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How should I react to DH shouting?

(62 Posts)
winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 19:14:03

Just need some advice. My Dh shouts quite a bit. Sometimes at the children and sometimes at me.
After lunch I was hoping everyone would help clear up. But DH gave the DC's jobs to do and went and sat in front of the TV.
I wasn't happy with this so asked him to come and help me as I'd been working all morning and he'd only worked for a couple of hours.
He really shouted at me in front of the DCs. I told him he was only shouting so I'd go and clear up and he wouldn't have to do any.
Guess what? I cleared up myself to keep the peace and DH carried on watching the TV. I'm really upset as I can't cope with the shouting and hate the DCs to witness it, and I go into my shell a bit.
Now he is in a bad mood with me because I've been quiet all day. He's gone out to take the dog for a walk and slammed the door.
But it wasn't my fault in the first place was it? Or am I being awful for being quiet. He calls it sulking. But I really find it hard to be happy when he's been shouting. I find it hard to react in any other way. How else would you react?

Inadeeptrance Sun 05-Aug-12 19:28:31

Bullies shout. Normal, nice men don't. It's NOT ok, EVER for your DH to shout at you like that. My DH now never raises his voice at me, even when he is angry.

My ex used to shout a lot, and behave like your DH. It took me years to see it for what it is - abuse.

Your DC are seeing this and taking it in as their model for relationships, if you have boys it is teaching them to shout and bully and throw their weight around. If you have girls it's teaching them to accept the same.

Read up on emotional abuse. On phone so can't link, sorry but there are some great links on the emotionally abusive relationship ongoing thread. You don't have to just accept his behaviour.

Nobhead Sun 05-Aug-12 20:07:13

Your DH is being a twat, acting like a 15 year old boy who's Mum has just asked him to help clear up. I think you need to have a long discussion with him about how him shouting is not an acceptable form of communication especially in front of your DC's. Is he usually a feckless tit?

Yama Sun 05-Aug-12 20:15:42

My Mum brought us up to believe that no-one has the right to shout at us.

I truly believe this and will bring my dc up to believe the same of themselves.

Walk away. When shouter has stopped say very assuredly "You have no right to shout at me" or "I will not be shouted at." Always the same sentence.

I remember I once (as a student) walked away from a shouty chef. He never shouted at me again. I also remember working for a complete shouty bastard and I resolved to walk out the door if he shouted at me. He didn't.

You will need to have a conversation outlining to him why it is unacceptable for him to shout at you or your dc.

NagooingForGold Sun 05-Aug-12 20:19:53

do not shout back.

'when you have finished shouting at me, I would like you to help us do [whatever it was you were saying]'

Or you could get in a huff and sit in front of the telly!

He is being a total arse.

Ask him if he is presenting himself how he wants your DC to look back and remember him sad

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 20:27:01

Oh gosh, thank you for your replies.
I have talked to DH about it after his last episode about a month ago when he totally lost it with my DS and was shouting about anything that annoyed him, including his phone.
Will have to have yet another conversation with him and try your replies about not shouting at me.
I do try and keep the peace rather than confront the issues so maybe that's my problem.
Not sure if it's emotional abuse, he says he has a short fuse.
I do have 2 DS and DD and I know it's not a good example. Thought a lot of men shout, not really questioned it before now but he seems to be getting worse.
I've been married over 20 years and just not happy at the moment because of the shouting.

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 20:30:52

Just crossed messages NagooingForGold.
I don't shout back. It's not my thing. He just didn't think he should help.
He tried to do some jobs this afternoon as he could obviously see he was wrong but by then it's too late for me and I can't put myself in a happy mood, which he obviously thinks I should do.

dequoisagitil Sun 05-Aug-12 20:36:09

Shouting gets him what he wants - he didn't want to help, so he shouted and got his way.

Having a short fuse is an excuse. He chooses to shout.

It's intimidating to live with and it makes you back down from sharing work/chores equally. It's not acceptable. It's bullying.

