5 Reasons Why Your Husband Is Always Angry Or Irritable With You

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There could be a lot of reasons behind your husband’s constant anger, and we’ll go into what they could be and how to work together to resolve them, if that’s something you want to work toward. 

It’s very important to note that, just because there could be some genuine reasons behind his actions, they are not justified and he still has to take some responsibility for his behavior.

Just because there is a reason for it, doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.

If his behavior is seriously affecting you or making you feel unsafe, there are places you can reach out to for more specific help.

You shouldn’t stay with someone who makes you feel unsafe, no matter what the reasons behind his actions.

But if your husband’s anger is something that you would like to work through, there are ways of trying.

Remember that he is accountable and is an adult, and you can ask for his cooperation in bettering himself.

Many of the causes of his anger will be coming from him and are very unlikely to be a result of you at all!

Most of our emotions come from ourselves and our projections of those feelings and how we see the world around us, so don’t blame yourself. 

Here are some reasons why he may be struggling, and some suggestions of how to move forwards together.

Speak to a certified relationship counselor about this issue. Why? Because they have the training and experience to help you handle your husband’s anger or annoyance. You may want to try speaking to someone via RelationshipHero.com for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

1. He has unresolved issues.

There’s a reason for the stereotype of therapists asking about your childhood…

So much of our behavior as adults stems from experiences we have in our younger life.

Anger in anyone can come from a huge range of issues during one’s childhood.

Maybe your husband was not treated well as a child.

Maybe he had to fight to make himself heard in a busy family home, which is why he now shouts. He’s trying to get his opinion across and is used to having to be very loud to do so! 

It could be that the only way to get attention as a child was for him to act out.

Well-behaved kids can sometimes get overlooked, and the ones who are naughty are given more attention (even if it’s bad attention).

Your husband may have experienced this when he was younger and now feels like lashing out is a way to get your attention – and maybe even your affection.

How to deal with this: it may feel impossible when your husband is in a bad mood, but communicating and being open is key.

When things are a bit calmer, you could try asking about his childhood or gently suggest that he gets angry as a habit, almost.

Be careful how you word this kind of thing as you don’t want to offend him or place the blame solely on him when he is feeling vulnerable and opening up to you.

That’s not to say that you should take the blame, but that you should try to be open-minded when he talks about past issues.

Remember that he is only human! He may have genuinely had a hard time as a kid, and may not have had access to therapy or mindfulness or had anyone to talk to to  process these feelings, which is why they affect his behavior today.

Being supportive through this reflective period will not only help your husband see and address his issues, it’ll bring you both closer together.

This will also help him see you as someone who is ‘safe’ and someone who he doesn’t need to get angry at.

You’ll seem less like a ‘threat’ or a reminder of his upsetting past.

2. Specific circumstances have triggered his anger.

This is something we need to bear in mind with everyone, so it definitely applies to angry husbands!

Sometimes, people do just have bad days.

These bad days can turn into bad weeks or months.

It’s often things that are outside of our control but affect and upset us.

He may be having a really hard time at work, or may be feeling bullied by his boss.

He might have had an argument with a friend or family member that’s still weighing on his mind.

He might be struggling with any of the huge number of things everyone else struggles with! 

How to deal with this: it’s important to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture.

He isn’t necessarily angry at you; he’s angry at the external factors in his life that are beyond his control.

Again, we’re not suggesting you take responsibility for his actions, but it could really help you to consider the circumstances in his life.

If you always feel like his anger is directed at you, or is due to you, you’re likely to respond in a defensive way.

Whilst this is totally normal, it may then fuel the fire and lead to more/worse arguments.

If you can step back and realize it’s not about you, you won’t be as defensive and he’ll have nothing to ‘fight back’ against, meaning the argument will diffuse more quickly and calmly.

3. He has low self-esteem.

Again, your husband is just another human being trying to navigate life!

It’s easy to stop seeing your partner as another person sometimes, and, as women, we often forget that men experience the same emotions we do.

We’re told by the media that women are much more emotional and that men just ‘get on with it.’

This makes it hard to remember that they also struggle with things like self-confidence, they worry about their appearance and friendships just as we do.

How many TV shows represent women crying over their bodies or diets? Pretty much all of them.

How many show men doing that? Exactly.

We forget that they experience the same issues as us, and these issues can often lead to outbursts of anger.

How to deal with this: if your partner is irritable and angry all the time, it could be because of low self-esteem.

He may be having a hard time and feeling like he doesn’t have much self-worth. That can make anybody upset and angry.

As mentioned above, media and entertainment rarely portray these experiences in men, so he may find it hard to realize what he’s actually feeling.

He might not feel comfortable talking about these kinds of issues with his friends, so is dealing with them alone.

