Ngee says… today we studied about anger and how destructive it could be from Tim LaHaye’s book – ‘why you act the way you do’. One story that struck me, was the minister who had brought his wife to be counselled by Tim LaHaye. After much discussion, he realized that his inability to manage his anger had led to his son fleeing from home and his wife’s affair. It was indeed a repentant man who left the counselling room.
This story reminds me of hubby and I; though committed Christians we had to face the truth – anger was destroying our marriage.
Hubby was and is still a good man but couldn’t handle pressure. Unfortunately, being a doctor meant he faced pressure daily and usually couldn’t react in the office; so he brought those frustrations home and the children and I felt the brunt of it.
We all cannot control what happens to us but we can determine how we respond to such events.
The greatest control ever exercised is over oneself especially concerning one’s anger. I am learning and re-learning how to manage anger, hope you are doing the same.
Years have passed and I could no longer give excuses for his outbursts, so I learnt to defend myself and the children by shouting, which usually escalated his reaction. This had become a vicious cycle and we had no hope of it stopping!
Fast forward to our near divorce saga, for the first time hubby and I were willing to face the truth. One of the things we identified was anger issues. We decided to take several steps and build a system that could help him deal with the anger and reduce my reactions.
Anger is not restricted to men only. In counselling we have met an equal share of men and women with anger issues. The difference is that women with anger issues are usually not publicized like the men.
Some of the steps we believe can help you deal with anger issues:
- Acknowledge that you have an anger issue – this is very crucial. No one can change till they have admitted that they need change.
- Identify the cause root of the problem – for hubby we identified two triggers.
a. Work pressure – not being able to control it and bringing it home.
b. Culture – his belief that woman and children are subject to the husband. So, whenever we voice our mind he reacted because it jarred from what he believed.
- Discuss it – both of you should acknowledge the damage to the marriage. Ask for forgiveness and look for ways to reduce or eradicate the triggers.
- The spouse or receiver – should clearly look at the situation and identify their part and areas they can help in reducing the anger triggers. I for one, had to acknowledge that talking back to my husband never brought anything good. So I am learning to patiently wait for the anger episode to cool off, then we discuss the reason why. Some days I fall off the wagon and react but those days are becoming few and far between.
- Extra help – if internal control system is not working, please you can go for counselling or meet mentors that act as accountability partners through the healing process.
- Be patient with one another – Some days you will get it right and some days you will fail but what makes all the difference is the ability to recommit to working on your marriage by working on the anger issues.
One scripture that sums this up is Ecclesiastes 7:9 – for anger lies in the bosom of fools.
Will you deal with your anger issues utilizing the steps above; so that your marriage can blossom again?
You can also watch our short clip on how to deal with anger – https://youtu.be/lFHopuklamI
Dealing with anger or addiction? This blog is a must read too – https://www.keepingmarriagealive.com/how-to-heal-a-relationship-affected-by-addiction/
Ngee and Rich
(Dr Richard and Ngozi Okonkwo)
Relationship Coach/Habit Instructors
Founders – Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative
“Will two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3 (CEB).