NagooingForGold Sun 05-Aug-12 20:41:09

My DH is very boomy.

He's not shouting as such, but he gets 'excited' AKA loud quite a lot.

I refuse to acknowledge him until he calms down.

I just remember listening to my parents shout when I was in bed as a child. I don't want my DC to feel like that. They don't know that DH is just pissed off about X Factor or something, they just hear a shouty voice!

AH yes, you are supposed to just snap out of it, when he's upset you? He needs to understand that his actions will have a consequence. You don't need to sulk about it, but maybe explaining that it shakes you up when he shouts and it takes you a bit of time to calm down?

It can be very difficult if it means nothing to him but it affects you quite strongly.

Wheresthedamndog Sun 05-Aug-12 20:53:41

Watching with interest as was just about to post on the same problem...Some very helpful strategies here.

Winnie hope you manage to talk to DH about it.

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 21:03:33

The thing is it's not excited shouting but it is shouting in a cross way at me or DC. It does shake me up, you are right, but he must know that by now as it happens time and time again.
He doesn't care who hears either ie neighbours.
Sorry you have the same problem Wheresthedamndog. Is he OK otherwise?

Wheresthedamndog Sun 05-Aug-12 23:05:01

Sorry. Went to watch the 100m and the news.

Yes he is a good, kind and caring man who bottles things up until they come out as inappropriate rage when he's stressed. Not sure if it's the same for your DH?

Some great strategies here, I will try themand maybe they will be useful for you too. Might be helpful for us both to think about it as a) strategies for managing it when it happens and b) strategies for preventing it happening longer-term.

I grew up in an abusive household and my judgement is a bit wobbly on what is over the line, and what not. Mn is very helpful for that. I think we have to challenge it, otherwise both they and the DCs think it's acceptable. Good luck.

He knows it upsets you, the's why he does it. You're supposed to be upset and obedient. I bet he doesn't shout at work colleagues/neighbours/people in the street, so he's perfectly capable of controlling himself.

My dad was like this. He did it to get his own way and make everyone obey him and defer to him. Pathetic man. It's basically a toddler temper tantrum. Pathetic. As a child, I.was afraid, never knowing when he would shout. He didn't shout as his boss or the vicar or the postie, he chose to shout at us.

He chooses to shout at you, does it to make you afraid and unhappy, and is then angry with you for not pretending everything is fine afterwards? What a nasty thing to do.

Trickle Sun 05-Aug-12 23:26:44

My DH had an abusive alcoholic for a father who would sulk for days sometimes weeks at members of the family who didn't do exactly what he wanted. It was an everyday part of life and was a control mechanism.

DH had some massive upsets in his life all within 6 months, I do mean huge, first his father died, then he was assaulted and nearly killed, he has a permanent injury to his voice and he is a musician, then our baby was stillborn. He became really quite an angry man and nastyness that used to only come out in the morning when he had morning grumps and I'd overlooked started invading other parts of our life. He used to accuse me of sulking continuosly after he had been really nasty, it was new and stress related. It took months but he started to understand I wasn't sulking, I was upset, just because his mood had changed didn't mean mine would automatically do so as well. He genuinly didn't understand how nasty he was being and how much of an impact he was having after he'd made what to him was a throw away comment. Fast forward two years and he doesn't do it anymore - he doesn't do it anymore because he started to understand the longer term emotional impact and that my quiet was genuine upset not controlling behaviour even though it reminded him of his dad.

