Dealing with angry husbands is an issue not many people like to talk about. Having an angry spouse can make life difficult and can damage the family system. But there is hope! Being aware of what is causing the anger, having some patience, and doing some hard work, can help your family overcome the anger that has seeped into it.
Dealing With Angry Husbands
One of my popular talks at conferences is Winning the Heart of Your Child. One of the things I mention and talk about is the problem of parental anger. I discuss the fact that when a parent has an angry spirit toward the child, and doesn’t make it right, it usually causes the child to close their heart to that parent, and often nudges them towards a path of rebellion.
After my session was over at one conference, a mom came and asked me a question, while 3 or 4 other moms were standing there. She told me that her husband has an anger problem, resulting in harshness towards the kids, and she wanted to know what she could or should do about it.
The other moms standing near commented that they had the same situation, and weren’t sure how to handle it. I don’t claim to be a pro about this, but here is what I suggested to these dear ladies.
1. Don’t try to change your husband.
It never works. Pray that God will change you, and that your heart and attitude will be right. Then you can ask God to reveal to your husband how his anger is hurting his relationship with the kids.
How do you love an angry man?
2. Ask God to open the door for you to share your concern with your husband at the right time, and in the right way.
Then he went on to tell me that even though he doesn’t like to hear when he’s messed up with the kids, he has given his wife the freedom to tell him if she notices him being too harsh, or over-reacting. Even the husband will admit he doesn’t like dealing with angry husbands. (Meaning himself!)
That made sense to me. Our husbands want to be good dads and feel bad when they mess up, just like we do as moms. However, if your husband hasn’t given you that invitation to point things out to him, then IF you do, it should be very rare and worded carefully.
How do you respond to an angry husband?
3. When you see your kids are hurt by the angry responses of their dad, talk to them about it.
My husband came from a family of 14 kids, and his dad was an angry, harsh man. He loved the kids. He worked hard to care for them, but affection was never shown. Therefore, my husband has had struggles with an angry spirit, and with showing affection to the kids. He has mentioned to me at times how bad he felt after he had responded or reacted with anger. When he realized he had done it, he would normally go and apologize to them and make things right.
However, there were times when he wasn’t aware or meant to apologize but hadn’t yet. I would then make a point of talking to my kids about the situation. I never said anything negative about him but reminded them how much their dad loved them. And I also mentioned how he works very hard every day to provide for them.
I encouraged them to remember he loved them, and then suggested they should go to him and let him know how his words or outburst had hurt them. I wanted them to learn how to go to a person who has offended them, and I also knew he would apologize and make things right when they expressed their hurt.
By the way, it’s important that we stand together as a team, and don’t criticize our husbands to our kids. (or anyone!) Undermining your husband will in turn undermine your own authority, and if you disrespect him to the kids, they will do the same.
4. Have them write him a little note expressing their love for him, and their appreciation for his hard work to provide for them.
This helps take their focus off the hurt, and on to encouraging and showing love to him. Dealing with angry husbands means you have to point out the issue, but also emphasize their good character traits. Acknowledge how your kids are hurt by the anger, but help them learn how to deal with it in the right way — go to their Dad about it. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones so they don’t become bitter and focus on the negative only.
How do I deal with a short tempered husband?
5. If your husband is one of those men that is aware of his anger issue, and how it is hurting the relationships in the family, ask him if he’d be willing to read a book, watch a video or listen to a podcast about anger.
Again, be very careful how you word it. In fact, you could even mention how you need it as well. Usually when the husband is angry, it kind of rubs off a little on the wife, and she picks up that angry spirit to a lesser degree. Admitting your need for help in this area might open him up to working together on it.
Click HERE to read a previous post on angry parents.
I hope these thoughts will be a help for you if you are dealing with an angry husband and looking for answers. If you have ideas to share, please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!