Anger Management in Relationships
“I am short tempered, we have had many discussions, but we eventually end up more enlightened” Sumit, 34yr old software professional married since 3 years
“My husband is an animal when he gets angry. I have been beaten up many times...sometimes i feel like running away... but my kids!!!” Joana 35yr old, college professor.
“Ours was a love marriage, we knew each other very well. But after marriage, she hasn’t been able to adjust... she just gets angry without reason” Hari, 28yr old marketing executive.
Anger is a powerful emotion that can affect the happiness of any relationship. Excessive anger is one of the major reasons for constant disputes, abuse and separation of many relationships.
The age old teaching of “one partner has to be calm during an altercation” has lost its significance and importance in modern financial and social world.
Anger in relationships is very common and there could be an array of reasons to fuel it. It’s important to learn how to avoid anger and come out of the situation gaining love rather than losing respect.
The systematic approach to diffusing anger starts with identification and understanding of its origin. The most common relationships issues that lead to generation of dangerous and destructive anger are:
“Every time we try to get intimate, we end up fighting”
“My husband always says he enjoys the love-making, but I feel dissatisfied”
“My wife wants to have sexual relationships every night, she just doesn’t understand”
“He wants physical relationship only after getting drunk.”
The taboo to openly discuss about an individual’s sexual desires and sexual needs leads to hidden stress in a relationship.
Some of the key issues that are never discussed within a couple are :
a. Comfortable Frequency of sex in a week, month.
b. Comfortable days to have sex. (during menses, weekends, weekdays)
c. Desirable sexual positions
d. Foreplay and sexual performance
e. After sex talk
f. Wearing clothes or not during the act
g. Physical and mental condition of a person at that moment
h. Fantasies regarding it.
The lack of sexual satisfaction is one of the most common reasons to increase frustration and anger levels among couples.
It also forms one of the main reasons for extra-marital affairs or breakup of relationships.
Suspicion of Infedility
“My wife calls/sms more than 30times in a day, she gets angry if I don’t answer her”
“My girlfriend cann’t stand me talking to any other girl, why is she so insecure”
“Every time I come late from office, my husband feels uneasy”
“My boyfriend got a lesser job in my office, just to confirm if I was having an affair with my boss”
Suspiciousness or the fear of being cheated upon arises from the lack of trust between spouses or lovers. This lack of trusts spins out of a major defect in creating a firm and solid communication bridge among them.
Anger expressed with this feeling as the base is extremely destructive for a relationship.
Major communication gaps come in following areas:
a. Lack of understanding each other’s personality.
b. In case of an overtly suspicious partner, increased communication from the other partner is extremely important.
c. Extreme display of flirty nature might make your partner insecure.
d. Wearing clothes that are provocative.
e. Playing the blame game or insulting your partner.
"work, boss, travelling, and then she expects me to go out with her”
“I need to find a job else she won’t marry me”
“Children, Make-up, Client, Boss, After-event dinners, and he expects me to still have a happy face”
Earning money is not easy. Having a job, reporting to seniors, investing your money, travelling, always giving your best is a very tough emotional, physical and psychological task.
Job dissatisfaction, low self esteem, the pressure of bringing up kids all these add to an individual’s stress levels.
Home is the only place where an individual can vent out his stress. If he or she is not given a proper way to vent it out, it normally explodes as unexplained anger.
It’s important to find a common de-stressing activity for both partners.
Digging up old skeletons
“I told her about my past at the time of marriage, today 5yrs later she still brings that topic out”
“Every time my ex calls, she gets extremely sad”
“Since my husband knows that I have my ex-boyfriend on facebook friends list, every night we land up having a fight”
Many people preach or hold false-belief in modern ideologies of living. They still harbour rigid old generation thoughts about their husband or wife being a virgin and never have been in any relationship before.
Such people are very possessive and obsessed in trying to prove their deluded ideologies.
The best way is to create a communication bridge that shows a lot of transparency. It might be difficult at start, but on the long run can yield wonderful results.
“He spends money on brand new gadgets but if I have to account for every single hair clip I buy.”
“We both earn, but he says my salary should go for savings. I am left begging for money every month.”
“I love her like mad, but she won’t go out with me because I am not rich.”
“She keeps pressurizing me to earn more, else her father won’t say yes for marriage”
“Money is honey”... and every individual wants a spoonful of it. Every person is a little bit greedy about money. This greed remains even in the most love-filled of relationship.
It’s very important to set mutually agreed ground rules about income, expenditure and saving of money.
As mentioned, it has to be MUTUALLY agreed. The needs and desires of both should be democratically discussed and met. Any element of autocratic behaviour will lead to destructive anger.
Find the root cause of anger in your relationship, and eliminate it. Manage your life towards happiness.
Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS,PGDPM)