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Anger Management Message Board

Anger Management Board Index

I've been dating my BF for about 6 months. We're both middle-aged. He is very intelligent, responsible, ethical, family-oriented, loves and cares about me, is generous and treats me well. He's a very reasonable person, someone with whom i feel i can talk to, but i don't know how to deal with his anger issues.

Every once in a while, something will happen to make him lose his patience and he is suddenly VERY angry, yelling loudly, swearing and using foul language, sometimes banging doors. This has never been directed at me, but I just don't know how to cope with it and i'm afraid of what would happen if it were directed at me. I've tried getting angry back at him, telling him to calm down, etc., I've tried being loving and gentle, I've tried just leaving the premises cus i don't like being around him when he gets this way. It scares me.

I've talked to him about it a few times, asking what i should do that would help him calm down, and he really didn't have an answer for me. He said it was more "show" than anything else, that he wasn't really that angry, but it sure looks like it to me.

Although he appears very calm/mellow on the surface, I think he is actually a closet Type A person, someone who gets uptight/stressed about work and things like that fairly easily. He seems to keep his emotions to himself until he explodes.

The kinds of things that set him off are bad drivers, like someone who cuts him off on the road, or not understanding directions when trying to put something together and getting exasperated, or getting a work-related call on the weekend unnecessarily.

Here are my specific questions:
1. What's the best way for me to react to settle him down when this happens?
2. Where is the anger coming from? Is it something he grew up doing? Something unresolved from childhood, previous relationships?
3. Does anyone know how anger management therapy works, and what kinds of techniques are used? Any meds that work?

Really appreciate your insight. I love this man very much. He is not an abuser or a loser. He has a lot to offer and i would like to spend my life with him but this is an area that needs some work.
[COLOR=Green][I]i have a tendency to let things slide, basically, i guess, because i love him. [/I] [/COLOR]

It's not uncommon to excuse or overlook behavior because we love them. Women especially have been doing that for eons.

[I]I'm just beginning to see his behavior as a pattern that has repeated itself maybe 3 or 4 times since i've known him.[/I][/COLOR]

3 or 4 times in 6 months is not horrendous, but not good either.

[COLOR=Green][I]However, I'm sure he knows he has a problem, has had it before in previous relationships, .....[/I][/COLOR]

[COLOR=Red]BIG CLUE!!!.....[/COLOR]BTW, how do you know he's had this problem in other relationships? Do you know any of his ex girlfriends? Or has he told you? If he told you, there 'may' be more to the story.

[COLOR=Green][I]I believe he is successful in controlling his temper in front of family and friends, so if can maintain self-control with them, he should be able to do so with me.[/I][/COLOR]

Not necessarily true. Often, people who have anger issues are very particular with those they demonstrate it to. He doesn't show it to his family or friends, but shows it in the company of you and ex-girlfriends? Hmmm...

These are all things for you to think about.

For now, I'm going to let this go as I don't want to influence you more than I may have already. You need to make your own decisions and determine if there is more going on to the situation or not. No one can tell you what is comfortable to you or not. Only you can decide that. I just wanted to point out some clues to you. They may add up to something more, they might not.

You are already on the ball by questioning his behavior and admitting that you are not comfortable about it. Keep your eyes and ears open, and always pay attention to how 'you' are feeling.

I truly hope that your situation is only a minor, but treatable one! :)


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