Does FI have an anger problem or am I just bad at empathizing?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
2610 posts
Sugar bee

I would ask him to go to therapy and get properly medicated. He needs someone to help him find better ways to deal with his obsessive thinking and rumination. I also think the weed would exacerbate what he’s dealing with. My husband and I both smoke weed for anxiety and sleep issues, so I’m not judging, but whenever I get into a state of overthinking weed makes it MUCH worse and I stop. Weed can be really bad if you deal with obsessive thinking at all and can just get you more and more caught in the loop. Especially if he’s smoking sativa or more stimulating strains.  

And what he’s doing isn’t fair. Going on incessant angry yelling tirades is not just ‘venting.’ He’s holding you emotionally hostage in a way. It may not be intentional, but he’s controling how you feel and act by reacting explosively and not taking responsibility for his own emotions. He can’t just throw tantrums when he’s feeling down and expect you to deal with the consequences of that.

Post # 18
2819 posts
Sugar bee

I can empathize; I have dated guys like this before too. That kind of negativity and anger is toxic, and self-medicating with weed isn’t getting to the root of the issue. You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells with your life partner, nor should you be forced to stoop to his woe-is-me world view (which, by the way, isn’t very helpful for affecting change!). 

I also have to say, even though I have liberal views about marijuana, I would think carefully about whether you want to be with someone longterm who uses drugs as a coping mechanism, especially if want to have children. Not only does it model bad behavior and a bad way of dealing with emotions, but at a more basic level – is he going to be getting high while you’re changing diapers? 

Honestly, I would seriously reconsider whether this is the person you want to spend your life with. But at the very least, I think you need to talk with him about the way his negativity is affecting you, express your concern for his mental health, and get both of you to therapy. 

Post # 19
1452 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

as others have suggested, I would also be rethinking continuing my relationship with him.

I have had three ex boyfriends who abused a substance of some kind or another. Not one of those relationships worked out. That was not the only reason but it was one of many.

When someone abuses or uses a substance to “self medicate” it means they aren’t willing to address the underlying issues that are making them use in the first place. Although sad, it’s also not really your problem as blunt as that may sound. He is in denial. Some people live in denial their whole lives. Some can snap out of it when they realize they will lose their true love.

Addiction is a terrible illness but the only time it will get better is when the person afflicted is willing to seek treatment. 

I hope this helps encourage you to speak up for what you want and need in this relationship which are 100% valid. 

Post # 20
1011 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

This is not a reasonable thing to have to put up with. As someone with mental illness, who is engaged to someone with mental illness, even if you do everything right there are still going to be days where the treatment just doesn’t work and you have a “symptom day.” But this is not all the time. CLEARLY using weed to treat his depression is not working for him. He needs to seek an alternative form of treatment, like a therapist and possibly medication. He isn’t this way because he has mental illness; he is this way all the time because he refused to seek treatment for his mental illness. 

Post # 21
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

View original reply
azf0019 :  +1

OP, I’m bipolar II and am so much like your Fiance when I’m not mood stable. I tend to have a very negative outlook on everything and get very angry about the smallest things. The only way I can manage is going to therapy and being medicated. He 100% needs to go see a psychiatrist and a therapist. If he doesn’t, you need to carefully consider breaking up with him. Speaking from the opposite perspective as you, if I wasn’t medicated my husband would have left me as well, and he would have been right. The kind of anger that your Fiance and I both have is very unhealthy for a relationship. Good luck.

Post # 22
600 posts
Busy bee

I’m exhausted for you after reading this. I’m sure it’s tough to love someone and see them so stressed and unhappy.

My only advice is that you shouldn’t marry someone expecting that they will change. Might they change, over time, if they want to? Yes, we all have the capacity for self-improvement over our lives and if he has a mental illness he could very well seek treatment and live a healthy life. But he might also stay this way forever, so keep that in mind before making any commitment.

Post # 23
7317 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Him not taking responsibility for his emotions and health but, by his behavior, forcing YOU to take responsibility for the effects of his emotions and health are not okay.

Post # 24
717 posts
Busy bee

I have a rare form of autism called Pathological demand avoidance, as well as anxiety issues and this sounds EXACTLY like me when I’m having a hard time, but it’s normally stress that sets it off for me and makes it 10x worse. Is there anything stressful in your life that could be causing him to have frequent flare ups? I usually only have a meltdown once a month now, with very small ones every so often. When I was at my worst I’d have full on meltdowns nearly every day, over something like dinner plans changing! I currently don’t ever watch the news or seek it out as it really gets to me all of it and can then affect my actual life. 


I would recommend therapy but ONLY sporadically and if he ends up reading this, what really helps me is to breathe when I feel any bubbling of emotion. My fiancé knows to leave me to it.


if he has got a similar issue to me then it’s really hard to control but it is possible to contain most meltdowns provided you recognise the signs and stop it in it’s early stages before it takes hold! 


