Dealing with distorted anger

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make temper flare. (Proverbs 15: 1)

Distorted anger can destroy your marriage. Distorted anger is the emotion you feel when you don’t get your way. It is sometimes called selfish anger, because its root is in you rather than in any external circumstance. Legitimate anger is your emotional response when your spouse sins against you, but distorted anger can be sparked by almost anything.

Maybe your spouse is watching television instead of helping you in the kitchen, or she forgot to pick up the milk on her way home from the office. How you handle distorted anger can make or break your marriage. To lash out on your spouse with critical words, or to withdraw in silence, will eventually destroy your marriage. As Proverbs 15: 1 says, “harsh words make tempers flares.” One person’s distorted anger can flame the other’s with very negative results.

On the other hand, requesting time to share your feelings in a non-condemning way will lead to understanding. Feelings need to be shared, but spouses don’t need to be condemned for being forgetful or thoughtless. Consider this approach; “I want to share this with you, not to condemn you, but so that you will know me better.” These are the words of a wise spouse. Such open sharing releases distorted anger and leads to a growing marriage.


Father, forgive me for those times when I let my anger take control of me. Please show me how to share my feelings without condemning or snapping at the one I love. I want our marriage to grow.