Other things that cause anger

Had some good comments on yesterday’s “hangry” post. One comment said, in part “What about other types of hunger? For example, there are those of us who hunger for physical intimacy with our spouse. When unfulfilled, that, too, can make us grumpy. It can make it difficult for us to hear what our spouses say, or to interpret it outside of our hunger…

Hungry and upset © photostock | freedigitalphotos.net

There is certainly some merit to this, but it gets a bit less clear when there are no proven physiological triggers such as what low blood sugar does to us.

In theory, we should be loving and kind all the time, always turning the other cheek and giving the benefit of the doubt. In practice, we are all human, and we will sometimes fail to overcome the things that make us edgy, grumpy, angry, unaware, impatient, and so on.

In my mind, the wise thing is to look at times when tempers flare or arguments start, and try to find common events or situations leading up to the problem. One commenter said cold is a problem for her, and one fellow who commented elsewhere said being thirsty left him more open to anger. Examine yourself and your spouse, looking for things that might make being angry more liekly. Then try to find ways to avoid the problem. Either avoid situations that escalates things, or avoid difficult discussion and arguments when the situation is in play.

Another commenter asked how to discuss this with a spouse who is in denial about it. Saying, “You are just hungry” when they are angry due to being hungry is likely to make them angrier. My suggestion would be to discuss it at another time. Try something like “it seems to me we argue more when one or both of us had not eaten in a while”. This makes it a cause and effect type thing rather than sounding like you are blaming your spouse. If that fails, gently and kindly mention it each time you see it happening. 

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3 Comments on “Other things that cause anger

  1. Both of these are very true for me – food hungry and lovin’ hungry. The food hungry thing has always been an issue with people everywhere- work etc. I’ve always needed (+still need) to be aware of when I’m getting hungry, and get some calories in me; and in the meantime make extra effort to avoid taking it out on people around me, at work or at home or wherever.

    The lovin’ hungry thing- it’s always been there too. DW + I are having more success and less problems recognizing it and working with it in the last few years. I’ve been able to have some good talks with her about it, and she’s been receptive, and has been able to recognize the negative effects of it unaddressed, and the positive effects when she agrees to a lil tumble; or even just agreeing to get together SOON.

    The conversation approach that worked for us was me saying that the loving hungry is very similar to the food hungry- when I’m hungry it increasingly “fills up my windshield” of life- focus, emotion, motivation, etc etc. And being around+ near her without being able to love her makes it a lot worse, stronger, and faster. I told her it’s like being really hungry, and having my favorite, fabulous dish, looking and smelling DELICIOUS all warm and ready in front of me, but not being able to eat it even tho I’m starving hungry. I need to get out of sight + smell of it unless I’m “allowed to taste it” – it’s just too painful to stay in the kitchen with it, hungry and not tucking into it.

    It’s hasn’t been and isn’t always that easy, but the talks have definitely helped us understand each other’s feelings + reactions, and respond more lovingly, more often, than we used to.

    I see sharp irony in it all too – in that she is generally just NOT AWARE of how beautiful she is, and how very effectively attractive she is to me, just being herself and just doing whatever she’s doing. Not being teasy or anything. I don’t think she is the only lady like this- that is, being SO attractive to her guy, and being unaware of it. I’ve run across some ladies that seem sort of TOO aware of their ability to attract, and misuse it or manipulate people with it, to their own harm and harming those around them. Hopefully without sounding wrong in this next part, I’ve often prayed a lil (big?) Thank You that the wife that God brought me to is on the unaware and humble end of the spectrum. I would not have done well with the other end.

    Anyway hope it helps somebody – God bless us all in our journeys.

  2. When I was first with my wife I used to worry whenever she went quiet or out of sorts in case I’d upset her (neither of us used to tell each other when we were upset, we’ve learnt not to do that). Finally I got it into my head that it was usually just a sign that she was tired or hungry.

    Then there’s the 10 o’clock rule.

  3. I realize it is not strictly the case, but the idea of “being hungry” for that which is the predominant love language is an image which makes sense to me. If I am not keeping my wife “well fed” in her love language then it is certainly more likely that there will be anger. I believe in the past you also made the comparison of “starving” someone in regards to their love language. Not a perfect image to be sure, but again, one which I think is helpful.

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