Also the weed does not help, it makes him dependent and that’s a slippery slope! What if he needs it and can’t get to it? Episode waiting to happen!

Post # 25
2066 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Hmm, interesting. My Fiance can get this way, and so can I. We never direct it at each other and the bouts are not frequent, but they can be frustrating. The triggers for my Fiance are traffic, the post office losing his stuff, and the constantly partying neighbors. Mine is my health. Honestly, it used to really bother me with traffic, but now I just ignore it and I’m not really bothered by it anymore. If it gets too much, sometimes I’ll say, “please calm down,” and he’ll immediately get out of that zone and simmer down. With the neighbors, it’s more concerning because he gets so negative about it (“I hate living here. I can’t enjoy my house. I hate coming home). When I offer solutions like selling the house and buying in a more quiet neighborhood, he’ll claim that we won’t find another house we like. I’ve learned that he doesn’t really want solutions, so when he gets in a fugue about the house, I just nod and say, “I’m sorry you’re feeling like that.” I don’t make it personal. He is working on it by meditating, taking a few moments to breath when he is feeling despondent, and distracting himself by playing music or reading. Can your Fiance try some coping mechanisms like that?

I am very negative at times, too. I had cancer 10 years ago and when I spiral, it’s “I’m going to get it again and die. I won’t be able to enjoy my wonderful life. Why do I deserve to live while friends of mine have died?” I try not to buden him too much with dark thoughts of dying because, obviously, it upsets him, but I feel I can share it with him at times and he’ll support me and comfort me. I do appreciate that, but I am careful not to afflict a constant stream of negativity towards him.

I think your Fiance needs to do better to control his anger if it’s unrelenting and making things unpleasant for you on a regular basis. We should be able to absorb a certain amount of venting and darkness from our partners. However, a constant barrage is unfair to you. I would also encourage you to depersonalize it as much as you can. He’s yelling about politics during breakfast (hey, I get it, believe me)? Feel free to get up and say, “I sympathize, babe. I hate it, too. However, I want to enjoy my breakfast right now, so I’m going to sit out on the balcony. You’re welcome to join me for some quiet time when you feel like it.” It’s OK not to engage him at every outburst. Good luck, Bee.

Post # 26
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I agree with the PPs that self-medicating with marijuana isn’t good and that he should seek professional help.

He sounds like he’s really stressed out too.  Is he exercising, eathing well and sleeping?  Those all coudl help with his outlook.  I found all the negative news was gettnig to me a lot – so much that I ended up deleting my Facebook account.  Everything was negative, negative, negative  as I had subscribed to a lot of news sites and it was hard not to let that affect me.  If he’s online a lot reading the news, he may need to unplug from that.  I got rid of all of my social media because of this.  He has to realize that he can’t let things that are out of his control get to him – life is short and it sucks being angry all the time.  Aside from voting in elections and helping out with campaigns, there isn’t much he can do at this point to change anything politically and getting angry about things isn’t constructive.

Post # 27
2610 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
wolfeyes :  Also just want to add to my comment about how my husband and I sometimes smoke weed to deal with anxiety – We’re also both on proper medication and go to therapy occasionally (used to go regularly). Small amounts of weed can help with certain symptoms, but it should never be considered the primary method of treatment. And if he’s smoking so much and so frequently that you can’t tell he’s high, it’s likely feeding the problem rather than curbing it. 

Post # 28
2230 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

View original reply
dabblinggadwall :  So, nothing about what you describe implies a lack of empathy on your part. It DOES strongly indicate an untreated mental health condition in your partner.

As @Sassy411 said, marijuana is not an effective treatment for depression. While it’s impossible to say it causes it, there is a strong correlation between daily use and depression/anxiety. I have a lot of people close to me who SWEAR it is the only thing that allows them to function, but they have also – without exception – refused to persue traditional treatments for these conditions. Anecdotally, I can say my observation is that it usually makes things worse, not better. 

My ex husband was a weed as medicine for depression guy. He absolutely refused to speak to a therapist or a doctor, arguing they couldn’t help and were a bunch of quacks. His anger escalated to the point where I simply could not go on living with him. He still struggles now, some 17 years later.

While I’ve had my own go round with depression and the unsuccessful treatments thereof, I was always at least TRYING to get to a place where I could improve. Nothing can get better unless he is willing to do something new. If he refuses to do that, he is essentially condemning the two of you to an ongoing situation where you feel unable to relax, and must endure the consequences of his refusal to treat his illness. 

Most people who are depressed have NO idea how much their condition impacts others. They think they are the only one suffering, and that they are protecting people from their depression by shutting down. Clearly this isn’t true, but it FEELS that way on the inside. 

It might be necessary to confront him with how much his condition IS hurting you too; not just him. Tell him directly how his refusal to address his mental health issues are damaging the relationship and ask him to seriously consider how in failing to seek meaningful effective treatment, he is asking you to join him in his pain and whether he thinks that is fair, or right.

Good luck to you both. 


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