Boyfriend’s Repeated Anger Problem

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

MY BF of 1 yr. we live together. He is 63, 15 yrs older than me. He works long hours and is tired and can be grumpy. He can be controlling does not want me doing anything but being with him. My daughter who is 13yrs says he is mean and too old for me. He has packed his things and left 3 times and he takes things that he gives me. Bracelet, necklace etc. I have had another man live with me before he did the same thing. My daughter is tired of this and so am I. Well he wants back home and wants to get married and build a future. Now I do not trust him and my kids do not want him back. I promised her if he leaves again I will not let him back in our home. I do not know how to handle the situation. Move on or try to work this out with him slowly?

A: Please consider that at 63, your boyfriend has a long established way of managing conflict. When things get tough, he leaves. Not only does he leave, but he tries to erase your relationship by taking the gifts he has given you.

He’s done this three times? That’s a pretty powerful message that this is the way he is. It would be one thing if he volunteered to work on making change. But you feel like you have to threaten him into it. Not good. On top of that, your children do not feel welcomed and cared for by him.

My vote is that you take a big step back. Don’t marry this man or even live with him until he has done the work to learn how to manage frustration and anger in another way. Otherwise, you are signing on for a lifetime of walking on eggshells so he won’t pack up again. You deserve better. So do your kids.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Boyfriend’s Repeated Anger Problem. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/29/boyfriends-repeated-anger-problem/