There are countless days, to my dismay, where I come home and have already worked up a fight with my husband. Seriously made up stuff that I think he won’t do so I am just going to be mad at him. Often times it’s nothing he has done. We all have the capacity to say the cruelest and most hurtful things to our loved ones. We know their trigger points and tend to poke at those soft spots. I hate to admit it but I have belittled, name called and been downright mean to my spouse.
When someone has done something to hurt us, we cannot change that person but we can control how we react and treat that person. Responding to meanness with meanness does not do anybody any good. Yes, it may give you temporary satisfaction knowing that you just hurt that person back but ultimately it doesn’t make you feel very good. In fact, it makes you feel even more crummy than before the person did something to hurt you.
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The Deeper Issues that Produce Meanness
Anger is a very common problem in marriage. It makes the goal of marital unity seem out of reach. Unresolved emotions and feelings can lead to anger and destruction. According to the Marriage Foundation, “It seems reasonable and logical to blame anger on the person who “caused it”, but with a little analysis, we can see the anger is actually caused by them behaving in a way different from how we wanted and expected them to behave; a thwarted desire.” Not getting your way all the time or controlling how the other person reacts can build up and create distance between you and your spouse. I mean who would want to try and be controlled? Before you know it, you will just start being downright mean to your spouse because you are not getting the thing you desire, probably without ever having actually stopped to express to them what that thing is.
Meanness hurts. I don’t know about you but my meanness comes in the form of passive-aggressiveness. I will make little comments that my husband will notice and boil up over time. When you are mean to your husband, he will shut down. He will stop sharing his intimate feelings with you because he doesn’t see it as a safe place. I am not talking about abuse here but a place of unresolved conflict that you are holding over his head – passive-aggressive reactions to otherwise seemingly small issues.
For me, my first reaction is to shut down and to withdraw. I will pull away from the person and/or situation to protect myself from further disappointment or hurt. But all that does it turn into resentment. The more I hold in my heart, the angrier and mean I become.
The good news is that Anger is a SOLVABLE issue. It can be exhausting living this way in a marriage, both for you and your spouse. No one has to live with anger and it can be conquered! Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again so that we could have victory in Him. He has overcome sin and shame so that we might live a fuller, freer, joyful life!
What Does the Bible Say About Meanness?
Every day we are faced with tough decisions on how we react to certain situations. We have the choice to react with love or anger. And if you choose to react with anger, it can lead you to sin. In the Bible, God calls us to let go of our anger as quickly as possible. You will also see that anger can only lead to hurt and pain in a relationship.
Nothing is ever solved by being mean and passive-aggressive. You don’t actually get what you want when you act that way. It only further exacerbates the situation and causes more tribulation. Being mean just to be mean or get even does not lead to righteousness nor does it glorify God.
God calls us to control our temper in response to any situation. He calls us to be loving and respectful towards our spouse. Turn to these Bible verses to learn what the bible says about meanness when you feel that emotion bubbling up beyond control.
Psalm 37:8: Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
Proverbs 14:29: Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:18: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Ecclesiastes 7:9: Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
Ephesians 4:26-27: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:31: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
**All Bible Verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
How To Stop Being Mean To Your Spouse
Do you want to know how to value your spouse? Do you want to know how to love your husband in a godly manner?
Wives, you need to respect your husband. Not in a doormat, keep your mouth shut (although sometimes) kind of way. Don’t let anger and meanness control you. God knows that sometimes we will get angry because we are human. He also asks us to look at the situation and discern whether it merits us to get angry. Being angry isn’t a sin but being controlled by it is a sin.
Remember the Good Times
In times of stress, it can be really hard to remember the good times you and your spouse have shared. Maybe you hold onto a grudge from years ago and lack the ability to let it go and focus on the positive. Remember the good times. Remember the good characteristics of your husband. Remember what drew you to him in the first place.
Remembering the good has the power to change your attitude and perspective. Most importantly, remember to keep God at the center of your marriage. He is the ultimate source of satisfaction and joy. Holding on to the negative is extremely exhausting. Sometimes we need God’s help to pull us out of the negative and into the goodness and faithfulness that He provides us on a daily basis.
Encourage Your Husband
The opposite of belittling your husband is to encourage your husband. We should be our husband’s number one cheerleader. We should encourage them in their walk of faith. Do something nice for your husband. Most definitely do it with a joyful heart.
You need to respect your husband and all that he has to offer. Show your husband appreciation on a daily basis.
Prayer for Deliverance from Meanness
When you feel the meanness towards your spouse rise up, turn to God and ask Him for deliverance from anger. Ask God to reveal the issues that are at battle in your heart. Maybe you have an unresolved issue from childhood or another relationship that is showing up in how you react in your marriage. Ask God to deliver you from anger, wrath, malice, resentment, bitterness, and slander towards your spouse. Pray through the meanness in your heart. Pray that you will be able to forgive and that God would soften your heart towards that person.