Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Angry DH(74 Posts)
My DH has anger issues. Always has, probably always will. He used to be a lot worse than he is now which led to a very rocky patch during the first six months that we lived together until I gave him the ultimatum get anger management/counselling or I would leave. He went willingly and made loads of progress and has been trying so hard since and although he deals with it better now sometimes he still seems so angry especially when life gets stressful which is when I need him to be calm and supportive the most. At the moment I am 21 weeks pregnant with DD2 and DD1 is 8 months old.
Yesterday he got angry with me and ended up shouting and swearing at me and storming out to work because I had apparently made him late. He works a late shift half of the week and helps out look after DD in the morning by getting up with us, changing her, playing with her and doing her breakfast because otherwise he wouldn't see her as he gets in after her bedtime. He has about 3 hours in the morning before he has to set off so its not exactly rushed. I asked him if he had 5 mins to watch her whilst I put the washing away upstairs and I think I actually took about 10 mins so he lost his temper with me. Later that morning I needed 5 mins to use the loo so put DD in her walker and took myself off. She was happy when I left her but started crying when I was upstairs. Obviously I couldn't respond immediately and as DH was downstairs he went to her but I got shouted at and sworn at again for making him late.
This morning everything was fine, no cross words at all and he seemed quite relaxed. I made the mistake of asking what time he had to be out the door when he does his early shift as I wanted to have a think about how we were going to manage the early mornings together and getting DD ready for nursery when I go back to work in May. He started ranting at me aggressively for trying to make him late by having a discussion with him when he had to get ready for work. I explained that it was only the one question and I didn't want to talk about it in full but he'd already lost his temper by then.I stayed out his way after that but he came upstairs and said he had 10 mins spare so we could chat about morning schedules/nursery, again he seemed calm. At the time I was detatching the baby monitor from our DDs wall to set up In our room as she was napping In our bed and I accidentally pulled out a little metal pin that he'd attached in the wall to the wire to keep in out the way of the cot.His face instantly changed, he shouted and swore at me for pulling the pin out, ranted at me for about 5 mins about how I always make him late and stress him out, said I should just make my own tea tonight as he didn't want to eat with me, would sleep in the spare room and wanted me out the house for the day on Sunday (his day off). When he's like this sometimes I loose my temper but today and yesterday I didn't I stayed quiet whilst he shouted and did my best not to aggravate him further.
I'm so confused and hurt. Its not normal to get so angry about such small things is it? Annoyed yes, I'm sure I am annoying at times just like he is, but angry?! Sometimes I wonder if I have lost all perspective, have i labelled him as angry from how he was in the early days and so expect it now and over react when he looses his temper? Or is this more than normal couples arguments? I hate the way he speaks to me in anger, noone has ever used the language he uses towards me in my whole life. We don't row about big things and we get on really well most of the time. We only ever fall out over little stupid things like the examples I have given and it is so frustrating as other than that our relationship is great. I am always pulling him up on his behaviour when things have calmed down and he agrees its wrong and doesn't want our DD growing up to think that is how you speak to people but it still happens. It makes me sad that he seems to have so much anger in him.
Has anyone else experienced anger issues in a relationship and had a happy ending
No it isn't normal. It is abusive. Does he lose his temper with other people?
How does he interact with other people? Does he rant, shout and storm at strangers, work colleagues etc or does he only behave that way at home? Genuine 'anger issues' would infect his whole life. If he simply chooses to terrorise you when it suits then it's bullying.
You are a saint, I just could not tolerate any person speaking to me in that way, I bet he doesn't roar and shout at anyone else cos they'd tell him to fuck himself. Also, what an atmosphere to bring a child into, that's so unhealthy and abusive.
Sorry OP, he either gets back to classes and/or takes more on or you and your children would be a lot less stressed than currently.
He used to loose his temper at school when he was young, with his family, at work etc but since having the first lot of anger management he has been a lot better at controlling his anger and although gets angry in work situations and with family but he doesnt act on it other than having a good moan to me/rant about it when he gets home. I do think he gets overly wound up by things though and often uses excuses of outside stresses to explain bad behaviour on his part.
Here is horrible! I hope you're going to not cook his dinner and go out for the day on Sunday exactly as he wishes. I'd be looking to go off and stay with a friend or family for a few days if I were you.
