Discovering that your spouse has had an affair you causes a range of emotions. You’re hurt, you’re confused, and eventually, you become angry. In this situation, you’re right to be angry because of what he has done. However, it’s important to understand that the anger you’re experiencing is only a temporary emotion, and there are right ways and wrong ways to express it, according to God’s Word.
YOUR ANGER AT YOUR SPOUSE’S AFFAIR AND YOUR INITIAL RESPONSES
Once the anger stage sets in, we rarely think rationally about our responses. At that point, we’re basically operating solely on our emotions, and that can be a dangerous place to be. Have you reacted in any of these ways?
- Verbally bashing your spouse – Responding verbally can mean calling your spouse names, looking for excuses to get into shouting matches with him, or putting him down any chance you get. These responses only lead to resentment and they don’t do anything to heal your marriage, or your heart.
- Non-verbally bashing your spouse – It is possible to bash your spouse in non-verbal ways, and we do this with gestures, with angry looks, or even just purposefully ignoring them.
- Suppressing your anger – You feel angry on the inside, but you’re working really hard to hold it in. Maybe you don’t want to give in to it because you’re afraid it will make you appear weak, or it’s possible that you just don’t want to start an argument. This type of response might seem like the right one at first, but it can lead to a host of mental and physical problems for you later on.
- Passive-aggressive behavior – Some become masters at passive aggressive anger, and maybe you have too. You may “forget” to complete a task your spouse has asked you to do, or you might begin being chronically late, or respond to them with sarcasm.
- Complaining about your spouse – We often refer to this as “venting” and everyone feels as though they have the right to vent at some point. However, what you’re really doing is complaining, and you’re only feeding into the anger you already feel, instead of helping to heal it.
- Physical aggression – Some act out in physically aggressive ways, and while they might not hit their spouse they will hit walls, throw objects across the room, or break things. It might feel good in the moment to react in this way, but it’s certainly not healthy.
ANGER ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD
It may feel right for you to respond with emotional anger, but that kind of response never really helps you find a solution. God knew that we were all going to struggle with anger at some point in our lives, but in His wisdom, He provided us with self-control. If you’re not careful, anger can drag you into sin, and that’s something you want to avoid. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “When you’re angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no room or foothold for the devil.”
Is your anger over your spouse’s affair righteous? Yes, it is. However, as Christians, we want to be sure we’re responding in ways that are righteous too.
Working with a Christian Marriage Coach can help you understand the root of your anger so that you can deal with it in ways that will help you, and not harm you. If you would like to talk with me about your personal situation, please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also make an appointment through my online scheduler. Together, I’m confident that we can work through the source of your anger and help you find the healing you need.