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DH is very controlling, selfish and often very angry - help!

(145 Posts)
LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 10:37:56

DH has had a rough ride in the last few years and it's changed him in to a different person. He has always been fiery but now it's ridiculous - he snaps at me, DCs and the dog for hardly any reason and shouts really loudly at me. He calls me a stupid woman, an idiot or tells me to shut up on an almost daily basis. He is often away with work and I don't work any more and it was supposed to make things easier but now it's even worse as he now never does anything useful with the DCs. I know I don't have to get up to go to work but it would be nice if I was allowed to go to the supermarket on my own just once in a while. He makes such a fuss about looking after DCs for an hour that it's just easier to take them with me. When he's at home he tends to just sit on the computer (yes, I see the irony!) and puts the TV on for DCs. He would never do any activities with them - colouring, painting, baking, going on a walk, taking them to a club etc. The most difficult things are to do with his opinion on my level of strictness with DCs and money. He constantly tells me that I don't discipline our DCs but the difference is that I don't just shout incessantly at them about nothing in particular. I can't get DS to nap in his bed anymore as DH has shouted so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that he says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries. This week I've been trying to organise our summer holiday and have emailed him a few ideas as he's been away with work. He rang and was really grumpy about it and said "you just do whatever you like" in a stroppy teenager way. He is obsessed with hoarding money and checks our bank balance every day and quizzes me on what I have spent money on. I haven't bought anything for myself for ages and the only money I spend is on food, bills and DCs' clothes. He got really annoyed with me about the money I spent at Christmas, even though the majority of it for his family. I really do still love him and I don't want to break up the family but I can't go on with this. Does it sound like he needs some kind of stress / anger management counselling? Any helpful advice welcome!

HecatePropolos Thu 03-Jan-13 10:39:27

Why do you put up with it?

ilikebaking Thu 03-Jan-13 10:44:44

It sounds like he needs some sort of therapy... and a kick up the bum. Should realise how lucky he is! Wife and kiddies who love him and money and a roof over his head. A lot people are a worse off.

ErikNorseman Thu 03-Jan-13 10:45:30

The only advice you need is to leave him and remove your kids from his toxic influence.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 10:47:24

I think you need to think about the damage your dh is doing to the dc - it's awful that your ds can't nap because he associates his bed with punishment & shouting. sad

Your dh is financially, verbally and emotionally abusing you. No matter what his stress levels are, there is no excuse for using you, the dc & the poor bloody dog as his emotional punchbags.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 10:48:57

I'm not giving up on him. I suspect that he is suffering from depression and needs some form of help. If someone with a similar or professional experience could offer some constructive advice I would be grateful.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 10:49:05

What do you love about him? List his good points as they are right now - not how he used to be, but as he is in the present.
What's to love?

He's a bully, he's verbally abusive to his family, he is domineering, he is financially abusing you, and he's a shit dad.

What is it you love?

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 10:50:30

Depression is no excuse or explanation whatsoever, so stop telling yourself it is.

Depression does not cause people to be abusive. He chooses to be because he thinks he's entitled to be.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 10:56:15

Does it sound like he needs some kind of stress / anger management counselling? Any helpful advice welcome!

You can't help him, you can only help yourself (and you should: you are clearly miserable).

Likewise, only he can help himself. But it doesn't sound like he wants to: he has no incentive to change, does he? This situation is of his making and suits him just fine.

I really do still love him and I don't want to break up the family but I can't go on with this.

You are going to have to prioritise one of those two things, as they are incompatible. Either look out for your needs and your happiness, or stay in this marriage. By what you describe, staying in this marriage AND being happy are not possible.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 10:56:32

You can't fix him yourself. You can ask him to go to the GP as a starting point, to get medication, therapy or counselling if he is suffering depression.

If he won't, what will you do?

HecatePropolos Thu 03-Jan-13 10:58:42

He's making your children cry and affecting their quality of life.

At some point, you have to think beyond him and about them. Think how it feels to grow up with a parent who is always yelling at you.

You can't always help someone. If they won't help themselves, there comes a point when there is nothing more you can do.

you want replies only from people who have experience? - I have been depressed. I have tried to kill myself. I have been an inpatient in a mental health unit. Experience enough for you?

You should NOT stay with someone who abuses you. It is harmful to you. It is harmful to your children.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 10:59:52

He has always been fiery <- very very telling.

he snaps at me, DCs and the dog for hardly any reason and shouts really loudly at me. He calls me a stupid woman, an idiot or tells me to shut up on an almost daily basis

it would be nice if I was allowed to go to the supermarket on my own just once in a while

He makes such a fuss about looking after DCs for an hour that it's just easier to take them with me

He would never do any activities with them - colouring, painting, baking, going on a walk, taking them to a club etc

I can't get DS to nap in his bed anymore as DH has shouted so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that he says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries

He is obsessed with hoarding money and checks our bank balance every day and quizzes me on what I have spent money on

Mate - none of this has anything to do with depression, and everything to do with your husband being a fucking shit.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 11:00:20

He knows he's not happy - he doesn't want to behave like this bit he just can't control himself. I think he would go to see someone if I made it a fair accompli as opposed to a suggestion.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:01:53

He can control himself.
Does he call his boss an idiot and shout at him to shut up? His mother? His friends?
No. No he doesn't.

He can control himself. He just thinks that when it comes to you, he doesn't have to.

balia Thu 03-Jan-13 11:02:45

Very important to accept that you can't change him, or make him accept he needs to change. And at the moment, there is no problem for him - he gets to behave exactly the way he chooses, with no consequence.

You can take more honest control over the things you can change, though. Perhaps counselling/assertiveness training for yourself. If you stop accepting unacceptable behaviour, and make it clear that shouting incessantly at DC's is not OK, he may re-evaluate. Think of it as tough love.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:02:52

How do you plan to make it a fait accompli?

(And yes he can control himself, by the way. He and only he is responsible for his own actions and for the words that come out of his own mouth. He is not a puppet being controlled by some invisible puppeteer: it's all him.)

NicknameTaken Thu 03-Jan-13 11:03:48

Ready Lundy Bancroft, "Why does he do that?" (second time I've recommended it this morning!)

You don't want to give up on him because you think "oh poor him, he doesn't want to be like this, he must be helped!"

What the book will show you is that he does want to be like this, because he benefits a lot from your misery. He never has to do anything he doesn't want to, he gets the pleasant relief of taking his stress out on those weaker than him, who can't do anything about it, it's a rather nice little set-up he's got going on.

Lundy Bancroft also talks a lot about whether someone can change and how you'll know if he has done so. Please read it - it will really help you to take a clear-eyed look at the situation and see what to do about it.

HecatePropolos Thu 03-Jan-13 11:03:49

He can't control himself?

That must make his life very difficult indeed.

How many times has he been arrested for abusing people in the street?

How many jobs has he lost because he screams at his boss?

How many times has he refused to engage with co-workers?

How many times has he been disciplined for quizzing his manager on how the company is run?

How many times have the police cautioned him for accosting someone on the bus and screaming abuse at them?

How many times has he got in his boss's face and screamed at them that they are stupid?

How many times has he gone up to a policeman and screamed at them to shut up?

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 11:03:49

OK, try it. Book him an appointment with the GP.

