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Boyfriend with uncontrollable anger outbursts

We have been dating for 1 year and a half and I have been 3 months of the time super depressed and he has always been by my side helping and being hopeful. I got better by getting help and found the right medicine for my mental health.
He always had anger outbursts but not as bad as they are now, he has seen many therapists and tried multiple medications but they only seem to make it worse for him. And every time they tell him to change the medication, he goes into withdrawal and it's even worse than before. He has tried counseling and he can't seem to connect or see the point in doing that and also he has tried cognitive behavioral therapy which he said was a waste of money.
He has invested so much in his mental health and he is trying to get better and because I have my own things going on in my head is not easy to keep a level mind and dissociate myself from the things he is saying to me, knowing that he doesn't mean them, it's just his way of coping with his pain.
A quick childhood story, he has been abandoned by his father, and his mother used to beat him up and be always angry at him. Recently he reconnected with his father but they ended up punching each other so that some recent trauma added to everything.
He doesn't have a job, or a hobby, he used to be passionate about fire spinning but he can't do it here as it's illegal... he was passionate about photography but he lost that passion too. He used to travel a lot and the Corona is not helping by keeping him locked in a place.
I guess what I'm trying to ask is how can I help him? How could I support this? I don't want to give up just because he is not feeling himself, I was bad at some point and he helped.
2 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
I'm really sorry this is happening to you.

I understand that you love him and want to help him. That's very gracious and understanding of you. You can't help him at the expense of yourself, though. When he was helping you, you weren't hurting him. He's hurting you.

You both sound like you have a lot of reasons why he is so angry, and reasons why he isn't getting better. But realistically, how can he not connect with a single counselor? Therapy isn't easy. It's really hard, actually, and sometimes it takes time to develop a connection. He doesn't need to be best friends with his counselor, he just needs to commit to going, and actually go.

One way you could help him is by setting boundaries and expectations for his behavior. Of course it's hard to disassociate from hurtful things he says - that's normal. That's not a flaw in you. He's not supposed to say hurtful things to you. He won't find any healthy coping skills if you keep letting him do that to you. He's using you as his emotional punching bag, and you're letting him.

I don't know where you live, or what the Covid situation is, but are there absolutely no jobs? No jobs in a store or market? No factory or warehouse jobs? Nothing at all? Is he looking - like really actually looking?

Why isn't he doing photography?

We all have pain. I'm sure you do. I know I do. We don't get to take that out on others. You are enabling him to do that. He might have had a really bad childhood, with really bad parents. That doesn't give him the right to take his anger out on you. He can work through that with a therapist.

Yes, he was there for you. All you owe him is a thank you for that. You don't owe him anything else, and you certainly don't owe him your pride, self-esteem and emotional well-being.  I would encourage you to look up co-dependency, or talk it over with your own counselor. You've tried to help him, you've stuck by him. It's not working. My advice is to save yourself, and let him go.



973741 tn?1342342773
Wow, that's really hard.  I have to echo AuntJessie.  NOT what you want to hear, I'm sure, but we DO date for a reason and that is to find out if we can be with someone long term.  Would you ever recommend to someone you love to be with a person who uses their significant other as a punching bag? That doesn't have a job?  That works on their mental health but really has a hard time getting any better?  Probably not.  You'd love your friend enough to tell them that they should cut their losses. That they deserve a peaceful life without this type of chaos.  

If you decide to stay with him, you need to set VERY firm boundaries.  You can NOT talk to me X way.  You can not have outbursts that are hurtful to others or scary.  You MUST work on getting employment.  I mean, these are basics.  And you have EVERY right to have expectations of a partner that does adheres to these boundaries.  You aren't his mother.  

What so often happens is we allow someone to be a certain way and it gets more and more okay.  Then it is just what it is . . . and hard to change.  Demand change.  

I know this is hard and kind of like advice that is probably unwelcome.  But I feel for you.  Lots of women stay with men that have issues.  It's a personal choice.  Some live with alcoholics that cover their anger and sadness with addiction. Some live with emotionally abusive men who don't try to control themselves.  Some live with men who never emotionally mature or live a responsible life.  I am not walking in those women's shoes.  But just know that we are mostly responsible for ourselves.  And you have to be true to creating a positive life for YOU.  You are not responsible for him.  I hope he continues to improve but also hope you don't waste your whole life waiting for it. hugs
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