Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Constant fights
Thanks in advance for answering my question. My husband and I have been married for a little less than a year. However day long arguments crop up usually every week or every 2 weeks. I live a few minutes away from my parents, in his home with his mother as well. My mother in law is a nice person though a bit conservative and though we had a few initial glitches, we have bonded well and she often speaks to me about her troubles at work, etc. Her own husband lives off of her and hasn't worked in the last 25 yrs. She has raised my husband and taken care of the household single-handedly. My husband and she both have a lot of resentment to his dad as a result and when he is home they fight a lot. He is out (he lives in a vacation home of ours in a different state). He is more like a vegetable, oblivious and uncaring about people though giving special attention to home improvement, cooking and some household chores.
My husband has an almost uncontrollable anger problem. he flares up constantly and being around him is like never knowing when you are going to get it. He often says mean hurtful things, swears and raises his hand as well though besides bending my fingers a bit he hasn't struck me- yet. He finds any little thing to get angry about and it's usually something small. Although I listen to him and support him (He's had a rocky career) he finds something small to fight about, often to my frustration. I overlook his larger mistakes but he blames me for things, especially those out of my control. I am not great at domestic tasks but I try and do whatever he says to avoid blame and aftermath. I know he acts a lot like his own Dad, and he has a lot of issues because of his background and the shame associated with it (my MIL never divorced his Dad because we are catholic). I do retaliate when he hits out specially to make sure he doesnt feel at ease when putting me down so its hard for him to continue. I am not amazing at asserting myself, but I do it only for him to back down. He apologises after these fights but they seem hollow as he often raises the same issues again later, sometimes minutes later- I know these are not major issues (e.g. "you overfilled the drawer, its jammed now, I cant get scotchtape and you always do this") and since they arent I'm wondering what his problem is. I have encouraged him to go for counseling to resolve his anger towards his father for being so uncaring towards him- but he's being stubborn. Prior to our marriage I mostly experienced my husband to be sweet, sympathetic and understanding and very caring. I have no idea what has changed. Except for doing some things the way I want -he interferes a lot in my work, and I work from home...I can't see a good reason for him to keep blowing up. As a result I am feeling distant from him and now also have started to resent him. Please help.
Anger is a difficult one to deal with, but it's more of a problem if he refuses to do anything about it. If he is continually volatile in his moods it could point to a tendency towards a personality disorder. In any event, before the situation becomes truly intolerable for you, you need to force some action on his part. He won't change or do anything about it until he realises he has to.
Some would say it's not a good idea to provide an ultimatum to him, but if he doesn't see that he has something to lose he will stay the same. I would tell him very clearly how you feel about the situation, that it needs to change and the way to do that is for him to acknowledge your feelings, take responsibility for his behaviour, and seek professional help to deal with it. If he fails to respond as you would like, I would point out to him that you are unwilling to continue with the situation and that if he doesn't change then you will have no option but to seek happiness elsewhere.
You will need to be strong to do this as you will probably get a backlash. However, remember it is YOUR happiness that is the most important thing. That is not you being selfish, it is you demanding your right to be loved and respected.
As I said you will need to be strong but I believe it is the right path to take.
All the best to you and I hope this helps.