Boyfriend has horrible anger issues

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 1 year and 2 months. I love him with all of my heart and I know he loves me too. Any little thing can make him mad and he stays mad for a while no matter how much I try to make him happy and smile. Sometimes it’s me that gets him mad but it can be anything. He never admits he is mad. He calls it frustrated but yelling and cursing to me is mad. Even if he isn’t mad at me it ends up with us arguing because I can tell something is wrong with him but he will not say he just says nothing because when he says that I am supposed to drop it and not bring it up but how am I supposed to know when it’s really nothing or the kind of nothing where he wants me to not ask anymore. I want to be with him but we are arguing a lot and he gets mad so quickly it is hard sometimes I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around him not to make it worse I just don’t know what to do and I would appreciate it if you could help me.
Thank you.

A: It does sound like your guy has some issues with anger. But it also sounds to me that possibly you aren’t giving him the space he needs to work things through. It may be that you two are now in a cycle: He gets mad. You want him to talk. He gets frustrated because he doesn’t have enough space to figure things out and pushes you away. You get upset and crowd him some more. Around and around it goes until he explodes or you get upset – or both.

Why don’t you try an experiment the next time he’s mad? Tell him you can see he’s angry and that he should let you know if there’s any way you can help. Then leave him alone to work it out at his own pace. Find something to do that will keep you so occupied so you don’t give in to the temptation to bug him. If you do this a few times, you are likely to learn who really has the problem. Once you have that information, I hope the two of you will find new ways to be supportive of each other when things go wrong.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Boyfriend has horrible anger issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/17/boyfriend-has-horrible-anger-issues/