Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I'm starting to feel like this is a deal breaker

(44 Posts)
AudreyJunior Tue 09-Apr-13 10:11:34

DH and I have been together for 13 years and married for 10. We have two small DCs.

DH has always had a temper. When driving he occasionally loses his temper with others on the road and when that happens, he drives very aggressively and dangerously. It frightens me, and he knows it, but he tells me I've no right to comment because I can't drive myself.

He gets inappropriately angry around DC2 for some reason. The other day DC1 told me 'Mommy, I love you because you don't shout at DC2' which fairly stopped me in my tracks. DC1 is nearly 3, DC2 is 14 months.

We've had a month or so of bad sleep with DC2, due to all four canines erupting at once. Last night at 11pm DH went downstairs to get him a bottle of milk (he'd been too tired to drink his bedtime bottle so was hardly being unreasonable to want one!) and I heard a lot of noise. This morning I found that he had punched through the kitchen lightswitch (it's a button rather than a switch) and it was completely shattered.

We've discussed his temper many, many times. Last time he agreed to arrange anger management counselling for himself but he never did. He just doesn't think he has a problem at all. But I'm starting to think that I can't let him stay. He's great with the kids otherwise and they're mad about him but I don't want them growing up afraid of his temper. My mother had a terrible temper and it was horrible to live with.

Am I overreacting? It's hard to trust myself when he thinks what he's doing is fine.

killerrobot Wed 10-Apr-13 21:29:54

*others

killerrobot Wed 10-Apr-13 21:29:28

Don't know if you're still around OP. Just read your thread and this really shone out to me...

I assume it's the same with the kids, that he doesn't like that they won't do things his way

I wonder why or how on earth anyone would or could expect a 3 year old and a 14 month old to do things their way? These are tiny, pre-school age children, hardly amenable to reason/considering the needs of other. Nor should they be.

I'd be interested to know how comfortable you would feel leaving this man in sole charge of your children, for, say, half a day. No need to answer, but just think on it. If you would have any reservations or fears about doing this, then you have to get rid.

You should get rid anyway, IMO. It sounds like your kids are being damaged and I would seek to limit that damage.

nannyj Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:07

My dad could be the nicest man around other people but I'm sure it was a way to control my mum and have his own way as we trod on eggshells around him.

It's very easy to fool yourself that you're hiding it from your kids but you can't. Everyone just learns to be quiet and tread very carefully around
him. I had an illness when I was younger and it wasn't until I was an adult that we realised it was stress. I was 2 and a half.

TisILeclerc Tue 09-Apr-13 21:22:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoraLuca Tue 09-Apr-13 20:53:10

To echo what everyone else has said, he could restrain his anger if he wanted to, but he doesn't. What gives him the right to be angry with you? Can you imagine behaving the same way yourself?

FWIW, I left my H in February after nine years together, in large part due to his temper. There were countless incidents over the years, until one day he smashed my laptop to smithereens and I left. No regrets.

AnyFucker Germany Tue 09-Apr-13 20:05:15

thanks, scarlet

sad AF and nannyj

AnyFucker Germany Tue 09-Apr-13 17:24:55

Me too with nannyj and having a childhood like this

I blame my mother too, for staying with him, even though she knew it was damaging her kids

I have no respect for her, and yes she is still him, still his verbal punchbag

I think he doesn't get angry with anyone else because they don't push him.

So his outbursts are your fault are they? And your children's fault?

You have said you get 'bugger all' out of the relationship.

There is no need for anyone to shout at a child of 14 months.

So, what are you going to do?

afrikat Tue 09-Apr-13 16:54:18

I'm completely with nannyj. My childhood memories are of a bad tempered father who used to snap at anything and went from throwing things / punching walls to lashing out at us when we got to about 3. I remember always being scared around him and I also resent my mother somewhat for not protecting us and leaving sooner.

Fairenuff Tue 09-Apr-13 16:41:13

You say he doesn't do it to others because they don't have expectations or make demands on him that anger him. But when you think about, we all face frustrations in our daily life.

