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DH constantly angry, is it me?(30 Posts)
We've been married 15 years with 2dc's and when things are good we really get on. The problem is, he gets so angry so easily and I am scared and feel really bad for putting the dc's through it. He isn't violent per se but will shout, swear and break things at the drop of a hat. When anything happens (like a jar falling over) we all look at DH to see how he will respond
In his defence, he works long hours in a new and very pressured job. I was a sahm for many years (joint decision) and my earnings are now much less than his despite retraining (with a lot of support from DH).
Also, I am v disorganised and dont think the same things need doing so DH ends up with a lot on his plate. I have tried to do things but this doesn't work eg he said he hated having to sweep the office floor every day after work, I got home before him so did it, he got home and did it again!
I hate him being angry all the time but don't seem to be able to change anything.
I've lost all perspective so am hoping some of you lovely ladies can give me an idea what to do next.
You cannot manage his temper. You simply cannot.
Nobody should have to be afraid in their own home. It's bad enough that you are walking on eggshells, scrabbling about to try and placate him, but do you really think your children should grow up in that atmosphere? Is that what you want them to remember of their childhood - fear and tension?
I would be telling him that he needs to take responsibility for his anger and whatever is causing it otherwise you're done with him. You cannot change him - he has to change himself.
I grew up in a home just as you have described.. looking to see how Dad would react.
The best day of my life is when, finally when I was 17, my Mum told Dad to go.
It doesn't matter of you are THE most disorganised person on the planet, or earn less, or he has the most stressful job ever ( I wonder if Barak Obama's wife is nervous to drop a jar? somehow I doubt it) you are in an unequal and definitely emotionally abusive situation.
Your children are suffering from this. It doens't matter one jot that it's not physical.. living in a state of tension, not being able to do things 'right'... that's not a marriage.
In a nutshell, it's not you , it's him, and it matters. Please think about whether this is how you want your children (and it matters not whether they are little or teens.. it still feels the same, trust me) to think a marriage should be.
And make steps to get out.
Does he behave like this to other people? Does he throw stuff and shout and scream at (for instance) shop assistants, waiters, traffic wardens, business colleagues?
Funnily enough, if he does behave badly to everyone, there is actually more chance of him learning not to be an arsehole. People who are angry all the time and indiscriminately so are the ones who actually benefit from anger management.
However, if he's only an aggressive bully in the home, then you need to take steps to have him put out of the home and prohibited from returning. Because a man who is only abusive to his family is perfectly capable of managing his anger. THe problem with a man who is only aggressive at home is that he has decided you and DC are his inferiors and he is entitled to control and punish you. So you need to end the marriage and get him removed from the house. His behaviour is going to get worse, not better. There is NO CURE for abusive, entitled men.
I agree with SGB
My x's coping mechanism for the huge, and tiring acting role of being polite, respectful and courteous at work was to come home and be a bad tempered arse to me. It was some sort of coping mechanism for him, a valve. It worked very well for him I think. Not great for me.
I work long hours in a high pressure job. I'm fucking LOVELY. I'm calm, I never raise my voice, everyone wants to come and play at my house.
No, it's not you.
It's him. He's fucking horrible.
What everyone else said. Also I grew up in a home like this and my siblings and I have poor self esteem and anxiety issues.
What SGB wrote as well.
No its not you, its him. He is the one at fault here. He perhaps learnt this a long time ago from either one or even both his parents. Having a high pressure job is an excuse and a poor one at that, he is acting like this because he can. This is what abusers do, he does not think he is doing anything wrong here. Abusers are not nasty all the time but the nice/nasty cycle of abuse is a continuous one.
What do you get out of this relationship now, what has and is keeping you within this?. You need to look at why you have stayed to date.
The emotional damage done to you as well as your 2 DC is incalculable. They have been taught many damaging lessons on relationships by both of you.
You need to make plans to leave asap. He is not worth another 15 years of emotional abuse.
I'm sorry you're in an emotionally abusive relationship OP. When you're constantly having to defend your DH's behaviour, there is something fundamentally wrong with that behaviour. Can't add anything to what SGB said except to encourage you to make plans to get him out or to get yourself and your DCs away from him. Womens Aid could help you make a plan and keep safe. Best of luck
Just to add - if he holds down a high pressure job then he is NOT one of the ones who needs anger management and can be helped, he's just a bullying arsehole.
