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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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When my husband and I got into disagreements/ arguments, he shouted at me with rage in fro

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When my husband and I got into disagreements/ arguments, he shouted at me with rage in front of our infant son. It had happened three times over the past six months since our son was born. It is very disturbing to me and especialy worrysome for the development of an infant child. After each time, I asked him not to do it anymore but he repeated twice so far. After the third time (the most recent incident), I asked him again to stop and explained this is disturbing. So far we have been not talking to each other much to avoid conflicts,but I don't think this is a long term strategy. I feel that he may do it again next time if the argument happens again, because I am not sure if he realizes how serious this is.

Is my husband's action considered domestic violence? If so, is 3 times the limit that any person should establish for this kind of matter? What actions should I take to make him be aware that I will not tolerate this further?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your husband has issues with his anger. If this is a relatively new behavior, it could be caused by a recent change, possibly your child's birth or other stressors like work changes.

Rage indicates an inability to cope with feeling of anger. The person feel they have no means to cope so they lash out in extreme anger. If not controlled, it can lead to violence. This is the part that is concerning. Although rage can be considered verbally abusive (based on your feeling that you are being hurt as well as your child), it can also lead to physical abuse. Let your husband know that his rages are upsetting you and your son.


Tell your husband that he needs to address this issue right away. If he refuses to get help, then see a counselor yourself to decide what to do about your marriage. And if the rages continue, consider separating until he can get them under control. It is not ideal, but your safety as well as your son's is a priority.

Your son can also be affected by what his father is doing. Extreme anger and rage is expressed through loud yelling, which can trigger a startle response in children. It can increase their adrenaline which is responsible for the flight or fight response in life threatening situations. If your son is exposed to the yelling enough times, he can be affected.

To help deal with this situation, ask your husband to see his doctor. You want to be sure there is no physical cause for your husband's rages. Then if he is medically cleared, ask him to see a counselor. He needs to get his anger under control. His doctor can refer him to a counselor.

Here are some other resources to help:

I hope this has helped you,

If you're satisfied with my response, please rate me highly. If you're not yet satisfied, please reply to me. Thanks!


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Kate,

Thank you for your reply. Should I just keep this between me and him, for the moment? I thought about letting his family know and hoping they will be able to help him as well. Do you think this is a good idea? Thanks again. Erica

Hi Erica,

It is probably a good idea to keep this between you both for the moment. You want to be able to see if he is willing to work it out. Telling others might make him feel shame, which could make the rage worse. But if at anytime you feel you and/or your son is in danger, by all means call for help not only from the police, but from family, even if you have to tell them what is going on.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Katie,

I still haven't told him yet. I was waiting for a time when we both calm down. Should I tell him that I have been seeking advices from therapist? Don't know if he will respond poorly to the fact that I told others (even though he doesn't know you) about this incident. Thanks.

You may want to save telling him that until you both have had time to discuss this through. Telling him that you have been talking to a therapist may set him off. People with anger issues usually do not like to hear that they are being ganged up on, which is how many people with anger issues see that type of thing. Wait until you both talk it through and you find some solutions before you bring it up.