Just posting this to say sometimes people can be a bit wrapped up in themselves and not really 'see' what their behaviour is causing. They can interpret things not in a willful way but becasue of past experience. Having said that if DH hadn't listened and changed we would not have stayed together, I will not be treated like that by anyone no matter why.

when he shouts, shout back. loudly. in the street. in the garden. who him what it's like and shout loudly that you WON'T HAVE SHOUTING. Don't do this if he is likely to hit you. If that won't happen, then bloody shout loudly back. and leave the jobs in the house. he can do them when he is LESS SH OUTY.

have a hot bath. gaah. My father shouted the shit out of us. I wish my parents had never married and i am 103!

musicposy Mon 06-Aug-12 00:29:08

DH went through a phase of shouting a lot, at me, at the DCs, just generally. I'm not sure why, I just think he started getting into the habit and then it became his first response to any frustration. It got that it was almost a deal breaker for me, so I know how you feel.

One thing I did was tell him in the calm moments that I could not put up with it and it would have to stop. He didn't think it was much to worry about so it helped him to see that it was an issue, and one I wasn't going to accept.

But the main thing that did it was every time he shouted I would say calmly, flatly and without emotion "Stop shouting at me, it's not acceptable. I will not be shouted at."

It took time, but gradually it worked. He very rarely shouts now. If he ever does I repeat the same mantra. I think the key is to adopt a mantra and repeat it every time, like a broken record. make it clear you will not accept it.

likeatonneofbricks Mon 06-Aug-12 00:43:07

it does have a lot to do with upbringing - if his parents shouted at each other but thought it was an expression of emotion etc and then used to make up (i.e. quick to anger, quick to calm down), then he may think it's normal. Advice from musicposy is spot on though - he has to realise that even if he's used to it, you aer not, and that it hurts you. For someone who hasn't been stopped before it's not easy though so it won't change overnight - again in many countries it's normal as people don't hide their emotions, equally they can express positive emotions more emphatically, but then they tend to be both like that, so I really wouldn't label it 'abuse' before knowing the background. If it's nothingto do with background he should look into Anger Management programmes.

likeatonneofbricks Mon 06-Aug-12 00:44:38

both like that in a couple, I meant.

NoComet Mon 06-Aug-12 00:57:18

Sorry can't help you, I just yell back.

DD2 gets upset and DD1 just shrugs her wise shoulders.

She knows, full well that we will kiss and make up.

DD2's getting upset does take stop DH storming off, which is an improvement, but neither of us are ever going to be calm collected and adult at all times.

In all honesty I'm not sure you should be.

My DDad has a short fuse and my DMum tends to let him get away with it. They love each other to pieces and it works for them.
But I do wish she'd tell him he's being a total arse, sometimes.

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 01:16:04

Hmmm. Well, good luck with the strategies. I have me doubts about whether he's "just on a short fuse" or what have you, because the example you gave shows he shouts in order to control you, doesn't it? You told him he was only shouting so you'd go and clear up and he wouldn't have to do any and it worked. You were quiet all day. He went out to take the dog for a walk and slammed the door.

Summary: He shouted to gain control of you and make you wait on him. This was successful, but you made a noise about giving in to it so he punished you (and DC) by throwing a silent strop and banging doors.

I've got to tell you, as others have, that growing up like this will lead to your DC taking one of these roles in their own relationships as adults - either dominator or waiter/ess, and maybe even switching roles from one relationship to the next. They will be shouters and all of their partners will be dysfunctional (because balanced people don't choose shouty power-play relationships).

You said: I do try and keep the peace rather than confront the issues so maybe that's my problem. Not sure if it's emotional abuse.

Right, so wanting a peaceful life is a "problem"? No, I didn't think so! What's happened here is that you're thinking it must be your fault that he wields the sword arm over his family? Er, how could that be??

By chance, this was just posted on my facebook: "Someone else’s inadequacies have absolutely nothing to do with you and certainly don’t equate to you having inadequacies that are ‘provoking’ their inadequacies." It's on Baggage Reclaim. You might enjoy that site smile

achillea Mon 06-Aug-12 01:24:27

I suspect that you kept the peace all those years because it worked at the time. Now you have dcs, there will be times when he will have to things,he doesn't want to and you are having to make demands on him because there are more,important people than him in the house. This may be,the first time you,are,really standing up to him and he won't accept it. You have adapted your,behaviour for 20 years and must be a saint. I think you will need a bit counselling to get your head round this. I am going through a similar thing and I know he won't change but it is so hard to change my own habits and raise my expectations. We are still together, but shouldn't be. It really doesn't sound good at all.

achillea Mon 06-Aug-12 01:25:33

Excuse the,random commas. !

