Do you have the same fights with your husband, over and over again? Do you feel like you're never getting anywhere with them?
It might be because you're not actually fighting about what's really bothering you.
I know that sounds odd, but hear me out. Anger is a very powerful emotion, and when we get angry, we often yell, seethe, lash out, or even retreat in a haughty silence. Whatever we do, we certainly do it dramatically. Anger steals the show!
But that's part of its cunning. Anger, you see, is an expert disguise artist. When we're angry, it's usually a sign that there's something else going on below the surface, something that we'd rather not talk about because it would make us feel too vulnerable. And we don't like that vulnerable feeling. So we attack instead.
Let's say that your husband comes home late, and you've been with the kids all day. You've been grumpy with them, and you're worried that you're not a very good mother. You also worry that your husband secretly doesn't like being home anymore because it's such a chaotic place. Instead of quietly sharing with him these fears, you immediately give him the third degree when he gets his sorry butt in that door because why is he so late? How can he be so insensitive?
Now you've put him on the defensive. Chances are he's had a bad day, too, and maybe he's wondering about his ability to support the family. Maybe he's wondering if you actually want him home, because whenever he sticks his head in the door he gets it bitten off. But he doesn't share about his work concerns or his fears, either, because that's too vulnerable. Instead, he starts yelling back.
Perhaps in your house you don't yell. Maybe you just snipe, or glare. But the effect is the same. You build up this wall around you where it's actually harder to now share what's really going on below the surface.
So next time you feel that angry feeling bubbling, take a deep breath, and go by yourself for a while. Ask yourself what's really bothering you. Are you scared of something? Are you hurt by something? Are you worried about something? Then go back and try to share that instead. When we communicate something real, instead of just lashing out, we actually build the bonds of relationship.
Try it. You just might like it!
We'd love to hear your thoughts about marriage, or anger, or anything else about relationships! Here's how to participate. Just go back to your blog and write a "Wifey Wednesday" post. Please post the picture above on your post. You can just right click it and save it to your hard drive. Then come back here and fill in the Mr. Linky with the URL or your post!
I'll have more about anger next week. In the meantime, I've got plenty of resources for marriage!
To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother, is a great book for women who feel taken for granted!
And if you want some help in the romance department, why not download my talk Light My Fire, or purchase the CD? You and your husband can listen to Keith and me talk about communication and reigniting romance. It's a lot of fun!
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Labels: anger, intimacy, loving, wifey wednesdays