Boyfriend has anger attacks

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I have been in a relationship and living together for over a year now. He is a loving and caring person and most of the time he is nice to me, except when he gets angry. He always ends up throwing things, hitting the walls, shouting and really losing control. One night he was drunk and we had a fight and he went really mad, he banged his head on the windscreen of a car and broke it and also kind of tried to commit suicide throwing himself on the moving cars. We enden up in the hospital. He claims that he wont react like that again but anyway he goes mad whenever i dont agree with him in our conversations (even when talking about minor issues). I always try to keep calm and i do manage it. I am not myself anymore in the relationship because even a face reaction that i may have can make him go crazy. On the other hand he claims that he was never like this, although his parents tell me that he has always been a nervous person, i.e. one that gets angry easily. He blames me for his reactions but i know that he is not right. I feel scared, very scared some times, that he will either harm me or himself.
How can i help him and what should my reaction be when he goes mad?

A: Why wait until he gets mad? Your reaction should be to get out of this relationship — before he gets mad again and hurts you. However wonderful your boyfriend may be in his sweeter moments, he is also controlling, violent, and manipulative. You are always on edge, trying to change yourself so that he won’t erupt. It’s only a matter of time until he loses control again. You can’t help him. He doesn’t think he is the one with the problem. All you can do is take care of yourself.

Fear is the opposite of love. No one should live in its shadow. Please find out if there is a domestic violence program in your city. Counselors in such programs help women stay safe while they work on separating. A therapist might also help you reclaim your self-esteem so that you can look for a partner who can love you and cherish you as you deserve.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Nov 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Boyfriend has anger attacks. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/09/boyfriend-has-anger-attacks/