How Anger Damages Relationships. Why your relationships fail

Last Updated
April 6, 2023
How Anger Damages Relationships. Why your relationships fail

How Anger Damages Relationships
Negative Effects
Prevent Anger
Helpful Products

Anger can damage relationships in several ways. When people are angry, they may say hurtful things or act in ways that are harmful to others. This can lead to feelings of resentment and bitterness, which can be difficult to overcome.

Anger can also create a sense of fear and intimidation, causing others to avoid or withdraw from the person who is angry. Over time, this can erode trust and intimacy in a relationship, making it difficult to maintain healthy connections. Ultimately, managing anger in a constructive and respectful way is crucial for maintaining positive relationships with others.

- Loss of Intimacy
- Disrespect
- Divorce
- Separation
- Infidelity
- Abuse
- It creates an unhealthy environment for your family

- Lashing out at others without provocation or real reasons.
- Constantly blaming others for your mental health issues.
- Becoming increasingly hostile and aggressive towards people who disagree with you.
- Denying your feelings and responses to situations.
- Blaming the world for your anger problems.
- Making threats or ultimatums when dealing with a disagreement.
- Not being able to express yourself or listen to the perspective of others.
- Refusing to forgive and move on from past hurts and arguments.
- Trying to control or manipulate others through anger and fear.

- Talk to your partner
- Learn to identify signs of anger
- Take timeouts
- Find healthy ways to express your anger
- Practice forgiveness
- Mindfulness meditation
- Consider professional help

Anger can cause irreparable damage to the bonds you share with people. Out of frustration, a person can display negative feelings toward those closest to them, even if they didn't cause the anger. In some cases, this can cause hurt feelings, abuse, anxiety, and even the end of a relationship.

In this article, we will discuss how anger can damage relationships and how to manage it.

Negative Effects of Unhealthy Anger in a Relationship

Unhealthy anger

Unhealthy anger in a relationship can have a damaging and long-lasting effect. Some of the common negative effects of unhealthy anger in a relationship include the following:

Loss of Intimacy: When partners don't feel safe expressing themselves and their feelings, they may begin to withdraw from one another. Without healthy communication, intimacy can suffer, leading to a further disconnection between partners. [1]

Disrespect: Unhealthy anger expressions often lead to snarky comments and behaviors that can cause feelings of disrespect in the other partner. This lack of respect can damage the relationship and cause conflict if it goes unchecked. [2]

Divorce, separation, and infidelity: The accumulation of the adverse effects of unhealthy anger can sometimes result in divorce or separation. Research has shown that couples who experience frequent bouts of intense anger are more likely to get divorced than those who manage their emotions more healthily. Additionally, anger in a relationship can also lead to distrust and infidelity. [3]

Abuse: When you fail to control your anger in your relationship, it can result in mental, physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional abuse of your partner.

It creates an unhealthy environment for your family: Expressing anger violently towards your partner can create a bad example for your children. Similarly, it can instill feelings of danger in your home.

Why Is Anger Dangerous to Relationships?

Why Is Anger Dangerous to Relationships

Even though anger is a normal emotion, it can be dangerous if it isn't controlled. Relationships can suffer when emotions aren't appropriately addressed. Your ability to engage with your partner and handle disagreement.

Uncontrolled rage can impede communication and undermine trust in a relationship. Resentment and bitterness may result, fueling additional sentiments of rage and hurt.

Since anger can result in physical abuse, shame, and worry, it can have psychological and physiological effects. [5]

It may be difficult to escape the hostile environment that an abusive relationship can produce. Therefore, it's important to address any issues of anger before they begin to harm the relationship.

Did you know?

Did you know that hitting yourself when you're angry, known as self-directed aggression, is a maladaptive coping mechanism that can escalate negative emotions?

Warning Signs of Mismanaged Anger

When anger is not managed properly, it can cause significant damage in intimate relationships. Learning to recognize the signs of mismanaged anger can help to prevent these damaging effects and improve your life.[6]

The most common warning signs of mismanaged anger include:

  1. Lashing out at others without provocation or real reasons.
  2. Constantly blaming others for your mental health issues.
  3. Becoming increasingly hostile and aggressive towards people who disagree with you.
  4. Denying your feelings and responses to situations.
  5. Blaming the world for your anger problems.
  6. Making threats or ultimatums when dealing with a disagreement.
  7. Not being able to express yourself or listen to the perspective of others.
  8. Refusing to forgive and move on from past hurts and arguments.
  9. Trying to control or manipulate others through anger and fear.