When you feel bad about your body, for example, you only have to open Instagram to find a body-positive half-naked woman to inspire you, or you call a friend and share your feelings.

Many men don’t feel comfortable doing that kind of thing, so feel very isolated in their experiences of low self-esteem, hence it presents itself as anger.

Try to show compassion toward your partner. Remind him that you love him and find him attractive.

Over time, this should help build his confidence and ease his anger.

This article goes into more depth: 5 Things To Do If The Man You Love Has Low Self-Esteem (+ 6 Signs To Look For)

4. He has an anxiety and/or stress disorder.

As with the above, we don’t often see men experience mental health issues – but they do!

Things like meditation and mindfulness are often seen as ‘feminine’ or ‘hippy’ (which is also associated with women more than men for some reason!), and, as such, a lot of men dismiss them as valid tools.

It may be that your partner’s constant anger comes from a place of stress and anxiety.

They may seem pretty laid back at times, or unaffected by stress and able to compartmentalize and unwind easily, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t struggle. 

How to deal with this: if your husband is always angry at you, it might be that he’s feeling very anxious.

Emotions don’t always present as what they are…

Fear doesn’t mean that someone cowers in a corner; it could mean that they want to control everything and get very irritable.

Depression doesn’t mean that someone cries a lot; it could mean that they shout more.

Again, try to facilitate some really open conversations to see if this is an issue your partner is dealing with.

It may help if you open up and express your own stresses.

Letting your guard down and being vulnerable takes away the fear that often fuels anxiety, which, in turn, can alleviate some of the anger around it.

Your husband may always seem angry because he knows you love him and feels like it’s a ‘safe’ place to let out those vulnerabilities, even if they do manifest as anger rather than what you may think fear looks like.

Show your support, do your best to help, and you’ll start to see some changes in his behavior.

5. He has control issues.

Again, it’s key to note that, even if his behavior seems triggered by you or your actions, that it is not your fault.

A lot of people struggle with control issues, and they can cause a lot of anger.

It may be that he gets frustrated when things aren’t ‘just so,’ or that he likes things done his way.

This may make you feel rubbish, but try to remember that it’s not a reflection of you or your relationship.

It is him having issues that need to be addressed, and it can be hard to understand this.

Anger often manifests when we feel upset and irritated; when we can’t control things and we can’t switch off negative feelings.

Not being able to control things obviously makes us feel out of control, which makes us feel a bit helpless and angry.

How to deal with this: try to put yourself in his shoes.

If you constantly felt out of control, you would get pretty frustrated.

Nobody likes nasty things happening to them, and the inability to stop those things can feed into a control issue.

Again, this can cause a lot of problems within individuals that then spill into their relationships.

By understanding this, you’ll be able to show more compassion to your partner and will be more open to taking steps to help them.

Obviously, therapy can be incredibly helpful with these kinds of issues, but your partner may be upset if you suggest this straightaway!

Gently offer ways you can try to help.

That doesn’t mean that he gets to have total control over everything and that you can’t have your own way of doing some things.

But it does mean that you could try to compromise on issues that make him feel very out of control.


So, these are 5 common reasons why your husband is always angry or annoyed at you.

They may not seem fully relevant straightaway, but, the more you think about them, the more valid they may become.

Try to be kind – everyone has their own problems and some of us are just better equipped to deal with them.

If your partner hasn’t had a supportive family or doesn’t have close friends or access to a support system, of course they’re feeling overwhelmed!

That’s not to justify their bad behavior, but it would explain why his fears, stresses, or lack of self-worth is now manifesting as anger.

He may be feeling very lonely and worried about his emotions, or may not know how to safely express his anxiety, and finds it easier to let it out through anger and shouting instead. 

When making any big changes in life or your mindset, try to keep some perspective.

It may feel like he’s always been this bad or you’ve always felt like you’re walking on eggshells.

Try to think this through – has it genuinely always been this way or does it just feel like that now?

That’s not saying you should dismiss your feelings; it’s just to try to help you rationalize them.

If it has been a consistent problem and you feel very stuck, consider seeking professional help, either for yourself as a way to cope or as a couple to work through his unresolved issues.

Still not sure what to do about your angry or irritable husband? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out (either by yourself or as a couple).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if my husband gets angry when I talk about my feelings?

It can feel bad when your husband, your life partner, your confidant gets angry when you talk about your feelings. If you can’t talk about how and what you’re feeling with your husband, then who can you discuss it with? Luckily, there are many options for you to take when you find yourself in such a situation:

If it appears as though your husband gets angry when you talk about your feelings, the probable causes and solutions include the following:

How do you phrase your statements?

