My Spouse Has An Awful Temper

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The following was written by Dr. Lynn Weiss when asked the following questions:

QUESTION: My spouse has an awful temper but blames me for causing it. What can I do to avoid triggering it? Is there anything I can do to take the steam out of his temper if he won’t work on it?

ANSWER: When you two are in a calm mood, ask him what hurt him. Then, practice saying things in a matter-of-fact way. Know, however, that he needs to take responsibility for his display of temper.

Do not reinforce his temper. When he blasts off, do not argue. The most you want to say is, “I’ll talk with you when you’re calm.” You may need to wait until he is calm to say this.

Most people with tempers will display just as much temper as they can get away with. So, if you don’t like the temper outbursts, tell him you are simply unwilling to put up with them. Tell him what will happen when he allows his temper to get out of control. You might say, “When you yell, I’m going to leave the house. I’ll return when you speak in a normal voice.” Then you must be willing to follow through. You will find that you can set the limit anywhere you want and, if you mean it, the person will adjust his behavior.

Dr Weiss also addresses the issue of controlling your own temper. The following is advice she’s written to help you with this problem:

GETTING YOUR TEMPER UNDER CONTROL:

The earlier temper control is begun, the easier it is to effect alternative ways for its management. A temper is something that lives only through reinforcement. It can be controlled in the child if the child is taught to find other means to get his or her needs met. But, because that rarely happens, let’s pick up on the adult level, learning how to break the temper cycle.

Temper gets a particular hold on ADD [those with Attention Deficit Disorder] people because of the tendency for emotional flooding to occur. So:

• Never try to deal with a temper when it is active.

• Make plans when all is calm, cool, and collected.

• Acknowledge that you have a temper.

• Forget the business of blaming others. To be sure, someone cutting in front of you on the freeway may have triggered your anxiety, surprised you, or frightened you, but your particular reaction of temper is your responsibility.

• You must realize that there are other ways to react to the stress. And with your willingness, you can learn alternatives that work particularly well for you in dealing with family and work settings, the places where temper is most likely to work against you.

1) Decide on a signal that means it’s time to stop whatever is going on. In our house, it’s the “time out” sign used in sports. Anyone in the family can use it and we automatically stop—no questions asked. The questions can come later. This time-out breaks into the flooding and stops the emotions from taking over.

Tell your partner, “I’m going to read for a while.” If others are around, tell them you’ll be back in a little while. Go to the store for milk if you have to. If it is your partner who’s having the trouble, be nonchalant with other people and just say, “He’s taking a break.”

2) Identify the feeling underlying the anger —fear, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness—and use words to express that feeling. “I feel helpless in this situation.” — “I felt frightened when that car pulled out in front of me.” — “I feel put down by you.”

Be honest. It may be hard at first, but pays off once you’ve learned to do it. Start by making the statements to yourself, if it’s too difficult to do so with others initially.

3) Ask yourself two simple questions: “What do I need to feel better or become a winner here? How can I get it?”

4) Promise yourself that you will continue to work to get what you want without throwing a temper tantrum.

5) Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you can break the temper cycle by following these steps. It is not a long, trying process—unless someone around you enables you to continue with your temper or even cultivates it by reinforcing it. They do you no favor but probably don’t know any better, so you might as well make up your mind to open up alternatives in spite of them.


QUESTION: I used to have a temper but it is much better now that I’ve been working on it. My husband still reacts as if I have one though. How can I get him to stop?

ANSWER: Ask him, “What will it take to get you to relax? I’ve changed and I need you to catch up with my changes.” Do realize, though, that it may take several months for him to catch up. It won’t happen all in one day, either. So some patience on your part is wise.


QUESTION: Are there certain circumstances when a person’s temper will be more likely to erupt even after control measures have been learned?

ANSWER: Tiredness is the biggest culprit I know. Also, keep track of the amount of stress that you are under. Times of change are high stress times and likely circumstances for an explosion.

[Marriage Missions Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that if you’re too busy to be kind —you’re too busy. You need to look to see what life style choices can be made so this stressful time can be defused in such a way that you’re able to approach life as marital partners —not enemies. Your spouse is not to be treated as the enemy.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not pay evil with evil or insult with insult , but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:8-11).]

The above article came from the writings of Dr Lynn Weiss in her secular book, Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults: A Different Way of Thinking, published by Taylor Publishing Company. Dr. Lynn Weiss, is a psychotherapist and mother of an ADD son. In this book Dr Weiss answers questions of concerned readers, explaining what ADD is how it manifests itself in adults, and what can be done to cope with it.

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127 responses to “My Spouse Has An Awful Temper

  1. (USA) So here I am. It’s 3 am, my husband left me in the hotel because of a petty fight we just had. We are an hour away from home, he rented a hotel and bought us tickets to Seaworld for my birthday, and we packed our things and come out here. For what? So he could yell at me for laughing out loud at the tv and waking him up. He’s so upset he starts screaming at me, tells me how stupid I am. I apologized for waking him up and begged him not to get upset. He gets more mad. He grabs his blanket and leaves and slams the door. I’m sitting here, alone, abandoned once again. What a wonderful husband I have. Marriage is exactly what I pictured as a little girl. What a lucky girl I am. I’m looking out the hotel window and notice our car gone. Happy birthday to me.

  2. (USA) I can tell when anger is coming on. So I will walk away. But my husband on the other hand, wants to fix things when I’m angry so we end up in a big fight. How can I fix that?

