- 5 years ago
I’ve been a lurking the boards here for a few months and have always really admired the perspective, insight, and support that you are able to give each other. I’m hoping to get some clarity and objective opinions on some worries of mine about committing to my SO of almost three years.
Background: Sean and I have been together for nearly the last three years and have lived together for the last two, save for the two months or so last year when I had broken up with him due to his chronic anger/temper issues. After lots of work and improved communication while we were broken up, we ended up getting back together; I love him, he has been an amazing friend and confidant, and importantly, he had substantially improved at controlling his temper.
I really shouldn’t be shocked that his temper/anger issues crept back in soon after.. but they did, albeit most often as less intense blowups than before. To clarify, his anger outbursts aren’t directed toward me nor related to me at all.. most often they stem from frustration with something out of his control, and he flips from normal to outraged in a matter of seconds. A printer not working, no convenient parking, traffic, internet pages loading too slowly, people disagreeing with him or voicing any contrary opinions… he absolutely overreacts, from throwing and breaking whatever is around (glasses, plates, a computer) to driving dangerously, to screaming at friends, acquaintances, service workers, customer representatives, etc., which can be incredibly intimidating. For what it’s worth, my childhood was also riddled with very strong tempers and some physical violence, so perhaps I am overreacting to Sean’s tantrums. I often instinctively cower and shut down when he gets angry. Again, these blowups have been toned down and have become less frequent over the past year, but they still happen every so often. 95% of the time he really is a great, intelligent, funny, caring guy.. but when he loses his temper, he seems to transform into a completely different person.
Flash forward to present day..we have moved halfway across the country together, primarily for my new career opportunity. I also thought that the move would be a good fresh start for him too, since he hadn’t been working (nor looking for work) for any of the 2.5+ years we had been together. (He had a big job loss just prior to our meeting 3 years ago, but thankfully has had enough savings to hold him over through now and at least the near future). Overall, things have been going really well since the big move, and we’ve continued to talk more and more about spending our lives together and officially committing to one another, making long-term future plans, etc. I love him and really appreciate how amazing a SO he is: he is supportive and a great listener, bright, passionate, interesting, knows how to cheer me up when I’m down, is affectionate, loyal, attractive, and we have so many common interests.
Lately though, or whenever he has one of his angry fits, I have serious doubts about committing to an entire lifetime of this bad behavior, however infrequent it may be. Am I being petty for even thinking about throwing away my chance with a man who is 95% amazing, just because of his temper 5% of the time?? This man gave up many of his possessions and moved halfway across the country for me and he has been there supporting me through thick and thin.
On several occasions I have tried to convince him to try professional counseling, but he steadfastly refuses. When we talk about how much his temper hurts/scares me, he of course apologizes for scaring me, will sometimes take a bit of responsibility for his overreaction, but ultimately finds the most fault with whatever/whoever pissed him off.
Ugh.. sorry for the long back and forth. Is this a case of “Grass is Always Greener syndrome”, hoping to one day find some “perfect” man who does not exist, or are my concerns about his temper something that should be legitimate deal breakers? I’m torn, and would love objective advice on how to proceed.
Thank you all in advance for any input!