Should I Leave My Angry Husband?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am twenty-five years old and have been married since I was nineteen. My husband is the only man that I have ever been with. I’ve known him since I was fifteen. My husband has also had anger management issues, but it wasn’t until we got married that it became directed towards me. He tells me loves me and that I’m the best thing that has ever happened to him, but as soon as we get into a spat, even if it’s something that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to, he lashes out me. Sometimes he calls me names or throws the things that he has done for me in my face in the midst of an argument. One time he slammed one of my guitars into the couch because we didn’t leave as early as he wanted for our road trip. I have a lot of pets and, though he acts like he enjoys them when things are good between us, he uses them as fuel for his anger when we get into a fight. He belittles who I am as a person, (I am very optimistic. Because of that, he says that I don’t take anything seriously). He is constantly on my case about my sarcastic humor, though he is the same way. I’ve been sleeping on the couch for two summers because he hasn’t yet replaced our bedroom’s AC unit. When we fight he won’t talk to me even when I try to talk to him. He says that I never understand him and he can’t talk to me in a nice manner because I don’t “get it”. Looking back on our courtship, I can see a few warning signs that I wasn’t mature enough to recognize at the time, but he never acted quite this rageful towards me in the past. Currently I can’t even say that I am in love with him anymore. Really the only thing that makes me question leaving him is because he says he loves me and that he does let me have almost anything I want if we can afford it and I also fear that I would hurt him if I left. I don’t WANT to hurt anybody, but I fear that staying is becoming quite emotionally unhealthy for me. I want children in the near future, but I don’t want them with my husband because I don’t think that we are in a stable place. I feel that I should leave him before any children come into the picture to avoid hurting more people. I would greatly appreciate anyone’s insights, opinions, or questions for clarity. Thank you!

A: I am sorry it has become so difficult to be with a person who has developed more aggressive patterns of behavior. But I think you have the insight already. The relationship is not is a stable place because he is not in a stable place. It is time to protect yourself physically, emotionally and verbally. There is too much here to hang around and hope for it to get better. It is time for action. I would encourage you to talk to him about couples counseling, but if he isn’t willing then I would look for support services for you.

In that case look for the closest women’s center (most communities have one nearby) and make an appointment. They typically have many resources (individual, group, legal, etc.) that you will want to use. They will have information on where your husband can go for anger management classes, give you pointers on what to do if it escalates, and most important, suggest to you how to stay safe.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Should I Leave My Angry Husband?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/17/should-i-leave-my-angry-husband/