Wondering to Wed

Dear Therapist,

I am 33 years old, and I have wanted to get married for a long time. I just never seemed to connect with anyone. Recently, I met a wonderful man, and I think he may be the one. However, he seems to have an anger problem, which makes me nervous, and I am not sure how to deal with it. One minute he can be so sweet and sensitive, and then the next, boom! he lashes out. I am not sure if this is something I should be concerned about. He tells me that he is trying, but, when people or situations get him upset, he can’t help himself. Should I continue dating him?

Wondering to Wed

Dear Wondering to Wed,

Thank you for taking the time to ask this very important question. You write that you have been dating a long time, and that you have always had a strong desire to get married. Finally, you feel like you have met someone, but, you are concerned about their anger. This is understandable, and something that you need to take very seriously.

Everyone has parts of themselves that they need to work on. Anger though can be potentially dangerous, and the fact that he has this problem is something you need to consider very carefully. The idea that he can go from being “sweet and sensitive” to angry so quickly, and, that he “cannot help himself” should raise many red flags.

Everyone has parts of themselves that they need to work on, but, for someone to work on something, they need to take responsibility for their actions. If he feels that situations force him to respond in ways he cannot control, then, it doesn’t sound like he is ready to take responsibility for his actions. This leads me to believe that he may respond in anger and, perhaps violence with you, (if he hasn’t already).

One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is that both members feel safe. No one should be in a relationship where they feel afraid of their spouse or their potential reactions. From time to time, couples may disagree, or, one partner may do something that upsets the other and these are all parts of marriage, but, when you write that you are nervous, this indicates to me that you do not feel safe, which is an internal warning that perhaps this is not a good relationship for you.

From what you have written, listen to your inner voice telling you about being nervous, and, consider ending this current relationship and finding someone else. I know that it is hard to think about dating again when you feel like you have finally found someone, but, you deserve to feel safe in your life and relationships.

I wish you the best of luck!



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