Anger Control in Marriage - Part Two
In this video we will examine anger control strategies after an incident with your partner. When is it safe to consider the eposide past? That is, how long do you have to wait until you can start relating to your partner without triggering another angry outburst.
Each case has to be evaluated on the basis of body language, tone of voice and behaviour. If, however, you really believe it safe to address your partner then consider the following guidelines:
Do not deny the incident:
On the surface your spouse has returned to normal after an angry outburst. In fact they may be treating you with more respect. Indeed it seems that the incident never even took place. Did your partner really forget the eposide or are they merely trying to pretend that nothing happened?
If the latter is true, and probably it is, then your spouse is avoiding taking responsbility for lack of anger control. You are then faced with following dilemna. If you go along with your partner's denial then you are spared the uneasiness of any confrontation and you can enjoy the current relative calm. However, this means that sooner or latter the unchecked incident may repeat itself, if the underlying causes of it have not been addressed.
But by trying to address the underlying causes, and risking another angry outburst, then there simply will be no improvement. So here are some steps to minimize the risks:
Focus on processes and not content
If you had an quarrel with your partner about a certain issue then bringing up the issue will merely re-ignite the quarrel. Instead focus on how you can improve communication by removing dysfunctional aspects like shouting, sweeping generalisations, abusive language and so forth. By shifting patterns of behaviour you are able to prevent anger or at least mitigate it. And in doing you will lay the grounds for eventually addressing and hopefully resolving issues.
Note your partnerís pressure points
When communicating with your partner, stay alert to triggers that can evoke anger. By constantly monitoring your spouseís reactions you will know when to continue or discontinue a discussion instead of it being turned into a full blown argument. Typical earlier warning signs are:
Make your partner aware of their reactions as such awareness makes some people exercise more self control. Note that even though you still may not be able to resolve issues, then at least you have taken firm steps in the right direction.
Present clear options
As noted people get angry because they feel helpless, frustruted and ineffective. Often this is because of not having alternatives to address contentious issues. This in turn creates a cycle that is self defeating because it generates repeated failure. If a particular situation is anger provoking then try to address it from a different angle. Present alternatives that meets your partnerís needs instead of ignoring them. This will allow both parties to map out long term strategies that not only pre-empts anger but addresses its underlying causes.
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