I’ve always believed that every emotion has its place, even the ones that get a bad rep like sadness and anger. All the emotions we develop serve a purpose, and problems typically ensue when we let our emotions manage us instead taking control and managing our emotions.

One of the most difficult emotions for some people to manage is anger. Typically the biggest issues are an inability to control how we express anger, which can lead to things getting out of hand, or suppressing our anger because expressing it feels inappropriate. Both approaches can ultimately be dangerous and quite damaging to your marriage.

Why are you so angry?

When you are angry in your marriage there are often two possible sources. You are either angry about something your spouse did and you are unable to forgive them, or you are harboring anger about something in your life that has nothing to do with your spouse but the anger is consuming you and consequently impacting your marriage.

One of the most critical aspects of managing anger is being clear about the source. If your spouse did something and your anger stems from the incident and your inability to forgive, you have to make a decision. You need to either work towards releasing the anger and forgiving our spouse, or you need to walk away. You will never be happily married to anyone you remain angry with.

Now if your anger has nothing to do with your spouse, you have to identify the issue and decide to work through it. Your spouse cannot, and should not, suffer for anger you have about how your mama treated you year ago or how your boss talks to you every day. You have to find the source and develop a plan to release the anger and move on with your life. Anger should be felt and processed; it should not become a way of life.

What is the anger doing to your marriage?

It can take some time to realize the impact our anger issues have on our marriage because we often don’t even acknowledge how angry we really are. Anger has this way of growing within, and if you don’t figure out a way to take a hold and remove it from your life, it can consume you and everything you love.

When you are in a marriage and you wake up angry everyday, it damages your relationship at its core. Anger that is expressed in a healthy way, processed, and released is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, dealing with anger in that way is good for you. But anger that you keep bottled up, or the kind that causes you to lash out on everyone in your path—well, that anger will destroy you and the people you love. An angry marriage cannot be a happy marriage, and an unhappy marriage is undoubtedly headed for trouble if nothing happens to change the course it’s on.

How can you manage your anger?

Once you identify the source of your anger, you have to develop a plan of action. If your spouse is indeed the source, you need to have a respectful conversation about why you feel the way you feel. If that doesn’t lead to progress, therapy or counseling may be necessary. When there is an issue in your marriage that you are unable to work through on your own, outside help is often very beneficial.

If managing your anger is something you’ve always struggled with, it may be time for you to finally consider therapy or an anger management program. If you have been struggling with managing anger for a long time, there is likely a deeply rooted reason why it’s a challenge. Although your marriage will benefit greatly if you get help, you honestly should just get it for yourself. It’s difficult to have healthy relationships with anyone you love when you are angry—not just your spouse.