  3. (UNITED STATES) I have been married to my husband for almost 2 years now. We didn’t date very long before getting engaged, and our engagement was only 4 months as well. However, I felt strongly that he was the one. I prayed lots about it. I did discover his temper when we were dating, but did not know the extent of it. He was also addicted to World of Warcraft, which I thought he only played occasionally. About a month before the wedding I had a feeling to postpone it, but was too scared so I didn’t. However, now that we’re married and I’ve seen his worst, I don’t know that I can handle it.

    I have always said that the only way I’ll ever get a divorce is if there is abuse or certain cases of infidelity, or if he fell away from our church and we hadn’t had kids yet. But now I’m not so sure. He’s been a little verbally abusive. Not too terrible but enough to really hurt. The tiniest things make him angry. He gets it from his parents, who I’ve never seen be affectionate to one another. His family is so negative and disfuntional and I’m worried were going to be like that (luckily we don’t have kids yet). He once yelled at me because I said I wanted to get involved with service projects. Once when my parents couldn’t take us on their wave runners, he got so angry he threw his phone at the wall (it barely missed my head), and yelled at me saying I should have planned better. I don’t get it.

    Yesterday I injured myself at the gym and can barely walk, so I asked him to go upstairs an lock the door before bed. He had a fit. I ended up hobbling up the stars to do it myself. His mother is always screaming and yelling. She screamed at my brother in law for asking what he should clean the couch with after the dog peed on it, so she didnt have to. She was seriously screaming at the top of her lungs “I can’t believe you would ever think that cleaner would work” etc… He was in tears and packing his bags to move out right after.

    I am someone who will not allow that in my home, but he was raised that way. So even though he’s gotten a little better over time, it’s still too much and it’s been two years. Every time he yells and says hurtfull things, or pulls a temper tantrum, he pretends nothing ever happened like ten minutes later and often expects sex or some sort of physical touch after with no apology or anything. I know I’m not nearly as happy as I used to be, and I’ve become a more negative person. I never had depression until I got married, and it’s to the point where I’m sick all the time and I have no motivation to do anything anymore. I find myself looking for reasons to leave even when we’re not fighting and things seem to be going well, but I still love him and it hurts me to think about it. :( I don’t know what to do.

    1. To Ann. You just described my whole situation, (including world of warcraft) I got a glimpse of his temper when we were dating, but never thought it would get this bad. His mom is also the same as you describe. We are living on their property in our own place. We have been engaged for 2 years. Everyone keeps asking when we will get married and I don’t know how to answer, because of the constant verbal abuse and yelling and tantrums, most of the time I don’t want to be here.

    2. It’s the same same story here…it’s the upbringing. So, it’s very normal to get away with these habitual tempers. Life is indeed very unpredictable with a person like this. One just can’t keep following as per your spouse’s mood. One big advantage you have is you don’t have kids yet, so take the call right away or else it’s gonna be difficult to survive in the years to come. The more you suppress you feelings the worse it be when you will start losing it in the coming years. I’m sure you dont want to follow him.

      1. I have been married for 10 years with a hot tempered man. We were only engaged for a few months before marriage, and I saw a few signs too but ignored them till it was too late. He has his good moments and his bad. My advice to any woman before she gets married is that: Love is more than first sight, KNOW his family, learn how he copes with situations AND is he willing to be humble and recognize his behavior. I can’t speak for all men but my husband is a one-sided man. He won’t even go to marriage counseling with me. I know I am not perfect, but a relationship means two people relate with each other. And my husband doesn’t relate with me; he blames me. How can a relationship work when two people can’t live with each other with love and understanding, submitting to one another. Forgiving eachother.

        But my husband doesn’t listen to me. As a woman, he tells me to be quiet when he is angry. So I have to sit there and take the one-sided argument along with name calling, belittling, and accusations. I am always praying for peace. I don’t have anyone to turn to but God, I am too afraid to talk to my family about it for one, he will blow up and two, I know it will dishonor him. Fortunately, we don’t have kids yet. I know I will be a great mom, but I want my kids to have a happy childhood.

        Apart from his temper he is a good man, and due to my faith I don’t believe in a divorce. So my heart is in a sad turmoil state. I just try to trust God. And I feel bad because when I was younger I used to coward over when he was angry, and now as I am older I defend back; which of course doesn’t help and then he accuses me of not being in my place. I feel hopeless sometimes. I just pray and move forward each day. But if he isn’t willing to recognize that he is hurting me and our marriage, nothing is going to change.

        1. Hi there, I read your post as I found it while browsing the web for info for myself. My husband is also hot tempered. I think we all edit out behavior patterns in partners before marriage. For me, I edited out the dysfunctional behaviors that go along with him growing up in an alcoholic family. I saw him as being pretty self centered/narcissistic at times – not considering my feelings, drinking too much, etc. I can see how his self centered attitude developed by being raised by two alcohol dependent parents who truly never grew up emotionally. He got a DUI last year and I gave the ultimatum of him either quitting or stepping aside to let me and the boys move on as I was done living with his denial. He attended marriage counseling and I attended Al Anon. I am also the one to get the family out the door to church on occasion as I can see he lacks a relationship with God, my feeling is addicts are so self centered that they feel they don’t need God. I can tell he feels better after going to church. I think my husband’s quick temper (that is loaded with mockery, insults, etc) is still a big part of the alcoholic family upbringing, after all the alcoholic is always interested in their needs (getting to the drinking part of the day) first and then the needs of children second. I attribute his anger as a residual learned behavior by what was consistently modeled for him. Certainly not implying your husband’s family upbringing is similar, but I do feel anger issues stem from somewhere. I have found a new technique that perhaps could be helpful to you. My husband lashed out the other night when he heard me say something he didn’t like. He is quick to become offended and will let me know in no uncertain terms, however, the narcissist in him expects everyone to speak nicely to him at all times no matter what he says first. I told him during his outburst, “I will not speak any further to you right now as you are having a very hard time controlling your anger, you are talking over me, interrupting me, yelling and insulting. I am going to walk away and will try to talk to you later when your tantrum is done”. I read that using actions to combat words is a stronger approach than offering more words. I tried it the first time the other night and he seemed stumped. He grew up and learned to combat words with stronger words, yell, rage, etc to manipulate the world into getting his way, after all this is what his father did. He was expecting me to argue back or take his lashing, instead he got a calm definitive response calling out his actions (not telling him he was bad, but pointing out his actions were unacceptablele) and I did exactly what I said I was going to do. When he still tried to argue and insult the next day, I repeated the same response and distanced myself. He finally got it but of course had to spin it in his favor of “you yell too so I will do the same” which is totally fine by me! Bottom line, it is the new rule, if you can’t speak in adult calm respectful tones, I will walk away until you are able to do so because after all you are an adult and not a child. Best of luck to you, you are not alone.