The ones who can be fixed are the ones with a history of indiscriminate aggression, can't stay out of fights, banned from several pubs, can't keep a job because they tend to punch the boss, etc. These people can learn impulse control, with help. Bullies who feel their aggression is ^justifiable don't change.
If you want to continue with him then you need to tell him he needs to go get help, it is out there. Don't put yourself or your kids through any more discomfort and feeling scared in their own home, it's so not fair. Until someone and I'm afraid that is you clearly points out to him the damage he is doing, nothing is going to change.
I do appreciate how difficult this must be for you, my dad was an angry man too but as kids we didn't understand he was under a lot of work pressure, financial pressure, you name it, it still doesn't excuse this kind of behaviour, especially when kids are exposed to it.
" he hated having to sweep the office floor every day after work, I got home before him so did it, he got home and did it again!"
It's not you fault this didn't work out. Setting the victim up to fail is a common tactic of abusive people. Nothing is ever good enough and, even when it is, they will find a way to make you feel bad about it. The floor sweeping is a very good example of this in action.
"He isn't violent per se but will shout, swear and break things at the drop of a hat"
This is violence 'per se'. Shouting and swearing are verbal abuse. Breaking things is destructive, physically aggressive behaviour, often designed to mean 'do as I say or it will be you that I break next'
You won't be able to make him get help either. He doesn't think there is a problem in the first place and he doesn't think your opinion matters anyway. You can't change someone like this, you can only change your response to it i.e. refuse to accept it, remove yourself from the behaviour or both.
How would he react if you showed him this thread? If he would read this and have a lightbulb moment and change his ways completely, you have a chance.
My dh was similar to how yours sounds. His dh was an angry emotionally abusive nasty piece of work and without really realising it dh slipped into angry man mode when we had dc.
Through reading and posting here I realised how bad it was and confronted him. He has completely accepted how bad it was and he made a decision to change. He is a different person now. If he had not changed he knew it was over.
This kind of behaviour does stem from a deap seated belief that he is entitled to treat you that way. He has to believe that he isn't.
I should add that dh is so much happier now he doesn't behave in an angry way anymore . Obviously me and dc are much happier, but from yr dh's point of view - it isn't a happy place to be, being angry all the time.
Also, his work situation is now more stressful than it has ever been, BUT dh has not reverted to angry man. It isn't really about stress. It's about believing g you have the right to be angry all the time.
Thanks for all the responses.
Although he used to shout and swear at me, once dd1 turned up, I always picked him up on it as I didn't want her growing up with that.
It took a long slog and tons of arguments but he will rarely pick on a person now and if he does, it's more of an argument as we will argue back.
The problem now is more non-specific aggression which impinges and creates an atmosphere but is not so difficult to clear the air about.
He does do this in front of guests etc which I find embarrassing and I don't think he is aware he is doing it as he is normally outgoing and a v good host who worries what others think (despite saying otherwise).
His dad is a grumpy git (although lovely underneath, I can imagine him being a disciplinarian as a dad). Dh's mum was an alcoholic and died young so he didn't learn healthy ways to communicate.
The anger is very much focused on stuff with shouting and threats to inanimate objects. If asked if he is ok we get a 'no' or 'what do you f*ing think?' Type response iyswim.
Although I have raised it as an issue when he is calm and tried to explain how it affects us, I don't think he realises what he is doing at the time.
I'm not sure how to approach his moody behaviour when he does it in such a way that doesn't sound like
'Excuse me, would you mind not being angry?'
This is the bit where I feel it might be me- he's entitled to his feelings, is it ok for me to specify how he is allowed to express them when I and dc's are not the target?
Yes you are allowed to ask that.
Even if his anger is not directed at you, his behaviour makes all of you tense and miserable and frightened, because it is intimidating.
Although he may deny it, he knows this. I have no doubt at all you have raised this with him before. He knows it upsets you, but he doesn't care because his feelings are more important than yours. It all helps to keep you guessing and pandering to him, and he thinks that your role is to absorb his shit.
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