What do I do when I am angry and hurt? I used to carry my anger and hurt around with me. I would get extra busy and work, very loudly; to be sure those around me could “hear” my anger. Other times, I would escalate and get as loud as I could without “technically” yelling. Another option might be to pretend to be “fine,” but take note of the offense so I could be sure to bring it up later when needed for my next argument. None of these unhealthy techniques brought the result I was hoping for—feeling connected with my husband, feeling heard and understood. As humans, when our feelings are hurt, often our reactions bring about the opposite result of what we desire.
As a relationship coach, I help couples use a tool called the Care Cycle or the Five A’s. This tool is designed to help individuals process their anger, hurt or disappointment so they can connect again with their spouse. The care cycle involves asking oneself a series of questions.
One step in the cycle is to Allow God into the process. The question I encourage individuals to ask themselves is, “What do I need from the Lord to move forward well?” I know I’m in a bad spot when the answer that pops into my head is “If you could just change him and show him how wrong he is we would be fine.” This is not what I really need.
Instead, what I need from the Lord is to calm down. I need God to help clear my thinking so I can have eyes to see and ears to hear what is honestly going on inside of me and inside of my husband. I need humility to see the log in my own eye and stop focusing on the speck in his.
When I’m angry, I’m not able to muster up any love or grace. Instead, I need the Lord to fill me with his love and remind me of his grace. His mercies are new every morning and I want to be able to receive His mercy and extend it to my spouse.
Sometimes I need to even pray for courage to share my feelings in a calm and kind way so I don’t just pretend to be “fine.”
When you are angry, disappointed or hurt what do you need from God to move forward well? Knowing you want to feel heard and understood and connect with your spouse, what will you do differently than you have in the past?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
By Heather Larson, M.A.
Wife to Peter
Mom of three
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Associate Director of 10 Great Dates