When You’re Perpetually Angry With Your Husband

If your husband is anything like mine, he’s sometimes forgetful. (Maybe more than sometimes.) He rarely remembers to return the milk to the fridge or lock the front door or turn off the hall light. Sometimes he even spends more money than I’ve budgeted. ┬áBelieve me, it’s easy to become angry with our husbands!

However, it is definitely not good for perpetual anger to take over your marriage. It wears down the trust between spouses and eliminates mutual bonding. Over time, perpetual anger may make you feel like you’re tolerating a difficult roommate instead of caring for the love of your life.

So what can you do when the frustration, anger, and withdrawal begin?

When You're Perpetually Angry with Your Husband | Grace Upon Grace Today

Assess the Emergency

First, assess whether this situation is an emergency. Socks left on the floor instead of in the hamper? Not an emergency. Baby gate not put up in front of the stairs? Could be an emergency depending on if little one can handle the stairs. Emergencies deserve quicker responses… Not louder responses or more emotional responses. Just quicker.

Leave Your Emotions at the Door

Emotions are good. They tell us when something doesn’t feel right or seems out of place. They clue us in to situations that might be unsafe or unfair. However, they can also escalate very quickly, if you know what I mean! Instead of allowing your emotions to control your response (How dare he not put the milk back?!? Doesn’t he know how angry it makes me?), transition your emotions to something more factual (Leaving the milk out causes it to spoil faster. He knows that, but maybe he forgot that he left it out.) Raising your voice rarely achieves a positive result. Instead, discuss the issue together calmly. In addition, if you’re going through a transitional point in your marriage, your emotions may be all over the place. I’ve found that it helps to talk about what’s really going on (the big elephant in the room – perhaps that is a looming life transition) and then my emotions become more centered.

Assume the Best

Always, always, always assume the best. You chose to marry this man, and you know that he is typically a kind person. Maybe not super thoughtful, but definitely not vicious. Assuming the worst has gotten me into so much trouble. Once I called my husband on my way home from work and he let me know that he was about to start a movie. Unfortunately, it was a movie that I was interested in seeing only after I had read the book. I assumed that he already knew this and he had rented the DVD anyway on purpose. He wasn’t, but asking first before I lashed out at him would have helped the situation.

Request

Mine typically go like this: “Sweet husband, thanks for helping me get my things out of the car last night, but neither of us remembered to lock the back door, and I feel uncomfortable knowing the door was unlocked. Could you check the doors before we go to bed tonight?” Start with a positive, state the issue, and finish with the concern and a way to fix it.

I have also heard the “bug + wish” method. It starts with something ┬áthat bothers you, like “It bugs me when you leave the toilet seat up” and ends with a request: “I wish you would put it down when you are finished in the bathroom.” A bug and a wish is an easy method to teach children, too!

Here’s another example: “I’m so glad that you want to hang out with your friends this weekend, but I feel forgotten when we don’t spend time together. Could we plan a date for Sunday afternoon?”

Your Turn (Practice!)

Consider the reasons why you become angry with your husband. It might help to make a list. Then, determine which elements of that list are things that could change (if your husband wanted to change them) and which elements are just the way your husband is wired.

My man is an external processor – he talks to process through his experiences and his responses to those experiences. I knew this when I married him, and I accepted it. That’s not going to change, even for me, the quiet introvert. What might be able to change is when he processes externally, whether that’s on the phone on the way home from work or at the dinner table or in the bed before we go to sleep, or even at breakfast on the weekends… I can request that we choose a seemingly better time to chat.

When You're Perpetually Angry with Your Husband | Grace Upon Grace Today

You cannot change your husband’s “unchangeables.” In fact, there’s very little you can change about someone else – unless they are willing to make the change. In a calm moment (not an emergency), discuss with your husband how you can best meet each other’s needs, and make a request in which you assume the best and leave your emotions out of it. Are you angry with husband? Choose to make a calm request instead of railing into him. You can be a team with your husband today.

Name one thing your spouse does that makes you angry.
What step can you take today to ease the frustration and communicate well once again?

How we Celebrated our First Anniversary

Recently, my sweet husband and I celebrated our very first anniversary. I wanted to give you a sneak peak into our celebrations and share some ideas for your anniversary!

Advice I Received

I once received the advice to always (always!) celebrate your anniversary… Even if that means doing something very small or very cheap. To be honest, I had high expectations. We had an amazing honeymoon (thanks to some generous people), which had probably set my expectations a little too high for the next year. Fortunately, though, when my husband and I looked at our upcoming expenses, we opted for “First Anniversary on a Budget.”

How We Celebrated our First Anniversary | Grace Upon Grace Today

How We CelebratedHow We Celebrated Our First Anniversary | Grace Upon Grace Today

As our anniversary was Sunday, we began the festivities on Saturday. We decided to go out for breakfast to our favorite fast-food place (Chick-Fil-A!) and use our 2017 calendar cards (free food!). We picnicked at a local park for lunch and took a nature hike there. Then we ate dinner at the same barbecue restaurant that catered our wedding – what a fun memory! Since we rarely go out to eat, this was a super fun way to celebrate.

