Anger is a normal human emotion that is felt by everyone from time to time. However, if anger is expressed in harmful ways, or persists over a long period of time, then it can lead to problems in relationships at home and at work and can affect the overall quality of life.
Living with a partner who is always angry can be compared to living with an active volcano, you never quite know when it will erupt next and what the damage will be. Finding the balance between being supportive and understanding of their anger problem while protecting yourself emotionally and even physically can be challenging.
Here are some tips on how to deal with an angry partner in a way that is healthy for both of you.
Firstly, the most important thing to do if your partner gets angry is to protect yourself and any children involved, both emotionally and physically. Decide within yourself what levels of behaviour you are willing to tolerate and then communicate them with your partner at a time when he/she is calm and willing to listen.
Don’t make empty threats and ensure that you have a backup plan in case you need to act on it. Not only will this protect you, but it will give your partner boundaries to work within and may help them in the process of controlling their anger. Remember your safety has to come first and if at any stage your partner becomes physical then you need to seek help.
Keeping calm when your partner is lashing out at you is not easy to do, but getting angry yourself in response to your partner’s anger will just be adding fuel to the fire and is dangerous. The calmer you remain, the quicker their anger may subside.
This does not mean that you should be quiet and accept inappropriate behaviour. You can stand up for yourself by not being defensive and without attacking your partner by saying things such as, “I am so sorry that you feel that way. I hope things get better.”
If your partner is directing their anger at you, you can communicate your feelings by saying something like, “I understand you are angry, and I am here for you. Please understand the way you are talking to me makes me feel disrespected.”
Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy, active lifestyle can be a great way to reduce the symptoms of anger. Exercise is well known for having positive effects on the way we feel both physically and mentally, as it gets the feel-good endorphins pumping around the body. Encourage your partner to exercise and maybe take up a hobby together.
Spending time together creating healthy habits will also help your partner to feel loved, appreciated and supported in order to battle their anger. Little things like spending quality time doing things you both enjoy together can really help to unite you.
Be Aware And Have Compassion
Beneath anger typically lies deeper and more vulnerable emotions such as fear, sadness or pain, which may be less accessible for your partner to address. This may be due to traumatic life events, stress and other mental disorders or simply a lack of skill in expressing their emotions healthily.
Anger may serve as a protective shield and make your partner feel powerful and in control.
If your partner is willing, try to get them to open up to you about how they are feeling and what is troubling them. Of course, this should not be done in the midst of an anger outburst.
This will allow you to become aware and sympathetic about what you are dealing with and may help you to be more compassionate and supportive.
Being in a relationship with an angry partner can have destructive consequences for both people involved. If you feel as though your partner’s anger is out of control then it’s important to seek professional help, not only to protect yourself from harm physically but to support you both mentally and emotionally.