Objectively, when you talk about your feelings, how do you phrase your sentences? Do you talk about your feelings in an accusatory manner?

For example, you hurt my feelings when you never want to spend time with me. He might respond with a few examples of how he spent hours with you the day before or in the recent past.

Instead, try “I miss you and would like to spend more time with you.” This lets him know how you’re feeling, and put this way, he’s not likely to feel attacked. It’s also solution oriented. It can lead to discussions about how to spend more time together or an explanation of why he’s been so busy lately.

Men don’t enjoy talking about their feelings.

Women are usually more aware of what they’re feeling and they can process their emotions through discussion or other productive activities. Generally, men haven’t been taught how to deal with their emotions constructively or in the same manner as women. As a result, they don’t always know how to handle all your emotions.

So, when you start talking about your feelings, it makes them feel anxious, which can look like anger. In addition, because men are problem solvers, if they’re not able to make you feel better by resolving whatever is causing the negative emotions, that can make them feel inadequate.

Situations like this require a lot of patience and communication. When you’re both in a good mood, explain to your husband that you need him to listen when you talk about your feelings. Let him know how you’d like him to support you in such cases.

As a compromise, you could set a specific period during the day or week where, for 15 minutes, you both get to talk about your feelings on anything, without the other person making any judgments. The only questions that are allowed are clarifying questions (that is, questions that clear up a confusing aspect of the information). This period is not an attack on the other person, but an opportunity to share your feelings and feel heard. 

What should I do if my husband gets mad when I go out with friends?

If your husband gets mad at you any time you go out with friends, conduct an internal review and ask yourself:

Did you give him advance notice of your plans?

Yes, you are an adult. No, you don’t have to ask his permission to hang out with your friends. However, you are partners and it’s just common courtesy to give him a heads up on your plans and he you when the situation is reversed.

Do you tend to misbehave when you go out?

Do you come home sloppily drunk? Does he have to pick you and your drunken friends up to make sure you don’t drive? Are you usually a rational thinking person until you get around a certain group of friends and then all hell breaks loose? If this is how you behave when you go out, he may spend the entire time worrying about you, which isn’t fair to him.

Do you complain about your friends to him?

He’s your husband, so of course, you should tell him everything, right? Not exactly. You can’t complain about how narcissistic and manipulative your friend Beth is and then expect him to be happy that you’re going out with the same person. While you may have made those comments when you were angry with Beth, he has no way of knowing that, especially if most of your comments about Beth are negative.

Are you spending time with someone your husband considers a romantic competitor?

Should you stop being friends with someone because your husband feels insecure or jealous? No. Should you put yourself in his position and ask yourself how you’d want him to behave if the situation were reversed? Yes.

Part of being married is helping your partner work through their insecurities and jealousies. He may have attachment issues that have affected past relationships and even your relationship now. The only way he can get past those issues is to work through them with a supportive partner.

Do you spend more time with your friends than you do with him?

Do your friends see you more than your husband does? Is your husband complaining about never getting to spend time with you? Does he feel as though he comes after everything and everyone else in your life? Looking at your relationship objectively, can you see why he might feel that way? If so, rearrange your activities so you can focus more on your relationship or prioritize your partner. 

If none of the above are applicable in your situation, other possible reasons your husband gets angry when you go out with your friends could be:

He doesn’t like your friends.

It’s possible he just doesn’t like your friends. Maybe your husband and your friends have nothing in common. Perhaps both have very strong personalities that clash with each other. Or maybe he sees something in them you’re refusing or unwilling to see (e.g. that friend that always borrows money from you but refuses to pay it back). 

You’ll need to have a conversation with your husband to figure out why he doesn’t like your friends. From that discussion, you can then determine if there’s something you can do to foster a better relationship between them. Or maybe he has a valid point and your friends are toxic or taking advantage of you. 

He’s alienating you from your support group.

By getting angry when you go out with your friends, your partner might be trying to alienate you from your support group. This manipulation and control will only worsen as time goes by. If you notice this and other manipulative or controlling traits that your husband exhibits, discuss it with him and see if he’ll agree to get couple’s therapy so you both can work on improving your relationship. 

Should I just do what he wants, so he doesn’t get annoyed?

No one enjoys when their partner is annoyed, but that doesn’t mean that you should just go along with whatever he wants whenever he’s displeased. A healthy relationship is not one-sided where one partner always gets his/her way. You shouldn’t be afraid to express your feelings, opinions, or desires just because he’ll get angry if you dissent from what he wants.

A healthy relationship is one where there is compromise and neither party resorts to using anger or manipulation to get their way. At best, that is an immature way to handle a situation. At worst, it is abuse.

