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Some Questions from a Wife with an Easily Angered Husband


Some questions from a dear sister in Christ (men and women are welcome to share any godly wisdom y’all may have about these issues):

1. How do I handle it when my husband asks my opinion, or my preference, and when I share it but it is the opposite of his, he then tells me that I am not letting him lead, that I’m always wanting to do things my own way? I feel like I should maybe take a while to be quiet and not give my opinion, and go along with whatever he wants to do rather than sharing my preferences.

There are many stages of this journey – for husbands and for wives. Many husbands have very little experience in leadership and they have a learning curve just like we do. Men will not automatically be awesome, mature, godly leaders. They must grow into this role. And, there is a long time period when wives begin to change where husbands are very skeptical about the changes that are happening and are not ready to trust their wives yet or feel safe with them.

  • If a wife has been very disrespectful and controlling for a long time, there can be a time period where it may be wise for her to not share her opinion IF God leads her to do this.

This would only be for a few weeks/months. My husband tended to be very passive. When I began to submit to him and step down and stop taking control, I didn’t give my opinion about a lot of things for awhile. I wanted Greg to have the chance to be able to learn to decide things on his own without my constant input so he could get to know his own mind for awhile. Then, in time, I began to share my needs, desires, ideas, concerns in a respectful way.

That may not be the route God leads every wife. If a husband is more dominant, he may already know his mind and it may not be necessary for a wife to have a time of refraining from giving her opinion about things. When there are different dynamics and personalities – wives may need to approach things differently. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey.

There are multiple issues going on here. There is the issue of how and when the wife presents her desires, needs, ideas, and concerns. And there is the issue of how her husband responds at the time. Wives have no control over a husband’s response. We are responsible for ourselves to do the right thing on our end of the marriage and to honor, please, and obey God. I don’t like the idea of a wife not sharing her input – except possibly as a temporary measure.

How a husband responds may reveal his own issues. A wife cannot prevent her husband from getting upset if she doesn’t agree with him. Disagreeing is not the same thing as disrespecting. A wife may disagree with her husband but that has nothing to do with her ability to honor his leadership or her ability to respect her husband. As a husband sees that she disagrees with him respectfully, but still honors his decisions, he will – hopefully – in time, not get so upset.

It may take time for a husband to believe that his wife can disagree with him now AND still respect and honor him.

If a husband responds that his wife won’t let him lead because she disagrees with him, she can calmly, briefly, respectfully, gently, humbly say something like,

“I’m simply sharing my concerns with you. I plan to honor your leadership. I realize you are ultimately accountable to God for this decision, not me. Thanks so much for listening to my ideas/concerns. It means a lot to me that you would consider how I feel when we are facing a decision.”

(If a husband is not close to God, I would not mention God in the statement above.) And then – if he is not asking her to condone clear sin or to commit clear sin  – she can pray for God to give her husband wisdom and cooperate with her husband’s leadership. (If a husband is not in his right mind due to drugs/alcohol/mental illness/severe sin issues/abuse, etc… wives – please seek appropriate, godly help, ASAP!)

2. My husband is a leader at church, has been baptized, and is a strong leader at home…but he gets angry easily, and often times when problems arise will say things like, “I know what the *Christian* thing to do here is, but that just isn’t realistic.” He has called me naïve for responding to ignorance with kindness. He tends to be extremely intolerant of anyone with a viewpoint contrary to his, or who handles something differently than he would. Is this a situation – even though my husband is a Christian – where I should try to “win him without a word” and not speak of how God’s word says we should react to things, or treat people?

