21 CLEAR Signs A Man Has Anger Issues (2021) + Resolve Tactics

11 min read

Like all emotions, anger is normal to feel in certain situations. 

There is a difference, however, between occasionally feeling anger and having anger issues. If you think you or someone you love might have anger issues, it might be time to delve deeper. 

Read on, for 21 clear signs a man has anger issues and ways to resolve it.

Let’s dive right into it.

1. Extreme Emotions

When a guy has anger issues, he’ll swing back and forth between extremes. One minute he’ll show tremendous love and care, and then lash out at you furiously the next. There’s no balance.

If your partner is indulging in extreme love-bombing at times, but the rest of the time, he’s belittling you or screaming at you about little things, these are signs it’s an issue.

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2. Apologies Without Change

Knowing how and when to apologize is key to a healthy relationship. However, if your partner’s anger results in apologies afterwards, but neglects to change his behavior, it’s a sign of a temper issue.

It becomes a toxic relationship and a vicious cycle where he knows that all he needs to do is say he’s sorry, and you’ll forgive him no matter how much his anger has hurt.

He may even be genuinely sorry every time, yet unless he’s getting help to know where the anger stems from or learning to control the rage, his apologies are hollow and meaningless.

3. Emotional Neglect

If he never seems to have your back, shows no support or care, and doesn’t make it a point to communicate with you every day, there’s a good chance there are, at the very least, anger issues that haven’t been expressed.

4. Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a symptom of anger issues as much as screaming and shouting. It’s passive aggressive behavior showing up as anger unexpressed. He will just stop talking.

The trouble is, if it’s held onto without proper expression, it will be stuck in the body. Without release, it could then manifest as disease. 

5. Quick To Judge

This is closely related to control issues. You wear a new outfit, he passes a scathing remark. You decide to watch a movie together, he complains about it and starts to blame you for choosing it.

No matter what you do, it never seems to be good enough and he’ll judge you immediately. 

6. Past Mistakes

Arguments are common in every relationship, however the guy with anger issues won’t just be fighting over the present disagreement. He’ll bring up everything you’ve ever done wrong, even if they have nothing to do with what’s happening now.

You may be fighting over something as simple as whether or not to have guests over on the weekend. He’ll bring up something you said at a party a year ago. Or he’ll remind you of that time you brought home flowers he was allergic to. 

A partner with anger issues makes every attempt to beat you down with past mistakes leaving you feeling small and helpless.

7. Lack Of Assertive Communication

Assertiveness and aggression are two different things. Aggression is more likely when a partner is passive in their communication, making one come off as weak.

An angry person may have a habitual way of expressing themselves which will likely start an argument instead of seeking a solution.

He constantly considers his own feelings before his partner’s. He has feelings to express, but he doesn’t bother to talk about them.

Learning how to communicate assertively lets each partner explore how to share what they’re feeling to meet their needs. It includes standing up for yourself without attacking your partner unnecessarily.

8. Unconstructive Self-Talk

Your partner may have a distorted view of the situation when he gets angry. Without a clear perspective, it leads to irrational thoughts that influence how he responds to or during an emotional outburst.

His self talk could be negative because the way he views himself is negative. His thoughts and perception of a situation are generated from that.

Grounding self-talk and removing yourself from the source is crucial when managing this issue.

9. Haunted By The Past

Suppose his memory keeps bringing back what he perceives as his mistakes and failures from the past.

In that case, he’ll likely feel frustrated with himself. Ongoing resentment and perpetual irritation towards certain circumstances and other people can make him feel angrier. 

When your past haunts you, learn how to forgive yourself. Spend some time identifying the underlying sources of anger to help you move forward.

10. Easily Disappointed

While assertiveness is a strong motivator to overcome fear and injustice. It requires an outlet and there are many positive ways to move that energy in a positive way.

When it’s held inside for any length of time, it builds and is released as angry outbursts could involve reacting physically, resulting in aggression.

11. Isolating

He doesn’t like you meeting your friends or that you meet your family for Sunday brunch. He hates that you have a career and go out to work. “Why do you need to work, I earn enough for both of us,” he might tell you.

They even make it sound like they want what’s best for you, yet they don’t want to allow you to earn and spend your own money.

12. Rushing A Relationship

He may express his heart to you very quickly in the very beginning stages of the relationship, expressing how important you are and discuss marriage extremely soon.

13. Exes Are Crazy

If he describes all his exes as crazy this shows that everything is one sided and he isn’t seeing his own flaws or issues. 

This creates no room for growth individually. There is no ownership of choices, behavior or character.

14. Secretive

Even with the small things he seems mysterious and doesn’t share much about his days and he often seems closed off.

15. Continual Reassurance

He’s constantly asking why you are with him, what you like about him.

He needs reassurance daily and sometimes multiple times a day. No matter how much you communicate what you like about him it never seems enough. He always needs more.

16. Feeling Less Than

Anyone who makes you feel stupid or not worthy is not someone to surround yourself with in any circumstance.

