Honesty Without Anger

At the Authentic Intimacy Conference I attended, Linda and Juli talked about the need for honesty without anger. They also suggested women have a bigger problem with this than men (don’t shoot the messenger!) 

Angry woman spewing words © ptnphotof| dollarphotoclub.com

I can understand why women would be more given to this. Anger is powerful, and it makes us look and feel strong and sure of ourselves. If you think you’re likely to be ignored, anger seems like a good tactic. Given how often men discount women, I get why anger becomes almost automatic. Besides, it works, and we usually keep doing what works.

Or course, “it works” doesn’t make it right. Or godly, loving, or kind.

If this is you, make a real effort to change. When you slip into the old habit stop yourself. If you do it and walk away, do the hard thing and go back to apologise. After you get fairly good at honesty without anger, see if it’s working better than with anger. If it’s not, have a discussion with hubby – tell him what you’ve been doing and explain it seems to be putting you at a disadvantage. Ask him if he likes you being honest without being angry and suggest he needs to respond well to it.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and while I respond to anger, it doesn’t make me feel loved or loving.

Keep Hitting the Amazon Link: January was the first time we passed $200 in affiliate payments for a month other than December. Lori said, “That’s a lot of diesel”, and she’s right; that will allow us to go 1,200 to 1,500 miles depending on where we are when we buy fuel. Using the link doesn’t change your price, but we get a bit of affiliate link kickback. The link can be found at the bottom of every post.

Speaking of Amazon, here are a few books by Linda and Juli:

25 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Love, Sex, and Intimacy – by Juli Dr. Slattery
Clear no punches pulled answers to hard questions about love, sex, and intimacy. “What if I don’t like sex? : Is ______ok in the bedroom? : How do I get past my shame? : What if I want sex more than my husband does?”
Also on Kindle 

Intimate Issues – By Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus
This is an older book, but it’s still very relevant. A great book for about married sexuality. Comes with a twelve-week Bible study.
Also on Kindle 

Surprised by the Healer: Embracing Hope for Your Broken Story – by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery
Stories from women who have found healing from Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals. This book packs the power of story, providing encouragement and examples to follow. Includes a ten-week study.
Also on Kindle 

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10 Comments on “Honesty Without Anger

  1. Yeah…..still working on this. I was easily dismissed as a child, and being emotive and facing male family members a foot bigger than myself who brushed me off as just being hormonal or dramatic, I had to learn to get attention to myself.

    Then, with my husband, I just didn’t understand why he didn’t “get it” or intuitively know. For example, he groans and rubs his back, I SEE that and know he needs a massage. I groan and rub my back, he either doesn’t get it or ignores me. He says I need to ask. So, I ask and get a 20 second half hearted rub. I pitch a fit, and while I lose out that time, next time I get a decent back rub.

    It even goes for my children and I hear it from other moms and wives across the board. We are nice, pleasant, ask politely, ask firmly, command respectfully, but no one listens until we go nuclear warhead on them.

    I have discovered that I need to speak male and use more action than words. I also need to spell it out or else they find any loophole to skip a step.

    Funny how at work or with other men they become more intuitive and studying and anticipatory of their boss and fellow co workers. At home, its ignore at all costs and then look at her quizzically and say, “well, why don’t you just ask?” AUGH!

    It is no wonder why we women are crazy!

    • @libl – I understand your no win situation, and I’m deeply sorry. Gender differences and selfishness can make being nice seem like a bad plan. I wish I could get men to see what they are doing and the results it has. If they really understood the consequences of their action, I bet most would change. (Of course, that’s true for all of us, and well beyond marriage. We would’s sin if we understood the real consequences of our actions!)
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Woman’s Work is Never DoneMy Profile

      • Thanks, Paul. I have a minute so I thought I’d write back and just say that I am working on a mature and effective way of communicating, instead. I need to read No More Christian Nice Girl and a book on anger since I am both extremes.

        • I think the extremes go together. We as women are trained to be soft-spoken, self-effacing, gentle — and that can make it really hard to be direct and assertive. Anger isn’t (always) a ploy — frequently, it takes being angry to make us uninhibited enough to be honest. My mom and I joke about this tendency, with the old Popeye quote — “I takes it and takes it till I can’t takes it no more.”

          • @sunny-dee – I hear you, and I don’t know an easy fix. I suppose we can learn to control and channel anger so we get most of the good and avoid most of the bad.
            Paul Byerly recently posted…Implicit BiasMy Profile

  2. My husband and I have a few hot-button issues that come up consistently, and conversations about them never used to go well in the past.

    One thing that helped was when I asked him, “How do you want me to respond to this when it comes up? What words would be most effective?”

    It’s been really helpful. Seems that once I was willing to ‘hand over power’, he was more willing to listen and respond.

    Nice post.
    Rebecca Watson recently posted…How Leadership Is Like a StripteaseMy Profile

  3. We are weird. When I am too placid for too long, it drives him crazy I think. Recently, I completely lost it and stood up to him, basically screaming. I felt so ashamed as I am strong-willed, but never lose control. He was whistling while he shaved and actually kissed me goodbye the next morning. Things have been happy around here ever since.

    • @Sarah – I can understand that. He assumed he was not hearing your heart when you held back.
      I’d guess you said what needed to be said in your anger, rather than using it to just beat him up. And you bet you didn’t nurse a grudge for days.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Implicit BiasMy Profile

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