This one resonates with me because I tend to have strong feelings about things that matter to me, I tend to be intense, or so I have always heard. For me that can set me up to lose my temper and since I have a superior vocabulary, that can lead to me saying hurtful things to the exact degree of pain I want to inflict.
I used to think that anyone who has great control of their emotions just didn’t have emotions, or they would be like I was, emotional, but that isn’t true. The Bible tells a woman to avoid a man given to being easily angered (Proverbs 22:24). He won’t be a good influence and she might even learn his bad ways. Did you catch that?
A woman is to avoid a man given to being easily angered. He needs to change or she needs to avoid getting to know him. As for a foreigner-Filipina relationship, this can be very difficult to ascertain when they aren’t able to spend significant time together. Appearing on camera is one thing, being together in different weather in a different culture in another part of the world is another. Certainly, when you are angry it is usually not the best time to talk about something. I think it is ok to say that right now you are pretty upset and need some time to calm down but want to discuss something later. If you tend to be emotional and demand change NOW, marriage will be brutal. Speaking when angry is a volatile combination.
Somehow, we have to settle down before talking about something that bothers us if we are steaming. You probably can’t avoid losing your temper sometimes but you can say you are sorry and mean it. If you have to, just go out for a walk, even in the winter, or go to the gym for a workout. The Bible says to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. That makes so much sense. Imagine how many quarrels and hurt feelings would be avoided if instead of blasting our spouse when we are really irritated, we took the time to listen to them, resist the urge to speak, ask another question or two, and remind ourselves that even if we still aren’t hearing what we want to hear, that we are better off not losing our temper. Ultimately, I think it should take a lot to make us get angry. If I as a husband have a hot temper and a short fuse, my wife isn’t going to communicate with me and eventually won’t even want to be around me.
Hypothetically, let’s say you discover while balancing your checkbook or doing online banking, that your Filipina wife has sent a sum of money to the Philippines that takes you by surprise, and is a little more than the usual amount you may have agreed on. For me, my initial reaction would be to tell myself “What? Why didn’t she tell me about this! Did she think I would object, what’s going on here? Then I might confront her and she would be able to tell that I was a little tense, by my voice or mannerisms. This puts her on the defensive right away, making it difficult for her to “hear what I am saying”. Here is a better way to handle this-I walk over to my wife and say “Sweetie, can you please tell me what this 200-dollar remittance to the Philippines was for? Maybe I forgot that we talked about it, but I wasn’t expecting it.
Then I allow her, without interrupting, to tell me what the money was for. I may calmly ask her some questions, all the while being cognizant that I want this to end well, and not disappoint my wife by being upset. She answers my questions, explaining that the side car is damaged and needs to be fixed or replaced. I tell her I understand, I’m okay with it, and remind her that she has nothing to worry about. If she thinks something is important enough to send some money back home, just remember to let me know about it. If I were to erupt and interrogate her about the 200 dollars, she probably won’t ever tell me in the future when something out of the ordinary comes up and her family needs some help.
Marriage will reveal our weaknesses and managing our tempers will get tested. We’ll talk about that someday.
There really isn’t anything good that can happen if I am quick to anger with my Love Beyond the Sea.