Is anger always a sin

Here is the situation…

On Sunday morning, 15 minutes before our usual 11am mass, we are getting ready to go. My husband who is busily playing on the PS4 announces that his back is sore (lie) and that he will be attending the 7pm mass. Immediately 2 of my kids pipe up and say that they want to stay home with dad. As an aside, it has happened in the past that the 7pm service has been missed because logistics are difficult at that time

I went to our regular service with 2 kids and 2 kids stayed home with dad.

My afternoon was spent driving around to various shops, when I get home I found out that my husband’s afternoon was spent drinking and that he had already announced to the kids that he wasn’t attending church. I wasn’t shocked by this or even really upset, I just told the kids that they now had to factor in enough time to walk to church. They did not argue and everything was OK.

As I was bringing in some of the purchases when one of my husband’s friends asks me where I went, what I bought and just making small talk and my husband loses it " Excuse me but we were having a conversation here before you came you are not invited here so leave"

This made me extremely upset and angry to be treated like a piece of dirt by my husband, not to mention in public.

I am trying to work on my anger but at which point am I to be a doormat for my husband to wipe his feet on.

Also, It worries me that I am teaching my girls that this is a proper way to be treated and to my son that this is a proper way to treat women. My son is already imitating my husband’s behaviour (he is 12)

Is this anger a sin? Isn’t it normal to feel anger when treated horribly by your spouse? How am I to respond to this insult?

You cannot deny your own feelings. It is normal to feel anger when humiliated in this way.

How you handle it, how your express your anger, and when you do so, is what is under your control.

If your husband is an alcoholic, then you have an important role to play as the voice of sanity for your children, particularly when your husband is abusing you when he is drunk.

Perhaps you can point out to your son how disagreeable, unreasonable, and inappropriate your husband is when he is intoxicated, and contrast that to his behavior when sober. This way, your son can learn better to differentiate your husbands inappropriate behavior from his appropriate behavior. Ditto for your daughters. Teach them to evaluate your husband’s behavior in light of his drunkenness.

Try to teach this lesson by example. Stand up to him firmly and politely. Set your boundaries, in a loving and respectful way, but do set them. This is perhaps the best example for your children, to teach them how to set their own personal boundaries while respecting others. This is a tool which they will find invaluable in many personal and social situations.

I don’t have any good advice for you, but am praying for you and your family…

This might help.

Praying for you & your family. Praying for your husband to seek the assistance he needs.

Thank you for your response.

I have attempted over the years to do as you say wrt kids. Hopefully it turns out ok.

My husband is not an alcoholic per se, he is bipolar and does not acknowledge that alcohol messes him up. As does missing his regular doses from his treatment protocol.

Everyone has a cross to bear and this is mine. Somehow understanding it and offering up the suffering does not make the pain go away:(

Peace to you

Thank you!

Peace to you!

I Love Fatima too

Thank you very much, it did.


I would have been upset, too, had I been on the receiving end of that.

If your husband has a drinking problem, he needs to get to Alcoholics’ Anonymous. However, I realize almost no alcoholics accept this at first time around or second or third. It usually takes till they hit rock bottom, which for some, can be quite low.

I doubt he’d admit he has a problem at this point, but from your thread, sounded like he did. What you could do is go to Alanon, which is for folks who have a family member or friend with a drinking problem.

I’m not sure about anger and when it’s sinful or not, but I’d be more concerned about the rest of this right now than the anger. Would you consider getting some counseling so that you have some support?

Well, I will definitely need some time and reflection to digest this one!

Thank you for your guidance.


Thank you,


He is bipolar. The alcohol negated his treatment. He has not been taking his treatment protocol regularly and he is in a bad phase. Unfortunately, I think that he will have to hit bottom on order to start with his protocol again. It is really sad to see and even more painful experience for him as well as for me.

I confess my anger all the time but my dilemma is this, every single time that a situation such as this has happened and will happen it always sparks anger. I cannot imagine a time when this terrible stuff comes out of the man I married, that it would not make me angry.

Am I doomed?

I am so sorry you are going through this. I think the best advice I can give you is to seek out a counselor to help you handle these moments. Honestly, I don’t feel the Church has much in the way of good counsel for people who are in abusive or toxic relationships. I’m not saying that your husband has an abusive nature, but it sounds like he is at times. Your anger is justified - the question is, how are you going to handle this difficult situation? I think in this case, a good counselor would be worth his or her weight in gold.

One thing I will say, which a friend of mine (we are both divorced with sometimes abusive ex-husbands) often tells me is - ‘no expectations.’ One way to help your anger is to let go of your expectations of him.

Article 8. Whether there is a vice opposed to anger resulting from lack of anger?

I answer that, Anger may be understood in two ways. On one way, as a simple movement of the will, whereby one inflicts punishment, not through passion, but in virtue of a judgment of the reason: and thus without doubt lack of anger is a sin. This is the sense in which anger is taken in the saying of Chrysostom, for he says (Hom. xi in Matth., in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom): “Anger, when it has a cause, is not anger but judgment. For anger, properly speaking, denotes a movement of passion”: and when a man is angry with reason, his anger is no longer from passion: wherefore he is said to judge, not to be angry.

Believe me when I say the I have worked on this one. I didn’t get upset when he sprung the “I am going to the 7pm service” or the fact that 2hours later he is STILL on the ps4 or that he was drinking all afternoon or that he reneged on church…But I guess there is still an expectation that I should be treated better than a dog.

As much as I try to “not have expectations” when a situation like this occurs I realise that I do:(

The other thing with bipolars is that they flip in a minute or in a day, One minute can be great, fun, loving and the next minute can be cruel, demeaning. When properly controlled it is much better, when not, it is a roller coaster ride filled with surprises (never fun surprises).

Thank you for replying. It helps me a lot and I appreciate it.

Peace and love to you

So IOW to not get angry would be in a way to interpret the offensive behaviour as acceptable, or not judging it at all??

Thanks for your patience, I am not being purposely obtuse, this is very difficult for me to grasp.

stop making excuses for his behavior it is time to leave.

Find a shelter, if you need to or go home to your parents.

Jesus was angry when he kicked the robbers out of the temple.

Paul, says don’t let the sun set on your anger.

elsewhere, it says be angry, but don’t sin.

You need to protect yourself and your children.

If need be, talk with your pastor/priest.

How many times have I contemplated this question? One day one answer seems reasonable and another day another answer.

Just to make it clear, I have never been hit or otherwise physically assaulted or bullied in any way and the same for my children. I understand that mental abuse is also abuse.

He is a sick man. Would I leave someone with cancer, or dementia, or Alzheimer?

Talking to a priest is a great idea, I just have to resolve in my head that it is not gossip.

The main issue was my response in anger to bad behaviour knowing that the bad behaviour stemmed from a combo of alcohol/bipolar. This anger comes up a lot and I am constantly confessing it which makes it sound like I do not make efforts to curb it. I cannot control it when I am blindsided like that.

Thank you for your response and comments.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit