It doesn’t take long for that to make us angry. And the longer it goes on, the angrier we get.
What lies beneath your anger?
As human beings, women (and men) have more than one emotion – often at the same time. Anger may be the most readily apparent, but what else is there? Anxiety? Hurt? Sadness? Hopelessness?
At the End of Her Rope
By the time a couple makes it to counseling, the wife is often at the end of her rope. She’s over-the-top angry, which gets in the way of her ability to participate in the process. She can spend weeks, even months, venting her anger to the therapist. She desperately needs an ally.
Backed Into a Corner
Where do a man’s feeling fit in? In all my work with couples, I’ve only met one man who insisted that all the problems in their relationship were his wife’s fault. If you’re quick at math, that means that – far and away – the vast majority of men admit that the problems are partly their fault. And, sadly, many men are willing to take the blame for everything. They just don’t have any idea how to fix it.
There is no doubt that a wife absolutely needs to express how she feels. However, her husband needs to be able to talk, too. And if his wife is very angry, he may not get the chance. As soon as he says something, she corrects him, shames him, or gets angrier.
Learning to Listen
The first step in resolving couple issues is for the wife to ask the husband about what he thinks. Then she needs to stop talking. For a long time. Like several minutes. And once he does start to share, she will gain a lot if she can listen to understand. Understanding does not mean agreement. However, before anything can change, both the man and the woman need to learn to listen to understand.
He [She] who answers before listening—
that is his [her] folly and his [her] shame. ~ Proverbs 18:13