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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My husband has always suffered from severe anger issues.

Customer Question

My husband has always suffered from severe anger issues. He's been through a myriad of drugs and counseling to control it throughout his life. I'm well aware of the issue, being a third year psychology student. We have exhausted all revenues save for family counseling, which we can't afford.
After 9 years of marriage with 5 kids, he has reached his lowest point. He feels his anger as a constant whirlwind battering at his self-control every second of every day. Mind you, he's not abusive in any way, but he no longer has the drive to sustain an emotional or physical relationship with me or the kids. It feels like his displays of affection are rote and he clings to us as his lifeline for meaning in his life.
I'm not looking for methods to help him as we've already searched every avenue for him.
My problem is... his current idea of showing love to his family is by buying us things and suppressing his urges to lash out in anger. How can I convince him that we need him to express love through emotions and quality time? At this point, he can't even remember when he used to do that and that was the reason I fell in love with him...why the kids still love him.
I've tried speaking calmly, lovingly, rationally, threatening to leave, promising never to name it. I am at a loss as to how to break through his anger and make him see that his family needs his support.
Please help!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for your question. I understand that you want to help your husband see that there is a better way to connect with you and his family and to help him better control his anger issues, but you also have to remember that this is not something you can fix or help him with as he has to help himself. You stated that he has tried multiple therapeutic avenues to address this and it does not seem like they have worked for him unfortunately, so that means he has to consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist about alternative treatment for resistant cases of anger such as the use of an atypical antipsychotic like Risperdal, maybe a mood stabilizer, EMDR or DBT therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), etc...It is not about convincing him how to express love through emotions as he does not need convincing; he wants to overcome this anger and wants to connect with you but is unable to like there is a mental block preventing him from doing so. This is why different treatments must be considered to help as the first line treatment appeared to have failed, so alternative and second line treatments need to be considered.