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Don't want to leave, have to leave(81 Posts)
I have been with my partner for five years, we have a 15month DS.
Our relationship has been always up and down, let's say passionate and rich in difference of opinions. My partner is most of the time supportive and loving, I find him attractive and interesting but he does have an occasional problem with controlling his anger.
On Friday he was looking after DS while I was at work. That was the first time he looked after him in months because DP was busy working on an important project, so I took care of the baby and the house, and the meals (with help from his mum two days a week to be fair) on top of my PT work. He would come late, after we were sleep and leave after breakfast. I was exhausted by the end of it and so was he. On Friday I came home and found that the baby didn't have his nap at his usual time because he was taken on an errand that DP had to do (he was asleep in the afternoon which meant that it would take me much much longer to settle him in the evening) and I told off the DP, telling him that he needs to put the baby first. There was a bit of resentment in my voice because the DP has just been sleeping and emailing since the project finished, I honestly didn't have much help from him, or an acknowledgement of how hard I worked to support him. He yawned, I repeated what I said. He lost it then, just in a second, grabbed the sleeping baby, stated to shout, left the room, I went after him and he pressed me against the wall and yelled and yelled in my face (while still holding the stunned DS).
This is not the first time this happened, but has been more than six months and we had counselling in the past. I thought we're past it and were solid together. He never apologised unreservedly when it happened before. He always qualified it with "what did you think would happen when you talk to me like that", and while it's awful that he did that I need to take responsibility for my behaviour. I find it hard to say it's my fault. I have been guilty in the past of escalating arguments but this time I can put my hand on my heart and say that it was him that lost it. Besides, I don't think there's ever justification for agression and physically threatening behaviour.
We tried to talk about it the next day but we had another argument. He won't take responsibility for himself.
It's been quiet in the house since, but I feel that a line has been crossed with him shouting at me like that while holding the baby, and while I don't think my life will be easier or happier without him I don't think I can live pretending this never happened and I don't want my son to grow up with scenes like this.
I'm going to suggest counselling again but I'm so scared if he doesn't take responsibility I will have to leave. I really don't want to do that.
This is scary. I know everyone will say to leave, but his behaviour in this instance is unacceptable, and if you cannot make him see that, then I don't know that you have a choice.
OP i am so sad for you :-( I was married to ex H and he used to do things like this and worse. I didn't think i would be happier without him either and whilst life was a little tougher for a little while it got much easier and much better.
If he won't take any responsibility then he is beyond help - that is abuse, through and through - what would happen if you did that to him whilst holding your DS?
I am sad for you because i remember the day when i came to the same realisation as you OP and i know how heartbroken that made me because at the time i still loved him, You are right though, a line HAS been crossed and that behaviour whatever the reason behind is is NEVER acceptable.
Even if for the moment you leave for your DS's sake it will also eventually be for your too - you and your child deserve better than this volatile and violent man.
You need to leave with your son, forget joint counselling. Its never recommended where there is any form of violence or abuse within the relationship anyway. NO decent counsellor worth their salt would ever see the two of you together in the same room.
This has really been a disaster of a relationship from the beginning hasn't it; all these highs and deep lows throughout. Its drama that neither of you actually need. This is not how a healthy relationship works which also makes me wonder what you learnt about relationships when growing up.
He was violent towards you and violence is never acceptable. Note also that he said, "what did you think would happen when you talk to me like that?" making it all your responsibility. He has not taken any real responsibility for his actions here; he thinks its all your fault.
There is no justification for violence and the only level of abuse acceptable within a relationship is NONE. Your son has seen and heard more than enough in his young life already.
If you do not want your son to grow up seeing stuff like this then you will have to leave with your son. Womens Aid can and will also help you here and when you are away from him I would also suggest you enrol on their Freedom Programme as well.
I don't blame you for keeping counselling on the table, that's up to you to decide but you clearly can't live together at the moment. I can't imagine grabbing a sleeping child in the middle of any argument I've ever had, if he doesn't get that your relationship is toast full stop and he needs a parenting course asap.
I'm sitting and crying now because I agree I have no choice but to go, yet it's so hard... It would be easy if he was an aggressive selfish **hole all of the time, but he is mostly caring and supportive and people would probably be really surprised if they knew about this... I'm ashamed to even tell anyone, because if this was happening to a friend I would be first to say to leave and once is too many times, especially after no proper apology. It's just so hard, and DS loves his Dad.
This is insane behaviour. Why would he pick up a sleeping baby in the middle of an argument, there's something very wrong with this man & you must get away. Being a good partner 99% of the time doesn't mean he can behave like an animal 1% of the time. It's these moments your ds will remember.
Abusive men are not nasty all the time; if they were no woman would go near them. What you've seen with this man is the nice/nasty cycle and such cycles of abuse are continuous ones.
I would also suggest you start opening up to people a bit more and tell them what is going on; abuse thrives on secrecy. I would think that one or two of your friends have their own suspicions about him. If you really cannot do that then talk to Womens Aid as they can help you. The first step out is often the hardest one to take but take it you must.
What do you want to teach your son about relationships here?.
Your son cannot grow up thinking that his dad's treatment of you is at all normal. The actions of his father are and were not at all loving towards you; it was about power and control. DS and his dad can still have a relationship even if he is not in his life day to day.