  4. (SA) I stumbled across this cause I was doing some research wanting to know if it’s normal. I’m in the very same boat. Every time there’s an outburst it rips away a piece of my sanity and the quality of our parenting drops cause I allow our child to be exposed to this. I feel guilty. This is not healthy but what do I do? It’s like you are trapped in!

    Women that have tempers get all the easy men yet I find myself so easy-going and such a happy person, stuck with a negative, bitter person who goes into a rage over petty things. I’ve tried shutting up, walking away –it errupts even worse like a volcano and then things start coming my way! I’m aware of the no apology and expecting everything to be normal afterwards behaviour. I’m getting to a point where if the outburst comes I no longer want to shut up. I want to defend myself and stab with something. It’s a brewing hate, yet they expect to be loved.

  5. (CANADA) I have been with this man for almost 4 years. We have a daughter together. He is the nicest and very kind person, very good father and husband. However when he is tired, hungry or something is not going his way, here comes the total opposite of what I have mentioned. He becomes hurtful and screams and loses control of himself.

    Once he is feeling better instead of apologizing or trying to work on it, he blames everyhting around him. And when I explained to him that he shouldn’t do that, he snaps and says that he doesn’t wanna speak about it and that he was pushed to act that way because of this and that reason. Never takes accountability for his tempers reactions. I love him very much and that only happens 5% of the time. However, I feel it shouldn’t happen at all, since I am often scared that he can act that way at any given time if things aren’t favorable for him. What to do, help me!!!

  6. (NIGERIA) My spouse is so jealous of me to the extent he does not allow me to say hello to people I know, as a student am main to have my course mates number but he refused. Each time he sees any boy’s number on my phone he will change my sim card. The worst part is that he’s hot tempered. Once he called me on the phone and I didn’t pick it up immediately and we are into a quarrel. He beats me most of the time. What will I do?

  7. (USA) I’ve been married for 17years. I knew from the beginning that he had a temper and that he was very selfish but thought it would change once we were married. Well, I was wrong. He does what he wants when he wants to. He has attended school, taking exercise classes, goes on trips with friends, goes to swap meets, signs up for church doings without the family. This is all while I’m home taking care of the kids. I don’t get to do anything outside of work and housework and taking care of the kids to and from their doings.

    We got into a heated fight and he told me to shut the **** up in which he was never been that disrespectful; it’s just getting worse. Of course my kids heard everything and I certainly don’t want my girls to think that it is ok for a husband to talk to his wife like that. I hope my girls have observed and learned something from all this fighting and that they will marry a loving and respectful man. I wanted a loving romantic marriage…

  8. (USA) I loved how this question was not addressed. It is the typical controlling statement that escalates arguments. It is obvious by the question that the person does not care about the spouses anger. Most people are not abusive. So, not counting the exceptions, this individual has not cared about the hurt partners feelings and then you state they should leave the argument until the angry person calms down? No. If they don’t care to fix the problem and then exhibit controlling actions, the angry person had better find someone else.

    If that individual had cared at all they would have asked what was the problem early on in the disagreement. If they could not do what was needed they should have offered a compromise. The advice here is only offering controlling steps to anger the slighted person further. It does not address what the problem is.

  9. (USA) My situation is one where I am running out of strength. My husband and I have been married 18 years and 3 boys –2 of which have ADHD. I manage all of it. My husband has chosen to look past it. He has a horrible temper. When the boys were younger, it would turn physical in terms of holding them down and yelling at them, holding them hard up against the wall and yelling at them, etc. As they’ve gotten older, he doesn’t do that, but he does different things. For instance the other night my middle son (11) had a toy on the floor. Without warning he picked it up, yelled at my son for having it in the room “again” then promptly threw it down on the floor, stomped on it, breaking it. My son was shocked and never saw it coming. To him, it was out of the blue. My husband used to do this stuff in front of me. Now he does it when I’m out of the room and then will downplay what the kids tell me.

    Emotionally, I’m checked out of this marriage. I don’t even want to be alone with him. The kids want him gone. My oldest son is overweight and has always heard his Dad put him down. He can do nothing to please him. Oh, in front of me he’ll be all nice (wasn’t when he was younger). But then later, he’ll pull him aside saying how lazy and fat he is and how he should do something worth while rather than watching tv or playing video games. I’ve prayed. I’ve read all kinds of books and articles on diffusing situations. We’ve discussed his mood swings …and it goes nowhere. I’ve written him letters thinking it would go over easier …and nothing happens. He’ll pretend he doesn’t have time to read it or instead, writes me back claiming how much is my fault.

