When your partner makes you angry is your first instinct to lash back and hurt him or her? S/he hurt you so turn around is fair play, right? No, that’s destroying your relationship. You need to react rationally, with integrity, and don’t punish your partner.
You may not look at it as punishing. You’re probably just responding to the emotion of the moment by either canceling plans, withdrawing, or taking away or even damaging something your partner values. But anything you do to hurt, inconvenience, or anger your partner is punishing them. Does that actually make you feel better? It may in the moment but won’t you have regret about it later? Depending on what you actually do to punished her, she may not be able to forgive you—or trust you again.
Feeling safe within a relationship is how emotional intimacy is created. Feeling safe doesn’t always mean physically. Words and actions can be abusive even if you never lay a hand on the other person. So when you lash out to punish your partner you’re teaching him that he’s not safe with you. You’re pushing him away and most likely changing his feelings about you. It’s really hard to love someone you don’t trust to always be nice to you.
Truly loving someone means caring about their feelings and wanting them to be happy. When things are going well that’s easy to do. It’s usually when you start feeling insecure that you lose that loving feeling and anxiety takes over. Anxiety causes even ration people to do some very irrational things. Don’t let that be you.
Stop Before You Punish Your Partner
You can control your anxiety by taking several long, deep breaths. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth three times, then breath in through your mouth and out through your nose. It will calm you down enough to allow the more rational part of your brain to take over. If you want your relationship to last you need to always keep your love for your partner as your primary focus. If you want her to keep loving you, you need to inspire her to love you with loving actions.
Try to honesty tell your partner how you’re truly feeling using “I” statements. Tell him, “You really hurt me when you said…” or “I’m feeling really frustrated that you…” or even, “I’m feeling really angry with you right now and I need a few minutes to calm down so I can process what I’m feeling.” Allowing yourself to be vulnerable by calmly telling him how you feel will get a much better response than yelling.
Keeping your word is extremely important if you want someone to trust you. When you bail out on things you said you would do you’re making your self look bad and creating distrust. You’re also showing a lack of integrity. I certainly understand needing some space while you’re angry, however, you need to weigh the consequences. Make sure you’re not just rejecting your partner because you feel rejected. That’s not going to get you what you really want. Which I assume is to feel more loved.
I hope you can now recognize how destructive it is to punish your partner. While I do whole heartedly believe that there should always be consequences to actions, the objective of any argument should be to find a better way to get along. Therefore, instead of letting your anger punish your partner, make a positive choice to create the consequence of making your relationship stronger. I think you’ll find you will both be happier.