He is horrible, I mean!
Have you told him that you are doing the eggshell thing of trying not to "aggravate him further"?
That is absolutely wrong. You should not feel afraid of saying anything to your DH in case of further abusive language or behaviour.
No, it's not normal.
Hi. I'm sorry to hear about how things have been, it sounds very upsetting. It must be particularly stressful as you're pregnant. This is a time when he should be going out of his way to make life easier for you. I think it's positive that you seem in your post, I think, to be seeing his behaviour for what it is - not Ok. I'm concerned about the change in your own reaction to him though, getting quieter, not wanting to annoy. This is a sign that you are in am abusive situation. Do you have support in real life? Friends or family you can talk about this with? You need to stay strong and keep perspective, don't start to believe his excuses - there are no excuses. I was with a man like this for three years. I was strong and popular at the start - by the end I'd nearly disappeared. You need help and so does he. Hopefully he'll be willing to accept that again. Good luck. Come back here and talk anytime
Will he lose his temper with the children - so when you are feeding the baby and the toddler is playing up how will he react ?
In a couple of years time when your 2 and 3 yr old are fighting constantly how is he going to deal with that ?
Or when they are 7 and 8 and being cheeky.
Or 15 and 16 and being stroppy teens ?
Can he have more anger management/ counselling ? I think this would need to be priority.
He acts like this because he can. How awful for you to be in that environment. Especially being pregnant. Personally I would NEVER allow someone to speak to me that way, not to mention the environment your children are in. You sound lovely on the other hand. I would have a very serious chat with him about his behaviour but my respect would have gone by now I think. You DON'T have to accept this behaviour and if there were serious consequences I bet he wouldn't behave so awfully. Have a think about what you really want for the rest of your & your childrens life. If you start thinking about what a wonderful dad he is, think again. Living with angry people is a very toxic environment for them as you and they will always be waiting for the next blowout. Let alone the fact he is emotionally and verbally abusive to their mum, and most likely them when they are older. Wishing you well.
What a horrible situation for you and your child. I would tell him to leave. You cannot bring another child into this horrible atmosphere. They will be the next ones 'walking on eggshells' and I am sure you wouldn't want that.
If he has learnt that is in not ok to lose his temper with others why hasn't he learnt that it is not ok to lose his temper with you?
Has he ever hit you?
Yes he knows I walk on eggshells to try and keep the peace when he's that way out (although I am only human and sometimes loose my temper). When he's calm we can and do have really good open and in depth conversations about things we have been disagreeing over so its not like I always have to tip toe around him.
Yes he can be and is horrible when he looses his temper but its not daily and the rest of the time he is fabulous. He is loving and affectionate, very domesticated, he proactively cleans and tidys, does DIY and gardening. He is a devoted family man and is rarely interested in going out drinking or socialising without us.
I agree that it's not a nice atmosphere for a child which is why I originally gave him the ultimatum of getting help as I made it clear I didn't want a child to be around that sort of nastiness. He is more stressed out than usual as he is now the main earner because I am on MAT leave (I have always been the main breadwinner) and I think he's loosing his temper more than usual. There will always be stresses and strains in life though and it always seems tobe me thats cops for it.
You are making excuses for him OP.
This is not normal, no. You are not just labelling him angry because of his past, you are labelling his current behaviour. I think it is quite a kind label because you easily could label it as controlling or bullying.
I would definitely raise it with him again and I would do it within the context of staying at my mum's or asking him to go and stay at his for a while because while you'd want to support his addressing his issues, you're actually in no position to live with them.
WRT the fact he agrees that he doesn't want the DC to speak to people in that way - I'd suggest the bigger worry is the DC getting into relationships in which they allow someone to speak to them in that way.
If you really think that he wants to change, is there a way that you could agree to give you the language to intervene. Shouting is not a good response but arguably silent acceptance is also really damaging particularly from the point of view of what you are modelling to the DC. How about, 'We should talk about this later when everyone is calm.' Or you could borrow some effective parenting strategies and say, 'I can see you feel really angry about this. We can talk about it later, when everyone is calm and has time.' The only problem is that he could then just choose to shout any time he wants to end a conversation or ignore an issue because he will know that you will instantly drop it when he gets angry.