    He has sooo much potential, but I truly think I’m lying to myself thinking he’ll change. To leave this marriage means uprooting my boys from the house they know, the neighborhood they love, and the security we all have of our surroundings. But to stay …is sheer unhappiness. I realize God doesn’t like divorce and being a child of one, I know exactly what’s involved. But this current arrangement isn’t healthy either.

    What to do, what to do. We’ve tried counseling –he was unresponsive (therapist’s words). I tried kicking him out 2 years ago. He refused saying we couldn’t work on anything if he wasn’t with us. But …nothing has changed! It’s maddening! Now, he DOES do nice things. He does our laundry. He tries to keep the house clean. He helps the boys with their homework. But emotionally, he’s just not there for anyone. He has his own agenda. It’s almost narcissistic in nature. It’s gotten to where when he does something nice, I have to think about what he gained from it, rather than thinking it was from his heart.

    I swear that if I do decide to divorce him, I’d never date. I wouldn’t dare trust my judgment ever again and my boys are worth so much more than any man. There were a couple of red flags before we married, but being in love, I chose to look past them thinking that everyone has their moments and no one is perfect. 18 years is a long moment.

    1. (USA) I choked up while reading your comment. Forgive my mistakes in English since it’s not my native tongue. Your situation is very similar to mine. I have two boys, 21 and 17, married for 24 years. He yelled at me frequently for what I did or what I didn’t. Depending on his mood, one thing is perfectly all right for him one day and completely outraging another day. There is the cycle that I’m the perfect wife for him one week and I’m the worst, cold, oblivious wife another week.

      About 2 years ago, I felt so drained and decided to leave him after my young one will take off to college. Then our mutual friend recommended to go to counseling so we did. Up to that point, I told him many times that I don’t like his behavior, especially his yelling and screaming, but he has never stopped by saying that he is a kind of person to diffuse his emotion by yelling and calm down very quickly after that. He said I’m quiet but a passive aggressive and hold onto the negative feeling for a long time. But he usually doesn’t speak or even look at me for at least one week after being mad at me. Anyway he always tells me that I’m making him to yell. I alwasy felt like I’m walking on a minefield.

      I told him to stop yelling so many times but never told him that unless he stops I will leave him because I was so afraid that he will be more angry and take that anger out on our sons. I felt that I was the only one to protect my sons. When he is not angry he is a pretty good father who coaches my sons sports teams and watches every game.

      But at counselling for the first time, I told him that I’m thinking of devorcing him if he can’t stop yelling at me. I was less afraid to say this time since there was a third person, counselor, in the same room and also by knowing that my sons are ready to leave home in a few years. My husband finally saw the situation in which he will be divorced if he continues his behavior. Somehow he finally realized that this is very serious and he stopped yelling to my surprise. (So why he couldn’t stop yelling for years and years. He was just like a bully who bullies his victim but stop as soon as the victim retaliates. Maybe.)

      But the problem is that now I can’t forgive him. For all those years, my tears, heartache, fear, lost happiness. Actually I can forgive him but I can’t forget. If I don’t live with him I guess that I can forget but when I’m with him those past painful days come back to me like flashback. I don’t love him anymore. My feeling towards him is very numb and null. I don’t feel any joy to be with him and I feel very nervous around him. He stopped yelling but still he has such an up and down in his mood and it depresses me. I can’t live like this for the rest of his life. I’m 52 now and I’d like to be free from him. On the other hand I feel so guilty to leave him after he started to change. But I feel it’s too late. I can’t find my way back to love him.

      Everyday I’m wondering if I should stay or leave. Everyday I’m trying to find a way to forget everything in the past and forgive him. At the same time, everyday I’m longing for his emotional up and down. I’m in such a habit of trying to read his mind. I can’t feel happiness with him like this.

  10. I don’t know what to think.I have read all your comments and I could relate to the lady that spoke about him ignoring the situation after an explosive argument. My husband is a good man and he is loyal to me, which is hard to find, but he gets really angry with me.

    We have terrible arguments where he will throw or break stuff. I have holes in walls, dented doors, and a broken shower door to name a few. He has never laid a hand on me until today. He got so mad and grabbed my head with both hands and shook me back and forth. It doesn’t happen alot, but has gotten more frequent. We have been married 8 years and I don’t know what to think anymore. He will blame his outburst on me or act like nothing happened. I’m afraid to even bring it back up again. I don’t know if it is abusive or if I am just exaggerating. I don’t know who I am anymore.

    1. Anytime someone shakes you as you described, it IS abuse. Nobody has the right to treat you that way, no matter what. If it is a recurring pattern, educate yourself about what options you have available to deal with it (e.g. legal options, support groups, etc). I’m not saying to use all these options, but at least learn what they are, just in case you need them someday.

  11. I have been married to my husband for almost 5 yrs and he gets so upset at anything anymore and takes it out on me, our 5 yr old and 9 yr old. We all have been walking on egg shells around the house for over 4 months. I have tried everything; I even left my house for the day and still when I walked through the door he is still raging and saying it’s all my fault.

    I don’t see how we have a 99 blazer that broke down and then 2 hrs later my 01 pt cruiser just stopped running so we’re out of cars but it’s my fault. He calls me names, calls me stupid and gets up in my face. I love him and he has never been this mean but he just keeps getting worse. I don’t want my kids to live like this but at the same time both kids want us to stay together so now I don’t know what to do.

    I ask him to go talk to someone but he won’t. He is even being very mean at work and yelling at his boss. He is the only one bringing any income into this house so if he gets fired we lose it all. Does anyone have any ideas cause I’m lost and I’m almost to the point of taking my kids and disappearing.

