10 Best Ways To Deal With An Angry Spouse

An eye for an eye is certainly not the way to work with a temperamental partner.

Reviewed by Michele Waldron, Psy.D, LADC-I, CSCT Michele Waldron Michele WaldronPsy.D, LADC-I, CSCT facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA Gracia Odile MA linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Aggression is a form of expression for some and a defense mechanism for others. But, it is not a pleasant thing to deal with in any case. So, it becomes important for a partner to understand how to deal with an angry spouse and not let the anger come in the way of anything. Anger issues are not good for relationships. They can affect the relationship and create a gap between the partners. If not addressed soon, they can bring misery to both partners.

There are different ways to control anger issues. But they warrant a lot of patience and perseverance from either side. In this article, we explain the various reasons why your spouse might always be angry and how to deal with them. Continue reading to know more.

Why Is My Spouse Always Angry?

Stress can make your spouse angry
Image: Shutterstock

There might be quite a few reasons for your partner to get sore or irritated now and then. Some of these can be due to unaddressed underlying physical, psychological, or mental issues. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons:

1. High Level Of Stress

Stress can make your body and systems go out of whack. If your spouse is under stress for professional or personal reasons and is not sleeping and eating properly, it can affect their mental and physical health. All these reasons often cloud the minds, influence perceptions, and increase irritability. Another way of thinking about it is that stress decreases bandwidth. When our bandwidth is running low, we all get easily irritated and frustrated.

If your spouse struggles to manage their stress levels, consider seeking help from a licensed health professional for guidance. Also, be empathetic to your partner and help them resolve the issues they are facing. Acknowledge and validate their stress.

2. Loss Of Identity

Is your spouse always trying to live up to your expectations or trying to keep up with the image you have of them(or themself)? Often, such unrealistic expectations create pressure on your partner, creating a loss of identity. They may think that failure to live up to such unrealistic expectations may make them unworthy, and they may have an identity crisis. This may create unnecessary pressure and make them irritable and angry.

Angry and resentful people often find themselves lost in an unfair world. They feel attacked when someone points out how they are unfair or feel like people are unfair to them more often. . Driven by the constant conflict between what they should get and what other people should do for them, they are often left feeling disappointed and frustrated.

3. Unaddressed Past Issues

Carrying unaddressed issues in your heart is a heavy burden to bear. A person can develop an aggressive attitude because of such unaddressed issues. Abusive or traumatic incidents often scar the thoughts and mind, which significantly impact the behavior. As a result, they often resort to aggression as a way of defending themselves.

Your spouse may feel anguished when you try to discuss those past issues. Don’t let your spouse feel depressed, anxious or withdrawn. Seek help from a therapist or a psychologist to address the challenges.

4. Hormonal Issues

Sometimes, hormonal changes can trigger mood changes and cause emotional outbursts. Women often experience mood shifts due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS)i  A pattern of physical and psychological symptoms that some women go through every month, usually a week or two before their period. , which also causes fatigue, change in appetite, and depression. Even menopause is associated with mood shifts, insomnia, or reduced sex drive.

Similarly, Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS), clinically referred to as andropause, decreases testosterone levels in men, causing depression, lower self-confidence, and reduced energy. All these factors can lead to irritation. In such cases, be honest with your partner and let them know what you are dealing with. Be empathic towards your partner’s experience and symptoms.

5. Inability To Cope With Failures

Depressed woman covering her face
Image: Shutterstock

There is no success without failures. While some see failure as a stepping stone to success, some may find it difficult to accept defeat. Issues like loss of job, rejection, and missed opportunities at work (like a promotion) can leave your spouse depressed.

Failure is often accompanied by various emotions like embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, and shame. These negative emotions can aggravate your spouse’s anger issues and disrupt your marital life.

These can be some of the probable reasons for your spouse’s anger issues. Living with an angry spouse, especially when you are subject to constant anger or negativity, can make you feel hopeless. Though you may feel lonely at times, there is scope for overcoming these issues plaguing your relationship. With proper intervention and help, your spouse can learn how to manage anger and be optimistic. Here are a few ways to deal with an angry spouse.

How To Deal With An Angry Partner

Keep calm while dealing with an angry spouse
Image: Shutterstock

1. Keep Calm And Do Not Fuel The Fire

A simple solution to deal with an angry partner is to keep calm when your partner is enraged. Though it may not be as easy as it sounds, the more relaxed you remain when your partner is angry and lashing out at you, the quicker they will stop their outburst.

Getting angry in response to your partner’s anger can escalate the issue, leaving both of you hurt. Instead, once your partner calms down, listen to them and understand their point of view. You don’t have to agree with it, but feeling understood and heard can help them deal with their emotions. Do not assume anything or judge them and be compassionate.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Oftentimes, the issue at hand may not be about you specifically, but an underlying problem that wasn’t addressed.

2. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries and sticking to them is essential when you are dealing with an angry spouse. Have a constructive conversation and explain how their behavior hurt you. This will make them realize that they should not behave with you in a certain way, setting a boundary in their mind. Such boundaries help maintain a healthy environment for discussion and settling issues. It is okay to be angry, but it isn’t okay to take that anger out on others.

This is also key to navigating your spouse’s anger, listening to them, and acting before it gets out of control. Sometimes, hosing down the fire with empathy alleviates a lot of painful interactions. If anger gets too fierce, knowing how to set boundaries and how to contain it is imperative.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Express your concerns when your spouse is calm and collected. Addressing issues and discussions about underlying problems may prove ineffective if your spouse isn’t in a state where they can think through calmly.