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 01:41:28

I should have added: I love arguments and am well shouty given the chance! Thing is, that's about 'passionate argument' as entertainment - yes, the passion and argument is real, but it's also mutually respectful. If I'm shouting because I don't want to do the washing up, then I'm an arse. I am also an arse if I shout at someone who is not shouty and feels scared by it. This, I'm afraid, makes your husband two kinds of arse straight off. More if you add in the master-servant game, shouting at the kids and the slamming door dramatic exit.

I can make suggestions, but they'd all require you to be a different kind of person from who you are. And I don't see why you should change your self in an attempt to moderate your partner's behaviour: that's all back-to-front! You've told him you dislike it, explained why, and asked for more reasonable communication. He carries on, knowing you don't like it.

Well, that says all you need to know about how much he cares sad

needsomeperspective Mon 06-Aug-12 09:12:10

My husband used to do this a lot before he was properly medicated for his anxiety issues.

I used to just immediately shut up and walk away from him. If he pursued me I'd simply state calmly "I will not be spoken to like that". And took myself out of the situation. Even to the point of leaving the house (taking dog out, going to the corner shop).

At that time I didn't have children and he hasn't ever shouted like that in front of them but if he did I would use the same tactic but take the children with me - leaving the clearing up for him. Its the only way to get the point across and not "reward" him for his behavior.

Fairenuff Mon 06-Aug-12 17:15:41

The single most important thing you can give your children is good self esteem. Everything they do as an adult, absolutely everything, will be as a result of their self esteem. Their careers, their relationships, their happiness.

Every time your dh shouts he erodes their self esteem. And yours, of course OP. People who love each other are not shouty and critical and controlling.

My ds shouts at me sometimes because he's a young teenager and trying to assert some independence. But I tell him I will only listen to him if he talks. If wants to shout at me then I won't listen and I will probably walk away.

That's the message I want to give him. What message do you want to give your children?

winniemum Mon 06-Aug-12 20:08:39

I'm feeling seriously down now. As my eldest does have big self esteem issues and he's 19! My other teenagers are older and now I know I've let him shout for far too long.
I tried to talk to him last night, but he just raised his voice and said I was trying to blame him for everything, my DC1's bad mood when he got in from work ,my DC2 being a bad tempered little bugger. OH god. It sounds awful.
This morning he stopped me before I went out and said I was over reacting. I felt so cross. I went out in the car.
Anyway he's been nice to me for the rest of the day.
My head is spinning. It's not good and I am so mad I haven't been a better mum and protected my kids more.
Sorry just in a bad place right now.

Yama Mon 06-Aug-12 20:16:29

Winnie - see my earlier post. My Dad was a shouter. One day I ceased being scared of him. It actually strengthens my resolve not to allow shouting in my adult life.

Don't beat yourself up. You are not a shouter. Being a teenager is hard. Sorry you feel bad right now.

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 20:45:22

Oh, bless, Winnie sad There's no point in shouting at yourself now, is there?! You've got DH for that.

Would it be impossible to grab a quiet half hour with DS1 and start a conversation about how he feels with all the grumpiness & shouting? I realise 19 is a dreadful age to be considering such matters - but it's also an age when you're just starting to see your parents as separate individuals, so he might have something interesting to say. If nothing else, it's likely he'll feel privately grateful you asked his opinion.

Now tell yourself five of your REALLY GOOD qualities! You deserve your best, too smile

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 20:47:46

Yama - don't want to sacre OP, but 19 is the age when I knocked my father out with a perfect uppercut :D

It improved our relationship no end.

