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The Angry Spouse: How to Use the Anger to Increase the Intimacy

The Angry Spouse: How to Use the Anger to Increase the Intimacy

Who hasn’t gotten angry with their partner? No one, right? It’s all part of being in a relationship, but we’ve been conditioned to believe that anger is bad, and that we shouldn’t feel angry. So, we don’t know how to be an angry wife or angry husband. And yes, there’s actually a good way to be an angry spouse (or partner). What’s more, your anger can actually be a very good thing for your relationship. It might sound crazy, but being an angry wife or husband might not be such a bad thing. Here’s why.

Anger is Natural

Anger always comes as a reaction to what is happening in the present moment, but too often, we miss the opportunity to express our anger when it comes up. And it’s all because we’re afraid or ashamed of being angry. So, sensitive as we are, we hide it away. But if we don’t deal with this natural feeling responsibly, it will deal with us!

For example, latent anger can turn into rage – a dangerous and destructive emotion in any relationship, let alone an intimate one! Furthermore, unexpressed anger can lead to things like depression and heart problems, just to name a few. On the flipside, if we express anger irresponsibly, we might suffer from things like hypertension, headaches, gastrointestinal issues and much more.

I think it’s safe to say that when we suppress or abuse anger, we’re left with a whole new slew of problems.  But anger is a feeling that shows up when something needs to change.  It’s like a natural signal, alerting us to create something new or to fix the current problem.

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Anger isn’t the Bad Guy

So, now that we’ve established that anger isn’t just natural, but also good, you might be wondering how anger can send important signals to you.

Try this: the next time you feel angry about something, take a moment and ask yourself why it angers you. You’ll realize that your anger is triggered by something else – perhaps because you’re really feeling hurt, insecure, lonely, threatened, or guilty. Go ahead and dig deep, and ask why you’re feeling that way. Keep in mind that telling yourself that you are no angry anymore but keeping the other party still being unfair, will not help either you or your relationship.

If you know that your anger indicates a deeper problem, you can start to heal those core issues. You can allow yourself to feel upset without judging or shaming yourself, and this mindset will naturally spill over into how you express your anger with your partner.

Being mindful within anger can really help us to change our behavior, instead of resenting people for not changing theirs. Basically, you have the choice to create a conscious attitude toward anger, as opposed to letting it run the show and ruining your day.

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Anger is Creative

I’m sure that whenever you’ve been an angry wife (or girlfriend in my case), you didn’t think your anger could lead to something healthy and productive. But big magic happens whenever you use anger mindfully.

You see, it’s not a negative energy; it’s a creative energy. We just have to choose to use it that way. And when we do so, we can come up with plenty of original ideas to solve the problems at hand.

Now, if any of you are thinking to yourself, “Slow down, girl! How is any of this possible?” don’t worry. It probably seems strange at first, but once you look at some typical, real-life examples, you’ll see what I mean.

Let’s start with a common offender: bathroom etiquette.

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If you’re anything like me, you like the toilet seat down, the towels hung up (instead of left to dry on the floor), and most important of all, a roll of toilet paper instead of just an empty roll. To me, these things are no-brainers. To my beloved, they’re unnecessary procedures.

Now, I’ve gotten mad about this, and kept my anger in, and let it build up inside of me, but that didn’t solve anything. The toilet seed stayed up, the towels stayed down, and the toilet paper never, ever reproduced.

So, I took a good look at my anger, and saw that I was upset because it felt like he didn’t care about tidiness and cleanliness – two things that I really value. But once I realized that he wasn’t disrespecting my values, but just completely unaware of them, I figured that I just had to let him know that tidiness and cleanliness were important to me. And that if we both did certain things (ahem!), we’d be able to share a tidier house and better communication.

You might be thinking that that example was far too easy. But the thing is, we have to learn how to resolve small (even laughable) conflicts. That way, you’ll be better at dealing with stronger feelings of anger.

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If you can begin to use anger as a way to examine and focus on yourself, you’ll feel more empowered and in control.

How to Be an Angry Wife or Husband

Before expressing your anger, you might be held back by fear – fear of rejection and of misunderstanding, and all of these fears are legitimate and reasonable. But being able to show your angry side is a wonderful sign of trust. It shows that you believe that your relationship can withstand truth and honesty.

When it comes to communicating your anger, it’s all too easy to succumb to yelling, sarcasm, name calling, and criticizing. After all, we’ve been conditioned to think that anger always looks like that. But you don’t have to do any of these things.

First, you can separate yourself from your anger by saying things like, “I feel angry about this and here’s why.” Secondly, you can prepare by taking full responsibility for your emotions and going in with the intention to create positive change. Lastly, talk to your partner with clear and objective language, using as many “I” statements as possible. This helps to prevent blaming and encourages cooperative conversation.

Changing your mindset about anger and using it to your advantage, will create more peace, better communication and increased intimacy at home.

Featured photo credit: pulse.ng/ via static.pulse.ng

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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