Address Anger

James 1:19-20

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

why anger must be addressed to save your marriage

Let anger brew and watch your marriage die.

I am NOT saying that you can't get angry.

Anger is a valid emotion.

But when one or both of you are quick to anger AND speak out in anger (see Control Your Tongue), you may unleash something you can't take back.

That something will silently corrode your marriage.

So let's first see what the problems are from unleashing anger on each other.

breaks connection

Being in a state of anger breaks connection. Unlike any other emotion, when your spouse encounters you while you are angry, there cannot be any connection.

In fact, that other person, understandably, will move away, fostering disconnection.

With any other language, it's possible for a couple to connect.

Imagine if your spouse is expressing fear, sadness, worry, distress -- imagine this for a moment.

Isn't it easier to desire to connect with that person?

You want to form a connection based on curiosity and compassion.

Now imagine an angry face (not worried) but angry, a tone of voice that reflects anger -- how do you feel?

Do you want to move towards or away?

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closes conversation

Anger that breaks connection closes conversation.

When someone is angry, it's hard to have a conversation. Even if that is what we will help to address the issue.

The angry person may think that they don't want to connection (but, really, doesn't everyone want connection?)

But you definitely cannot have conversation.

You can't really move from curiosity and compassion into a dialogue, because you don't have connection.

And if you wanted to form a connection through conversation, you probably can't, either.


Because we need connection to have conversation.

creates a controlling environment

And the last one is it creates a controlling environment.

This may seem surprising, but by getting angry, you don't need to feel the out-of-control that comes from being vulnerable. Vulnerability comes from sharing a need (see Request: Mutual Benefit, Specific Action, Fulfill Your Need).

But it's easier and keeps you in control if you turn that disappointment into anger at the other person.

You get to control the state of the relationship. It stays stuck. You don't have to do the work of letting someone be curious and compassionate towards you.


Because those are open-ended conversations. The angry person wants a very specific outcome. To open up the doors loses control.

So it's easier to just stay in anger.

Ironically, the person who is quick to anger is the one who lacks self-control.

They do not move forward because they are controlling the other person.

how to read this devotional privately

Before going into your 15-minute conversation, take a full minute to reflect on these questions silently and privately.

have you had a moment of being angry recently?

Since the last time you came upon this devotion, did you act out in anger?

It could be something small. Maybe you didn't say anything in your angry state, but you were angry, nevertheless.

But perhaps your spouse detected it. It's your face, it's your tone, which is a big part of speaking, or you actually acted out in anger.

what were your thoughts that created the anger?

What were your thoughts that created your anger?

Most people believe the other person creates the anger.

This is wrong.

Your thoughts creates anger.

Children can just become angry without knowing what or why.

For adults, you permit something to anger you. It could be truly legitimate. But that doesn't change the truth.

Something happened in that split second which caused you to became angry.

Was it worth getting angry? Some things do warrant anger.

But was this situation one of them?

what were the facts?

What are the actual facts?

What did you see your spouse do factually?

What did your spouse say?

If your spouse insulted you, you do have a right to become angry. The question is whether you have self-control to not be angery, but then confront.

Of, was it an unmet need (that perhaps your spouse doesn't know about! see: Request One of Your Needs to be Met.)

Because not all facts lead to you the thoughts you chose to have that created the anger.

how to discuss together for 15-minutes

Do not get angry in this devotional! Recall God's mercy from His just wrath, and be quick to listen.

discuss your angry moment, if you had one

You had an angry moment. You were angry. Talk about it, and ideally Confess and Pray Always.

If you were the recipient of an angry moment from your spouse, you can also share the facts of the incident.

If you think it needs to be discussed, agree either to set time later or to extend the time now.

We want to make this a 15-minute habit.

discuss and strengthen ways to mitigate "fast" anger

Discuss if you haven't already? Or strengthen or review ways you mitigate fast anger. Everybody gets angry at some point. Fast anger, where you speak out.

revisit your ways to handle anger in the marriage

Things that are said in anger cause long term issues. How do you revisit ways you handle anger in the marriage?

Take time in this devotion, especially if you thankfully have not had an anger moment recently, to recommit to the ways to handle anger in the marriage.


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why anger must be addressed to save your marriage:

Let anger brew and watch your marriage die.

Anger is a valid emotion.


— Jonah | The Marriage Habit (@marriagehabit) April 3, 2023

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