Sometimes when someone tells you to calm down and it can have the opposite effect completely.
Perhaps spend less time together.
If you aren't happy in the relationship you shouldn't be in it. If he gets angry with you after a year what will he be like after 10 years, 50 years? Can you really put up with it that long?
You say you come from an argumentatie background - is that cos your parents argued? I have seen on a number of occasions where peoples parents rowed, that they think they should put up with it because their parents did, and that is all they have seen throughout their lives.
If you aren't happy, you really need to discuss it with him, if he can't change - it may be for the best that you lose him.
Does he have any problems in his past, anything that he doesn't like talking about? I just ask because that may be why he gets so angry. I fly completely off the handle for no real reason all the time, even when I'd rather die than hurt the person I'm screaming at. I'm not sure what you can do, though, because if it is anything like that he'll probably resist any attemptto discuss it.
It happens to every couple. The trick is to get over it. I find that lots of physical contact e.g. hugs help to keep things on a very even keel. This is because of the way the human brain works. Your brain releases a feel good drug and makes you feel better and bond closer to the person you are hugging.
Arguing over small things is fairly common in relationships but if it's turning into a full scale slanging match over something petty then thats not good. Is there any particular subject that you argue about? If it is maybe have a frank chat about it without raising voices..if he raises his voice and shouts at you out of the blue walk away and let him calm down - don't rise to it or give fuel to his arguing.
If he wants to sort things out immediately, maybe try and say to him that if you argue you have 15mins apart to think about whats happened and then try and resolve it calmly. Often going to neutral ground, not being in each others houses, can help diffuse the situation.
When you are still infatuated with someone in the early stages of a relationship you dont often see their faults, so you argue very little. Things they do that might annoy you, dont, because you idolise them. Everything gets glossed over because you are so amazed to be together, so tolerant, so easy going. After this initial glow wears off, couples can find that fundemental things about each others personalities annoy each other. You are slightly more established, and therefore you know that if you argue, it dosent equal instant breakup, so you feel safe enough to act irritiable from time to time.
Showing someone your human side, getting mad under times of stress,and being overly hormonal at certain times of the month are all fine...either you'll stick through them, because you care for each other, or you'll break up, because you didnt like the relationship and needed an excuse to end things. HOWEVER....
What you have here dosent sound like common, occassional irritation. From what you've said your boyfriend sounds like he's taking advantage of the fact he knows you wont leave him, no matter how he acts. He feels safe in your relationship...safe enough to make you miserable, without fear of you turning around and saying "sod off then" and leaving him for good. It is unpleasant of him to do this, and exploit your bond with him. From what you have said, you do argue back, which is good because being a doormat can suck, but there's a chance that maybe you two just naturally rub each other up the wrong way - you'll probably be very intensely loving and passionate, but just as firey when you fight. If you really are two people who are both quite dominant and argumentative, this isnt impossible to work out, but it will take a lot of time and maturity; you'll have to sit your boyfriend down, and honestly tell him how this makes YOU feel. Dont talk about him, dont use accusing words, dont say "YOU make me feel like this" say "when you do that I feel..." or even the more neutral "When that happens, I feel..." a confrontational attitude dosent sound like it would work, so keep this like you are confessing to him that YOU have a problem, and if things dont clear up, YOU dont feel like you can be happy in the relationship. I'm not saying blame yourself, just steer clear of anything that sounds like "You do these things! You make me feel bad!" because then he'll feel the need to defend himself, will get angry, and wont hear the truth behind your words because he's so busy getting self righteous. Hope this helps.
Beat the anger out of him. Keep a stout length of wood handy, and give him a thwack on the head when he gets worked up.
This prevents arguements on an immediate basis, because he will be too unconcious to argue. It also provides an element of pavlovian conditioning to stop future outbursts before they happen. Finally, it will help reverse old stereotypes of the woman being beaten by the man, and anything that defies stereotypes is always good, right?
things will generally not change. I'd get out of it
there's plenty more fish in the sea.