Husbands have sin issues, too. Husbands are not always right. They have a lot of room for sanctification, just like we wives do. When a husband gets angry easily like this, it can be scary for a wife. My thoughts, for whatever they are worth, are that a wife could:

  • continue to respond in the power of God’s Spirit
  • stay close to God herself
  • seek to be sensitive to God’s Spirit’s prompting about what to say, what not to say, how to say it, and when to say it
  • share her ideas if her husband directly asks for her opinion in the way that God inspires her to
  • pray for God to work in her husband’s heart to accomplish His good purposes, to sanctify him, and to give him God’s wisdom
  • trust God’s Spirit to do the work of conviction in him
  • pray about how she might bless her husband as he is learning and growing
  • seek God’s wisdom about if/when/how she needs to address what he is saying or sin in his life (Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin)
  • focus on I Peter 3:1-6, I Corinthians 13:4-8, Galatians 5:22-26
  • focus on being the wife and woman God commands her to be, knowing she will be accountable to Him for herself independently, no matter what her husband does or does not do
  • realize that ultimately she answers to God not to her husband – it would be ideal if she can please both God and her husband, but if she must choose between the two, she must choose Christ in a humble, respectful, gentle way (for more details about this, please see Spiritual Authority)
  • there may be times when God impresses on her heart to say something, there may be times when God impresses on her heart to leave him alone and allow God to handle it without any verbal input from her
  • remember that the closer a husband is to God, the more he can hear his wife about spiritual things, the farther away he is from God, the less her words about spiritual things will help and the more they might hurt (I Peter 3:1-6) – in those times her godly attitude, behavior, and respect will be much more powerful than her words to her husband

3. If a husband screams and yells, what can a wife do?

This will depend on your specific husband’s personality, how severe the yelling/screaming is and what works best for both of you and your particular personalities. Some possible suggestions that have worked for different wives – not all of these will apply in every situation:

  • stay calm yourself
  • calmly ask your husband, “Please speak in a normal tone of voice.”
  • say, “It scares me when you yell at me.” or “I feel afraid when you yell at me. That makes it hard for me to trust you and hard for me to listen well. I don’t want to feel afraid of you.” – for some husbands, telling them they scare you makes things much worse, please see the comments.
  • say, “Please don’t yell at me. I want to hear what you are saying, but I can’t hear your message when you yell/raise your voice at me.”
  • say, “I would appreciate it if you would please speak to me more gently, please.” (If you yell and scream at your husband often, please correct your own sin way before you attempt to address his! Matthew 7:1-5)
  • sometimes a firm, confident answer works best
  • sometimes a gentle whisper works best
  • sometimes silence works best
  • say, “I’d like to talk about this – but I think we may need to cool down a bit first, please.”
  • say, “I can hear you so much better when you talk to me more gently.”
  • avoid sarcasm
  • avoid responding sinfully yourself – avoid yelling, don’t throw his faults/his past sins in his face
  • don’t seek vengeance (“Do I Have the Right to Punish My Husband?”, “I’ll Show Him!” Why Revenge Kills Relationships)
  • sometimes a husband won’t respect a wife who will “allow him” to yell and scream at her, but he will respond to her setting firm boundaries, i.e.: “It is not ok for you to treat me like this. I’m going to leave for awhile and then maybe we can talk about this in a few hours/tomorrow.”
  • there is really no reason, in my view, for a husband or wife to yell and scream – that is disrespectful no matter who is doing the yelling and screaming and does not display the power of God’s Spirit in our lives – He gives us the power to have love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
  • calmly excuse yourself (some husbands get more angry if a wife tries to leave, this will require godly wisdom)
  • gently ask to have some time to calm down and resume the discussion again at X time
  • diffuse the tension with humor (this only works on certain husbands and only with certain kinds of attempts at humor – certainly don’t attempt to make him the object of a joke – a wife’s attempt at humor in this situation may cause some husbands to feel even more disrespected and angry)
  • I don’t recommend yelling and screaming back at him, that is usually like pouring gasoline on  a fire
  • it’s probably best not to try to defend yourself, explain yourself, or try to prove your point to him when he is this riled up – he probably cannot hear anything you try to say at this moment
  • it could be wise to repeat back to him what you hear him say with some husbands
  • it could be wise to wait until another time when he is calm for you to share your ideas, thoughts, concerns, and perspective briefly, preferably after you have done a lot of praying for God’s wisdom
  • if he tries to leave, let him go so he can have time and space to process – do not follow him!
  • if he goes silent, give him time and space – unless you know you need to apologize for something, then apologize briefly without justifying or explaining why you did something that upset him (the more we explain and justify, the more disrespectful we often sound to our husbands)
  • if you did something wrong, briefly apologize – but you don’t have to take responsibility for things that you didn’t do or if you truly didn’t do something wrong
  • you may need to talk to a godly wife mentor, or comment anonymously here, but don’t go tell everyone all the hateful, mean things your husband said when he was angry
  • keep in mind that sometimes men don’t mean what they say when they are very angry (sometimes women don’t either) – that doesn’t mean it is ok for them to explode – but it does mean that it may be wise not to take everything they say super personally
  • some couples do better if they write out their concerns and thoughts and aren’t interrupted
  • some couples do best if they each take turns taking 1-2 minutes to talk while the other one only listens

