Helping my boyfriend's Anger

Postby MaggieMags » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:47 pm

Hi all,

So Today was one of those days that he snaps and don't know what he is doing. I really want to calm him down and he looks really scary punching walls and sometimes hitting the gas high when we are in the car. So far it has not exceeded from those actions but I am really terrified when he talks about making the day his last day. I really want to help and I don't know how. I have tried everything I can to talk him out of his anger but every time I say something it's like I am giving him a reason to be defensive and even angrier. I am getting really scared through time and all I do is freeze at some corner when he punches the walls and screams. Can this be some phase he is going through or is it a serious issue? I really need help on this. I am not sure on how much his parents know this issue but I feel like I am the only one who is observing this and I am worried. Advice me on this and I can clarify if there is any question you might have.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:57 am

MaggieMags wrote: Can this be some phase he is going through or is it a serious issue? I really need help on this. I am not sure on how much his parents know this issue but I feel like I am the only one who is observing this and I am worried.

No, it is not a phase and his parents are aware. If he is comfortable with this type of behavior in front of you, he has demonstrated this behavior when younger in front of parents, etc.

You help him, by helping yourself. This means not enabling his behavior by sticking around. Punching walls, leave. Accelerating the car to unsafe speeds, leave. Don’t enable and reinforce to him that you will accept or tolerate such behavior by sticking around. That is how you help him.

Talking to him is not a solution. People that talk, that is not an incentive for him to alter his behavior.
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Postby Leo Volont » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:14 am

Dear Maggie,

Yes, you are in a bad situation. I used to be Angry myself and I had been in relationships where I must have appeared threatening and dangerous, though your boyfriend’s level of rage seems to exceed the levels of anger I had reached. But my experience does give me some insight into your problem.

Firstly, your boyfriend’s rage may in large part depend upon you being on the scene. Yes, you wondered whether anybody else knows that he gets this angry, well, perhaps not. You see, your boyfriend may in a certain sense be ‘performing’ for you, that he feels inwardly compelled to ‘dramatize’ his feelings. For instance, back when I was still in my ‘pre-help’ angry days, and there was any kind of an audience, and if anything bad or negative occurred, I would somehow feel obliged to ‘show’ everybody how I felt about it. So I would ‘act’ mad. If I had been alone with nobody to show off for, I would be more likely to keep my peace, although the habit of Negative Thinking does require its own kind of practice and I would go through in my mind how I would ‘act mad’ if there had been an audience. So for this type of Angry Person, the so called ‘Drama Queen’, the outburst of Rage is a kind of communication which says “Something I don’t like happened and I want everybody to know that I don’t like it”. Of course, this is rather infantile behavior, or at least childish. You see, everybody KNOWS when something bad has happened, or when some disappointing event has occurred. No one has to say anything. No one has to ACT mad about it. Often the only thing anyone really has to do to convey to the whole group their emotional reaction is to cast down their eyes and heave a deep breath (you see, I still know how to do ‘drama’, only it is not angry drama anymore).

And yes, I understand the problem you have talking to your boyfriend about his problem. You see, if you talk about it, then that is confronting him with a critique of his shameful behavior which must be deeply embarrassing for him, for most angry people know deep down that their behavior is unseemly and undignified and not the kind of behavior they would expect from the kind of people whom they would respect (but there is an intransigent minority of angry people who self-justify their anger and maintain that it is a ‘good’ thing, and they have the Assertiveness Training books to prove it). So, anyway, whenever you say anything that makes your boyfriend uncomfortable, well, this unpleasant realization also has to be ‘acted’ upon, and requires its own dramatic scene, which would be very uncomfortable for you.

Oh, I never thought of this before, and I have often written regarding the angry behaviors of ‘drama queens’, mostly men, which is ironic, but it just occurred to me that an appropriate response would be to applaud and call out ‘Bravo’, and then to perhaps ask them if they can do a scene from “Hamlet” or “the Waterfront”. But that would seem dismissive, wouldn’t it? But that would not be as bad as offering them a pacifier or a babies’ bottle with a nipple on it (squirt a little on your wrist to make sure the formula is not too hot for baby). He might think that insulting instead of just being good naturedly sarcastic (though it is often argued that sarcasm, just in its nature, can never be good natured).

