Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Take it Out on Her

All of us are overtaken by bad days once in a while. Let’s face it, life has problems. As long as we’re living on the earth, we’re going to be faced with things which try and ruin our day. We’re going to have to put up with annoying co-workers, demanding bosses, difficult customers and cars which break down at the wrong time. It’s just part of life.

While we can’t control the things that happen to us and around us, we can control how we react to them. If I were to throw a bucket of cold water over you, you might yell back at me, “You’ve made me wet and you’ve made me mad.” But, that wouldn’t be true. All I did was to make you wet; you decided to get mad all on your own. You could have chosen to laugh at it instead.

Most people think that they don’t have any control over their anger or depression, but in fact we do. We can choose not to be angry, offended or depressed; we don’t have to let those things control us. Don’t try and tell me that you’ve never held it inside when your boss or co-worker did something that made you want to yell at them. How could you keep from yelling at them, if you don’t have any control over yourself?

The reality is that we keep ourselves from reacting, when we think that the cost of the reaction will be too high. Yelling at the boss might carry the price tag of ending up on unemployment, so we try and avoid that one. Instead of yelling at those people, we take it home and yell at our families.

Throughout history, wives have had to put up with husbands who took out their problems on them. That’s really not fair, but that hasn’t stopped it from happening. Men who can’t blow up at work, instead wait till they get home and blow up at their wives. Why in the world would anyone ever choose to do that?

Actually, we don’t really choose to blow up at our wives instead of our bosses. What we do is choose not to blow up at our bosses. Then, when we get home, we feel safe. So, what we had bottled up inside all day ends up coming out at those who are closest to us. Something they do irritates us, and instead of reacting rationally and reacting at an appropriate level for the problem, we react irrationally, allowing all the pain and frustration we had bottled up inside to come out at our wives.

This is fundamentally destructive to the marriage relationship. Many women get to a point where they are afraid to talk to their husbands, because of the way that their husband is going to react. Communication begins to break down and the couple grows farther apart.

Okay, so how do we fix the problem? First of all, you need to be honest with yourself and decide whether or not you’ve done this. Then, if you have, go to your wife, repent and ask her forgiveness. Let her know that you’re aware of what you’ve done and that you’re going to work on changing that in the future.

The easiest way to prevent yourself from repeating that poor performance is to find a way of getting rid of the negative attitude, without dumping it on your wife. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, such as:
  • Forgive the person – you’d be amazed what the simple act of saying “I forgive them” can do
  • Spend time in prayer – the more you pray, the less things can bother you
  • Spend time in worship – the presence of the Lord is a great cleanser for the heart
  • Physical activity – while not a very spiritual option, many men find that exercise helps them release the tension

Often, the best thing we can do, until we can deal with the frustration and anger is to keep our mouths shut. That way, we don’t dump on anyone. Then, if you need to get alone, away from your wife and kids, so that you can get rid of the negative feelings, do so. Just let them know that you need some time alone.

Don’t use this as an excuse to ignore your family. You should be able to deal with your problem within a half hour. If it takes longer than that, you’re probably rehearsing the offense in your mind, rather than trying to get rid of it.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the tension and problem and straightened out your attitude, then you’re ready to deal with your family in the way that they deserve. This will protect your marriage, keep your wife from feeling unloved and keep you from destroying any “points” you’ve gained with your wife for being romantic.

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