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I am in my late 20s and recently married and am not sure how to deal with my husband's explosive temper. I feel like he gets extremely rude when he is angry. Three nights ago he got really mad at me about something I thought was silly (he wanted me to go fight a traffic ticket I got but I made a decision not to because I am so busy at work right now and didn't think I should take time off). He started yelling and calling me names and insulting me during the argument (he does this once in a while). He called me a liar, told me I was bad at math, that he would not want to share a financial account with me, that I'm only "sweet on the outside" ect. I was extremely hurt and tried to difuse the situation by saying "I don't think this is necessary, let's calm down" ect. I went to bed and the next evening we fought again. This time I got very angry because he was still insulting me and yelling and I broke a vase. I know this is bad. But I just felt so demeaned and I just didn't know what to do. I then left and went to my mom's. This kind of thing happens too often, I want to try to get along but I'm starting to worry it won't happen. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. update: thanks so much for the comments and advice, I appreciate it! Quick note: I have told him before that this behaviour is unacceptable. But it keeps happening. And to those of you who wonder why people would stay in a situation like this. Well... it's a slow thing. You think they have a lot of great qualities and you want to be happy so you try to forget about the crappy stuff. And also I think it doesn't happen at first, so you start realizing once they are a big part of your life. Anyways, thanks SO MUCH for the advice, it means a lot.
LennaT LennaT 26-30 77 Answers Mar 17, 2011

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I'm a psychotherapist and I agree with "brainyblonde". I've worked with hundreds of women in abusive relationships and the longer you put up with this, the harder it will be to walk away. Your self-esteem is already suffering and your husband is getting worse. Losing one's temper becomes a habit. It's like a drug. It is a great feeling of release ...a rush... for the person who is losing his temper. In my field, we have a much better track record helping abuse victims get their lives back than we do getting abusers to stop abusing.<br />
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To say that the answer is to change YOURSELF is to buy into the abuser's excuse. How many woman have told me that their spouse "warned" them that, if they said one more word, they wouldn't be responsible for the outcome? Then, of course, the victimized spouse says something and gets hit... and tells me how it was, ultimately, HER FAULT because he warned her.<br />
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If you're joining in the shouting match, then yes, you have an anger problem, too. But if you're just a victim of someone's emotional, verbal or physical abuse you should know that abusers seldom change. They charm new partners and, when things get comfortable, begin gradually wearing down their self-esteem to the point where they can act out and blame the victim.

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I've been married 31 years, raised my husband's kid, now 35 years old. He admits he was horrible when we first married but I kept thinking that he'd eventually realize that I was NOT his ex. He was/is jealous and controlling, has episodes of explosive anger (which are always my fault), behaves as if he is helpless. He has only one hand but before his neck surgery and open heart surgery it never stopped him from doing anything. He doesn't cook or clean. He does his own laundry, not mine. Recently I sustained serious physical injuries, but suddenly his conditions worsened and he can't do anything at all. His elderly mother has a narcissistic personality disorder and tries to use him as a surrogate for her dead husband. She remarried 10 years ago but has never lived with the man. I've always known that in spite of her words, I'm just a convenience--first to raise the granddaughter, then to take care of her son, now to manage her chronic illnesses as well as his. My own don't count. My husband refuses to set boundaries for her &amp; always gives in the her pouting and crying.
He has agreed to go to couples therapy three times but I am afraid he won't follow through, especially if I am graphically honest with the counselor (as I must be if any good is to come out of it). But what shames me most is that, although I've never discussed my marriage per se at work, my best friend/co-worker says everyone at work knows I am in an abusive relationship. He ALWAYS calls my cell on the few occasions I got to se a friend or my family, saying "Please hurry home, I'm lonely without you." But when he has friends over or goes out with friends, he makes it clear that it's male bonding time, I'm not really welcome. He acknowledges that his relationship with his mom has damaged us but I don't think he'll take responsibility for his contributions. Except for one 9 month period in 2001, he hasn't gone to work since 1997. Prior to that he free-lanced in his profession so it was up to me to make sure there was rent money, food money and benefits. For many years I worked two 12-hour shift jobs but neither husband nor daughter would assist with cleaning or cooking. I don't know how this will turn out, because he promised to go into individual therapy after the three marital counseling sessions but I'm not willing to bet on it. I am scared and ashamed.

