Tips for Communicating with Your Spouse When You’re Angry
Healthy communication is necessary for every strong marriage. Maybe you can give yourself a pat on the back if you feel like you and your spouse communicate effectively most of the time and understand each other’s communication styles.
However, that can easily change for people when you’re angry.
Being angry or frustrated makes it easy to say things you don’t necessarily mean. Your standard communication styles can feel nonexistent, and the conversations end up going nowhere.
However did you know that arguments in a relationship can actually be a good thing? Disagreements can help you grow stronger with your spouse.
But, you have to know how to communicate effectively—even when you’re angry. Let’s look at a few tips you can use the next time you’re on the edge of anger, so your communication doesn’t suffer.
Sit With Your Feelings
When you’re angry, it’s hard to slow down your thoughts. Unfortunately, that can lead to saying things you might not necessarily mean—including things that might hurt your spouse’s feelings.
Instead of speaking with your spouse immediately as you feel those angry feelings starting to creep up, do your best to take a step back.
You don’t have to “block” your anger or try to ignore it. Ultimately, that will make things worse.
Instead, accept your feelings for what they are, and try to determine what they really mean.
When you sit with your feelings for a while, it’s easier to determine why you’re actually angry. Does it have something to do with your spouse or something totally different? If you’re angry for a reason outside of your spouse’s control, how can you communicate with them and express yourself in a productive way? Consider asking if there is there a deeper, more vulnerable emotion like sadness or even fear under the anger.
By taking some time to sit with your emotions, you’ll work through them in healthier ways, which will improve your communication when it counts.
Don’t Bring Up Past Hurts
Whether you’re angry with your spouse or something completely different, it can be tempting to unleash that anger by bringing up past hurts or “mistakes” that hit below the belt.
Ultimately, that isn’t going to be beneficial for either one of you. It will likely escalate the situation, make your spouse angry, and make it harder to communicate clearly without pain and frustration clouding the way for both of you.
Use “I” Statements
You’ve probably heard this tip before when it comes to effective communication. But it bears repeating.
When you’re angry, it’s tempting to play the blame game, whether your spouse has any involvement in what triggered your anger or not. Instead of letting that happen, express yourself using “I” statements. It will cause your spouse to feel less defensive, and they’ll be more inclined to help you work through your anger, rather than feeling like they have to fight back.
Remember You’re On the Same Team
At the end of the day, you and your spouse should remember which team you’re on – the same one! You might be angry with them, or you might be tempted to let your frustrations out on them. But that’s not how a team interacts.
It’s okay to have different opinions. It’s okay to have different communication styles. You can even be upset with each other and still recognize that you want the same things. There doesn’t have to be a “winner” in every argument.
If you struggle with effective communication while angry, you’re certainly not alone. However, keeping these tips in mind will help you and your spouse deal with those moments more effectively and productively.
If you’re still having trouble communicating through your anger, and if it is taking a toll on your marriage please don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more about a Christian marriage intensive can help you and your marriage.
Couples from out of Arizona are welcome to attend one of our Christian marriage retreats.
Maybe a marriage intensive is not right for you. If you are looking for more traditional weekly marriage counseling for your Christian marriage or even individual counseling to learn how to better deal with your anger please visit our website for Crossroads Counseling, click here.