“Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure… the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues.” – Abba Evagruis the Monk
Drop the "but". This is how I used to frame my complaints, and my husband brought it to my attention.
"I love you, but..."
No. I love my husband, no "buts" about it. Adding a complaint to an "I love you" immediately invalidates it. If there is something you want to bring up, just do it. Don’t be belligerent, but don’t sugar-coat it.
“Hey, you left your used tissues on the counter again. Please throw them away.”
That’s it. That’s all you need. No frills, no harassment, no “I’ve asked you a million times, but you don’t ever listen to me”. Just point it out, then leave it be. It takes time, and a couple reminders, but it will improve.
No matter what the situation, you and your spouse are capable of handling it. If there are larger issues, like some that might require confession, it’s advisable that you both sit down and speak to your priest. Spiritual strains can demolish marriages, and it’s important to get our vices under control. In this way, your priest, your spouse, and even friends and family, can help support you through these difficulties. Sometimes, even the act of confession can ease such spiritual burdens. Speaking from personal experience, it’s very effective in placing your demons before your eyes and allowing you to see them for what they are: liars.
Marriage unites a man and a woman. Two become one flesh. And that is how I feel about my husband. When he is stressed, so am I. When he receives praise, I can’t help but be excited for him. When he needs encouragement, I am his cheerleader. He always does the same for me, including showing me tough love when necessary. Spouses should always want to see one another succeed, and should never tear each other down. To understand is to love. Christ seeks to communicate with His church, as should spouses seek communication with one another.