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How can you manage your anger during (and after) an argument with your spouse?

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Edifa - published on 04/15/21

Words of advice to help when you find yourself in this tough place.

A major difference of opinion or ways of doing things, a serious decision taken without consulting the other, or even more serious behavior can lead to uncontrolled anger and harm not only the relationship, but the integrity of the partners.

Justine says she has been “mad as hell” since her husband decided to change jobs without discussing it with her. Since then, she’s been experiencing a barrage of feelings that she can’t control. “I feel useless,” she says, “betrayed in our commitment.” The emotion that at first suffocates her makes her spew out a fury of violent words and gestures. A husband named Jack says he also feels an insurmountable anger over the attitude of his wife, who believes that only her point of view should prevail for the education of their children.

Different scenarios but same emotions and same reactions. How do we get ourselves out of these states that overwhelm our reason and cause us to “go ballistic”?

Take a step back and follow through with exercises to control your thoughts

The first step in calming your emotional turmoil is to detect and identify your emotions, so that you can put them back in their place and begin the work of modifying your thoughts. The implementation of a plan B to distance yourself from these thoughts is important. This work will not be easy in a high stress situation. An aid to awareness will undoubtedly be necessary. Talking about it to a non-involved third party, putting this intimate feeling into words, will help this necessary distancing to avoid drowning in one’s inner turmoil. Techniques such as breathing control, relaxation, emotional control (which the Desert Fathers have written about), will help to better control our thoughts.

By doing this work, Justine and Jack will be able to get their heads out of the water and take a closer look — with their partners — at what is going on in their relationships. Such behavioral inconsistencies, even though the spouses have promised each other mutual trust, require that the marital relationship be finely tuned in order to find the flaw(s) that have “allowed” these uncontrolled attitudes. Each of them must have the heart to question themselves, personally and in truth, in order to resume the conjugal adventure serenely. Beatitude can still be on the agenda. “Blessed are the meek!”

Marie-Noël Florant


Read more:
10 Healthy ways to calm your anger

Mental HealthRelationships
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