Question: Hi, I am in a serious relationship with my boyfriend since three years and I really love him. The only problem in our relationship is his aggressive behaviour. He loses his calm within seconds over really small issues and starts throwing things around. We recently had a small argument and he started abusing me and even tried to slap me. He had another argument with his parents and he threw the utensils from his balcony. I have warned him several times that I cannot be with a man who has such major temper issues. He always assures me that he will try to control his anger but fails every time. We love each other but I cannot stand his aggression. What should I do? - By Anonymous

Response by Ms. Rachana Awatramani: Aggressive behavior towards anyone is an alarming sign that the person is emotionally not able to cope with his or her situation. I comprehend that your boyfriend is showing aggressive behaviour towards you and family members. He is being abusive and breaking things. I understand it is difficult for you to accept his behaviour and you have also warned him about it. However, he is unable to manage his anger and finds it challenging to cope with it. It can be disturbing and emotionally draining to be with a person who loses his temper on small things. I understand that you love him and care for him but his behaviour is not acceptable as it can harm someone and he can also harm himself.

First, I would recommend that you express your concerns and feelings to him by telling him you understand and you want to help him. Second, partner with him and help him cope with his anger, understand what is disturbing him and work in collaboration. Last, consult a psychologist for anger management.

You can also involve a friend or family member if he is comfortable to discuss with him about the pros and cons of being angry. This friend can also help to focus on his behaviour modification by understanding what triggers his anger. It needs to be addressed immediately, therefore I would highly recommend meeting a professional as soon as possible.

- Ms. Rachana Awatramani is a Counseling Psychologist at Insight Counseling Services in Mum

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