If you’re wondering why your separated husband is so angry with you, you’re in the right place.
This article will shed light on what’s really going on with him, and also give you tools and exercises you need to deal with it.
Here’s a rundown of the common reasons for his anger:
- Extreme feelings of loss and grief
- Having a guilty conscience
- Feeling betrayed or lied to
- Loss of control
- Realizing that reality is different from his expectations
- Financial worries
- Playing the victim
Do you want to stop all of this now and fix your marriage, but you don’t know where to start?
If you feel like you’re about to lose everything, we highly recommend starting the relationship-focused exercises that change how you relate to each other in Dr. Lee Baucom’s best-selling guide Save The Marriage now.
Click the link above, or keep reading to find out why your husband is directing so much anger at you, and what you can do about it.
Table of Contents
Understanding Anger After Separation
Your relationship was such a huge part of your lives.
Your spouse was your best friend and you thought you knew him inside and out—so what gives with this explosion of anger directed at you?
Separation can bring out some raw emotions hidden in deep, dark places.
In this way, separation anger is similar to divorce anger.
Separation can be a shock to his system, shaking up repressed feelings or blowing up emotions to abnormal proportions.
Putting this pause on your relationship has created a situation that’s perfect for letting everything he’s been holding in, out.
The problem is, it doesn’t necessarily come out in a calm or even healthy way.
It can be painful to deal with when you’re on the receiving end of his anger and spite.
Understanding why your husband is so angry is a good step toward neutralizing your own responses to his behavior, and potentially helping him get past it.
So without further ado, let’s dive into common anger triggers when you’re separated.
Read Next: Why Won’t My Husband Fight for Our Marriage?
Common Triggers for Anger
1. Loss and grieving
As mentioned above, separation is a time of emotional instability.
The loss of the relationship and the magnitude of it often leads to feelings of deep sadness, frustration and even grief.
And one way husbands might deal with this is through anger.
His emotional state unpredictable, any small incident might trigger an outburst.
If your husband is dealing with anxiety or depression, either now or even before the separation, that could contribute to heightened anger.
2. Finally facing his feelings
Repression has a funny way of making emotions blow up instead of going away.
Now that you’re separated, your husband may be flooded with emotions that he didn’t know were there when you were living like a typical married couple.
Unresolved conflicts between you that were a slow burn before now feel like full-blown crises.
Perhaps he was holding onto some resentment or anger toward you before, but only now is he forced to confront it.
His responses may be on the extreme end because he had never dealt with them before, and they’re magnified by the stress of separation and potential divorce.
Add to this that he may still love you deeply, making his anger a shield for feeling hurt and rejected.
3. Guilty conscience
Depending on what was going on before you separated, your husband might be suffering from a guilty conscience.
Perhaps he cheated and he’s now seeing the consequences of his actions.
And you’re not being so nice and easy-going about it.
If he feels like he’s brought this on his own head and he struggles to face it, he might rather pretend it’s all somehow your fault.
Being mad is easier than being sad, and blaming somebody else is easier than taking responsibility.
4. Feelings of injustice or betrayal
Your husband’s anger may also stem from feelings of injustice or betrayal.
If he believes that you have done something wrong or unfair during the separation process, his frustration might transform into anger towards you.
He may feel that you’ve broken certain agreements, hidden information or made unreasonable demands.
If you’re dating while you’re separated, that can definitely cause him emotional distress—especially if you didn’t both agree to this beforehand.
5. Loss of control
If he feels divorce is on the horizon and he’s powerless to stop it, he may lash out at you.
A soon-to-be angry ex husband has nothing left to lose, so why hold back?
As his soon-to-be ex wife, you are a sore reminder to him of everything he can no longer have.
You have to realize, he was not just emotionally attached to you, but also to the life and routines you shared.
And now, it feels like he’s lost all the control, and he is at the mercy of your whims.
This may not be a fair picture he’s painted, but feelings are not rational.
Now that your relationship is changing, he might be struggling to cope with the new reality, and any suggestion of the divorce process could send him into a tailspin.
If your ex’s anger is related to loss of control, there’s not much you can do but try to distance yourself from the anger and allow him to go through a mourning period.
6. It’s not how he thought it would be
Your husband may have thought that separation would give him much-needed space and time to clear his head.
Only, now he might be missing you or finding it difficult to cope on his own.
