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Is My Future Husband's Past Making Him Angry At The World?

by Sara
(Texas)

My Fiance is a wonderful guy, very loving, caring, and considerate. But as we have gotten to know one another I have learned more about his darker past.


Tom's (names changed) parents got divorced when he was 6. His father was much older than his mother and had a drinking and anger issues. He would get drunk and destroy his mother's and Tom's things when he got mad. He once shredded Tom's mother's clothes because he was angry.

After she finally left him she married again to another guy that was "the love of her life". But blinded by what she thought was love she didn't see the abuse that this guy was placing on Tom. Tom was beat for just about everything, whether he did it or not. He was told daily that he wouldn't amount to anything and was worthless. He friend told me once he was beaten so bad that his friend had to come pick him out of the barn and get him out of there.

Tom has ADHD and could be hard to handle as a kid. But as the family followed the rodeo circuit, Tom didn't get to play with kids his wn age and was left to himself to entertain himself (often getting himself into trouble). As soon as he was 18 Tom took off to the Marines, where he ended up getting himself into trouble with drugs to deal and was discharged.

Tom is 27 now and all of that is completely behind him. From the first day we met things have been wonderful. Tom is one of the most outgoing persons I have ever met and friends with everyone. But friends with people that don't care as much about him as he does them.

Most of his friends are people that are (status and economically below him) and Tom may bend over backwards for them but never get much in return. But when he is around my friends who love him and don't judge and are good hearted people (that just happen to be wealthier) he shuts down and gets intimidated.

But I feel as if he is just angry all the time. Not really ever at me but everything around him. He plays games on his phone and Xbox constantly and when something doesn't go right he has been known to break the phone and Xbox. When we are in the car he is a very aggressive driver and gets mad at everything like it is the other driver's fault when it is not. The littlest thing can set him off and he just gets so angry. He can be pretty dramatic too. For example when I say one thing about him playing Xbox all the time he rants on about how he is going to just get rid of all of it and never play a game ever again.

Coming from a completely different background I don't understand a lot of the ways he thinks about things or reacts to them. I want this relationship to become stronger but I'm not sure if it's his past that inwardly he is so angry about still, or something else. Please Help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Sara, and thanks for telling your story here. I think you are wise to ask your questions about Tom, especially in light of the fact that you plan to marry him.

One thought is that if you're having this many problems at this point, there is every reason to believe that it will get worse after you marry. I encourage you to think this over very seriously. I know you love him, and that he has many wonderful qualities. If he doesn't do focused, long term work on his past in therapy, the problems you've seen will most likely continue and get worse.

Please read this page on relationships, to help you clarify where you are and what you want to do:

how to deal with abusive relationships

Make up your mind that you're going to have a happy healthy marriage, and don't accept anything else. You are worth it.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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