How Controlling Your Temper Will Strengthen Your Marriage:
Yesterday, I almost flooded our house.
I wash most of Ella’s bottles by hand in our upstairs bathroom. I had put a few bottles in the sink to soak and while the water ran went to change the laundry.
I never made it back to the bathroom to turn off the water.
About 30 minutes later Aaron and I went upstairs, he was walking ahead of me and I heard and an “Oh, sh . .” I may have repeated that phrase a few seconds later when I realized what I had done.
The water had completely overflowed the sink. Our bathroom tile was soaking and even worse the water had made it into our master bedroom and closet.
We spent the next two hours drying the carpet. We used literally every towel in the house and we have a lot of towels.
As far as we can tell it didn’t leak into the downstairs area, but I’m sure there are still a few random patches of water we can’t see.
The worst part was knowing it was all my fault. I was distracted and made a mistake.
So what does all this have to do with losing your temper?
Aaron didn’t lose his temper. He just went to work and helped me clean everything up.
Aaron had plenty of other stuff he needed to do that afternoon. He could have said, “it is your mess, clean it up yourself.” He could have yelled at my stupidity. He could have gotten passive aggressive and made snide comments. There are so many little ways he could have lost his temper.
Instead, He Took The High Road.
Marriage is hard. It is easy to take little mistakes like mine and blow them out of proportion. Little mistakes are often the precursor to larger issues that fester and build up.
The whole tone of our afternoon would have completely changed if Aaron’s reaction had been different.
I already felt guilty. If he had lost his temper and yelled I would have gotten angry in return and potentially brought up mistakes he has made in the past. I would have become defensive. I would have nursed my resentment at his treatment all afternoon.
If he wouldn’t have helped me clean it up, I would have been angry that he wasn’t supporting me. It would have taken twice as long, which would have messed up my day even more, which would have made me even more frustrated.
You can see where this is going – all of us have been in similar situations with loved ones.
When we lose our temper and react in anger, the situation just escalates.
Once we begin to express our anger and lose our temper, everything in our relationship changes. No longer does logic and healthy feelings of love exist at that moment.
When we let our temper control our actions we say and do things that aren’t appropriate. This, in turn, can easily lead to more hurt and anger in a relationship.
I’m not saying that expressing anger is wrong, it is all about the way we react. There is a big difference between words said in anger and having a healthy discussion to resolve an issue.
So rather than having a horrible afternoon, we had fun cleaning up my little disastrous mess. Ella thought it was a game and kept climbing on the wet towels and trying to splash in the water.
We laughed and teased each other as we dried everything and had a great discussion about how homes are built and where the water could have ended up. The conversation was more fun then that last line makes it sound.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to get teased about this little incident for a long time. I can handle teasing, but anger isn’t an emotion I deal well with.
I’m not a marital relationship expert or a trained counselor. I’m just someone with one failed marriage and a second marriage that I’m cherishing with everything I have.
I don’t have all of the relationship answers, but I relearned a valuable lesson yesterday.
Learning to Control your temper will make a huge difference in your marriage.
It sounds so simple – control your temper and don’t lash out in anger. I know it is more difficult than it sounds. I’m a very easy-going person and still have my moments of anger.
I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for people with a short fuse.
How To Control Your Temper In a Relationship:
- Step away from the situation when you feel your anger boiling
- Avoid your hot button areas when your temper is already high
- If you are hungry or tired stay away from potential hot topics
- Set specific times and places to discuss issues that cause conflict
- Learn how to avoid reacting in anger
- If you have an issue to discuss think through the problem and come to your partner with potential solutions rather then just points of anger.
- Apologize, apologize, apologize – if you do lose your temper a meaningful apology goes a long way
If these simple tips are ones that you’ve already tried, you should check out Anger Management: Understanding. Healing. Freedom. It is a great book that will help you understand and ultimately learn to control your temper.
Learning to control your temper is possible
I know that at times controlling your temper feel impossible. There are times when you just react and then realize afterward how stupid you acted. I’ve been there, those moments suck.
However, I will make this simple promise to you.
If you control your temper next time your spouse does something stupid, you’ll be significantly happier as a result of your self-control.
Everyone messes up. That is life.
Learning to control your reactions is what sets you apart and will help make your marriage stronger than ever.