My Husband Is Always Angry: Is It My Fault?
Updated July 01, 2020
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 Thing’s 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 is telling you that your husband’s anger is all your 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 his or her behaviors, though, 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 he or she regrets— 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:
- Depression Major depression affects 1% of the US population, the majority of which are women. However, studies suggest that the rate of depression in men isn’t lower; it’s just woefully under-reported. Considering that anger and irritability are hallmark symptoms of depression, your husband may be dealing with an undiagnosed mental health disorder.
- Grief If your husband is experiencing an unordinary amount of unexplained anger, grief could be to blame. Anger is one of the stages of grief, which can occur after the death of a loved one, a recent divorce, or even losing a job.
- High Stress Like anger, some amount of stress is good for you. It can push you to get that promotion you want or finish that 10K race you’ve been training for. Yet, failing to manage high amounts of stress at work or in the home can lead to adverse health symptoms, including anger.
- Unaddressed Emotional Trauma Anger is one of the most common symptoms of unaddressed emotional traumas like childhood abuse or a workplace disaster. For example, veterans with PTSD report feeling like they’re in survival mode at all times. As we’ve mentioned, anger is a survival instinct, which explains why many people with PTSD also suffer from uncontrollable anger.
- Low Testosterone There’s a common misconception out there that testosterone induces anger. Unless your husband is using synthetic testosterone (i.e., steroids), the opposite is actually true— low testosterone is associated with anger and irritability.
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, this is because parents tend to encourage their young sons to suppress their feelings, especially negative ones like anger, fear, and sadness.
Now, emerging research points to the suppression of 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.
1. Change Your Perspective
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.
2. Encourage Your Husband To Seek Help
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 him 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.
3. Encourage Emotional Expression At Home
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. The 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 in a healthy way.
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 the ones at 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.