Relationships in which a couple struggles to express their feelings as they’re happening and work together to resolve them can create a lot of anger.

Anger that isn’t checked can derail a relationship.  It pushes people apart and leads to more licking of wounds than repairing the rift.

Most people who have a lot of anger in their relationship would love to find a way to end the anger and feel good about being with their partner again.  Unfortunately, anger can become a very bad habit that’s difficult to escape.

In this blog, I’ll tell you about what anger represents, and offer you 2 ways to manage the anger in your relationship.  Please keep reading…

The Emotional Cauldron Known as Anger

When the hallmark of a relationship is its level of anger, there’s a major problem… it’s like having an industrial spill that everyone knows needs to be cleaned up but no one is going to go near it without proper equipment.

Anger is an emotion that is very close to betrayal, and the reason why many people feel angry with their partner is because they feel betrayed in some way.

For example, if your partner is inattentive to you, preferring to watch television all weekend and talking on the phone with friends and family, you may feel betrayed.  Why?  Because your partner isn’t ignoring the television or the people he is talking to you, but seemingly he is ignoring you.

This may feel like a betrayal of your feelings and needs, and if you have a difficult time expressing this, it may churn into anger.

Anger is like steam in a pot: if there’s no venting of that built-up steam, it will lift the lid off the pot to vent itself—and sometimes blow the lid right off.

This is how the “steam” of anger can vent itself in your relationship:

  • Belittling comments
  • Tuning partner out
  • Nonverbal cues such as eye rolling, frowning
  • Silent treatment
  • Flare-ups

The danger is that these little bouts of venting with the occasional blow-up can push you and your partner farther apart and erode your emotional connection to the point of collapse.

To prevent the eventual collapse of your relationship, anger must be addressed as situations arise, and then it must be managed so it doesn’t derail your communication efforts.  Here are two tips for managing anger so that you can have a productive conversation:

Anger Management Tip #1: And Breathe….

When people become angry, their breathing becomes shallower.  This heightened tension of almost holding your breath can sustain the angry feelings.

However, if you take deep breaths and consciously work to control your breathing as well as your response, it can actually reduce those feelings considerably.

The next time you are having an emotional conversation with your partner, assess your breathing.  Breathe in on a slow 1, 2, 3 count, and release on a slow 1, 2, 3 count.  Do this until you feel your anger is more manageable.  It will help you have a more productive conversation.

And if that doesn’t work, have this next tip as your back-up plan…

Anger Management Tip #2: Preset Time-Outs

If you and your partner have some issues to discuss and you are afraid that it will escalate into an angry face-off, ask your partner to agree to one thing with you prior to the discussion: a preset time-out.

Agree that if either of you feels that the conversation is getting over-heated to the point that it’s no longer productive, you will take a time-out, and reconvene in 10 minutes, or whatever time you agree to.

The one caution here is that this preset time-out is not used as an avoidance tactic.  Your goal is to resolve your issues, not use the time-outs over and over as a tactic to wear down your partner until they give up.  That is NOT productive, and your issues—and the anger—will continue to linger.

My best to you in managing anger in your relationship.

Has anger taken up residence in your relationship?

Does the anger stem from unresolved issues, or some other reason?

Do you find any other methods that work in managing your anger? If so, please share…

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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