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The dangers of an aggressive marriage
Is your marriage aggression free? You may be surprised at the truth. - photo by Wendy Jessen
When you get married, you don't necessarily expect aggression; you expect quite the opposite: love, bliss and a "happily ever after" sort of life.

Most people probably think marriage aggression has to do with some sort of abuseverbal, physical or even sexual. Though it is that, too,most of the time the husband abusing the wife. In this article, we're talking about more of "passive-aggression" within a marriage.

Think of the last argument or disagreement you had with your spouse: how did you react to your spouse while you were upset? Do you think you were using aggression?

A Science of Relationships article shares ways couples may be using aggression toward each other.

Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Sharing private information about your spouse with other people

If your spouse has shared something private with you, and you share it with someone else as a way to get revenge (or for any other reason, for that matter), you are breaking his/her trust. You were told that in confidence because your spouse trusts you.

Telling others private information about your spouse can damage your marriage because trust is a huge part of a happy marriage.

2. Gossiping about your spouse to damage his/her reputation

It may be tempting to lash out or "vent" to your friends about something your spouse did that upset you. There are a couple of problems with this.

First, in a situation like this, it can turn into a worse situation if your friends (or family) add to the negative feelings you are currently having about your spouse with their own contributions. Complaining opens the door for more complaining.

Second, long after you and your spouse have resolved whatever issue you were having, friends or family may hang onto the past and hold it against your spouse, which can cause marital and friendship damage.

If you must talk through a marital problem with someone other than your spouse, talk to a professional who is qualified to help without hanging it over your heads later.

3. Hurt feelings = silent treatment

When your spouse hurts, upsets or offends you, do you dole out the silent treatment?

Sometimes, it's good to cool off before you react in a worse way, but if you go long periods of time with little or no communication, this can be really bad for your marriage.

To resolve an issue, you have to communicate. Especially important is apologizing. Don't hurt your marriage with prideful silent treatment.

4. Withholding affection or sex

If you are upset with your child about something, do you cut them off from hugs, kisses or your love? No! You definitely should not do this with your spouse, either.

You can still love each other even when you disagree. It's harder when you've been hurt, but that's where communication, apologizing and forgiveness come in. Affection, intimacy and sex are vital parts of a marriage. Withholding it as leverage against your spouse is manipulative and destructive to your marriage.

You and your spouse are not always going to agree and will sometimes hurt one another. But, if you talk behind his/her back, sharing secrets or gossiping about him/her, give the silent treatment, or withhold your love, you're only going to make your marriage problems worse.

Find positive ways to solve problems together and give out apologies and forgiveness freely.
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