Perhaps the problems that he thought were part of your marriage and would be left behind during separation aren’t, and weren’t.
He might feel like he’s failing at whatever goal he’d set for himself, whether that was to get you back or get a mental vacation.
If he’d assumed separation would make things better, but it made things worse for him, he might have a bit of anger about it.
7. Financial stress
One of the big stressors during and after a separation is handling the financial aspects of the split.
If you’re heading towards divorce, your husband might be experiencing significant anxiety over the division of marital assets, support payments and unforeseen expenses.
Then there are child support costs, divorce attorney fees, and maybe he’s paying for an apartment now and you’re living in the house you shared together.
If so, he may blame you for emptying his wallet.
8. Victimhood mentality
A victimhood mindset occurs when someone perceives themselves as a victim of their circumstances and experiences.
This can make your husband look back on your relationship through a negative lens.
If he never wants to take responsibility, he’s constantly dredging up the stormy past and acting like it’s all just so unfair to him, your husband may be playing the victim.
One of the biggest issues with this is that it can lead him to unconsciously sabotage any hopes of reconciliation.
When someone has a victim mentality, they might also try to regain control or a sense of power through anger and manipulation.
“Power and control” is a common unhealthy dynamic in marriage—if you want to switch to a healthier dynamic of love and respect, start shifting the way you approach your husband with tips like Dr. Lee Baucom provides in Save The Marriage.
How to Communicate with Your Angry Husband When Separated
Try not to take it too personally
If you’re dealing with a blustery, irrationally angry husband, your communications will definitely get out of hand if you’re constantly on the defensive.
It’s hard, but try not to take his anger personally.
This is his issue, and his alone to deal with.
You are not responsible for his emotions and you don’t need to fix anything for him.
If his reactions are making you feel like you were some sort of horrible person in your marriage, keep in mind that he’s releasing a lot of inner pain, and that’s not a reflection on you.
So start from a place of neutrality and loving compassion—from a safe emotional distance.
First and foremost, establish boundaries in your conversations.
This means deciding on topics you both agree to discuss and identifying those that are off-limits at the moment.
Another important boundary to set is in how he is allowed to talk to you—or rather, how he’s not allowed to talk to you.
For example, you can say something like: “I see that you’re angry, but I will not accept you yelling/name calling/talking to me disrespectfully. If you continue, I will have to leave.”
Make sure you express your boundaries calmly and assertively.
Setting these limits can help you make progress while avoiding unnecessary conflict.
Active listening means genuinely listening to your husband’s perspective, feelings and thoughts without focusing on your response.
To do this, try to eliminate any distractions, maintain eye contact and give verbal and non-verbal cues that show you’re engaged.
Restating or paraphrasing what he’s said can also demonstrate that you’re actively listening, and that you genuinely want to hear his perspective.
This can help alleviate some of the anger he may be feeling.
Try to understand where he’s coming from
With all of your effort, do try to empathize and understand what your husband is so frustrated about.
The type of spousal support you can offer him now is not just about giving him space to feel his feelings.
If put yourself in his shoes, you can have a better understanding of the whole situation.
You still don’t have to agree with it.
To reiterate, he is an adult who is responsible for his own feelings and behaviors.
That said, understanding someone’s anger is the key to defanging it.
You may start to see the pain that’s actually behind it and learn how to resolve it together.
And while it doesn’t automatically mean it’ll stop, it will help you being able to cope and feeling less at the mercy of his moods.
Practice non-confrontational responses
When responding to your husband, try to use non-confrontational language.
Avoid placing blame or making accusations.
Don’t get into tit-for-tat arguments about who did what and who always left the dirty dishes in the sink.
And don’t get angry yourself in return—that will only make the situation worse.
Practice using neutral language when talking to him and don’t bite if he’s fishing for a fight.
Seeking Professional Help
Don’t shy away from getting some help if you need it.
Help can take many forms, but each option can provide valuable resources to navigate the challenges of separation and address the underlying issues causing your husband’s anger issues.
Individual therapy can be an essential tool for both you and your separated husband in understanding and managing emotions during this period.
By working with a trained therapist, you can learn coping strategies and get insight into the causes of anger, allowing you to respond constructively to your husband’s emotions.
Also, your husband may benefit from exploring his anger with a professional, helping him understand triggers and develop healthier ways of expressing emotions.
Even though you’re separated, you can still go to couples counseling.
