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

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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.

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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 November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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