Acts of aggression can be very damaging to the marriage. Aggression does not just include physical aggression. Aggression includes verbal altercations, threats, or even intimidating looks. Any behavior used to get your partner to “back down” can be considered aggressive. Aggression often causes one person to seek control over making decisions and it becomes impossible for the couple to work together as a team.
People who behave aggressively often do not know how to manage their anger effectively. They use aggressive behaviors to get their way and often do not care about meeting the other person’s needs. Their behaviors show that they only care about meeting their own needs, even at other people’s expense.
Physical aggression may include pushing, grabbing a wrist, hitting, and kicking. Physical aggression extends beyond hitting. Throwing things, breaking things, punching holes in walls, or any other forms of destruction are aggressive.
Verbal aggression includes name calling, yelling and screaming, and making threats of violence. People who use verbal aggression often become verbally abusive. They may also try to intimidate and embarrass the other person.
Some people use a “look” to intimidate as well. Perhaps the person has a history of physical aggression and he may now look at his partner in a particular way to ensure she complies with his requests.
People who behave aggressively sometimes get their needs met in the short-term. People may do what they want in order to avoid the explosive behaviors that result if they are unhappy. However, they are not usually well-liked in the long-term.
Aggressive people tend to have many marital problems, whether they admit it or not. Living with an aggressive person is difficult and can be scary. When both partners are aggressive, the results can be toxic.
If you have difficulty managing your anger, consider seeking treatment. Anger management is often available in individual and group settings. If you live with an aggressive spouse, learning how to become assertive and speak up for yourself may be helpful. Consider seeking help for yourself, even if your spouse resists treatment.