People getting in our way in supermarkets and on pavements. Long queues. Being put on hold or taking ages to sort out other people's mistakes.

People get upset by what others do or say all the time but they express their feelings in an appropriate manner. This is what your dh does with everyone else. But with you and dcs he chooses to show anger by violent actions. It is abusive, bullying behaviour designed to control you. And it's working. You are already blaming yourself for his actions.

It would be a deal breaker for me.

Lemonylemon Tue 09-Apr-13 13:43:30

"yep. i agree though, if she is frightened by him, they need to sort it out. It worries me how many people on mn tell the op to ask their dh to leave. Surely that is a last resort."

She needs to ask him to leave while he sorts his temper out. The fact that his family members were shocked at his temper outburst speaks volumes. If he genuinely had management anger issues, then these would have manifested themselves in front of other people - not just the OP, the DCs and other drivers.

She needs to ask him to leave while he sorts his temper out because :
"He gets inappropriately angry around DC2 for some reason."

She needs to ask him to leave while he sorts his temper out because :

"I think he doesn't get angry with anyone else because they don't push him."
"He just doesn't think he has a problem at all."
" assume it's the same with the kids, that he doesn't like that they won't do things his way."

It will escalate. Nobody should live in fear of another person's bad temper, let alone small children.....

What OxfordBags wrote.

I would further assert that your own childhood at the hands of your angry mother led you straight into the arms of this bloke; you were conditioned by her to accept this now as your lot in life. You learnt an awful lot of damaging lessons about relationships when growing up.

Your children are being damaged here by your H's actions. Unfortunately for you and that is an understatement, no-one protected you in your childhood but you as their mother can and actually should protect them now from his malign influences before their own childhoods are further emotionally wreaked.

You also write that you get bugger all from this relationship so what is exactly keeping you there now?. The forlorn hopes that he will somehow see the light and change his ways?. It did not happen in your childhood and it won't happen with him now.

nannyj Tue 09-Apr-13 13:41:12

As someone who lived with a father who is like your husband can I implore you to seriously think about leaving him. My overriding memory is about fear and his temper and living on eggshells. If your children are picking up on it now at such a young age it must be pretty bad and he has no incentive to leave.

My father was like this all through my childhood and its left many scars on myself and sibling. To be honest I blame my mother too as she never left.

OxfordBags Tue 09-Apr-13 13:18:08

PS Of course they act mad about him - children with an abusive parent always appear to adore that parent. It's automatic self-preservation; if they keep him as sweet as possible, they hope to protect themselves and not make him get angry. It's no way to live. You know that, from your own childhood. And sadly, your childhood experiences mean that part of you has unconsciously internalised unreasonable anger as normal, which is now clouding your judgement as to how bad it is, blaming yourself (a familiar pattern for children of angry parents) and, like the child you once were, hopelessly believing that it can be made better.

OxfordBags Tue 09-Apr-13 13:13:52

He doesn't have an anger management problem. As others say, if he did, he would be losing his temper willy-nilly with all and sundry. I used to volunteer with a guy who had true anger management issues (terrible childhood in care) and he couldn't control himself if got riled, no matter who it was (just shoutiness, thankfully). He was also incredibly remorseful and ashamed and was in therapy the whole time I worked alongside him. People who accept they have problems and genuinely want to work on them, will work on them and get help.

Your talk of pushing him and the Dcs not doing things his way is the classic talk of the abused wife. It could be written in a textbook as a classic example of how women blame themselves and their kids and excuse and minimise the man's behaviour away, so as to be able to delide themselves that he's not as bad as he really is, and also to delude themselves that things can be good again 'if only' you and the kids maintain some fantasy level of perfection, etc., etc.

