Are you that Tiger who uses aggressive tactics like verbal attacking, yelling, physical intimidation, or do you result to throwing cell phones. In contrast you may be “Cecile” the turtle who favors more passive-aggressive methods like withdrawal, pouting or martyrdom. According to Nancy Landrum and Jim Landrum’s book How to Stay Married and Love It, men are more prone to Turtle tactics than women. In general, women consider themselves relationship fixers, and tend to stay engaged in dialogue until the issue is resolved..Even if that mean mixing it up a little. Men are prone to “flooding,” a conditioned being overwhelmed by the anger, causing a rush of adrenaline level and a normal heart rate. The return of a normal adrenaline level takes longer for a man than for a woman, so they retreat as opposed to fighting. Fighting can be damaging in a marriage, but retreating can be downright detrimental beyond repair because to your spouse it feels like you are not in the trenches with them. So no matter how difficult the marriage gets over time, you will never be there for support.
You must make a choice how you plan to release your anger. Like I always say, “You do have a choice.” Anger is an emotion that is inside all of us. How you share it with your spouse will determine how they act toward you.
If you have been that volatile person in the past, prone to “Tigerism,” make the choice to act differently.
That doesn’t mean you have to keep the anger inside. Sometimes you have to vent, but here are a few Do’s and Don’ts
- Direct your anger toward the family pet, or your spouse. You can vent to Coach Keith. I am a man, can take it.
- Keep away from children. Like they on the pill bottles, it’s poisonous and can be harmful to their psyche.
- Stay away from weapons, fast cars and rooftops. (anything that can hurt you or someone else)
- Put down any expensive paintings or figurines.
- Scream into your pillow pet, or in the car. People will think you’re just having a passionate hands-free conversation on your phone.
- You can curse all you want…on paper.
- Go work out, or better yet..hit the punching bag or do some Zumba.
- God likes to hear you get mad..talk to him..He’s just going to laugh anyway since he put you there in the first place to help you grow into your best self.
Once you have vented, determine where the anger is coming from? What was the specific episode or words that caused you to flick off. After you have thoroughly reviewed the circumstances you may find the issue that is bothering you is from the past and had nothing to do with your spouse at all.
At some point, you will have to share your knowledge with your spouse in order to move forward. That’s part of having the intimate relationship we have been discussing the past couple of weeks.
Finally, after you have moved past the issue, create an atmosphere of reconciliation. It’s the best part. From planning a weekend of fun together to make-up sex, the positive energy can bring solidify your marriage.