Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Help! I Want to Wring My Partner’s Neck!-PART 1: Communicating With Your Loved One Through The Veil Of Anger

“I feel like all of my relationships are doomed.”

“It’s all well and good until they do something to piss me off and then it’s all ‘you to wild for me ma.’ These dudes get their feelings hurt one good time and are ready to run for the hills.”

Is your relationship “smooth sailing” until you guys argue?
Did you recently have an argument with your partner and, at some point, in the argument, you realized that one of you done FREAked up?

Welcome to the wonderful world of vaginas. A place where people with vaginas (namely me, so maybe just one person) talk inclusively about stuff that affects pretty much everyone. This edition? How to be in a relationship when HOPPING FREAKING MAD.

Okay, so let’s delve into my experiences for a quick second. I have anger management issues. I sometimes see red. I get enraged. Things happen to me that feel out of my control when I get mad, upset, or frustrated. I have literally hopped with anger. This is not a joke for me and I assume it isn’t for any of you either. So, how is it that I manage to have a partner that gets on my nerves all the time, without sending him running for the hills when I’m aggravated with him? There are some things I had to realize about myself first, some tips and tricks I use to prep myself for ‘an episode’ and some things I try to do DURING my anger to try and head it off. So, I’m going to dish out the tips to you lovelies in a two-part series Help I want to wring my partner’s neck!  

The first part in this duo will make you take a hard look at yourself and your expressions of anger. To do this, we will be identifying what are some common expressions of anger, their triggers, and expressing them to our partners.

Okay, so first of all, anger is a cycle and you need to get to know it. You can hop into these tips wherever you are IN the cycle. However, you need to know that there are things that will upset you, triggering anger, which then needs to be addressed or you will enter that loop you always hear from people. “Didn’t I ask you not to do X, Y, and Z?! You always do it and you KNOW it makes me mad! So, WHY do you do it!?”

Step 1: Learn how your anger manifests itself.

This step requires some internal troubleshooting. You need to look inwardly to make changes outwardly. Okay, people!

Image result for he lives in you gif
Like Simba’s dad, your anger lives in you. And also probably frowns like that.

Everyone is different, therefore everyone’s anger manifests itself differently. Here are some common expressions of anger. Figure out which set sounds like you and let’s get to work.

Verbal bashing: This includes yelling, arguing, put downs, insults, and threats.


  • Non-verbal bashing: This falls into the category of giving someone the ‘cold shoulder’ withdrawal of affection, dismissiveness, hostility, and contempt. (Contempt is the funeral bells of all relationships, so especially watch your non-verbal indicators people!)
  • Suppression: When you feel anger and try to push it down internally (please note that your anger is AN ENERGY. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy in physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form into another. Suppressing your anger usually transforms itself into stress, which can lead to digestive problems, heart disease, chronic tension, fatigue, and high blood pressure for you. Just keep that in mind.

CAPTION: This is hades. Don’t be hades.

  • Displacement: When you are angry at someone you feel you can’t express it to (like your boss) so, you take it out on someone else (like your spouse). Unfortunately, this is how many people consciously or unconsciously release some of the negative energy that they build up.
  • Passive aggression: This one has become famous for television shows, but it is usually characterized by activities that have plausible deniability of angry feelings. This can range from things like sarcasm, to pettiness which could sound a little something like “oh they want that new Chanel perfume? I wanted sex last night, so regardless of any previously made promises they are still going to smell like feet.”  or “I know I said that I would do X thing for my partner, but they can suck it because I didn’t like the way they talked to me last week.” Ect.
Aggression: Throwing things, punching walls, pushing, slapping, punching, or anything involving weapons or turning household items into any sort of weapon.

CAPTION: Princess?

Step 2: If you see something, SAY something.

When you encounter something that has the potential of making you angry, try to head it off in conversation before it happens. This is called “identifying a trigger.”

“But, how can I do that Alisha?” This is when the idea of hanging out with your partner can really help come in handy. You can come across many anger inducing situations while watching television, reading the news, surfing social media for other couple’s drama, etc. When you see something that you just KNOW would get you angry, bring it up to your partner in conversation. Looking at YOU ‘She’s Gotta Have It”! Seriously though, if Nola’s rampant disrespect of her partners would irk you, pause the show. Tell your partner that it’s not about the fact that she is polyamorous and needs her space. The problem is, she is unwilling to give herself in any arena but the sexual one, which makes it an unhealthy partnership regardless of how many partners she tries to juggle. Emphasize that, because healthy partnerships are the way by which you run your life. In YOUR relationship you will need to give and take, because should you might wake up one day and find that you’re the ONLY one giving. This will set off a serious bout of passive aggression that both of you will want to avoid. See how easy that was?

CAPTION: Enough said

Step 3: Trigger trends

Once you identify the things that make you angry and you’ve pointed them out to your partner, you will begin to see trends in the things that make you angry. If you get angry at similar situations on a consistent basis, it’s time to buckle down into yourself, and learn WHY these things make you flip your wig.

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CAPTION: Do elaborate sideburns count?

This way you can start to backpedal before the trigger becomes an issue that makes your face change color. Let your partner know what your coping mechanisms are for anger and tell your partner to watch out for them. If you really need to leave the room to compose yourself when you’re angry, you don’t need a partner that is going to follow you around arguing with you while you’re trying to remain calm. Let them know what your needs are and expect them to follow through. The flipside of this, is that you are helping your partner, not giving them another task. When you feel yourself being triggered, or becoming reactionary, take a moment, and try to step away from it while it still isn’t a huge issue. If you identify yourself as someone who is naturally aggressive, when you catch yourself clenching your fists, take a deep breath, unclench, and go do something that actively makes you happy. Let your mind clear out. The key to anger management is addressing your core triggers and doing your best to head them off.

The one takeaway from this series, is that at every single point in your interaction with your partner, especially when you’re angry, you should take the situation dissect WHY exactly you are angry, talk about what that means for you, how your anger will manifest itself, and tell your partner to steer clear. This process is all about giving your partner a roadmap to helping themselves and you. Our emotions aren’t things we can or should weather on their own.

By Alisha Smith, Alisha is 24-year-old recent graduate, writer, blogger, gamer, and corporate drone by day and rampant blabbermouth by night. She currently writes for Ms. Vixen and on Medium and spends her free time shamelessly pursuing her interests and avoiding other humans. 

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