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 20:48:13

*scare - I haven't gone all French and religious wink

Fairenuff Mon 06-Aug-12 20:58:26

Oh Winnie I didn't mean to get you down, it's not your fault don't blame yourself. It's never too late to set a good example to your children. I agree that talking to them would be a good idea. We all make mistakes but what's important is that we learn from them. Your children will be parents themselves someday so you can help them now by showing them that there is another way.

Regarding your dh, you will really need to stick to your guns if you want him to really listen to you. He is being defensive, instead of listening to how he makes you feel. It's still all about him. You need to talk to him some more and tell him that things are going to change.

Yama Mon 06-Aug-12 21:14:39

Garlicnuts - wow, I take it he deserved it. I found becoming an adult very liberating. I enjoyed standing up to my Dad. He stopped taking me on a long long time ago.

Thing is my Dad was a very good parent in many ways. I do credit my parents with my high self esteem.

winniemum Mon 06-Aug-12 21:17:09

Thank you so much for helping. It is reassuring that you came out OK Yama.
I will talk to DS1 as I think he's depressed which is what is really making me so so sad.
Fairenuff you haven't got me down, I really suppose I've known all along it's not good for the kids. I don't know why I haven't done more about it that's all. as unlike Wheresthedamndog, my DH hasn't got a lot of great qualities right at the moment. He's so cross with everything. I'm trying so hard to get him to stop shouting the trouble is if I pick him up on it he shouts more and I hate it in front of the DCs.

Fairenuff Mon 06-Aug-12 21:23:19

He is bullying you Winnie by shouting over you when you talk. Don't let him get away with it. Just say 'I want to talk with you. If you start shouting the talking will have to wait. But it is not going to go away. Let me know when you're ready to listen'.

Alernatively, if that doesn't work, what about trying Relate?

motn Mon 06-Aug-12 22:10:34


If it's the last thing you do buy this book

A quote from the first chapter.

"when you feel hurt and try to discuss your upset feelings with him, you don't feel as if the issue has been resolved, so you don't feel happy and relieved....(He says 'you're just trying to start an argument' or in some other way expresses his refusal to discuss the situation)

Another quote

" He is either angry or 'has no idea of what you're talking about when you try to discuss an issue with him"

Please, please read it.

achillea Tue 07-Aug-12 18:25:54

OP, it's been 20 years right? Can you remember what you were like before you met him and have you changed? I'm wondering because I've been through something similar - you trot along for a decade or two in a fairly satisfactory manor and then wake to find yourself in a kind of nightmare that you can't get out of, but one that you've got used to.

winniemum Tue 07-Aug-12 19:02:01

Abusive. Do you think it is abusive, him shouting and getting angry? It's not right in my face but shouting so the whole family hears. God I'd not thought of it as abusive.
He got a bit cross when we first met but not loads of shouting.
Think I have got used to it. I'm just worried for my kids. I hate them to witness his bad moods.
I really don't know whether I want to go to relate as I don't really feel like he wants to change. He keeps telling me that's how he is.
I have told him recently his behaviour was bullying and he was so cross, he couldn't believe I'd said it, nor could I to be honest.
So what now? My head is still spinning.

achillea Tue 07-Aug-12 19:07:16

It's difficult to say it's abusive on here because nobody has met him or you, but it's more about how it makes you feel and whether he understands the effect and then chooses to continue.

The other thing you should consider as a gauge of how serious this is, is how it affects the family atmosphere. Is there a lot of stress in the home, is there when you go out together?

garlicnuts Tue 07-Aug-12 19:29:29

I don't know all about your relationship, Winnie, and can't say "he's this or that kind of abuser" based on your posts.

What I can say is that a man who cares about his wife stops doing what hurts her. A decent person is mortified if they hurt someone they love.

I can say, too, that a good person shows concern about the atmosphere in their family. If their children seem to be overly cross and/or disruptive, they try to get to the bottom of it and help their children to feel secure. Bullies and abusers choose 'control' over 'care'.

