Love Language Minute: Dealing Effectively with Anger

 by Dr. Gary Chapman
Let's begin by admitting that all of us experience anger. Your spouse treats you unfairly, or they fail to do something that you expected them to do, so you feel angry. In a healthy marriage, the couple has an agreement: that when you feel angry, I want you to tell me. I can't help you with your anger until I know what you are angry about.

And yet, this is a new idea for many people. One wife said, "You mean I'm supposed to tell my husband that I am angry that he washed his car and did not wash mine." That's right I said, unless you want to have a dirty car the rest of your life. Sharing your anger is the only way to process your anger in a positive way.

Take a Break
When you are angry with someone it means that, in your mind, they have wronged you. When someone has wronged you, the emotion of anger pushes you to fight back. But fighting back almost always makes the situation worse. One fundamental principle in anger management is to make a covenant with yourself, that you will not attack another person when you are angry.

Verbal and physical explosions are not appropriate responses to anger. So, let's ask God to help us to 'take a break' or 'take a walk' when we feel angry. You are less likely to explode if you talk to God about your anger as you walk around the block. Jesus is our example: He did not rail against those who railed against Him.
Resolve Your Anger
When you are angry with your spouse, it's not enough to get rid of your anger. You must find a resolution to the situation that stimulated the anger. All of us sometimes say and do things that are not loving. These failures stimulate hurt and anger. Anger doesn't simply melt away with time and hurt does not evaporate. They exist to motivate us to seek understanding and resolution.

In the back of my book Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, I have a little card that can be torn out and posted on the refrigerator. It reads, "I'm feeling angry right now. But don't worry, I'm not going to attack you. But I do need your help. Is this a good time to talk." So, when you're angry you take the card and read it to your spouse. Now you are on the road to resolution.

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