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how to deal with DP's anger issues? long sorry!(51 Posts)
this might turn out to be a long one! i don't really know where to start. last night myself and DP had a minor disagreement about planning for our future, we are currently unhappy living where we are and we both have different ideas of where we want to live. this in itself is not the issue. this issue is the way he reacts whenever something bothers him. what started as a minor thing ended with him leaving the room while i was speaking to to him as he said he could feel tension building so he left the room. then when he came back in, i tried speaking to him again about it and he shouted, very loudly, in my face 'shut your fucking mouth!' i can't even remember what i said to make him react like that. he then apologised and said he was getting angry and irate.
this is by no means the first time this has happened, he is bipolar and he has been much worse than this, he sometimes shouts and throws things around the room and smashes stuff. he has never directed this anger towards me or DD (13 months) but i do have serious issues with it, obviously. it is sometimes triggered by DD's crying if i'm trying to deal with her having a hissy fit about something he will sometimes shout 'shut that fucking child up' and he will look like he is about to punch something. he is a big guy and before DD was born he was never ever aggressive in this manner. he has found fatherhood rather difficult to settle in to (DD was not planned) and he seems to blame all his anger issues on DD's crying/behaviour etc. i try and explain that it is not DD's fault, it is his inability to deal with her that is the problem. it really bothers me that DD has seen him be aggressive and she is sometimes visibly scared of him.
after our little row last night i found that he left open a page on the net which was entitled 'when to end a relationship'. he speaks often of the fact that he thinks i don't like him as much anymore (not true, the only issue i have is the anger) and he feels like the relationship isn't working. however, as he is bipolar, one minute he is feeling like its great, then the next he thinks its awful and going to end.
i don't know what to do anymore, the more he has these angry outbursts the more i feel like i will have no choice but to end the relationship. i want him to get help, he always says he will but never follows through. i really don't understand bipolar issues and think he is just being ridiculous a lot of the time. maybe i need to work on this but i am at my wits end. please help!!
I am appalled you would stay with a man that you acknowledge is visibly frightening your tiny daughter
It takes a lot for one so young to be demonstrating outward signs of fear of her father
Things are only going to get worse, and I worry you are not protecting the most precious things in your life
'Bi-polar' is not an excise for having hissy fits..
As a genuine diagnosis, bipolar disorder is a very serious mental health problem Applying the term to every bad tempered, entitled, immature prick does no-one any favours
Does he have a psychiatrist ? is he on medication? does his 'bipolar' disorder affect ANYONE else ? or is it just an exciue to frighten and be aggressive with YOU his partner ?
it is CHILLING to thing a year old child is frightened of her father. Thats not a one off shouty episode, that's sustained, persistent aggressive, scary actions in front of a baby.
i'd bet my life he's not bipolar, just bad tempered with poor self control
I still read threads like this and they chill me.
It took me a very, very long time to get the courage together to leave a man very like this Dreaming.
A plan is a good idea, if you are both committed to working things out and believe he means it then by all means, that is a starting point. I would put a very clear deadline on things happening though
And he has to be pro active about every step. Not paying lip service to appease you and then after a week or so things slide back to the way they were.
And a very thick black line has to be drawn on certain things NEVER happening again.
He exerts self control, or is obviously not capable of doing so without either medication or therapy.
Having an exit plan is a good idea, BUT really not a sign of a healthy relationship and it makes me so very sad that you are having to think like that.
If he is going to change, then it is hard work and to be honest, although I didn't at the time, I would advise moving out and giving yourself some space. And peace of mind.
Deeply sadly, 3 1/2 years after long term Marriage to a man similar to your DP, My two DC's still have their own issues.
Hissy is right I think. The actual likelihood of him changing is remote and the long term effects are devastating. My father was like this, and I did as she said and moved from one abusive situation to another. It is 'conditioned' into you, and becomes your norm. So even when you know it is wrong. It feels right.
And aside from my DC's, and even with counselling, I am virtually incapable of dealing with some of the long term consequences of 4 decades of DA.
I am doing better, but I limp and the paralysing fear it has left me with sometimes is so wearing.
The 'nice sometimes bit' is the hardest and the most insidious.
Even my DS, now 15, says when he sees his Dad he can manage him when he is being vile, but when he turns on the emotional tap..... it messes with your head. Both DS and DD admit they are still scared of him.
And ANYONE who blames you when they have stepped so clearly out of line is incapable of taking personal responsibility for their own behaviour. It shows an overwhelming lack of respect.
