Anger is a natural human emotion. Sometimes things at work are frustrating, or someone rear-ends your car. It’s nearly impossible to never get angry. In reality, it’s how you deal with your anger that matters. If you and your partner are frequently angry at one another, there are ways to address it that will help avoid nasty fights and massive arguments.
1. Address it immediately
Don’t let anger linger. The more you sit and stew over a problem, the angrier you’ll become. Chances are, you’ll start remembering every little thing your spouse has ever done, and it’ll turn a small argument into something much bigger.
2. Stay calm
Yelling, screaming and name-calling will only make things worse. When you sit down to address an issue, both people should do their best to stay calm. Treat each other with respect, and finding a solution will be much easier and more enjoyable.
When it’s your partner’s turn to talk, let them. Focus on your partner and really listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt or get defensive. Once they finish, acknowledge what they’re feeling.
4. Respond with kindness
When it is your time to talk, respond kindly. Don’t flip out on your partner, throwing out accusations and listing everything they’ve wrong. You should, however, be honest about your feelings and let your partner know if you’re hurting. Use sentences that start with “I feel” rather than “you did” to avoid further conflict.
5. Work toward reconciliation
Depending on the issue, one conversation may not be enough to completely fix the problem. Let your spouse know that you want things to get better and are willing do whatever work is necessary.
These tips should help you avoid the types of conflicts that inevitably come up when you share your life with another person. Sometimes, though, they may not be enough. Don’t be afraid to seek out professional counseling if you’re fighting more than not, or if you can never seem to come up with resolutions that work for you both. Relationships take effort, and there’s nothing wrong with needing a little extra help form time to time.