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Ask Yourself This Before Getting Mad At Him

I have news for you; even the most docile, sweet and patient friend in your group (the one who never fights with her boyfriend in public) gets mad sometimes. The reason she seems calmer and cooler than the rest of you though, and the reason she has less relationship fights to vent about is because she asks herself a series of questions before flying into a rage. I know it’s hard to not just tell your partner how it is when he makes your blood boil. And since we’re taught so steadfastly to communicate and talk about our feelings, why can’t we do that when our feeling is “I’m Mad”, right? Well, because anger clouds our judgment in a way few other emotions do. So before you get mad at him, ask yourself these questions.

Is he in a weird place?

Is there something big happening in his life? Something big and temporary? Perhaps a family member passed, or he lost his job, or he is being audited by the IRS. Think about big picture circumstances he is dealing with.

Why you ask

If he is going through strong emotions, he is bound to behave in a way that’s out of the norm for him. There is a good chance that whatever he just did or said, he won’t do it or say it again—he said it out of stress. So maybe let this one go, since it probably won’t be a repeat incident.

Are you in a weird place?

Did you just lose your job? Did you just get rejected for a loan? Sometimes we don’t even realize or admit when life-changing events are happening.

Why you ask

We don’t like to admit it, but we aren’t ourselves when we’re under stress. That doesn’t mean it’s fair for you to yell at your partner for something that, really, wouldn’t upset you on a regular day.


Have you already talked about this?

Did you recently bring up this issue? Did you have a whole big discussion about it? One in which your partner promised he’d work on the issue?

Why you ask

Changing habits takes time. If you just notified your partner that one behavior bothers you, it will take a while for that to sink into his psyche. If you get on his case about it at his first slip up (after the big talk), you won’t seem very fair.

Can this even be changed?

There are some things your partner cannot help doing. Is this one of them? Is there a way that you could just not be around when he acts a certain way?

Why you ask

Why try to change the unchangeable? Why fight about something when that fight is a dead end? Just recognize times when your partner does something you don’t like, and make yourself scare then. Or break up with him (just kidding).

Are you totally innocent?

Is it possible that you’ll be a total hypocrite by bringing this up? Take a step back and reflect. Maybe whatever your partner is doing is something you do all of the time.

Why you ask

If you’re guilty of the same behavior, your partner will bring it up. And that’s okay so long as you were expecting that, and you can admit you should both work on it.

Does he mean to upset me?

Um, hello! This is a big one! Sometimes we forget to separate our partner’s intentions from the way he is making us feel. But they have an important relationship.

Why you ask

You’d be amazed how easy it is to make your anger simmer down when you realize, “My partner thought he was helping or being loving by doing that. He never would have done it if he had any idea it angered me.”

Will this hurt him?

Here’s another simple question we often overlook; will my anger hurt my partner? Is this constructive, or are my words basically just daggers I’m shooting out of my own pain/

Why you ask

You don’t really want to hurt your partner—not in the big picture. It’s important to keep that in mind. Especially when he wasn’t trying to hurt you when he did

Is now the right time?

Is your partner already in a fight with his mother? Best friend? Brother? Colleague?

Why you ask

Admit it; you can only handle so many fights at once. When you’ve been in a fight with your best friend, you needed your partner on your side. Give him the same courtesy, and bring up your beef when his fight with his friend has subsided.


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