Portrait of an Angry CouplePortrait of an Angry Couple. To the outside world, Beth and Adam seem to have it together. They have been married for almost 10 years, have 2 healthy children, a beautiful home, successful careers. They take special family vacations every year, show up for all of their children’s sports functions and everyone just wonders how they manage to pull it all off.

What the world does not see is that privately, behind closed doors, Beth and Adam cannot have even the most basic conversations without fighting. The arguments have worsened over time and now neither uses a filter at all. Their words to each other are venomous and cut right to the bone. Every negative remark is burned into the memory so that both wonder why they are together at all.

There is no closeness, no intimacy, no connection…

Couples like this are trapped in a vicious cycle of screaming, name calling, yelling, anger and stubborn defiance. Neither one wants to give in for fear of ‘losing’ to the other. Truth is, they both are losing.

Angry couples do not talk about their feelings, they act them out. Acting out may mean slamming doors, throwing things, getting in each other’s faces. Angry couples are guilty of:

1)Pushing each other away while at the same time demanding closeness
2)Name calling
3)Shutting down or storming out during arguments
4)Not sharing their needs, instead constantly pointing out the shortcomings of their partner
5)Not taking ownership of their part in relationship problems

Think about why you feel so angry at your partner.

Do you have unmet, unresolved individual past issues? If so, these can certainly affect your relationship.

4 ways for angry couples to reset the tone of their relationship:

1)Recognize your anger triggers.

By knowing the things that really get under your skin, you can start to look at them objectively and process before you automatically react. For example, if you know your partner gets upset when you are waiting for the door for them to discuss something, give them a few minutes to transition. Deep breathing is a wonderful way to calm yourself so that you can think clearly before you act out.

2)Call a truce.

When things are calmer between you and your partner, agree to not cause further damage. Once yelling and name calling starts, nothing is going to be resolved. After this point, you are only hurting each other and damaging the relationship. Agree that once an argument starts to get out of hand, you will agree to a time out to calm down and evaluate the situation more clearly, then you can talk about it once emotions are not so out of control.

3)Create rules of arguing for your relationship.

Healthy couples know the secrets of effective communication.

Their rules may look a lot like this:

Keeping the conversation about the issue at hand, not everything that has ever gone wrong in the relationship. Allow each other to express their opinion without interrupting them and without trying to talk over them or prove them wrong. Repeat what your partner said back to them so that you are sure you understood what they were trying to say. This simple action can eliminate faulty assumptions. Genuinely care about what your partner is saying. Ask question, show that you are interested in what they have to say.

4)Use the three most important words.

“I am sorry.”. I have seen couples use all kinds of tactics to repair their relationships when these three words would have made all the difference. Learn to see things through your partner’s eyes. What are they feeling? What effect does your behavior have on them? Empathizing with your partner can help you understand the feelings beneath the angry outbursts. Apologizing is not always easy for an angry couple because they are so used to tearing each other down. Be the one who apologizes and you can start setting a new, healthy tone for your relationship.

Portrait of an Angry Couple If this is you Contact Us


Relationship Expert & Author

"Peace of Mind and Connected Relationships" Kim Berry, LPC.

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Kimberly Berry, LPC

187 Belmont Drive
Dothan, Alabama 36305
Phone: 334.671.1280