Your acquiescence will only encourage him to continue manipulating you with his emotions. Is that the type of relationship that you want? One where your partner will sulk, pout, or even get angry if he doesn’t get his way?

Don’t just go along with what he wants to avoid him getting annoyed.

If you feel afraid to express yourself in your relationship, you will need to remove yourself from it and get to a safe environment. Once this has been done, you can discuss the possibility of going to therapy to learn better coping skills. But if your relationship has delved into the territory of mental, emotional, and physical abuse, don’t return without complete confidence that all his issues have been dealt with and resolved and you are no longer in danger.

What if my husband’s anger has appeared all of a sudden?

If your usually calm and collected husband suddenly starts to have outbursts of anger, there is probably an underlying issue at play that he is not sharing with you. Many things can trigger anger, including stress, family problems, and financial issues. The only way you can figure out which one is causing the sudden appearance of anger in your normally happy-go-lucky husband is to ask him.

In a non-accusatory manner, have an open discussion with your husband. Let him know that you noticed he seems a bit tense of late and you’re concerned because he’s usually so cheerful. Note that it may take a few tries to coax the information out of him if he’s the type that doesn’t talk about his feelings or share his burdens. But don’t give up. Let him know that you’re not accusing him and you’re available to talk (or listen to him talk) when he’s ready.

You will also need to let him know that it’s not fair on you for him to take his anger out on you (or the kids, if you have any). While you don’t expect him to be cheery all day, every day. You also don’t want him to subject you to misplaced anger or aggression.  

Can an angry husband change?

If your angry husband recognizes the negative impact his anger is having on your relationship and home, and he takes the necessary steps or does the work to control his anger, then yes, he can indeed change. But if your angry husband is the type who believes his anger results from other people who make him angry and thinks if they would just stop making him angry that there wouldn’t be a problem, then he won’t change. 

We can’t make someone change if they don’t want to. If the behavior benefits them or they have not had to suffer the consequences of said behavior, then there is no incentive to change. But if your husband has accepted that there is a problem and is willing to work on resolving it, with the help of a licensed therapist and your support, then he can change and learn how to control his anger. 

If your husband is not willing to work on his anger issues, then you might have to remove yourself from the mentally or emotionally abusive situation. This could be the push he needs to do some self-reflection and work to control his anger. But you must be willing to walk away and put your mental health and safety (including that of any children you may have) first.

Is my husband a narcissist?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of several personality disorders where a person “has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.” While only a mental health professional can diagnose someone with NPD, if your husband exhibits the following traits, he may be a narcissist.

  • He’s manipulative
  • He constantly brags about himself and his accomplishments
  • He rarely shows interest or asks questions about anything going on in your life
  • He puts you down or makes negative comments about the things that you do
  • He gaslights you: He lies about your behavior and tries to twist reality so that it fits his version of events rather than what happened.
  • He constantly tries to push your buttons to get you to react
  • He doesn’t take responsibility for his actions. Even if it’s clear it was his fault, somehow he blames you
  • He never apologizes (because nothing is ever his fault)
  • He’s very good at hiding his true colors in public
  • He goes into a rage when he’s not given the attention he feels he deserves
  • He uses sarcasm to put people down
  • He gives you the silent treatment
  • He’s very critical of everyone
  • He makes fun of others, especially people he thinks are “less” than him
  • He only thinks about his needs and how things affect him
  • He is a point of contention when it comes to family relations
  • He has cheated or is cheating on you
  • He devalues or ignores you
  • He’s taking advantage of you financially
  • He’s unreliable and doesn’t keep promises
  • He thinks everyone else is the problem

These are just some of the traits of a narcissist and if your husband displays a number of them, that’s a pretty good indicator that he’s probably one. However, to get an actual diagnosis, he’ll need to be seen by a licensed mental health professional.

Why is my husband so defensive?

There are different reasons your husband acts defensively, such as:

  • He feels he’s under attack
  • He’s feeling guilty
  • He’s hiding something from you
  • He’s sensitive to criticism
  • He’s sensitive about a perceived flaw
  • He’s feeling vulnerable or down on himself
  • He’s feeling manipulated
  • He has difficulty admitting when he’s wrong
  • He was taught as a child to have his guard up and look for perceived threats
  • He’s tensing up for a fight because you are coming across in a critical way or have a harsh tone
  • He had an awful experience in a previous relationship which is affecting your current relationship

His response may not even have anything to do with you or the situation at hand. But something about what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, what you look like as you’re saying it, what happened the last time you said it, what happened the last time anyone ever said it, the list is endless, triggers a defensive response.

It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the experts at Relationship Hero as counseling can be highly effective in helping couples and individuals to improve their relationship or reach the relationship outcome that is best for them.

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About The Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.