Everyone gets angry sometimes, but how can you tell when it’s becoming a problem in your relationship?
Many couples struggle with finding healthy ways to communicate when they’re angry. Uncontrolled anger and frustration create distance between partners, but learning how to control those feelings can bring you closer together.
This article has helpful tips on how to manage your feelings when you get angry at a partner or spouse.
What to Do About Anger in a Romantic Relationship
Anger is a natural emotion, but in some circumstances, it can start to negatively impact you and your partner, and your relationship in general.
Unhealthy anger can easily form a barrier between you and your partner when it becomes a part of your relationship. It can derail conversations, cause inappropriate behavior, and frustrate both of the people involved.
When anger becomes a problem in a relationship, it’s important to learn how to control those feelings.
What does it mean to control your feelings? Part of it is about learning how to avoid escalating arguments and conflicts. Sometimes, it may involve changing the way you think, also known as cognitive restructuring.
There are plenty of calming techniques and tips that can help you slow down when you feel like you’re going to lose your temper. However, others find it harder to stay calm in intimate relationships, but there are ways to work toward getting in control of your emotions.
First, try paying attention to what makes you angry, and notice patterns in what triggers your anger. If you can predict when a given situation is going to upset you, you’ll have more time to decide on a plan of action to healthily address your anger.
Calming techniques often involve counting, breathing deeply, and trying to relax. These are some of the ways you can address the emotion before it gets out of control.
You can also try finding healthy ways to express your anger that aren’t based on aggression. For example, when you argue, focus on improving the relationship instead of making it your mission to win.
Learning to manage your anger can improve your relationships with your partner and others in your life. This is also a good behavior to practice and cultivate.
Managing your anger is a skill, and there are plenty of ways to develop it. This section will include some suggestions on how to keep your emotion in check when you start to feel angry, based on guidelines from a variety of anger experts.
These strategies include thinking before you act, acknowledging your feelings, finding ways to relieve tension, and improving communication. You can also try and read articles about keeping your anger at bay.
The suggestions here are a good place to start, but the best way to learn how to manage your anger is by getting help from a mental health professional. If your relationships often involve a lot of anger and negative emotion, try making an appointment with a therapist in Redondo Beach for more detailed, personalized advice.
Avoid Impulsive Actions
When someone feels angry, he might be tempted to say or do things he wouldn’t ordinarily do. Negative emotions can be powerful, and these can affect one’s judgment.
Avoid saying things in the heat of the moment. It’s better to delay your knee-jerk reaction to find a healthy, productive response instead. For many people, that’s easier said than done.
One option is to take a timeout and step away before you can say something to your partner you might regret later. That way, you can take some time to calm down away from the person you’re angry at, and come back later with a more relaxed state of mind.
Otherwise, try to slow down so you can think of the situation before acting. Don’t immediately say what comes to mind, and try to pay attention to what the other person says or does.
Manage Your Emotions
It’s a lot easier to prevent issues than to fix them after they arrive. Similarly, it’s helpful to talk yourself down when you first realize you’re starting to feel angry. This is helpful whether you’re in an argument or the anger is coming on suddenly.
In some situations, you might need to walk away in order to calm down. Other times, you may be content to practice calming techniques and express your anger in a non-aggressive manner.
If you struggle with noticing the emotional signs of anger, there are physical cues you can pick up on. Anger releases adrenaline in your body, and it has some physical effects. If you’re about to lose your temper over something, you might subconsciously clench your jaw, ball up your hands, and start to breathe more quickly.
Rapid, shallow breathing is associated with anger, but if you notice it, you can make an effort to change it. Slow down your breaths and try some deep breathing. This can help relax you, along with unclenching your jaw and trying to release tension from your muscles.
One way to counteract anger is by focusing on yourself. Remember that you can control your own actions, but not someone else’s. Taking this approach can help you cool down and think about your own behaviors.
Stress and Anxiety Concerns
Anger often goes hand-in-hand with stress and anxiety. Experts say that anger sometimes covers up feelings like anxiety or fear. In some cases, it can be a symptom of an underlying mental health condition like depression.
Stress and anger are closely related, and the two can feed off into each other. To tackle both of them, practice relaxation techniques. A therapist can help you discover the root causes of these emotions so you can get better at dealing with them.
Active Listening and Communication
Sometimes, people get angry because there’s been a misunderstanding. You’ve heard it before, but it’s true — relationships work best with strong communication and empathy.
The American Psychological Association also recommends improving communication skills as a way to control your anger. You may try and read an article that would help you understand and communicate better.
Listening actively is a great way for you and your partner to communicate. When one person is speaking, the other should listen attentively, repeat information back, and ask clarifying questions. This kind of communication shows empathy, love, and respect.
The next time you start to have feelings of anger toward your partner, wait to hear all that they have to say. If you’re unsure of anything, ask questions instead of making assumptions. It’s important for both participants of the conversation to be on the same page.
As you talk to your partner, use “I" statements that show your feelings and thought process. You can’t know what your partner is thinking, but you can make your own thoughts and feelings clear.
Taking this kind of love and care lets you have the best possible version of conversations with you and your partner, even when they’re difficult.
Reach Out to a Trusted Therapist in Redondo Beach
Dealing with anger is easier with the help of a professional. Our Redondo Beach addiction therapist also specializes in anger management, so schedule an appointment today.