3. Do Not Tolerate Disrespect

Your partner might be dealing with severe anger issues that may go beyond control. However, if they are constantly abusing you, not prioritizing your opinion, lying to you, ignoring your boundaries, or hurting your feelings on purpose, these are signs of disrespectful behavior.

If this happens, take a stand for yourself. Be honest and open about how their behavior is making you feel disrespected. While discussing, keep an open mind, acknowledge their issues while voicing your concern. This will help them to get a grasp on the problem and the solution, both at once.

4. Apologize If Needed

Man apologizing his angry wife
Image: Shutterstock

If you escalate the conflict, a simple “I am sorry” can resolve your issue. A sincere and heartfelt apology can melt a raging heart in no time. Apologizing is all about acknowledging that you hurt their feelings. It is all about taking responsibility for your actions. This will reduce the tension and help your partner realize their faults too. Even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong, you can seek forgiveness for the unintended outcome of hurting them.

5. Avoid Fighting Over Trivial Issues

Individuals often have different beliefs, opinions, preferences, and expectations. Pick your battles; Fighting over every trivial issue may weaken your relationship. It is wise to adjust and compromise on a few small things. However, it is better to discuss with your partner if the issues are non-negotiable. Do not postpone a discussion citing the matter as “small stuff” as this can lead to bigger issues.

6. Analyze The Issue

Sometimes, you are aware of what is going on with your spouse, and sometimes you aren’t. If it is the latter, understand what is troubling your partner. If it is possible, talk to your partner and allow them to discuss the issue and analyze it. This will help both of you find the root cause and mediate faster for conflict resolution.

7. Do Not Try To Change Your Partner

Let your partner be the person they are. If you try to change them, they may end up losing their identity and feel burdened to live up to your expectations. Instead, create a positive environment. Show them the brighter side and benefits of your relationship.

Remind them why both of you fell for each other. Treat your partner with respect, sweetness, and bring them closer to you. Having a positive influence on your partner will transform the relationship for good.

8. Practice Patience And Compassion

Feel empathetic and compassionate towards your partner. Be patient and understand what they are going through. If you see them getting irritated or angered, wait — do not react. Patience and compassion are the foundations of positive energy, which can help you deal with your angry partner.

9. Reach Out To A Counselor

Couple taking counseling session to deal with anger issues
Image: Shutterstock

If nothing is helping douse the anger issues, reach out to a counselor or a therapist. They can help you understand and assist your partner in dealing with their anger issue. Counseling facilitates healthy communication, helps develop strong relationship skills, and improves family happiness. You can also gain tips to improve your communication skills to solve problems within your relationship.

10. Communicate Constructively

Communication is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship. All relationships have their highs and lows, but healthy and constructive communication can facilitate better conflict resolution and maintain harmony.

Is there a way to predict if your partner has anger issues? Well, you can pick up on a few clearly visible signs, as discussed in the next section.

Signs Your Partner Has Anger Issues

The following signs could hint at aggressive behavior:

  • Reacting strongly to minor frustrations or disagreements, often displaying anger
  • Hitting, slapping, or throwing objects during arguments
  • Using coarse language during disagreements
  • Trying to control you or others through fear, intimidation, or manipulation
  • Having rapid and unpredictable shifts in mood, especially from calm to anger, without any clear reason
  • Holding grudges and being unable to forgive or forget even for minor issues
  • Continuously finding faults, especially during disagreements
  • Using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with their emotions
  • Having a history of legal issues, such as arrests for assault or other violent offenses

A heart-to-heart conversation with your partner will help you understand what they are going through. They will also feel relieved after taking off the burden from their heart. This will douse anger and irritation and help you work as a team to resolve the issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can anger destroy a marriage?

Excess or an inappropriate expression of anger can destroy a marriage. It can hurt the feelings of others, damage self-esteem, and also damage trust and feelings of safety (which is needed for a successful relationship).

Can an angry husband change?

Yes. Human beings are likely to change for the better. However, this depends on the basic nature of your husband. Also, there are some effective ways/strategies to deal with an angry partner. Picking your battles carefully, thinking long-term, understanding the triggers, being assertive, and practicing compassion and patience may help you deal with the situation.

What does the Bible say about dealing with an angry spouse?

“Love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:19).

Key Takeaways

  • Too much stress or unresolved issues can make your spouse develop anger management problems.
  • Understand what triggers your spouse’s anger and set clear boundaries to deal with your angry spouse in a rational manner.
  • Open communication and professional help are key to resolving your spouse’s anger issues in the long run.

Infographic: Signs You Have An Angry Spouse

Sometimes, love can blind you and make you think you need to put up with your partner’s issues. Having an angry partner doesn’t mean you have to call it quits. However, you do not have to continue to bear your partner’s aggression, especially if it is turning violent and they refuse to mend their ways. But how can you know for sure that your partner has anger issues and that you are not overthinking? Being watchful of certain signs can help. Take a look at the infographic below for more information.

signs you have an angry spouse (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

It is crucial to understand that there might be a reason your spouse is agitated. However, they should not let their anger affect the relationship. And things will only worsen if you lose your cool, too. The best way to deal with an angry spouse is to be empathetic and supportive. Give them some space to calm down. If their anger is getting increasingly difficult to manage, it is necessary to seek clinical therapy. However, if they refuse to cooperate with you, it is better to walk away from the exhausting marriage.

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Michele Waldron

Michele WaldronPsy.D, LADC-I, CSCT

Dr. Waldron is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified couples counselor, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and sex therapist. with 16 years of experience. She received her Psy.D from Antioch University, New England.

Read full bio of Michele Waldron