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How to Overcome Anger in Marriage After an Affair

How to Overcome Anger in Marriage After an Affair

How to Overcome Anger in Marriage After an Affair

Overcoming anger after the discovery of an affair is a topic frequently discussed with the couples we guide. The aftermath of infidelity often brings forth a myriad of emotions, and anger can be one of the most challenging to confront. 

When my husband’s affair was revealed, anger was my primary emotional response for weeks. It took on different forms and expressions, but it seemed to be always lurking just under the surface, ready to pounce. 

Often, I felt justified in my anger. After all, I had been wronged. But I was also aware of the toll my anger was taking on me and my husband. My strong expressions of anger felt condemning toward him and depressing to me. 

In this article, we are going to dive into what anger is, how it tends to be expressed, what God says about anger, and how to overcome anger in marriage after an affair.

What is anger, and is it ok to be angry?

In order to overcome anger after an affair, it’s helpful to understand how we typically tend to express our anger. Dr. Claudia Black found in her research decades ago that there are generally 10 expressions of anger. As I briefly define each one, consider what ‘face of anger’ you tend to wear:

Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Indirect resistance to the demands of others, often expressing hostility in an indirect or covert manner.


The use of irony to mock or convey contempt, often through humor with a sharp, cutting edge.

Verbal Abuse

The use of harmful, demeaning language to attack and control another person emotionally.


Assigning responsibility for negative actions or outcomes to someone else, avoiding personal accountability.

Guerrilla Humor

Using humor as a weapon, often to embarrass or ridicule another person.

Retaliatory Anger

Responding to perceived wrongs or slights with anger and a desire for revenge.

Blind Rage

Uncontrolled and intense anger that may lead to aggressive behavior without conscious thought.


Withdrawing from others emotionally or physically as a way to protect oneself from further pain.


Overwhelming feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair that can result from the emotional fallout of infidelity.

Anger as an Excuse

Using anger as a justification for inappropriate behavior, avoiding responsibility for one’s actions.

I don’t know about you, but this list is sobering for me. I am sad to say I wore nearly all the faces of anger after the reveal of my husband’s affair. 

Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions? Can you think of situations where you expressed your anger in one of these ways? Do you experience any of these expressions of anger from your spouse?

Take heart, my friend! We need not sit in the sadness of this sobering list of angry expressions. After all, we have a righteous God who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He is merciful and has given us His Word to free us from the cycles of anger and guide us toward a healthier response to the injustices in our lives.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15

How do I overcome my anger?

In order to overcome unhealthy expressions of anger, take it to God.  He is the ultimate source to guide you in processing your hurt and anger. If you desire to respond to this deep hurt in a constructive way, God will be the perfect guide to follow. 

You will only have the ability to respond to the brokenness of this world in a godly way if you have a relationship with God Himself.

Start with a conversation with God. Use a journal to write down all your thoughts and feelings, or simply cry out to him in a private space. Grab a Bible and open to the Psalms, where you can read pages of people’s anger being shared with God. 

With God as your guide, you are less likely to act out in destructive ways.  In fact, His Word is filled with gracious reminders of what it looks like to respond well in difficult situations.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Remember, your relationship with God is the key. 

When you have chosen God as your guide, you believe in the sin-defeating power of His resurrected Son and the Holy Spirit lives inside you. Life as you know it will never be the same. 

When the Holy Spirit is leading, it won’t be as easy to express anger in such unhealthy ways. Those dark expressions of anger don’t have a place in a Spirit-led person. When my focus shifted from me and my hurt to God and His love, I didn’t want to lash out or wallow. I wanted to be more like God.

So, let’s explore how an understanding of the fruit of the Spirit can help you to overcome anger after an affair.


God is love (1 John 4:8). When you are tempted to fixate on the devastation of the affair, focus instead on the God of love. Your closeness to God will directly affect your ability to love your spouse.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19


This isn’t about acting happy; rather, give yourself permission to experience the joy that comes from trusting God for the outcome. You’ll be surprised at how He will bless you with joyful moments even in the midst of this trial.

And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10


Peace is not the absence of conflict; peace is the presence of God. True peace will be found as you rest in God’s plan rather than taking matters into your own hands. Seek God’s peace to calm the storm of emotions.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7


Embrace patience as a virtue, understanding that healing takes time and requires perseverance. There is no “quick fix” for infidelity.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12 NIV


Extend kindness to yourself and your spouse, fostering an atmosphere of compassion and understanding. Resist the temptation to name-call or use harsh words.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32


Strive for goodness in your thoughts and actions, focusing on rebuilding trust and integrity in your relationship.

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9


Reaffirm your commitment to faithfulness, both to God and to your marriage vows, laying the foundation for trust to be rebuilt.

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
Hebrews 13:4 NIV


Approach the healing process with gentleness, treating yourself and your spouse with tenderness and care.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:1,4


Exercise self-control in managing your emotions, ensuring that anger does not become a destructive force but a catalyst for positive change.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
Ephesians 4:26

Of course, we could dive much deeper into the characteristics of a person bearing the fruit of the Spirit, but I pray this gives you a taste of how to overcome anger after an affair with God as your guide. 

It took me a while to process my emotions after hearing of my husband’s infidelity. I wish I had understood these concepts better when I was struggling with anger and a lack of self-control. But I can thank God for His faithfulness and mercy toward me as I awkwardly learned how to manage overwhelming emotions like anger. 

This is not a formula or fast fix. We are all a work in progress, and it takes time to learn a new way of responding to trials, especially while you are in the middle of the storm. But, I promise you God can be trusted and His Word is true. 

By understanding the various faces of anger and incorporating the fruit of the Spirit into your healing journey, you can navigate the aftermath of infidelity with constructive patience and hope, rather than destructive anger. May your marriage be renewed, and may the love of Christ guide you on the path to restoration.


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