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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18454
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am married to an angry man. On Tuesday evening I made home

Resolved Question:

I am married to an angry man. On Tuesday evening I made home excessively angry and he still won't talk to me. We are going on an overseas holiday tonight with our daughter and two of her friends and I don't know what to do
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some additional information:
When you say he is an angry man, does this anger sometimes express itself as physical violence?
Or does the anger only become expressed as the silent treatment, such as he is doing now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No, never as physical violence. Usually it starts with frustration at something I've done or a warning behaviour, like counting to 10 or saying something like 'you're pushing my buttons' or other things that make it clear that if I don't back down he will get angry. Then there will be a 'tantrum' which will involve swearing, usually at me and sometimes but not always calling me names & insulting me and always blaming my manipulative or aggressive or expressive or emphatic or disorganized or some other behaviour and then silence and completely ignoring me. If I try to talk to him he tells me that I don't exist and he is so angry and that he doesn't care and its over.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Yes, I'm still here. I'm sorry for the length of time it takes to type a complete answer.

There are several issues to consider in this situation.

In the long-term, this is not a healthy mode of interaction between a married couple. Some couple are able to directly address how they interact and communicate, but in couples in which the pattern is more persistent or severe, it is better to seek counselling from a marriage counsellor. Obviously, marriage counselling cannot occur prior to this trip, but seeking marriage counselling once this trip is over is usually the best approach in overcoming dysfunctional interaction and communication patterns.

As for the immediate situation of the impending overseas trip, it will create a difficult, if not impossible, situation for him to continue to refuse to communicate with him. It would be appropriate to approach him and insist that the particular issue be addressed. If truthful, it would be appropriate for you to first apologize for having angered him and saying that you certainly did not intend to do anything to upset or anger him. But then also say how you feel about going on the trip if he is not willing to speak with you, and if you feel that you cannot go on the trip under such circumstances, say so. It is important for each of you to express your feelings about the matter, and then express how the situation can be improved to at least create functional communication. If he is unwilling to even have this level of communication, then you need to decide whether you should cancel the trip.

I hope that you are able to have a fun and enjoyable holiday, and then continue to improve the relationship.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I angered him by disagreeing with him in a discussion about a staff member of a property that we are considering buying, because he feels that my answer was too 'reactive' and without enough thought/knowledge. I'm not sure that that is justification for anger on this level? Also do I keep apologizing for my personality traits and my opinions? I do know that I am a high reactor and I am argumentative but it is never directed at him personally. I seem to spend so much time trying not to be me. What do I do if I apologise and he still won't talk to me?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
You should only apologize in that you had no intent in upsetting or angering him. But you should not try to become someone that you are not. This is why marriage counselling would be appropriate.

If you apologize and he still won't talk to you, then you need to decide whether to cancel the trip. You shouldn't cancel the trip because someone else tells you that you should (not even me, and I respect my opinion). If my spouse refused to speak to me before going on a trip with my family (much less a trip with friends of my daughter), I would refuse to take the trip and cancel it, as I would find that situation intolerable. However, you are the only person that can decide whether you would find that situation intolerable.

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