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How Do I Manage My Anger When My Husband Picks Fights?

by Tammy

My husband and I are both under a great deal of stress right now. He needs to close his business and the company I have worked for over 15 years now is being sold. We just married as well and are working through issues with blending our families.

My husband has been to anger management classes in the past. He got in trouble once with his ex and that was part of the court order. It sounds like he made some big changes, but now I am wondering that he just traded off one problem for another. He is a master at provoking fights.

He will just make things up sometimes. I could be in a great mood, be really nice to him, and if he is stressed he will be very negative and start saying things he knows makes me very upset or angry. When my husband is not stressed, he is amazing, so easy-going, he's like a different person.

I realize that my anger is my responsibility. At this point the only thing I feel I can do is avoid my husband when he is in a bad mood, but obviously over time that will just cause us to become distant. Can anger management for myself improve this situation?

I guess I feel that if he wouldn't do what he does, I wouldn't get so angry so often, but then I think maybe that really isn't the problem here and that I need to get a grip on my issues.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Tammy, and thanks for telling your story here. Stress can be very hard on a marriage, and it sounds like you and your husband are going through a lot.

It may help and certainly won't hurt for you to do some work on your own anger. Use the tools you find on this FAQ page, and that should help you.

It also sounds like you and your husband could use some marriage counseling. It's good that he has done his anger management classes, but it's also clear that he needs to do more work on himself as well.

Meanwhile, try to focus on the best in yourself and your husband, and that will help no matter what. You might also want to get a copy of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, and work through the exercises in that book together.

You can do this, Tammy. Take one step at a time, and look forward to positive results.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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