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Why Am I So Angry With My Husband?

Why the Romance Turned to Resentment and How to Fall in Love Again

I have a nasty confession.

I verbally abused my husband.

There, I said it. I used to get so angry that I just could not control my temper with him.

I know that this doesn’t get talked about much. If your husband is annoying, it’s way easier to focus on his faults than to admit you’re a rageaholic like I was.

Not only was it painful and scary and out of control, something important was lost: my dignity.

Even once I decided to change my fiery ways, however, all I could find was conventional wisdom like “Don’t let your anger build up” or “Become aware of your anger and stop it” or even “Teach him what to do.”

Trust me, I tried that, and it only led to more spectacular fights. And if it were that easy to just stop it, I would have done it already.

Fortunately, there are practical tools that actually work, a set of skills that allows you to become your best self and makes your man easy to get along with too!

So if your spouse is annoying or angering, here are five ways you can trade in the resentment for romance.

1. Give Your Feelings Their Day in the Sun

Bottling your anger is like sticking a cork in a volcano. It’s going to come out one way or the other. When it comes out sideways and your frustration gets directed at, say, his dirty laundry placement, that can ultimately damage the intimacy just as much as a shouting match.

So what are you supposed to do if you want to stop lashing out but know it’s not healthy to stuff your feelings either?

If you want to increase the connection with your man, why not call a supportive girlfriend to vent instead?

When Sophia’s husband said his midlife crisis, which had put her through hell last year, must be an annual event and he couldn’t be bothered with anything again, she didn’t say a word. Instead, she called her sister and let all her bad words come out there.

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She was so glad she hadn’t sacrificed the intimacy because later that day her husband spontaneously joined her for a bike ride. He ran around the whole block in flip flops teaching their son to ride a bike. The endorphins kept flowing as he danced salsa with her in the living room that night–after cooking for her and doing all the dishes, not with grumbling but with joy. True story.

It’s crucial to give your feelings their day in the sun. Maybe journaling lets it out for you, maybe a big ugly cry, maybe thrash metal.

As you get in touch with those feelings, you may notice that beneath the anger there’s always hurt. The latter can be scary to access, much more vulnerable than the power trip of fury.

But uncovering such vulnerability gives you the power to respond instead of react.

Next time that hurt (or anger) comes up with your husband, try simply saying “Ouch!” and leaving the conversation.

When Lily’s husband shook out a sandy blanket in the living room after she’d been cleaning, she saw red at his thoughtlessness. But, knowing there was hurt beneath her anger, she expressed that feeling by saying “ouch”–nothing more–and leaving the room.

As usual (now that she had the Six Intimacy Skills™), her husband came to find her minutes later and said, “I’m sorry for giving you an ouchie. I don’t want to hurt you.”

No cold war. No nursing a grudge for days. The resentment dissipated, just like that. Intimacy was restored effortlessly.

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2. Rewind the Tape 

Every outburst has a trigger. Beyond what he did, which you can’t control anyway, what was your part in it? Maybe it’s as simple as you just needed a nap. It’s hard to be your best self when you’re exhausted or overwhelmed. Maybe you get irritable if you miss the Zumba class that fills you with joy every time.

Once you know what makes you susceptible to reacting, you get to take care of yourself so that you are the one in power, not your emotions. Being able to anticipate anger before it even arises gives you the choice of how to respond, a choice I didn’t have in the bad old days.

Speaking of healthy choices, did you know that you can actually schedule empowerment?

Yup, and you can increase your magnetism in my Self-Care Challenge: First, list twenty self-care ideas that make you happy while you’re doing them. Schedule at least three per day, putting them on the calendar as an appointment to make yourself a priority.

Maybe find a self-care buddy or get my FREE Roadmap to keep you inspired.

Becoming responsible for your happiness is the indispensable first step to intimacy. This preventative medicine alone will bring outbursts way down.

If anger or an “ouch” does rear its head, try piling on even more self-care. Hula hooping, puzzle solving, juicy novel reading, navel gazing or cloud gazing, whatever lights you up. The more frivolous, the better!

3. Figure Out Exactly What You Want 

If you’re anything like I was, when you don’t get what you want, the default reaction is to complain.

When you get mad that your husband’s idea of childcare is watching Sopranos reruns while your two year old fends for himself, what is it that you’re wanting?

Sure, you could let him have it for being a crappy father. But what if you tried expressing your desire in a way that inspires instead? Like telling him you’d love to have a child-friendly environment.

