How to Live With Your Husband’s Anger Problems

Dealing with your husband’s anger can be scary and difficult. These tips on how to live with an angry husband will help you figure out what to do and how to proceed in your marriage.

How to Live With Husbands Anger Problems“One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs,” writes Lundy Bancroft in Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. “I would not like to see your experience with this book re-create that unhealthy dynamic. So the top point to bear in mind as you read [this book] is to listen carefully to what I am saying, but always to think for yourself.”

“I’m worried about my husband because has several signs of mental illness,” says R. “He has gone from job to job in the last five months. He began hitting me, drinking more, cheating, and leaving without so much as a word. He also has anger problems. We have two small boys, one and two years old, and they’re imitating his anger. I know we need help, I don’t want to leave because I love him. I don’t want him to hurt himself, I think he’s suicidal. He refuses counseling even though it worked for us before. How do I live with my husband’s anger?”

The first and most important thing is to get help in person. The internet is a wonderful place to get information and tips, but you need more than that when you’re living with an angry man.

Bancroft explains how and why angry men are so angry, and offers help for coping with an angry husband.

5 Tips for Living With an Angry Husband

If he is physically or emotionally abusing you, read How to Move Out Without Your Husband Finding Out.

Get help – because you and your children deserve to live in a safe, peaceful home

What in-person support, information, and help do you have? If there are no resources for anger management in your area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They’re there all hours of the day and night.

Here’s what they say: “At the National Domestic Violence Hotline… We believe that every caller deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that every family deserves to live in a world free from violence. We believe that safe homes and safe families are the foundation of a safe society.” Calling a hotline or support group doesn’t mean you’re leaving your husband…it just means you’re strong enough to get support and help for living with an angry man.

Get a diagnosis – maybe your husband isn’t “just” coping with anger problems

Some psychologists think “labeling” a psychological health issue causes problems, while others think that a diagnosis leads to healthy treatment. When you’re living with an angry husband, you should know exactly what you’re dealing with. Are his anger problems the result of an underlying mental health condition (eg, bipolar mood disorder, physical health problems, etc), or is he angry for no underlying physical health reason?

I know that it’s impossible to force your husband to get a diagnosis, especially if he’s already said he doesn’t want counseling. But if there is a way to get him to a psychologist or doctor, do it.

For more tips on living with an angry husband, read Dealing With Unresolved Anger in Relationships.

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Be aware of how deep your husband’s anger problems can go

“Many men have failed to resolve anger with their fathers as a result of numerous disappointments and hurts in childhood and adolescence with them,” writes Dr Richard Fitzgibbons in The Angry Spouse. “Then, unconsciously, this anger can markedly interfere with their ability to love their wives and children.  It can also be misdirected at their wives and children because of its power. The process of forgiving one’s father can be very challenging. However, men often feel relief when they learn that they can address their anger with their fathers in ways other than by expressing it. Even though a man can understand his father’s family background and character weaknesses, which interfered with his ability to give to him in a loving and positive manner, he can still have great difficulty in forgiving him either emotionally or cognitively, that is, thinking of forgiving him.”

If your husband’s anger problems stem from his childhood, then he needs to find the strength and courage to get help from a counselor or psychologist.

Look for triggers – what makes your husband angry?

“When your spouse is in a stable or more favorable mood, pay close attention to what environmental triggers precipitated and are maintaining the stability,” advises marriage and family therapist Tracy Todd, PhD, in 10 Tips for Coping With a Bipolar Spouse. “Often there are specific environmental stressors or soothers – including relationship issues – that influence mood swings. Use the soothers to help maintain the mood that both of you desire.”

How to Live With Your Husband's Anger Problems

How to Live With Your Husband’s Anger Problems

This isn’t to say you’re the cause of his anger – because you’re not! Your husband’s anger problems are his issue, not yours. If he blames you for provoking his angry outbursts, remember that that’s what abusive men do. They blame everyone else for their emotions and behaviors.

Looking for the events that trigger your husband’s anger doesn’t mean you need to walk on eggshells at home. It just gives you insight into the cause of his anger problems, which can help you and help find a solution.

Remember that love isn’t all you need – you need to live in peace

You deserve to be treated with respect, love, and dignity. You may love your husband with all your heart, but you don’t deserve to live with an angry husband who hurts you and your children! That isn’t what you signed up for when you got married.

If you want to leave your husband and his angry feelings behind, read 10 Tips for Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships.

As painful as it is, you have to choose between him and your children. Anger problems don’t disappear on their own, especially if your husband refuses to get the help he needs. Love won’t solve your problems…only you can. You and your husband can save your marriage, but he has to be willing to get the help he needs to manage his anger.

And if you have any thoughts on living with an angry husband, please comment below. I can’t offer advice on how to deal with your angry husband, but it might help you to write about your experience.