Life is damn hard, for the most part, your relationship should provide a source of strength and comfort, not somewhere where a child feels scared.
in my post at 14:02 I should have said "even doing one regularly isn't acceptable" - sorry.
WRT to your plan. I think you need to be specific about your boundaries - so no shouting at you or DD, breaking items of furniture or using intimidating behaviour as a starter. Getting treatment another.
And you spend time thinking so you are clear in your head what you will do to implement your exit plan. Perhaps have your important papers stored out of the house (passports and birth certificates, bank statements). Maybe have a bag packed so you can leave at a moments notice. Know which of the boundaries you'd call the police over.
I think it is important to remember that this is one of those lists that you don't have to tick all of them - even doing one regularly is acceptable and you don't get any in a healthy relationship.
What I'd advise you to do though is just keep that list in the back of your mind over the coming days/weeks/months.
Good luck - I hope that getting treatment sorts out those things that are on the list. If it doesn't please remember that you are not responsible for him, his treatment, his behaviour or anything other than making sure you look after yourself and your child. You can't not fix someone nor can you change them. This I know from my own experience.
Tea thank you for that link, it was actually quite reassuring, he doesn't do hardly any of those things on the list, they sound horrifying. although i'm not saying that because he only does a few things it makes the situation any better. i don't think he would ever hurt myself or DD and if he ever did, i would immediately leave. no questions asked.
i think my course of action is to get him to the GP asap, get him seeing someone professional and warn him that if anything untoward happens in the mean time then he can just leave or i will take DD and stay at my mum's for a while.
does that sound reasonable?
also, i have doubted that he has true BDAP for some time, maybe he does have BPD. i'm not sure. i just want him to get some help.
They wouldn't prescribe anti depressants for bipolar. It would make it worse. They might prescribe mood stabilisers, or maybe anti psychotics in combination with anti depressants.
If he does actually have bipolar, he needs these meds to survive, it is not a case of 'getting over issues'. It would take a hell of a lot of support before he would come off meds, if at all.
The charities that help people with schizophrenia also help people with bipolar.
A severe mental illness takes around 10 years off someones life span.
I don't know him, but it doesn't sound like he has it. I have it, and I would honestly say that someone with a severe mental illness who is off meds and has anger issues would not be near my child. I don't say that lightly.
Dreaming I see you've checked his behaviour against the Bi-Polar site. I would also have a look at some of the information on Domestic Violence to see if you identify some of the impacts of his behaviour on you.
Abuse in Different Forms
Um people who have bipolar are not usually able to get over it with a course of anti-depressants.
It's a lifelong, serious mental illness that affects every part of their lives, and is really rather hellish. I doubt your partner has anything of the sort from what you describe here. By the way the people I've met who suffer from bipolar? Spent their lives being routinely hospitalised due to their illness. It's like another poster said..think of it like schizophrenia..you can't just get a 'touch' of bipolar. It's too common for people to have mood swings and then people to say oh it's bipolar.
When you see the disorder in action...the manic phases are extremely obvious to anyone around the person, as are the lower moods. The person is not able to function, often cannot talk coherently, or at all. They dont have a hissy fit and hide in a dark room for a coupe of hours until their partner who they have just been abusive to comes and talks them out of it.
Maybe he has BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder. Maybe. Without diagnosis by a professional who can say really?
I think he either goes on meds or you leave, tbh. His behaviour is massively unhealthy.
Sweety, you are not in a relationship with someone who is ill, you are in a relationship with domestic abuse/violence.
You are being abused. Your DD is being abused. You want your loving partner back, I'm so sorry to tell you, and it would really help if you read the Why Does He Do That book to see why, but that man was only ever an illusion. He never existed and, to you, he will never exist again. Well, unless he needs to reel you back in under his control.
The Bipolar thing is a smokescreen, it's a lie I reckon, used to give him a cast iron shield to any and every request you have to stop being nasty to you, and to blame you AND your little baby for triggering him.
this man is destroying you and unless you leave NOW, your DD will grow up to know that this is normal and you will watch as she goes from one abuser to the next.
This is your chance to save her from this, and yourself. You can't change anything about this, this is not of your doing, nothing you ever do or say will change a thing, well, leaving might, but unless you do go, you will never see any improvement, only worsening of the current situation.
At this early stage in your family's life, there ought to be decades of life left for you all, but a man like this could very well change all this.
Two women a week are killed in the UK by abusive partners. He could very well cite all kinds of MH stuff to justify hurting you AND your DD, and he knows it.
Get out, stay out. There is nothing more you can do.
Do you know that BPAD is a really serious illness, akin to schizophrenia?
