How To Stop Lashing Out At Your Spouse
by Ferdinand Marin
Anger is a physiological response to threat and even in modern society where threats are less physical in nature, it is still considered to be a natural and healthy emotion. However, the way in which you express this emotion is important when dealing with close relationships. If you are lashing out towards your spouse on a regular basis, this can be detrimental to a marriage. On the other hand, learning to manage and control anger can actually strengthen your marital bonds.
Identify, Evaluate And Act
The first step in managing anger in a marriage is to identify when you are angry, evaluate the cause of the anger and act in the most appropriate manner. Most people cannot identify when they are angry or what they are angry about until they have begun to express their emotions. The time taken to think before acting can help to change behavior and will, therefore, affect the action taken.
The first action is always to communicate to your spouse that you are angry and what has made you angry. This allows you to express your emotions but be sure to discuss it in as calm and quiet a manner as possible.
You may not want to continue the communication after you have revealed your feelings in order to give yourself the time to calm down and rationalize what you want to say next. This is not inaction, but rather an action taken to dissipate the situation. It is, however, important to use this action to cool rather than simmer. Overthinking can increase the level of anger instead of calming your down.
Breathing techniques are a great way to dissipate feelings of anger. On a physiological level, it helps oxygen flow to the brain allowing for greater rational thought and also helps remove adrenaline from the bloodstream to decrease the anger response.
Address The Situation
Once you are calm and rational, it is essential to go back to what made you mad in the first place and talk about it to your spouse. Communication is a two-way street and after you have your say, you need to listen to what your partner has to say in response. Getting your point across or being right is not as important as reaching an understanding about what caused your anger. Remember, your spouse may have their own feelings of anger about the situation.
Anger often continues to simmer or even build-up if a resolution to a specific event or situation is not reached. Without following the steps outlined, it can be difficult to reach a resolution. If you are unable to identify the reason for your anger, you cannot determine a way to prevent future angry confrontations. If you did not communicate your feelings rationally, your spouse will not know how you feel and cannot help resolve the situation.
Learning to deal with anger is necessary in all aspects of your life. You may have to dig deep to discover what is causing your anger but once you deal with it head-on, you will be rewarded with a more peaceful existence and healthier relationships all-around. Anger management therapy, marriage counseling or mediation are all great resources for assisting in reducing the negative impact that anger can have on a marriage.
About The Author
Ferdinand Marin is the publisher of CBT Worksheets, providing custom worksheets which help mental health professionals to more effectively and accurately use the Cognitive Behavioral Method in their practices. Visit CBTWorksheets.com to learn more.