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My angry depressed DH has crossed a line today, verbal/physical abuse - what to do ?

(27 Posts)
justoverit Sun 27-Jan-13 22:18:18

I have posted before but not for a while. Briefly, we have been married for 8 years and have 2 kids. H is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober since April last year, and has always suffered with depression. He is very angry, always has been, but he has been exploding more and more recently. When he was drinking it would happen every few months, we would row and he would end up slamming doors, punching holes in walls, kicking stuff. I hate it. Now we seem to be arguing all the time and he is more and more frequently acting out violently, in front of the kids and for really unwarranted things. He has never in all the time we have been together been physically abusive towards me, but when he shouts, his face is So angry it's terrifying as i can see how full of rage he is, and he points his finger at me in a way i hate. He also blames me - eg "you created this, you amped it up and now i'm shouting", etc

We have had a bit of trouble lately with dd who is quite emotional and keeps answering us back shouting, if we ask her to do anything - reasonable things like getting dressed etc. Yes i know there is an obvious bad role model thing here. I have suggested this weekend that if she shouts at us she is to go to her room and calm down and he agreed. I have been enforcing this and it's worked a few times .

This morning we were trying to leave the house to meet his family for a long planned celebration lunch. Should have been lovely. I was in the other room. She was dressed and ready after much chivvying from both of us, but when he told her to stop what she was doing on the computer she shouted in his face that she didn't want to. We had been warning her we needed to leave and told her she could have 5 mins on it which was up. He smacked her for shouting at him. (He has smacked her about 2 times ever before, he usually is very controlled around the kids.) She started screaming and crying even more.

As we were late, going somewhere special and i just didn't want her to get any more upset I sat with her and cuddled her, said that she shouldn't shout at us, but to calm down and also that he should not have shouted at her or smacked her for that. She calmed a bit. He then came out of the bedroom and started shouting at her that he had smacked her because she was shouting in his face. I said Shh, as i could see that this was just going to upset her further and he seemed to not realise that he was shouting quite loudly and aggressively. He said don't Shush me, I said please just talk to her. He started repeating what he'd said even louder, i kept asking him to stop as i could see it just getting worse, he then shouted at me to stop talking over him, slammed the door but then reappeared, shouting even more angrily, held my wrist and really close to me and dd shouted the same thing all over again. He said sorry to me afterwards, i said a few words, calmly, that we need to talk tonight and that his blow-ups are scaring me, He said that he is furious all the time and that's why. He said and so are you. I said i'm not furious i'm just sad. We then had to go as we couldn't let his family down for lunch, and we had to play act that we were ok. He is out now, and obviously we haven't had the conversation.

Before this happened i had been building up to asking him to go to counselling, or anger management and making it a condition that he did so as I am at the end of the line now and want a divorce unless he can change. The wall punching etc is too much. I'm starting to realise it's abusive. I am trying to give him a chance to get back to normal without drink but i think he's had long enough. He has been saying for ages that he agrees he is angry and needs counselling or therapy but never goes through with it.

He was going to AA meetings up until a month ago, and was saying these were like therapy but he's stopped now.

I feel so sad about the idea of divorce, i don't want to be a single parent but increasingly think it might be better than how we live now, and this morning because he held my wrist and lost it so thoroughly in front of dd, I just think maybe this is the final line he has crossed. What do i do? How do i tell him about this ultimatum without it becoming an argument ? Am i kidding myself that he'll be able to go to anger management or counselling and ever be ok ?

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 22:23:52

i suspect that you have had years of ultimatums and years of shit things happen for you to get to the point where after many years your dh is sober. what got him to that point? was there a pivotal 'no more' moment?

grown ups just dont act like this - thats the top and bottom of it. Good people, good parents - they just don't

justoverit Sun 27-Jan-13 22:30:20

Yes he had periods of sobriety but always went back to drinking, drank in cycles and stopped when he became very down. Last year he had a relapse, and a horrible month where he had week long binges, totally went off the rails, had a breakdown basically and was suicidal. This was the rock bottom and he accepted that i would leave if he didn't sober up, and he didn't want to be like that any more.
He has improved in loads of ways, less selfish, more helpful with kids and house. But the anger is getting worse.