If a man is yelling and screaming and is totally out of control – that is because the Spirit of God is not in control at that time in his life. His response is about HIS character, not yours. Don’t purposely try to provoke him. Seek to honor and respect him and to not sin against him. But don’t take responsibility for his behavior and sin.

This is a situation where a wife will need extreme sensitivity to God’s Spirit. Some husbands respond best to a direct, respectful, firm, polite confrontation. “Please stop yelling at me.” “Please speak to me in a calm tone of voice.” “Please don’t raise your voice. I care about what you want to say. I promise I am listening.” Some husbands would get even more upset if a wife tries to leave. If you are in any danger, please get help ASAP! (I am not writing for wives with abusive husbands. – please check this post for resources)

Let’s keep in mind that anger is often a secondary emotion to pain, hurt, disappointment, or sadness. Men don’t usually cry in our culture. When men are upset, they are more likely to shut down or explode. What is the REAL issue? Is he hurting in some way?

Sometimes, if we can hear our husband’s real message and address that, we might be able to diffuse his anger. If he feels understood, he may calm down.

ie: If a husband suddenly gets angry, a wife may want to check to see if she just did something disrespectful. She may even want to ask what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ suggests in Love and Respect, “That felt unloving, did I do something disrespectful just now?” Or, she may just want to say, “Yikes! Was what I just said/did disrespectful to you?” If it was, please simply apologize, take responsibility for what you did and don’t justify yourself or explain why you said/did what you did. Or, a wife may just say something like, “Hmm… something has upset you. Could we talk about it?” (Different husbands need different approaches.)

Another thing to keep in mind is that if we are unknowingly coming across disrespectfully, our husbands may respond in anger. Their emotions are their issues. We are not responsible for them emotionally. However, we are responsible TO them to treat them with honor, godly love, and respect. Sometimes our men are responding to the messages they think we are sending. If we are being disrespectful, it may be a good thing for us to work on getting rid of any intentional or unintentional disrespect and to focus on learning what respect means to our husbands.

  • Several wives have shared that their husbands scream and curse at them for prolonged periods of time, even waking their wives up to yell at them for hours.

That is NOT ok. I don’t believe husbands or wives need to yell and scream at each other – ever. But screaming for hours?!?! Greg and I talked about that scenario and we both agreed that if a spouse is yelling and screaming for hours – that is emotionally abusive – and I don’t use that word lightly. (If that is your situation, you may want to check out some of the comments on this post, you also may need to seek out godly, experienced, appropriate help ASAP.)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

verses about anger


I’d love for some wives (and husbands) with godly wisdom to share how God has lead them to handle this kind of very difficult situation. This is not a one-size-fits-all issue. How I pray we will each be very sensitive to whatever God may be speaking to us in each circumstance and in each moment, that we might walk in the power of His Spirit and in obedience to His promptings.


Got an Angry Husband? Nina Roesner shares some powerful examples of different ways God has led wives to respond to angry husbands. This is SO worth your time!

A Beautiful, Feminine, Godly Example of How to Handle Conflict

How to Deal with Conflict in Marriage – by Daniel

Honoring Christ, Our Husbands, and Our Marriages in Conflict

Conflict Resolution in Marriage – by Rev. H.A. Weaver

A Wake Up Call for Wives – let’s be sure WE are not emotionally or verbally abusing our husbands or yelling and screaming at them!

