Is Anger Hurting Your Relationship?
One of the most common questions people have about anger is how to deal with anger in a relationship.
As a counselor people often walk into my office because their marriage is falling apart, or their significant other told them to get help with their anger.
When your anger is out of control it can destroy your relationship. You don’t have to let your anger control your relationship. I will share some tips on how to control your anger in your relationship.
Resentment Is A Warning Sign Of Anger In A Relationship
Have you ever felt resentful towards your spouse or partner? Whenever someone tells me they are struggling in their relationship the first thing I listen for is any sign of resentment.
In any relationship there are times when you will be hurt, and there are times when you will hurt your partner. No person or relationship is perfect. Being let down or hurt is simply part of being in relationships with people.
Resentment however does not have to happen. Resentment usually sets in if you don’t deal with the anger or hurt. For your relationship to survive you must learn to heal the relationship when someone has been hurt.
If you feel some resentment towards your significant other, you need to consider how anger is affecting your relationship.
How To Deal With Anger In A Relationship
If you have been in a significant relationship for very long, I probably don’t have to convince you that anger will come up at some point. The problem is that many couples don’t know how to deal with conflict when it arises.
To help you remember the key points of dealing with conflict think of the acronym ACTS
A – Acknowledge your anger
C – Considerate or kind when fighting
T – Timeout when necessary
S – Solve the problem
Acknowledge Your Anger
The first step for dealing with anger in your relationship is to acknowledge when you get angry. It’s easy to pretend like you’re not angry or hurt, but this will only make the situation worse.
Perhaps you can recall a time when you were fighting and someone said “no, I’m not mad” but you could clearly see they’re upset. You and your partner should agree that when you’re angry, you will take responsibility by acknowledging to the other person that you’re upset.
Be Considerate Or Kind When Angry
Make an agreement with your spouse that when you’re fighting you will be considerate or kind to each other. You can be angry and still be considerate.
This means you agree not to attack or insult the other person. You can communicate your frustration to your partner in a way that doesn’t hurt them. It’s important to remember to attack a problem, don’t attack a person.
Take A Timeout If Your Anger Is Too High
There may be times during conflict when you need to take a “timeout.” This simply means you take some time away from the person or situation because your anger is getting to a level where it will become destructive.
Simply let your partner know that you’re getting too worked up and you need a little time to cool off. A timeout gives you time to slow down, so that you can continue to deal with a conflict in a healthy way.
An important part of a timeout is you must agree to come back and resolve the problem after you had time to cool off. An effective timeout shouldn’t last longer than 90 minutes.
Work on Solving The Problem
It’s easy to get caught up in a conflict and forget why you’re even mad. Try to stay focused on the situation, and work towards finding a solution.
Being angry is not a problem as long as you are working on resolving the issue. Don’t let your anger be an opportunity to be mean to your partner. Remember that as long as your anger isn’t being destructive it can be a productive emotion.
It’s helpful to remember to deal with one problem at a time. When you get into an argument with your spouse it’s easy to bring up 5 things you’re mad about. Deal with one problem at a time.
Communication Is Key For Anger In A Relationship
Communication is a skill. Just like any other skill, you can improve it. If you don’t communicate when you’re upset you will never get any healthy resolution.
Sit down with your spouse or partner when you’re not angry to discuss healthy conflict. Agree on how to handle conflict effectively. Use the suggestions here to help that conversation.
It won’t work to try and discuss these tips for the first time in the middle of a conflict. By then you’re both too upset to agree on anything.
Every relationship requires communication, and this includes how to communicate when you’re angry.
If you find that you are still struggling to control your anger, and realize it’s affecting your relationship seek help from a professional. They can help you understand how anger can be a healthy emotion, and how to use it effectively in a relationship.