You say he can't control himself, he knows he's not happy. Does he admit the damage he is doing to you and the dc? What is going on is very very wrong - your dc shouldn't be treated like this.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:05:58

Does it sound like he needs some kind of stress / anger management counselling?

There's a book by a professional counsellor designed to answer your questions: Why does he do that?: Insde the minds of angry and controlling men

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:07:37

What the book will show you is that he does want to be like this, because he benefits a lot from your misery. He never has to do anything he doesn't want to, he gets the pleasant relief of taking his stress out on those weaker than him, who can't do anything about it, it's a rather nice little set-up he's got going on.

Absolutely.

I also thoroughly recommend you read it OP. Poor man just can't control himself...it's not his fault...he doesn't mean to be nasty.

He can control himself and he wholly means to be nasty. It benefits him to be so, as he has you all dancing to his tune.

MrsTomHardy Thu 03-Jan-13 11:09:23

Sorry OP but I agree with the others.

He is abusive!
Is he willing to seek help in any way?

LeavingNewYork Thu 03-Jan-13 11:10:51

My dh suffers from depression. Before he started on ADs he would be grumpy, it got to the point where there was a bit of an atmosphere, and he became very defensive and did not cope with stressful situations well.

He never did any of the things you have listed though, OP

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:11:09

Can I also say that I am very sorry that you and the DC are living like this, and are in such distress (your poor DS seeing naps as punishment sad )

You all deserve better.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 11:13:06

I wasn't really asking you (complete strangers) to post comments about what a bastard DH is. I was looking for people who know how to take positive steps forward and can offer constructive advice. I know what a toll the events of the last few years have taken on him and I know that the person I married is still there because as times he shines through. He can be wonderfully kind and when he is relaxed he is a fantastic father. He is under a huge amount of pressure from many sources and I want to help him to help himself to deal better with those stresses. I'm pretty sure that's what the marriage vows promise.

abbierhodes Thu 03-Jan-13 11:13:35

'I'm not going to give up on him'
'I really do still love him'

Well, that's fine then. Bollocks to your kids and their mental wellbeing. Sod them, mummy doesn't want to rock the boat.
This man is emotionally abusing your children and you are letting him. You are teaching them that this is what family life is like. You are teaching them that this is how men treat women. Their lives will be difficult in the future because of this.

You are allowing them to have a shit childhood, frightened and anxious due to the 'depression' of the man who is supposed to love, cherish and protect them.

You want advice: get a fucking grip.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 11:16:14

Can't see you are anything less than a complete cow.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:16:14

Positive steps forward and constructive advice are to help yourself and your DC.

You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. But you can and should look after yourself (and DC).

I hope you do, because you deserve to a better life, and only you can take the positive steps towards that life.

Any positive steps your husband wants to take, he will have to choose and take himself.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 11:16:21

Abusive people cycle between nice & nasty to keep you hooked.

What is he doing to help himself? What stops you making the appointment with the GP?

You can only go on making excuses for him for so long.

Like others have said, does he behave like this with other people?
I would suspect the answer is no.
Because if he abused people on the street, his co workers, his boss, there would be consequences. If he does it to you, there are none, just you saying "oh the poor man, he cannot help it"

Clearly he can control his behaviour.

If you were to present him with an appointment to see a counsellor, do you think it would help?
He can only accept help once he has accepted that his behaviour towards you is entirely his own decision and once he has decided he needs to ask for help to achieve that.

What motivation is there for him at the moment to ask for help?

His behaviour seems to be affecting yours and your DCs day to day life, happiness, well being. Not his.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 11:18:32

You're bound to get strong responses, OP, because of what you say about the way he treats your dc. This is a parents' board, after all.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:18:35

What abbie said.

I know you don't want to hear the truth OP, and I'm sorry it is making you cross...but your husband IS a bastard, and it's not for you to sort out. It's his problem.

In the meantime he is subjecting your children to fear and abuse.

Of course he's nice sometimes. ALL abusers are nice at least half of, if not most of the time. They'd never get anyone to stay with them if they weren't, would they? It wouldn't be at all beneficial for him to be horrible ALL the time, or you would leave.
He needs to keep you there hoping for better times, and striving to make those times a reality, otherwise he'd be all alone with no-one to bully. Poor him.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:18:39

Were you the only one who took marriage vows though?

Or were his different to yours? Did he promise to:

call you a stupid woman, an idiot or tells me to shut up on an almost daily basis

make sure that you were never allowed to go to the supermarket on your own

never do any activities with your children - colouring, painting, baking, going on a walk, taking them to a club etc

shout so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that your DS says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries

quiz you on what you have spent money on?

By the way, I'm not calling him a bastard. These are things that you've said he does. I'm just asking if you think it's good enough for you and your children?

Agree with pictish of course he can control himself. Do you think he's this abusive to his boss (or clients)? He'd have lost his job ages ago already. He's only doing this to you because you are a punching bag. In your relationship, you are in a inferior position. If I'm honest, you are lower than his employee (if he's the boss) and subordinates. If they are putting up with it, then they'll be looking for a new job right now.

KittyBreadfan Thu 03-Jan-13 11:20:21

Ok so you don't want complete strangers to tell you the obvious, that your husband is a controlling, abusive arsehole. But you want those same complete strangers to give you ways of dealing with his alleged depression.

How about Google? Should be easy enough, and without pesky people trying to help you and your children smile

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:22:22

abbie is not a cow. She understands how being raised in an abusive household affects children.

It really is that bad, Lucy.

Conflugenglugen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:22:54

LucyLego - I am a counsellor and training psychotherapist, and I am advising you (something I wouldn't do with a client because the nature of the work is different) to leave him. He is abusive.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:24:12

Don't call abbie a cow because you can't handle the truth. You know she's right, and you can't handle it. That's not her fault. No need.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 11:24:40

Have made an appointment with GP for next week and will go with him. Please don't post anymore unless you have encouragement. I could have worked out the "leave him" idea for myself. For the record he isn't aggressive towards our children but short tempered when they are naughty.

KittyBreadfan Thu 03-Jan-13 11:24:44

BTW I've been in almost exactly the same position you are in now. Been away from it for about 5 years and my life, and my child's life, have both been improved considerably. It took me a long time to get past the feeling of not wanting to break up a family or walk out on a marriage, but I needed to.

If you want help you need to make clear what you're asking for, telling people that your husband basically treats you and your children like shit but you don't want to leave him because of wedding vows is never going to go down well.

LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 11:26:01

A counsellor worth their salt wouldn't do that.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:26:18

'Very short tempered' IS being aggressive!!

Does he shout at them far too quickly, and seem overly angry over small things?
You know he does. That's being aggressive.

CheCazzo Thu 03-Jan-13 11:26:19

You don't want help or advice. You want to be told it's all ok, it's just a phase, he doesn't mean it and pretty soon it'll all be sunshine, rainbows and bunny wabbits. You're in the wrong place luv. All you'll get here is practical advice, the benefit of years of experience (most of it hard gained) and support when you decide to liberate yourself and your poor children from the daily onslaught of abuse.
Right now, and until you listen up, you are complicit in that abuse.

