7 Ways to Help Your Husband with His Anger

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  • 7 Ways to Help Your Husband with His Anger
  • Be His Friend, Not His Mother

More than anything, your husband needs to know that you’re on his side, that you’re not against him. You need to communicate, more than you probably think necessary, that you accept him and love him, even though you may not be satisfied with some of his behaviors or responses. Separate the actions from the man; affirm the man. His search for peace may begin sooner if he knows that you’re satisfied with him and willing to walk through the steps of healing.

Be His Friend, Not His Mother

Trudy and Phil have been married nine years, and they both work full-time. Phil’s high stress job in the intensely competitive computer industry requires a lot of overtime. Trudy spends many evenings just trying to help Phil feel better about himself and his job. She fixes him a nice dinner, draws him a hot bath, cleans up the kitchen while he relaxes, then listens to him complain about work until bedtime. She irons his shirt, picks out a matching tie and socks, and makes his breakfast. If he doesn’t leave for work on time, she calls his secretary to tell her he’ll be late.Trudy is trailing after him like a mother. He doesn’t need a mother; he needs a friend who’ll treat him, and insist on being treated by him, as an equal. He needs a friend who’ll gladly share life’s responsibilities with him but not live his life for him, someone who’ll encourage him in his problem solving but not solve all of his problems for him. If you find yourself playing a mothering role to the man in your life, he will never fully deal with the causes and crisis of his anger. The scared little boy will whine and fuss until you make it all better. You can transition from mother to friend in his life by lovingly placing in his hands those responsibilities and problems that he should deal with.

Appreciate Him; Don’t Nag Him

It’s estimated that upwards of 90 percent of men today are unhappy and angry in their jobs to some degree. Most of them feel fortunate to be working, but they often languish in their dead-end jobs, feeling less that fully masculine because they’re not in control of their own lives.It’s likely that a significant portion of your man’s anger springs from a sense of lack of control in his work. Nagging him to buck for promotions or beg for raises may only intensify his anger. Bugging him for a bigger house or newer car will only deepen his frustration that he has no more control at home than he has on the job. But if you become a wellspring of appreciation for the work that he does and the living he provides, you will lift some of the pressure from his life. Find many ways to say, “I appreciate that you work hard at your job and that you hang in there even when it’s frustrating and tough. I couldn’t love you more if you owned the whole company.”

Affirm Him; Don’t Criticize Him

Some men aren’t only upset because they must work for someone else but because of the kind of work they must do. James is a college-trained engineer who can’t find a job in his chosen field. So he resorted to the management-training program for a fast-food chain. The job helps pay the bills, but James is embarrassed about being the crew chief in an assembly-line taco stand. He hasn’t stopped looking for an engineering position, but he’s afraid that he’s trapped in what he considers a menial, degrading job.LaVonne, James’s wife, is a breath of fresh air. She continues to affirm him as a talented and useful employee.”You’re an excellent engineer, Honey,” she tells him. “The world just hasn’t discovered you yet. You’re too good and well trained to be overlooked for long. In the meantime, the taco place is lucky to have you. You’re such a competent, conscientious manager.”If your man is struggling with being locked into a job that’s distasteful to him, you can ease his struggle by affirming him for who he is and what he does. Compliment him for the character qualities he exercises (or needs to exercise) in his job: patience, perseverance, determination, creativity, etc. In everything you say and do, let him know that he’s the best taco maker (or pump jockey, accountant, construction worker, sanitation engineer, etc.) in the world. Appreciate him for the effort

Give Him Space; Don’t Crowd Him

Most of us don’t like to be pushed, especially men. It’s an affront to their struggling masculinity and only serves to exacerbate their anger. They feel intimidated because their wives can’t accept them the way they are. They feel inferior in comparison to the ideal man their wives are badgering them to become. Once again they are not in control of their lives.Give your husband plenty of room. Show him that you’re concerned about him and that you love him. Let him know that you’re available to listen to him and talk to him. Then back off to pray and wait. Trust God to work for your man’s good in the situation. Allow him to use “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) in you to encourage and help him.As you pray, it’s important to pray for your husband’s heart, that it will open to all that he needs to understand in order to bring his anger back within healthy boundaries. Pushing your man to solve his anger may cause him to make some cursory changes to get you off his back. But pressure from you isn’t likely to produce a lasting solution. When you step back and give God room to work, the changes may be significant and enduring.

Give Him Time; Don’t Rush Him

We live in an age of instant gratification. We can travel thousands of miles in hours; we can transact business in seconds with our high-speed computers, cell phones, and cable shopping channels. We hate to wait. This subconscious urgency we all share for fast results may get in the way, however, when it comes to the process of helping a man defuse his anger. Change doesn’t take place overnight. It may take your husband weeks, months, or years to fully heal from the causes and results of anger in his life.

