7 Ways To Control And Deal With Anger In Relationships

Whether you’re the angry partner or you’re facing one, frustration in a relationship is pretty normal.

If you feel like things are starting to get out of control, we’ve got some suggestions for whatever side of the anger you’re on.

Remember that feeling safe is something you absolutely deserve and that there is always help available if you need it.

When it comes to therapy or professional help, there is no judgment whether you’re the one losing control of your anger or the one who is on the receiving end of it.

These are our suggestions for dealing with anger in a relationship – but there is other help available if you need or want it.

1. Consider the reasons.

You’re facing an angry partner

If your partner is consistently angry or loses control of their feelings often, there is an underlying issue that needs resolving.

Of course, we all get frustrated at times, but you shouldn’t have to put up with anyone in your life with a persistent anger-management issue that affects you.

Consider what may be driving this anger or lack of control.

Is it something to do with their childhood or something that’s happening at work that’s left them feeling overwhelmed?

By thinking about the reasons behind your partner’s behavior, you can be more compassionate and better-equipped to help them overcome the issues they’re facing.

You are the angry partner

Think about why you’re so angry – is something in your life making you feel like you have no control?

Is there something you’ve buried that keeps resurfacing as anger? Or is there something happening consistently that pushes you over the edge?

Whatever it is, you need to try to figure out what the reasons behind your actions are. Think about what might be causing your irrational behavior and you’ll be more likely to resolve it.

2. Look for patterns and triggers.

You’re facing an angry partner

Is there something you can think of that consistently happens right before your partner gets angry?

Maybe they fly off the handle every time their sports team loses. Maybe it’s after a meeting at work or after seeing a certain person.

Try to make a mental note of what happens before an angry episode.

This will help you figure out what’s driving the behavior and puts you in a good position to communicate about it from a caring place, rather than lashing back out at them.

You are the angry partner

Being self-aware is key in life in general, but it’s also crucial to having a healthy, functioning relationship.

If you know that you can get quite angry, think about what triggers it.

It may be when someone talks about something that offends you, like politics, or it may be when you feel insecure about your job after a bad meeting with your CEO.

Try to find patterns in your behavior and this will help you limit your exposure to triggers and learn to deal with them in a healthier way.

3. Communicate honestly.

You’re facing an angry partner

It’s likely that your partner is well aware of how frustrated they can get sometimes, which makes it easier to talk about with them.

Come from an honest, open place and communicate how you feel.

Don’t put all the blame on them, but let them know how their behavior feels and that it worries you seeing them getting so angry over things.

This shows that you care about them and are approaching them from a place of love, rather than making them feel guilty and out of control.

Make sure they know that you want to help them resolve these issues, but that you also want them to take responsibility for what they’re doing.

You are the angry partner

If you know you’re an angry person, it’s worth talking to your partner about it.

This shows that you care about them and you know that your behavior can get out of hand.

By acknowledging your actions, you’re showing that you’re mature and accountable.

This will help your partner feel reassured and secure, and demonstrates that you are open to making changes, which will make them feel better in turn.

Be honest without blaming them if something they are doing makes you angry at times. Let them know how both of your behaviors impact the relationship without attacking them.

4. Share your expectations.

You’re facing an angry partner

If your partner gets frustrated and angry a lot of the time, it’s likely to upset you and wear you down.

It’s important for your own health and well-being to let them know what expectations you have from them and from your relationship.

You want to feel loved and safe, and like you can express yourself without being lashed out at.

Tell them what you want and how you think you can both make adjustments to achieve this.

Be realistic – everyone gets angry sometimes so you can’t expect them to be mellow all the time; give them time to adjust and don’t expect a new person overnight.

It’s important to make it clear that you still love them and that you don’t want them to change their whole personality.

You still want to be with them; you just want them to be a bit more in control of their emotions.

You are the angry partner

Maybe you’re angry because of something in your relationship, or maybe you feel you can openly get angry in front of your partner because they’ll always forgive you and hold space for your behavior.

If you’re having trouble managing your anger, let your partner know what you expect from them in the relationship.

Maybe you expect them to tell you to calm down and regulate your actions. Or maybe you expect them to be there for you to listen to you talk about your bad day and to offer advice when you get angry.

They may not know how to accommodate your behavior, which might make you even more frustrated.

By letting your partner know what expectations you have, you can work towards a more harmonious relationship and a more balanced mood.

Don’t be unfair and expect them to be willing to listen to you shouting about your boss every day, of course.

Think of a reasonable level of care and attention and make it clear why you want this. It’ll help them help you and make them feel better.

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5. Set boundaries.

You’re facing an angry partner

It can be really hard to be with someone who is often very angry, and it’s okay to be uncomfortable with that.

As we said, you can’t expect your partner to become a completely different person overnight, but setting boundaries will help you feel better, and will encourage them to moderate their moods.

Again, be honest and caring, but set some ground rules and boundaries.

This will naturally follow on from stating your expectations, and is just a way of putting those expectations into action.

If you’ve said you expect them to complain and rant less each day, set a boundary for it – you’re each allowed 10 minutes after work to moan about colleagues, criticize your boss, or complain about your friend who’s upset you.

That’s a fair way of establishing some limits on unhealthy behavior and will help them self-regulate and calm down more easily in the future.

You are the angry partner

As the angry one in your relationship, think about what boundaries you’d like to set with your partner, as well as what help they can give you by setting boundaries for you.