KittyBreadfan Thu 03-Jan-13 11:27:20

BTW I've been in almost exactly the same position you are in now. Been away from it for about 5 years and my life, and my child's life, have both been improved considerably. It took me a long time to get past the feeling of not wanting to break up a family or walk out on a marriage, but I needed to.

If you want help you need to make clear what you're asking for, telling people that your husband basically treats you and your children like shit but you don't want to leave him because of wedding vows is never going to go down well.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:03

What will you tell the GP? Everything you wrote in your first post?

KittyBreadfan Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:43

Posted twice by accident, bloody phone. You sound just as charming as your husband.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:28:47

Everybody has a "rough ride" of it sometimes. It's called life.

How we choose to behave is what determines our character.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:30:43

OP if you just want to clap your hands over your ears and go lalalalalalalalalala while he treats you like shite, that's up to you...but their are children in this situation and they are taking in everything they see, and everything they hear, to use for themselves later in life.

They will grow up to expect abusive behaviour...either accepting it or dishing it out.

So long as you stick to your vows though eh? Because that's the most important thing.

aufaniae Thu 03-Jan-13 11:31:11

You are part of the problem here as you love him unconditionally. I used to think this was a positive quality. However when you are faced with someone who is abusive (as your DH is), it's actually a very dangerous thing to do.

He is treating you and your DCs in a way which is inexcusable.

He may be able to recover with counselling, but that's not going to happen while you're still there, making excuses for him and enabling this behaviour.

I know it's hard advice to take, but you really need to get your DCs away from him as he's damaging them.

It is not going against your marriage vows to get your DCs and yourself away, to a place of safety, where they can be free from abuse.

His best chance for helping himself is to do it on his own IMO. He is an abuser, and you will never be able to get through to him on how he should treat you. He's going to need some pretty life changing events to reconsider the way he is, and most abusers don't change. You can hang on as long as you like to your marriage vows, but love won't cure him I'm afraid.

It took me many years to realise this, but I didn't have mumsnet then!

The people here may be giving what sounds like harsh advice, but many of us have been there, and we are trying to help, honest!

I would urge you to get yourself a late Christmas present of this book, you will probably find your H in it.

FiercePanda Thu 03-Jan-13 11:32:23

He is emotionally abusing your children, and yet you're sat with rose-tinted glasses on asking for advice on how to fix him...?

Your priorities are shot to shit. Stop putting your abusive husband first, start thinking about your DC's wellbeing.

I have depression, been on ADs for nearly two years, and I've managed to not scream abuse at my partner or make my DS think bedtime equals punishment. Your husband's depression isn't making him abusive - he's abusive because he chooses to be. Open your eyes.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:33:38

I agree with Pictish. This was my life for about 7 years. (it became gradually more intolerable). I was like that frog being boiled slowly. Nobody jumps into a boiling pan.

But back to a point Pictish made there, being a snappy bad tempered unreasonable grouch to you is an excellent coping mechanism for him. Your life on the other hand is probably so close to intolerable that things can't go on. Meanwhile back in his World, his ever need is catered to, his demands are met, he gets his me time (on the computer, away with work), he has a family who make no demands on him, they are there in the background. He has successfully trained you not to pick too many battles or any at all. So now the script is that you rarely challenge him because it's just not worth it. He has done an excellent job. Well done him.

I left a man like this and I'm not judging you, far from it. But he will OBVIOUSLY totally resist changing and will fob you off and maybe pretend to change a few times before you realise that he just won't.

I left once and I had a list of (very reasonable stipulations). He 'tried' for a few weeks and then when the kids were back at the school etc, he started refering to my tin pot parade (having left him).

I would tell him it's over because you're not happy with him. Pick phrases that can't be argued with. I feel miserable. I do not want to continue.

your dc wont sleep in his bed because he associates bed with being naughty.

That isnt normal.

sorry, i know you want someone to help you justify that this is ok and fixable

but its not right and its affecting your children.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:35

He is aggressive to your children to the point that one of them sees nap time as a punishment.

You wanted encouragement: I encourage you to put yourself and your DC's needs above those of another adult who can take care of his own self. I encourage you to strive for your own happiness, because you deserve it. I encourage you to drop the notion that you can help someone who treats you badly while also remaining at his side (and thus confirming in his mind that he can continue to treat you badly, since you're still sticking around for more).

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:47

You're minimising the abuse of your dc by saying it's only him being 'short-tempered' when 'they're naughty'. Yet it has such repercussions that your little ds associates bed with punishment and cannot nap anymore. sad

You know it's not right, and I know it's hard for you to read such replies because they cut you deep and scare you. But please keep reading, or try reading GettingBig's two threads, or the EA thread.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:23

Also, have a think about what love is.

When I left my x I felt the weight of his disapproval crushing me. I felt very 'connected' to his pain and tbh I felt his emotions MORE strongly than I felt MY own!!! But luckily I knew that that wasn't love! I never thought it was love. I felt too associated to his perspective, and felt his emotions more than my own, but I'm so grateful reading your posts that I never, ever confused that with love.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:25

Here is some encouragement for you.

I encourage you to leave your nasty, selfish, abusive husband, and live an enjoyable, peaceful, emotionally healthy life with your children. For their sakes, if not your own.

He has trained you very well to get you to such a point hasn't he?.

GP appt is a waste of time and effort. Who will see this person anyway?.

Unfortunately you are also complicit in the abuse of your children as you stand by and do nothing. He acts like this because he can; depression has nothing to do with this. Your own denial of abuse is particularly bad for your children as they are learning damaging stuff from both of you as to how relationships are conducted. You are both setting them up for a miserable life as adults.

What did you learn about relationships yourself when growing up?. Serious question.

You make excuse after excuse for your man and your own attitude towards him will be your ultimate undoing. Marriage vows are not worth this.

Sugarice Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:29

Lucy you are enabling him and his behaviour by excusing how he treats you and your kids.

I can't get DS to nap in his bed anymore as DH has shouted so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that he says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries. This week I've been trying to organise our summer holiday and have emailed him a few ideas as he's been away with work. He rang and was really grumpy about it and said "you just do whatever you like" in a stroppy teenager way. He is obsessed with hoarding money and checks our bank balance every day and quizzes me on what I have spent money on. I haven't bought anything for myself for ages and the only money I spend is on food, bills and DCs' clothes. He got really annoyed with me about the money I spent at Christmas, even though the majority of it for his family. I really do still love him and I don't want to break up the family but I can't go on with this

He is not going to change, stand up for your children for goodness sake!.

abbierhodes Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:51

'Can't see you are anything less than a complete cow.'

Fair enough. I can take that because a stranger on the internet calling me names is not damaging. Your child being afraid of his own bed is damaging him.

Read your post again, read the advice again, and think about it. I know it must hurt to hear, but that. Is because it is the truth.

'Please don't post anything more unless you are encouraging'
I am encouraging you to take a long hard look at the situation. Don't do anything else yet, just think. Sit back, watch how he interacts with your children. Consider how he makes them feel. Consider how he makes you feel.

Then, as other posters have said, look at how he is with other people, outside the family. Watch how he manages to control his temper with them. Then consider whether or not his behaviour towards you is something he can't help.

If he was gone from the house, for 2 weeks, from today, would that be a good 2 weeks or a bad 2 weeks? Don't feel you have to answer me on here, just think about it.