If you find yourself exhibiting these behaviors, it’s a sign of mismanaged anger. But what steps can you take to address the problem before it damages your bonds further?

Let's find out.

Steps to Take to Prevent Anger from Damaging Your Relationship

Here are some ways to prevent anger from ruining your relationship:

Talk to your partner – Open and honest communication is essential in any relationship, and it’s imperative if you want to control anger. If you feel angry, talk to your partner about it before it becomes a full-blown argument. [7]

Learn to identify signs of anger – Try to recognize signs of escalating anger, such as clenching your fists, increased heart rate, or a tight feeling in your chest. These signs should serve as a warning for you to take a step back and assess the situation.

Take timeouts – If the situation escalates, take a break from each other. Taking a few minutes or hours away from the situation can help deal with your emotion and gain clarity on the issue.

Find healthy ways to express your anger – Find ways to express your anger healthily. This could mean writing it down in a journal, talking it out with a friend, or even taking up physical activities such as running or boxing.

Practice forgiveness – Anger can be corrosive and destructive if it’s not dealt with healthily. Make sure to practice forgiveness and let go of your negative emotions. This will make it easier to move on from the situation and change your thought patterns to a more relaxed state.

Mindfulness meditation - Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in managing conflict between partners. It involves tuning into your body sensations and breathing to ground yourself in the present moment without judgment. It's a great way to create awareness around your triggers and reactions, allowing you to control how you respond instead of letting your anger take control. Additionally, mindfulness can help regulate stress hormones, which are often heightened when a person is angry. [9]

Consider professional help - If none of these strategies work, consider seeking professional help. An online therapist can provide impartial guidance on how to handle difficult situations and break the anger cycle.

Couple having a picnic

Restoring and Rebuilding Relationships

Restoring and rebuilding relationships after the damaging effects of uncontrolled anger require patience, effort, and a genuine commitment to change. While it may seem daunting, it is possible to heal the wounds and rebuild trust. Here are the key steps and strategies to guide you through the process:

Genuine Apologies and Taking Responsibility

Repairing a relationship begins with a sincere apology. Here's how to approach it effectively:

  1. Reflect on your actions: Take the time to introspect and understand the impact your anger had on the other person. Acknowledge the pain you caused and take responsibility for your behavior.
  2. Offer a heartfelt apology: Express your remorse genuinely and without making excuses. Be specific about the actions or words that hurt the other person and demonstrate empathy for their feelings.
  3. Show commitment to change: Explain your intention to manage your anger better and actively work on improving your emotional responses. Make it clear that you are dedicated to rebuilding trust and creating a healthier relationship.

Rebuilding Trust through Consistent Actions

Rebuilding trust is a gradual process that requires consistency and reliability. Consider the following strategies:

  1. Open and honest communication: Foster an environment of open dialogue, where both parties feel comfortable expressing their emotions and concerns. Encourage transparency and active listening to rebuild trust gradually.
  2. Follow through on promises: Honor your commitments and follow through on your words. Consistently demonstrating reliability and dependability will help rebuild trust over time.
  3. Be patient and understanding: Understand that rebuilding trust takes time, and the other person may still be cautious or skeptical. Show patience, empathy, and understanding as they heal and gradually trust you again.

Effective Communication and Active Listening

Improving communication is essential to rebuilding relationships affected by anger. Here's how to enhance your communication skills:

  1. Practice active listening: Give the other person your full attention when they are speaking. Maintain eye contact, nod to show understanding, and ask clarifying questions. Avoid interrupting or formulating responses in your mind while they speak.
  2. Use "I" statements: Instead of resorting to blame or accusations, express your feelings using "I" statements. This approach helps to take responsibility for your emotions without placing blame on the other person.
  3. Seek professional guidance: If communication remains challenging or the wounds run deep, consider seeking the help of a couples therapist or counselor. They can provide valuable guidance and facilitate healthier communication patterns.

