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Thread: My husband's anger issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    My husband's anger issues

    Hi. I'm new here and this is my first post. I have been happily married for 12 years. We've had a few ups and downs, but never anything that caused us to think about the "D" word. Most of the time, we have a great relationship. We rarely fight.

    My parents divorced when I was very young and I lived with my dad and stepmom, and visited my mom and stepdad on weekends. When I was at my dad's, I was always careful not to upset my stepmom and when I was at my mom's, I was terrified to upset my stepdad. They both had strong personalities and I knew if they weren't happy, nobody would be happy. So I never wanted to be the cause of their anger. I spent a good deal of my childhood walking on eggshells. Not a fun way to live. I swore I would never grow up to live that way.

    I knew from the start that my husband's biggest fault is his temper. It doesn't show up too often, but when it does, it's not pretty. Very rarely have I been the reason for his outbursts. He has never physically abused me our our children.

    Our kids are ages 6 and 9. Although they're pretty good kids, they have their ways and their moments, like all kids do. I feel my husband expects too much for their age. I find myself trying to make sure the kids behave properly so that he doesn't get angry. If they misbehave while he's gone, I don't always tell him about it. He seems to set the tone for the whole house. If he's happy, we're all pretty happy. If he's angry, we're all moody. Although I feel like I can talk to him about almost anything, I have a really hard time talking to him about his temper. He gets very defensive, or he gets very sullen and blames himself and puts himself down.

    I love my husband with all my heart and I know he loves me. There are times when I don't think I could possibly be any happier. And the good times far outweight the bad. But then there are times when I get this horrible, familiar feeling in my gut--the feeling I would get when I was a kid and someone upset one of my parents. I don't want my kids to grow up that way.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Member lonelylight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    hey kt1973,

    Whether intentional or not, your husband's behavior sounds emotionally abusive. Believe it or not, creating uncertainty or instability and the whole attitude of wondering "will he/she get angry or not?" and walking on tenterhooks IS a big part of emotional abuse...and of course, it's easy for you to fall into this pattern because you faced it constantly growing up. We are drawn to what feels familiar, on some level, even if it doesn't feel good.

    Have you tried counselling/therapy? I'd recommend it for BOTH you and your husband. For you: to deal with those dysfunctional patterns and subsequent feelings you went through as a kid. For your husband: to help manage his anger. Remember, you don't have to be at rock bottom to need or benefit from therapy. Therapy is just as helpful for the person who has one or two issues he/she wants to work out as it is for the person who is really struggling.

    History will keep repeating itself, for you and for your kids, if you don't do something. I understand you're scared of your husband's is scary. But I'm guessing you don't want to live the rest of your life this way, either. I really do recommend therapy.

    Another tactic is to talk to him using "I" statements. This will keep from putting him on the defensive and off the attack mode. For example, instead of saying, "Your anger scares me and the kids and you need to solve this" (which risks making him angry), saying, "Honey, I feel scared when you show your anger, and I know you don't want to scare me or the kids, but *I* don't really know what to do when this happens and it makes me afraid of communicating with you." The "I" statements really work, because it deflects blame from him. You're presenting him with your feelings and a problem, rather than accusing him of something.

    Hope that helps.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Kalika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    It sounds like you're enabling your husband and allowing your children to ride this rollercoaster. They don't really have choices. They can't leave you and your husband if things are bad at home. YOU can, however, and I think you both need to sit down and talk.

    I'm sure your husband's anger isn't something he likes, but he may not realize exactly how badly it's affecting you and your children. I think you should seriously discuss therapy with him, and possibly anger management classes, if he's willing to go. If not, you need to make a serious decision about whether or not you're willing to put your children through this.

  4. #4
    Member lonelylight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    I suggest you buy and read a book on Codependency. I think it will really help. Codependent No More by Melonie Beattie is the one usually recommended by therapists, and I think will give you some answers to your situation.

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