Hold Him Responsible; Don’t Be Co-dependent

Eddie’s anger got him into trouble at work on a number of occasions. He verbally popped off to his boss by contradicting his orders and undermined his leadership by bad-mouthing him to other employees. When he was put on probation, his wife secretly went to see his boss, “I’m sorry for Eddie’s displays of anger,” she said. “It’s really my fault. I haven’t been the best wife I can be, and the kids have been on his nerves lately. If you’ll just forgive him, I’ll try to turn things around at home so this won’t happen again.” Eddie’s boss was sympathetic and rescinded the probation.Again Eddie’s expression of anger pushed the wrong buttons at work, and he was placed on probation for a second time. His wife pleaded with his boss to give him a second chance, which he refused to do. Within days Eddie’s angry words cost him his job.If your husband’s anger gets him into trouble in any way, you are not responsible to cover for him or take the rap for him. Doing so only allows the problem to continue; it never stops the problem. Only when we allow someone to face the consequences of his behavior will he begin to see that he’s responsible for making changes in the way he behaves.

Get more — Free! e-book — Les & Leslie Parrott's, The Good Fight

Give to Him; Don’t Withhold from Him

If your husband is in the process of dealing with expressions of anger that have been hurtful to you in some way, you may be tempted to say something like, “Once you get your act together, then I’ll start being the wife I should be.” You may feel like withholding affection or sex from him until he deserves it. You may feel like asking him to move out until he has better control of his temper or habits. Or he may have troubled you so much that you’re ready to give up.While there are a few occasions when a temporary separation may be necessary (such as when his uncontrolled rage is endangering you or the children), you can probably be more helpful to your man’s healing by staying with him. Love, forgiveness, and acceptance are qualities to be given freely, not to be held hostage for ransom. He needs your friendship, not your judgment. God will use your openness, kindness, and willingness to go the second mile to aid in his healing.Please pray and talk your spouse about joining our  group on Anger at our next New Life Weekend.

▸  Also, see Abuse

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From the book Boiling Point by Stephen Arterburn and Dave Stoop.

Copyright © New Life Ministries. Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.

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About Stephen Arterburn

Steve ArterburnStephen “Steve” Arterburn is an author, speaker, counselor, radio talk-show host of New Life Live, host of New Life TV, and founder of New Life Ministries and Women of Faith. He co-wrote Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time with Fred Stoeker, as well as several other publications.
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  • Anonymous

    This is was clearly written by a man who most likely has anger problems. Just give in and don’t fight or hold the man responsible. Ridiculous…

    • SAM

      That is not what this article is saying… look a bit deeper and reread it. Clearly verbal, emotional, or physical abuse is not being advocated, nor is a woman to lay down and be a doormat to anger issues her husband has. Ultimately, God holds the husband to the utmost responsibility… and, if his anger is continually out of control, then it is time to bring in the help of a counselor or pastor. Too often, this only happens after years of tolerating unacceptable behavior.

  • Laura

    I understand this article. I love my spouse. I just want so my for him to see the hurt that I have the kids have when outbursts happen. he says it’s not just him and rightly so it’s not but its so fast and comes out of left field that we sometime don’t see it coming, where is help for this sort of thing. All of what is written here has been tried because we love him. we think something else is wrong, holding him back from letting go of the anger. is there something else to try?

    • billy

      Medication. Even hormone therapy, exercise.

  • Joyce Andrew

    Thanks to the great spell caster know as Dr.Ekpiku, for bringing back my man who has left me for the past 5months. But now i have be able to have my man through the help of Dr.Ekpiku, again all thanks to you and your Oracle Dr.Ekpiku. People out there having this same problem i have before, should please contact Dr. Ekpiku on Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com for i know him will help you, just like him did for me

  • R.G.

    I found the points in this article very helpful. I’ve spent the last 5 years trying to pick myself up out of an marriage suffering from emotional abuse. I’ve done everything to identify and protect myself from the sinful behavior of my husband. I’ve stood up to his bullying and found my own voice in my marriage. Yet I’m still struggling with loving him as God is working in him.

    I have failed in faith in God’s purpose and grace. What if God gave up on me every time I sinned? God does not want us to suffer from abuse. That sin has to be called out into the light. However, I’ve tried fighting or holding my husband responsible every time his behavior is sinful towards me. It only raises his stress and eventually causes my husband to buckle under my truth. It’s a horrible thing to watch happen and more damaging than its worth sometimes.
    The real truth is that husbands desperately need to build a relationship with God and even if we as their wives feel beaten down by their anger and harsh words. There is a bigger purpose to us loving them other than just the instant respect and love that we feel we deserve. We help bring them to God through our gentleness and love. This is really painful to give to someone who has hurt you, but it is possible.

