Anger Management Tips For Couples in San Francisco Bay Area
The other day, someone asked me what I would advise couples who find themselves getting stuck in the same old argument. They asked me “Do you have any anger management tips for couples?”
You are not unusual! Really!
So many couples have difficulty dealing with anger effectively. In fact, if most people are open and honest about it, they would tell you that they have upsetting arguments with their partner.
One of the main reasons that couples get stuck is because they forget, or don’t realize at all, that their partner could be scared or feel threatened. Most people are uncomfortable when someone is angry at them, and that feeling it is worse when it’s someone you love. This makes sense. Research tells us that relationship difficulties are some of the most stressful events that can occur in a person’s life. Though sometimes we think that our loved one should be able to handle our anger, it really makes sense that someone close to us would find that difficult. When a couple is angry a lot, it often is because someone’s fear is being overlooked.
Slam on the brakes and avoid a train wreck!
Catching your anger when you still have time to do something constructive about it will help prevent further damage from occurring in the bond between the two of you. The best way to de-escalate most conflict is by taking “time out”.
Corporations, workplaces, judges, labor unions, lawyers and diplomats all call for a cooling off period when negotiations are failing.
Once your body and brain cool down, you can think about what you really want from the other person. As a couple, you can plan out in advance for how long you will take time outs and what exactly you will do to calm yourself during the break. It’s always best to separate for at least half an hour so that you are completely calm by the time you reengage. Learning to take time outs is probably the most important of the anger management tips for couples.
Put on the kid gloves! Put away the boxing gloves!
Care for yourself and your partner. Remember, we all have vulnerabilities and we all feel threatened. Speak as softly and gently as you can, or leave the situation until you have better control over yourself. If you notice that your partner is upset, try talking to them in the same way that you would talk to a scared child. Speak softly and use comforting tones.
It’s important to realize when you are stuck and get the help you need to get unstuck. Don’t wait too long to get help. Waiting too long and letting conflict fester is probably the most common mistake that couples make.
One things I see is that couples can’t usually can’t resolve problems and decrease tension for one reason: no one is listening. It can be especially hard to listen when you are upset and anxious. While many couples can make some healthy changes using these anger management tips for couples, sometimes you need more guidance. The presence of a skilled, trained, neutral third party can help enormously. It takes courage and strength to learn new skills and a caring couple’s counselor can help you identify what is in the way of having a great relationship.
To learn more about how anger management counseling can help you and your partner, click here.