8 Ways To Get Through To Your Husband When He's Angry And Defensive

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Defuse Your Hyper-Defensive Man's Anger

He needs your love more than ever.

Your husband is a great guy ... except for his anger problem. And when he flares up, his anger and stress take a toll on you and your entire family. Maybe his anger ruins otherwise fun, peaceful moments. Maybe you feel like you're always walking on eggshells, never knowing what might set him off. 

Dealing with an angry husband is quite frustrating and sometimes even scary. However, this doesn’t mean that you must totally isolate yourself from your other half.

Know that the person who can play the most powerful role in calming a hyper-defensive man is actually his wife. Not by tap-dancing around his anger, but by trying to better understand it. Caring for your husband, considering his well-being (as well as your own), and learning new ways to express emotions and de-escalate conflict can help minimize your husband's anger problem and restore some peace to your home.

Here are eight ways to understand his anger, defuse it, and remain connected:  

1. See his anger as a call for help

Anger is a sign that something needs resolving. It's like the light indicator on your car dashboard signaling you that something is off. In this case, that your husband is in psychological distress. Offer him assistance. Ask, "What can I do to help you feel better?" Making an effort to understand what's angered him can help your husband relieve his stress and better face the challenge at hand.  

2. Remain calm (even when he's not)

When your husband flares up, it's natural for your temper to flare, as well. Especially when you feel that he's lashing out unfairly. But your heated response will only escalate the tension.

Remember, your true goal is to lessen that volatile energy. Staying calm won't feel easy, but try to hold your temper, remain calm and exercise patience. When you feel your temper rising, pause and breathe through the uncomfortable sensations in your body, and then respond thoughtfully (instead of reacting emotionally or defensively).

3. Make him feel emotionally safe

Men need emotional safety just as much as women do. Reassuring him is one way to show your husband that you'll stand by his side no matter what. In many cases, your husband's anxiety and anger are a result of him feeling injured or vulnerable. A man will feel emotionally safe with a sincere and emotionally available woman.

Say kind things to your husband and avoid criticizing him (or patronizing him). Besides that, listening attentively to him will help him feel emotionally supported.

4. Find compassion

Compassion is a solution to his anger. When your husband feels frustrated or angry, trying to turn his hostile feelings into love and kindness probably feels next to impossible. But it actually is possible and the solution you're looking for.

Trust me, all of that anger coursing through him doesn't feel any better to him than it does to you. He's responsible for his words and actions, but finding compassion for his struggle against his intense reactions can help heal you both. 

5. Don’t assume.

Assuming or "mind-reading" often does more harm than good. So, don't assume you know the reason why your husband is angry. Ask questions to clarify your husband's motives and ask about his needs. Respectfully inquire about the changes you notice in his behavior by highlighting the reason for your worry and what’s best for both of you. Having an open conversation gives you a surprising result.

6. Just listen to him 

Anger escalates when your partner feels he's not being heard or respected. Communicate directly and use reflective listening. Make sure you reaffirm whatever your partner shares with you — this makes him feel understood. Try to relate to what he is saying.

We all long to feel understood and validated. Your husband feels the same way. He won't feel connected unless he feels you get what he's saying or experiencing.

7. Catch the anger early

Prevention is better than cure in terms of the energy and effort required. Early intervention either keeps the anger from starting, or at least keeps it from getting stronger.

The sooner you recognize your anger within you or within your husband, the greater your ability to respond and manage the situation before it gets out of control. A wise and aware wife skilled at noticing the signs of his anger early can lead her husband to a safer and calmer place.

8. Uncover common ground.

Successful couples don’t try to erase their differences. Instead, they try to incorporate elements from both sides of their dispositions to help serve the relationship as a whole.

Try to find common ground and then repeatedly work your way toward it. This sends a clear message to your husband that you're in this together. Things will only get better if you both work as a team toward a common interest.

Dealing with an angry husband is difficult and things can happen escalate quickly and unexpectedly.

Implementing the effective steps above will help you face this challenge with a positive approach. So, be wise, patient, compassionate and mature. Good Luck!

Moshe Ratson is a Marriage and Family Therapist in New York City at spiral2grow. Contact him for information about how to deal with anger and how couples counseling can enhance your relationship.


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