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But what if it is the other way round?

(177 Posts)
sufferingtoo Wed 26-Feb-14 10:00:27

Namechanged as my DP knows my username. Long time lurker, occasional poster and definitely don't live under a bridge!

Finally got up the courage to post whilst reading a current thread about anger management and did not want to hijack it.

My current situation is almost exactly the same as the OP in that thread. When my DP gets annoyed or something is not going their way they get consumed with rage - there is no violence - just rage and then an extended period of sniping and comments to belittle me.

Our DC is only 4 and I am worried how this will affect him in the future.

The real sting in the tail is that I am DH and the problem is with DW.

For instance we had a very minor disagreement on Sat night that should have resulted in a 5 min husband/wife row at most.

For me it resulted in the standard intensely angry tirade of abuse about how rubbish I am, how she had wasted her life with me, etc. She literally looked like she is going to explode with anger. Sunday was complete scilence except for continued snide comments, Monday not much better and we almost had a civil conversation last night. I did asked "how am I meant to live like this" and got told "don't! just leave!".

Going on past form she will be nice as pie by this evening or tomorrow morning and it will be like it never happened.

Don't get me wrong - I have my failings (as we all do) but I don't think I deserve this.

The advice on here about taking the DC's and getting a better life is all well and good when aimed at the female partner but what can the father do? My plan seems to be to suck it up, protect my DC from it and get us both through this, while trying to get her to realise what she is doing and hopefully improve the situation.

Before you ask - it does seem she was treated much like this as a child - talks about how her parents always put her down etc.

Any advice on how to manage the situation would be gratefully appreciated.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 26-Feb-14 10:03:21

I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

Has your DP had an counselling to confront the issues from her childhood?

No one should have to be subjected to someone else's anger.

capsium Wed 26-Feb-14 10:06:40

It sounds like her anger stems from stress and frustration.

It does not sound like you want your family to break up.

I think it might be prudent to avoid any criticisms or anything that can be perceived as nit picking for a while. Do not add to the stress. This will mean less arguments. Being kind and helpful will help with her stress.

Yes, you may have to be the stronger person but this is what must be done to maintain a calm environment. Don't think about what you deserve, but be single minded in how to get what you want, a happy family life.

Lots of women have to do this too...

You were very brave posting here so well done to you. it cannot have been easy writing that.

My advice to you would be to get out of this dysfunctional relationship asap and before she does you real physical harm. Its a small step between mental and physical abuse. You are being abused; domestic violence is no respector of persons, class or creed.

I was not really surprised to see that she also saw violence when she was growing up; we after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents. She was taught how to verbally be violent, that is all that she knows and she has simply repeated it with you. BTW she would be the same regardless of whom she married.

Your child does not need a woman in his life who purposefully abuses his Dad. You cannot even begin to protect him from his mother's violent outbursts towards you.

Your son is learning about relationships first and foremost from the two of you - what is he learning from you both?.

Re this plan:-
" My plan seems to be to suck it up, protect my DC from it and get us both through this, while trying to get her to realise what she is doing and hopefully improve the situation".

Its a crap plan all round and basically will not work. You need a different tack as of now. You are too close to the situation to be of any real use to her, also she does not want your help.

You cannot protect your son fully from this whilst she is still in the home. You can break the cycle only by getting away from this woman before she completely destroys you and by turn her son.

I would urge you to call Mankind today, this is what they write on their website:-

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC ABUSE OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, WE ARE HERE TO HELP.

NO MATTER WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND, AGE, JOB, RACE OR SEXUALITY, WE ARE HERE TO GIVE ALL THE SUPPORT WE CAN.

One in Six Men will be a Victim of Domestic Abuse in their Lifetime
If you are a Male Victim

YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME

YOU ARE NOT 'WEAK'

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

For many men, calling our helpline is the first step they have made in talking to someone else about the problems they face.

Whether it is information or just emotional support, please call.

01823 334244

Do call them!!!

ClaraFox Wed 26-Feb-14 10:11:04

I'm not sure I agree with capsium. Would a female poster be advised to tip toe around an abuser to keep the peace? I don't think so.

Having said that though, I'm not entirely sure what to suggest. Would she open to a discussion about her behaviour? A frank exchange in which you lay out how you feel and what exactly is causing this? Would she be open to counselling? And what would she say if you told her you wanted to end your relationship?

I'd explore that in the first instance I think

wherethewildthingis Wed 26-Feb-14 10:11:44

So, modify his own behaviour, walk on egg shells and try to appease his abuser? All the while the children continue to be exposed to this. I can't imagine any woman being advised to do this on here.
OP if I were you I would start keeping a diary of her actions, get legal advice and start making plans to get her away from you and your children.

The only level of abuse acceptable within a relationship is NONE. You understand that, NONE.

There is no justification or excuse for violence of any kind.

rainbowsmiles Wed 26-Feb-14 10:13:11

Does she recognise she has a problem?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 26-Feb-14 10:13:20

Capsicum I cannot help but think your advice would be different if it was a female poster. I have never seen a female poster be advised to 'help' with the stress. The disparity between advice given to men and advise given to women is irritating.

It is not OPs fault his wife blows up at him like this, so why is it up to him to fix it?

Your wife like abusive types do, does the nice and nasty cycle common to abusers very well. But its a continuous cycle.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 26-Feb-14 10:14:21

Sound advice Attila

So capsium
Shut the fuck up.
Be passive.
Do as she wants.
Don't try to be yourself.
Hide all of your feelings.
Don't worry about the impact on the child.
Just do as you are told!!!
Would you give the same advice if the roles were reversed?

