From time to time, you and your spouse may get a little... should we say, peeved, at each other. It's late in the day, your spouse has had all their wrong buttons pushed far too many times, and you think they're just about to explode. Perhaps they already have. Your little misunderstanding, or disagreement, was just enough to push them over the edge... and he or she snapped! Big time.
All of a sudden, they are beyond reasoning. They are completely irrational and there doesn't appear to be any way you can improve the situation. What do you do next? How do you deal with a spouse who has simply had enough and appears to be close to their breaking point? Check out these 10 tips for dealing with an irrationally angry spouse!
Quite often, the best thing you can say is... nothing! Rather, just sit back and listen. Let your spouse vent their frustrations and get whatever is bothering them off their chest. They may just need to feel like someone cares about their opinion and is really listening to their point of view. So, become that listening ear.
2. Be patient
None of us are perfect. From time to time, you're going to have to put up with your spouse's imperfections - just as they put up with yours. Sometimes when a person reaches their breaking point, all those imperfections seem to come out in full bloom... how lovely... NOT! Regardless, be patient with your spouse - they'll come around.
3. Get some fresh air
We once heard someone tell the story of an older couple where both spouses were still in excellent health. Someone asked the couple how they had maintained such good health over the many years. The husband responded, "When my wife and I were married we made a deal that anytime we had a disagreement one of us would take a walk and get some fresh air. I largely attribute our good health to a lot of fresh air over the years." It's a humorous story, and some really wise advice.
4. Try to see things from their perspective
Try putting yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? Would you be upset, hurt, or offended? How would you want to be treated? What would you want to change? Considering the situation from the other person's perspective can provide valuable insight and help you be empathetic, rather than judgmental, of their feelings.
5. Don't retaliate
As tempting as it may be to fly off the rocker yourself and begin telling your spouse how ridiculous they're being - don't. It won't help. Retaliation will only feed their fire and make things worse.
6. Stay calm
Rather than retaliating in an irrational manner yourself, stay calm. Take some deep breaths and retain your composure. Remember, it takes two to tango. Regardless of how your spouse is acting, stay in control of your own emotions. Eventually, their fire will run out of fuel as long as you don't feed it.
7. Don't get offended
It's quite possible that in the heat of the moment your spouse will say something they don't really mean. It might be rude, unfair, and uncalled for - but try to let it roll off your back. In moments of frustration we've all said things that we regret. So, rather than getting offended and holding a grudge, just let it go and remember that they don't really mean what they're saying.
8. Give them some space
Your spouse may just need a little space and some time to cool off. So be accommodating of that, and go get yourself some ice cream (or get your spouse some ice cream)! No doubt, a little space and time can calm feelings and benefit both of you. If you're having a heated discussion, table it and come back to it when cooler heads have prevailed.
9. Don't laugh
As funny as it may be to see your spouse pouting and throwing a tantrum like a 3-year old, don't laugh at him or her! They won't like it.
10. Show them some love
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to simply love them - even in their least lovable moments. There's nothing quite like love that can break down barriers and resolve conflict. Give your spouse a huge hug. Hold him or her tight. Maybe you can even try kissing it out of them!
While these suggestions certainly won't solve every tough situation, they will help. It's important to note, however, that there's only so much you can do. Under no circumstance should abuse of any kind be considered acceptable or tolerated. If you find yourself in an abusive situation or relationship, we would strongly encourage you to seek out professional help. There are many wonderful resources available to help individuals struggling with abuse - you are not alone.
"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."
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