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

A Wife’s Influence Authority  -Rev. H.A. Weaver

Responding to Our Husbands’ Constructive Criticism – video

What Does the Bible Say about Anger –

How She Apologized for Her Disrespect – Calming the Storm – guest post

Sacred Influence – by Gary Thomas – describes several wives and how they respond with honor, love, respect, and godliness to their angry husbands

24 thoughts on “Some Questions from a Wife with an Easily Angered Husband

  1. Great read, April, thanks! The hardest thing for me to do is to not take my honey’s grumbling and complaining personally. It’s easy to let someone steal our peace and joy, if we aren’t ever-mindful of holding on to it. I love that your strongest advice is always for us to press into The Father. Truly, He can use this to refine us, but only if we’ll totally surrender.

    1. Yoursistersojourner,

      Part of realizing what I am responsible for and what I am not responsible for – is seeing that I am responsible for my sin, my emotions, my thoughts, my obedience to God, my attitude… But I am not responsible for those things in my husband’s life. He is. Sometimes, if a husband is in a bad mood, it can be hard for a wife to discern at first if the problem is his, hers, or theirs. This requires God’s wisdom many times! But we do not have to allow our husbands’ bad moods or bad days to bring us down. We can continue on in the love, joy, and peace of Christ. Isn’t that amazing!?!?

      If my husband seems to be in a bad mood, my goal is not to take it personally unless he specifically tells me that I have upset him.

      We can seek to bless our husbands and to encourage and build them up – but ultimately – they are responsible to God for themselves and we are responsible to God for ourselves.

      And He can use our husbands’ sins and weaknesses and any trial to refine us. There is much to learn in every situation!

      Much love!

  2. In response to question #1, I would like to add, it is important to not be afraid of your husband’s anger or think your feelings or opinions are wrong because it made him angry.

    As long as we share our feelings or opinions in a respectful way, leaving the final decision to him, we are not responsible for his reaction.

    Give him time to think about it. Don’t defend your point. And most of all continue to be peaceful and joyful.

    1. Daisymae,

      I would love to hear how you have learned not to be afraid of your husband’s anger. That would be a difficult thing to do, I would think. A man’s anger can be very scary.

      1. For me it was not so much being afraid of it as it was thinking that I must be wrong. My feelings or opinion must be wrong if it made him that angry. I would often question myself and think he was right because of his responses.

        I learned to deal with it by telling myself “TRUTHS”. Angry men will often say lies about to get you angry too and to get you to defend. If you get angry too, they can justify their behavior. So not defending and telling yourself TRUTHS is key.

        TRUTHS would be… “My opinion is valid.” “I have a right to feel the way I do” “I said it respectfully so I am not responsible for his anger.” “He is in a very bad place/mood right now. I know he loves me. He is just angry” “His life is not going how he wants it right now and he is taking it out on me. This is hurt he is showing.”

        One reason I was not truly afraid of my husband’s anger is that he would never hit me. I can give him a hug in the middle of him yelling and he will hug me back and kiss my head and continue to yell. I know,…..weird…. It was a suggestion that I read one time so I decided to try it.

        That does not excuse him, however. Yelling is not right. And by my changing me and working on me, he is much better. This is a way he has learned to communicate and he has to learn that way doesn’t work well. I can’t force him to see that. I can only change what I do.

        1. Daisymae,

          This is really good. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing!!!

          I love the truths that you repeat to yourself.

          Wow, that is amazing that he can continue to yell while he kisses your forehead and hugs you. Hmm… Who would have imagined that?

          I praise God for what He is doing in you and that He is working in your husband’s heart, too. Much love to you!

  3. AnonyMan,

    Love this! Thank you very much for sharing and helping us to understand some of our husbands’ perspectives more clearly. What you have shared is the kind of information that will help wives have the tools we need to bridge that chasm between husbands and wives.

    Sometimes wives feel that if we can just “explain more” that our husbands will “see that we are right.”