Anger and aggression may show through behaviors that make a partner feel hurt or less than. Such behaviors may include name-calling, yelling, and physical contact through hitting.

In a healthy relationship, you should feel valued and shown respect.

17. Avoiding Situations

Maybe you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. You know specific actions lead to a temper tantrum, or your partner will go off yelling or screaming.

You may disagree with your partner but you avoid letting him know you don’t agree to keep the peace. You may not want to speak up because he’ll get upset.

This kind of avoidance is a short-term fix to something that may cause serious relationship problems in the long term.

18. Less Enjoyment

Anger issues may show up during activities or tasks that have become less enjoyable or more difficult to complete. Stress and tension could be contributing factors.

When your man is upset about something that hasn’t been resolved, a snowball effect may make regular activities challenging to complete without getting into an argument.

19. Bad Advice

If you ask your man with anger issues for advice, it’s pretty certain he won’t be helpful. Instead, he might give you advice that sends you down the wrong path.

His advice could bring your life crashing down. He doesn’t seem to care how it affects you either.

20. He Bad Mouths You

If he’s constantly being hurtful to you, rest assured he’s talking bad about you behind your back as well.

He could be telling your family members you’re a bad wife, he’ll tell your friends you can’t keep a secret. He might even tell your boss that you weren’t really sick that day you took leave.

A man with anger issues won’t consider how he makes you look to the outside world. His focus is entirely on his own rage out of habit. 

21. Forces You To Leave

If you’re with a man with anger problems, there could be countless screaming matches.

He may even force you out of the house, saying he can’t stand the sight of you, or it would be better for everyone if you just left.

It could be daytime or the middle of the night. He’s too caught up in the emotion to be worried about where you’ll go or if you have enough money for gas in the car.

He is simply asserting his anger issues and his power over you by forcing you to leave.

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How Do You Know If He Has Anger Issues?

If a person is struggling with anger issues there will be unhealthy ways it shows up in their relationships. Below are some real-life examples from people who have such a man in their life struggling with anger.

  • “He gets really angry and with the name calling he wants to start arguments.”
  • “Asking him questions would only get him terribly angry.”
  • “I had been seeing signs of anger and temper flaring up rather easily before the incident 

happened.”

  • “How do I communicate these points to him and not get my husband so angry that I cave 

and apologize for being so awful?”

  • “Most of the women I’ve met since my ex have complained about the same thing: my 

temper.”

  • “I feel unloved and unwanted by my husband because he is angry and grumpy all of 

the time.”

  • “When I came back to start living with him again, I continued to notice the same bitter, 

angry, self-centered person.”

  • “I hate how angry he gets with me when I want to open up about something.

If these sentiments seem familiar to you and relationship problems are making you feel scared or feel guilty, consider getting professional help. Marriage counseling is a possibility if the other person will agree. Many mental health practitioners also offer online counseling. 

There is also help with these Ways How To Stop Your Reactive Anger.

How Do You Tell If A Man Has A Temper?

There are a variety of behaviors that can indicate an anger management problem. They become clear in their day to day life and in their relationships.

You can tell a man has a temper if his behavior is to belittle you, bring up past mistakes in every fight you have and make you feel worthless.

These are all glaring signs a man has anger issues. Other more subtle signs include him slowly isolating you from friends and family so that you have no support system but for him.

Here are 10 more clear signs:

  1. Name-calling
  2. Criticizing, belittling, putting down
  3. Lack of patience
  4. Irritability and short temper
  5. He will blame everyone and everything else
  6. When he’s angry he shuts down or withdraws
  7. Friends and family avoid him
  8. Partner, kids, family members are afraid to talk to him
  9. Other people feel like they’re walking on eggshells around him
  10. Others experience him as a Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde

There are Ways How To Stop Your Reactive Anger that can help.

Is Anger Issues A Red Flag?

Many things can trigger someone to get angry, including stress, family problems, and financial issues.

For some people, anger is caused by an underlying disorder, such as alcoholism or depression. Anger itself isn’t considered a disorder.

It’s a normal emotion, however anger is also a known symptom of several mental health conditions.

The following are some of the possible causes of anger issues leading to relationship red flags.

1. Depression

Anger can be a symptom of depression, which is characterized as ongoing feelings of sadness and loss of interest lasting at least two weeks.

Anger can be suppressed or overtly expressed. The intensity of the anger and how it’s expressed varies from person to person.

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that’s characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.

A person with OCD has unwanted, disturbing thoughts, urges, or images that drive them to do something repetitively.

For example, they may perform certain rituals, such as counting to a number or repeating a word or phrase, because of an irrational belief that something bad will happen if they don’t.

A 2011 study found that anger is a common symptom of OCD. It affects approximately half of people with OCD.

3. Alcohol Abuse

Research shows that drinking alcohol increases aggression. Alcohol is a contributing factor in approximately half of all physical fights or violent crimes committed in the United States.

Alcohol impairs your ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. It affects your impulses and can make it harder for you to control your emotions.

