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My Husband's Doctor Told Him He Couldn't Control His Anger And Put Him On Medication

by Lisa
(Alexandria, VA)

My husband and I have been married 8 years. His anger has caused problems between us, the children and some friends. He went to one therapy session and the doctor told him he can't help it and put him on Prozac. He already takes Celexa for his anger.

I cannot believe after hearing my husband say that he can't help it, he actually has a therapist tell him this after one visit. How can he control his anger at work, in public, etc. but not at home?

My son is 7 and is starting to act just like my husband. He can't deal with being wrong, does not want to be corrected about anything. And most of all, he has to have his way, or he makes sure we are all miserable for it. I am at wit's end with this, short of divorce and destroying our family, I don't know what to do.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Lisa, and thanks for telling your story here. You are correct in questioning the statement from your husband and his doctor that he "can't help it." That would only be accurate in cases of extreme psychosis, PTSD or retardation. None of that applies to your husband, or he would not be able to work or function as he does.

That being said, let's look at some things you can do.

I suggest you decide what you want. What I mean is, spend some time journaling about exactly the kind of marriage and family you want, without focusing on what you don't want. Just get very clear on what you want.

Then make up your mind that you will have that. When you feel confident and clear about this, tell your husband what you want, and tell him you'd like him to join you in creating that positive family and marriage. If he continues to rest on this "I can't help it" argument, you may have to consider some hard choices. As long as he is excusing his anger as something outside his control, he is giving himself permission to continue hurting you and your family.

If he's open to other possibilities, you might refer him to these online anger management classes or these anger management activities. People much more disturbed than your husband have overcome their anger issues and learned to treat their families with love and respect.

And stay focused on what you want, without worrying about the how, when or why.

Believe in yourself and the very best of your husband. And make up your mind to create a safe and loving home.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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