Many people feel guilt about feeling anger. Often, they deny that they ever even become angry. Although being slow to anger is a great quality, denying that you ever even feel angry can have serious consequences.
Anger is a feeling just like happiness, sadness, and fear. It isn’t wrong to feel angry. In fact, when you live with someone, it is inevitable that you will sometimes feel angry about things.
If you deny feeling angry, it can cause resentment to build. There are times your partner is going to hurt your feelings, offend you, and not meet your needs. Accepting that is helpful, but it’s okay to still feel angry when these things happen. If you pretend you aren’t ever angry, those feelings don’t disappear. Instead, they can build.
When a lot of feelings build up, it creates resentment. People don’t just wake up one day disliking their partner. But anger can cause a slow deterioration of the relationship that can make feelings dissipate. Chronically stuffing your feelings is dangerous for your marriage.
Betty and Ron had been married for fifteen years. Betty had grown up believing that men are the breadwinners and women should do the majority of the household chores. She spent a lot of time cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and taking care of the children. She felt angry when Ron went out with his friends, enjoyed his hobbies, and watched television while she worked. Yet, she never said anything. Instead, she tried to appear like she was happy to do these things. Meanwhile, her resentment built because she never expressed her frustrations.
Expressing your anger and frustration doesn’t mean you have to yell or insult your partner. Instead, it may simply mean you express your feelings calmly. Telling your partner your feelings are hurt, you feel frustrated, or you are angry doesn’t have to lead to an argument. Instead, it can help you feel like you are being heard.
Learning to identify and express your feelings in positive ways requires you to wait until you are calm. If your partner has hurt your feelings and you are very angry, wait until you are a little calmer to talk about it. But don’t avoid talking about it. Instead, express your feelings and invite your partner to engage in a productive discussion about the topic when necessary.