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Anger Management Message Board

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Anger/Being Ignored
Jan 11, 2007
I've been with my boyfriend for a little over 2 1/2 yrs. He is a very sweet, loving affectionate guy....but he has anger issues and his way of dealing with it is to ignore people. When he's upset over something he completely shuts down. When he's upset at me he won't talk to me unless I start talking and he will just reply yes or no. He ignores me and he will ignore me for days if he has to. If I do communicate with him he gives me attitude and yells at me. The things that piss him off are the smallest things... There are a lot of family members and friends who recognize he has this problem and he has lost alot of relationships with friends and family members because of something little they did that made him feel like if he has to ignore them forever...

For as long as I remember my biggest issue with my family and friends growing up is feeling like I'm being IGNORED. This is why I feel like I can't really deal with him ignoring me. He ignores my phone calls, ignores me in person, and my emails and everything you can possibly think of. It drives me crazy and it makes me really sad and depressed to think that the only way he can "resolve" any problem he has with me is by ignoring me. It's so weird to see how much he changes when he's angry, it's like a completely diff. person.

To make it worst he already knows that it drives me crazy. The fact that he knows and decides not to do anything about it makes me angry and hold some resentment towards him for it...

When he eventually calms down and is no longer angry you would think that he'd be able to communicate with me about it but as soon as the subject comes up he gets mad all over again. He continues his daily routine as if nothing ever happened. I feel like if he tries to solve the issue by ignoring it but in the end all he's doing is keeping it to himself and holding alot of little grudges. I don't understand why he'd rather ignore people rather than talk about things....he knows that I'm willing to talk to him but still chooses to ignore me. Can someone please explain this to me? I love him alot and he really is a great guy and I would love to marry him someday, but I can't imagine marrying him and having to deal with this for the rest of my life. I don't want my kids to think that this is a way of solving a problem and I don't want my kids to be ignored.

What can I do to stop him from continuing this ongoing cycle? What can I do to stop feeling mad/sad when he ignores me?
Blanca, firenice has a good idea about communicating how you are feeling instead of saying anything about his behavior. This is excellent communication and when you do this it helps to keep the other person from getting defensive.

You asked why your bf does this. I'll bet he was taught this maladaptive way of handling anger in his family. Maybe he wasn't allowed to express his anger in his family or this was how a parent dealt with anger. You are right, it is not healthy and keeping unresolved anger inside is especially unhealthy. You are smart in not wanting to take this problem into a marriage and then model it for your children. Maybe you can ask him if he was taught in his family that he cannot express anger?

As for you feeling ignored it might help if you can understand that this has no relationship to your self worth. In your family, when you were being ignored it had to do with that person's own issues. It wasn't a reflection of your self worth. Today when this happens with your bf remember it isn't a reflection of your self worth it is just how your bf copes with his anger.
good morning------just my opinion as my husband and I have just conquered this. and I say the two of us because we had different styles of communication that didn't work for years. If I was upset and he asked what was wrong as long as it didn't have anything to do with him we were OK. If it did he was on the defensive in a split second. Irritated, yelling, Oh if i could tell you how many times he wanted a divorce over something that upset me that he said/did but was not a mountain. I on the other hand acquired a habit of being silent since to me there was no point in talking to him about anything HE ever did to upset me. hence the total lack ofcommunication. Recently he was very late getting home and going through a bad time myself and him knowing this I felt he should have called. Since he is really good at calling I felt the absence of a call caused me to worry myslef sick as to whether or not he was alright. I have to also add he was going through withdrawal from Fentynal patches at the time so my fear was something happened. I held it in for a week until he was feeling better and then sat down and told him something was bothering me and I needed to talk to him. immediately he was on the defensive and I let him get it out the whole time being quiet. when he was done i told him I still needed to talk to him and since I felt we had a good marriage and relationship that we both had to except when we hurt the other and talk it out and not run from it. we did, he understood and our relationship is even better now. Just an idea it worked for me. He had his reasons for being on the defensive and I had my reasons for going silent. As sannah said alot of it is what you are taught and how you are taught or not taught at all to deal with your feelings. Each of us had our own way of communicating that came from our own issues but it had to be corrected for us to live happily together. most of the time it takes 2, not always. depending on the circumstances.


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