I wish you lots of luck in getting out of this situation however you choose.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:40:26

Pictish, the things is though, creating these threads is what you do when you first realise that things aren't right. You can help OPs with realisations but you can't speed up the thought processes too much.

THEY can only leave when they can pull that bravery out of the bag. I am still sometimes I managed it. I still sometimes feel I could be there, still.

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 11:40:40

This has nothing whatsoever to do with depression as FiercePanda says and everything to do with him being abusive.

The only constructive advice in an abusive relationship is to leave. I think most people here understand it isn't always that easy and you need time to get your head round it BUT

1. He will not change because he gets benefits for behaving like this and his attitude is that he feels justified. Nothing you or the GP say or do will change that.
2. The abuse is likely to escalate i.e. get more frequent or become violent (if it hasn't already)
3. The only person who can do anything about his behaviour is him and ONLY if there are consequences for his actions i.e. you and the children leaving, his family not putting up with it, his friends not putting up with it and him entering an abuser programme. Even then it would take years.

However, I don't think you are ready to hear that. Your children might be though.

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:13

And couselling for an abuser is not advised. And any counsellor worth their salt would know that.

I can tell you now what will happen at that GPs appt; the following could well happen:-

1. He will refuse to go
2. You go with him, he will talk over you in there and will make you out to be the bad person and/or mad.
3. You will be too scared to speak up because he is there

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:55

abberholds, good question. Somebody asked me on another forum if I could fast forward to the end of the break up, to a point in the future where we'd split up and the dust had settled, would I press that button and I thought YES. mY YES nearly burst out of me. So I realised it was the drama and the stress of dealing with the split that I was dreading, not the future. It's so hard to get through the split. But it's like climbing a hill before you freewheel, it IS worth it.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:44:54

I wouldn't waste too much energy giving him chances to change. Why would he change?

Attila is right. go to the gp on your own.

I went to the counsellor with my x, just a couple of times but I found it very hard to articulate (particularly with him sitting there) why life with him was so hard. I ended up looking the unreasonable one I think. NOt that the counsellor's opinion of me matters a jot NOW.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:45:28

Mulberry I agree. There is no set or words that will make anyone see the light - particularly when they are determined not to.

I was in an abusive relationship for years. I used to excuse him too. I claimed depession, stress, lack of money, tiredness, emotional problems, and any other pish he pedalled out to me in order to explain away his terrible behaviour. I also accepted his apologies and hangdog expression as proof that he wasn't horrible deliberately, or just needed some help.

It took me a long time to get clarity. A long, miserable, abusive, diminishing time.

But I got it. And I have KEPT IT.

Once you know the abuse for what it is, you can't unknow it.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:48:19

If he doesn't want to behave like this, why isn't he booking his own GP appointment, Lucy?

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:50:46

I will admit to having created a thread like this. April 2007 it was. I don't know what I was expecting really, maybe that about half of the posters would say 'ah shurrr men, marriage is hard work, it'd be tougher being single'. At that point I was really questioning everything, and I think at that point what would have comforted me was useless words telling me it was normal or relatively normal. But I was pasted. 500 posters told me to leave. I suppose I became quite defensive. But It did definitely change my perception of the relationship. It gave me the confidence to realise that it was unacceptable, and I left three months later.

I used to excuse my x too. His parents were odd, he'd no parenting model, but he never ever cut me an ounce of slack, and still doesn't!! He said recently to my mother that he's no idea why i left him. He did "nothing wrong". I spelled it all out umpteen times. they're not hardwired to hear criticism though.

I agree, the crucial point is that once you know what abuse is you can't unknow it.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:52:30

If you do manage to get him to the GP, or if he refuses to go but you go own your own, please print off your original post and show the GP.

If, as you think, we are overreacting and you think the GP will be able to help, at least they'll have a fuller picture of how to help. You have nothing to lose by being honest with the GP.

I would even suggest you go on your own first and show him your OP, and then take it from there.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:25

X posts with lots of people.

houseelfdobby Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:38

First of all, have a big hug. You and your DH are clearly under a lot of strain. IKWYM about not giving up on a marriage at the first hurdle BUT nor do you want this to continue for years. So DO try to fix it, and if your DH doesn't or can't change, then plan to move on without him. I am guessing that your DH feels entitled because he sees himself as WORKING all day whilst he sees you as HAVING DAYS OFF AT HOME. Just a guess, but lots of men act like this once their wives give up work and if they have an important job - does he have an important job? If he could stand back, this is not the life he would choose either. You need to make him realise that you are NOT his secretary, just there to do his bidding (His secretary gets to go home at the end of the day and is PAID to do what he asks - you seem to be expected to keep going 24/7). I don't suppose for a moment he wants the resultant relationship with his DC that he is creating. He just needs to stop and take stock. Of course, that is easier said than done, perhaps you could take him away for an evening or even a whole weekend and get him relaxed? Then ask him what he is hoping for from family life - ask an open question if possible. Let him know how you feel about all his shouting - that it makes you sad and makes you gradually be falling out of love with him, and tell him that is NOT what you want and if he doesn't want it either then he needs to change. Good luck. None of it will be easy, but you never know.....

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:57:46

Personally, I think going to the GP is pointless. He hasn't made the appointment...she has. He doesn't care. He may well say this and that, but he does nothing at all.

It's Women's Aid the OP needs, not a GP. GPs are neither qualified or particularly interested in fixing abusive relationships.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:58:34

Have you read the thread houseofdobby? what more can the OP do? when she is the one already making every single concession, every single compromise, all the childcare, all the housework, being the recipient of all of his outbursts and negative emotions......................

What more do you think she can 'do' to fix it? confused He just needs to take stock you say. It's NOT that simple. It's not like changing a lightbulb. My x had it spelled out to him a million times but his sense of entitlement prevented him from seeing it. In his eyes he was entitled to have all his demands met and he was entitled to snap at me if I didn't jump quickly enough and high enough.

This is not a mindset that can be fixed by 'taking stock'. You can't sit down with a pot of tea and a few cucumber sandwiches to disccuss this.

Do you seriously think that the OP has never let it be known that she's not happy to be shouted at? Do you think that her FIRST port of call was this thread?

I sometimes wonder about the posts clueless people make in these situations. If it's not in your sphere of reference then please, don't post.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:59:07

Not that they could fix them if they tried of course.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 12:00:16

I agree Pictish.

