Why Does My Spouse Make Me So Angry?
I muttered to myself, "If only Larry would be the man I expected, I wouldn't be so angry. It's his fault." We'd been married seven years and I feared our marriage wouldn't survive. I pleaded with God to change Larry—to make him work less and not be so interested in his flying hobby. Every time he flew without me, my anger increased. I repeated over and over, "It's all his fault!"
But then God began to change my perspective and as a result, he brought healing and joy into our marriage. If your spouse makes you "so angry," you might want to consider the insights God gave me.
I'm responsible for my anger
For most of my life, I'd blamed others for my anger. "If only they wouldn't do …" or "If only they would do …" But God began to show me verses like Ephesians 4:29, 31-32. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths … Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate …" Paul used verbs that were commands, which meant I could choose to obey. It wasn't out of my control.
None of those verses say, "If your spouse treats you right, do not let any unwholesome talk …" or "If your spouse meets your needs, be kind and compassionate." There were no possible justifications. I was responsible for my reactions and if I claimed to be a Christian, I had the Holy Spirit's power to be patient as a fruit of the Spirit. As a result, I began to hold myself accountable.
Taking responsibility for my anger meant humbling myself and asking forgiveness from God and Larry. Though extremely difficult in the beginning, I was more motivated to recognize when I started to become angry in order to avoid needing to ask forgiveness. Learning to catch myself confirmed that I could choose to be angry—or not!
My spouse isn't a reflection of me
When Larry and I were with others, my mind rumbled, Why did he say that? or I can't believe he did that. Even though he was directing his actions toward others, I felt angry. If he was gruff with someone, I felt bad and would step in to make things better. If he seemed unconcerned about someone's situation, I went overboard asking them about it. It seemed like I spent a lot of thought and energy trying to make up for what I believed he lacked. And I felt angry because it seemed to put me in a bad light.
Then I began to question, Why am I feeling angry when he didn't even do those things to me? I was acting as though he was a direct reflection of me and I took it personally. When he didn't "perform" the way I thought he should and other people seemed unhappy, I felt like they judged me. After all I criticized other wives for not controlling their husbands. I thought getting angry at Larry would motivate him to change—thus would protect my image.