Category: Anger

Distorted Anger

Many marriages have been destroyed by uncontrolled anger. The feeling of anger is not sinful. Even God feels anger. Great social reforms have been motivated by anger. But uncontrolled anger has destroyed the lives of thousands. If you feel angry, admit it and ask God to help you take positive action.

One constructive step is to ask: “Am I angry because someone sinned against me? Or, because I did not get what I wanted?” If someone sinned, you should be angry. That is godly anger. However, much of our anger is distorted – things simply did not go our way. If this is the case, we need to confess our selfish response, accept God’s forgiveness and release our anger to Him.

 

Restraining Response

Uncontrolled anger can destroy your marriage! All of us get angry when we believe that we have been wronged. Feeling angry is not sinful, but how you respond may be. In Ephesians 4:26 we read: “Being angry, sin not, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” We are responsible for controlling our behavior. The husband or wife who lashes out with harsh words is sinning.

The first step in learning to control your anger is to restrain your immediate response. Count to 100 before you do anything.  Take a walk around the block. Go water your flowers. Do something to stop the flow of hurtful words or abusive behavior. Take a ‘time out’ and you’re less likely to sin.

 

 

Don't Give Up

Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? I’ve been counseling people with marital struggles for over thirty years. And, often they have no hope. They are living in very difficult marriages. I am under no illusion that I can give a magic formula to bring healing to all such marriages, but I do believe that in every troubled marriage, steps can be taken by one partner, that have the potential for changing the emotional climate between the two of them.

The first step is to make the decision not to give up. Read a book, talk with a counselor or pastor, share with a trusted friend, but don’t give up. I wrote Desperate Marriages for people like you. You can be a  positive ‘change agent’ in a difficult marriage.

Don’t Give Up

Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? I’ve been counseling people with marital struggles for over thirty years. And, often they have no hope. They are living in very difficult marriages. I am under no illusion that I can give a magic formula to bring healing to all such marriages, but I do believe that in every troubled marriage, steps can be taken by one partner, that have the potential for changing the emotional climate between the two of them.

The first step is to make the decision not to give up. Read a book, talk with a counselor or pastor, share with a trusted friend, but don’t give up. I wrote Desperate Marriages for people like you. You can be a  positive ‘change agent’ in a difficult marriage.

Remove The Barriers

Have you ever accused your spouse of something they didn’t do? I once accused my wife of miss-placing my briefcase, when in fact, I left it at my office. What do you do about false accusations? Ignore them and hope your spouse will forget? Not if you want a loving marriage. Every time you ignore a harsh word, it sits as an emotional barrier between the two of you.

Love removes the barriers. So, I called my wife and said, “I found my briefcase.” She didn’t say anything. She knew there ought to be more to it than that. So, I said, “I’m sorry for the way I talked to you. It was wrong. Will you forgive me.” She said, “I thought you’d call.” We’re committed to removing the barriers.

One Block at a Time

Many couples are at a stalemate because they have allowed a wall to develop between them. Walls are erected one block at a time. It may be as small as failing to take out the garbage or as large as failing to meet sexual needs. Instead of dealing with the failure, we ignore it. The wall becomes high and thick. We were once “in love” but now only resentment remains.

There is only one way to remove a wall. We must tear down the blocks on our side. Someone must take the initiative. Will your spouse forgive you? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. Confess your past failures and ask God to help you make the future different. The wall is not as thick when you remove the blocks on your side.

Person of Value

Is verbal abuse a problem in your family? Here’s a reality that may help. Behind every verbally abusive tongue is a person of value. If you believe this, then you can say to the abuser, “I’ve been thinking about us. I’ve been remembering how kind you were to me when we were dating. I remember the kind words, the smiling face, the fun we had in those days. I guess that’s why I believe in you so strongly. I know the good qualities you have inside. Sometimes, I lose that vision when you scream at me, but I know the kind of man you are and I believe in that man. I know that with God’s help and your desire that man can live again.”

Such a statement does not solve the problem, but it does plant a seed.

Influence

Verbal abuse can be fully as destructive as physical abuse. Most people who practice verbal abuse, are suffering from low-self esteem. Very likely they were verbally abused by their parents. They are simply handling their anger in the same way their parents did. If you are married to a verbal abuser, you cannot change them, but you can influence them.

Here’s one approach. Say to the abuser. “I know you must be terribly angry to speak to me like that. I wish I could share your hurt, but I can’t hear you when you’re screaming. Next time, why don’t you write me a letter and tell me what you’re feeling. Then, maybe I can understand and ‘be there for you’.” Will they take your suggestion? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try.

Time for Tough Love

Verbal abuse has become a major problem in American families. Verbal abuse is a relatively new term, but an ancient malady. King Solomon said, “A fool gives full vent to his anger.” Foolish indeed that we would seek to destroy the people we love the most – family.

If you are living with a verbally abusive spouse, it’s time for tough love. You might say, “I love you too much to sit here and do nothing. Your words are destroying me, our marriage, and your own self-respect. Here is the name of a counselor. When the counselor tells me you have made progress, I’ll be happy to join you in counseling. Until then, I’m staying with my mom.” Tough? Yes, but loving.

Enemy or Friend?

When I become impatient, lose my temper, and spout condemning words to my wife, I have become an enemy, not a friend. So, she will likely fight the enemy or flee from the enemy. So, we have a royal argument that no one wins, and both of us walk away wounded, and try to avoid each other the next few days. All because I was impatient.

On the other hand, had I been patient, I would have asked questions in an effort to understand my wife’s behavior. Once I understand what motivated her behavior, I’m more likely to have a reasoned response. I am now her friend and she responds positively to a friend. The whole atmosphere remains positive because I chose to be patient.

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