Is anger always a sin

That’s the way I understand it, though I don’t have an education in moral theology. Anger, for a just cause, is not the sin of anger, but of judgement. To not be angry, when there is a just cause to be angry, may be a greater sin (i.e. silence is acceptance). However, instead of listening to me, I would suggest talking to your priest or contacting the diocese and discussing this with someone who has a degree in moral theology. Perhaps, they can explain it better and correct any misinformation I may be giving.

CCC 2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill,"93 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.
Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice."94 If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. the Lord says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."95

Thank you, I will contact an “authority” , somehow I thought that this question may have been more black and white and that I was not able to make sense of it.

As an update, I did receive an apology (cannot remember that happening in the past) and he is going to counseling TODAY (he has always refused to go to counseling). This is gigantic behavioural departure from the previous scenarios (yes there have been many similar episodes) This gives me hope that he will heal.

I can only attribute this sudden change of heart to prayers, so thank you to everyone for your prayers and big thank You to God for acquiescing.

Please keep us in your prayers!

I too am abused by my bipolar husband alcoholic husband. He is on disability from anxiety/depression plus seems to be bipolar when off meds. He starts drinking before I get home from work, but then doesn’t drink while I’m home unless I work on projects. If I say something wrong, he brings up the past, gets very angry at me. I usually ignore it and shut down since there is no talking to him.
Before Easter, I went to talk with our priest - confession that was long overdue. I am trying to strengthen my faith. The last time he got upset, I suggested he too needs to talk to Fr. Finally he did. I don’t know if he brought up the subject that causes him the most pain, but he seems to not drink as much now. But time will tell.
Since he is such a negative person it is hard to live with. I lose my cool too. I’m trying to pray to help me control it.
Yes we all have our cross to bear.

I imagine that anger would not always be considered a “sin” in the Catholic paradigm.

Jesus expressed anger several times in the stories related in the biblical canon (with the moneylenders…the fig tree episode…with his disciples, etc).

And since he is called “sinless” (right?)…then…anger cannot always be a sin.


I will pray for you and your family. Feel freee to pm me if you need to.


Yes I do believe that It is just unclear to me whether my situation falls into the non-sin category.

Peace to you

Please keep in mind that bipolar disorder is an illness. Getting angry at its manifestations won’t help anything.

On the other hand, your husband is making choices which are hurtful. Your anger is a normal response.

So, the question seems to be, how to get some help for him.

Will he take his meds? Will he voluntarily stop drinking?

A difficult option, but one which sometimes works is to have him committed to a mental health facility. Most places allow a person to be committed for 72 hours for evaluation, if that person is a danger to himself or others. That 72 hour drying out period, with the proper meds might give him some clarity.

I hope that you are correct, I will make an appointment with a priest or contact the diocese or something

So, the question seems to be, how to get some help for him.

Will he take his meds? Will he voluntarily stop drinking?

IMHO this is the root of the problem, as with any bipolar when they start feeling normal they do not think that they need their treatment. Other than beg,plead, reason and put his concoction right in front of him, for it to be left there, I am not sure what else I can do.

He will not admit that alcohol is kryptonite to bipolar and treatment (and sanity). Still a hurdle.

B]A difficult option, but one which sometimes works is to have him committed to a mental health facility. Most places allow a person to be committed for 72 hours for evaluation, if that person is a danger to himself or others. That 72 hour drying out period, with the proper meds might give him some clarity.

In my jurisdiction, you cannot forcibly have someone committed unless they are a danger to themselves or other, otherwise it has to be voluntary.

BTW - he does not drink everyday, maybe wine or something with dinner and that is it. This does not represent a problem with his behaviour. At times, he starts drinking like party-drinking the way a teenager with too much money would. That gets him into trouble (mentally) every time.

As an update, he went for his first counseling session yesterday and came back home stating “the counselor said that if we do not go to marriage counseling our marriage is over”… So I have no idea what was discussed but at the end of it I am the source of his unhappiness. I am actually looking forward to counseling, I have made many attempts in the past to get us there…hoping and praying for the best.

This is a common problem with psychotropic drugs, which mental health practitioners deal with frequently. The drugs make the person feel better, and the the person quits the drugs because they feel better.

Does he have a therapist? How often does he see the physician who prescribes the lithium?

We are dealing with a naturopath and he is on a multi-level treatment which includes a homeopathic lithium. As far as I have researched, he responds just as well as he would on other treatment regimes. Same thing applies (because he is feeling good and figures that it is not “doing anything”), when he refuses to take it he changes, add the alcohol, disaster.

He saw a therapist for the first time yesterday and we are going to meet a counselor together today. We will see where this goes.

“evil may be found in anger, when, to wit, one is angry, more or less than right reason demands. But if one is angry in accordance with right reason, one’s anger is deserving of praise” (Aquinas ST II-II 158,1)

*"Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed.

Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong." *(St. John Chrysostom)

thank you Ender…very helpful and encouraging:)


Can you get some help and support for yourself? It’s not easy being with an alcoholic. There is Alanon, which is for families who are being adversely affected by a family member. They provide support for each other.

I’d recommend them to anyone in that situation.

Subconsciously, he might be trying to self medicate, but as you say, it doesn’t sound like it’s going well.

In addition to Alanon, I’d strongly recommend you get some counseling for yourself. Do you have health insurance? If so, it may cover a few visits. Well, alcoholics can pull an entire family down into ruin.

Well, I don’t know if most realize just how hard alcohol is not only on the alcoholic but on an entire family. It’s very easy to enable the drinking, and Alanon can help teach you ways not to.

Let me include the link. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Thank you for your concern.

This is surely a difficult time for all of us. On Wed we had an emergency appointment at the counseling office (How we got an appointment that very day I will never know…Thanks be to God). It was helpful. He is in a severe depression

He has been taking his treatment and not drinking for the past several days and his clarity is coming back, painfully so.

Alanon is a great suggestion, I think that there may be a lot of help there for me and the kids, even though it may not be true alcoholism, the carnage is there.

On the bright side I have convinced him to come with me to adoration this evening since it is the first Friday of the month. This may be the first step to converting of his heart. At times, cradle Catholics need to be awakened from their sleep (I definitely did)

Thank you and please keep us in your prayers.

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