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boyfriend with a temper

November 8, 2010

I am afraid of the response I am likely to get from this post, but here goes. My boyfriend has a temper. He likes things a certain way, and everything has to have it's place. We live together in his house. If I move something of his, or if I don't put things back exactly where they belong, or if he is in the middle of a project and I unwittingly move something (not knowing it should not be moved) he will yell. He always feels bad about it when he realizes he has hurt my feelings and he always apologizes. He always admits he was wrong. But he still gets angry over what seems to me to be nothing.

Tonight I made dinner, and because I was busy with another project for most of the day it was very late. I roasted a chicken. I took it from the oven and poked it, and tore off a leg to see if it was done. He yelled at me to get a platter out so I did. Then I picked up the chicken leg and he totally lost his temper and told me to get a plate, why was I acting like a barbarian, why can't I just be normal, etc. etc. The contempt in his voice was truly awful to hear. I had a plate in my hand when this tirade was going on, and I swear I almost clocked him with it. He left the room when I yelled back at him and kept to himself until he cooled down. Later I moved my things into the spare bedroom so I could be alone for the night and sort things out in my head. I was crying. He came into the spare room and asked if we could talk it out, eventually admitted he was wrong, and said he didn't want to be that way anymore. We have had this very same talk about 5 times now. The last time was about 3-4 days ago. I moved a stool out of my way behind him as he was working on re-finishing the dining room floor. He lost his temper because he said I "don't anticipate his needs well."

When he gets like this he can never see that he is wrong until he cools down and sees how upset I am. He always thinks it is completely my fault. He gets completely irrational when he loses his temper, and cannot see how awful he is behaving.

Then when I point out (after he has calmed down) how ridiculous he is being he can see it. But at times he does not see it even then. Tonight was a good example. He totally didn't see how awful he was being and didn't remember the way he talked to me until I reminded him. He said “But all I wanted was for you to get a plate out.” As if he had never yelled and never told me I was acting like a barbarian. I honestly think that from his perspective he calmly and politely asked me to get a plate.

When he is not having a *****tantrum he is the most loving man I have ever known. We are together about 14 months and 99.9 % of the time he's a rational loving person. A delight to be around. I adore him.

But tonight I told him I am tired of apologies when he should just learn to control his mouth. I told him he always apologizes and he always does it again. As much as I love him I am ready to leave.

Any advice?

Re: boyfriend with a temper

The odds are favorable that he will escalate to physical violence. Tell him he needs to get help with managing and expressing his anger and that if he doesn't, the relationship is over. If he gets help, you get in there with him and do whatever you can to aid him in his efforts at change. In the process of helping him as he helps himself, you might find yourself changing as well.

OR learn to live with it.

Re: boyfriend with a temper

Thanks for your reply Daniel. If this escalates into violence I think it will be me as the violent one! I am that angry and fed up. Last night I really felt like I could have smacked him upside the head with a plate and I'm not the violent type. His language was so abusive.

We are both not working full time and money is very short. Do you have any suggestions for low-cost counseling?

Re: boyfriend with a temper

Being pro-active could help, as the future will likely be painted in an environment where violence will become regularity as these types of behaviors have a way of morphing towards intensity. He must have some redeeming qualities for you to stick around, however with the potential for violence and the continued ongoing verbal assault, immediate action is advised to correct his behavior. Daniel left out a third option, which is leaving him and staying somewhere safe and free of verbal abuse.

Re: boyfriend with a temper

I sincerely doubt that he would ever be physically violent. But I might. I am just as afraid of that as I am of hearing his next outburst.

I had a plate in my hand and the idea of smashing it across his head didn't just pass through my head. I swung the plate. I just stopped short of hitting him with it.