The things you list are completely normal and reasonable. You should be able to expect - wothout asking! - a grown man to tidy up after himself and to organise himself enough to get out of the house on time with the rest of the family. This is NOT trying to change his behaviour! That is expecting a basic level of respect and adult capability. Has he told you that this is you trying to change his behaviour? Because it's bullshit. It's also incredibly selfish and unreasonable and fucking immature and pathetic to insist that everything has to be his way and his speed. It's also incredibly abusive. And of course he gets 'pushed' in other areas of his life. It's just that like all bullies, he won't act out when he judges others as able to give it back to him. He picks on strangers, the vulnerable (DC2) and those he sees as beneath him and not real humans (you lot).

This is just not how a normal family operates. It's how an oppressive dictatorship works.

Having to live with a father like him will damage your DC for life. No 3 yr old should say things like she loves you because you don't shout at DS. That was like a knife in my heart and I don't even know your kids! How on earth can you rationalise this as an acceptabel family atmosphere to raise them in? Not that I am blMing you for abusive and self-obsessed ways, but if he won't change and he is having a negative effect on you all, then you as an adult, have to suckit up and get him away from them.

He won't change. Why should he? He gets to act exactly as he likes and take his temper out on you all, especially a tiny, vulnerable child (it doesn't get much cuntier than that) and nothing happens. His life is how he likes it and wants it and he gets to be a cunt. If he wanted to control his temper and be nice to you all, he wouldn't have ever acted how he does in the first place. Do you see?

And to reiterate: someone who chooses to take his temper out on someone tiny, delicate, vulnerable, dependent, loving and trusting is a fucking CUNT. Only abusive bastards do that. It can't be excused or rationalised or minimised. You know you would sew your own mouth shut before you ever treated your DC that way. So how come he gets to?

Loulybelle Tue 09-Apr-13 12:04:32

So he can control his temper when he knows he needs too, with you and the kids he thinks he can lose his temper and no repercussions.

Startail Tue 09-Apr-13 12:04:26

You want to change the way he does things and you get no emotional support.

Regardless of his temper these are huge red flags.
Adults don't change unless they want to change .
And emotional support is at the heart of any family relationship. Why would you want to be with a partner or keep up a relationship with parents, siblings or friends if they weren't there for you when you needed them or they needed you?

dingit Tue 09-Apr-13 12:04:14

yep. i agree though, if she is frightened by him, they need to sort it out. It worries me how many people on mn tell the op to ask their dh to leave. Surely that is a last resort.

TKKW Tue 09-Apr-13 12:02:50

actually, shouldn't have asked that dingit.

MushroomSoup Tue 09-Apr-13 12:02:42

Dingit she might be perfectly safe but this is no way for the OP and her DCs to live.

TKKW Tue 09-Apr-13 12:01:53

dingit, yes, your view is one that will be shared by very few people. do you have kids?

You need to consider leaving and soon.

His dad was abusive to him (when you have a vile temper and you take it out on your kids that is what it is).

He is now repeating history and being abusive to your baby. Shouting at your 14 month old for being a toddler is abusive.

Your 3 year old is aware and is scared enough to talk to you about it.

It will escalate as your ds gets older.

He is refusing to get help which means he wants to carry on abusing his family (because he manages to control himself for others).

You need to protect your children from him, remove them from the situation.

Phone Women's Aid 0808 2000 247.

I have 2 kids the same age as yours, if my DH ever behaved like that he would be out on his ear.

dingit Tue 09-Apr-13 11:53:32

i will probably get shouted down, but if he has never laid a finger on you or the dc, you are perfectly safe. Would you rather he punched the light switch or you. My dh undergoes a personality transformation in the car, and is vile tempered as soon as he is behind the wheel. He has also kicked objects in temper, usually when diying, and wrecked his golf trolley after playing badly. We have been married 20 years, and i am irritated by his temper, not frightened by him.

mummytime Belgium Tue 09-Apr-13 11:46:45

Please phone Women's aid.

Do not go to counselling with him, it will be harmful for you even if he agrees to go. Counselling without him, could be very helpful though.

I can't believe there is a job where people don't make demands on an employee, and do not impose deadlines. So don't fool yourself, he is just being angry with you because he chooses to be. DO NOT blame yourself.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now