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Excellent response. Thank you. Saved me the trouble of trying vainly to express it so well. My profession has put me in the company of the abused and their abusers. My first thought upon reading this woman's account was "You're in danger. Get out NOW!"

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Hello musicbook, Why do you say it gets more difficult to walk away later? I don't understand that part. Please explain. I am in serious trouble myself and tried several times to get out.

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Let's say you're dating an abuser. You've been out with him 5 or 6 times and he starts teasing you about something... subtly putting you down and it's starting to erode your self-esteem. Most women would say something to him, and if it continues, they would peg him as a loser and walk away. No big deal. No major investment of time and affection. Just another loser. But now let's say that you tolerate it without complaining. You don't draw a line. You allow your self-esteem to be affected by this guy... Next the real emotional abuse starts... by now, you're in love with the guy, you're hoping that your love will 'fix' him... fix everything... You marry him and the emotional abuse becomes much worse... or it becomes physical... If you don't have a firm sense of boundaries... a solid sense of self-esteem... you often wind up very entangled with these guys who now know exactly which buttons to push... how to threaten you... how to manipulate you...and it's harder to just accept that you fell for an abuser and walk away.

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Bad tempers rarely get better. You could try counseling or an anger management class for him but if he is not highly motivated, then it won't work. It may not work even if he IS highly motivated. If you have been married less than a year, you could seek an annulment which is easier and less expensive than a divorce.<br />
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Changing people is a nearly impossible task, like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel alive. It does happen but very, very rarely. And since most people with tempers have learned that many people will cave in to their anger, they are motivated to keep on doing it. The question your husband will face is whether it will be easier to tame his temper or find a new wife and train her to take it. Generally, the second one is much easier for most men.<br />
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Do not waste too much time on this. If you really, really feel you must at least attempt to change this, define what level of change you could live with and how much time you are willing to wait for it to happen. You do not necessarily want to tell him what your deadline is, but have one. (If you tell him the deadline, he may act as if he is getting better right before the deadline to buy more time before he has to go out there and find a new, more submissive, woman). Don't spend endless years trying and trying to get along with him. He is a verbal bully. And he is bringing out the worst in you. The way you describe it, it is almost certainly destined to turn physical, with you on the losing end of the fight. Decide what you will do and create a deadline in your own mind. And if it doesn't work out, keep going until you find someone who is not abusive.

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Thank you so much for the comment. I really appreciate the thought you put into it. I see what you mean that I probably can't change him. I have a lot to think about here. I never thought about an annulment, I will look into that. Thank you.

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I am so much agree with you

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Leave before he starts hitting, punching, and kicking you. The longer you stay with an abusive person, the more permission you give them to abuse you.

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I would totally leave until he get's help. I used to have an angry side but I never called my wife names. I didn't EVER direct it at her.<br />
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I had an experience that woke me up. He needs to find a center. A place of calm. IF this anger progresses things could get worse. The Mountains cured me and I have felt more alive than ever. He needs something to focus on besides the horrors and the stresses of life.<br />
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Control freak?

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Listen to musically...he speaks the truth. I needed him 17 years ago. I am still in my verbal/emotional abusive quagmire relationship and I can tell you IT DOES NOT CHANGE. They will make promises, admit they have a problem, ask for help, say "you took me there", warn you, say "that just how I am. Quit being so soft", It WILL NEVER CHANGE. So go info it knowing that. Know also that will erode everything good about you that made you you, until one day you are so worn down that you don't recognize yourself. Know that this hurts your family too, your decision to stay with an abusive partner affects them. No parent deserves that. You are no hero staying with an abuser. There is no prize. Know that too. Instead you are wasting your time, worrying the people that love you AND reinforcing the idea in his head that this behaviour is acceptable. I am telling you this because it's 17 years for me nd it would have been a million times easier to leave in the beginning as it will be now AND I would have had a better life. GET OUT. You are only failing yourself by staying. Oh, ten hours ago my dh yelled at me instead of discussing a minor matter (as always) called me the "C" word over and over while throwing pillows (yeah sounds silly and harmless) and began to grab me roughly until I reminded him I was 23 weeks pregnant. This our first baby, I had four miscarriages in our past together. I have a chronic anxiety problem, I cry all the time and I look at other people and wonder how they are so happy. GET OUT<br />
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UPDATE<br />
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Husband just lost his high paying job for threatening a co-worker. We have lost our insurance. I am pregnant. I do not yet know if he is eligible for COBRA, and my work has open enrollment in October for 2014 coverage. It is a MESS. All because he has a temper. This relationship is so completely not worth it, it never has been and never will be. Just fyi...leave early not nearly 20 years later.

