out on your spouse, but it has very little to do with them?
Whatever the roots of your anger, it’s important to find it. Don’t be afraid, to be honest with yourself, so make sure to dig deep and gather the insight. Awareness is the first step towards healing.
Step 2: Consider Learning Self-Soothing Techniques
It’s normal to feel anger in response to frustrating situations, and a good goal is to minimize the amount of time that you feel intensely angry. The fact is that when you feel angry, you will not be able to turn it off like a switch and suddenly just become calm. Instead, relaxing is a gradual process that you can achieve step by step.
To be able to manage your anger, it’s helpful to develop self-soothing skills —certain activities that help you deal with angry emotions. It’s different for every person, so be sure to take note of things that help you calm down. Whether it’s reading a book, playing a game, taking a shower, or exercising, you need to assess what helps you best manage your emotions.
Step 3: Forgiveness Is Key
Forgiveness is easier said than done, but to make the relationship work, it’s helpful to develop an openness to forgiving your spouse. Keep in mind that even the healthiest of relationships end up going through disagreements and conflict. However, this does not mean that the union is doomed—so long as you find ways to move forward and forgive each other, you’re all set.
The Bottom Line
In an ideal world, couples never fight. It’s all about love and kindness, set in a world where happily ever after is always guaranteed. The truth is, healthy marriages require effort and work. It’s a commitment that requires time and consistency, especially since anger is completely human. Just do the best you can to learn skills in managing anger, improving communication and turning to your partner with love and kindness.
Help is always available to those who ask for it. At Ward & Associates Psychological Services, we offer you marriage counselling in Edmonton, done through video conferencing for a safe and convenient session. Contact us at (587) 355-2378 to learn more.