Straight to Women's Aid. Anything else is denial. It's continuing to make excuses for him. Boo hoo poor HIM. He on the otherhand will not cut you one single solitary ounce of slack will he?

struwelpeter Thu 03-Jan-13 12:01:52

Dear Lucy,
I can say it softly but in essence the advice will be the same. I too used MN under other names to search for solutions to cope with my abusive ex.
Now like many others here my life is much better without him.
But it is hard to have a bucketful of cold water poured over your understandable hopes that there is some wand to be waved that will bring the good guy back.
One thing to do is to draw a boundary and keep to your side of it: work out what you want i.e. to go to the supermarket on your own, see the kids enjoy the company of an engaged father, see their beds as a place of rest and sanctuary. Ask your DH calmly and quietly to contribute to making this happen, then walk away and calmly do something else.
Encourage DH to go to the doctor on his own, ask him if he wants to talk about the stresses and strains in his life, ask him if the GP has any suggestions.
But, as others have said much more forcefully you can do nothing to help him. You may choose to support his decisions when he tells you what the root of the problem is and what he is going to do about it but you cannot take on the burden of whatever it is that makes him angry with you unless you want to see yourself destroyed in the process.
A marriage or any relationship is surely about two people existing companionably and peacefully side by side, listening and supporting when necessary. But what is your husband doing to support you and your aspirations for your family?
The reason your DH doesn't shout at people beyond the home is that he doesn't dare because he respects them or fears the consequences. An abusive partner shouts because the other person is pliable because of their hopes, fears, desire to help or to understand. So you give him space to invade your sense of space and if you give an inch, he takes a mile. So stand tall, define your boundaries and see what happens.
(I'm sorry to say that I would bet money if I was a gambler that he will blame you, the family, the situation but not have the courage to look at himself.)

skullcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 12:02:41

my dh was like this, i put up with it, and put up with it, and put up with it.. then one day i snapped and i nearly punched him i was so made at being treated like dirt.

The next day i packd the kids up and moved out, for 9 months, lived with my parents.

Told him he either got anger management counselling and sorted himself out or we were over, done, because i was not there to be treated like shit just because he was unhappy/frustrated with work/family/whatever.

You're married to him, you're his partner, it doesnt give him the right to treat you like shit, nor do you have to put up with it.

you need to tackle him, you need to make it clear that you are not going to put up with it any longer.

He will likely tell you its your fault
that if you didnt do X then he wouldnt have to shout
that if only you did more around the house, parented better, disciplined the kids, showed him more affection, cooked better meals, got a job, didnt spend so much time watching telly/playing/out of the house that he wouldnt have any reason to get angry.

its bullshit

dont accept it

confront it, deal with it.

Tell him to get help or you're going, and MEAN IT.

Houseelf - did you actually read LucyLego's initial post?.

This cannot be fixed, he sees nothing wrong with his attitude.

He acts like this because he can and also because Lucy is in denial of what is happening in front of her eyes.

There is a big problem in this marriage (that is solely in the shape of her H) and Lucy has, like many women in abusive situations, taken it upon herself to try and fix this; well she'' keep trying until she herself realises there is no point. You cannot be a rescuer or saviour in a relationship, it simply does not work. That point too could be many years awaysadby which time the damage to her own children (who will also come to despise her because she put her H before them) will be well and truly done.

I would also think he's always been abusive but abuse is insidious in its onset and thus difficult to spot. Also many victims of abusive behaviours come to minimise or downplay abusive behaviours over time.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 12:05:32

* He just needs to stop and take stock. Of course, that is easier said than done, perhaps you could take him away for an evening or even a whole weekend and get him relaxed?*

Do you honestly think the OP has not discussed his behaviour with him before?? He will be well aware of how his behaviour affects his wife and children...she will have told him in no uncertain terms I'm sure.

He will make all the 'I know, you're right, and I'm sorry...I don't want to be like this' noises, then revert straight back to type because he doesn't give a toss. He does want to be like that, and he's not actually sorry at all. It is to his benefit to bully his family.

By the time a person takes this sort of thing to an internet forum to discuss, they have already tried having him 'take stock'. Trust me.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:08:20

My DH went through a rough patch of depression and he wasnt being very nice . I didn't give up on him and now two years later he is back to the nice guy he was before.
I never posted on here because i knew all i would get is "he is a bastard leave him". He wasnt then and certainly isnt now. He was a very unhappy man, he actually ended up with a nervous breakdown. He needed help and thankfully we got through it.

He needs you to take control and make the gp appointment and go with him if need be and explain to the gp what the problem is. If he is suffering from depression or MH issues he does need someone to speak for him, although if he is not ready for help then it is difficult. People who do have depression arent seeing the world around them as you do, its all very well saying he is "why isnt he making his own appointment" but a person with depression are often in a place where they think there is no point in getting help because they cant see how anything will help.

DH had always had a problem so was on ADs. They were upped, he was given counselling. I was lucky my dcs are teenagers, who were absolutely wonderful. They understood that Dad wasn't himself and were incredible with him, even when he was saying things that werent very nice. The whole thing was a nightmare for a while, but we got there.

HecatePropolos Thu 03-Jan-13 12:14:14

I am sorry that you feel that our motivation is to hurt you. I am sorry that you think we are lining up to be cruel to you.

I hope that one day you can see that the view from outside is very different and that nobody here said anything that we said while rubbing our hands in glee at the thought that we might upset you.

You and your husband will one day have to stand in front of your children and justify their childhood to them.

I hope that one day you can see what we can see - from your own description we can see it.

Nobody is trying to hurt you.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Thu 03-Jan-13 12:15:00

If I was you I would take a look at this website. It will help you see things clearer.

No, IMHO (and bitter experience) he doesn't need Lucy to take the responsibility of him, make him an appointment, go with him.

This is an abusive man. He shouts at Lucy, her child thinks bed means he has been naughty and he can't sleep there, he is financially abusive.

He manages to control his behaviour around others, holds down a job etc.
most abusers feel that they are doing nothing wrong, it's their wives and families at fault. They are very clever at presenting a wonderful front to everyone else.

It's up to him to understand what he is doing is wrong and seek help.

You cannot change a person who will not accept they are at fault. And he has to seek help. He first has to accept he needs it.

The op needs to contact women's aid and get her children away before more damage is done.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 03-Jan-13 12:21:27

My first reaction to your op was that he is an arsehole but having suffered from depression myself and acted vary out of character because of it and done things i will be ashamed of until the day i die because of it, i can understand better than some the effect it can have. The problem is working out if its out of character or if this is just who he is.

Even then you still need to do what's best for the kids so if he refuses help then it'll probably be best for them if you leave him.

My dh had depression too and was horrendous to be around. In the end the only thing that got him to accept help was to threaten to leave him and mean it. It then took a long time for him to accept that he probably needs to be on medication for life. Now that he has things are so much better.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:25:46

Tantrumandballoons
You obviously know nothing about depression, fuckadoolepoopoo has been there and understands. She is right, Lucy needs to work out who is the real person underneath.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 12:28:35

No - Lucy needs to get the fuck out!

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:28:45

Lucy says he is a changed person, she wants to find out how to get the old person back, which is what I went through. We did get the old person back but it took 2 years of very low times for all of us.

mammadiggingdeep Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:29

I'm sorry you feel 'got at' op. I think it's admirable that you take your vows seriously, you sound like a loving, loyal wife. However, you need to be loyal to your kids too.
What would you do if a teacher/child minded was disciplining them in such a heavy-handed manner?? If they shouted at them, lost their temper quickly when they 'were naughty'. I don't think you'd stand for it!!!! Why are you going to allow their father to mistreat them?? And I don't care what you say, putting them to bed for being 'naughty' to the point that their bed isn't a safe, secure place anymore is not right. Poor children, my heart has sunk reading about this sad

I hope you realise in time that it doesn't matter what the reasons for this mistreatment and abuse, you need to put yourself and your dc first.