  12. I respectfully, have to disagree with Dr. Weiss on step three with some individuals. My partner often lets her temper get out of control, it seems like one thing happens, then another, and then absolutely anything next will set her off. The reason why I disagree with asking one’s self, “What do I need to feel better or become a winner and how can I get it?” is because this can still cause the anger to perpetuate in these situations, as they still often get results. What I mean is that getting angry often gets the results from the other person in the relationship, and the quest for peace and prevention of escalation from the other person often makes the angry person the winner in the argument. I believe in this situation it is the result of years of effective use of anger in getting what the individual would like, stemming back to their childhood.

    Furthermore, asking these questions reinforces “the blaming of others” that Dr. Weiss also mentions. What do I need to feel better? For Tom to stop leaving the sink dirty. For Jane to just listen to me when I tell her what to do. And so on. How do I become the winner? Be louder, more intense, make the issue I am talking about seem worse. Tell myself that its worse. Believe it. Use ultimatums if anger is not enough. Be threatening. Cut them down. These become subconscious responses after anger and temper have taken hold, because “winning” and blaming for many people with temper issues becomes more important than the issue itself.

  13. I don’t know if this thread is still active or not anymore. I’m just feeling so depressed now. But first of all I’d like everyone to please excuse my English; it is not good as it’s not my first language. I have a boyfriend, 10 years my junior. He is 23 and really has a short temper and very hot headed. Our relationship at the moment is not good and he always blames me for it.

    I want us to talk about it calmly on how to save our relationship but he is always angry, every time I ask him if we could talk he will just say F* YOU! He is verbally abusive, calling me whore, slut, ugly, liar, etc. And he also says he wishes me cancer or to die because he says I deserve it. He also accuses me of putting my family on my list first and him last. He doesn’t even understand that sometimes I have to help my family too. When my family needs my presence he doesn’t understand it, so he said I am always putting him last. He even said the F word to my family like saying F* YOUR DAD FOR RAISING A WHORE… it hurts me a lot.

    I have asked him many times if he wants this relationship anymore but he always says he wants it but will always add that it’s my fault why it became like this. I don’t know what to do. Please advise me. I don’t know why I still love him despite of everything. Advise me please. Should I still hold on just because I love him so much? Or just walk away from him? Help me.

    1. Joie, Please don’t keep allowing yourself to be disrespected like this. Sadly, so very sadly, it’s obvious that the love you feel is one-sided, and isn’t being returned; instead it’s being delivered back to you in hateful ways. I understand the feelings of love you have and how it can drive a person to accept things we shouldn’t. And you know as well as I do that you shouldn’t allow this type of behavior and words to be pushed at you. There is nothing loving about this at all and nothing that says, “I want to be with you.” It’s hateful, degrading, and full of contempt. I’m so sorry to say this to you –to give voice to what you most likely know in your heart but just don’t want to face.

      Please know that this will only get worse. Please read through the “Abuse in Marriage” topic. It IS meant for those who are married, but even so, you can pick up the message of what is written. Please find a way to drag your heart away. I know it will be hard, but it’s better than what you face in the future with this person who obviously is filled with himself and what HE wants, not caring about your needs, wants, and well-being. That is not love on his part. Please stop exposing yourself to this abuse. You are not married. You can walk away and should. And while you still feel “love” for him, it is not healthy love in any way. It will only imprison you in a toxic, unhealthy future.

      God loves you Joie. Please cut off this abusive behavior from being able to change your future. Jesus Christ set us free, if we accept it… when we accept Him, and then look to Him to guide us. Please don’t willingly stay in this imprisoning relationship. I can’t say it any other way. You KNOW this. Listen to the wisdom God can give you, that He places within you as you look to Him. He created you for more than this. Get away for your sake, and for your family’s sake. This person wants to isolate you away from them and anyone who will show you love and care. That’s what abusers do. That’s what he is doing. Don’t ask him if he “wants this relationship” … his actions are showing you that he doesn’t. Read them and find and take a way of escape. After the immediate grief you will feel after leaving, you will eventually experience a healthy freedom and will face a brighter future, rather than an abusive one. I hope you will. I pray strength for you and a sense of God’s presence showing you the way to freedom.

    2. (USA) Hi Joie: In my opinion, it’s not worth it. He will never change; as a matter of fact, he will just get worse. You really can’t change a personality trait unless that individual wants to change themselves. It would be wise if you realize now that he will not change and end the relationship before you get married to him. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache for the years to come if you continue your relationship with him. But ultimately, the decision is yours and God bless you and help you with your decision. Tara

  14. Can my marriage be salvaged? My marriage has not lasted up to one year but I’ve had squabbles of a lifetime. My husband has a temper. He hits me all the time whenever he’s angry. He hits me all through my pregnancy and even while I’m nursing our one month old baby. We’ve grown apart because of this. He never showed any abusive trait when we were courting. He will threaten to throw me out of the house or divorce. What do I do? He believes he’s perfect and everything that has gone wrong are all my faults. He lies and makes me look really bad whenever I take up some issues to a counsellor/mediator.

  15. (USA) I’m on the other side of the coin and have a lot of anger issues. I’ve tried a lot of things in the past to control it and it seems to always tends to blow up in my face. I’ll give you a little back story on myself. I grew up in a strict patriarchal household. My mother’s a God fearing woman and I was raised in the church and grew up close to God. But as I grew older I grew further away from the church and farther from God.

