Boyfriend's Rage Is Tearing Apart The Relationship

by Jillian
(Haverhill, MA , USA)

Hi, my name is Jill. I have a 22 year old boyfriend who has always had anger issues. We have been together for 3 years now and are very close. However, in the past year or so his anger has gotten a lot worse and he is unable to control it.

His anger is always disproportionate to whatever it is that sets him off at the moment. He usually ends up taking it out on the people who love him the most, which I believe is because he is waiting for us to run away.



He was abandoned a lot as a child and moved from family member to family member until he finally made a connection with an aunt who later passed away from cancer. I believe he has a lot of unresolved feelings of anger and abandonment from all of this and doesn't know how to deal with them. The problem is that no matter how much me and my mother try to help him and be there for him, he constantly pushes us away and states that he doesn't want our help even though he needs it.

He is a habitual bully and abuser. He gets into a lot of fights over stupid things and has a bad record for it. He has never hit me, however he constantly abuses me with his words. The things he says when in the moment of his anger spurt are just horrendous and hurtful. He can tear someone up and down like nothing, he knows EXACTLY what to say to shut someone up and it's usually the people who love him that he is saying these things to.

The only way he can stop the anger is usually either by hitting something or breaking something and this is just not healthy. I love him more than anything in the world and the last thing I want to do is lose him but I don't know how much more I can take and it just seems to be getting worse and I don't want it to ever turn to violence towards me or anyone in my family.

He has hit his mother before but they have a very abusive relationship. He has a lot of hostility towards her because he feels she failed him when he was young. She lost him because of drugs, and he has no problem bringing that up in every fight they have. I believe he needs to learn to forgive but I have no idea how to teach him that.

He is against counseling and medication because he has seen his mother abuse meds and he just doesn't really believe in them. He has been court mandated to go to anger management, however he has still made no steps towards attending. He no longer believes in himself and constantly says how he'd rather not even live because it's not even worth it and his life sucks anyway.

I want to comfort him but it's hard to do so when his anger is just so evil and when he's not angry he's just throwing his own pity party like no one else deals with hard things in life. He takes everyone around him for granted and it's just not fair.

I want to help him in anyway possible. Is there anything I can do at home with him to help? Any exercises or anything?? I will try ANYTHING. I just want him to feel better because I know how much it hurts him to be like this and I just want him to be happy again. I did the anger test about him through my own knowledge and at his best he is about a 1 to 2 worst he can range from a 9 to a 10 and most of the time he ranges from a 3 to about a 7. I am very worried about him. Please help.


Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Jill, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you care for your boyfriend and want to help him.

The hard truth is that you can only help him by helping yourself. You have to take action to stop the abuse and protect yourself, and if you don't do that then he will get the impression that his behavior is acceptable. You need to show him with your actions that you will not tolerate the abuse any longer.

You have to love yourself as much as you love him. Read these quotes on relationships for further guidance in this area.

It might also be helpful for you to look at this page on how to deal with abusive relationships.

He is the only person on the planet who can improve his situation. From what you have said, he's not seeking help and doesn't plan to. So, you simply must seek help and shelter for yourself. If you don't take care of yourself, no on will.

The bottom line is that the best gift you could give him is to get yourself healthy, and get back to work and living your life.

Believe in yourself, Jill.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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