    There have been times I’ve almost given up and desperately wanted to leave a relationship that seemed damaged and a husband that felt like he would never change. God has always asked me to stay. I have seen my husband change, though it is slow and arduous like a sculptor working on perfecting art. Sometimes I can’t understand what masterpiece God is creating in him, but I’ve caught glimpses of the finished product, and it is beautiful what God can do in a man’s heart.

  • britney

    Greeting to any body that is reading my comment, All Thanks goes to DR OLOKUM, i was married to my husband, and we were living fine and happy. it come to an extend that my husband that use to love and care for me, those not have my time again, until i fined at that he was having an affair with another woman, i try to stop him,all my effort was in-vain sadly he divorce me and went for the woman. he live me with two of our kids, i cry all day, i was in pains, sorrow and looking for help. i was reading a news paper, i saw how dr. trust help people with his love and reuniting spell. so i decided to contact him and explain my problem to him, he did a love spell that make my husband to come back to me and our kids and never think of the woman. this man is god sent to restore heart break and reunite relationship. may the lord be your strength and continue to use you to save people relationship and any problem they encounter contact him for help LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM i promise you that you, he will but a smile on your face and make you feel happy. good luck.

  • SAM

    Anger Management classes are offered in many areas throughout the United States. Well worth the investment. Even if a spouse is unwilling to go with you, it is good to attend on your own to understand the cycle of anger.

  • Gems

    Annonamous? Who cares hon as long as we us woman see the pain.

  • Gems

    Men like that like my husband are extra sensitive. Hold him accountable OH MY, I WOULD, . but differently then a man who is a little more normal lolol!!!

  • Michelle O’Neill

    I agree, I have tried it all too. We may need to start considering the cognitive function of some husbands. I swear my husbands junk food diet is the reason we are struggling. We need to encourage our husbands to look at their health too.

  • Michelle O’Neill

    This was beautifully thought out and gave great advice. But, from a woman’s standpoint there is one thing you forgot. The good old fashioned Home-cooked dinner, eaten as a family.

    Our body is a precious temple and we should all remember to provide our families with proper substinence. I notice as I feed my family cleaner, they all start behaving better. God intended for us to eat food, not this junk.

  • joy sivler

    My name is Joy silver,is my pleasure to contact you here, which really interest me in having communication with someone,if you will have the desire with me ,here is my email address (joysilver297@hotmail.com) so that i can tell you more about me and i have something to discuses with you,please contact me back direct to my email box (joysilver297@hotmail.com) from (Joy silver) you can also visit me on facebook (joy silver)

  • Debby George Gautreaux

    Hi Please pray for me and my husband we both have angry!

  • Sanya Otti

    Must have been written by a man. ;-) Hardly anything of these tips work and why should women always understand men and women not be understood, e.g.: that an always relaxing man, a man, who expects everything is done for him in the household drives her up the walls. Balance is the secret, relax from exhausting work, yes, everyone understands, leaving your socks in the shape of a dumpling on the floor, no, leaving your brown stripes of poo in the toilet bowl, no and if woman says something about it, rolling eyes of hubby complaining about ‘nagging’ wife is, what we need to understand? I don’t think you have covered the full spectrum of men here and how they really push the buttons, too.

    • Deborah West

      I agree. I sure there was a deluge of articles about men are nothing more a child masquerading in a grown up body. Number one in this article was don’t be his mother. My advise to men is to QUIT acting like you NEED a mother. QUIT expecting your wife to BE your mother. Quit pouting and grow up.

  • Yes

    Thanks for the article. Please let me express my opinion. In the first example of Trudy and Phil, I don’t see how what Trudy did – makes dinner, clean the kitchen, prepare his clothing, listen patiently etc – contributes to Phil’s “never-learn” problem. That’s truly a good wife, man, especially in my husband’s and my culture. Maybe the overdoing part is calling the secretary part? Overall, what Trudy did is better than the wife fussing and get angry back at his husband etc for being negative.

  • Sue

    My husband is a handsome & charismatic worship leader & a very agreeable person in public. Yet, at home, he is very opinionated & gets angry easily. Everyone we know always told me how lucky I’m to be married to him. I almost never tell anyone about my plight because I know how important is “his image as a song leader” to him. But I truly can’t hold this inside any longer. He likes to yell about everything & it’s really not fair for people to assume that I’m lucky because I have endured A LOT.

