Anger is a common reaction for many who have experienced a traumatic incident.

For some couples, anger can become an issue in the relationship as the loved one who has experienced traumatic incidents may frequently become angry or irritable for what can seem like no reason. This can cause tension in the relationship. Disagreements may occur around what is a reasonable response to a situation, or one partner begins to fear the other.

“While anger is a normal emotion it can be considered problematic when it occurs with a frequency, intensity, or duration that causes significant distress and interferes with relationships and day-to-day functioning. Problematic anger can also be associated with aggression and violence, posing risks to the safety of others and indeed the self” Phoenix Australia

If you have noticed that your loved one’s levels of anger or irritability have changed, there are a few questions you can prompt them to ask themselves to help identify if anger may be an issue for them:

  • Do I get angry a lot? More often than most people do?
  • When I get angry, do I think about the situation repeatedly and seethe all day?
  • When I get angry, do I feel like I might explode or lose control?

If they answer yes, then it might be worth seeking help so they can work on their anger.

People can learn, practice and adopt healthy ways to manage their anger. 

In some cases, increased anger and irritability may have led you to suspect that something was happening with your loved one’s mental health or may be putting a strain on your relationship. If this is your situation, it might be worth talking about it. For tips, read How can I encourage my loved one to get help?

If your loved one is already engaged in treatment, it may be worth asking if anger is an area they are working on. Ask about the strategies they have been given to help when situations of anger arise. This will allow you to work as a team when tension begins to rise and irritation starts to set in.    

It is also important to know that violence is never acceptable. Even if your partner is seeking help for anger, and whether or not it relates to a psychological injury, violence is not okay.

The video “Why is anger getting the better of me?” may help you understand more:

More information on anger and violence is available from Open Arms