So your options are very limited, which you appear to already know. You would want your boyfriend to get help with his Anger Issues (actually Rage issues), but it is almost dangerous to talk to him about it. You know, I myself only began to put a lot of focused and consistent work on my anger problem after I realized that my life had been made unbearably dysfunctional and that I did not any longer want to live the life I had been making for myself, but that I could change that if I really applied myself. Of course, I had always been well read and I realized that there was such a thing as Anger Management and saw a few things on TV about it. So in my mind I did see that there was a possible Way Out of the life I had made for myself, besides suicide. I don’t know whether your boyfriend is equally aware of ‘all’ the possibilities and choices that lay before him. He may think that he is just naturally angry and that he can do nothing to change that. That would give him an unnecessarily hopeless and dejected attitude.

Anyway, but you can’t just go on with the status quo. This is not just a phase your boyfriend is going through (or perhaps it is, but Testosterone Driven Anger does not begin to abate significantly until men are in their mid-thirties, and even past that stage the men are still mostly horrible to live with because the behavior had become habitual). So you must do something. You need to risk some kind of proactive course of action, not just for the good of your boyfriend, but of course for yourself as well. But you should plan carefully for what you want to do. Set everything up and prepare for as many foreseeable consequences as you can. Now, this is just a suggestion of one possible way to go with this, but perhaps you should find a Psychologist (NOT a psychiatrist because they don’t do therapy… they are just pill pushers nowadays, which would be okay, only the pills don’t work and have hideous side effects while being outrageously expensive, but the psychiatrists make tons of money from the kickbacks they get from the pharmaceutical companies they whore for. As far as I’m concerned I think that every psychiatrist should be arrested and imprisoned for racketeering) … so find a ‘psychologist’ who specializes in Anger Management, which is easy to find because Anger Management is one of the big Bread and Butter Therapies within the Psychology Community. Or if you and your boyfriend don’t have good Health Insurance, or you don’t have that kind of money, then shop around for some Social Worker or Clergy Member who does Anger Management Work. Don’t be afraid to ‘shop outside your faith’. For instance, the Catholics often have good counselors, when you can find them. The Jewish Community Centers are also a resource, even if you are not Jewish, as many Jewish Community Centers believe strongly in Community Outreach and find it desirable to be perceived as being a positive influence for the entire local society. But set up a possible appointment with Somebody, and this is why…

…You have to leave your boyfriend, at least temporarily. This will also be tough. First, you have to find a place to go. You have to arrange it all in secret. Either you go back home with Mom and Dad or find a roommate thing with an old girlfriend, or a new girlfriend. And you have to consolidate all the stuff you want to take with you so you can leave in a hurry. Oh, and this is important, you can’t just walk out impulsively, which could possibly be VERY dangerous for you. You see, it often happens that men who have been consistently non-violent (only hitting the walls and breaking dishes) resort to Physical Violence in two situations: 1) their girlfriend pulls out a cell phone to call the police, and or, 2) the girl friend tries to walk out the door. So keep your cool while he is angry and don’t do anything to provoke an escalation into physical violence. If you finally hit that ‘Last Straw’ moment where you know you can’t take it anymore, well, you have to cover it up and pretend to forgive him and that it’s all okay – try to give him a big cheery smile. You can’t let him suspect what is really on your mind.

You need to wait until your boyfriend leaves and you can expect him to remain gone long enough for you to grab your stuff (pre-pack as much as possible, without tipping off your boyfriend) and split. You may need money, so if there is anything valuable and you can find the sales receipts for it, take all that stuff to so you can take it to a pawn shop somewhere and hock it all. Yes, even if it belongs to your boyfriend… well, technically, if you are the one with the store receipts then YOU are the owner, aren’t you?... at least in so far as you can prove to the Cops that it is yours and he can’t prove that it isn’t… and in any case you can always claim that the stuff was ‘gifted’ to you, and I am not certain what the Law is on the issue, but when two people are co-habiting, then property is seen as ‘common’ and individual ownership ceases to exist, except for the car if only his name is on the Title and Registration. But, yes, even take the car if your name is also on the title. If you have a joint credit card, then drain that money into a bank transfer into your own private account. Break the Piggy Bank and take all the money stuffed in the mattress. If you plan ahead long enough you can tell your boyfriend that you will take care of paying the bills and the rent, and so for a few months you can hoard that money up while checking the mailbox for the inevitable pink slips so your boyfriend is not tipped off. But sometimes the Utilities or the Landlord or the Bank will call the boyfriend if his name is on the accounts, and if they do and your boyfriend mentions it, play dumb and tell him you’ll take care of tomorrow, but then that will sort of trigger your immanent departure because your boyfriend doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out what’s going on, but most men are really stupid and it will take him a day or two to add up two and two.

