Her anger

July 29, 2011

in Series, Understanding Her

Angry wife © Piotr Marcinski | dreamstime.com

What about her anger? While less likely to lead to physical harm, her anger is no less destructive to marriage.

It’s not uncommon for a man to do whatever seems necessary to appease a wife’s anger. I suspect this is partly due to having spent the day confronting things and just wanting peace at home. It may also be that a man does not know how to deal with anger other than acting in kind, and that feels wrong. Whatever the reason, avoidance is the wrong answer. Once she learns it works, she will continue to do it – and do it over smaller and smaller issues. Anger becomes the club that gets her what she wants, and is hubby gives her no reason to give up that source of power why would she? One fellow who wrote me about this accurately called it emotional blackmail. Over time, the man is likely to take it even further, changing what he says and does to keep his wife from getting angry – a never-ending backing up which makes things worse.

The only chance a man has to precipitate change in such a situation is to hold his ground. Stop bowing to her wishes to avoid or quell her anger; stand firm on what is right, and kindly ask her to behave differently. Of course this will not be met with “I’m sorry” and a change – it will be met with even greater anger, or even rage. Anger has always worked, so if she hits an obstacle the obvious solution is to dial up the anger. She has always gotten her way by being angry, and she has good reason to think she can back him down if she stays angry.

If you are in this situation, I strongly suggest you get some counselling and support before you confront your wife. If you try, and then back down, you teach her that she can succeed by being even angrier, and that means a second try at confronting her anger will be even less likely to succeed. Also, realise that change comes down to her choice, and she may not make the right choice. She may refuse to live with you if you will not bow to her anger, or she may escalate the anger and leave it there. Be prepared for those things, and decide how to react to them.

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3 comments
dave
dave

I did stand up to her after 13 years and thousands of angry words. She accused me of psychological battery. I had had enough, we are now divorcing because she refuses to acknowledge what she had been doing to me for well over a decade. I guess I finally grew a backbone again.

Kathleen Keene
Kathleen Keene

Is it bad that I can't ever see us having make up sex? The last thing on my mind when I'm angry is sex, for sure. I think my husband feels the same, as he never makes a move for it, though he does try to be cuddly and such. Wish he did that more when I wasn't angry, ha!

ucornuta
ucornuta

My wife and I are the same way: make up sex isn't happening for us. Personally, I can't see my self having sex until I feel like we have already made up and moved on. Right after a fight I feel too insecure to seek that level of intimacy.

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