Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

We have been married for almost 10 years. Most of the time I feel we have a good and happy relationship, including intimacy and affection. In may ways, our children have brought us even closer together. However, every weekend he gets overwhelmed and frustrated byt he children. he often yells at them inappropriately, for minor reasons, or too harshly for their ages (all are under 6). Last night he took it out on me as well. the house was messy, which was somehow all my fault, because none of the stuff was "his"-- it was all the kids, toys, art projects, dishes, etc. Then he topped it off with "and you've let yourself go, terribly."
I'm so hurt that I'm speechless. I had 3 kids in 5 years, and am now finally able to go to the gym daily.
We didn't speak the rest of the night or this morning. I know he won't apologize.
I guess the bottom line is, I don't like how he deals with his anger and emotions. It's painful and hurtful to me, and really wears away at my love feelings for him.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 12:38 PM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

Was he like this with how he handles his emotions before you married him? have you talked to his family of orgin about this and his past with his anger?
In my experiences in life, you cannot make people change, it has to be him who wants to change.
That you have tolerated it so long and why you have is something you should go to counseling for, to help yourself.
Do what you have to do to be healthy, well adjusted person and let him work on his issues, if he won't, its time to think about alternatives like divorce.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 01:47 PM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

Everything Preso said! I have found that people nick pick and become obsessive over nonsensical things when they are unhappy. Until you find out what his issues are, it will continue and may even escalate.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 07:19 PM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

Hi - this sounds like a problem. Basically, if you are walking on eggshells, it is something beyond the ordinary. There can be lots of reasons - bad childhood examples, stressful job, etc. but none of that is an excuse for behaviour that is over the top.

that being said, sounds like you both love each other. this is why bad behaviour in a marriage gets confusing. the person who is acting badly does not mean it, and the person who is being treated badly loves the person and tries to overlook it.

I would really recommend an old, old book by Robin Norwood - Women Who Love too Much. It was a huge eye-opener for me at the time. Or the also old book by Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Anger. Harriet Lerner's book assumes both parties are being reasonable.

Pay attention to that feeling of shock you had. Remember that his behaviour was very hurtful and uncalled for. You need to maintain your own dignity. The feeling of shock is the signal that what is happening is beyond an ordinary argument or anger. You can call a hotline -most places have some kind of call-in number where you can talk through an emotional crisis. If not, then call a volunteer 12 step group and ask if they can refer you somewhere. you need somewhere safe to talk about what is going on.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 11:06 PM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I am going through something quite does not change as the kids get older. (ours are 13-15.)

I'm finally leaving him, and it's killing me because I love him still. But I can't sit here and let my kids suffer with it any longer....
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 12:08 AM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

I have to agree, this is similar to my situation. Do you know a whole lot about his childhood? My husband's childhood and mine are like night and day! I was an only child and it took my parents 9 years to have me so you could say I was spoiled, but not really. Not spoiled in the "I got everything I wanted" kind of way but I was spoiled with love. My parents were always there for me, and his weren't. His dad was an alcoholic. His dad cheated on his mom alot. His older brother is an alcoholic and has lots of anger issues. Out of all of them, my husband looks like an angel. But he does have a short fuse. He doesn't physically hurt the kids or me, but he just doesn't always think about how what he says affects us. He expects everyone to do their part and when it's not his way, you hear about it. The other day my daughter was wearing a silk shirt around the house (it had been a church shirt, but she had got a stain on it that I couldn't get out, so I told her she could wear it around as an everyday shirt) I was upstairs cooking dinner and I heard him tell her to take it off. (he really doesn't ask nicely when he does this) Well she tried to tell him it was now an everyday shirt but all he heard was a refusal by her to do what he said. ( he doesn't stop and listen, he expects them to disrespect him) Honestly he shows them respect maybe 5% of the time, so how are they suppose to learn to show him respect. He chased her down the stairs and she screamed. I went to her defense and tried to tell him it was now a old shirt. Then he was mad at me because I just let them do whatever they want and I'm just a terrible mother. blah, blah, blah. He gets mad when I step in. He ignored us the rest of the day. I don't know what to do with him.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 06:06 PM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

Hello. I'm a professional counselor and behavior consultant. I've worked with hundreds of individuals and couples in private practice. I'm also an award winning mental health and relationship expert at

It must be very difficult for you right now with your husband. You need to know that your feelings are normal and you've described these and your situation very well.

Sound's like your husband has a disproportionate anger problem triggered by parenting exchanges. What might really help him and your relationship, is for him to learn how to control his anger. It may also help him to learn some behavioral parenting strategies to reduce his anger triggers related to the kids behavior on the weekend.

When we get angry our IQ diminishes rapidly as does our ability to problem solve and communicate effectively. To put it simply, the more angry we get, the more stupid we get! Very angry people can literally and some times dangerously become as smart as a tantrum 2 year old.

Is your husband open to learning basic anger control and evidence-based parenting strategies? I may be able to provide you with some resources if so.

I'd advise not addressing this issues when and if he starts to get angry, but only when things are calm and positive, perhaps early in the week when the identifiable triggers to your husband's anger are not present.

Let me know if I can help out here with more information and resources here on the forum.

Your Online Marriage Coach,
- Duddy.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:36 AM
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Re: Husband unable to control anger; angry at young children too

Envelope today, what I got from your post was husband may be "overwhelmed" and doesn't know how to voice it.

I am easily overwhelmed by clutter, loud noises, too many people in a room, etc., but I've learned to express it constructively or leave the situation to calm down. This may be what's going on.
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