This is a very common issue in homes and many people wonder, why their spouse is perpetually angry and what they should and shouldn’t do when their spouse expresses anger. Whether it’s the man or the woman who is losing temper it’s important to note and understand what should be the other partner’s reaction to the situation.

Since you did not mention whether you are the husband or wife, so my reply would be about anger in general as expressed by spouses.

When your better half is always not in a good mood or talks to you rudely or shows anger, you might think their behaviour is irrational but remember the trigger might be lying somewhere that you as the victim spouse do not understand. It may be that both have lost interest in each other or there is no communication or you two never understood each other.

When your spouse is in a never-ending state of anger, it affects your marriage, your outlook on life, and your family. It seeps into everything. Anger is their state of being. He or she seemingly wakes up angry, and the tiniest thing can set off a spark of fights, or maybe even a cold shoulder. The anger is not in proportion to what is going on around them.

You can’t control your spouse, you can only control yourself. So how are you suppose to handle a spouse who is angry?

This might be a question that clouds your mind often.

When any person expresses anger, they are manifesting pain. And anger addressed at a specific person doesn’t necessarily mean that the trigger was caused by that person. Sometimes people express anger on the safest target. For example, parents displace their emotions on their children when frustrated due to any factor whether work or family.

When someone is in a state of perpetual anger, many times the hurt that underlies that anger may have nothing to do with the marriage. Instead, it has to do with another situation happening in his or her life over which they have no control. Probably never talked about it ever, communication is seen to be one tool which if used timely can prevent such problems in relationships.

So, what can one do to help self and the spouse too:

Try avoiding reactions from your side. The anger is being taken out on you because you are the “safest target.” If you react negatively to your spouse’s anger then it will only make the situation worse.

However, you can stand up for yourself by not being defensive, but without attacking your spouse. Help your spouse by assuring that you understand his/her feelings and try to convince that things may improve.

Once you separate yourself from being the target of your spouse’s anger and realize that something deeper is going on, you will be able to react better and in a calm manner to your spouse.

Saying sorry only when you have actually done a mistake is fine, but to avoid the situation by accepting for no fault will only create more opportunity for the irrational anger.

If your marriage is in a place where you may ask your spouse, “what is hurting them?” it may help them in opening up to you and taking up the situation boldly.

Understand and empathize. if your spouse is embarrassed, then he or she may dread talking about the subject. If your spouse can’t explain what’s going on either, then he or she is probably experiencing a very complex issue that stemmed from a past incident, and he or she isn’t putting all the pieces together right now because it is painful.

When you are dealing with the negative mood of your spouse, you will be putting in a lot of effort and you may not feel that you are getting much in return. Surround yourself with people that you can receive from. Get involved in a small group of people who you connect with for laughter, fun, and support. Only speak about your marriage issues to mentors or trusted and neutral third parties, but lean on friends and family to bring you joy and laughter.

Remember give time to your spouse, listen well, be caring and understanding but don’t be defensive.

Kavita Upadhyay

Student counsellor and has expertise in teaching psychology, career counselling, stress management and gender issues. Kavita is also an expert practitioner in marital counselling, life skills, interaction with community, research and tool construction.

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