It’s such a common feeling they made up a new word for it.
“Hangry” is a combination of hungry and angry – as in, when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to get angry or grumpy. It’s a real thing.
A recent article, “The science of ‘hangry’ – how low blood sugar makes you a monster,” cites a study that found “married couples get increasingly angry and mean towards one another” when there’s not enough glucose to fuel the brain. Therefore tasks that require a large amount of energy – like self-control – take a hit, and anger results.
Anger is a secondary emotion
Just like “hanger” results when someone needs a snack, it’s usually the case that anger stems from a root problem.
As Pastor Ted Cunningham explains in today’s broadcast, “Resolving Anger in Your Marriage,” it’s not an event or a circumstance that makes us angry. Rather, that event or circumstance leads us to feeling something – hurt, betrayal, or feeling like a failure, for example – and that feeling, if it’s not tended to, is what leads to anger.
Because anger is a secondary emotion, a key to dealing with it successfully is to process that core emotion – because left untreated, that “button” can set off the atomic bomb.
Sometimes, though, a person has been dealing with anger for so long they can’t figure out where it is coming from. That’s when, Ted says, spouses must lean into each other. It will take a good amount of vulnerability to say, “Please help me figure it out,” but the love and support of your spouse can see you through.
The discipline of digging into that primary emotion and learning to process it is one that will only develop with time and persistence – but it will be well worth the effort.
Today’s broadcast will give you the tools you need to start on the journey, or to help your husband or wife take that first step.
I hope you tune into today’s program, listen online or via our free smartphone app. You might also want to purchase “From Anger to Intimacy: How Forgiveness Can Transform Your Marriage,” which Ted wrote with Dr. Gary Smalley.