Look OP - this is abuse pure and simple.
She belittles you, puts you down constantly, gets angry at the drop of a hat. Shouts and swears.
This is having an impact on your 4 YO for sure.
You cannot and should not live like this.
As she won't listen to you, can you write a letter to her?
As you have explained here.
See how she reacts to that.
You cannot go on like this. Your self-esteem will hit rock bottom soon.
I'm sure someone can advise on a site or organisation for men suffering from DV.
You could also be pro-active and see a solicitor for advice on what your options are.
Is she a SAHM? Is she the primary carer?
Everyone deserves happiness. You only get one life!

I doubt very much that OPs wife realises that she has a problem at all given the fact that she herself grew up within a violent household.

This cannot be fixed (besides which it is not his responsibility to do so), the only way forward is for OP to leave the violent person behind.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 10:16:46

My advice is the same as it would be if you were the woman on the receiving end of this behaviour i.e. confront, reject and put yourself and your DC first. AttilaTheMeerkat is quite right. The only acceptable amount of bullying and aggression in a relationship is none.

capsium Wed 26-Feb-14 10:20:02

Looking from the outside in I think it is very difficult to ascertain whether you are being emotionally abused OP. Sometimes people do go through intense periods of stress and are very hard to live with and yet they do recover and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet, for some the situation is much much worse. There is support out there if you need it.

However I have known of situations where people have been happily married for years and yet gone through some very difficult times. It depends how affected you are by it all really, and whether when the pressure is taken away your wife can start to relax and enjoy her life.

Hope all goes well for you.

sufferingtoo Wed 26-Feb-14 10:21:33

Thank you for your thoughts - please don't turn this into a "would you say that to a women" thread.

Unfortunately I was afraid the advice would be like Attila's - I was hoping there could be some middle ground.....

I have all the cliche's - she is a great mum etc. Is there no middle ground?

capsium Wed 26-Feb-14 10:21:53

Attila not everyone one who has seen violence in their life is doomed to be 'damaged goods' for the rest of their lives.

capsium Wed 26-Feb-14 10:26:03

suffering There is middle ground. There is all sorts of help. If your wife is unhappy a lot, sleeping badly etc she may be suffering from depression, which her GP could treat. It may not even be that severe it could just be a bad patch.

try taking the stress away from her shoulders for a time. If that does not work, talk. See whether she feels she is suffering from depression or whether marriage guidance would help you. Also you can see a marriage counsellor by your self to get their advice, if you wish.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 26-Feb-14 10:28:57

Tell someone in authority this is happening ie GP etc, this must be affecting your DC as well?

Do not suck it up, do not spend your life walking on egg shells.

If you want to stay with her she needs serious anger management therapy, which I think would be your GP beingthe first step.

I personally would get legal advice as well you can't leave your child with this woman as she clearly thinks this is normal way to behave and acceptable.

rainbowsmiles Wed 26-Feb-14 10:28:59

Hi sufferingto. The idea that no one else should be subjected to someone else's anger is great but reality is somewhat different.

I was wondering with what kind of regularity this happens. Is it a few times a week or once a month or every other day?

wyrdyBird Wed 26-Feb-14 10:29:00

Sorry to say, sucking it up or trying to manage the situation will get you nowhere. It's likely this behaviour will continue, or worsen. And your son is caught in the middle, witnessing it, and perhaps suffering the same verbal assaults when he gets older and develops a mind of his own.

So it can't just continue like this, with you hoping for the best, or waiting for the tirades to blow over.

When women come to this board they have usually tried everything to help their partner change. It doesn't usually work. But, presumably you have told her that you find these outbursts completely unacceptable, and the relationship will be over if they continue?

Because you do have to assert your boundaries. And you may have to employ the ultimate option, and finish the relationship. For your son's sake at least.

capsium Wed 26-Feb-14 10:30:07

hells That is fighting talk! I'm not completely without any experience in such matters.

Yes, sometimes people have to get out of a situation but you have to get a sense of scale. Some situations are very bad indeed, some less so...

sufferingtoo Wed 26-Feb-14 10:33:43

capsium - I do see whare you are coming from but life is pretty stress free. We have a nice lifestyle, a trouble free DC, I would say I do a fair amount in the house (cook, put loads of washing on etc) considering I work full time.

If I am honest - I hope it can be "solved" by talking to GP etc - but it is the intensity of her anger that really is starting to get to me - she is literally furious at times. It is as if she likes being angry.

NeoFaust Wed 26-Feb-14 10:36:14

My mother treated my dad this way all my childhood and still does today. It's only since being on MN that I've felt comfortable calling it what it is; horrible emotional abuse.

I spent years wishing that my Dad would divorce her, or at least stand up to her, but he never did. When she started mentally and physically attacking my brother and I he couldn't even bring himself to oppose it. We used to wait for him to get home from work, not so that he could protect us, but so that some of the cruelty and viciousness would be divided between three rather than just two.

My brother turned out okay by converting himself into a cold, tough (but charming and ethical) soldier. I'm just a horrible mess. Both of us regard our father with affable contempt and our mother with icy, polite loathing. Thank god we had exceptionally strong female role models outside the home, or I'm sure we'd be appalling misogynists.

I can't say things would be the same in your family or the dynamic is anywhere close, but from what I see it looks that same and you have a lot of pain in your future if you don't stop it right now.

rainbowsmiles Wed 26-Feb-14 10:36:16

And attila there is no mention of violence in his wife's childhood.

There are so many what ifs in this situation. The ability for some to quickly impose their own template on other peoples lives with such scant detail never fails to flabbergast me.

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