And I suppose that's the real question here: is he being (even slightly) strategic or is he genuinely at the end of his tether and flaring up irrationally? Because it does sound like it could be either thing, OP and the thing of avoiding arguments can form the basis of emotional abuse as other posters have said; in your description it sounds like it could turn into a really effective way of avoiding childcare; it sounds also like he may 'just' be using you as a vent but he needs to find strategies to vent with you, not at you. And long term, you can't lovingly bring children into this.
I'd say the question for you and him is: how is this going to change? Will he change his behaviour (and how, and with what support from where) or will you have to remove yourself and your children from the immediate environment? For their (emotional and psychological) safety, if not your own.
Could he be tired? Seems like he's losing it just before work?
He actually sounds like me the week before my period! (Runs and hides)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
(as do I sometimes) but he has never shouted at her or been rough with her.The problem is that he can get verbally aggressive with me after dealing with her if she's been difficult. Its something we have discussed afterwards many times and he is always tearful and remorseful at having taken it out on me. I've told him to put her in a safe place and walk away before he gets to boiling point to calm down and come and ask for help and we can tag team when she is being difficult but he doesn't always get it right andssometimes comes downstairs and shouts at me rather than just asking for help. I've explained that it's hard for me dealing with a screaming baby and also a nasty husband and I shouldn't be getting it from both angles as we are meant to be a team and he agrees and promises to stop doing it but it still happens occasionally. Sometimes I turn down his offers for help because I know there is a chance he will loose his temperand its easier to just do it myself.He is great with her most of the time and is utterly besotted with her. I know it hurts him when he looses his temper and I think he might be open to more anger management. I take the point about what will happen when the kids are older and winding him up as its something I have often asked him myself and I think something he also worries about. I will broach the subject of anger management again with him, I think I just needed the kick up the bum that you have all just given me. thank you
ohhps missed the first bit off... I said no he doesn't hit me and no he doesn't loose his temper with our DD but he does get angry with her (as I do sometimes)...
Quitelikely - yes he is tired. I am tired too and whilst I might get snappy I don't shout and swear so he shouldn't either. I do think he should take it easier though and take more time out but even when I take DDout to give him a break he always ends up cleaning or doing jobs about the house. He's not very good at relaxing and he often works 6 days a week.
Quietly - the strange thing is my DH doesn't loose it over big stuff he is amazing when there are real big issues going on, its the little every day annoyances that he massively overreacts to, probably because he lets things build up.
Sparkly- I don't think he is being strategic with his tempers and he definitely wouldn't orchestrate it to avoid childcare duties as he is not lazy at all and often expresses regret at not being able to see DD as often as he'd like. I think he is genuinely at the end of his tether and he doesn't cope well with pressure. The last few days have confused me though as I can usually see why he's lost his temper but the reasons were so minor this time round. I do try to use the techniques you mentioned - asking to discuss it later when calm etc and usually say at the time that I'm not happy with the way he's speaking to me but I don't always manage it as sometimes I am too angry/upset myself. You are completely right when you say he needs to find a way to vent with me not at me.
As he has had anger management counselling in the past, it sounds like he needs to reconnect with his previous counsellor and look to start addressing his behaviour. He's fallen off the wagon, so to speak, and needs to take full responsibility for remedial action before the second baby arrives.
He is a devoted family man
No, he isn't.
He could be Mr Fabulous reincarnated OP that still doesn't excuse his behaviour towards you. I think you're both in a bad habit of him flying off the handle, you pulling him up when he's calm, him agreeing and then the cycle starts all over again. It will not get better until you make a stand, you either put up with it or you don't, I couldn't.
That is what I used to say about my husband "He has anger issues."
No he doesn't have anger issues, if he genuinely had anger issues he be ranting at everyone and calling them names but he doesn't do that does he?
He does it because he enjoys it, he likes bullying you and venting his rage on you. Will he agree to go back to counselling? I be worried things could escalate and they usually do, it always starts out verbally.
*He is a devoted family man
No, he isn't.*
No he doesn't have anger issues, if he genuinely had anger issues he be ranting at everyone and calling them names but he doesn't do that does he?
I'd stay out of his way not just on his day off, but until he agrees to go and get help. This behaviour is not normal.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.