Do you know someone who always seems on the verge of lashing out and getting angry? Steve Arterburn offers a fresh perspective on what’s going on beneath the surface of the heart that always seems to be on the attack.

“I think that person is someone who is very afraid and hurting. One of the things about a life taken back is you start to look not at what you see on the surface, but what’s underneath.”

Someone who seems to lash out on a regular basis is actually harboring hurt in their heart and it often manifests itself as frustration and anger.

“Underneath there’s a person that’s so afraid of feeling less than that they’ve got to make you feel less than. They’re so afraid of you taking advantage of them, they’ve got to take advantage of you. They’re afraid of being controlled, so they try to control you.”

Unfortunately, one of the places where this attack mode is most prevalent is in marriage.

“There’s no place in marriage for criticism, but so often there is this attack mode in marriage and any little thing that comes up is criticized severely. It’s no wonder that people who chose each other to live with can’t stand each other because they’re so negative and critical.”

Understanding the circumstances and cause of a spouses anger, does not mean you are helpless or expected to just absorb it.

“The temptation is to say well God just called me to stay here and just take it. That isn’t your only option.”

“A lot of people think I’ve done everything I can do, well, you’ve probably done everything you know to do, but you need to reach out and get some help. If you’re married to an alcoholic, you need to be going to a place where other people married to alcoholics can give you some insight and help you. You need a counselor that specializes.”

We don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances, we can make positive changes in our own lives that help our situation substantially.


Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the # 1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show “New Life Live!” heard and watched by 3 million people each weekday on 200 radio stations nationwide and on Sirius/XM radio and on the NRB television network.

Featured Songs: If We’re Honest – Francesca Batestelli; All for the One Who Saved Me – River Valley; Who You Say We Are – Steven Curtis Chapman

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