It has a huge morbidity and mortality.
It wrecks lives.
It usually requires a cocktail of drugs to get and stay well.
However - it became fashionable a few years ago and this is why:
In Europe, generally, health care is available to people and the doctors have a lot of discretion - if they need to spend an hour assessing a patient, then they do, if they need a week, they take a week. If they want to see the patient again, they do so. They rely on clinical judgement hugely - thats what brings medicine from science towards craft, and in Europe thats what it is. In europe a diagnostic tool/ list of diagnosis called the ICD is used. This lets the doctor double check "Lets have a look at his thing, and make sure this person's diagnosis is valid (true)" The ICD has room for clinical skill.
Meanwhile over in America, those who do have access to medical care are at the total and absolute mercy of the insurance companies. So diagnosis involves minimum clinical skill and maximum box-ticking and useof algorithms.
A doctor in the UK sits before you with a blank page and takes notes that he/she sees as relevant. A doctor in the US sits before you with a prefilled form. Doctor will only get paid if patient has A plus B plus 2 of 3 in C. If these criteria are met doctor can schedule one follow up visit of 15 minutes.
Their system of classification is called the DSM
It is entirely restrictive and leaves no room for clinical impression.
Doctors there, of course, are trained in this way (how else to square up ethical consideration with leaving large portions untreated) and thus think its normal. They think it is utterly scientific.
Doctors here (that have considered such differences) see that their way leads to HUGE numbers being medicated (10% of school age children anyone) as that is the path down which insurance companies take them.
So it is not rare at all in the US it be diagnosed as Bipolar on the basis of Have you ever felt down? and Have you ever had a period where you felt on top of the world?
So US doctor ticks the hundred boxes, patient gets cover for medicine and a review visit, the whole business goes on.
SO European doctors sometimes use DSM. Of course, they've maybe worked in the US, or read papers from there, or like the general population have a bit of love for all things Americana.
Plus some celebs are lets say easier to diagnose with BPAD than say Narcisisstic PD. A more palatable dx.
Why the long essay?
Dunno,up too early, too much coffee.
Tired of seeing MH diagnosis used as an excuse for bad behaviour.
Hoping maybe that OP or other interested posters might go mmm, might remember some of that when next I see men use MH as an excuse, whilest doing nothing about it.
If your DP wants the right to use BPAD as an excuse, he has to a) actually have the thing and b) be doing something about it.
(It is very unusual for someone actually diagnosed with BPAD to simply not be in contact with any follow up treatment/support)
People who say "oh well I looked it up, I definitely have a touch of that" are looking for an excuse. Who would use schizophrenia in such a way? No-one. So why so acceptable now to use BPAD?
Anyway, this is the end of the thread, a thread killer for sure, but I got it off my chest.
Off for more coffee.
I said it before, and I will repeat it: the Bipolar is a red herring. It sounds very much like he is Bipolar AND abusive. He is BOTH. It is possible, very possible indeed.
Moreover, even if this behaviour is 100% due to his Bipolar, you should not have to tolerate it and should not stay with him because it's not the 'real' him.
Your children will not to be able to understand, rationalise and excuse his behaviour the way you do, they will just be terrified of him and damaged forever by his behaviour.
I think when you say you are level-headed and don't understand things, this actually means that because you wouldn't behave like this yourself, you are trying too hard to find excuses and to minimise it. Also that because you can't 'get' it, you're minimising it.
When you say that this is not the real him, you are mistaken. This IS the real him. People SHOW you who they are. The nice facade is slipping. He has you were he wants you and is dropping the nice guy act because he doesn't feel he needs it to keep you and control you anymore.
I always ask women with abusive partners this: would YOU behave this way towards your partner? (and that includes with their childhoos issues and current stress) If no, and you know the answer will be no, why not? And then, if why not, how come it's acceptable for him to behave like that to you?
And you can't just excuse all that with his Bipolar, because if he cared, he would get treatment, his no. 1 priority in life would be ensuring that his condition did not make life bad for the people who should matter most to him in the world. When he is in a 'normal' state (I hate using normal in regards to MH, so please excuse it for want of a better word) he would have done this by now if this abusiveness wasn't his actual true self.
Abusers abuse because it serves them well. Ergo, it's virtually impossible to get them to change because making your life a misery means nothing to them compared to making themselves happy.