Shocked at what he did, even more shocked at his attitude to just forget it happened!
Honestly OP, he needs a good kick up his backside, he's being abusive, not just to you but also your child, I'd not let him near.
What was he expecting to do with the sleeping baby, when yelling at you? I would take this as a threat and treat it with the seriousness it deserves, which is to get you and the baby far away from him. And tell your closest family and friends so that they can support you.
He just emailed to suggest I take the weekend off and he looks after the baby, like a holiday is what I need right now...
I just don't think I can wrap myself around the "abuse" word, I'm not sure this is what's going on... But there's certainly entitled behaviour that I don't want my son to witness and learn... I'm going to suggest counseling and see how that goes down.
Attila, you are right, I didn't have the best role models in my family to teach me about relationships...
His first instinct, when escalating into violence/aggressiveness, was to grab the baby.
He wasn't already holding the baby, or anything like that.
It wasn't a case of you arguing over who should pick up the baby as he was crying and it was your DH's turn, or anything like that.
The baby was sleeping and peaceful. There was no purpose in grabbing the baby except to involve the baby in his violent response.
He used the baby to threaten you. Even if he doesn't quite compute that himself and can't explain it. That was his instinct - to grab your most precious thing and put it in 'danger' - to show you that he might use his unpredictability and anger against the baby too. Not to protect the baby - his baby - from any sort of awareness of an argument. No, the opposite. He grabbed the sleeping baby and frightened him. To make a point.
You need to leave.
You need to absolutely not leave the baby with him, ever, at all.
He grabbed a sleeping baby in a state of anger and agitation - that is scary so is putting you up against a wall and yelling in your face, both abusive imho.
I think you are so used to being in a volatile relationship you've lost sight of what is healthy and unhealthy and damn right dangerous.
Christ sake OP counselling isn't going to help.
You'll not get a single response on here telling you to stay and have counselling because it is way way beyond that. Sorry to be harsh but you are seriously playing this down. Your DH grabbing the baby in an argument should be a final straw not a telephone call to relate.
I can't emphasise enough how afraid you should be of what that instinctive response shows you, OP.
A good, loving, RIGHT parent - their instinctive response would be to put the baby OUT of harm's way. Out of the argument. Take the argument elsewhere. Hiss rather than shout. Not wake/frighten the baby. Without even thinking of it, without even realising. Instinct to protect, soothe, reassure.
He did the opposite. He deliberately woke and frightened the baby as a tactic.
That is terrifying. It doesn't matter that your baby was 'ok'. It doesn't matter that your DH may have had no intention to hurt the baby - I am sure that he didn't and would be horrified by the suggestion.
It matters that your DH's instinct to protect your baby was utterly absent. It tells you a HUGE amount about him.
You absolutely need to leave. Before you are looking at a DH who may not have intended to hurt your child but has done so all the same. Too late then.
I agree with pps you have no choice but to leave I'm really sorry. This is a child protection issue and it can never happen again.
From the detail here he is, without question, an angry, aggressive bully who put your child in danger. Most people would call that abuse. If you're loathe to use that word it's up to you but the bit in bold is fact.
Buxhoeveden No, this is the first time.
Thanks for your replies everyone. Clearly this isn't what I wanted to hear, but needed to. I hoped that counseling is the way forward.
I don't have any family to go to. I don't know how to do this.
It matters that your DH's instinct to protect your baby was utterly absent did you read & absorb this OP? Do you have a friend that you could go to? Failing that, Women's Aid 0808 2000 247 Just get your baby away and forget the counselling it's gone way way past that. Your ds deserves to feel safe in his own home (as do you of course)
He used the baby to threaten and scare you. He needs counselling and anger management. My ex had angry outbursts like this but he never grabbed our baby to use as a pawn! Even he wasn't that sick.
If he refuses to get help then you have to leave.
Call womens aid. You need to leave. They will help you.
Please OP call them now.
Don't have counselling with this violent man.
That is violent abuse, pure and simple. Any right minded counsellor would NOT do joint counselling where abuse is involved.
It is NOT recommended.
Have some counselling on your own to understand why this hasn't got you packing his bags and kicking him out immediately.
And please contact Womens Aid.
Enrol on their Freedom Programme. You need to understand red flags and boundaries as yours are not right.
What did you think would happen when you talk to me like that...
Well I'll tell you what happens in my household. One person might get rather upset, and explain their point of view. No shouting, and no grabbing of babies in anger. No verbal provocation on earth deserves to be met with violence.
Do NOT go to counselling with him. Abusers use the vulnerability exposed in counselling to hurt their targets further.
Do you have a trusted friend? I have to say that anyone I know - even if I hadn't spoken to them in years - I would put them up in the sofa and help them out. Don't discount your friends. Ask them for help. Talk to women's aid.
You need to get out. Now. Because next time he might not just grab the baby but shake it in anger. Please get out now.
Womensaid are too busy to pick up. I don't have the energy to pack and go anywhere.
We just had another row. He said he'll do counselling only if approached with friendship and benevolence. He keeps talking about the times I shouted at the baby (twice. I had pnd and was mortified and sought counselling and help which I'm still receiving). He says I'm playing a game to punish him and I have all the power because I can take the baby.
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