Living with an angry husband can feel like you’re walking on eggshells. One wrong move and the fragile peace you’ve created can come crashing down. Often with no forewarning that it’s about to happen.
When something finally does trigger him, you may be left wondering: is it my fault?
As women, we tend to be more agreeable than our male counterparts. It should be no wonder that dealing with uncontrollable behavior can be so uncomfortable and emotionally damaging. Even more hurtful, though, is when your husband blames his anger on you.
Today, we want to help you understand why your husband’s anger is never your fault. We’ll explain some of the possible causes of your husband’s anger. Plus, we’ll give you tactics you and your spouse can use to cultivate a more peaceful, loving environment at home.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
First Things First: If Your Husband Is Always Angry, It’s Not Your Fault
“If you hadn’t provoked me, I wouldn’t have raised my voice!”
“Stop acting like an idiot, and I’ll stop calling you stupid!”
“You shouldn’t have made me angry if you didn’t want me to hit you!”
Do any of these phrases sound familiar? If the answer is yes, you aren’t alone. Nor are you alone in feeling like you’re to blame for your husband’s anger. After all, each of the statements above tells you that your husband’s anger is your entire fault.
Yet, when your husband blames his anger on you, he also disowns his responsibility to deal with and potentially change that angry behavior. Because, in the end, it is just that: his responsibility to choose a better way to deal with his anger than taking it out on you.
The ability to take responsibility for one’s feelings and actions is the hallmark of a healthy, well-functioning adult. Experts suggest that when an adult fails to take responsibility for their behaviors, a few things can happen.
Firstly, blaming others for angry behavior reinforces your husband’s anger issues. Think about it: if your husband believes his anger is always someone else’s fault, he may begin to believe he has no control over his angry outbursts. When this happens, he may spiral even further into this victim mentality, causing worse and more frequent outbursts as he feels more and more out of control.
Secondly, blaming others can create unhealthy dependency in a relationship. Taking responsibility for any action can induce anxious feelings in even the most secure person. When your husband instead places the responsibility for these feelings on you, he may subconsciously expect you to soothe him, too. In his eyes, it’s your responsibility to calm him down, and, if you don’t, he sees this as a provocation— an excuse to blow his top.
What’s the bottom line? Blaming others for our feelings is a coping mechanism we all use to protect ourselves from the shame and guilt of knowing that no one is to blame but ourselves.
Yes, you read that right: the only one to blame for your husband’s angry outburst is your husband.
Cultivating a loving, stable relationship with an angry husband requires more than knowing where the blame lies, though. You—and he— also need to understand where your husband’s anger issues come from. Only then can you and your spouse both make strides toward a better home environment.
Mental And Physical Issues That Could Be Prompting Your Husband’s Anger
Some amount of anger is completely normal and even healthy. In fact, anger evolved as an advantage necessary for human survival.
Anger only becomes an issue when it gets so out of control, one says or does things they regret— when it grows out of control.
Out-of-control anger is often a sign of a more significant underlying condition like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or a substance abuse problem. Other conditions that include anger as a symptom are:
One final reason your husband is always angry could be due to societal norms.
Society doesn’t tolerate emotional expression in men, as well as it does emotiveness in women. Unfortunately, parents tend to encourage their young sons to suppress their feelings, especially negative ones like anger, fear, and sadness.
Emerging research points to suppressing emotions at a young age as an indicator of health complications in adulthood. Complications like a higher rate of depression, vulnerability toward substance use and abuse, and a greater likelihood of experiencing high stress, all of which are known to trigger out-of-control anger in adulthood.
How To Deal With An Angry Husband Without Sacrificing Yourself
Now that you understand some of the possible reasons behind your husband’s anger, we want to help you learn how to deal with it. Here, we’ll give you our tips for the best way to deal with an angry husband without sacrificing your happiness.
Feel empowered because though you don’t have much control over the way your husband responds to you, you do have control over how you react to him.
Remember: your husband’s anger is a sign he’s feeling weak. Come at him from a place of empathy rather than fear or rage of your own (no matter how justified).
Changing your perspective may also mean being honest with yourself. No, your husband’s anger isn’t your fault, but are you doing something to aggravate the situation? If so, maybe it’s time to change your approach, seeking de-escalation rather than victory.
If the answer is no, but your husband still refuses to take the blame, it’s your responsibility to show him where he misunderstands you. Show him you want to love him, not make him angry. Though, we recommend waiting until after he’s had a few hours to calm down.