    I enlisted in the US Army in 2008 and was injured in garrison (stateside). I ended up being stuck in a physical therapy platoon for around a year and pretty much felt worthless. I was proud to be a soldier and still am. I was Medically Discharged in September of 2009 hurt and broken down and of all things only 19 years old at that time I was lost. I poured years of my life into JROTC in high school preparing for a 20 plus year military career only to be cut short by 19 years. I met my fiancé (yes, it’s a prolonged engagement but we’ll discuss that in a minute) in May 2010 and yes, like I said I have over the years grown far from my Christian values, ended up sleeping with her the first night; I know SINNER, oh well, judge not least ye be judged, and have been with her now for 5 years in May.

    During that time we’ve battled drug addiction, homelessness, and the surprise of our son in 201. Through all this I became abusive, something that I thought I would never do. I’ve tried anger management but for some reason there is no warning to when I’m going to explode it just out of no where happens. Like I said I’ve to anger management, tried going to the VA but that just frustrates me more. I want to try to get this all under control but are kinda at the end of my rope. I don’t want my son to grow up seeing me like this and I for dang sure don’t wanna be an abusive monster but I don’t want to go on any kind of mood stabilizing drugs. I’ve tried that before and ended up in the Lexington, Kentucky VA’s looney bin for three days TWICE for attempting to overdose on my prescriptions.

    I love her and I love my son but I don’t want to endanger her because of my hot head. I need help badly and don’t want to lose my family over all this. My mother has always told me God gave me this temper and he can take it away. Now that my chances of a military career are over I don’t need to be a furious warrior. I just wanna be a better man and father.ADVICE? HELP?

    1. Hi Todd, First off, let me say thanks for serving our country as you did (and still do in your heart). I wish along with you that you could still be doing that, but sometimes we’re dealt hands that we really didn’t want to have thrown at us. How I pray that you get onto a better side of this. Even if you’re dealt a bad hand, we can still make lemonade out of those lemons, and sometimes, it comes out better than how it would have otherwise. I say sometimes, but inevitably, it’s better to make the best out of a bad situation, than to wallow in the dirt of it all.

      Todd, I can tell that you have “hero” written all over you. You are made of good stuff. I can tell within my spirit. It’s just that you had an idea in your head of how that heroic life would be lived out and when you were thrown a curve ball, you haven’t been able to find your footing again. They say that the reason that John Kennedy crashed his plane years ago is because he lost his horizon. He wasn’t instrument trained and when the fog rolled in and he lost his horizon, he got all confused thinking down was up and up was down. He was wrong and he never got a chance to correct that error.

      You have that chance. You lost your horizon, so to speak. That which you THOUGHT would happen and would be true didn’t turn out that way, and you are more than a bit lost. I also wonder if you have a bit of PSTD going on. No, you may not have gotten into that state through severe combat, but when this injury happened, it turned your world upside down so that you didn’t know which way to go. You’ve tried different ways to get through it (with all of them failing and making matters all the worse), but I sense that you are coming to a better place in your senses. You know you are doing wrong and you want with all your heart to not do that any more (thus, my recognizing the “hero” in you). Now, you haven’t been acting like a hero at this point, but that’s because you need help to get back to that place.

      I recommend that you reach out to an Army chaplain… yes, I know you said you tried the VA. But you need more than just managing your anger, you need to address the underlying issues underneath it. If one Army chaplain doesn’t work, try another. Keep pursuing this. You need to talk to someone who knows their stuff, especially someone with a spiritual background. My husband Steve told me that he has another organization that he thinks you should try, but he needs to hunt up their contact info. I will post it when he finds it. It’s one where vets work with vets and the success rate is supposed to be great.

      You need your horizon again; you need help to get the bad stuff out, and help to learn how to manage your anger issues once a lot of the bad stuff is out because THEN I believe you will be able to control it. You’re right, you don’t want to endanger this gal’s life or influence your son in a negative way, but you also need to get your own life onto a better road –the same one the Lord wants you to be on. I pray for you Todd, and for your girlfriend and for your son –that you deal with your issues so you can give them a better life, as you want to, and they need.

  16. My spouse has an ugly temper and I’m not sure what to do anymore. For example if he can’t find something he blames it on me. Also, sometimes, he calls me names and I want this to stop but I’m just not sure on how to do it.

  17. I’m in a marriage where I’m so tired of my husbands temper flare ups. I’m not sure I’m in love with him anymore. He blows up and goes through mood swings terribily. He pouts when things are not going his way. He has abused me physically years ago when he drank; he’s been drink-free now 12 years but his temper still exists. I feel he can’t control the name calling and insults that I can never forget. We have 7 kids together and he’s a sex addict as well. I found pornography on his phone and although he supports his family that feels like this is the only reason why I stay. I feel alone and my kids hear us fight too.

    He calls me terrible swear words, and says I’m the physcho one, he has an empty look in his eyes and scares me but I feel I need to say worse things back and love seeing him hurt. I have nobody to talk to. My daughter is 26 and has her own worries and I’m sure she’s sick of hearing me say it’s over. I wish I had the financial means to leave.

    I don’t know if he’ll ever change. I feel like a break in our marriage is needed but I have no way to support the kids and I. He’s a Handyman and yet never finishes jobs at home. I’m so unhappy. Hurt and alone; I need advice and help. I wish I could teach him to respect me and control his temper. I can’t and he keeps repeating his outbursts. I don’t trust anyone anymore. Please send prayers and advise if any. Thanks and God bless.

  18. I and my husband fail to communicate with each other in such a way he will end up beating me. If we are arguing and not agreeing with him. Even his family knows that he has a short temper. I Sometimes wish I didn’t get married to him.

  19. Hi. I’ve been married 26 years and I’m a survivor of my husbands emotional and verbally abusive behavior. Of course, I stay unhappy and heartbroken. I have been to counceling in the past. They usually tell me to leave him. I don’t want to leave him. Somehow, I’m still in love with him. At times he acts nicer, while still maintaining emotional distance from me. I recognize Dr. Jekyll & Mr.Hyde behavior.

