Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anger and Intimacy

Every marriage goes through cycles of love and anger. Don't fear anger in your marriage. Any intimate relationship will experience both. To think that it will always be love with no anger is unrealistic. Don't hit the panic button, if there is anger in your relationship.

Psychologists teach that everyone goes through emotional highs and lows. No one can stay on a high all the time. So it is in marriage. There are highs and lows. To be emotionally, intimately involved in your relationship means there will be anger. Relax, your marriage is normal. Without experiencing any highs and lows in marriage means that you are not vulnerable to your spouse. That means no emotional involvement, which hampers real intimacy.

Points to Consider
Expressing anger can restore intimacy. Avoid two mistakes. First, don't suppress your anger. That will drain the relationship of intimacy. Anger needs to be expressed in the proper way. Exploding and losing self-control is not the way. 
Don't verbally attack your spouse. That leads to defensive behavior or withdrawal. Secondly, don't jump to false conclusions when anger appears in your relationship. Recognize it as normal, and realize that it can eventually lead to greater intimacy. Don't fear divorce every time anger rises in your marriage.
Learn to process your anger. Talk it out rather than acting it out. It becomes childish to act it out, leaving your mate with two choices. First, the spouse can act it out with you. Wow, that can get really bizarre. Worse than that, it doesn't process the anger. The Bible has good advice at this point. "And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are angry" (Ephesians 4:26, NLT). Anger is processed by talking and listening without attacking the person, but expressing the real cause of the anger.
Understand anger. Unloading negative emotions and transparency in conversation leads to understanding. If you listen long enough to your angry partner, the upset emotions will eventually be gone. Listen without becoming defensive. Make it safe for your spouse to be open and honest. The rich rewards come through a deeper understanding of each other, followed by a more intimate love.