All couples argue. It would be unhealthy not to. If a couple agrees on every little thing in their lives, then one of them is definitely lying to the other (and the rest of the world). But there’s a big difference between arguing and getting irrationally angry with the other person. I’m fully aware of this, so I had to ask myself, Why does my husband get angry over small things?
Sometimes, the smallest of things would set my husband off on a rampage. He’d get so angry, he’d start yelling. I’m talking red-in-the-face, almost cartoonish level of anger.
I knew right away that him getting angry was a bad sign, but I had no idea what was causing it. To answer the question of why does my husband get angry over small things, I had to do some research.
Why Does My Husband Get Angry Over Small Things (And What to Do About It)?
Although I have endless patience, I have no time for unnecessary negativity. When I started noticing changes in my husband’s behavior, I immediately got to work to see if I could figure out what the problem was. I’ve found that there are a whole plethora of reasons my husband might be driven toward anger, and very few of them had anything to do with me.
1. He’s Angry at Himself
If you’re dealing with a similar problem, and are baffled by your husband’s reaction to the smallest things you do, then you should know that his anger might be completely unrelated to you.
Naturally, we all get angry from time to time, but if our triggers are small, inconsequential things, then we have a much bigger problem on our hands.
The issue your husband probably has is that he’s angry with himself and doesn’t know how to direct or deal with those emotions, so he lashes out. And since you’re the person who’s closest to him and who spends the most time with him, you end up being the target of his anger.
2. He’s Fundamentally Unhappy or Unsatisfied
When it comes to why your husband is angry with himself, the answer can be any number of things. However, he’s probably unsatisfied with his life.
Perhaps he’s unhappy with his job, earnings, friendships or other meaningful relationships, etc. Whatever it is, it’s a problem he doesn’t know how to deal with. So, he gets angry. Of course, that is a very immature response to a problem, and definitely something he should work on.
3. He Lost His Sense of Male Identity
Again, I can’t stress enough how immature it is that your husband lashes out at you just because something else is causing him emotional distress. But, we all have our flaws. Perhaps you have similar patterns that are causing him distress.
Still, that’s not the point. One of the causes of your husband’s anger can be that he lost his sense of male identity.
Men are under a lot of pressure to be a picture-perfect version of masculinity. They should bring home the bacon, be attentive husbands, perfect dads, and generally keep it together at all times. That’s not really that easy.
Therefore, if he’s failing (in his own eyes) in any of these fields, he might feel like he isn’t “man enough.” That, in turn, might be the answer to the question Why does my husband get angry over small things.
4. There’s an Underlying Problem He Isn’t Addressing
Sometimes the smallest things can trigger our anger. For example, you might get angry because your husband hasn’t unloaded the dishwasher, even though you told him hundreds of times to do it. But is the dishwasher really the problem there? Or is it the fact that you feel like your husband isn’t paying attention to what you’re saying and is dismissing you?
The example I just gave goes both ways. Perhaps there’s a more significant issue your husband has with you that he simply isn’t addressing. If there’s a big problem in your relationship that you aren’t aware of, and he is, he’s the only one who can handle it. But maybe he’s scared to do it or thinks it’s unresolvable. Thus, he lashes out over small things.
5. There’s an Underlying Emotional Trauma
People learn patterns of behavior from their earliest childhood. Is your husband prone to lashing out in anger? Then there’s a strong possibility he does so only because he’s been taught that that’s the way to react to things.
People who have been raised in abusive (or borderline abusive) households don’t have the emotional maturity to avoid falling back on toxic behavioral patterns. In other words, he simply doesn’t know any better. But that’s not really a valid excuse, as he should learn.
6. He’s Under a Lot of Stress
If your husband has just recently started getting angry at small things, and that isn’t his usual pattern of behavior, then there’s an acute external problem. It’s probably stress.
Perhaps your husband is going through a stressful period at work, for example. Alternatively, maybe his other relationships (with his friends or his parents) are causing him unease. So, he’s misdirecting his anger.
Of course, he might also be unaware of the fact that he’s misdirecting it. That’s also something to keep in mind.
Why Does My Husband Get Angry at Small Things and How Do We Fix It?
It’s completely normal that you’re not OK with your husband lashing out at you. Once you’ve determined the cause of his behavior (or at least a potential cause), try one of these things:
• Talk to him about it — talking should be your go-to solution. If your husband is aware that his behavior is problematic, talking will help you get to the root of the problem. Alternatively, if he’s unaware, you need to bring the issue to his attention. Only then can you try to solve it together. Of course, the actual solving of the problem has to be done by him.
• Walk away — if talking about it isn’t helping, and your husband is still acting irrationally, walk away. Discussing problems in the heat of the moment is never a good idea. Ultimately, it’s what leads to people saying things they don’t mean. So, walk away and try addressing the issue at a better time.
• Control your behavior — the worst thing you could do when your husband gets angry is to also get angry. That won’t solve anything. It doesn’t even make for a good outlet. Two angry people can’t deal with a problem and are ultimately left unsatisfied.
• Express your desire instead — relationship coach and NYT bestselling author, Laura Doyle, recommends turning a complaint into a desire and expressing that instead. She explains that “there is never a positive or polite way to complain about your husband,” which Laura says will lead to unnecessary arguments. “Rather, ask yourself ‘What do I actually want that I don’t have now’ and communicate that to your spouse, instead of being critical or tearing him down,” she states.
Laura even encourages you to pretend he’s not always angry and alternatively treat him with admiration and respect like you did when you were first dating. Maybe this will have a calming effect and help your husband feel seen or at least better understood.
One Final Tip: Seek Counseling
Getting professional help and starting marriage counseling is a great way to figure out what the cause of your husband’s behavior is. It’s also the perfect way to fix whatever is happening (one way or another).
If you don’t know the answer to the question Why does my husband get angry over small things, a therapist will help you navigate potential causes and solutions. What’s more, they might see something you and your husband aren’t able to due to being in the eye of the storm. Either way, therapy is always a good solution.