    Also, I have deep inner feelings that I promised, vowed to God, when I married him. He’s a hardworking man. As he says, “he puts a roof over my head.” I’m thankful for his income; he says that I’m not thankful. I actually feel extremely bad that my job doesn’t bring home a good income. I’m a college graduate, who has always worked in my degree field. For 10yrs. I did bring home a higher income, then became a stay at home mom, and have not been able to find a job that pays more than peanuts where we currently live. I’m a hard worker, my job pays peanuts, but a very rewarding, make a difference in lives job.

    He keeps me at a distance, no intimacy, no real closeness, refuses to really enjoy, do fun couple/family interactive activities with me, and controls and manipulates me with his anger, he bullys me. He has told me, “The only way to survive this marriage is for me to realize that it’s my fault, that I cause his anger, and I need to learn how to not make him angry.” When I request fun interactive activities with him he calls me a nag. He also refuses to talk to me about his behavior towards me. He says it’s all my fault.

    It would be easier for me to stomach his behavior if he would apologize or makeup for his angry outbursts: loud emotional hurtful words, name calling, profanity, expressive door slamming , threats of leaving me, mean hurtful looks and body language, silent treatment, etc… I just want him to stop mistreating me. I love him and greatly desire to feel loved from him. I don’t feel like he loves me anymore because of the years of being on the other end of his anger without any apology or makeup from him. Please help me/us. Do you have and advice?

    1. Teresa I’ve been married to my husband for 33 years. After he came home from the Navy in 1985 each year has become more resentment on his part. When he came back from submarine duty and 956 days under water in the last 3 and a half years or sequestered duty because of the secrecy in what he did in the navy. He came home with the attitude that taking up his life in the Midwest and just pick up where he left off. Under his UAW contract in a big three auto company he was coming back with nine years accrued seniority. The use of that seniority was the sticking point in the area we lived in. It gave him the right to shifts, job choice, vacation slot choice, the right to force lesser seniority to work holidays and weekends if he didn’t want to.

      In every community there is a social hierarchy, my husband was never willing to let the society work to ensure him a place where he would not be an instant resistance to those families that were considered the upper tier of society. His father and friend put me on the hot seat to make sure he didn’t disrupt the area society with what he wanted. It started in 1985 at first to just stay where he was put when he reinstated, not to move to other jobs and shifts. In the first three days of getting home there were two arguments with his father. I had to make my first appearance with his mother pleading with me to come help keep my husband from murdering his father and tearing the house down to find me. The first sight I had was his father being pinned straight armed to the living room ceiling with my husband staring him in the eye yelling at him.

      His father said if I made my appearance before he was home three days it would cause problems. That was the day my husband decided that he was already done with cooperation. The next day we he was taking a shift preference under the contract, bumping a 19 year old girl with less than six months seniority to my husbands now nine years. My husband didn’t care that second shift would devastate her social life; he just wanted days. So I called anything involving a sex life to a halt for the next two years to get my husband to stay put. I begged my husband and even promised if he’d just work the vacation slot and let the same girl have it off to go to Rome to get married that June. I continued refusing a sex life hoping he would stop defying everything that was wanted of him. Many times things got so loud the police had to make him go to work to diffuse a possible bad problem.

      In 2009 his immune system failed because of depression. Allowed MRSA into his spine crushing his spinal cord. After a 21 hour surgery they had to revive him twice fuse his spine and started him on Vancomiacin treatment the next year. Over the next three years other problems happened like heart surgery due to a MRSA Lesion. Three strokes followed that. He’s very anemic now, and MRSA triggered Diabetes. Then we started hearing things like we were not going to have anything to say in his life any longer. He started doing things like the day before we were leaving on vacation in 2012 he said the next vacation he was going on. My husbands return a year later he was walking with a cane. He had decided at that since he had been robbed of his life that I was going to be restricted in mine. I was getting ready to go to a political fund raising dinner with his father, mother and his fathers best friend.

      We had told the Stress center that due to this function that night, they would have to keep my husband a few more days. That if he came home there would be nothing but trouble. He arrived by insurance paid taxi just as I finished getting ready to go. The first I knew he was home and was running square into this very angry husbands chest.

      I told my husband he was not invited to this evening and he turned on me and yelled then neither was I. He was yelling as of that night he was taking control of his life. He started screaming that under his roof we had nothing more to say. He was furious and not going to agree to any thing I suggested to calm the situation I was saying could we just slow everything down. I would just make an appearance for his father and claim illness. He said NO his father did not need my appearance, and then he said I had better submit or I would hurt.

      The last three years there is nothing resembling a middle ground for my husband. There is nothing he will accept as a peace offering. …For three years now I have not stopped crying. I would like to get him to just sit and air the grievances he has about his life and the way he’s been abused. Nothing else has to come to someone hurt. I just did not know what I should do. Protect or support my husband’s positions against the society. I think I chose wrong.

  20. Hello, I am married. I have an awful temper but it’s not fueled by emotion but it is by adrenaline. When me and my wife fight it sometimes makes me think if I can get this angry why am I in this relationship. I feel I’m very educated but when I try to explain why I’m angry my spouse says I belittle her. I have a good vocabulary and when I use it I feel like I speak very clear about my feelings. But my spouse will tell me she either can’t hear me or I forgot I tell her things when I’m calm like I don’t like your behaviour, or like she has a serious body language. She doesn’t seem to understand, it isn’t what you say but how you react to something.