Emotionally rounded, well-balanced human beings give criticism a fair hearing. They try to improve their relationships by making small changes and compromises (that's what you do, isn't it?) Emotionally stunted people, and bullies, say "This is how I am", implying you'd better put up with it.

So what do you think?

Fairenuff Tue 07-Aug-12 20:34:47

He's not keen on going to relate. He doesn't see it as a problem. He doesn't think he needs to change. What about you Winnie, what do you want?

You can always go to counselling on your own.

winniemum Tue 07-Aug-12 20:53:21

I think I will try counselling as I'm not happy.
I wish he was just a happier person who did things with his DC's.
I have told him if he cared he wouldn't shout and get cross so much but he thinks it's his nature.
There is stress at home when he's in a bad mood .He accuses me of siding with the kids all the time, and of course I do as I can see his reaction to things is way over the top.
None of us have ever done anything bad, yet his reaction to little things is like it's the end of the world.

achillea Tue 07-Aug-12 21:11:43

Oh dear that's awful. He really needs to want to do something about this. Can you give an example of the little things he loses it about?

winniemum Wed 08-Aug-12 10:42:05

Typical examples. If he is taking my daughter to school (rare), and she says 'come on Dad I'll be late' (as he is late for everything) he shouts at her on the way to school in the car. Really shouts! My daughter is a really lovely teenager too - no trouble at all. So I take her all the time now.
If the DC's don't do the jobs they're asked to do, he shouts at them, and then shouts at me for giving reasons why they might not have done them - they are all teenagers, and the DS's are great lads too. But they are human and don't always jump when he says jump.
He also makes odd remarks.
Last night he came in from his sport and said "There's no beer in the fridge, mind you I suppose I'm not allowed to get annoyed about that am I"
He isn't a drinker, but my son had taken some of his beer. I think someone rational would have a quiet word with their DC the next day and ask them to ask first and pay for what they had taken. Not make a childish remark.
Still unhappy. Don't know where to find a good counsellor.

Fairenuff Wed 08-Aug-12 11:25:33

"There's no beer in the fridge, mind you I suppose I'm not allowed to get annoyed about that am I"

This is passive aggressive. It's controlling behaviour. And. as you say, it's entirely unneccessary.

You cannot change someone else's behaviour, they have to do that themselves. If they are unwilling, all you can do is decide what you will put up with. You decide where your boundaries lie, not him.

Counselling might help you work out where you can go next. You could ask your GP or just get in touch with relate. You can go to see them on your own. There might be a bit of a wait though.

If you tell your dh that you are gonig with or without him, it might make him see how serious you are. At the moment, he just expects it all to go away. He is waiting for things to go back to normal, for you to accept his behaviour and stop going on about it.

He has not even begun yet to think about how his behaviour impacts on your and the dcs. It's still all about him. He will have to start to think about that for anything to change.

Stay strong x

winniemum Wed 08-Aug-12 17:53:25

Thanks Fairenuff. I will try relate and go on my own. There isn't much point in him going as he thinks I have the problem, not him. As he said to me, he feels the amount of shouting he's doing isn't increasing, it's my tolerance level that must be decreasing! Maybe it's because I'm just starting to see how awful the situation is and I don't want to tolerate it for the sake of the kids.

helicopterview Fri 10-Aug-12 04:04:54


My ex husband used to shout at me and my dcs.

I cannot tell you what a blessed relief it is to have a peaceful house now. I manage to get the dcs to behave perfectly well by calmly explaining what I want. And no-one attempts to force me into doing things by intimidation.

Shouting is bullying, lazy, and emotionally unintelligent. It'd be far more effort for him to enter into a debate about what everyone's roles need to be in the household. Or, god forbid, do his bit.

I know now that my ex dh was having an affair. He didn't treat me in a loving way at all. The shouting was part of that whole parcel.

It is not loving to shout at you.

He is not treating you as his equal.

