My husband is always angry and I don’t know what to do

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
1217 posts
Bumble bee

Your husband’s situation is definitely lamentable and I understand why he is frustrated. But none of these conditions are your fault, he has firsthand experience of how damaging growing up around explosive violent anger is and from your description, it doesn’t sound like he is actively seeking help by pursuing therapy or any sort of counselling to resolve his anger issues (unless you just forgot to mention it?)

I am not going to advocate for you to leave your husband (since you say it is “not an option”) but I am going to ask how much you value the emotional and physical safety of your child.  Because by staying in this volatile situation, you are deliberately putting both at risk and knowingly prioritizing your husband’s moods over your child’s needs.   What happens if during one of his rages, your husband kicks/throws something that accidentally hits your child? How do you think growing up around an angry, uncommunicative, unpredictable father is going to affect your child longterm?

Without your child in the picture, while I would strongly disagree with staying with someone who has deep-seated anger issues that are not being addressed, I would accept that as a consenting adult, you are allowed to make your own choices.  Your child is a vulnerable, innocent victim with no agency of his own – he cannot make any of his own decisions and relies on you to make the best ones for him.

Your husband needs help – therapy with a qualified professional immediately. Even if his employment situation improves, life is full of stressors and he needs to learn healthy coping mechanisms that don’t involve breaking expensive electronics and growling at his spouse.  He needs to unlearn the years of harmful teachings from his parents and he needs to learn how to communicate effectively with you.  But before all of this, he needs to learn how to create a safe, stable environment for the new life he helped bring into this world.

Until he shows a steady commitment to making these very important changes, you need to get your child out of there.  

Post # 3
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Sorry to break it to you but he already is his father. He has had these outbursts around you and your child which is exactly what his father did and over time the children and wife just suffered and continue to suffer. I understand all the stressors he has going on but most people I know don’t react this way unless it’s a learned behavior and that’s just how they deal with things which is how your husband is. I’ve never punched, broken anything, or cursed people out when I’ve been at my angriest and I grew up with that. That’s exactly how my mom handled everything yet I’m 26 and have NEVER done those things because they absolutely terrified me and after going to therapy I finally had someone tell me how abnormal it is. I knew all along but I needed verification from a therapist because I tried so hard to accept my mothers abusive behaviors and tried to rationalize it. That’s exactly what you’re doing with your husband by outlining how great he is and then excusing his poor behavior and using his stressors as the reason why he’s justified. Normal healthy people just don’t do this. Sorry. He needs therapy. Maybe you both do because you think this is okay for him to act this way so you’re blinded by it because of his good qualities. 

Post # 4
3114 posts
Sugar bee

He’s got to keep applying for jobs. Eventually something will turn up.

He’s also got to keep a record of how he is being bullied and taken advantage of. He may need evidence if in the future he has to defend his work record or even claim unfair dismissal. Is there someone higher up in the company or in HR that he could go and talk to about the situation? Many companies do have anti-bullying procedures. Make sure that he records date, time and incident.

In the meantime try and persuade him to take Sunday off. He can’t keep going at this rate or he will make himself more and more ill.

It might be worth you also deciding between you how he can best deal with his anger. If he is finding it difficult to control, is there a woodpile in the garden that he could damage instead of anything in the house?

Is there any chance of you getting a part-time job (I know you have a new baby but there may be something you can do for a small number of hours a week) just to take the pressure off a little?

What does you husband sell? Is there any chance of the two of you setting up a small business online? 

I note from perusing previous threads that you are both Catholic. Is there any chance of you both talking to members of your Church or even the priest? If ever there was a time for them to be helpful, this is it.


Post # 5
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

That is an untenable way to live.  He needs to get a new job – any job! – and get into anger management therapy, like, yesterday.

Post # 10
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Well you seem open to outsider perspectives you just need to act on it now. He is already very much like his father regardless of if he has said anything hurtful to you. Do you want your son to end up the same way? He needs to give in to therapy or talking to the priest or something. This can’t just be swept under the rug and it can’t be dealt with in terms of just his job being stressful. This is deeper than that. It’s the fact that he has never learned how to appropriately deal with his anger. 

Post # 11
11139 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
honey421 :  

I am very sorry Bee.  This will be the last thing you want to hear, but leaving must become your only option. Particularly with a baby in the house. Your husband’s behavior is violent and abusive.  You can be absolutely certain it will escalate.  Maybe not tomorrow, maybe next Wednesday, or maybe on Thanksgiving, or perhaps it will take 20 years.  But, it will happen.

