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Husband’s aggression.


Registered User
Jan 6, 2017
I've been living with my husband's aggression for nearly 5 years now but as his demetia progresses he seems to have less & less control over his actions. In the past I always felt he wouldn't hurt me now I'm not so sure. He had me in a head lock recently & will lunge at me in full rage so I keep my distance & out of the way. It's mainly in the evening it happens. He's managed to break 3 doors by slamming them, break the door surround & we have numerous cracks in the plaster. Our neighbour phoned the other evening as she was so concerned about my safety.

He's under a Mental Health practitioner & he's tried various medications but they either have bad side effects or don't work very well. Last night I emailed him to say I think my OH needs to go to an assessment unit but this morning when everything is so calm I'm feeling really guilty for having done so. The problem is I don't know what's causing it - my husband has non-fluent asphasia so even if he knows he can't tell me. All I know is he seems frightened.

I really don't know what to do for the best but I understand and sympathise with the feeling of guilt. We can't help the way we feel. Why does life have to be so hard?


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
@Littlebear I'm so sorry to read about what you're experiencing. Certainly don't feel guilty - your husband really does need to go for assessment.

You need to keep yourself safe. Do you have somewhere in the house you can go to if he is being physically aggressive? Preferably where you can lock yourself in - take a mobile phone with you. Phone the police when he is having an aggressive outburst. In this way at the very least the incident will be recorded and they will see that you are at risk.

It might be helpful to talk things through with someone on the Helpline, but do keep posting here.

National Dementia Helpline.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hi @Littlebear
don't feel bad, you both need support and urgently ... it simply isn't fair on either you to be living with the situation you describe

can you follow up the e-mail with a phone call and make it clear that, sadly, you are at risk of harm because of your husband's aggression ... tell them exactly what has happened ... even mention safeguarding and their duty of care

and please, call the police if anything close to the 'head lock' happens or you fear it might ... that is so dangerous .. that way the police will be aware and able to make a referral themselves ...I appreciate this feels such a tough step to take, but it isn't right that your husband is finding himself in such a worrying situation, putting you both in harm's way, when he is simply unable to do anything about it himself


Registered User
Jan 6, 2017
Many thanks for your advice & support. If things get bad I can lock myself in the bathroom & my phone is always in my back pocket. Whilst at times I've thought of calling the police, I find it too hard to do & anyway he would almost certainly have calmed down by the time they arrived.

In the cold light of day, when things are calm, I always feel that maybe I've over reacted and things aren't so bad. It's probably how many victims of domestic abuse feel. I do worry though about him going into hospital for an assessment as I fear that it will hasten his decline & I know I will feel responsible if that happens. It's such a hard decision. I'm already having Counselling for depression, the sole cause of which is my OH's dementia I just wish the decision could be taken out of my hands & someone would tell me what the right things to do is.

The mental health worker is away until Monday & I don't want to start with someone new so I'll wait until then & hope things settle down a bit. This has happened before - a few really bad days followed by a period of calm. No apparent rhyme or reason, just how things are.