  • Lost

    We have only been married 3 years but lately has been struggle. I work 45 hrs a week and get home around 7:30, 4 hours after my husband. He works 40 hrs week but will be losing his job at end of year. He has been trying to start a small business which is working. My problem is he’s always angry, never appreciates what I do and doesn’t help with anything around the house anymore. I do it all and to be yelled at, cussed, and or ignored is enough. Maybe the problem is I try to make it simple for him. Tonight I texted him a pic he wanted so send a friend. It wouldn’t save to his phone and I told him i”d help him. He said he “didn’t need my mother fucking help.” I kept quiet but speeded home. He came in house and peeled out never to be heard from so far after 2 hours. This was after he pouted and stomped around at my bosses wedding on Saturday. I don’t know what else to do. I’m at my last stage of this game and ready to quit. I contemplated suicide last time this happened and arranged for our fur babies to be taken care of. Sometimes I feel so lost, so over whelmed. I just want him to be happy

    • SAM

      I have prayed for you and your husband.

      We appreciate the confidence and trust you have
      placed in Growthtrac by sharing your prayer request with us.

      Once prayer requests are submitted, they are distributed among our staff and prayed for during morning devotions.

      What you describe in your post is emotional and verbal abuse from your husband. We highly recommend The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick. There is a questionnaire in the book that is extremely helpful to go through. I recognize the signs you describe because I’ve been trained in domestic violence.

      There is nothing you can do to make him a happy man – ever. Something is broken inside of him. There is nothing that is your fault when a man chooses to behave this way. And, yes, it is his choice.

      However, there is a place for you to receive help and counseling for yourself and to be part of a women’s support group. You can go to your local women’s shelter for assessment and assistance, even if you decide not to be housed there. You can receive individual counseling and join a support group to help you through this terrible situation. You do have people who will care for you there with love and grace. I know this is scary, but it will be a life-changing step forward for you to be surrounded by people who understand your situation.

      The Domestic Violence Crisis Line is 800-799-7233 where
      you can talk with someone confidentially about your situation.

      I encourage you to do this this week since you’ve felt so down in the past and have contemplated suicide. Again, how he chooses
      to behave is not your fault.


      Sheri Mueller

      Co-founder, Growthtrac Ministries

    • Karen M

      Hi, my name is Karen. I have been dealing with an angry husband and read your post. It really spoke to me and my heart truly goes out to you. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I hope you have a support system.
      Don’t be afraid to reach out for help for yourself. You are valuable and it sounds like a woman who really tries hard to be a good wife. Just because he can’t see that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

  • Mel

    I found this page after doing a search online while my husband is at work. I am so scared every day and so unhappy. All our friends at church commend me and say I am such a submissive amazing wife and such an incredible mother to our six children. But they see nothing behind the doors of our home. I wake up every day and pray he will not be angry today. I cry every day while I sit in the car at the school to pick up the children in the few minutes I have alone at how I feel worthless and nothing. I have been married for 22 years and unfortunately the advice above I have done, but it hasn’t helped. You try to fix all the faults they yell at you for, you try to change, you cook amazing meals, you clean the house, you praise them, you be kind and thoughtful and respectful and he just finds another thing to blame me for. My husband believes he has no problem and after he gets angry and doesn’t talk to me for days, he then calls me in to our room to sit down and lecture me about all the wrong things I continue to do. I truly believe I am in a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship and I am SO scared to find help. I am so scared about what will happen, I am scared for my children. At one point this year he left us for two days and even though I was sad, I actually felt so free. If he’s in an ok mood he will insist we watch a movie and even though I may be exhausted I say sure, because I will do anything to try to make him happy. Please pray for me to be brave and strong and not be scared to get help. I feel half the time so confused after years of being told I always do things wrong that maybe I do and maybe it is my fault…help.

  • JSD

    Ladies, it sounds like in every one of these marriages the person doing wrong suffers no consequences for their actions. It is not supportive to enable a spouse to take out their anger on you, talk badly to you, expect you to be their servant, etc. That isn’t God’s idea of being or doing right! You are not your spouses emotional punching bag, nor his slave, nor the object of his emotional abuse, mental abuse or physical abuse. When your husbands blow up it is not your problem, it is his but you are making it yours. When it happens, get away from him and take your children with you. If he asks what you’re doing tell him when he is able to get a grip on himself and start acting like a responsible human being, you will hear him out but only if you get to present your thoughts and feelings also. If he can’t do that stay away! I highly recommend the Boundaries book by Townsend and Cloud. You need to let your spouses know that they have crossed the line and it isn’t going to happen any more!



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