Good luck Lucy x

funny thing bruffin I do know about depression. I also know about abusive relationships.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:40:46

I also know about abusive relationships, as my father was very abusive to my mother.
But a person who has depression needs someone to advocate for them, they are not thinking right.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Thu 03-Jan-13 12:45:01

Dear OP - you seem like such a lovely person and I'm so sorry you and your DC's are being treated like this sad You seem very loyal, but you have to wonder whether loyalty to partners can sometimes not be the positive thing which tends to be portrayed ?

It does look to me though that your DH is being abusive to you all, and not just that he is suffering from depression.

My DH behaves badly to me in particular at times, but not as often/ extremely as your DH. You have to ask yourself how much abuse/ unreasonable behaviour is too much abuse don't you ?

With my DH I wonder if talking with him/ getting him to read something on here or parts of the Lundy Bancroft book might do any good ? I got that book recently but have only dipped into it so far.

What would people recommend as a possible way forward in a relationship with some unacceptable behaviour ?
I think the thread is interesting and helpful in asking whether it's possible for abusive men to change, and also how much unreasonable behaviour is too much to tolerate. sad

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 12:46:07

Bruffin, I read the statement in the OP that "he's always been fiery" as meaning that he is not, in fact a changed person, but one whose ever-present abusive tendencies are escalating.

And, depressed or not, he does need to take responsibility for himself, to take responsibility for the fact that he is hurting his own family, and to want to change. Depression does not remove individual responsibility.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 12:49:16

DH has had a rough ride in the last few years and it's changed him in to a different person

Very first line he is a changed person

Again if you are depressed you dont think right, you cant always take responsibility for yourself.

NicknameTaken Thu 03-Jan-13 12:50:45

Juggling, I wouldn't show him the Lundy book. When I was at a similar stage to you, I found one-on-one counselling to be extremely helpful in deciding how to move forward.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 12:54:36

But a person who has depression needs someone to advocate for them, they are not thinking right.

I took myself off to a GP, and counsellor, when I was not thinking right. (I also failed to abuse anybody else in the process...)

The fact that I took responsibility for myself was part of my recovery from depression. A very useful and necessary part. I did not "need" a person to advocate for me, although I certainly would have grabbed at the chance. And you know what? Doing so would have delayed my recovery, by handing over responsibility for myself to another person.

How quickly after you started managing his recovery did your husband take over managing it for himself, bruffin ? How long do you think Lucy should wait for a similar sign that her husband is taking responsibility for his own actions?

He is able to control himself with every other person in the world except his wife and children.

He is in control of his behaviour. He chooses to behave like this with the OP

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Thu 03-Jan-13 12:57:20

Thank-you Nickname - I hope things are better for you now ? Counselling sounds a good idea - I have had a small amount of counseling before but not especially focused on this aspect of life. Perhaps I could try our local Women's Centre ?

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 12:59:19

Thing is, he started off, by the OP's description, as an angry (fiery) person and now he's extremely (ridiculous[ly]) angry - that's not so much a changed person, as a person no longer holding back. hmm

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 13:02:22

What would people recommend as a possible way forward in a relationship with some unacceptable behaviour ?
I think the thread is interesting and helpful in asking whether it's possible for abusive men to change, and also how much unreasonable behaviour is too much to tolerate.

Juggling only you know how much you are willing to tolerate.

So a possible way forward for you would be to really reflect on what you will and will not accept, and to decide what action you will take in consequence if you see that your limits are being crossed.

The Lundy book you own discusses whether abusive men can change, and what signs to look out for that indicate that they are willing to change.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 13:07:35

Hot, once the new dose ads kicked in he did start taking responsibility for himself, before that he was not in a place to take responsibilty for himself. There were plenty of days where he said there was no point because he couldnt see anything would help, but I made the appointment anyway. Our GP is absolutely lovely and listened to both of us, got him counselling etc

We had ups and downs but it got better and the downs were shorter and ups were longer, to now where we a happy family.

What harm will it do for Lucy to get an appointment for her dh and get him to go to the gp, and go with him and explain how he has changed. If he refuses then Lucy has to rethink, or if he starts on ADS and therapy and nothing changes again she has to rethink, but why not give it a go first.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 13:09:10

fiery doesnt equate to angry.

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 13:10:35

Yes it does confused

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Thu 03-Jan-13 13:12:47

He often behaves really badly when we're all stuck in the car together - because he can and he has an audience where no-one can walk away ? Or also because he's got a bit stressed about directions/ getting there on time ? So, anyway, one thing I'm thinking is maybe I could cut down on being in the car with him, especially with the DC's too ? Sad though, isn't it ?

so was your dh still managing to go to work, speak to every other person in the world normally and than come home and abuse you and your children bruffin?

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 13:13:35

Why are you putting up with someone who behave in that way? It is obviously going to have a negative effect on your children.

Plenty of people suffer from depression. It doesn't turn them into an abusive idiot.

Abusive men like to hide behind the depression excuse. So you feel sorry for them and you will put up with their shitty behaviour.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 13:19:32

Fiery absolutely equals angry. hmm

mummyonvalium Thu 03-Jan-13 13:19:57

OP, taking you out of the equation how good do you think it is that your children are subjected to someone who is snappy at them all the time?

Your children should be your main priority. If someone else were to treat your children the way your DH does I am sure you would be upset and want them to be held accountable.

shesariver Thu 03-Jan-13 13:29:13

Please don't post anymore unless you have encouragement.

You are in complete and utter denial. Thats up to you, you have a choice. Unfortunately your children don't. I treat people who have suffered abusive childhoods and the problems that damage them last into adulthood. You don't want to hear the truth - you want people to say that things will get better. Well they wont, not living with a man like your DH. Good luck, you're going to need it because I get the feeling you are not going to listen to anyone here.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 13:31:09

"so was your dh still managing to go to work, speak to every other person in the world normally and than come home and abuse you and your children bruffin?"

Yes he was desperately trying to hold it together at work for a long time, but by the end he did breakdown at work and thankfully they were understanding and they got advice and he was registered disabled at work, which meant he was allowed to go counselling at work time, and they sent him on courses to help with stresses relating to work ie time management. The biggest stress on him was a 100 mile a day round trip, it also gave him a lot of time to brood.

No fiery doesnt necessarily mean angry. It just means that you have a personality where you lose it quickly but you get over it quickly. It doesnt mean angry all the time.

OP says he has changed why cant you take her word for it! She knows the man you dont.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 03-Jan-13 13:33:36

Its not as simple as saying someone with depression needs to take responsibility for themselves. In theory maybe, but in reality they don't always realise they are depressed. My dh didn't. He thought the problem was his job, our relationship, this, that, the other. Often someone with depression feels so mixed up and crappy that they look around for the cause and blame it on xyz, not realising that the problem is actually mental, chemical etc.

Conflugenglugen Thu 03-Jan-13 13:37:02

Lucy - I am not your counsellor, so I am perfectly entitled, in a private capacity, to tell you what I think. You are battling yourself here, not anyone else. A part of you came on here to get this information, and you're fighting it, understandably. Maybe one day you'll see differently.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Thu 03-Jan-13 13:49:34

"A part of you came on here to get this information, and you're fighting it, understandably"

I think that's pretty wise Conflugen

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 13:53:42

Exactly FDPP

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 14:09:31

What harm will it do for Lucy to get an appointment for her dh and get him to go to the gp, and go with him and explain how he has changed. If he refuses then Lucy has to rethink, or if he starts on ADS and therapy and nothing changes again she has to rethink, but why not give it a go first.