A trained counselor can facilitate effective communication between you and your husband, leading to a better understanding of each other’s feelings, needs and expectations.
In a nutshell, couples counseling assists in identifying areas of improvement in the relationship and provides actionable tools to foster healthier interactions.
Self-paced marriage resources like online courses, books and guides are a good starting point if you just need to get your foot in the door of a solution right away.
They’re typically a relatively small financial investment for what is potentially a big payoff for helping you and your husband navigate your separation, or come back together stronger than before.
Bear in mind, they don’t have to be a replacement for things like traditional marriage therapy or individual therapy.
If you’re looking for a guide to help you put your marriage back together once your separation is over, we recommend Dr. Lee Baucom’s step-by-step guide to focus on the “we” in your marriage in Save The Marriage.
Support groups for separated couples
Support groups can be a valuable resource for both you and your separated husband, as they offer the opportunity to connect with others in the same boat.
Sharing your experiences can be powerful and give you much-needed emotional support, insights and practical advice on dealing with anger issues.
Self-Care and Building Resilience
One thing you must do is focus on self-care if you want to build your resilience and stop letting your husband’s anger affect you so profoundly.
Let’s go over a handful of coping strategies you can start right now.
Meditation and deep breathing exercises
It sounds overplayed, but if you haven’t tried it, meditation can be game-changing for your ability to deal with stress and emotional baggage.
Meditation helps you practice self-control, mindfulness and focus.
Even deep breathing can help you majorly in a tense moment with your husband as it calms your sympathetic nervous system—the one that sets off alarm bells telling you to fight or flee.
Reach out to your support system
Having a support system in place can make all the difference.
Friends and family who know you and care about you will hear you, empathize with you and maybe help you out if you need it.
Reach out to family members, friends or therapy groups who will listen and not judge.
Prioritize your personal well-being
Self-care is also about some basics that you may have been neglecting during a difficult separation.
So check in with yourself and see that you’re:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Making time for your hobbies and interests
- Maintaining a daily routine
- Keeping your personal goals in sight and working towards them
By focusing on self-care, you can better navigate all the chaotic emotions, and ultimately take steps toward healing and even personal growth.
Separated husbands, like ex husbands, get angry at a spouse or ex spouse because they’re an easy target for their frustrations.
It’s not fair, but it’s fairly typical.
Some common reasons your husband may be so angry at you include feeling out of control, feeling like a victim and just plain processing pain and anguish.
By understanding the root cause of your husband’s anger, you may be able to deal with his behaviors more effectively.
But at the same time, you can’t overextend yourself—your primary duty is to your own security and well-being (and that of your family).
How do I stop getting angry with my spouse?
First, acknowledge your anger and understand its root cause.
Anger shields a lot of other emotions, like guilt, sadness and anxiety.
You may come to realize that you’re not really mad at your spouse at all, and find out what the actual issue is.
Communicate openly with your partner about your feelings and concerns.
By talking about things, you can help to diffuse your own anger and ensure that you’re heard.
If you feel you’re going to react, take a moment to step away from the conversation before it becomes a confrontation.
What causes anger issues in marriage?
Anger issues in marriage can stem from various sources, including unresolved conflicts, poor communication, stress and unmet expectations.
Individual factors such as past trauma or mental health issues can also contribute to the development of anger issues.
If someone has their own anger issues and is bringing them into the marriage, those will need to be taken care of in individual therapy or some type of anger management program.
How do you tell if a man is unhappy in his marriage?
Some signs that a man may be unhappy in his marriage include:
- Constant criticism or negative comments
- Withdrawal from family activities
- Increased time spent away from home
- Lack of affection or emotional intimacy
- Frequent arguments or conflicts
- Frequent stonewalling
- Not wanting to be physically intimate
How do you know when your marriage is over?
You will know if your marriage is over by looking at the telltale signs:
- Lack of trust
- Continuous unresolved conflicts
- Unwillingness to work on the relationship
- Dreaming about divorce and a new life
- Leading your own separate lives already
- Having different goals that are completely incompatible
- Constant cheating
- Treating each other with contempt and disrespect
If you want to bring your marriage back from the edge of divorce, read Save The Marriage by Dr. Lee Baucom.
It will tell you what you need to do to change things instead of going around in circles, and help you get away from outdated beliefs that can wreck your chances of actually saving your marriage.
Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.