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I just read your story how are you?

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It seems like everyone is saying abuse always escalates from verbal to perhaps physical. Maybe that's the norm, but my husband struggled with addiction for years and was intermittently physically and verbally abusive during drunken rages. I did eventually leave him, later than I should have. <br />
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I had him arrested and after that he stopped drinking "cold turkey" for fear of pressed charges. He suffered for about 10 days from <br />
severe withdrawal. About a year and a half later he also quit smoking. I stayed i still loved him and because of the massive effort <br />
to change he pursued. <br />
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After over three years of sobriety he doesn't drink, smoke, or consume any caffeinated beverage, but he is still verbally abusive and sensitive to any type of constructive criticism. Since he quit drinking, all the motivation to move forward in terms of employment left him. He acts like I stole his manhood and he's a resentful little boy. He sits by the computer all day chatting on the net and spends the last 20 min doing a chaotic job of washing up dishes, while leaving the counters filthy and the rest of the kitchen a total disaster. As long as the dishes are sitting in an array, ready to fall out of the drying rack, he thinks he's done a wondrous dead worthy of applause. If I say differently about anything he flies into a rage and calls me every bad name a man <br />
can say to demean, deba<x>se and shame a woman until I agree I'm all the bad things he says I am. This happens 2-3 times a month. After it's over he pretends nothing happened or that I abused him. That I castrate him. <br />
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It's hard to leave because it takes so much time, effort and money. He has to do nothing initially and I would have to do everything, including get the cash together that's going toward all our bills. He'd suspect what was going on the minute something didn't get paid, the finances are that close. A lot of that is because he won't work. I'm supporting everything on one salary. It's a decent salary, but I'm paying everything including taxes, car, house insurance, etc: the full boat. I'm so humiliated. Too old to move in with a coworker. They'd just gossip. I have no family.<br />
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It's a dilemma. He knows I'm stuck. It hurts. I wonder how he can say he loves me and call me such vile names. The physical abuse hurt less.

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Name calling is a form of verbal insults, the purpose is to make you feel worthless. Abusive people enjoy it.

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Re-consider that co-worker thing. Or maybe you can find a friend to move in with. Gossip can be annoying and embarrassing, but....isn't this worse? And don't you think that if most people you knew had any idea what you'd been dealing with, they would sympathize with you? HE might be the one who would suffer from the gossip. Make a decision to FIND A WAY to solve this situation and get out. Admit to yourself that, as of this moment, you have absolutely no idea what to do and admit that this might not be easily solved. But decide to come up with a solution because almost anything--gossip, inconvenience, poverty--would be better than the life you have come to accept every day. Once you calmly and clearly vow to yourself that you WILL find a way, amazingly enough, sooner or later, you will. Just decide, focus and give some time every day to thinking about what to do in a constructive way. In other words, instead of asking yourself hopeless sounding rhetorical questions (""How in the world could I ever get out of this?!"), asking yourself real questions ("How CAN I get out of this?"). Brainstorm, talk to people, don't expect instant easy answers, but decide to devote some serious time every day to finding a way out of this. YOU CAN DO THIS! Sat that to yourself in the mirror every morning.

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Leave him...or show him the door, why on earth do people put up with this kind of behavior <br />
I strongly suspect that given time his vocal bullying will turn to physical violence.<br />
Just get out while your young enough to start again.

