Anger: It’s Not Just a Male Thing

November 30, 2016

in Uncategorized

I regularly talk to the guys over on The Generous Husband about anger, but it’s not just a male problem in marriages; some women have anger issues too.

Anger: It's Not Just a Male Thing

Men usually use anger as a way to hide from thoughts and feelings they don’t want to admit they have. Being angry feels powerful, whereas feeling sad, used, or manipulated feels weak. Women use anger the same way, but I think women are more likely to intentionally use anger as a club. It’s a way to get what they want. It could be getting him to do what she wants, or it could be about being left alone for a while. 

The problem men have with an angry wife is there’s no good response. If he meets anger with anger and it escalates he worries he will hurt her – emotionally if not physically. If she won’t be reasoned with, it seems his only options are acquiescing and withdrawing. While these may give his wife what she wants in the moment, it’s not giving either of them the marriage they want or need.

I’m not going to tell you anger is wrong, nor will I tell you that your anger is unjustified. But I can tell you letting your anger run wild is very bad for you, for your husband, and for your marriage. And if you have kids at home it’s hurting them and their future marriages. 

Be honest with yourself – are you expressing too much anger? If so, how do you change? How can you better express yourself?

And finally, PMS doesn’t give you a pass. I’ve told men PMS is a real thing, and I’ve called for them to extend grace when their wife is struggling with it. But PMS doesn’t excuse bad behaviour and it doesn’t bypass the need for repentance and seeking forgiveness when appropriate.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I don’t know what I’d do if my wife full out screamed at me. 

Related PostTwo reasons why he walks away from an emotional conversation | Shaunti Feldhahn 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Libl November 30, 2016 at 2:08 am

My anger stems from stress, mostly.

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Paul Byerly November 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

@Libl – Does the stress cause the anger, or does it amp up anger that is already there?
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Libl November 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Both.

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Paul Byerly December 1, 2016 at 11:20 am

@Libl – Good answer!
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T November 30, 2016 at 6:13 am

“The problem men have with an angry wife is there’s no good response…. If she won’t be reasoned with, it seems his only options are acquiescing and withdrawing.”

But there is a good response. There are several good responses. It’s just not always easy to think straight and stay calm when one’s spouse is angry, and it’s even harder for men than it is for women. Dr. Corey Allen’s class taught us, “Don’t attack, don’t defend, don’t withdraw.” (I use that as a calming mantra sometimes when things get heated.) Those are all the common knee-jerk reactions to an angry spouse. It’s hard to learn how to respond in other ways, but it is definitely possible.

Also, if anger is a pervasive problem, check medications. I became very easily provoked for no good reason while taking Valium.

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Paul Byerly November 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

@T – Yes, it can be learned, but it does take a great deal of effort and often some digging into one’s inner motivations and fears.
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CSL November 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

I guess that anger is a fact of life, that we all get angry from time to time. The follow-up question, the money question, is who gets the brunt of that anger.
CSL recently posted…Twain on Relationships, part 4My Profile

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Paul Byerly November 30, 2016 at 10:39 am

@CSL – Absolutely. And all too often we vent our anger on our family because we think they will put up with it.
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