The Problem with Anger
I've always had a temper.
When I was in school, recess was my hardest subject. For some reason, I was always getting in a fight with someone.
I've had to work hard on controlling my temper. For the most part, I've been doing OK. I've learned to count to 10, take a sip of coffee, and take a deep breath before I answer.
That works most of the time.
The rest of my anger I renamed “intensity.” I’m just an intense person. There’s a lot to get done and a short time to do it. I don’t have time for niceties—or so I thought.
As you can imagine, this was a real problem in my marriage. Jeannie wasn't prepared to deal with my anger.
The very things I loved about her—her sensitivity as a mother to our sons, her openness to people who are hurting, and her uncanny ability to read people and situations—were the very things that left her defenseless against my “intensity.”
As a result, I hurt Jeannie a lot. Sometimes when I didn't mean to. But it still hurt.
Jeannie has a very sensitive radar. Whenever I expressed anger at 100 volts, she felt as if I’d hit her with 1,000 volts. This took me a long time to figure out—much too long. And I’m very ashamed of it.
But here’s why I bring it up. I see this a lot in other marriages.
Guys, without knowing it, hurt their wives because our wives FEEL the anger much more deeply than we EXPRESS it.
Sure, our wives could change, but that may mean changing the very things we love about them. I know that’s what it would mean for Jeannie.
So, I've learned to manage my anger. Anger is energy, nothing more and nothing less. We can manage it any way we choose. It can hurt or it can heal. It’s our choice.
So, the next time you’re angry, turn the level way down. Our wives will still get the point.
But what about all of that leftover energy? Lift weights, run, chop firewood, reseal the driveway.
Focus the energy on doing what is good. Your marriage will be stronger and deeper for it—and we’ll get a lot of our chores done too.
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