Sometimes the best approach to see an issue under a different light is to take a completely different tack. In the blog Happiness in this World, the author who is a Buddhist physician explaining a sudden case of anger in his office.
The point offered here useful for marital situations is this:
HOW TO DIFFUSE ANGER IN OTHERS
"The goal here is two-fold, your ability to carry out the second being dependent on your ability to carry out the first:
Remain in control of yourself. When you find yourself on the receiving end of someone’s anger, they’re either trying to control you in some way or make you feel small so they can feel big. Or you’ve done them some kind of wrong. You should seek to understand which of the three it is. You must tell yourself that anger is their strategy and has nothing to do with you at all, unless of course you really have committed an injustice against them, in which case you should make amends."
Here you have your task, deciding which one is true:
- Is someone angry at you trying to control you?
- Or making you feel small and weak so they can feel big?
- Or is there a real cause of frustration you need to address?
Only you can decide which one is the situation...but this simple frame gives you a way to sort out what behavior needs to follow...If you re curious, the second step in this plan is:
Help them discharge their anger in a way that feels satisfying without causing harm.
You can read more about the Buddhist approach at managing anger attacks in Alex Lickerman's blog!