“Shouting it out” might be a great approach to quell laundry stains, but not stormy moments in personal relationships!

When you’re angry, you and your spouse are both upset. Don’t make it worse by shouting. Don’t even talk.

According to therapist Terry Real, your first move should be to create a cooling-off period. Then, check in: are you both calm enough after that break to engage with the disagreement? Only when both of you can say yes should you take the following steps, as Real related in a recent issue of Goop’s newsletter.

Describe what happened and how it affected you. 

While it’s always best to avoid attributing motive to your loved one, therapist Real says it’s okay to share with your spouse what you told yourself about what happened and why. When you begin the make-up period, sharing how you felt is okay. Maybe you assumed your spouse was being selfish, oblivious, or whatever. It doesn’t mean they were; remember that’s what you told yourself.

Next, describe the feelings you had or are having. Real suggests sticking with primary emotions such as pain, anger, fear, shame, or guilt. 

Then, suggest a remedy – forgive and move on, promise to do things differently in the future, or do whatever would make you both feel better about what happened.   

Life is too short to live with anger and resentment.
Let it go and grow.