On Sunday, we woke up early and headed to a nearby state park in the mountains that offers zip-lining. We completed two parts of the zip-lining course (part three will be released later this summer!) and had a blast! We then ate lunch and walked around the historic town near the park. Our day ended with my husband cooking dinner for us.

Building Intimacy

I am a firm believer in something called “recreational intimacy.” You can read more about it in Josh Squires’s article about intimacy for Desiring God. Basically, recreational intimacy is fostered when couples do fun things together. This fuels mutual enjoyment that leads to connectivity. Also, men typically form relationships “shoulder-to-shoulder” (as opposed to women who typically enjoy more face-to-face interactions), so it makes sense that couples, being one-half male, need to form experiences together.

We were able to experience a first anniversary within our budget and still a celebration. We built our relationship by doing something fun together. This helped us recommit to giving each other grace upon grace and building our marriage over many more years together.

What is a fun and cost-effective way you would recommend to make much of an anniversary celebration?

How to Handle Transitions in Marriage

As newlyweds, we face a lot of transitions. In the early years of marriage, we may move, change jobs, attend college or grad school, and even have our first babies. There are many shifts of various types. How should we handle transitions in marriage?

How to Handle Transitions in Marriage for Newlyweds | Grace Upon Grace Today

Purpose, Value, Needs, and Time

Too often, one spouse will jump on an opportunity or possibility without consulting the other. This happens often with newlyweds, because we easily remember what it was like to be single! Instead of making life-changing decisions without your spouse, sit down together and discuss four things: purpose, value, needs, and time. You can even download my discussion guide for a handy way to talk about upcoming life transitions with your spouse!

Reconnect, Reconnect, Reconnect

Embark on the transition, and reconnect along the way! My in-laws told us that marriage is a series of consistent two degree shifts. We are not automatically aligned to our spouses every day. It takes regular, small times of reconnecting to get back on track. I once heard a pastor say that you should strive to spend an hour a day, a morning/evening a week, a day a month, and a weekend a year with just your spouse and no distractions. His encouragement was to start small and build up.

In transitional periods, we often lose the seemingly “automatic” connection that we had before. For example, during the school year, my husband and I go to sleep and wake up around the same time. We work together, so we ride together in the car. We have certain times that we can reconnect without really working on it. However, now it’s summertime. We have separate part-time jobs. We go to bed at different times. All of a sudden, the transition has made our reconnecting more difficult.

In order to handle the transition well, we must find a time and space to reconnect. Maybe that’s becoming more serious about a structured dinner time every night (no phones allowed!). Or reading our devotional book before I go to bed, and then once I’m asleep, he goes back to a sports game or TV show. It could be cuddling on the couch for ten minutes after your kids are finally in bed. Squeeze that reconnection into your new schedule somewhere, because you will feel far away from each other if you don’t.

The difficult (yet beautiful) thing about reconnecting is that every day might look different. New baby? Your sleep schedule will definitely be thrown off. Changing shifts at work? He might have to leave the house before you’re awake. Occasionally, reconnecting looks like doing something for your spouse when you can’t actually be with your spouse.

When You Can’t Be There

A traveling husband or a new mom may not be able to “be” there physically for their spouse the way they might want to. Instead, reconnect by doing something special for your spouse. My husband is planning to be out of town later this summer visiting his aging grandfather. We can still connect with a FaceTime date, a handwritten note tucked into his suitcase, or a “good morning” text on a busy day. When I am working longer than he is, he might put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher or make the bed if I’ve forgotten it. Those little things really add up, especially if we have less time to reconnect in person.

Communicate the Essentials

Everyone knows that practical communication is important. I’m talking about the “working” side of a marriage here: I’m running errands at this time, can you pick up the kids here, and what are we eating for dinner? When there are transitions in marriage, it is important to discuss them together, and figure out how they work within the schedule and routines you are familiar with.

For this, I love the Cozi App. I have a personal planner that I keep with me (and a chalkboard calendar in kitchen), but I realized that when summer hit and my husband and I started our separate part time jobs that we would need something to keep us organized. Cozi came to the rescue. With one calendar divided by color for each family member, it is easy to see who needs to do what each day and week. There’s also a grocery list and to-do list that is accessible by anyone in the family (just like a calendar), so it’s easy to send your husband to the store for you! I am not an affiliate for Cozi; I just enjoy sharing the app with others.

Obviously, using a neat app has not replaced face to face communication, but it has made it easier for us to stay on top of life transitions. We feel more connected just by knowing what time the other person will be home or where he or she is working today. My brother-in-law and his wife use a giant calendar on their refrigerator. My mom has her calendar printed out and sitting on her desk. Do what works for you and your husband.

Do Not Compare

Finally, do not allow envy to sneak into your heart. Nothing will put a damper on your marriage like comparing your transitional periods to another couple’s transitions. When you start comparing (“Why is my husband not finished with school yet?” or “How do her kids already sleep through the night?” or “How did they already buy a new house?”), you will feel empty and lacking. Instead, focus on what you do have. Focus on the values and the rewards of this stage where you find yourself right now. There is a purpose here in this transition.

 

P.S. Did your get your free Transitions in Marriage discussion guide? It’s not too late!

What transition are you currently facing in your marriage?