My wife and I recently looked at a workbook from a marriage conference. In a side note of one of the fill-in-the-blank points it said something like this: Your spouse does not make you feel a certain way, they simply reveal those feelings. I thought it was a powerful statement. And it fits with the message of this ministry, which has greatly influenced how I counsel people.
If you're like me, you've said: "You make me so mad sometimes." Its not an entirely accurate statment. While their actions may influence how you respond to them, their actions just reveal who you are and the feelings you are feeling. Saying someone "makes" you mad is giving that person a lot of power over your life. I mean, if a person can "make" you mad, imagine what else they can make you. They might have the power to make you depressed, misereable, suicidal, murderous, hateful, oppressed and a range of other negative emotions.
With that said, I don't doubt the influence my wife has in my life. She does have some power in my life. But ultimately, my thoughts, actions and feelings to her are a revelation or revealing of stuff that I already carry with me, more than it is something that is being made.
As Rage Against the Machine says "We've got to take the power back." Now, I know Rage wan't talking about ownership of our feelings, but that's what I mean by stealing their lyrics. Take the power back from allowing other people to "make" you something and have the awareness to know that their comments and your reaction is "revealing" something about you that has always been there whether you knew it or not.