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I'm at my wits end - need help with dealing with my husband's anger

Community Member

I've been married for 8 years and have 2 kids. My husband has been going through some issues and recently it has gotten a lot worse. He has a choleric personality in which is ambitious and very goal oriented. He had this plan where he wanted to be successful by 30 and make enough money so that he could quit his job (in which he hates - this job pays him enough to support the family quite comfortably). He has had this goal in mind since he was in university.

I, however, am very passive in everything I do so earning lots of money has never been my goal. I take things too easy, I'm laid-back and very indecisive, therefore, when we got married, it was perfect. He makes the decisions, I trust him and follow.

But life being that it is, doesn't turn out the way we want it to be. To make enough money, my husband and I invest in many businesses or projects to achieve his goal and not one has been successful. In fact we have lost a lot of money in these investments. They are not scams, they just didn't turn out the way we wanted it to be. With my personality, I say "let it go and move on. Try again". With his personality, he says "I'm a failure, things don't go my way. I'm angry and frustrated that I can't achieve my goal". Now, it has been many years and we are still where we are with 2 kids. It has now come to a point where he can't control his anger. He's shouting at home and he's now angry at my 'don't care' attitude. This 'don't care' attitude is my way of letting things go so I don't need to deal with his anger.

I am now at my wits end and I snap back at him more and more now. One time I lost it and starting throwing things in the house. Our kids cried when they saw me. He has seen a counsellor for his issues (this was a few years ago) but after 8 sessions, he says it's not working. He says "this is how it is with life, I am a failure and nothing goes well for me. I don't know why I'm living. You should have never married me, you should have been with someone else. We should not have had the kids" He keeps saying he wants to turn back time.

I should add that he plays games to take his mind off things but if he loses in the game, he snaps.

I need help on how to deal with the situation as I can't seem to hold back on my own anger now because of his frustration. I snap when he snaps. It is getting out of hand. Should I just leave but that seems like running away from the problem.

11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

I wouldn't leave yet.

The anger symptom and his determination to keep trying new investments is mirroring gambling addiction imo. He needs help for this so make an appointment recommended by your GP to a counselor. If your husband doesn't go then go alone to learn how to cope with him and how not to throw things. But if he asks how the session went, withhold information- he can find out if he attends.

I do have a remedy that has worked for 10 years now. If you both commit to it, you might get through ok.


Beyondblue topic relationship strife?-the peace pipe

Good luck.

Thank you Tony. This is good insight to understanding his behaviour. I have never thought of investing in businesses or opportunities and chasing after these things as similar to gambling! Yes, I probably need to seek help in managing the situation because I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. I don’t know when or what will tick him off. It could be something I said or the youngest child crying and throwing a tantrum, or even just a simple fact that he lost in the game he was playing. It’s strange as well because after he unleashes his anger and I give him a stare, he sometimes says “I‘m not angry at you. I’m just angry at myself”. I don’t know what to think of that.

Community Champion
Community Champion


he may not be angry with you but he takes out his anger on you. Does he see that and is he aware how it effects you.

if he is aware he is angry can he do something with his anger to diffuse it like hard exercise etc.

When some one says I am angry with myself not you but still upset you they need help so they dint take it out on you.

Thanks for sharing your story which will help others reading your thread.

Community Member
He knows his anger affects me. I've tried telling him many times to seek help but maybe it's the way I've put it that he's resisting. He says "you don't understand that nothing works. There is no point seeking help because there won't be any use". It's like he's given up on any help available and resorted to accepting that his life sucks. Then he comes back at me and says "don't you see I'm trying very hard to stay happy. You don't acknowledge that I'm working hard to stay happy". How can I acknowledge that he's working hard when he's throwing out foul words at home almost every few minutes? I have told him to speak to someone who's been through this (we've had friends who have depression and is on medication) but I may have said it with frustration, rather than calmly. I myself can't seem to control my own frustration so it's like a battle of who can talk louder.

Community Member

The anger issues he is displaying in particular in front of the children are not appropriate and need to stop. I understand how difficult it can be not to react to that especially when under great stress yourself.