I do agree with this, bruffin. Took the same path myself.

Conflugenglugen Thu 03-Jan-13 14:17:18

Thanks, Juggling. Learned the hard way as well as the professional way. smile

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 14:40:06

well if you /he think it's depression go thru the questionnaire (which is what gp will do)
www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/depression.aspx go thru it op and answer as tho you were your h then ask him directly to do it with you....

but depression for my exp was all the anger stuff plus lots of comments about life not worth living, wanting to kill himself etcetc. curling up in a ball, showing tics and signs of anxiety towards himself... the stuff aimed at me/dc was in my view another different symptom.

the anger/controlling behaviour stuff was there all along, and it didnt disappear when he was treated for depression either. read lundy book -it will open your eyes...

think of it from your DC perspective.

in any case he is an adult; and if he has stresses in his life, what has he done to deal with them other than take it out on you?

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 14:41:55

you will notice the questionnaire above does not even ask if you have been feeling anger towards your loved ones!! because it is NOT a key symptom of depression

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 14:44:41

"There are many symptoms of depression, including low mood, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, lethargy and sleep problems."

anger is not a key symptom

skullcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 14:57:21

actually, anger is a key symptom of depression.. and there is plenty of documented evidence of that.

dont talk crap.

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 15:12:17

ok -health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/depression/questions/link-between-depression-and-anger.htm - but anger on its own isnt - you need the other main criteria of hopelessness etc for depression . gp quesitonnaire will focus on the other issues ...

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 15:13:13

From another website

Are you depressed?
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
you feel hopeless and helpless
you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
you have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)

but this is really interesting

male depression

Unfortunately, men are far less adept at recognizing their symptoms than women. A man is more likely to deny his feelings, hide them from himself and others, or try to mask them with other behaviors. The three most common signs of depression in men are:

Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms—such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, or digestive disorders—that don’t respond to normal treatment.
Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humor to road rage, a short temper, or even violence. Some men become abusive, controlling, verbally or physically abusive to wives, children, or other loved ones.

Reckless behavior. A man suffering from depression may start exhibiting escapist or risky behavior. This could mean pursuing dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex. You might drink too much, abuse drugs, or gamble compulsively.
there is also a good table which shows the difference in the way depression manifests between men and women

Women Men tend to:
women Blame themselves
men Blame others
women Feel sad, apathetic, and worthless
men Feel angry, irritable, and ego inflated
women Feel anxious and scared
men Feel suspicious and guarded
women Avoid conflicts at all costs
men Create conflicts
women Feel slowed down and nervous
men Feel restless and agitated
women Have trouble setting boundaries
men Need to feel in control at all costs
women Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair
men Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair
women Use food, friends, and "love" to self-medicate
men Use alcohol, TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-13 15:14:41

Also
Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

skullcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 15:15:39

A person in the throes of major depression will outwardly seem to be in a state of self-isolation, lethargic, irritable and may have unusual sleeping or eating habits (in either case, too much or too little would qualify as "unusual"). But while we often think of people with depression as being sullen or morose, both the depressed person and those he or she comes into contact with may notice one other emotion in the early stages of depression: anger
health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/depression/questions/link-between-depression-and-anger.htm

If you find yourself feeling angry more often than usual, or more often than not, depression could be to blame. Anger is a common symptom of depression, which can lurk beneath the surface of any man, woman, or child
www.happynews.com/living/conflict/depression-cause-anger.htm

It's long been known that the psychic pain of depression feeds anger. But just as often, anger fuels depression.... ... Anger confers an immediate sense of purpose; it's a shortcut to motivation. And if there's something depressed people need, it's motivation. But anger creates a cycle of rage and defeatism...
www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200311/anger-pain-and-depression

Approximately one third of depressed outpatients present with anger attacks.
psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-11813-003

Several studies have indicated that depressed patients show more hostile behaviour than comparable normal subjects.
www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.1987.61.1.87

One of the most interesting things psychologists have discovered is that depression and anger often feed each other.
www.angeranddepressionhelp.com/what-is-the-relationship-between-anger-and-depression

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 15:21:01

ok i may be wrong but quick search says u need to look at DSM criteria tho -

"Equally surprising, the DSM fails to list anger as a symptom for either depression or mania" see www.mcmanweb.com/anger.html

www.psyweb.com/mdisord/MoodDis/majordepress.jsp

it seems that anger isnt in dsm for depression

but it is for bpd

www.bpddemystified.com/what-is-bpd/symptoms/

not saying i correct and lots of stuff linking anger and depresison anecdotally - but for gp to diagnose depression and issue AD,s/refer to therapy - the op's h will need other relevant symptoms...

skullcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 15:25:19

The OP has stated that her DH has always been 'firey' this doesnt mean abusive or violent, if everyone who was 'firey' was abusive or violent then there would e a hell of a lot of people out there being locked away.

The OP has stated her DH has had a rough time and has 'become a different person'

Stress is also a huge factor behind anger manifestation and personality change.

you cant just start yelling LTB when he may be ill and in need of help.

He may be depressed, he may be stressed, he may have any number of things wrong, but a personality change needs to be medically checked.

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 15:25:48

"Some men become abusive, controlling, verbally or physically abusive to wives, children, or other loved ones"

hmm not one lundy bancroft subscribes to. depression is no excuse.

in the op's case he "has always been fiery" .

so being more so maybe isnt a drastic change for him after all.... still if she can get him to gp and assessed for depression, who knows?

cestlavielife Thu 03-Jan-13 15:27:33

certainaly giving him an ultimatum of "go to GP and get thoroughly checked out, or go elsewhere" is not a bad idea at all.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 03-Jan-13 15:35:26

Lundy may have written a popular and helpful book and he is obviously right that no person should ever put up with violence in a relationship, he is also right that mental illness isn't "an excuse" but that doesn't mean that it isn't a reason.

OxfordBags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:12:42

I am fiery. I suffer from serious depression, as well as anxiety. I do not treat my partner and child like shit. They do not have to wait for me to be relaxed and stress-free for me to be nice. The reason why I don't let my fieriness (is that a word?!) and MH problems negatively affect them is the same reason why I don't let affect others either: BECAUSE I CONTROL MYSELF LIKE ANY NON-ABUSER DOES AND CHOOSE NOT TO BE A CUNT.

OP, am glad your children can live in suspended animation during the time when their father is behaving appallingly and only be alive when he is being nice. Wait... You mean, they don't? Then you son't have the luxury of minimising, denying and enabling his crap the way you are doing. Sorry, but this is the truth. And it IS constructive. It's just not the sort of constructive you want (ie lies and platitudes).

My Mum is truly lovely BUT she was also 'only' really bad-tempered when she felt down and my father minimised it and enabled her. Luckily, I 'only' require years of psychotherapy to deal with the legacy...

FiercePanda Thu 03-Jan-13 16:21:14

Whether it's depression or the fact he's an abusive bastard, I lean towards the latter, Lucy's children are clearly being traumatised by her husband's behaviour. He should not be near them whilst showing the abusive behaviour and refusing to acknowledge it, blaming others or being unwilling to ask for/accept help. The DC's cannot help themselves in any circumstance, but Lucy's DH can.

