Everybody experiences feelings of anger, because anger is a normal emotion. The way in which your husband expresses his anger determines whether the emotion impacts the household in a healthy or dysfunctional manner. If he resorts to screaming and cursing, he has likely lost his ability to control his anger and needs help. Especially important, your husband needs to understand how his anger makes you feel and how it affects the dynamic of the household.
Anger is a complex and instinctive fight-or-flight reaction to stress. Heart rate increases, hormones flood the body and the face becomes flush. Stressors are either readily apparent or more imbedded in your husband's psyche. Venting anger is healthy as long as it does not hurt him or others. Uncontrolled anger can hurt his physical and mental health. Worse, it can destroy both his working and professional relationships and even his marriage.
Anger management is not about avoiding the emotion. Rather, it is about learning to understand what triggers the intensity of the anger and how to express it. The goal of anger management is to help your husband re-route his anger into a more constructive way of asserting himself or learning that some things simply do not warrant an angry response.
How to Help Your Husband Help Himself
It is critical at the outset that your husband knows how you feel about his outbursts and the consequences if he does not work to change them. A wealth of online information is available to help you and him work together to manage his anger. Basic techniques begin with him learning to catch himself before he explodes. Explore together what kinds of things trigger the anger and how to react appropriately to them. The two of you can develop a single code word, something as simple as "stop," to signal an overreaction. He can learn ways to relax himself instantly. One of the simplest is to take slow breaths through the nose and out the mouth. With each breath, he associates a single word connecting him to some pleasant experience -- a place, person or event.
When it is Time to Seek Help
If his efforts are not working, it might be time to seek out an anger-management counselor. Information on how to find one is available online. In many communities, the local United Way maintains a directory of local community services. Many employers offer emergency counseling assistance providing anything from referrals to paying for therapeutic services. If money is an issue, your local community mental-health agency can steer you husband in the right direction. No woman should tolerate abusive behavior. If his anger spills over into emotional and physical threats toward yourself, you should leave. If he takes action on these threats, do not hesitate to call the police. Look for the nearest abused woman services. Such organizations are extremely useful in a number of ways, and many provide emergency shelter among other services.
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