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Old 06-05-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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Husband with chronic anger

I have been married for 6 years to a man who is chronically angry. On a daily basis, he lashes out at someone or something. Road rage, sarcasm, and extreme impatience are the hallmarks of his personality. He showed flashes of anger before we married but I suppose he controlled it better then. He is also an extremely controlling personality and frequently acts suspicious toward me for no reason. He thrives on arguing and debating with people. He has humiliated me in public more times than I can count, with his angry outbursts toward store clerks or just random people who set him off for one reason or another, usually something minor. He frequently "jokes" with me about things that are not funny-- for example, I said I had a headache the other day, and he said, "Maybe it's a brain tumor." He grew up in an abusive household and never had any therapy.

I left him over these issues several months ago, but he begged me to come back, and I did. He said he couldn't change if I wasn't here to give him feedback. He hasn't entered the individual therapy that he promised he would do. I asked him about it again a few weeks ago and said I could not be happy unless he went into a therapy program. He has not made any effort to do this.

I don't know what to do. I'm 40 and we have no kids, thank goodness. I am seriously thinking about leaving him. I am unhappy every day. Some days are good with him, but most days have at least one episode of anger. Does anyone have advice?

 
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

You gave him an ultimatum and said that his going to therapy was a condition of your coming back. You kept your end of the bargain and came back, but he has not kept up his end of the bargain. And why should he, really? His behavior hasn't cost him anything. It hasn't cost him you, and he's probably pretty sure that you will never really leave him no matter how badly he treats you. So far you've proven him right. He has to want to change. You can't make the decision for him. All you can do is choose to either continue living like this or not.

 
Old 06-05-2010, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

I'm not going to tell you what to do. I will say, and I'm sure you know, that nothing will change until he takes that first step. Is there any possiblity of an intervention with maybe some of his family members or something? It's just a thought. But I dont think you walking down a wrong path. You have asked him to work on it, and if he refuses to, and you just cant live with it, then I think you are right to consider leaving. Good luck!

 
Old 06-06-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

Quote:
Originally Posted by justmel30 View Post
I'm not going to tell you what to do. I will say, and I'm sure you know, that nothing will change until he takes that first step. Is there any possiblity of an intervention with maybe some of his family members or something? It's just a thought. But I dont think you walking down a wrong path. You have asked him to work on it, and if he refuses to, and you just cant live with it, then I think you are right to consider leaving. Good luck!
He is not close to any of his family members and he has no close friends who could help with an intervention. He is extremely dependent on me which is what makes it all the more difficult.

Larrylou's mom, I think you are right, he hasn't had any real motivation or need to change since I appear to be accepting the situation.

It makes me very sad because his constant, chronic anger, his racist comments, his bitterness at the world, his sense of entitlement-- all of it has slowly killed off my love for him until there is very little left, just pity. I think he could be a good person at heart, but he is so full of issues and anger.

 
Old 06-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

I am a guy who was in a relationship for many years. One day my girlfriend said she was going to leave me because she was no longer happy. She said her love had gradually dissipated because of many things I was doing wrong. I felt that every single mistake I made had been judged from day one. That's the worst thing it can happen because very often we are not aware of a LOT of things.

I am just writing this because you said that "all of it has slowly killed off my love for him until there is very little left, just pity."

There is no doubt that your husband is very insecure. He must change - and it must be a deep change. Yes, he has to take the first step, but honestly I think you should be the leader. A leader who still sees hope and will help and guide him through the process. I know he is not a kid, but life is about learning. If people want to learn, they deserve a chance.

Something new and positive must replace the old and negative energy that he has been carrying for decades. Therapy can be a good thing, but it takes time and a guy like him can resist that kind of help - he doesn't really trust people, apparently. A lot of small things can be done, though. In my opinion, the first thing is to learn how to enjoy simple things together. Usually we forget about these things and how important they are.

Finally: humiliating someone (you) in public is a big NO. You deserve respect. A marriage without respect is NOT a marriage.

Last edited by Administrator; 06-12-2010 at 11:00 PM.

 
Old 06-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

My family on my mother's side suffers from this type of thing- quick to anger, lashing out, stewing for weeks. It turned out it was a type of imbalance in the brain and anti-depressants essentially fix the problem. Both my mother and my grandfather have seen huge improvements from taking anti-depressants for their anger issues. You might consider that- it's possible he's got a chemical imbalance and would benefit more from an SSRI rather than therapy.

 
Old 06-06-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

You didn't say why you want to make this work. That would be helpful. Do you love him but for the anger issues? Or is it just a matter of sticking together for the sake of heeding to the marriage vows? I get the impression that it's the latter. Since you don't have kids, why stay in an unhappy situation? Life is too short. It either is, or it isn't. Just my 2 cents.

 
Old 06-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering like this. I agree with the others that life is too short to stay in a marriage where you are constantly being berated and belittled. It's doing nothing positive for you. It doesn't matter if he is dependant on you or not, the fact is that it's not a healthy environment for you.

You need to stand firm and be serious about your intentions. If he won't fix this problem once and for all then you need to tell him you're done. There's no sense in continuing this if you're going to be forced to bear the brunt of his anger. That's really unfair to you. If he really loved you, he wouldn't expect you to stay under the current circumstances!

 
Old 06-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

Lucymorton, I am so sorry you are going through such pain with your H. It sounds to me that, like my exW, your H is suffering from strong traits of BPD (borderline personality disorder). Rage and a lack of impulse control are two of the hallmarks of BPD. Because most BPDers were abused in early childhood, they carry an enormous amount of hurt and rage with them throughout their lives. That anger is easily triggered by innocent things you say or do. This may why you feel you are always walking on eggshells around him.

BPDers are very afraid of losing control over their loved ones and thus are extremely controlling. One reason is that they are so afraid of being abandoned. Another reason is that their childhoods were so totally out of control.

Your H's mean treatment of strangers, may be due to some disorder other than BPD. There is little chance he will change regardless of where you are.
What is needed is a psychologist who is highly trained in treating this disorder. And, of course, the BPDer must have the sufficient courage and self-awareness to acknowledge having the disorder and be committed to learning how to manage it . Like I said, it is impossible for him to manage his disorder unless he acknowledges having a serious problem and is committed to fixing it. If you brow-beat him into going (with a threat of leaving), you will go down the futile path that I took. He will go through a series of therapists and play games. The therapy cannot work unless he wants it for himself -- not for making you happy.

I mention this because, if you want to know what disorder he has, it would be wise to go to your own psychologist -- who will tell you candidly what it sounds like to him based on your description of his behavior. because you have no children, I advise you to leave him if he will not seek therapy with a psychologist and stay with it. You are in a toxic relationship that is harming both of you.

Significantly, the toxicity is something you BOTH are doing to each other. His contribution to the toxicity is obvious. Yours is less so. You are harming him by serving as a "soothing object," preventing him from confronting his disorder and learning what the rest of us started learning when we were four years old -- how to sooth himself and calm himself down. That is, you have become an "enabler."

Last edited by Administrator; 06-12-2010 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Please read and follow the Posting Policy of this board. Thanks.

 
Old 06-07-2010, 02:20 PM   #10
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Re: Husband with chronic anger

thank you-- I don't know anything about BPD, but much of what you say resonates with me and what I've experienced with him. Thank you for taking the time to write such a long and thoughtful post.

I was interested in your statement that "BDP rages typically last about 5 hours..." This has been exactly what I've seen from him. I do not think he is bipolar at all-- I am familiar with that condition and I just don't think it matches him. The slightest event can set him off.

Last edited by Administrator; 06-12-2010 at 10:55 PM.

 
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