DEALING WITH ANGER IN YOUR PARTNER
It is healthy to express anger, and to say what you’re angry about. If your partner is cross, there’s no need to freak out over raised voices or even a few slammed doors. However, when anger becomes habitual, unreasonable and coupled with the threat – or even the reality – of violence, then something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Dealing with anger is possible, but not when it is unhealthy and dangerous.
RESPONSES TO ANGER PROBLEMS
Ask yourself if your response to the anger of your partner is over the top. Do you feel very nervous, worried about where it will lead? Of course, if your partner is destructive or violent, then fear is understandable, but if just being around anger makes you jittery, then find out why. Did your parents get angry easily, and did that lead to bad things? Or was yours a home where dealing with anger was always bottled up or deflected, so you were never able to see it was manageable and ‘ok’? Anger itself can’t harm you, so learn not to fear it. Talking to one of our empathic Readers can be a first step.
Do not be intimidated when dealing with anger in your partner. Don’t let the sound and fury scare you – and be honest with yourself. Are you telling yourself it isn’t getting to you, that you are the sensible one in the partnership, when actually you’re battling unhappiness and fear? Stand firm and insist the issue is dealt with. You deserve better. And violence is not negotiable – not for one minute, so never put up with it or make excuses for it.
IT ISN’T YOUR ANGER TO DEAL WITH
If your partner is ranting and raving, this is not your responsibility and you may have to learn to detach. Of course, if there are relationship issues that are driving your mate crazy, you need to face these. Explain that you understand they’re angry but you can’t talk while they’re shouting, so if they can calm down you can discuss things. Although you do not want to make things worse, it isn’t your job to soothe them at all costs.
When dealing with anger in your partner, spouse or even yourself, keep the following in mind:
- Try not to take it personally
- Don’t play the game of ego battles
- Don’t be patronizing
- Avoid falling into ‘roles’
- Don’t cover up for them too much
- Know when enough is enough
Your partner is hurting inside and may lash out verbally. They’ve been hurt and they want to hurt back – and you’re closest to them! They probably don’t mean a word of what they say, so be strong and let it be water off a duck’s back.
What you did, way back when, and all your shortcomings are probably irrelevant – or at least not the real point. Let them have a rant and don’t rise to the bait of counter-accusation. Soon they will run out of steam.
If your partner is fuming, that’s not the time to suggest anger management classes. Maybe you can do that at some point when they’re relaxed. Try not to take the moral high-ground by parading your own calmness and control. Just being composed doesn’t make you superior, so play fair. Acknowledge their anger, apologise if it’s appropriate, and recognise there may be issues to sort.
HOW TO MANAGE ANGER IN A HEALTHY WAY
In relationships it’s all too easy to get into the habit of playing a certain part. If you’re with someone stroppy then it may be comfortable to be the tranquil, easy-going one. But how real is that? What’s happening to your own anger? If you’re suppressing it, and not taking steps yourself in anger management, then that can’t be healthy. Do you really feel your partner has cause for their bad temper, or are you letting them get away with it because it’s easiest? What happens if you shout back? Maybe you could try this sometimes.
It’s hard enough coping with someone who’s liable to explode, without having to pretend that they’re a model mate. If they have a paddy in front of friends and family, well, that’s them. Obviously there are times when you may want to ‘manage’ their anger and behavior, but don’t let this take you over. Anger management is important, but not the only option on the table. Don’t worry too much about the effect on children, either. As long as no-one is being hurt and nothing precious is getting broken, it’s all part of learning about life, and children will learn to acknowledge and cope with their own feelings – it can be a good life lesson.
DON’T FORGET THE OVERALL PICTURE WHEN DEALING WITH ANGER
Continual anger, or anger over unimportant details is a sign that something is amiss. It is not fair for you to be dealing with insults, accusations and attacks, so if this is getting you down, be aware of your needs. It is very bad for your partner’s health to be continually angry, so make sure they have their blood pressure checked and, if possible, they aren’t adding to the strain on the system by being overweight. When your partner is calm, encourage them to see a counsellor or take an anger management class, so they can find out why they are angry. It’s not right for you or the relationship to struggle with this long-term
Sometimes however hard you try, keeping positive within your partnership seems very difficult. That’s when you owe it to yourself to get support. If you can persuade your partner also to seek advice, that will be a big step in the right direction. Dating Advice and Relationship Advice are available with a few clicks, when you contact us at TheCircle. Find clarity with your Love Issues, get your Relationship Horoscope or benefit from Psychic Insight. There’s no need to cope with this stress alone – put in a call today
PUBLISHED: 19 OCTOBER 2015