If you know you get very angry very quickly, agree that they will step in after 5 minutes of you shouting, and that you then need to stop.

Equally, maybe you want to set some personal space boundaries.

Some people get angry and then have no outlet for it before they’re in another situation.

They might get home from work and immediately take their bad day out on their partner by shouting about how mad they are! This is an example of displacement in psychology.

Your partner may accidentally encourage this or you might get even angrier at them for something small they’ve done that would never normally annoy you but has really frustrated you because you’re so angry already.

Maybe you’d like to ask for half an hour to yourself between finishing work or seeing friends to process and adjust.

That half an hour will help you come to terms with any feelings of anger you’re experiencing, and you’ll then be able to go into the next part of your day feeling more refreshed and in control.

6. Honor yourself and your needs.

You’re facing an angry partner

Think about what you need from your partner. In order to have a healthy relationship, you both need to have your needs and wants met.

Sure, not all the time, but enough that it balances out any moments where you feel upset or betrayed.

Do you feel safe? Do you feel valued? Do you feel happy? If the answer to these questions is anywhere between ‘not all the time’ and ‘never,’ you really need to consider what you’re actually getting from the relationship.

You matter, and so do your needs. Being with an angry person means that your feelings and thoughts are often overlooked or overshadowed due to their bigger feelings and thoughts – they yell, you talk, so you often feel like you’re not heard.

Is your partner so busy complaining about his job that you never get a chance to talk about your job, or your friends, or your life.

Are you listened to or are you always having to listen?

Are you allowed to get angry at things or do they monopolize that feeling and leave you in the position of just having to accept it, swallow your own frustrations, and play nice in order to keep the peace?

Deep down, you know the answers.

Listen to your needs and wants, and honor them – you should never have to ‘put up with their anger’ or ‘just deal with it.’

You are the angry partner

Linking back to our first thinking-point, what are the reasons behind your anger?

It may be that your needs are not being met in your relationship, which frustrates you and leads you to lash out.

It might be that your partner is amazing, but the rest of your life feels out of control, and you take it out on them by shouting and yelling because you need to feel like you are in control.

Whether it’s your needs in the partnership or wider life, you’re probably not having them met if you constantly feel a level of rage inside you.

Consider what could help you feel more satisfied.

Maybe your partner never initiates intimacy anymore and you display the insecurity that makes you feel as anger.

Maybe you lash out because you’re actually jealous about their friendships with people of the same-sex, but don’t know how to express it.

Maybe you’re not getting acknowledged for all your hard work and your boss treats you badly – you can’t yell at them, so you bottle it up until you get home to your ‘safe space’ and can let it all out.

Whatever you think your needs are, they’re not being met and you need to find external ways to help you with that, rather than putting it all on your partner.

7. Seek external help and consider ending the relationship.

You’re facing an angry partner

If you feel unsafe in your relationship, you need to seek external help.

Nobody should live in fear – especially fear that is caused by someone they love, and who loves them.

So many people stay in relationships with partners that get angry and potentially hurt them because they are too scared to leave, or they think they can change their partner.

There is a difference between a partner who swears when they burn themselves cooking and a partner who controls your behavior with their rage and leaves you feeling scared.

If it’s the latter, you will never, ever change them. They need help and you need to find a way to leave in order to protect yourself.

Yes, this has taken a serious turn, but we can’t express just how important it is to look after yourself.

Leaving someone you love does not make you a bad person.

You should not feel guilty for leaving someone who needs help or is vulnerable if they are making you feel scared and in danger.

There are plenty of ways to get help, from online forums to close friends you can trust, and from hotlines to counselors.

Remember that you must love yourself more than your partner, even if that means leaving them to protect yourself. 

You are the angry partner

Having made it this far through the article, you may, as the ‘angry partner,’ be feeling slightly attacked by now.

That is not the case whatsoever – this is simply pointing out that it is you who has trouble with their feelings, and you who must take responsibility for them.

Your emotions are often due to external factors, so nobody expects you to never get frustrated in your relationship again.

However, if you know that your anger management skills are low, you need to be accountable for them and find ways to resolve your issues.

If you can’t do that, there are lots of ways to seek external help, especially if you worry that your anger may cause you to harm yourself or others.

Therapy can be amazing – it may be that your anger is driven by something you’re unaware of, and therapists are trained to help you uncover that and deal with it so you can live a healthy life.

It may be that the relationship is triggering your anger, in which case you need to re-read everything we’ve written, from finding out what causes the patterns in your actions to setting boundaries to asking whether your needs are being met.

You may be feeling an underlying sense of disappointment in your relationship – you love them, but why isn’t your partner satisfying you emotionally (and maybe physically)?

This kind of experience can make you feel very angry and frustrated, and you’re likely to be burying these feelings because you feel guilty for not being happy with the person you love and who loves you.

That can then lead to a bubbling up of emotions that expresses itself in angry outbursts.

You need to look after yourself and think about whether you might be better off ending the relationship and finding internal ways to satisfy your needs.

Addressing these issues will help you feel more in control than burying them ever will.

These are just some of the ways to deal with an angry partner, or an anger you feel in your relationship.

Of course, there are thousands of other reasons why either of you may experience these feelings, and the key steps to resolving them are to consider the reasons behind the rage and then take steps to confront and clear them.

As we said, if you ever feel unsafe, seek help and look after yourself as best you can.

About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.