My husband’s suddenly become angry and violent

My husband’s suddenly become angry and violent

I’m 28 and my husband is 42. We have been together 10 years and have three beautiful children. My problem is: for the last six months he has been angry and violent to us all! I know that I love him but I don’t feel in love with him anymore. His behaviour just doesn’t make sense. Can you help? Claire

To be honest, it’s tricky to give you a proper answer without more information, but if this kind of behaviour is radically out of character for your husband, I think a mental health check or assessment could be in order. According to what I’ve read, there are several psychological and neurological conditions which can lead to sudden outbursts of rage, and alcohol or drug abuse can also mess with the brain’s chemical make-up, leading to episodes of anger and violence in some people.

I’m sorry that we can’t help you further with this one, but I think your next port of call should be a visit to your GP or a psychologist – alone if you feel that’s better or safer at this point – and get some real professional advice. RC readers – anyone out there who’s been in this situation? If you can offer extra advice for Claire, hit up the comments.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Lola 8 years ago

    Bron’s advice is second to none – besides, it comes from personal experience, which makes it invaluable.
    This paragraph – particularly – I will never forget:
    “Now while we know there may be reasons for his violence, we can’t let that excuse the violence. You need to seriously consider your situation and, more importantly, the effect this is having on your kids.”
    There are many people out there who still consider that the man is a victim of circumstances in these cases, not the woman. Making excuses for someone’s violent reactions doesn’t help in the least.
    Claire, I’m holding your hand.

    • S 6 years ago

      Those words have really opened my eyes and made me realise that there is no excuse for being choked and slapped by him. I hope one day I will have the courage to leave. I have a baby and I promised myself that I would not leave until she tells me to. I want her to have a happy life and I’m ready to sacrifice my happiness for her. I feel so confused. My family would never agree to me leaving him as they believe that once married, and now that we have a baby, we should never get divorced because our baby will be unhappy. My life is in God’s hands and my happiness lies within my baby. She’s the only reason I have to stay alive.

      • Author

        S, your comment has me so sad and so worried for you – AND for your baby.

        You are both at risk by staying if your husband is as violent as you say, and I cannot believe your family would not support you in leaving a relationship which puts both yours and your daughter’s lives at risk. Plus, by staying you are teaching your child that it’s okay to be treated like this. It’s not. It’s SO NOT.

        Do you have any friends or family who might help you? Please get some help.

  2. Author
    reality chick 8 years ago

    Fantastic advice Bron, thanks for weighing in on this one.

  3. bron 8 years ago

    To start, we need more details.

    Has he taken up drinking, or is he unable to get through a night without drinking, even if it’s not heavily, has he had a head injury – even a minor one? Is he complaining of headaches? Are there problems at work?

    Now while we know there may be reasons for his violence, we can’t let that excuse the violence. You need to seriously consider your situation and, more importantly, the effect this is having on your kids.

    Even if you are trying to hide the situation from them, make no mistake, they know exactly what is going on.

    Are you, or the kids, in direct physical danger? If the answer is yes, or even if you have to think about it seriously, you need to consider leaving. Does he hit you or the kids, does he shove, push, trip, pick up weapons or threaten to pick up a weapon?

    Are you, or the kids, scared of him? Do you, or the kids, flinch when he enters the room, relax when he goes out, watch what you say or do around him? Do you avoid telling him things because he might get violent? Do you spend extra time doing housework because if you don’t he might get violent? Are you, or your kids, avoiding friends, or avoiding having friends over because you don’t know how he will react, or you are afraid he might do something in front of them.

    If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you need to seriously consider leaving. Being afraid in your own house is not ok. You, and the kids, have the right to feel safe in your own house, and if you do not, then things need to change.

    Now, if this is a medical condition, then things may just get better and you may be able to put your family back together. If this is because of drinking, unless he has the strength to quit, things are, quite frankly, only going to get worse. If he is doing this because he doesn’t have the guts to walk out of a relationship he doesn’t want anymore, this is going to get a whole lot worse.

    You don’t have the luxury of waiting to see if things will get better. You have kids, and they need to come first. You need to deal with this situation before you, or one of your kids, ends up in hospital. This is already affecting them, whether or not they are showing it, and you need to protect them, and yourself.

    Now, not knowing your house circumstances, and how hard it would be to get another one, would he leave and let you have the house? If so, change your locks IMMEDIATELY! Don’t delay, don’t give him a chance to get back in. Notify the local police so they know there is domestic violence. Make sure he doesn’t have keys to your car and let the schools know what is going on. They need to know whether he is allowed to collect the kids, and you may have to consider getting an AVO or whatever the current term for it is.

    Yes i am advocating leaving this relationship, and i’m aware this may not be a popular concept with others on here, but this has been going on for 6 months, so it is not short term, it is not going to just go away, it is most likely just going to get worse, and you need to act.

    How do i know this? I’ve been the kid with the violent father, and i’ve been the woman with the violent partner. I’ve been there. My mum escaped when i was a kid, and i escaped when i was an adult. It can be done. It will be hard, but your life will be better.

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