I have had a similar situation to yourself when given a difficult illness diagnosis which will mean I will have a significantly shorter lifespan. It was very difficult to keep it together at times because I also have relationship difficulties and I have significant sympathy and understanding for you not being able to cope either. But if he will not stop this behaviour you need to put the interests of your children first and be strong for them.

Right now he is failing his children, and that is the worst thing to fail.

You should suggest that you see a mental health professional together.

Community Member

Thanks for the advice. I would like to see a mental health professional with him but I don't know how to convince him to go because he's been to one before and kept saying it doesn't work. I have read that not all professionals are suited to each individual's needs so I hope I find the right one that nails it so he won't come to the conclusion that it doesn't work, again.

Not wanting to see a mental health professional, is that something to with men ego? Why does he keep pushing that idea away?

Just this morning he said to me "I'm so tired of living like this. Do you know?" to which I reply "I know. You say the same thing to me everyday and yet, you don't want to seek help". He just kept quiet after that.

I seem to be stuck here.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion


You are naturally very desperate for change. So, change begins with yourself because you will have a hard time changing him.

To begin that process you need to do the following-

  • Two wrongs dont make a right, so no more raising your own voice, throwing items etc.
  • The very next time he yells at you you say the following "I have decided I'm no longer going to be yelled at. We can sit down like mature adults and talk over a cuppa but I have now implemented a boundary and that is- no more abuse in this household". If he mentions that you yell also - you remind him that that was the pastand from now on yelling or any type of abuse is not going to happen here again.
  • You attend counseling yourself to learn to cope with him. That wont harm you either. Dont release details of your sessions unless he attends also.
  • You divide what is his problems and your problems. If he unleashes on you over his own intolerance eg losing a computer game, remind him that it is his problem not yours - "I am not your go to person when things dont work out.
  • Failure for him to change in the above then moves to the next step. You tell him that you are now planning to indeed live a life abuse free and ensure your children are also - by planning a separation. This might force him to change.

There is more threads for you to read


Beyondblue topic talking to men- some tips


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi rcjy,

Aspirations are hard to shake, but in striving to achieve a life for you and your family as envisaged, your husband is not seeing the very reason for his efforts - you and the children. I think you grasp this essential view, but somewhere along the way, the ambition has blinded your husband to the true value of being a family: "My family won't be complete until I attain this goal" may be thoughts running through his head.

It can be difficult for people to open up about perceived personal failure, but this is where I feel you should address the mindset... Perhaps if you approach it from a less direct "you need counselling" angle, you may have a more willing participant -

  1. you could talk to a financial planner to assess present situation and prepare outcomes for a secure future, along with credible investment strategies for long term returns - is your husband carrying too much of the responsibility on himself? I'm only guessing now, but I have a feeling your husband may be pursuing the 'shortcuts' to financial freedom - and this may even lead to future risk taking or gambling if it gets out of hand.
  2. Another option would be to seek marriage counselling to discuss his/your problems as a family concern. This may deflect the intended reason and help your husband to see what he is ignoring, as well as provide the emotional support from/to you that you are all proactively working towards a happier future.

"I'm angry and frustrated that I can't achieve my goal" is blame your husband attributes entirely to himself even though you are on the receiving end, and I can understand you becoming defensive and overwhelmed. If you can remain impassive and reply with questions ("Why do you think this?", "How do you want me to help?" "Can we work this out together?"), then he has the option to consider and respond with a path for resolution.



Thanks Tony. Your advice has been very helpful. Will need to try and get that in place.

"Failure for him to change in the above then moves to the next step. You tell him that you are now planning to indeed live a life abuse free and ensure your children are also - by planning a separation. This might force him to change."

This one has been brought up by him before. After me expressing how displeased I am with his shouting, he said "if you don't like it, then leave". Made me even more furious. To say such a thing is very hurtful. I did think of leaving to 'teach him a lesson' but after thinking more, this lesson would probably have serious effects on my children.