The only think you should leave behind is an Ultimatum (leave it in a nice white envelope on the kitchen table… NOT on the bed unless you really mean to hurt him). DON’T give your boyfriend any clue as where you go or any way he can contact you or track you down. Don’t answer his calls. Boyfriends are born with a natural instinct for knowing how to lie, beg, grovel and say “I’ll never do it again and I’ll get help”, which only lasts as long as it takes to get you back where they want you, and then you’ll be SO sorry (oh, the 3rd most common reason for Violent Abuse from boyfriends is ‘revenge beatings’. They may beg for you to come back, but when you do, they beat you for having left them. They don’t plan it. It just happens that way). So don’t take his calls (your resolve may weaken and you may be tempted beyond your power to resist). In your Ultimatum tell him the only way he can contact you is by seeking Therapy or Counselling from the person who you set up for it. This therapist can give you good advice on how you should proceed, but I am guessing that He or She would want to establish that your boyfriend is taking serious and committed steps in dealing with his anger. DON’T agree to any communication with your Boyfriend unless this Therapist is willing to vouch for your boyfriend.

There is the possibility that all this could end in a break up with your boyfriend. This would certainly be sad, and isn’t the result you would hope for, but you do realize that things cannot continue as they are going now. This relationship, as it stands, is making your life miserable. So you have to do Something. If you do lose your boyfriend, well, it does ‘clear the decks’ for other possibilities. You could take a year or two to get your life together – start work on an Advanced Degree which would open up broader career possibilities for you, or at least focus more on the job you already have. Be in no hurry for another boyfriend. Any relationship within one year of a major breakup would be a ‘rebound’ relationship and most rebound affairs are doomed from the start. You would be carrying too much ‘baggage’ and end up acting like some ‘crazy chick’ and you wouldn’t want that. You would need to take long enough until you actually sort of feel like a New You, where you can look back on your old relationship with your boyfriend as though it was kind of a dream where you can’t really relate anymore to what you thought and felt at the time, and that it no longer ‘pulls your strings or pushes your buttons’. It may even take longer than a year or two. But you don’t have to be in any hurry. I’m an old man and so I know for certain that years go by… heck, even decades go by. Time moves inexorably forward, and if you just worry about yourself and stay social and meet new people as they come along, then new friends and relationships will happen in their own time and in their own way.

Oh, perhaps in your Ultimatum you could have your boyfriend write into this forum. If he mentions your name, MaggieMags, I’ll pick up on it. I could give him some splendid advice. Oh, and while I am on Your Side now, I can become very empathetic regarding any new Member I am trying to help and so don’t worry that I could be off putting with your boyfriend. He’s a guy and I’m a guy, we’ll get along fine. Also, go through some of the posts here on the forum and see what kind of advice I give. It is at least as good as what you would find in all but the best Anger Management Books. There are worse places where your boyfriend could go to in order to get help.

Anyway, let me know what you think about all of this. I look forward to hearing from you back.
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Postby laureat » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:00 am

Some questions you should ask:

1 Why did he do What he did?

if he has something to say about it you want to know

2. ask him if he is happy with the relationship?

if not a brakeup may do good for both: a proposition

3. Tell him that you are scared when he do that: and if he can find other ways to speak his mind otherwise uou may give up on him : ultimatum

such behaviors are unacceptable

a good technichue may be leaving when he gets scary, or even reminding him you may call the police because your scared

These are no moments or cuddling: when someone terrify you so bad you should take it serious :

Improve or brakeup
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Postby Leo Volont » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:13 am

Oh no! MaggieMags didn't get back with us.

That happens a lot. A new Member writes in and puts us to work. Its not like we can totally compartmentalize. Their troubles become our troubles, at least for a while.

I wonder if it is always about the Same Thing that keeps them from writing back, and if so, I would wonder what that One Thing is.
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