Anger and Intimacy
Not that there aren’t angry women among us, but men, I’m speaking to you. You want your wife to want you sexually? Have you considered what she needs for this? Surely there are a lot of factors involved in sexual arousal and a satisfying experience. Click here for a lot more information on the topic. On a very basic level, all other things being equal, there are two ways to a thunderous sexual experience, intoxication from drugs or alcohol OR total and complete trust shared between she and you.
For men who struggle with anger, you will benefit from knowing a few things about women.
Except for women who like to lock horns with their husband, a majority of women do not feel comfortable around angry men and sometimes we can go so far as to say they do not feel safe around angry men. They may feel physically threatened, but more often, they feel a threat to the integrity of the self, the core of who they are as a woman.
When a woman feels unsafe, she will often close up and shut down, emotionally and physically. Where men may need an image or a thought to have an arousal response, women need a feeling of comfort and safety to open themselves up to the arousal response within them.
You’ve probably heard, sex for the woman begins in the kitchen when her husband talks to her lovingly, or in the afternoon when he sends her a loving message. If it starts then, what happens if you are angry in the morning exchange?
If venom is coming forth from your mouth, you need to realize that your mouth is connected to your hands. Your hands are an extension of your thoughts, feelings and heart. If she is trying to protect herself from your angry words or angry silence, she may not feel comfortable to let your hands touch her in that deeply intimate way. Even if she is letting you touch her that way, her body may be closed to the experience, in a self-protective way, resulting in a poor quality sexual experience. While you might be thinking, “I was just angry. That was then. I’m not angry now so what’s the problem?” Remember, the sexual experience for the woman is rooted in the affection you show to her throughout the day, or week. While men may be able to dissipate anger between the two of you with sex, a woman is more likely to need the anger to be resolved before she can feel comfortable to open herself up to you sexually.
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”Proverbs 12:18
“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”James 3:1-8
What To Do?
You struggle with irritability or anger? Seek to figure this out. I’m guessing it doesn’t just impact your wife. Your children may be impacted and your family dynamics may be impacted. It is very common for mothers to feel protective of their children if you are angry often, or angry to a significant level occasionally. This will usually create unhealthy bonds between mother and child and alienate you even further than your anger already has.
The answer is not for you to be “castrated.” You are man and the world needs you to be man. You need that strength and energy to bring safety and protection to your family. It is altogether unnecessary and inappropriate for us to try to transform your emotions and emotional reactions to match our femininity.
You may need to adjust your emotional reactions however. Seek other males who may be older and have a proven track record of effective communication and problem solving.
Consult with your medical doctor. Anger and irritability can sometimes have medical causes. If even YOU recognize your anger as over-the-top, talk with your Primary Care Doctor.
Consult with a psychotherapist. Some of us are good at spotting issues and helping you figure them out. Some of us are good at helping you work through “old” issues and develop more productive strategies to manage your emotions.
Consider your family history. Maybe you had good reason to develop anger and irritability. Maybe these responses served you well in an earlier time of your life, but now, not so much.
Talk to your wife. Ask her how your anger impacts her. Work together on it if you both feel that would be helpful.
Learn to lead without irrational anger or anger that is incongruent with the situation.