Thinking that you can (or should be able to) go through life without ever getting angry may be a bit unrealistic. Although most people enter into marriage thinking and hoping their unions will last their lifetimes, they often get thrown off-course when the newness and excitement of their relationships wanes and daily life starts pitching some curve balls in their directions.
Once you and your spouse have been married several years or more, you’ll likely learn things about each other that are rather unsavory, to say the least. Certain habits, faults or weaknesses that might not have been immediately apparent during the dating phase of your relationship may begin to rear their ugly heads, thus presenting new facets of your beloved’s personality of which you were not previously aware.
Sometimes, two spouses’ differences create conflict, which leads to anger, which, if not channeled properly, can lead to rage and destructive behaviors that may be the beginning of the end of a marriage unless a solution can be found. Where anger is concerned, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure can definitely come into play.
Anger is an emotion. You can’t control your emotions insofar as feelings within you or rising to the surface. You can, however, control your reaction to your emotions. In other words, what you do about your anger is what matters most more than the mere fact that you experienced the feeling of anger.
Some people feel a great need to vocalize their anger. Others are exactly the opposite. They grow silent and seek solitude when they’re angry. Figuring out which type of personalities you and your spouse have, then agreeing to respect each other and promising not to push buttons that try to get the other person to go against his or her natural instincts may help you avoid major problems in your relationship.
In other words, trying to force someone who wants to be quiet when he or she is angry to stay put and talk about his or her feelings is like trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, except in a relationship, it may do nothing more than fuel the initial anger that was there to start.
Some relationship experts say you should never raise your voice, and those who tend to yell when they’re angry should learn to whisper. Personally, I find whispering extremely irritating at times, and often feel much better if I “yell” off my angry feelings. If the person you’re married to understands this about you and knows not to take your raised tone of voice personally, I don’t necessarily think yelling has to be seen as a negative behavior. In fact, there is data to suggest that bottling up one’s anger may lead to stress, which can result in many adverse health conditions, even cancer.
This does not mean it is acceptable to launch into boisterous diatribes any time someone or something ruffles your feathers a bit. However, in the privacy of your spousal relationship, if one of you deals with anger by shouting a bit here or there and the other is aware of that and okay with it, then, no harm done.
Physical activity is often a great way to diffuse anger, and so is smiling. If you smile from ear to ear for a 10 second hold, it is highly likely that by the time you’re done, you won’t feel as angry as you did when you started. Also, going for a run, gardening or performing some other physical task helps release energy and also serves as a distraction to get your thoughts on something other than whatever it is you’re angry about at the time.
There has to be give and take in every relationship. In a Christian marriage, spouses do well to be mindful of the fact that it is God, first, whom we love and serve in our marriages, and that serving and loving our spouses is done for love of God. Keeping this in mind, especially when our human natures cause us to feel angry at each other, can greatly help set a course aright when it veers off-track.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.