My student who did that was relieved when her husband agreed to put their son in daycare. Even after daycare, dad was careful not to expose him to adult TV anymore.

Believe it or not, your husband does want to please you. He just needs the information about how to do that.

Desire is the seat of feminine power, the north star for your relationship.

4. Express This Instead of Anger 

When I thought my husband was a big ol’ Loser Pants, I was sure to let him know. I thought he needed that “helpful” information so he could change. The problem was he didn’t want to be around me much anymore.

If your man seems like a lousy husband, father, or homeowner (or all of the above), how has it served you to point out the error of his ways or tell him how to change?

If that’s not working for you so well either, I have a radical idea you could try instead: expressing appreciation instead of anger.

I know it sounds crazy when he’s falling so short and you’re doing so much, but bear with me for a minute.

Imagine if you were to be on the lookout for opportunities to catch him doing something good. By doing this detective work, you’re likely to find such opportunities a lot more.

That’s because what you focus on increases, so focusing on his faults or what you’re not getting actually magnifies the problem.

Especially when it comes to men. Chances are you’ve experienced that, as author John Gray puts it, “When a man does not feel loved just the way he is, he will either consciously or unconsciously repeat the behavior that is not being accepted. He feels an inner compulsion to repeat the behavior until he feels loved and accepted.”

If your husband leaves his wet towel on the bathroom floor and even gently reminding him fuels his compulsion to repeat the annoying behavior, what the heck are you supposed to do?

Why not wait for that one time he does hang up his towel… and thank him?

Receiving such appreciation feels good. Then that’s the behavior he’ll want to repeat. It’s a virtuous cycle.

If you’re struggling to shake off the funk of resentment, I invite you to start a gratitude list. Write down every single thing, big or small, you’re thankful for about your husband. He works hard for the family or gave you a baby, he took out the trash or carried a dish to the sink. Every time you catch him doing something good, add it to the list.

Your marriage will soon look so much better by changing your perspectacles alone. If you really want to jumpstart the connection, express at least three of your gratitudes to him daily.

5. Hear His Side of the Story 

Obviously, your man is not a trained monkey. If he hasn’t done something he promised, like doing the taxes that day, maybe he had a rough day at work and simply forgot.

Here are three magic words for bringing back the safety and trust in your marriage: “I hear you.”

In other words, you’re not agreeing or disagreeing, not trying to fix anything. You’re simply listening.

It might be hard at first when you’re so used to giving your opinion, but most women find that it’s actually freeing. And the more you listen respectfully, the more he’ll want to open up and share with you.

It’s also surprisingly sexy. It’s true–respect is the biggest aphrodisiac for men.

Having all the answers and knowing better than him may feel empowering, but it also makes you feel kinda like his mom. And nobody wants to have sex with his mother.

So saying “I hear you” is a simple and powerful way to bring back the romance too.

Which of these techniques will you experiment with today?

I acknowledge you for being ready to leave the rage monster behind. Here’s to becoming your best self–and having the intimacy you’ve always desired.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

17 replies on “Why Am I So Angry With My Husband?”

What do you do if you just don’t like or love your husband anymore and all of this effort seems sadistic since he does nothing nice in return? Divorce time?

Dear Laura,
I am in the process of reading your book. Wow, very eye opening. I can’t believe what a nag I have been and how ungrateful for the good that my husband does.
I do have one big problem. My husband retired three years ago and drinks beer heavily. I come home from work with dinner ready and many times a buzzed husband. It is very upsetting to me. I can’t fix that part of our relationship. He has so many good qualities and this one causes the bulk of our marital problems.
I know I didn’t cause his drinking but my behavior and lack of appreciation for what he does do may have contributed to it.
So, I guess I am writing for some advice.

I’m right there with you Camille… This site has helped me so much. What an eye-opener. I’ve been living this way for 25+ years. It’s probably going to take a while for me to change but I’ve read so many encouraging articles from others, so it’s definitely possible. Good luck to you!!

What do you do when you’re not angry, you’re just annoyed? For example, I’ve read the books and your blog post on drinking, and I really can accept how much my husband drinks (more than me but not problem level). But he talks so much when he drinks and that slurred buzzed speech just grates on my patience. How do I find a way to politely extricate myself to practice self care when he’s blabbering on to me in a drunken monolog (often about nice things but still annoying)?

