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What should I do when I’m angry with my partner?

December 14, 2010
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What the Experts Say…

“If you’re angry with your spouse, it’s worth taking a deep breath and thinking through how to broach the subject before leaping in. It will be easier to do this if you constantly remind yourself that by being gentle, you are more likely to resolve conflict. If you feel too angry to discuss the matter gently, your best option is not to discuss it at all until you’ve calmed down.”
Advice from John Gottman, Ph. D., leading marriage researcher, in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

In Other Words…

Reacting to a situation and trying to solve a problem when we are angry often just makes the situation worse. Most of the time, we cannot find an acceptable answer to our problems or solution to our conflicts until we are calm and able to think clearly.

How This Applies to You…

When you are angry with your spouse, try to take a few minutes to calm down. It may help to remember good times and try to see your partner’s point of view. Problems are solved and relationships are strengthened when we make sure we have humility and appreciation before launching a difficult discussion.

To Find Out More…

For an excellent program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families.

For an excellent book focused on marriage, read 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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