Seriously, he'll take you down with him.
i forgot to say he also has the high times characterised by BPD, where he will get really giddy and excitable - almost like a child - and after which he will usually come crashing down. this is becoming less frequent and seems to be being replace with more angry outbursts
i kind of over exaggerated when i said he is up one minute then down he next. its more like, he has an angry or aggressive out burst, storms off and then goes and lies down in the dark in bed and doesn't come down unless i go and talk to him, by which point he has usually calmed down but is feeling very depressed about everything.
we will them talk though things and try and come to a solution, which always ends up with me saying he needs to get help and he agrees.
he will then generally be fine for a few days/weeks/months before it happens again. his mother is also very depressed and he did not have a stable childhood, i know he genuinely has problems but as someone who is very level-headed i have trouble understanding and coping with his issues.
he will not take medication and tbh i wouldn't want him to as i think he should get over his problems without being drugged up. i don't think anti-depressants don't really do any good in the long run.
it is a very difficult situation, i really love him and if he had been like during the first stages of our relationship i would not have had children with him and would not have stayed with him. i just don't feel like this is the real him at the moment, i don't know where my man has gone but i want him back
*Bipolar isn't generally up one minute, down the next.
Its more weeks or months going up then weeks or months going down.
Does he have an actual diagnosis?
Does he have regular appointments with his psych team?
Is he on medication, and are his team happy with the levels etc?
Are you included in his treatment?
Have you ever reported to his team that he has "an anger problem" which he says is due to his BPAD?
Do they agree that anger is a part of his illness.
Yes, irritability is associated with BPAD but it should be reported to team and discussed in the open.
Wanting to end a relationship, not wanting the responsibility of minding a baby, and generaly being an arse are not associated with BPAD.
Does this help at all?*
I was going to say something along these lines.
A relative has bipolar disorder and it doesn't involve the same kind of mood swings that you describe, although I think there are two types of bipolar. Bipolar is a serious mental illness and highs or lows can last for weeks or months at a time.
Either way, what you are going through sounds horrendous and I couldn't live with it unless I had some support.
does he have a bipolar diagnosis from a psychiatrist?
is he actually on meds for this?
you ahve a chance to leave with DD now before too much damage is done/before more damage is done.
fact: he can't cope with being a father.
fact: he isnt seeking help
i stayed with my similar ex for years - in the end he did direct this anger at me/ds.. separate now.
Have you considered that he may not have BPD at all?.
He could certainly make an appt at the GP; he simply does not want to and does not give a fig about either you or your DD. He is already refusing to seek help.
He will destroy you both if you stay. Compare your own self now to how you were before you were unfortunate enough to meet such a person. Your DD as well has been scared on more than one occasion by him.
The only acceptable level of violence within a relationship is none.
he said earlier that i can make an appointment at the gp for him to get a referral.
Oh FFS - he can make his own appointment at the GP! If he actually gave a shit.
You are not responsible for his behaviour. You are not responsible for his eventual therapy. He and only he is.
For it to be effective, it has to come from him.
If you are responsible for it, you are setting yourself to take the blame when it all goes wrong.
HE needs to sort himself out, by his own grown-ass self, IF he actually wants to.
YOU need to decide how much more of his behaviour you are willing to take, and take your own steps in consequence.
Sorry if I missed this - is he on meds? If not, why not?
look have him leave and live separately and let him know if he gets help and addresses his issues there is a chance.
you have to set clear boundaries.
if he shouts/throws things - he goes now today.
are you willing to risk another shouting/throwing episode tonight/tomorrow/ next week while you wait for him to see someone? do you want your dd to see yet more episodes of shouting and throwing things? risk being hit by a flying fis or object?
why is he letting you make an appt? why isnt he doing it if he recognizes the issue?
fact: he is an adult - he has to be the one to go to gp and ask for help!
thank you all for your replies as well, i heed what you are all saying. i think if it carries on much longer, or if he refuses to get help, then i will not have any choice but to leave, which i really don't want to do but i need to know DD is safe. i must stress she is not always scared of him, she has only expressed that once or twice. which tbh is more than enough times
HeyHo he has not seen anyone about his BPD for a very long time. it has not been a problem in our relationship until a couple of months after dd was born. i distinctly remember the first time he was in any way aggressive, he kicked over a chair in the living room and stormed off.
i really want to him to address his problems, having looked on the Mind website, he does have all the symptoms of BPD. i'm wondering if i should let him see a specialist before just leaving him? i feel like i should give him that chance at least. he said earlier that i can make an appointment at the gp for him to get a referral. i think he really needs help.
Mind says that a stressful event like childbirth can trigger BPD again, i'm wondering if this is what has happened. in any case i think he does need help. we had a wonderful relationship before, i just want the man i fell in love with back again.