A certain amount of anger in relationships is normal. Any two people living in close proximity and with their lives and decisions closely entwined are going to have to deal with some conflict. However, unmanaged anger can be one of the most destructive forces in any relationship and can have dire consequences when left unchecked.
Causes of anger in relationships are varied but may include jealousy, control issues, differences in values, grief, stress, isolation, depression, resentment and more tangible issues like weight, smoking or alcohol misuse.
A lot of anger in relationships is bred from an inability or unwillingness to communicate effectively. We sometimes find that we’ve forgotten how, or that our two styles just don’t seem compatible anymore. Some things are hard to talk about so get left unsaid and then resentment brews. Or perhaps one person wants to talk but the other finds it difficult.
Working on communication is always a good way to improve a relationship and by concentrating on talking, dealing with emotions and making compromises you may well find that the anger gradually dissipates.
Anger is a complex emotion and often masks deeper issues that are the real source of the frustration. Ask yourself whether you are truly angry or if you are responding to feelings of sadness, weakness, shame or vulnerability. Or perhaps there’s something else going on. A good therapist will be able to help you work through these feelings so you can stop feeling angry and find positivity.
Jealousy can be extremely difficult to deal with in relationships, but left to grow it often results in anger and controlling behaviour. Unresolved trust issues or jealousy can manifest itself as anger because one person doesn’t feel safe and secure in the relationship. In turn, this can make the other person feel accused, pressured or under scrutiny all the time.
The best way to deal with anger caused by jealousy is to discuss your feelings with each other. Why do you feel jealous? What behaviours have led to this? Can they be changed or are you acting irrationally? You will need to reach some kind of compromise to move on with a happier relationship.
10 Steps To Managing Anger In Relationships
- Become more mindful of your anger, the warning signs and the triggers
- Discover the real causes and underlying emotions
- Express your emotions and feelings with your partner
- Learn to communicate more effectively and calmly
- Avoid the worst triggers and develop coping techniques
- Remove yourself from the situation when anger becomes out of control
- Own your anger – your anger is your responsibility even if triggered by others
- Handle any outside factors that are negatively contributing to your anger
- Practice relaxation techniques and positive affirmations
- If you still feel angry, seek extra help
If you would like help dealing with anger in a relationship or with any of the issues mentioned above please do not hesitate to get in touch. In only a few short sessions you could be free of your anger and enjoying a much healthier and care-free relationship.