4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and or impulsivity.

Symptoms usually start in early childhood and continue throughout a person’s life.

Anger can also occur in people of all ages with ADHD.

5. Intermittent Explosive Disorder

A person with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) has repeated episodes of aggressive, impulsive, or violent behavior.

They may overreact to situations with angry outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.

6. Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes dramatic shifts in your mood.

These intense mood shifts can range from mania to depression, although not everyone with bipolar disorder will experience depression. Many people with bipolar disorder may experience periods of anger, irritability, and rage.

7. Grief

Anger is one of the stages of grief. Grief can come from the death of a loved one, a divorce or breakup, or from losing a job.

The anger may be directed at the person who died, anyone else involved in the event, inanimate objects, or towards themselves.

There are many ways people fall prey to such negative thoughts, such as seeing themselves as a total failure, self-defeat, dwelling on negative details, maintaining negative beliefs despite positive experiences, jumping to conclusions, and over-exaggeration, to name a few.

Such thinking makes it challenging to be rational when dealing with anger.

How Do Deal With Someone With Anger Issues In A Relationship

The first step towards change is to accept there’s a problem. The biggest obstacle for men to manage anger is their denial that it’s true.

Dealing with a man with a temper can be a drain on your energy and your relationship. When it’s expressed negatively, it can undermine your own wellbeing, weaken your relationship, and leave you also feeling frustrated and unheard.

The Mental Health Organisation’s 2008 ‘Boiling Point’ report found that one in five of people (20%) have ended relationships or friendships with someone because of how they behaved when they felt anger.

Here are some healthy ways to deal with anger issues in relationships.

1. De-escalate

“Do not return anger with anger, instead control your emotions. That’s what’s meant by diligence.” (Siddhartha Gautama).

Let your partner feel angry and recognise that they will calm down eventually; returning anger with anger will only escalate the situation.

When someone’s anger flares, they are not thinking with their higher brain, they’re thinking with their lizard brain.

Letting the anger take over only allows people to operate from their amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response and fear processing.

Give them the time and space to calm down and then have a rational conversation. The calmer you remain, the quicker he’ll calm down too.

2. Active Listening And Asserting Yourself

Once your partner has calmed down, you can have a more rational conversation. 

Express your own needs and wishes, but be respectful. It’s important to consider your partner’s needs, feelings, and wishes, and to show them that you’re considering these.

People often feel anger when they sense they aren’t being heard, so it’s important to show that you are making an effort to hear and understand them.

Go beneath what they are saying to understand why they might be saying it, what has led to this situation, what are their deeper emotions.

Ask clarifying questions such as; “you are saying… is that correct?”. Active listening doesn’t mean agreeing with everything that they are saying. It is about recognising and considering the other’s perspective.

3. Compassion And Patience

It’s important to understand the more vulnerable emotions that anger is hiding, such as fear, hurt, sadness, or pain. It’s likely your partner isn’t able to safely access these emotions or address them.

Anger allows him to feel powerful and in control in the face of these unwanted vulnerabilities. Be patient with your partner.

It may be too painful for you to confront him with these deeper emotions, but understanding the reasons behind the anger might help you to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation.

4. Lose The Battle To Win The War

It’s often said we need to pick our battles or be selective about who, what, and when we fight. Who’s right or wrong isn’t always what’s important.

We only have so much energy and if we are to win in the long-run we might choose to concede or lose in the short-term. This is also true of arguments in a relationship.

Let go of what matters the least. You may not win the argument but you’ll strengthen your relationship in the long run.

6. Take Some Responsibility

Take responsibility for your role in feeling frustration with your partner’s anger, and reflecting on what actions may have triggered their anger.

In the same way, it is important to realize what triggers you to behave the way you do. The more aware you and your partner become, the less reactive and the more constructive you can be.

7. Address The Conflict When You’re Both Calm

Avoid storming out and slamming doors.

Instead, calmly let your partner know you need some time to calm down, or that you’re giving him time to calm down so you can later come together to talk rationally.

Use that time to gather and organise your thoughts.

8. Lead By Example And Set Boundaries

​​Trying to control someone in the midst of anger is like waving a red flag at a bull. It’s only going to escalate their anger.

People with a temper often see themselves as simply reacting to an unfair world, so they are likely to feel attacked if you say they are being unfair.

Lead by example by remaining calm and coherent. If you’re able to calm your partner down this way then, great.

If not, assert your own boundaries by disengaging until your partner is calmer. This not only gives you both space and time to think but also shows your partner a different way of dealing with anger and arguments.

While it’s important that anger, amongst other emotions, doesn’t get bottled up, maintaining control over your anger is crucial to maintaining calm, and ensures that outward expressions of anger don’t negatively impact your relationships.

Read more about ways to help with these BEST Self-Help Books For Men.

The emotion of anger is entirely natural, and it’s common to feel anger when you’ve been mistreated or wronged.

You don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of these angry outbursts though. It all comes down to how it’s dealt with.

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