    Our husbands will not always agree with us. We won’t always agree with them. Our explaining more doesn’t always help. In fact, a lot of times, our husbands DO understand what we are saying and all of our extra explaining just comes across as us being contentious and disrespectful. Not good.

    I’d love for us to assume that our husbands have valuable information and wisdom to share with us, just like we have valuable information and wisdom to share with them (if you have severe marriage issues, this may not be the case, but for most women, husbands have a lot of valuable things to share. Their masculine perspective is very different from ours – but we need their perspective, wisdom, vision, ideas, solutions, and leadership. So do our children!)

    I’d love for us to not argue and not complain – but to be willing to listen to our husbands’ ideas with open hearts, allowing God to lead us through our husbands according to His will. YES! We can share our thoughts, desires, opinions, needs, concerns, and ideas. I think that is our responsibility and duty. But we can do it in a respectful, polite, humble, brief way – and we can allow our husbands to share, as well. We don’t have to defend ourselves or prove that we are right and they are wrong. Sometimes there is no “right” and “wrong” – sometimes we just have different approaches. That is ok!

    I know that we understand as moms how frustrating it is when our children immediately argue with everything we ask them to do. It is just as frustrating for our husbands to try to lead us if all we do is criticize, complain, or argue with them when they are sharing their vision or their perspective or what they believe is the best course of action. We can share our thoughts and feelings without yelling, without arguing, without contention, without fear, without trying to control things, and without disrespect.

    What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?
    Godly Femininity

  4. April, thank you for posting this! I find the hardest thing for me is to not take responsibility for the anger and frustration. Sometimes I feel that if I were being the godly wife I am supposed to be, those reactions wouldn’t take place. I base how well I’m doing on my husband’s behavior. I realize this is VERY wrong! In calm moments, when I’m clear-headed, I understand and recognize that I’m not responsible for his reactions. When he is very upset though, I tend to speak so negatively to myself, saying that I am a horrible wife among other things. My husband would NEVER say such things to me, but I say them to myself when he is angry with me. It’s definitely something that has gotten better as I’ve drawn closer to Christ, but I need to keep working on this in those difficult moments.

    1. Grace Kabunga,

      You are most welcome to join us! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my precious sister! Let me know if you need any help getting started. 🙂

  5. I like this, but I would also like to see a blog post about men like my husband, who are godly men but who instead of getting angry, shut down and don’t communicate when they are upset.

  6. AnonyMan, I agree with you. It is maddening when either spouse is just disagreeing just to be disagreeing.

    I agree with you about listening. It helps if my husband is in an elevated state to say I hear you. You are saying that you think x is the right thing to do. I understand you feel that way. And you have to be responsible for the final decision but I think y would be better. That is just my opinion.

    By repeating back what he said and giving him validation that he was heard, it seems to help.

    I believe the major problems arise when we as wives attempt to change our husband’s mind by defending or explaining. If he asks us to explain why we feel a certain way then we are at liberty to but otherwise it should be kept short and sweet, giving him time to consider our opinion.

    1. SO true daisymae! When I uninvited, explain WHY I feel a certain way, he does not like it! Even though it seems so natural to explain why. Usually if I simply say in ONE SENTENCE, “I am upset that we didn’t get to hang out last night,” or “Those words were hurtful,” he can fill in the blanks and we get to a resolution much more quickly!

  7. What April and a lot of commenters have pointed about us not being responsible for our husband’s reactions has really opened my eyes to the fact that I try to take on that responsibility ALL the time. When my husband is upset with me or disagrees with me, I always tend to think that’s because I must be wrong – it sounds so weird to write it out, but I’ve always been that way. Now I know something I need to work on in my own heart with God!

  8. Hi. Wow, a big big question. There are many things you can do to change things.

    1.First of all, watch your heart. When your husband gets mad, watch your thoughts. Are you telling yourself: “I chose the wrong man,” or “Oh no, my dad was that way and now my husband is, I cant get out of this cycle, etc etc.” or “Its my fault that my kids have an angry/violent dad” These are spiritual attitudes, many of them (dispair, breaking your marriage vow, forgetting that Jesus saves us from our sin) are sinful. Additionally, your husband’s soul can sense these attitudes even if you dont speak them out loud. I’ve watched it happen (my inward spiritual decision -> his attitude) live!

