Anger is Scary

November 11, 2013

in 2013 Awesome Husband, Communication, XY link

My post over on The XY Code today is about anger, and how a wife can help her husband learn to relate in other ways.

What I would like men to understand is that for many women an angry man is a scary thing. Even if he has never hurt her and she doesn’t think he ever will, male anger is still scary for many (most?) women. Most women have had a couple of times when they had good reason to be fearful about what an angry man was going to do, and every woman knows another woman who has been hurt by an angry man. 

Scared woman © David Castillo Dominici

At best, your anger shuts her down. Maybe there are times that seems good; maybe you occasionally show anger to get her to back off. It works, but it is a very bad plan; find another way to get distance when you need it.

I do understand some women just won’t let go of things, and anger may be the only way you have found to get them to drop something when you really need them to just stop. If that’s the case, I suggest you explain this to her – sometime other than when she’s not letting something go. Tell her there are times when you need to think about things for a while, and her pushing doesn’t help that happen. Tell her pushing makes you angry. Even better, tell her you’ve developed a bad habit of using anger to get her to stop when nothing else works. 

You might try to work out a way to communicate your need for her to stop so you can think for a while. If you do that, don’t use it as a way to avoid things – actually think about what she’s said and bring it up with her later. If you show her you’re willing to discuss things if she gives you time to think she’ll have good reason to back off when you ask.

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9 comments
basssinger53
basssinger53

This advice is ok if the man is willing to accept responsibility and change. However, when all he does is continue/escalate the behavior while blaming his anger on everything and everyone else, all this post does is play right into his mindset that his anger and its consequences are "her fault". The problem is how to get him to accept responsibility, admit he needs help, and obtain that help.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@basssinger53 Such a woman needs to get help - and ASAP! If he is unwilling, she needs to get help for herself.

My assumption is that such men are not here.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

Anger does seem to be the universal emotional reaction of men to almost anything that frustrates, inhibits or arouses a feeling of defensiveness. It was most certainly something I had to deal with in my previous marriage. However, my ex did have a part to play in keeping my anger roused, despite my attempts to end a discussion that was leading to a confrontation or distance myself from a situation before it exploded. She was a Passive-Aggressive soul who would do and say things that she had learned would rouse anger in me and would then follow me into rooms, demanding answers to her 'questions' or would leave her private journals in plain sight with words of condemnation and blame concerning me written in them. Of course, this old adage is all to true: 'Whoever looses their temper first, looses’. I lost her after 15 years of thinking that it was my entire fault because I have a temper.

But, after 9 years of marriage to a truly good woman, with whom I have had but 2 angry arguments with, each of which ended well and with understanding, I realize the role an immature woman can play in keeping her husband angry and defensive. This is not dismissing bad behavior on the part of men, rather it is illustrative of a truth I learned that earned me my Precious One: ‘One will never marry someone above their own level of emotional maturity’.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros ‘One will never marry someone above their own level of emotional maturity’. - Usually true, unless there is a real effort to fake it. 

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

I am replying because this kind of goes to the heart of much within me. Scripture teaches us that what a human thinks in his or her heart is what they are and that it is from what is profuse in our hearts that we will speak, act and react to the words and actions of others. Jesus often spooked people by telling them the thoughts in their hearts as they were thinking them so that He could instruct them on how their thinking affected their ability to accept His words and ultimately Himself as the Savior of all. This knowledge of the heart is, of course, how The Father, through the Spirit of Jesus within, knows a Believer, one who loves Jehovah and professes His Son as LORD.

My point is that emotional maturity is a function of the heart and so maturity is impossible to fake by someone who is not acquainted with it. What does happen among the emotionally immature is that the immaturity displayed in the words and actions of another are either ignored for being in love or the immaturity is unrecognizable because of one's own immaturity. Therefore, because the behavior of the emotionally immature is recognizable to an emotionally mature individual that person is not likely to deign his or her self to marry someone who is not as mature as they are.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros But there are folks with borderline personality disorders who do a very good job of faking things they do not feel.

I would agree those who are mature should see though this, and love is often what blinds them, but the fact remains some are very good at playing a part. The study others and mimic it with great skill.  It does fall apart eventually, but often not until after a couple gets married.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

@TheGenerousHusband So, that's a name for 'em eh? "Borderline Personality Disordered" I was accused of being one of these by my ex and I think I may have met a few of them in my journey. They are very nice people until you come between them and their ulterior motive; very nice until they are not and that was when I found myself stunned by the cold intensity in their anger. From my experiences, my soul feels for those duped by such as these. Thanks for the exchange!

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

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  1. […] Anger is Scary – What I would like men to understand is that for many women an angry man is a scary thing. Even if he has never hurt her and she does not think he ever will, male anger is still scary for many (most?) women. Most women have had a couple of times when they had good reason to be fearful about what an angry man was going to do, and every woman knows another woman who has been hurt by an angry man. […]

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