The Role of Forgiveness and Letting Go of Resentment

Forgiveness is a crucial element in the process of rebuilding relationships affected by anger. Consider the following:

  1. Understand forgiveness: Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or condoning hurtful behavior. It is a personal decision to let go of resentment and the desire for revenge, allowing room for healing and growth.
  2. Focus on empathy and understanding: Put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to understand their perspective. Empathy helps foster compassion and encourages forgiveness.
  3. Practice self-forgiveness: Recognize that managing anger is a challenging process, and everyone makes mistakes. Practice self-forgiveness and let go of any guilt or shame that may hinder your progress.

Seeking Professional Support for Relationship Recovery

Sometimes, rebuilding relationships damaged by anger may require professional intervention. Consider the following options:

  1. Couples therapy: Engage in couples therapy or relationship counseling to address underlying issues, improve communication, and learn effective conflict resolution strategies.
  2. Anger management programs: Attend anger management programs or workshops to develop healthier coping mechanisms, anger regulation skills, and communication techniques.
  3. Individual therapy: If anger issues stem from deep-rooted emotional wounds, individual therapy can help you explore and address the underlying causes, providing support for personal growth and healing.
A couple taking a stroll in the sunset

Positive Effects of Healthy Anger in a Relationship

When used properly, anger can positively affect a relationship or marriage. It can help a couple understand each other and encourage them to work through issues together. [10]

Also, healthy anger can provide an opportunity for growth and understanding within a romantic relationship. Couples can use their angry moments to communicate openly and honestly about the root of their frustrations.

Additionally, expressing anger healthily can create a stronger bond between partners and help with conflict resolution. It allows them to acknowledge each other’s perspectives while maintaining respect for one another. This can build trust and intimacy, which are essential elements of an intimate relationship. For example, if a husband does wrong to his wife, it's perfectly normal for her to be angry and respond to create meaningful change within the relationship.


Managing your emotional outburst can lead to healthier communication and stronger bonds with loved ones. However, when anger is left unchecked it can create a rift between people that can be difficult to repair. If you don't want that to happen, take the necessary steps to manage your temper today and become your best self.

If you're worried that you may have bipolar disorder, you can take this quick bipolar test.

Meta Description

Being unable to control your anger can harm your relationship. Find out how anger can damage your relationship and how to manage this issue in this guide.


How Do You Stay Calm With an Angry Partner?

It can be difficult and overwhelming to deal with an angry spouse. Yet, it is vital to realize that even if one of you feels out of control, you both can establish a calm and polite environment. You can make your partner feel heard and understood if you take the appropriate approach.

Will I Ever Overcome Anger?

Yes, it's possible to control anger with the right tools and strategies. The key to overcoming anger is to identify the root cause of your anger and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage it effectively. This may involve seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor specializing in anger management, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, and learning practical communication skills to express your emotions healthily. With consistent effort and dedication, it's possible to control anger and improve your overall well-being.

Does Anger Management Work?

Yes, anger management techniques and therapies can be effective in helping individuals manage and control their anger. Anger management typically involves identifying triggers, learning relaxation, and mindfulness techniques, practicing effective communication skills, and developing problem-solving strategies. However, the success of anger management also depends on the individual's willingness to participate in the therapy and commit to changing their behavior.


  1. 6 Things That Can Cause Emotional Withdrawal—And What To Do About It
  2. Disrespect through Aggression, Anger, and Belligerence
  3. The Consequences of Anger in Your Relationship
  4. The Danger Of Anger In Relationships
  5. What Are the Effects of Emotional Abuse?
  6. Signs of Anger Issues
  7. Relationships and communication
  8. Feeling angry: Mental health and what to do
  9. Mindfulness in Moments of Conflict with Your Partner
  10. Sometimes expressing anger can help a relationship in the long-term

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Jonathan Osaghae
Jonathan Osaghae, alias Jowell Apollo, is a medical student and proficient content writer with over four years of experience. He is versed in mental health and general medical topics and is proud to share his knowledge with the public through his articles. In his free time, he's also a big movie buff.
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