By Gillian Reynolds
Most people will admit, when pressed, that they do have a temper. Each individual has a different degree of anger within them and it’s often brought to the surface when things completely go awry. In a marriage that can differ slightly. Some women, who have been married for a time, seem to struggle with keeping their anger under wraps. They walk through their days with a scowl on their face and a bitter word for just about everyone, including their husband. Being married to a woman like this isn’t easy. In fact, it can make staying married that much harder. If you’re tired of trying to deal with a wife who always seems mad at you, it’s time to make some much needed changes. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to consider a separation, or more seriously, a divorce. It does mean you need to take more control of the situation and shift your wife’s whole frame of mind back into a more positive place.
Focus on Where Her Anger is Rooted
It’s very easy for a man to jump to the incorrect conclusion that his wife’s anger is stemming from her discontent with the marriage. That’s not necessarily what is going on at all. Many women, like men, cycle through a period in their lives when they feel disgruntled. They feel that their dreams haven’t been fulfilled or they sense that their goals will never be reached. Many people refer to this as a mid-life crisis but it can realistically occur at any time within a person’s life.
Obviously, the most direct route to take when you want to uncover why your wife is so angry is to ask her. This has the potential of backfiring in such a way that she’ll become even more exasperated with you. That’s why you need to be direct about it as well as compassionate. Just say, in a very non-threatening way, that you’ve noticed that she doesn’t seem as satisfied with her life as she once was. Tell her that you care for her happiness and you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to help her. She may pull back initially out of fear of talking about it because it will make her feel vulnerable. Just be understanding and don’t apply any pressure to her to discuss it.
If she has no interest at all in talking about what is causing her anger, drop the subject. You have to get to the bottom of it using your own insight. Watch her more carefully in terms of when she seems most irritable and what triggers appear to set her off. Also, take note of whether or not she seems upset with others or if her outbursts are strictly directed towards you.
Take on More Responsibility to Help
One very common reason why women become angry within their marriage is they feel they have to shoulder the brunt of the responsibility of raising the children, as well as tending to the household and all that entails. Many women complain that they try and discuss this issue with their husbands only to find that nothing changes. In time, a woman may become resentful of the fact that she has to take on more of the responsibility for the family and that resentment will manifest itself as anger.
You can speak to your wife about what she needs help with or you can take the matter into your own hands, and willingly start pitching in more. One area that all women appreciate a bit of extra help with is the preparation of meals. If you’re not available to cook dinners, perhaps you can pitch in early in the morning with the making of the kids’ lunches or do it the night before. Laundry may seem like a complicated undertaking but it’s not. Doing a few loads of laundry for your wife each week, including folding and ironing it, can definitely help her so she feels much less pressure.
You just need to go ahead and do things that you know will lessen the to-do list that your wife faces on a daily basis. If part of her anger is stemming from her stress level, you’ll probably notice a change in her attitude almost immediately after you start helping her out more.
Offer to Be Her Personal Sounding Board
Every woman needs a safe place where she can confide her feelings. Ideally in a marriage you want to be this person for your wife. Part of her struggle with anger may be coming from dissatisfaction with her career or perhaps a falling out with a family member or close friend. Offer to listen if she seems troubled by something. Be certain that you make it clear that you aren’t there to tell her it’s all going to be okay or to offer your opinion, unless asked. Instead, explain that you want her to feel that she can tell you anything. If she feels she needs a sympathetic ear, and you offer to be that for her, that can dramatically change the dynamic of your marriage.
If part of her frustration in life is your marriage, be open to working with her to improve it. It’s incredibly hard not to take a defensive stance when the person you love is being critical of your role as a life partner. However, the first step to improving any marriage is getting all your cards on the table so you know what you’re dealing with. The way you handle any conversation about your connection can either make or break the future of your marriage.
Be open, be compassionate and be as patient as possible as you help your wife work through her anger issues. If you can be there for her as an unwavering tower of emotional strength, you’re both going to come through this stronger and more committed to making your marriage better, happier and healthier.