How do I respond to my husband’s angry outbursts? He swears, yells, and becomes destructive.
No one deserves to put up with anger like that from a spouse–be it husband or wife. It’s lethal to your marriage, and toxic to you and your family. A home environment like you’re describing is only going to escalate in intensity and severity unless you’re able to set some boundaries and get help.
Sure, everyone has times when they lose touch with reality, let their emotions get the better of them, and fly off the handle. But when a situation moves from a one-time blow-up into a recurring problem with anger and aggression, you and your kids are in dangerous territory.
In today’s video, we’re discussing what to do if your spouse has destructive anger issues.
If your spouse rages at you and becomes destructive, it’s important that you remove yourself from the home. You’re in danger as long as you’re sharing a space with someone who erupts with uncontrolled anger. If you have the option to simply remove yourself from the same room as your spouse during the outburst, do that; but you may find that you have to leave the house completely until your spouse gets this issue under control.
When you confront your spouse about his/her behavior, don’t be condemning or blaming. Be gently honest; let them know you don’t feel safe, and you need to go until things are different. You can let your spouse know that you’ll come back when you can have a rational conversation, and you don’t intend to disconnect or to leave the marriage. Tell them they have to learn to control their anger and provide you with a safe place to live before you can return.
If you have children in the house, your top priority is to protect them from your spouse’s angry displays. You don’t want this kind of behavior modeled for the kids, so you must take them with you when you exit the home. Continuing to expose the kids to your spouse’s rage ensures the kids will suffer from observing the abuse that’s happening in your home, if they’re not being abused themselves.
In order to set a proper boundary and motivate your spouse to change his/her behavior, you must provide consequences for the destructive behaviors. It’s very difficult to be motivated to change if a person hasn’t been given clear consequences. We hope that your spouse will understand that his/her behavior has been destructive, and will get the necessary help to get healthy and be safe for you again.
For now, focus on getting out, setting those boundaries and consequences for your spouse, and protecting yourself and your kids.
Have you dealt with a spouse who had rage problems, or have you dealt with those issues yourself? How did you address them? Were they resolved? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.