Sometimes, a husband’s anger is entirely a personal problem rather than a marital issue. Here, it’s his responsibility to seek help for his physical or mental ailments.
As a loving spouse, though, you can help by encouraging and supporting him along his journey toward recovery. Talk to your husband about getting help for his latest angry outburst. Some therapists specifically work with people with anger issues.
Society and his workplace probably expect your husband to keep his emotions under control. Often, the home is the only place a man can safely express how he really feels. For this reason, be careful to encourage healthy emotional expression at home.
No, the emotional expression doesn’t mean taking his anger out on you, the pets, or the kids. A healthy emotional expression does mean dealing with anger when it happens and talking through it without losing his head.
If you’re raising young boys, you can use your husband’s journey toward emotional expression as a teaching moment. Help your sons learn to experience the full range of their emotions healthily.
That way, you can save their future spouses from wondering: why is my husband always angry?
When It’s Time For Marriage Therapy
So, you and your husband have followed these tips, but he still can’t seem to get his anger under control. You may be wondering: what now?
When even your greatest efforts don’t feel like enough to help if your husband is always angry, it’s time to see a marriage therapist.
Family and relationship therapists like ReGain are experts at helping couples just like you find relief. Find a ReGain couples counseling professional right now to finally get back to the marriage and the man you love.
Women have often been called the fairer sex, and this has partially been due to the predilection of men to react with, and experience anger far more often and with more aggression than women tend to. Nevertheless, dealing with an angry or irritable husband can be extremely difficult and make it feel like your quality of life has significantly diminished. Although you cannot control someone else’s behavior (nor should you try to), it can sometimes feel like your responsibility to make your partner happy, especially if your partner is a constantly angry person. Nevertheless, one of the best ways to deal with an irritable husband—or just a generally angry person—is to give yourself and the angry person some space. Giving both of you plenty of space can help give you a breather from the person’s irritability and can perhaps give your partner some much-needed space, as well.
Giving space is a temporary solution, at best; however, a constantly angry person can quickly and easily wear on your nerves and cause a lot of strain in your marriage. Over time, a constantly irritable husband can make your relationship feel stifling and unbearable, and your home can feel unsafe. Constantly walking on eggshells is certainly not healthy. Although the immediate reaction to a constantly angry person as a spouse is not to get divorced, there are some boundaries you can set and tactics you can use to try to diffuse the situation.
If your husband is angry constantly, potential tools include:
If your partner’s anger and irritability are not harming you or your children, it may take some time to ride out the waves of irritability and frustration if you have children. If, however, that anger morphs into aggression, abuse, or unhealthy behavior, it may be time to seek out help from a mental health professional and look into the options that are best for yourself and your partner.
Very often, the best way to deal with someone who is constantly angry is to give them plenty of space. People who are always angry can quickly damage your self-esteem and put a great deal of strain on the relationship. Depending on the exact nature of the relationship in question, you can either put some distance between yourself and the person constantly exhibiting signs of anger, or you can put some firm boundaries in place to make sure your relationship has some protection, and you are not subjected to constant outbursts.
If a spouse is a person who is always angry, you cannot put the same amount of space between the two of you as you might be able to put between yourself and a friend or yourself and a coworker.
Instead, you can utilize the following tactics:
Although anger is a perfectly normal and healthy emotion, it can present an issue if an angry person never seems to let up or uses anger to tear other people down. If you are constantly dealing with an angry person or angry people, use some of the tactics above to maintain your mental health and effectively manage interactions with angry people.
Anger can quickly and easily become toxic to a marriage. Although anger is a normal emotion, and healthy emotional expression is a fundamental part of maintaining personal mental health and the health of your relationship, if it goes unchecked, anger can become an issue and can negatively impact relationships. Healthy emotional expression can strengthen the bonds and trust between husbands and wives and reveal shared convictions.
When expressed inappropriately, however, anger can damage a marriage in the following ways:
Anger is a useful, healthy emotion when it is moderated and expressed appropriately. When anger is your default, however, and you have constant anger issues, it can quickly place a lot of strain on your relationships, including your marriage. Imagine living with someone who is perpetually angry, irritable, or easy to upset, and you can likely see: this situation is painful and exhausting. Constant anger is not healthy for an individual, nor is it healthy for a marriage.