10 Effective Ways To Communicate With Your Partner When You’re Really Mad At Them

Anger is not bad, how you express it can be though.

partner really mad, trying to communicate with husband Timur Weber | Canva

Keeping your cool in your relationship when your other half is pushing your buttons may be aggravating. But being calm is the key to learning better communication skills with your spouse.

Be honest. There’s nothing like a heated adrenaline rush to make you feel liberated and justified when you’re angry. All those pent-up aggravations you’ve been stuffing behind a smile? All the times you’ve picked up the slack, covered for your spouse’s irresponsibility, and was the bigger person?


Enough already! How are you going to make your self-centered partner finally get it if you don’t blow some steam?

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Here are 10 ways to communicate with your partner when you're really mad at them:

1. Think good thoughts about your spouse

The time to begin this exercise isn’t when you’re at wit’s end. Practicing kind thoughts and actions daily (even on tough days) makes it easier to think, speak, and behave positively.

Make note of your partner’s kind actions, no matter how small. Keep them in the notes in a file and let them nourish your perspective of your spouse.


2. Accept responsibility for your own emotions and feelings

It’s understandably challenging to slow down when anger has reached its tipping point. By taking time to sit with your feelings before expressing them, you may uncover some root feelings that will shape your understanding. Process your feelings by writing or sharing them with a therapist, think of it as listening to yourself before expecting your spouse to listen to you.

3. Have compassion for your spouse’s point of view

The basis of conflict always comes down to an inability to see past one’s experiences, perspectives, and problems. Think about your spouse’s perspective. Ask yourself, "How would I feel in their shoes? How does my behavior affect them?" Even if you still have something difficult to share, compassion will help to soften it.

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4. Think before you speak

Consider the consequences of your words, and never say anything you will have to reel in later — because your spouse won’t forget. Be clear and honest, but not hurtful.

5. Use mirroring

An effective way of showing you have listened and want to understand your spouse’s perspective is to use mirroring. Repeat your interpretation of what your spouse has said and back it up with validation of their feelings.

6. Don’t push buttons

The magic of romantic and intimate love is the unique ability to heal emotional wounds, but that requires vulnerability and vulnerability gives the person sworn to love you the power to hurt you. No matter how angry or hurt you are, don’t go near your spouse’s buttons. Just don’t.

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7. Use "I" statements

Nothing builds walls like a barrage of "you" statements — "You did/didn’t...", "You always/never...," or "You make me feel…" Speak with responsibility for the only person you can control: yourself.

8. Use relationship-affirming body language

Face one another. Sit close. Make eye contact. Use validating touch. Demonstrate you are fully present and interested.

9. Keep your team spirit

Remember what team you are on, and don’t approach communication as a competition. There are no winners if the relationship doesn’t win.

10. Remember the power of a sincere apology

There is nothing like the, “I’m sorry,” spoken softly and genuinely to assuage anger and engender goodwill. There is always something that each of you can express remorse for.


They are communicating to resolve being really mad eldar nurkovic via Shutterstock

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When you're in a relationship or married, committing to communicating with your partner better is foundational to the success of your relationship. Anger may be an unpleasant feeling, but it doesn’t have to be expressed unpleasantly.


We’ve all been there, and no doubt will be again. It’s difficult to be nice when you’re upset. Throw in the nothing-is-going-right irritants that love to show up at the most inconvenient time, and letting it rip may be just one eye-roll away.

But if one of your relationship goals is to ease up on your anger issues and communicate with your spouse better, then brutal honesty is best left off the table. The midst of anger is one of the most crucial moments for kindness.

According to Dr. John Gottman, couples who start arguments gently are more likely to manage conflict effectively without harming the relationship. In those moments, he can predict the success or failure of the relationship with greater than 90 percent accuracy.

Kindness isn’t a panacea for anger and other negative feelings that need to be expressed. It’s a choice to handle those feelings maturely by constructively expressing them. It’s also an expression of prioritizing the long-term good of the relationship over your feelings at the moment.


Anger has a way of trying to force a change in behavior. But it’s always the other person who wants to change. So tactics go to war with each other — guilt trips, avoidance, shouting, or distance.

At some point, you have to decide what your goals are when it comes to expressing your anger. Is it to make your spouse feel as rotten as you feel? Is it to unload so you don’t spend your days fuming? Is it to punish your spouse or get revenge?

If it’s important to communicate with your spouse better, then your goals will be more about feeling heard. You will want mutual understanding, growth, and a deepened intimacy. You will want to believe that you can get your needs met.


And you will want to know that your marriage can come away stronger simply because of how you communicated.

Ironically, the urge to vent your anger by shouting and saying regretful things doesn’t get you heard. Kindness, however, does.

We all know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of someone’s wrath. Our energy gets directed toward self-protection or a counter-attack and not genuine listening.


When you are kind, you allow your partner to hear you. You inspire them to want to hear you and to respond with compassion. And in the end, you get your needs met.

Now that you know the importance of communication in relationships and marriage, it's time to learn how to improve communication skills and control anger.

And the key to achieving this is changing how you listen and express yourself. It starts with holding your partnership in the sacred top spot and remembering you and your partner are on the same team. You need to have one another’s best interest at heart and stay in integrity.

@urestithebesti You and your partner are equals. But that’s the secret to success for every great team! #relationships #love #marriage #dating #advice #relationshipgoals #conflictresolution #marriageadvice ♬ original sound - DmitriFrancisco

Communicating with kindness has transformative powers, especially when difficult emotions are involved. It allows both of you to come to the table as the best of yourselves. In the process, you have the exclusive opportunity to hold one another’s heart in your hands.


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Mary Ellen Goggin and Dr. Jerry Duberstein offer relationship coaching for individuals, and offer private couples retreats and couples counseling. They are co-authors of the book "Relationship Transformation: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too."