Living the "mom life" is often a fast-paced whirlwind of activity, so sometimes it can…
5 Steps to Get Rid of Anger and Resentment Toward Your Husband
In “Embracing the Beautiful Chaos of Motherhood” there is a whole chapter dedicated to husbands and dealing with the most common stressors in marriage. I go into a lot of detail about 9 different types of stressors and how we, as wonderfully amazing women, can deal with the not so glamorous parts of it. One thing that I would like to add to all of that wonderful content is a detailed plan with actual steps you can take to release anger and resentment toward your husband that are probably poisoning your day-to-day interactions with him and possibly others.
It’s no secret that our husbands are pretty important people in our lives. Aside from fathering our young, they are our partners in life, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. They are our better halves and bring so much love and joy to our lives. And while I would love to say that it’s like that every day, we all know that in the real-world people, even our darling husbands, will do something to make us mad on occasion.
If we don’t handle this correctly and release this irritation or anger, it can become resentment that takes a deep seeded seat in our marriage that will start accumulating more and more of itself if left unattended. We will begin to feel less connected to our spouse and become more aware of what he is doing to annoy us or make us madder.
So, you are pissed at your husband for something he did and it’s not something you can just shake off and let go. This is really bothering you. What should you do? Take a look at the 5 steps below, giving each one a try and watch your anger and resentment lessen:
Step One: Get it out!
Listen closely here – WRITE IT OUT ON PAPER. Notice I did not say Facebook or any other social media platform. I did not say vent to your friends or anyone you know, no matter how close they are to you – no! That’s not the answer. Take time to write it all out on a piece (or pieces) of paper. Put everything down that is annoying you and why you are so upset with him. During this process you will most likely discover that it’s multiple things that have accumulated over time that are frustrating to you and this final thing is what sent you in the tailspin. Note it all down. Talk about how you feel and what you would like instead. Hold nothing back. Be brutally honest. You will probably surprise yourself and what ends up coming out once you get on a roll. Don’t edit it or look for perfection. Don’t think about what you should be saying…write from the heart, totally uncensored.
Step Two: Tap on it!
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping is an incredible tool to use for immediate relief from intense emotions like anger or frustration. While tapping on certain meridian points of your body, you go through a series of statements to acknowledge your anger and irritation. You then go through another series of better feeling statements. For this particular topic, I recommend this guided EFT video with Brad Yates. https://youtu.be/vBvVAxoxrFE He will walk you through the process of tapping. You will notice a difference between the before and after in yourself and the reduction of anger you feel in these short 10 minutes. Feel free to come back to this guided session or explore some others as often as you’d like. It’s my go to when I am needing instant release of a heavy emotion.
Step Three: Face Some Facts
Once you have found some relief and some of the rage has subsided, take another look at your letter where you blasted it all out. As you read, I want you to remember that you cannot, no matter what you do or how badly you want to, make your husband change. It has to be something that comes from him. This doesn’t mean you can’t talk with him and share what’s going on for you with him, but it does mean that it’s totally up to him to change, apologize, etc. So please go through, line by line, of what you wrote and evaluate what from that list is something that you have control over. Keep in mind that you only truly have control over yourself. So, if you notice anything from what you wrote that you can do or change to improve the situation, please do so. Otherwise, you can say, “this is out of my control and that’s ok”. And I totally agree that it stinks that we can’t control people the way we would like to. I feel your pain, sister! But once we get to a place where we are ok with not controlling, we can see the whole situation with more clarity. Once you have gone through everything on the page only focusing on what you have control over, rip it up or burn it. You can say, “I release this anger and resentment. I choose to see this with love.”
Step Four: Work your way out of the funk
You’ll need another piece of paper for this step. Draw a big circle on it. It will resemble a clock. In place of the numbers, put a dash in each space where a number would go.
At the 12:00 spot, you write the current situation (why you are mad at your husband). This should be clear to you from the previous steps.
Next on the 11:00 spot, you write what you would like the situation to be like.
Now for the 1:00 spot through 10:00, think of these as stepping-stones to get from the main irritation to where you’d like to be. You aren’t looking necessarily for action steps, but more just for better feeling thoughts as you work your way around the circle. Treat this “clockwork” like you are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. With each dash, you want to get to a better feeling. It might look a little something like this:
The finished process might look something like this:
Step Five: Gratitude Always Wins!
Steps One to Four make this last one possible. Since it’s pretty impossible to feel gratitude for someone you are angry with in that moment of anger, we have saved this powerfully effective step for last. After doing the first four steps, you have worked through enough of you anger, frustration, irritation or resentment that you are now in a better feeling spot. What will drive this whole process home will be to identify things about your husband that you admire and are grateful for. Don’t worry if it’s a little tricky at first. It doesn’t mean that you are a terrible wife or anything extreme like that. It only means that you need a little more practice with gratitude. It is like a muscle – the more we use it and identify what we are grateful for, the easier it is to find things we are grateful for. When we can identify these things consistently, we will experience more joy and happiness. And guess what you’ll never find together? Joy and anger. They don’t mix. So, work on a list (last list of this whole process, I promise) and try and identify everything that you like, enjoy, and appreciate about your spouse.
Whew! What a ride! Congrats for making it through. The most important thing to remember is that it’s us and our husbands vs. the issue, and NOT us vs. our husbands. You are a Rockstar for sticking it out to go through this not so fun nor pretty process and hopefully feel much better for it.
What was the most powerful step of this process for you? What else do you like to do when you are mad at your husband?