My husband and anger binges

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. My husband of 7 years goes on these anger binges for the littlest thing. Things will be really good for a few months and then something so small will set him off and he will rant and rave, completely loosing it, throwning thing, making threats, moving out of the house, not talking to me for days, completely ingoring the animals we have that he so loves, telling me how much he hates me and wishes me dead, saying how is going to fight this coworker and that coworker or this person or the other person whom he feels has crossed him in life. These are all, including myself, people that just 5 minutes ago he had no animosity towards. And this all happens in literally a split second. It is like the twighlight zone! And then just as quickly as it came, a couple days later I will return home from work and he acts as if nothing happened. And everything he has said and done to me, he claims he did not do and that I am exagerating. He makes ME feel like I AM going crazy. When he is not this other person, he is funny, loving, enjoys his job for the most part, likes his friends and family but when he changes, all of the above mean nothing to him and he wishes we would all die and all sorts of other horrible things. What made him change could have happened many times before without him “loosing it”. He agrees that something isn’t right the way he reacts to such mundane things and completely looses it over nothing but says he is just an angry person. But anger and completely loosing it to me are 2 different things. These episodes are usually 3-4 months apart. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?

A. Of course, I can’t say with certainty what his problem is. With an admitted degree of uncertainty, I would say that he has developed inappropriate ways to release his frustrations and feelings of inadequacy. Often times, when people feel challenged or overwhelmed or are without answers, they will act in the manner in which you have described. Afterwards they want to minimize their actions and their effects. It is important for you and he to realize that his behavior is simply not acceptable. Once you both realize this you can move forward to get help. I would recommend some type of family counseling so that both of you can give your interpretations of the behavior and also to recognize issues or triggers that might be at work. Most importantly, you must accept the fact that his behavior is NOT acceptable. You can not allow yourself to live under these circumstances and if divorce is the only way to achieve release from this situation then it is the option that you must take. Please let me know how this all turns out.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Nov 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). My husband and anger binges. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/12/my-husband-and-anger-binges/