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My prayer is that you find peaceful ways to cope with your husband’s anger, and that you realize how valuable and precious you are. You are a child of God.

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8 Responses

  1. Roni Akers says:

    My husband isn’t physically violent. And doesn’t call me names. Just yells and complains all the time. And is so hateful to kids and I. He has tried meds. But they don’t seem to help. We have been together for 6 years now and have 3 kids together. I love him and I know he loves me. But walking on egg shells and yelling and cussing all the time every day is getting old. And depressing. I’m lost on what to do.

  2. Jessica says:

    Oh, Susan, I could have written the post you wrote, except that sometimes my husband behaves well around people, and sometimes he doesn’t. Have you found any solutions? I’m so sorry you know the pain I know.

    • Jessica says:

      Well, also we do not read the Bible together 🙁 There is so much to our story 🙁 He IS attending a church fellowship with us, and he will pray when I ask, but there is not any genuineness, that I can sense. But your feelings…I can relate to those. :'(

  3. Laurie says:

    Dear Martin, thank you for pointing out that some husbands live with angry, critical wives. I’d like to write an article about that. The reason my blog is biased towards men causing relationship problems is because it’s a website for women.

    May God’s peace be with all husbands and wives who are dealing with anger problems in their marriages. Regardless of who the angry spouse is, it’s very difficult and destructive. I pray for healing and peace for husbands and wives – and for wisdom and courage to find the best way to cope with anger problems in a marriage.


  4. Martin says:

    Your site seem to have a bias towards men causing all the problems”How to deal with an angry husband” “What to do with a critical husband”. I am facing both from my wife and it is more common than you think.

  5. Susan says:

    I can identify with Dodi so well! The only difference is that in front of every one else my husband behaves perfectly. No one knows how emotionally abusive he is towards me. We started reading the Bible every morning about 4 years ago and there seemed to be an affect on him. He started acknowledging his anger and verbally abusive ways but won’t attend church anywhere and is still complaining constantly, yelling, cursing, and blowing up. We pray together after reading in the morning and he seems sincere in his desire to change but will take no steps towards any form of help. I can’t help but doubt him when I see almost daily explosions or continual complaining or blaming. I am so unsure of myself anymore. I don’t know how to live with him without becoming more and more emotionally distant from him. I love him very much but I also know that God would not condone how he treats me. So what to do? I am going to try to find a counselor that has a foundation in God and start there. I will look up the book Boundaries. Please join me in prayer. Thanks, Susan

  6. Laurie says:

    Dear Dodi,

    Being married to an angry, abusive man can be confusing for a Christian wife! We are called to serve our husbands, respect them, and be loving in all circumstances. But this does NOT mean Jesus wants us to be abused or treated with angry disrespect!

    I encourage you to talk to your pastor about how to live with your angry husband. I hope you can be vulnerable and honest about his behavior, without being embarrassed or ashamed — because, after all, it is your husband who should be ashamed! I know our spouses are a reflection of who we are, so their behavior impacts us. But I believe we need to have healthy boundaries, as well.

    Have you read the Boundaries book, by Cloud and Townsend? It is a Christian book about healthy boundaries in all relationships.

    My prayer for you, Dodi, is that you find strength and courage in our God. May you learn the difference between unhealthy peacekeeping and healthy love. May you lean on Jesus for love, compassion, and wisdom. May you see yourself and your marriage in a new light — and may you have good, enlightening conversations with your pastor and other Christians who know the difference between being a loving wife and suffering an abusive husband. Amen.

    I wish you all the best. Please talk to your pastor, or a Christian friend you trust. Please be honest about how your husband’s anger problems are affecting you. Remember how much God loves you, and how He does NOT want you to be abused or suffer.

    Let me know how you are. If you have any questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to comment!

    In Christ’s love,

  7. dodi says:

    My husband is 60 still working. We’ve been married 10 years. He gets so angry at the smallest thing, and I can’t say anything or even be in the room or he will go off on me. I think he has bipolar I know he has OCD. Stupid stuff like, I was getting ready to make us some breakfast and he had a pot of his sauce he was making, so we have a large kitchen, He comes in and says I need to be in there. OH boy so I just leave. Kitchen can hold 4 cooks comfortably. He says it in a demanding ugly voice. He hangs up the phone when we talk if he doesn’t like the way the conversation is going. It’s stressing me out so bad I just want to leave. His children tell me he was worst before he married you. They tell me horror stories. He is getting worse the longer we are together. About a year ago I started standing up for myself. He stops sometimes and sometimes it makes it worse. I don’t know what to do. He is making me feel like I need to just leave. I am a Christian and I pray so much. We moved once and I was so embarrassed when our pastor came to help. He was cussing every one out, it’s horrible, he has no restraint. Any thoughts would help me. I don’t know what to do, and a person can only cry so much. My heart is growing cold, and it scares me.

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