Anger is a natural God-given emotion, but when it becomes chronic or extreme, it can have detrimental effects on a marriage. Some anger is helpful and constructive. But negative anger can cause conflicts and arguments, create distance and mistrust, and ultimately destroy the relationship.
Anger arises when something we value is threatened. Like other emotions, anger is a combination of thoughts, feelings, energy, and actions. Occasionally anger is positive. Think of the anger of Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Positive anger fuels many social justice organizations. Here is another example: Imagine a mom standing on the front porch while a child recklessly runs towards the street. What does she do? She yells. Why? Because her precious child is heading for danger. Her anger rises and she acts to protect her child. This is an illustration of the constructive power of anger.
But anger is not always constructive. Often the threatened things we value are selfish - my goals, my pride, my rules. The energy of anger can erupt on people around us and have very negative effects on the individuals and the relationships. Sadly, most us know firsthand the destructive power of anger.
In counseling, one way to improve a problem area is to meditate on its negative aspects. Since thinking about the negative consequences of anger can be a helpful part of becoming less angry, here are a number of ways that anger can harm relationships.
1. Communication breakdown: When one partner is constantly angry, it can create a hostile environment that makes it unsafe for either partner to communicate effectively. This can lead to constant bickering and fighting in the marriage, which can cause both partners to feel frustrated, resentful, and isolated.
2. Trust issues: When one partner is constantly angry, it can make the other partner feel like they are walking on eggshells, always trying to avoid setting off the angry partner. This can lead to a lack of trust and a lack of honesty in the marriage since the non-angry partner lacks the freedom to be authentic around the angry spouse.
3. Emotional distance: The angry spouse may withdraw emotionally and become distant, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation for the non-angry partner.
4. Lack of intimacy: The constant fighting and arguing can make it difficult for married partners to feel attracted to one another, which can lead to a lack of emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and sexual intimacy.
5. Sense of failure: Angry people often live with terrible regrets, shame, and guilt. The outbursts of angry energy often leave a wake of destruction that is as hard for the angry person as it is for the victims.
6. Resentment and frustration: When anger becomes chronic or intense, it can create a negative and hostile environment in the relationship or marriage, making it difficult for the partners to feel happy and fulfilled. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, which can ultimately damage the relationship.
7. Loss of respect: When anger is not managed well, it can lead to a loss of respect for one another and for the relationship, making it difficult to have a healthy and loving relationship.
8. Physical and emotional health: Chronic anger can also lead to health problems for both partners, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.
In conclusion, negative forms of anger can damage a marriage or relationship. Uncontrolled anger can produce conflicts, create distance, foster mistrust, and ultimately lead to the breakdown of the marriage. But there is hope!
Counseling helps people manage anger and use its power in positive ways in relationships. Offering useful tools and perspectives, counselors help clients in the following ways.
· Understand the nature of angry emotions.
· Replace anger-producing thoughts with more helpful ones.
· Channel the energy of anger into constructive value-based behaviors.
Are you struggling with anger? Is anger slowly destroying your marriage? If so, Next Step Counseling can help. We are a Christian Counseling practice serving Gallatin and Hendersonville, Tennessee. We specialize in helping people overcome difficult emotions and regain control of their lives. We offer both face-to-face and tele-sessions, so you can choose the option that best meets your needs. Don't continue to struggle alone - reach out to Next Step Counseling today and turn your emotions and relationships around.