My recommendation for you as Step One is to read Why Does He Do That?, by Lundy Bancroft.

So he has a shitty boss and job stress.  Welcome to adulting.  Lots of people have horrible jobs.  They don’t scream, yell, and damage property.

I also don’t buy that this is an anger management problem.  If it were, he’d be popping off at the people for whom he has the most animosity.  Does he carry on with his boss the way he does with you?  How many other people does he rage at?

Someone truly in need of anger management would not have the ability to be so selective about their targets.  Anger management programs are short term rituals that judges love to shuttle abusers into, because so few judges understand anything about abuse.

The property damage is a warning shot.  Your time will come.

You have put a lot of thought and energy into analyzing your husband’s behavior.  Far more than you should have to. I don’t doubt that his family provided dreadful examples of how to be in relationships.  However, the most recent brain studies are pretty compelling regarding the nature vs nurture question tilting pretty sharply to the nature side of the scale.  We now know that people with certain types of disorders often associated with abuse (Cluster B) are showing not only different brain chemistry but, also a structure that differs in significant ways from that of normals.

All of which helps explain the history of consistently bad results in therapy.  

Your husband may have caught the double whammy, nature and nurture, both highly toxic.

You must remove your child from the current environment.  Do not delude yourself into thinkng the baby is too young to understand.  They understand.  They are pre wired for it as part of their survival instincts.  Young children absolutely must know that the Big People are close and will take care of them.

Absolutely, yes. individual therapy for you is a must.  But, NO COUPLES COUNSELING.  You don’t have a couples issue.  Abusers often punish their victims for what they reveal in session.

Read the Bancroft book, things will make a lot more sense after that.

Post # 12
2557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Frankly, boo hoo that is job is stressful. MANY people have stressful, demanding jobs. His work situation is not special and is not an excuse for this behavior. If I were in your shoes, I would tell him to get therapy or pack up. That shit is not cool around my kid. My step-dad had outbursts similar to your husbands when I was growing up and I still deal with a lot of anxiety as an adult as a result. 

Post # 13
2079 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Therapy, therapy and more therapy bee.  He never learned to process his emotions properly, sounds like he simply repressed them and that’s why they came back so easily.  Sit him down, show him how this is affecting you and do your best to convince him to get therapy. 

Post # 14
7186 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Look- you can ABSOLUTELY remain married to your husband while making it clear that him, that as he currently is behaving, he can NOT be in the house with you and your child. He is setting the standard for what is considered normal for your baby and right now, when your baby’s brain is in it’s most malleable stage, he is showing your baby that flipping out and acting a fool when you get frustrated is acceptable. Hell NO. He’s trying to continue the cycle his father taught him.

Something that I was VERY VERY clear on when my son was a baby was that I was committed to making sure that his normal was a serene, peaceful and SAFE home. As a mother, you have already noted that something is going on that is unacceptable. If you do not make and enforce a boundary with your husband here, you will be failing your child. Your baby needs you to be a sensible and mature adult here since your husband seems to have lost whatever capacity he had before frustrations at work gave him permission to growl and throw laptops at home (frankly- that should have been your dealbreaker. That shit is absolutely fucking ridiculous.).

I’m not saying you need to divorce your husband, but you can definitely put his ass out until he gets his shit together. Let him go live at home with his folks and look in the mirror of his father acting a fool and see where he’s headed if he doesn’t make some significant changes NOW. Life is long, marriage for life is long. As a mother, you CANNOT allow him to continue behaving the way he is around you or your baby. Period. This is not a negotiation or a discussion.

Also- your husband might find that terrible shit keeps happening to him because he’s got some toxic booboo vibes that he’s radiating. No one person is a victim of everything and everyone around him. He needs to stop tantruming like a goddamn baby, suck it the fuck up and get his shit together. It’s not everyone around him- it’s HIM.

Also- you need to stop caping for him and giving him permission to be victimized by his job. Some of the things you listed sound like his choices- is everyone working on their days off? Is no one allowed to take their days off without getting shit? Or is your husband the special case where everyone dumps on him?

Post # 15
32 posts
  • Wedding: August 2019

you should comfort him though. he’s having too much thoughts inside him bottled up that he’s turning to his old self. maybe when he has the thought that you are still there for him despite his condition would melt him down a little bit and learn to deal with the problems he has better. Good luck for you bee!

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