What do you do if ur anger is coming up not only because of what he did now but something he did in the past and you re still finding it difficult to forgive forget nd let go

Thank him for hanging up his towel?! I stopped reading after that. What a joke! He’s an adult not 5. I’d rather get divorced and forever be single than have to molly coddle some gigantic baby in a man suit.

I realized almost 6 years into marriage, telling him “well done” for hanging up a towel, it’s quite pointless. I’ve done that, being the patient one in the marriage with a wild child, and I certainly don’t get that praise nor gratitude reciprocated. Do you feel as if treating him like a little boy not only praises him for small actions, but nips you back in the ass again when you’ve asked for another task?

i.e. Wife: “Thank you for putting away your towel; could you please put this on the top shelf for me?”
Husband: “well I put my towel away, put away the plate on the shelf.”

I’m nearly on the brink of considering

We agreed to try having a baby but everytime it is our schedule to make it before ovulation he is just tired of work, he prioritize drinking rather us trying to conceive. he drinks every night. So right after drinking he will go to sleep. I don’t know how to make it work it frustrates me that he is not making any effort and I get angry. When I try to tell him he gets angry too. I just need help here

I been married 30 some years. I’m at the point that where I’m looking back an seeing the ugly reality of my marriage. I believe this is partly why I am so angry with my husband. I left my entire family behind after our marriage.
He and his father decided that we would all live together after after his father’s divorce. So for years I have been in a marriage of 3.
He always chooses his father over me. I now have a health issue and his father is elderly and not doing well in his health. My husband expects me to just jump around taking care of his father. At this point I feel like my husband doesn’t even care about my health. My husband has 2 sister’s one in another state and one close by and he refuses to ask her to help in their father’s care. I am spent tired and I’m just sick of being sick all the time I feel the stress is about to comprise my own health and my husband doesn’t see it. What can I do?

Joy, it is painful not to be his priority for years, especially after you made such a sacrifice and are now dealing with your own health issue on top of it. I would be angry too! You shouldn’t be made to feel like your own husband doesn’t even care about your health. It sounds so stressful, and I can see why you’re feeling spent.

I know you just want to be a happy wife, but first, you have to fix your relationship and it feels like it’s falling apart. You shouldn’t have to feel this way after 30 years of marriage. I still remember how bad it felt when I thought my marriage was hopeless. That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women even when it seemed hopeless. We can help you too. Get a coach so you can stop being sick of being sick and start feeling desired, taken care of and special!
lauradoyle.org/rhw-waitlist

Exactly what I was thinking. I didn’t marry him to be his mother. My husband thinks because I have a desk job, that my job is less stressful than his physical one. I hate when he compares me and him. Like we’re in a competition. He tells me, ” We don’t have the money for me to get my hair done”. Yes, it can be a little expensive but, I only do it once a year, it makes me feel good. We’re both recovering alcoholics and it seems we had more in common when we drank than we do now. All I think about is how much better my ife could be without having a husband to act like he’s my overseer.

Sarah, congratulations on your recovery–what an accomplishment. It sounds so sad to feel like things are worse even though you’re both recovering. You shouldn’t have to be in competition with your own husband or not have his support to get your hair done once a year! That sounds so tiring.

I’d love to see you get the recognition, support and freedom you deserve. For me, it started with a simple set of tools. Here’s the free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can fix your marriage too!
lauradoyle.org/rm1o

I get angry at every little thing my husband says or does. He might give me some constructive criticism or he might say something about my parents that I don’t like and a lot of times I jump to conclusions and get angry for no reason. Sometimes it gets so bad we both just want to separate/divorce but I don’t want to do that. I think especially with my parents, I have always been so attached to them and that its hard to hear something that I might not like about them even though it’s true. And then I just get angry if he makes a joke about me or gives me constructive criticism. How do I make things better?

JT, it’s so hard to get angry with your husband all the time. I remember those days! You have lots of awareness I didn’t have back then. It must be really frustrating to be stuck feeling angry at every little thing. Sounds like you could use support in turning this around. Here’s the waitlist to get a coach so you can make things better!
lauradoyle.org/rhw-waitlist

Sounds like this is your child and not husband. Women are supposed to do “all these things” and not get recognition but then when he “husband” hangs his towel up we should praise him for something that should be common sense!?

So it is 9pm, husband still has not put.out trash. I will be going to bed soon so instead if nagging i put it out. Was i wrong on this?

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