I think you probably need to look a bit deeper at your problems with him than this.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 09:29:40

Winnie this is intimidating behaviour and happens so that he feels in charge and in control. Great for him, but absolutely devastating for you. It must make you and the dcs feel absolutely worthless. He is prepared to emotionally hurt you AND your precious dcs so that he feels better.

It's easy to say from a distance, but after 20 years you are all deeply involved in this and won't be able to change anything except your own situation. Do you ever feel like you just want to take the kids and get out of there? What would happen if you did?

Ephiny Thu 16-Aug-12 10:04:42

I can't stand shouting (fortunately DH doesn't do it) and will not engage with someone who's shouting at me. I treat it the same as I would a barky dog - turn away, don't acknowledge or respond. If someone has something to say to me they can say it in a polite, non-aggressive way.

I had shouty parents too. When I was little it was frightening, but as a teenager I started to see it as ridiculous and just had contempt for them really. I feel the same way now about adults shouting and stamping around slamming doors etc, like a toddler having a tantrum, it makes me lose all respect for them.

bubalou Thu 16-Aug-12 10:12:34

I don't know what others think but I would shout back.

You said yourself it is not your style. Yes you don't want the children to see and hear shouting but I'd rather them see me sticking up for myself and raising my voice then going into my shell and basically letting him talk to me like that. You're showing them it's OK by not fighting back.

Next time he does it, summon up all the strength you have and really give it to him. Don't lose control. Just go for it. He will be shocked and maybe think twice about it next time.

By the way you sound like a lovely level headed woman - don't let him be a dick!


MorrisZapp Thu 16-Aug-12 10:17:04

My DP shouts and swears in anger at me over laughably small things usually to do with housework.

My strategy is now to tell him its a huge over reaction, unacceptable etc and to refuse to engage until he's civil with me. This enrages him further though, as this is me 'turning it round' and 'making him the bad guy' when in fact it was me who forgot to wipe up the splashes round the sink.

He always calms down and apologises afterwards, but then a month later he forgets all over again that shouting and swearing at your loved ones is wrong.

It's a work in progress. It used to upset me, but now I just deal with it calmly and wait for the apology.

Good luck OP.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 10:28:08

bubalu shouting back teaches your dcs that it's OK to shout, but ignoring it may well be giving them the signal that their Dad is justified and that's normal behaviour and as a woman you should just sit back and take it.

My mother took the route of the silent partner for years, just reacted quietly and haughtily but it solved absolutely nothing, but my brothers have a very distorted view of how relationships should be and I put up with an awful lot more sh*te than I should have in the past.

Neither way is right, because both ways are expressing disrespect and lack of care.

Sometimes shouting is just an expression of frustration and should be seen as that - I do it sometimes but then say sorry straight away. But regular shouting that makes the other person feel bad is far more than that. Twisting it afterwards to absolve yourself from blame and make the other person feel guilty is actually really nasty and destructive.

bubalou Thu 16-Aug-12 10:52:41

achillea - shouting back teaches DC's that it's OK to shout back and stand up for yourself.

This isn't ideal. Ideally she would tell the giant dickwad not to shout and her and he would listen - but that sounds unlikely.

What's the alternative - keep quiet and hope he will stop?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 11:36:10

I agree bubalu, it is better to stand up for yourself and if shouting is the only way to do it then it has to be. The alternative - if nothing changes - is to leave.

winniemum Thu 13-Dec-12 10:20:51

I'm afraid I'm back again. Things are getting worse and I really don't know what to do. The other day I undermined him in front of my DC as I had misread the situation. He became very angry with me and shouted. Not unusual. But then he kicked the lounge door, called me a f***ing b*tch , not to my face but while he was in the kitchen and shouted at me 'you know where the door is'. I calmly told him I wasn't going to leave, so he said he'd burn the house down before _he left. Oh god this sounds dreadful and I know what you'll say but he has suggested counselling which surprised me.
I do know I was wrong to undermine him and I apologised that I had misread the situation, but I said the very least he could do was apologise for calling me a f** b****. He said he wouldn't as I am being a b** by being quiet with him. How can I be friendly and chatty with him though when he won't apologise? He is trying to be nice to me but I just feel like he can't love me so I can't warm to him.
I have recently become stronger in my responses towards him, ie saying no to things and not letting him get away with being angry and I think he's becoming more angry as I become stronger.
Just needed to tell someone.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 13-Dec-12 10:33:07