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Thanks for the comment, much appreciated. Here's my answer to why I would put up with this behaviour: Well... it's a slow thing. You like a guy, you start dating, he has lots of great qualities, you get attached, they become a big part of your life, then once in awhile they are extremely rude and insensitive and you start to get a bit used to it because they are a part of your life, then it starts to happen more (I think, but don't really know because I can't exactely remember, but it sure didn't happen at first), then you get married, then you are so attached you feel it would be weird and hard to get out, but then at the same time you want to because you know you don't deserve to be insulted and demeaned so suddenly out of the blue for silly things. You wonder what regular treatment in a relationship is... but really you know you shouldn't be yelled at and insulted so then you just think... oh my why did I end up here.... I think I'm a good person. Well ya.... thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

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tell him you are not a dog and even to a dog thatwou;ld be abuse to stop it or leave

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All of the advice that others have written here seems very good to me. If he doesn't respect you, then there is little hope for this relationship to be anything other than miserable for you. And in your situation, I would get out while I could. If you don't yet have children with this man, then thank your lucky stars and try to get loose before he has demeaned you so much that you can't think straight. <br />
There is an excellent book- "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft that you can find on Amazon. It is written by a man who has spent many years working with males who are abusive, emotionally or physically. I wish I had had this book a little over a year ago when I was falling for an abusive person. It will help you understand the guy and to make good decisions for your situation. Even more, it will help you see beyond your feelings and hurt to how you should view the situation.<br />
All my best.

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You need to let him know that isn't acceptable and if he continues you will leave.

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I am sorry for your situation...As a mother to a teenage daughter I can only tell you what I would tell her...You are so much better than that...To be in a relationship with anyone who would degrade you or try to belittle you in any way is not LOVE....The person who would do something like that is a very insecure person...I know it's tough to just walk away when it's your husband and obviously I don't know your circumstances, but I will tell you that your anger will only grow to the point of pure hatred if you don't change things now...You are so young with your entire life ahead of you, do so happily...Not depressed by an abusive husband...<br />
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I know that I would never insult or call a loved one names out of respect, that is just me...I wish you the best of luck in your situation...Listen to that gut feeling you get when this happens...What is it telling you?

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i am so sorry to hear this. i myself went through the same thing before. i finally got a divorce because he didnt stop at yelling. he started to hit me. i hope you arent getting hit. have you told your family? i would say to try to tell your husband how he makes you feel, but would he even listen to you?

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Thanks for the comment. I have told my mom and she is great. She also thinks it's unacceptable. I have told him how I feel, and sometimes in previous fights he said sorry and said he wouldn't do that again. But this time he won't listen. He told me it's in my head and I'm being a princess.<br /><br />
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Also, I'm sorry that you went through an abusive relationship. I hope that you are doing well now and am glad for you that you got out.

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First of all, you don't deserve to be yelled at like that. Tell him so and if he continues record it and play it back later so he can see how he speaks to you. On the issue of the traffic ticket, he has a right to have a say if you share finances. Not only is there an increased cost because of the ticket, it could raise your insurance rate as well. If I were involved with you and you did not take it to court, I would have separate finances from you as well. Again, your irresponsibility is no excuse for him to treat you this way, but i can see the reason for his frustration.

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Thanks for the comment. That's a good idea about the recording thing. I see that he has a right to suggest I go fight the ticket. But during that time I was working about 50 - 60 hours a week (now it's back to normal) and I made a decision that my work was more important (because of long term financial benefits ect) than trying to fight a traffic ticket in court which might take hours and which I might not even win. So I agree he has a say in that, but I feel like he should understand when I tell him my situation (i.e. I make more money working than the cost of this traffic ticket and have a lot of important stuff to finish right now). It just really does not seem like something worthy of yelling and insulting me for. I honestly didn't think I was being irresponsible there. I weighed the pros and cons of trying to fight it during an extremely busy work period and decided not to. I feel like that is my choice (although he has a say, it is primarily my choice). Also it does not go towards insurance because it was a red light camera ticket so they can't prove who the driver is. But thanks for the comments. I appreciate them...

