“You never know what goes on behind closed doors,” was a favorite phrase of my mother. As seemingly healthy marriages drop like dead flies around us, I know this is oh-so-true.
I’ll tell ya’ what’s going on behind some of those doors: Explosions of Anger towards one’s mate. These explosions can include verbal humiliation, degradation, foul language and, Lord forbid, even physical outlash. Dr. Willard F. Harley calls these episodes, “Angry Outbursts.” Angry outbursts are more than a consequence of conditions that aren’t in our favor. They are a form of emotional abuse. Angry outbursts are controlling factors, controlling through bullying.
Anger starts as a defensive emotion in the portion of our brain known as the amygdala. Anger prepares us or guards us from attack (usually verbal/emotional attack, occasionally physical in today’s world). The amygdale is concerned with emotional regulation. Two almond-shaped amygdala (one in each hemisphere) respond to lurking threats. This happens so elegantly that our body reacts and readies itself before the thinking part of the brain, the cortex, can kick-in. Anger sometimes reacts before a situation is consciously evaluated to determine whether or not a response is even needed.
This is not to say that anger cannot be controlled. It absolutely can be controlled.
Numbers 14:18, “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.”
Psalm 103:8, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious. Slow to anger, abounding in love.”
Nehemiah 9:17, “…But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore, you did not desert them.”
The key to the above listed verses…ABOUND IN LOVE. Angry outbursts are the opposite of exhibiting love, they are selfish and meant to be cruel.
The Lord our creator understands anger. Even Jesus is recorded as having righteous anger (Mk 11:15-18, Matt 21:12-13, John 2:13-22). His motive was the concern for the purity of God’s temple. Instances of righteous anger within marriage are few.
Volatile anger is like a shark. It’s unpredictable. It doesn’t always lash out. But, you never know when a heart-disfiguring bite will occur.
The Libido/Anger Cycle: Low libido in Spouse A may cause sexual frustration and anger in Spouse B. Anger from Spouse B may cause low libido and anger in Spouse A. Angry Outbursts will do NOTHING to help this situation; they will only magnify the problem. If there are libido issues in your marriage and angry outbursts are present, connect the dots.
When angry outbursts are extinguished permanently, trust is rebuilt.
Being able to have open, retribution-free discussions will increase desire to reconnect and desire to understand. I promise you, it will go a long way toward firing up the sexual desire.
On Thursday’s post, we’ll train that shark not to bite through practical tools. Please see Taming the Shark, Part 2.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for hurting marriages that are attacked by the shark of anger. I pray for healing. I pray for the Holy Spirit to work within those who have to grapple with inner anger that explodes. I pray for healing of past wounds. May the hearts of those within hurting marriages learn to be slow to anger and abound in love. I pray a measure of JOY for hurting marriages. HOPE comes through tiny moments of joy. Give hurting marriages HOPE and help them see how YOU can help them heal, dear gracious Father. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Information from : Dr. Jenny Brockis
Information from: Marriage Builders: Angry Outbursts
Linking with The Alabaster Jar: Marital Oneness Monday