    1. Steven, You’re “in this relationship” because you vowed to stay in it to love your spouse, even through the “worst” of times. It’s a matter of persevering, looking to the Lord to teach you what you need to do to build relationship bridges when walls threaten to get in the way. If one approach to a matter doesn’t work, then maybe you need to find godly ways to approach it. Please read through what we have posted, and see what you can learn and apply. It doesn’t matter how educated we are in other matters, when it comes to matters of the heart –communicating with the one we have vowed to love, we will need to be a student of marriage and a student of our spouse for the rest of our lives together.

      As we look at marriage that way –not looking for and grabbing onto an escape hatch, or thinking it should go easier than it has thus far… we will grow in amazing ways, and we will eventually get to the good stuff in marriage. I know. My husband and I went through a very stormy time in our marriage. I wanted out. I didn’t think marriage could or should be that hard. I was naive. I’m so glad I didn’t bail. We have an amazing marriage now –truly a marital love affair.

      But it hasn’t been easy to get here. Yet it’s SO worth every effort we have put into it. We’ve both grown and we’ve both been blessed in ways I can’t describe because we applied ourselves to learn what we individually needed to know about each other and our marriage relationship. I hope you will apply yourself like this too, and that eventually, your wife will also. I pray wisdom, discernment, and help for you both in applying what you learn. I pray that as you look to Him, as your “Wonderful Counselor” He will guide you on this challenging journey called marriage, and will bless you beyond your comprehension.

  21. He has ADHD and very opinionated. He “hates” me to disagree with him. “Why you challenge me?” “Why you wanna try to argue with me?” His reactions are very quick and bad but he doesn’t realize it at all. So I have two faces – one is at home and one is outside of home. No one knows how I live at home. My life is like on an eggshell. I feel like I can’t say anything other than agreeing with every single thing he says. I often think how I should ask or say to him before I open my mouth. My eye is twitching from stress again. I’m very tired.

  22. I have a hot temper and jealousy, but my husband says he loves but doesn’t trust me. He likes to control MY life and has threatened me a lot about our marriage also accuses me of what I things didn’t do. Would someone please give me advice?

  23. Hi, when I do something that upsets my wife I apologize but she ignores this and carries on and hounds me. In the end I lose my temper start shouting, swearing and sometimes name calling. I try walking away when I feel my anger but she won’t leave me alone. Once I lose my temper she then has a hold on me, which then results in me being threatened about being kicked out, not seeing my 2 daughters etc. How can I handle this situation?

    1. Rob, it would be good to talk together about this when both of you are NOT in an argument –when things are calm and peaceful and you can talk. Kindly let her know that you don’t want to lose your temper –that you love her and know this is wrong, but you need her help. Tell her that you need to take a “time out” when things get too heated, but that you promise you will revisit the subject with her when things are calmer. This will help everyone involved, including your daughters. This has to be disturbing to them, plus, you aren’t modeling for them how to handle conflicts in healthy ways.

      And then, figure out in your mind how to get away if she doesn’t honor that request –whether it’s going into another room and locking a door, or taking a walk around the block or taking a drive, or something like that. When you return, make sure you are calmed down… pray for a calmer spirit, and wisdom to handle things more peaceably. Show her that you can talk about things better when things aren’t escalating. Hopefully, she will eventually join you in this plan.

      If this doesn’t work, then you may need to go to a marriage-friendly counselor to help you both figure out a plan on how to handle your conflicts in healthier ways. You certainly can’t go on like you are. Eventually it will destroy your marriage. Please don’t let that happen for your sakes, and for the sakes of your daughters.

  24. Hi there. I’ve been married for 33 years and will never stop walking on eggshells. I now have grown children, am a grandmother and ready for another phase of my life; to be divorced from husband once I feel that I’m financially ready. He was physically abusive more than 20 years ago, and now he’s verbally abusive and has the worst temper tantrum that I’ve seen in a child. To make sure he gets your attention and imposes what he has to say, he’ll “huff and puff” and blow the house down like the 3 little pigs. He pounds his head, screams at the top of his lungs, all the meanwhile cursing at me. He rips off his shirt resulting in all the buttons flying all over the place. He always wants to die, and you know what I wish he would just croak right there on the spot so I can live in peace.

    I made him mad, I made him pull his hair, I made him curse, I made him pound the wall almost putting a hole in my drywall…etc, etc., etc. I just leave him alone, leave the house, or lock myself in another room and give him the silent treatment when he calms down in 10 minutes as if nothing happened. In the meantime, I’m a nervous wreck, my blood pressure has risen to the roof and looking at him in disbelief.

    He threatens me with divorce everytime he has a temper tantrum, which is quite often. Therefore, I decided just as soon as I finalized my plan for leaving him, I’ll do so peacefully. I’ve noticed that everytime he gets into these temper tantrums that he by the way blames me for it happening… “it’s my fault”… I’m making him act this way.

    I used to reason with him while in his tantrum mode and that never works. So I’d talk to him about it while calm and this starts his temper tantrum. So it’s a losing situation. I can’t take it anymore. I never know when Mt. Versius will erupt. Although I’m fortunate that he doesn’t beat me up physically anymore, just these verbal outbursts. But still the effect is the same on me. It hurts and he has eroded me drastically over the years. He doesn’t want any therapy because he thinks that he’s perfectly fine and says that it’s me that needs the therapy.

    So for anyone who is going through this same situation, you’re in for a rude awakening. These type of individuals never change. Actually he’s getting worse. I just stay out of his way until I can escape from his verbal abusiveness when the time is right for me financially. Thank you for reading my story.

  25. I just read this. Will try harder to control my temper and not let my frustration get the better of me.