My husband is intelligent, funny and friendly. He is generally a really sweet guy, but he has a temper.

Before we got married, he was very patient and tolerant. He never got angry, even when I said things that were rather provoking.

We are now married for five years. At first the outbursts were mild and far apart. Even now there are stretches where we get along quite well, until something provokes him and he explodes. Afterwards he feels guilty and tries to make it up, is extra gentle and kind, and keeps trying different things so he won't get angry again.

He has been to a psychologist, who basically said there is nothing he can really do to help. His only advice was to keep a daily log of every and any incident of anger. My husband started a log, but after a long calm stretch where everything was under control, he started believing that he conquered his problem, and he stopped writing.

I don't want to leave him, but I can't live with his angry outbursts.


What you describe can be quite distressing, but it is most certainly something that can be helped. Most important is that your husband recognizes that his outbursts cause pain, and that he wants to be in control of it.

"Who is strong?" the Mishna asks. And it answers, "He who conquers his passions, as it is written, 'He who is slow to anger is better than a strong man, and he who conquers his passions better than one who conquers a city.'"

Discuss this with your husband; let him know you see his reservoirs of strength.

I'd strongly urge you to find someone who is expertly trained in teaching men anger management. It's not a one-time event. It is a process . . . and it is a successful process. It is something that's learned. Like any other skill, it takes time and exercise. Speak to anyone who's gone from being a couch potato to a marathon runner.

Encourage him. Tell him you're with him all the way. Let him know how much you respect his efforts, and how admirable it is when a man is strong enough to control his own impulses.

I've no doubt that he will be able to accomplish what he sets out to do. Be there for him during this time.

In addition to his learning how to control his outbursts, the two of you need to speak to someone about how you can be in control of your own reactions. His remorse means he's not out to hurt you. It's not about you. It is about his own control issues. But, nonetheless, you suffer the fallout. Talk about this. Learn what you need to do to protect yourself, and him, from these incidents. Speak about how you can preserve your own feelings of respect and love when he loses control.