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I am suffering horribly with a man who is a lawyer. He continually makes me feel like I am crazy or losing my mind. I ask him questions. Or he asks me why didnt I call him when I know that I did and I know he knows I did in the age of I Phones which he has and he will berate me saying YOU DID NOT. I know I did, but he will interrupt me and I am defensive and I shouldn't have to be. He then interrogates me pumping me with questions when he gets back from a trip because an electrical appliance of his is not working-a humidifier in the ba<x>sement asking me "are you sure you didn't touch it" like I am a child. I am 49 He is 62. He is short tempered. If I say something like well Maybe if you turn it off and try to turn it back on in a few minutes it will work. ask him "well how long has it been running?" He is really means and then says, "Well how the hell should I know as if it is the stupidest question in the world. I want to hang up but I freeze and feel like I am going to faint. Today I was supposed to drive him to the airport, but I wanted to take a walk around the block for exercise. I left a message on his cell phone. He would not answer his cell when I called to let him know. When I got home he was in my home. We are not boyfriend and girlfriend. He does not live with me. I asked him if he had listened to my messages? He said no. I said did you hear your cell ring see that I called. He said the phone was in my pocket. I said you "couldn't answer your phone?" He said I was driving. I said--But you thought it was ok to just come in my house and not check to see why I called before coming in? He said just get out of my car! So I got out. He knew I called. He refused to answer. He talks all the time on the cell with people while he drives. I am just having a difficult time understanding why he making me feel like I am crazy and why I feel so depressed and upset. He shuts me up constantly. He is the only person that makes me feel this way.

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leave .just leave.

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I've just come out of a 4 year on/off verbally abusive relationship, and am slowly coming out of the 'fog'. My boyfriend was the loveliest, most charming, most loving man in the world - until I corrected or criticised him in any way. He would get in my face, yelling like a drill sargeant, calling me names and somehow afterwards act like nothing had happenned, and told me to get over it and 'stop being a victim'. I'm an independent confident woman with my own business, and I became a shadow of myself, always trying to please him. Trust me - he wil not change. Ask yourself this question - are you OK to live the rest of your life like this? The longer you stay the harder it is to leave, you believe its your fault. Trust me its not. Leave now!

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@hellybobs... I too own my own business and am very confident at work. When I get home it all changes. I try as little as possible to not make my husband mad for fear of making him angry. We have two boys ages 11 and 7 and he often yells at them calling them names when they don't do what he says in a timely manner. I have been married 19 years and wonder if he will ever even see things differently. I am scared to leave for fear of his parents and him saying lies about me. I wonder and worry about my kids wanting to live with their dad if I do divorce... I'm too the point that I don't know what to do or say that wont set him off :(.

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This is my same experience and we started counseling of course he believed I was the one that needed it so I didn't make him so angry. The counselor said all of the over the top nice stuff wasn't him. It simply was his anxiety and insecurities masking his true self and the angry was from the same place in him. Unfortunately since getting married there isn't any more of the sweet caring guy it's all yelling.

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Explosive anger is a great big red flag for an Abuser. Run for the hills, lady. If you can't do that, get to your closest woman's support group for Domestic Violence. <br />
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DV is 95% emotional and verbal abuse. The abuse is used to control the victim. Angry blowups are a classic way to scare the victim into doing what they want them to do. Then the victim gets into the habit/mindset of I need to do what he says or he will get angry. Sometimes they do it so they can purposefully start a fight. It is quite exhausting to live with, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. <br />
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Remember, he will be very nice at other times, otherwise why did you marry him, right? But it is just a cover for all of the anger he will be directing at you.

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What are his parents like? I am an 49 yo man married to a woman 16 years my junior. I had a long military career and have a good second career. I find she is easily angered and frustrated at my thought processes and actions. I am not a reactive person, let her blow, usually just walk away when she finishes her rant and control what ever anger I feel.<br />
I, like you, wonder if this is what it is going to be... Make a decision and stick to your guns.

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I lived like this until I tired of my children seeing him hit me and say nasty things to me in front of them. Leave, get a divorce before you have children. He will only get worse. They never get better. He does not deserve you. LEAVE.

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Sit down with him when he is calm and tell him frankly DO NOT DEMEAN ME ANYMORE! You have no right to make me feel bad about myself. If you cannot control your temper then I will find another guy that can behave like a grown up! Next time you yell at me I will give you a warning and then it's out the door and I may or may not come back. Be very stern and follow up with your threats if it does happen again. Good luck, a grown man who would yell at you does not deserve you. Keep several hundred dollars for expenses and a credit card in your name and account for emergencies. Never let a man verbally abuse you, women are stronger in most ways.

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Its called verbal abuse what youre doing is called making excuses at some point it most likely will end in physical abuse its pretty obvious. Sad that many women like you don't think they deserved to be treated better posting online wont help you if you wont follow thru with advice.. So why are you even asking?

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