Are you sure you "undermined" him and "misread" the situation? Could it be that your instincts are right, and that he just convinces you after the fact that you are in the wrong?

Yes, this is dreadful, and yes, you know what I am going to say: this is abuse. You deserve better. Your children deserve better.

He is a bully and they don't change their stripes. DO NOT go to joint counselling with a bully: he is the problem, and his sense of entitlement should not be given the same weight as your concerns, which is what will happen in couples' counselling.

Instead, book yourself into individual counselling for your benefit, to clear your head, and see if he is serious about working on himself and signs himself up to his own set of counselling sessions to deal with his abusive behaviour.


Abusive men do not usually attend counselling sessions (because they at heart think they are doing nothing wrong in the first place). Joint counselling is a complete no anyway given the ongoing emotional abuse he metes out.

Weak bullying men like your H use counselling to pin all the blame on their victim, in this case you (and by turn your children who have grown up within such an unhealthy environment). He knows that he is now losing overall control over you, that is also why he lashes out as he does. All that he does is typical of such controlling men.

He does not shout at other people like this does he, he reserves all this for you.

Things will not improve for you or your children as long as you remain within this situation. I would be seeking legal advice so that you have more knowledge of where you stand legally, knowledge after all is power. Womens Aid can also assist you here.

Your H actively chooses to shout at you and his children and uses you all as his emotional punchbag. What have they learnt and are learning about relationships from the two of you?.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. Something still keeps you within this so what is it?.

mummytime Thu 13-Dec-12 11:19:11

Do not go to counselling with him; it is not advised because he will use it as another opportunity to undermine you and to give him more ammunition to use on you.

Do phone Women's aid.

Personally I would phone the police on the non-emergency number and get them to record his threat of burning the place down.

The situation is already getting worse. He has gone from shouting, to violence against in-animate objects and threats; the next stage will be violence against you/the children/pets. Please take this very seriously.

Do be prepared to dial 999 if he becomes violent again.
Do not let him know you are planning to leave/get rid of him.
Start to gather copies of importnat documents and bank statements. Have these kept in a safe place out of the house (with a friend or relative).

cestlavielife Thu 13-Dec-12 15:37:00

get bag so next time he says leave you do so - with the Dc to somewhere safe

take his threats seriously - he is getting more angry.

think of who you could go to with dc if you need to; have money spare car keys , charged up spare payg mobile etc.

if he smashes things or is aggressive with you leave and call 999

winniemum Thu 13-Dec-12 15:57:35

Thanks. Just confused as he suggested counselling, so maybe he wants to change.
Attila, I'm not sure what I'm getting out of the relationship now. It had never crossed my mind to go before now.
We've been married a long time, the kids love him, I thought I'd be married forever and if I left he'd be so furious. But things aren't good.
He has said sorry this afternoon but I don't feel the incident is over as I can't forget what he called me. Do you think his behaviour will definitely get worse?

AbigailAdams Thu 13-Dec-12 16:00:10

Counselling will just enable his abuse. Either joint counselling or any counselling for him.

His behaviour is escalating so yes it very likely will get worse sad. It certainly won't get better (or will only get better temporarily).

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Thu 13-Dec-12 20:52:00

His behavior gets worse as you won't stand for it. He's loosing control of you and it's making him more angry. Please stay safe and call Womens Aid.
Put any paperwork and important stuff somewhere safe so you can get them if it gets so bad you and the kids need to leave suddenly.

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