It’s completely normal to get angry with your partner every now and then. When two people live in the same home or see each other daily, it’s impossible to always agree on how to spend money, how to decorate, how to raise the kids, how to handle stressful situations or how to manage the household. Our priorities and choices are bound to reflect our individual personalities. In a close relationship, it’s important to not let bad feelings build up over time. Dealing with anger as it comes up and staying in touch with each other’s feelings will lead to a longer, healthier and happier life together.
Yes, you might be thinking this sounds great, but the reality is that it’s often difficult to discuss volatile issues with a spouse or loved one because it might cause a bigger fight and hurt feelings. Instead, many couples sweep issues “under the rug” or ignore them, hoping they will either go away or be forgotten. Years and years of this tactic can do some serious damage. If you truly want your relationship to stay on course and be strong, taking the steps to more openly and effectively communicate will benefit both of you in the long run.
Seeing a professional therapist is always beneficial, but in the short-term there are some main points to consider that can help couples have more positive discussions.
1. Deal with the anger as soon as possible, preferably before it escalates. Ask your partner what is making them mad. This shows that you have empathy and care about their feelings.
2. Don’t respond with anger. If you react to your partner’s answer with anger, it will only him or her feel worse and afraid to open up to you. Use anger and stress management techniques to calm yourself down before responding.
3. Acknowledge and accept your loved one’s thoughts and beliefs. Stop the argument by showing your understanding, even apologizing for what they perceive you have done and then explain how you feel.
4. Speak to each in respectful tones. Yelling and screaming only causes more hostility.
5. Regroup if necessary before responding. If you find yourself so angry that you know you will regret what you say at a later date, then take a time out. Explain to your partner that you aren’t ignoring the situation but need some time to think about things. Go for a run, garden, wash the dishes, or whatever you need to calm down before having the discussion.
6. Be honest. If you cover up your real feelings, it will only come back to haunt you later on.
7. Be open to learning from your partner’s feelings. Listening closely might teach you how to be a better person.
8. Stop blaming each other for the issue or problem at hand. Instead agree to take joint responsibility to find compromises to make things better.
Strong communication is the key to any successful relationship. When intimate partners stop listening, try to always get their way, or don’t voice their opinions, the relationship can slowly breakdown. Couples can benefit from learning how to develop their emotional intelligence, getting counseling and learning new anger control skills through books or classes. Effective anger management tools can help couples to tame their tempers and express themselves in more positive and healthier ways.