It sounds like you married the Hulk of Marvel comic fame. When frustrated, mild mannered Bruce Banner becomes a giant, turns green, and goes on a rampage, leaving wreckage in his wake. Unable to contain his rage, he becomes inbcreasingly isolated and eventually unable to maintain close relationships. (Even comic books can teach us something.)
Your husband has little tolerance for the least bit of frustration and takes it out on you. Of course it’s not okay for him to curse you. Of course you have a right to be upset. If the two of you decide to have children, this is likely to get even worse since caring for children rarely goes smoothly.
The PairedLife website lists potential reasons why your husband may gets angry with you for minor things. Reasons could include anything from underlying mental and physical issues that are not being addressed, to environmental factors.
“Low testosterone. While many people associate high levels of testosterone with heightened levels of anger, that behavior is associated with the abuse of steroids, not natural testosterone production. Studies have shown that men with low levels of testosterone are more irritable and prone to mood swings. Environmental factors such as diet and sleep quality can have an impact on testosterone levels. Many men suffer from low testosterone, and it commonly goes undiagnosed.
Low serotonin. One of the key neurotransmitters in our brain, serotonin, plays a role in emotional and mental health. If we have too little of it, we become irritable and unhappy. Much like testosterone, eating and sleeping habits can play a big role in determining serotonin levels.
High stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to irritability as well as sleep and cognition problems. If your husband is experiencing severe stress at work and is not sleeping and eating properly, the high levels of cortisol can turn him into a very different person.
Loss of male identity and purpose. The constant grind of your husband attempting to live up to some impossible masculine ideal can wear him down. A single-minded focus on job success and earning large amounts of money can leave him feeling stressed, isolated, and lonely. He may feel that in comparison to others he is inadequate, and these feelings can manifest themselves in angry outbursts.
Unaddressed emotional trauma. It is also possible that your husband is dealing with some unresolved emotional issues. By trying to suppress these emotional wounds, he becomes angry and irritable.”
Whatever his other wonderful qualities, his behavior is not acceptable in anyone over the age of two. My biggest worry is that someday your husband will lose it and will hit you or break something important or get into a road rage contest or an argument and seriously hurt somebody. Before something truly terrible happens, he needs to either take an anger management course or see a therapist to learn how to manage his anxiety when things don’t go exactly as he expects. I hope he is mature enough and values your marriage enough to take charge of himself and get the help he needs. I hope you respect yourself enough to insist on it.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on February 6, 2008.