My Husband’s Anger Issues Are Destroying My Marriage: Tips And Advice That Might Help To Save Your Marriage
I sometimes hear from wives who believe that many of the problems in their marriage stem from their husband’s anger issues. Often, the husband is very quick to lash out at or show extreme anger at the wife or their children. And sometimes, this anger comes after incidents that would seem very small or insignificant to other people.
I often hear comments like, “My husband has some serious anger issues. Any little thing will set him off. One minute he will seem fine and the next, something can annoy him and then suddenly, he’s screaming, yelling, and completely overreacting. There’s no reasoning with him when he acts like this. Later, he seems like he’s sorry. But by then, I’m mad too. This is starting to really negatively affect my marriage. I don’t want to live with someone who is angry for silly reasons. I don’t want this life for my kids. And I find that I’m more angry myself when I’m around him. I don’t want to live my life this way any longer.”
I know that this is a difficult issue but I think that, with a little work and understanding, this is not an issue that needs to destroy your marriage. In the following article, I’ll suggest some ways to deal with a husband’s anger issues.
Don’t Stay And Engage. Remove Yourself From The Situation Until He Has Calmed Down: I know that it’s difficult not to become angry and defensive in response. But if you engage and argue back, things are only likely to deteriorate from there. And many times, when your husband is in the middle of one of these situations, he’s not acting or thinking rationally. So it’s very unlikely that your own anger is going to change how he’s acting right now.
In my experience and observation, the best result is often gained by saying something like “I can see that you’re very angry right now. Experience has told me that when you get this way, nothing is resolved. I’m going to go and do something else. When you calm down, we can talk about this more. But nothing good is going to come out of me staying and arguing with you. I’ll check back in with you later.”
He may well follow you and continue to be angry, but if you calmly remove yourself from the situation every time this happens, it will teach him that there’s really no reason to continue to act that way over and over again. If you’re not going to stay and he’s not going to get the reaction that he’s looking for, then he’ll have to learn other ways to vent his frustration and communicate with you. If he finds that he no longer has any pay off for his anger, the hope is that eventually he will figure out that he should stop and find another way.
Determine The Root Of His Anger. Is This Part Of His Personality, His Upbringing, Or Is There Some Stressor In His Life?: It really can help if you can try to figure out why he might have these anger issues. Ask yourself if he has always been this way. Look at his family and his parents. Is this how they demonstrate their frustration or attempt to solve their problems? Is this something that has popped up recently after a stressor or change in your circumstances?
The answer to these questions will give you some insight on how to best handle it. Some men were brought up in families where anger was a common way to get someone’s attention or to solve problems. If your husband is acting because of family history or family culture, then that problem is very different than if your husband is only reacting because of recent circumstances.
Admittedly, you can not fix all of your husband’s problems, nor should you be expected to. But if his anger stems from a situation that you can either point out to him or fix, then the reasons behind his anger are usually worth looking at – even if it only helps you to understand him better and respond to him in a different way.
Help Your Husband Learn New Ways To Express And Deal With His Anger And Frustrations: As I said, you can’t handle his problems for him, but you can try to help lighten his load because you care about him and because doing so is likely to improve your life also.
One possible strategy is to try to get your husband to go to counseling. However, I know that many husbands in this situation are going to refuse to go. Knowing this, remember that one thing that you can control is your own reactions and responses. And you can also encourage him to come up with alternative ways to express or solve his problems. When you see him attempting this, you should heap on positive reinforcement and let him know that you see that he is trying.
Remember when I said that when he gets angry, you should remove yourself and then check back with him later? Well, once you both are calm and the anger has passed, you might ask him if it’s a good time to discuss things. The idea is to tell him that you love him very much but that it hurts you when his anger overshadows everything else. And, you want to tell him that you know that he is hurting also. Make it obvious that your goal is to help him. Your goal isn’t to shame him, make him feel guilty, or point out what a bad guy he is. Your goal is to help him figure out why he’s becoming so angry and then help him either eliminate the source of his anger or learn to deal with it in a way that is more healthy for your family.
This is important because anger issues can indicate more serious marital issues. I strongly encouraged the woman in the above example to take action quickly because she knew that this issue was deteriorating her marriage. Rather than continuing to respond with more anger and becoming more and more distant from her husband, she needed to actually get closer to him before any real change might take place.
This may seem counter intuitive because no one wants to deal with someone who always brings them down or making them feel bad. But in order for change to happen, the key is to slowly change the dynamic of his anger and your marriage and begin to rebuild. Otherwise, you’re going to be repeating the same old anger patterns until this continues to hurt your marriage, possibly to the point or no return.
It took me way too long to realize that I was sort of playing into my husband’s anger with my own reactions. This went on for so long that our marriage deteriorated to the point where we almost got divorced. But, when I stopped focusing on his frustrations and started focusing on my own reactions and behaviors, things changed. Luckily, over time (and taking calculated baby steps), I was able to reestablish intimacy and bring back our love for one another. You can read more of that very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/
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