Hatpin Sun 27-Jan-13 22:47:03

You may have given him umpteen ultimatums in the past but it is OK to say enough is enough at ANY time.

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 22:48:00

no more, for your kids - just don't do it anymore. plan things carefully, don't try and talk to him to see if he will change - he wont. just change your life

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 27-Jan-13 22:52:57

Honestly, I think the best thing for you to do is to leave now. If he gets his shit together and takes real steps to deal with his issues, maybe you can reconcile on down the road. But, don't sit there and wait for him to do it because the odds are that he won't.

justoverit Sun 27-Jan-13 22:58:52

I know, i think you are all right. I just don't think i have the strength to go through with it. I can't leave, i have nowhere to go with dc. He would have to leave and I don't know how to make that happen.

pictish Sun 27-Jan-13 23:11:39

Sweetheart, he isn't abusive because he is angry...he is angry becuse he is abusive.

I'm sure he doesn't behave like that in front of his mum, or his boss. It's all just for you.

Not acceptable. x

Hissy Sun 27-Jan-13 23:13:43

You have the strength.

Think of what strength it takes to put up with all of this awful abuse.

You have all that strength to draw from.

What's the alternative? Hoping he'll wake up one day a better person?

Sorry love, but you know that's never going to happen. There is no plan b.

Get some advice on what you're entitlements, what help you can get.

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:33:07

lets talk practicalities.

you have planned this many times - i know you have. i know it.

Do you own your home. if not, who does

justoverit Sun 27-Jan-13 23:39:55

Thank you custardo i was just about to post "but how?". Yes i have planned in my head but I just don't get how it would work. and then things improve. It's felt bad for a long time though and now i cannot imagine growing old with him.

So. We own the house, his parents helped us buy with a big deposit. If we sell the deal is that he will get this deposit portion, not me (papers we signed when buying the house. We live in a part of London that is getting more and more expensive to the point that he could not rent around here. Despite everything i would want him to have access to the kids and to be able to split care. I think he and I will both be better parents separately actually.

cestlavielife Sun 27-Jan-13 23:42:32

How old are your dc ? Under eight?
The bad atmosphere is not helping them learn to behave appropriately... totally bad role models.

He needs to live elsewhere and get help.. . You and dc need some help too to move past this.

Tension building up shouting etc before going out is a classic anecdote in "why does he do that...." and one that happened a lot with my ex too... In the end end, you have given him enough chance and time to change.
So he is furious all the time ? And it is your fault? Well he needs to leave. My guess is he won't leave quietly tho,l you going to need a lot of resolve and seek support from women's aid,,,

Is there someplace he would go ? Would he leave if you ask ?
If not could you leave with dc and use solicitors after to sort out housing ?

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:47:29

you need to talk through your options with Womens Aid - yes it's abuse and you know it.

you need to talk over your finances with the local CAB - there will be an initial appointment then probably another more in depth appointment.

what you need to do is get your facts. this will take time - maybe a couple of weeks - researching.

make a list.

finance. who owns what, can you prove it - where is the paper work.

do you work?

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:50:04

get together, birth certificates, contact lists such as doctors, solicitors, telephone providers, bank details

do you share a bank account? for instance - i do not share a bank account with my dh, but he does pay my mobile bill - such a situation could be tricky for you - do you see what i'm saying

make sure you know all your finances and all his too.

who owns the car, who pays for it, is it on contract, where are the insurance documents.

do you have savings are they in joint names, how can you access this.