    2. Check your time schedule. Do you have young kids and are you working? When I was, it was impossible to do the home tasks so that there was not a mess, and this would irritate my husband no end on the weekends because his mom (with one kid) kept everything in its place. Even though my husband wanted me to work, he didn’t realize the impact it had on my work at home. Additionally if you have stress at work you may be bringing it home. My husband was overly cared for as an only child by his doting mom, unfortunately, these expectations don’t change!

    3. Sometimes when my husband gets going he sets up an interrogation, or court trial, to try and get me to change my position on something. Its no use dialoguing here, although he often forces that. I feel at these times that the devil is putting me on trial (that is the devils name, anyway, the blamer) I just tell myself, “Put on your seatbelts, were going for a ride!” Now, on reflection, it might be worth ‘giving in,’ (although not if its about sinning) just to help him to calm down. Ive never done this. Its not a compromise, its just getting you out of the difficult situation which can go on for hours. Then, when he calms down, you can try and go back to the issue if you still remember it! My husbands mother was VERY manipulative, so he’s just used to people forcing their way, its a miracle he is not more so. In fact, because of his mothers fault in this area, my husband is very good about fighting for freedom/independence, which is good for me because I tend to stick myself to people.

    4. My husband often gets very upset at me or the kids, and completely blows up with shrapnel, when we are near his parents or grandmother. We live in another city. This is something to take into account – is there a situation that digs at his hurting places? Can you both avoid that enough so you can build your relationship in better conditions? Does working for a boss put him back in that situation of being subject to a bad authority figure? Might he consider working for himself?

    5. Repenting of one’s own sin, forgiving those difficult people, this leaves you open to receive the spirit, however you choose to do so.

    I attend Mass daily and this is a BIG help, honestly, without that, after about four days my husband starts getting upset for no reason. Once we were planning a vacation, and he got so upset he said we weren’t going. Then the next morning I got up and went to mass and when I got back he was smiling and asking about the details of the vacation.

    So really, there is a big spiritual element here to consider. There is definitely alot going on at an invisible level, I wish I knew more about it, but then if I got the hang of it, I might just start controlling things too much.

    I am also doing the Pompey rosary prayer for my husband. He has practically not gotten upset during this period (3 weeks, so far) and is asking the right questions about his spiritual life.

    Do NOT despair! Do NOT give up! Ultimately, Jesus saves!

    1. Veronica,
      Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 Praying for wisdom for you and your husband. There is absolutely a huge spiritual element. Spiritual warfare is a big issue – but we don’t even think about it so many times. Prayer is a powerful force for good and for God’s glory when our hearts and motives are right.

      Much love!

  9. Me,
    Thank you so much for sharing a masculine perspective!

    I agree that husbands and wives should not ever yell at each other. I agree that they shouldn’t make cutting sarcastic remarks at each other. That is not a godly way to treat anyone.

    However, I am concerned that women with relatively minor issues with their husbands may read your comment and think that they should separate from them. With two sinners being married to each other, there will be times when people lose patience and say and do things they shouldn’t. I don’t think that means that everyone whose husband or wife raises his/her voice should separate.

    Obviously, there is a point at which things become oppressive, and there is a point at which boundaries must be drawn and it is necessary for a spouse to leave if there is an unrepentant spouse. But I want to be careful not to suggest that separation is necessary for normal levels of conflict. I hope that makes sense.

    I wish that all husbands were godly leaders. That would be amazing! Husbands do have a learning curve, especially if they are far from God at the moment. There is also room for grace, mercy, and forgiveness many times. But, yes, if things get to be very serious and severe, then there are times a wife may need to consider separation – after much prayer and possibly fasting and godly counsel.

    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Carie,

    I’m glad those things work for you. Thank you for sharing! It’s interesting to me to see how different approaches work better for different couples and dynamics. He doesn’t get angry when you say these things? Are things going better now than they did earlier in the marriage?

    Much love to you!

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