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:51:09
Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:51:56
bestsonever Sun 27-Jan-13 23:52:15

This could quite easily be a deep seated part of his character which may never change. Evidence so far - angry when drinking, angry when sober. Like he admits, he's angry all the time and yet in 8 years and after 2 children has not addressed his issues. Also depression - hard to know, chicken and egg with alcohol, as one fuels the other so which came first?
There comes a point where it is time to quit trying to support and understand why. When you realize that your kid's life matters most to you as they are the best of us we hope going into the future. Your life is next and linked in to theirs - if you are happy, you function better as a parent, they get the best of you. The best you can do is protect them from the negativity of a toxic influence you H is already having on their behaviour by ending this situation.
Booted mine out when DS 3yrs old - he's now a well-adjusted, well behaved, cleaver, fabulous 9yr old who makes me proud and smile every day.
His father is still a depressed alcoholic 6 years later - they have to want to change. I have no idea what it would take to change my ex-P? I'm not sure if anything will (rehab didn't work either). So how much more time are you going to waste on it? How much more emotional damage and future problems are you prepared to risk your children with? These are the questions you can answer yourself now and do something about.

Greensleeves Sun 27-Jan-13 23:52:32

So sorry OP, clearly you can't go on like this sad

Do what Custy says. It's hard to think about practicalities when your life is falling apart, and her advice is gold dust in this situation.

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:53:56
suburbophobe Mon 28-Jan-13 00:25:48

You really need to get out of this for the sake of yourself and ESPECIALLY YOUR DD! He is very abusive. Poor little girl. sad

You can't fix someone else - I think they call it codependent. But you really need to protect your daughter's future. You owe it to her.

Personally - and I've experienced DV - I would rather be in a refuge than a situation like you describe.

Maryz Mon 28-Jan-13 00:36:57

justoverit, have you heard the term dry drunk and again here ? Because I know people like this - they have given up drinking, but remain bitter and angry and want someone to blame for the dead end their life has become.

Instead of embracing life without alcohol and starting again, they spend all their time resenting the fact that they have had to give it up (the only thing in their life that they enjoyed hmm, etc etc) and blaming the person who made them give it up.

Maryz Mon 28-Jan-13 00:39:13

Sorry, that's not much help to you on the leaving bit, but might give you a bit more understanding that he won't change, that it isn't your fault in any way and that you have to find the strength to escape from it.

Norem Mon 28-Jan-13 00:46:01

Hi op please listen to all the advice you have been given and separate from this man.
Life will change but for the better, just think about the next step not the big picture at the moment.
Sort out today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
You and your children deserve to live in a peaceful happy home.

AnyFucker Mon 28-Jan-13 00:56:40

So, he has substituted one damaging behaviour for another ?

this man is no good

really, he isn't

justoverit Mon 28-Jan-13 08:09:48

Hello, thanks for all this. I was offline as i was talking to DH when he got back. We have both realised that we need to be apart, he's been thinking the same as me. He does get that his behaviour is not acceptable. We had a long, rational discussion about all of it. I am not making excuses for him but yesterday was an aberation in that nothing that extreme has happened before. Still a turning point for me and a signal that things have got very bad between us.

He agrees that it is a toxic relationship and we are bad role models for the kids and that we would be better off separating. We are going to talk more tonight but we have agreed to start with doing a 50/50 split where we won't be together in the house, but will take turns to be home with the kids. We've agreed he will do therapy to try and treat depression, and he definitely is depressed btw, he has every symptom physically and mentally. We may try relate but i think he needs to sort himself first and honestly i don't think we're ever going to get back to any kind of healthy relationship no matter how much counselling we do.

We are both much better when alone with the kids, all of these conflicts happen when we are together, both resentful and angry and not able to work as a team. I shout at the kids too tbh but am much calmer and focussed when not having to battle him to get stuff done. So we're going to see if we can parent in turns, and keep the kids at home for the meantime.

Money wise, I work pt and he is self employed. I don't want to go to a refuge, i honestly would do that if i thought we were in danger or that it would escalate like yesterday again but the kids don't need to go through that yet. I'll go to to CAB on my day off and discuss my rights. We have mostly separate finances and one joint bank ac but he pays the mortgage, and me bills and food,kids clothes etc.

I'll keep you updated. I really don't know if the above plan will work but I want to try so we'll see.

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