TisILeclerc Thu 03-Jan-13 16:25:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TisILeclerc Thu 03-Jan-13 16:28:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 03-Jan-13 16:30:06

Oxford. You can't compare one persons mental illness to another and say well i don't do xyz so you shouldn't either. Its not one size fits all its a huge variation of conditions, symptoms, causes, etc.

OxfordBags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:47:29

No, you can't, Poodle, you're right. Which means by your own argument, you must stop excusing the behaviour of the OP's husband just because your own DH's depression manifested as blame and nastiness to you.

Maybe depression IS causing him to act like this. The only point being, however, that OP shouldn't have to put up with it and her Dc certainly shouldn't have to. Abuse because someone is just a cunt and abuse because someone's MH issues are making them act like a cunt are both abuse and both have the same effect. Those poor kids won't be able to differentiate, nor should they.

It's not about sticking with him through thick and thin until he gets better. Those children can't be sacrificed for that,even if the Op is daft enough to choose it for herself. The emphasis has to be on him speedily and proactively sorting himself the fuck out; and if this truly is depression manifesting itself as him being abusive, then he needs to be removed or remove himself from the family environment until whatever treatments he receives start working enough for him to be non-abusive again.

We can all argue forever about why he is being this way, but the whole point is that he IS behaving like this and it is unacceptable and must stop ASAP.

OxfordBags Thu 03-Jan-13 16:47:54

Sorry, I meant Doodle, not poodle!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 03-Jan-13 18:17:24

OxfordBagsThu 03-Jan-13 16:47:29 No, you can't, Poodle, you're right. Which means by your own argument, you must stop excusing the behaviour of the OP's husband just because your own DH's depression manifested as blame and nastiness to you.

No it doesn't mean anything of the sort because I've never excused anything the ops dh has done. Instead i have remained openminded about the possibilities for why he is behaving like this. Perhaps it is one, perhaps it is the other or perhaps it is a combination of the two.

There is too much black and white thinking on this thread and on mn in general and too many keen to dismiss the idea of this sort of behaviour in men being caused by mental illness because so many are looking for threads where they can shout Abusive! and Controlling!

Whereas if this were a thread about a woman who was finding herself depressed and shouting at her kids, not handling their behaviour well, not wanting her dh to go out and leave her alone with them like this man, the responses would be ones of compassion and understanding. When its a man its responses of he's a bastard chuck him out.

By the way my dh was never nasty to me but thought i didn't love him which in his state at the time he was using to explain his horrendous feelings and state of mind.

I agree that the children shouldn't have to put up with it whatever the cause as I've said previously.

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 19:10:28

@Fuckadoodlepoopoo

The difference in reactions is usually because women who come on here feeling depressed and that they are not coping with their children are actively seeking to change their behaviour. Therefore they're received with compassion for the most part, (and sometimes tough love).

But someone who comes on who is trying to 'fix' their partner, whether it's their depression or anger issues or alcoholism for example, will inevitably be told that their partner is the one who has to come to grips with the problem. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

There is very little you can do for someone who won't see a GP or admit their problems, while expecting you to endure their negative behaviours. Especially when those behaviours affect the dc. Apart from come to an ultimatum or leaving the bastard.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 03-Jan-13 19:11:34

Op, if you are still reading let me tell you about my mother

She too put her relationship with my father before her childrens emotional well being

She stayed with her dominator of a husband all through my childhood, giving the constant excuse that she loved him and he couldn't help how he was

Let me describe our relationship, now I am that grown up child. I hate him...but I Despise her MORE. Because she had chances to put her DC first, and she put him before them.

Me ? Well, we will gloss over that bit but my teenage and early adult life were blighted by what I was exposed to as a vulnerable child, trying very hard to gain the approval of a man that was never going to give it

Do what you like, rail against us all you like. But your DC do not deserve the poor examples that both of you are giving them....and one day you will be sorry. My mother is...but it's too late for us. She is still with him. He still treats her like shit, 30 years later.

PoppyField Thu 03-Jan-13 20:24:13

Dear OP,

So sorry your DP is behaving so horribly to you. I know you are not at the stage where you would consider ending your marriage, so people piling in with 'Leave The Bastard' sentiments does not fit with the stage you are at. I suppose all those people for whom 'this was me five years ago', were also all once at the stage you are at now i.e. saying 'he may be depressed or he has had a hard time and that's why he's being so nasty to me'.

You are trying desperately to find a solution - you are determined to build a happy home for your babies and to fix it - AND you think it must be up to you to find it. This is exactly how I felt. I thought determination and grit would get me through the 'rough patch'. I felt I just had to think really hard, find some reason for his abominable behaviour and tackle the reason. Depression seems an obvious choice as a reason, and I often felt that might be at the root of things with my STBXH.

You absolutely do not want to be told you were in an abusive relationship. It is horrifying. When I was told - by the Relate counsellor I had dragged H to - I was shocked and almost offended. 'What me?', I thought.

Nobody wants their marriage to fail. As it does feel like failure. I expect everybody on this thread who had to leave an abusive relationship 'really, really' tried to save it for all they were worth. The sad thing is, I realised that the only way to stop my STBXH being vicious, angry and controlling to me was for us to split up. I tried everything I could think of. In the end, you realise that he is not vicious, controlling and abusive to other people or work colleagues - no, it is just for you and a smattering for the DCs as well. I loved him, but he drained the love out of me just as surely as if I had been an innocent veal calf hung up and bled dry. I found my strength on behalf of my children eventually and kicked him out. He is still angry, vicious and controlling but I do not live with it. That was the only way. But I only got there after eliminating every other possible thing I could think of. That is probably where you are now and I really feel for you. Not in a patronising way, just feel the pain and confusion that you are in. You will be confused...it is hugely confusing to be treated like this by someone you love and who is supposed to love you. It just does not add up.

The posters on here are supportive. It may not feel like it, and maybe some have been pretty brutal, but belive me, we are watching your back and we have read the script a few pages ahead of you. It's a horrible thing to come to terms with, but your OP was pretty horrifying, even if you actually didn't realise the picture you were painting.

Good luck with everything and be brave. He seems like a man who is happy to poison the atmostphere of his home, abuse his wife and children and blame them for his misery. I don't have much time for someone like that. How dare he treat you like that. How dare he?

Poppy

NicknameTaken Fri 04-Jan-13 09:44:17

Great post from Poppy (and many others).

I hope you are reading, OP. I'm one of the people who has been on this journey too, and it can be a long hard road to admit that you don't have the power to make him behave better.

I thought I was loving enough and resilient enough and clever enough to fix it. It was very difficult to admit that I wasn't.

When you've been in a relationship for a while, there are "sunk costs" - stuff you've already invested. You think you've held on for so long and sacrificed so much that if you just hang on a bit longer he'll finally see that your love can be relied on and he'll finally be grateful and be the "real" self you see in him.

Faith, hope and love are good things, really they are. But in this kind of relationship, they can lead you into what's called "malignant optimism" long after a realist would see it's not going to work.

Don't give up on your love and desire to help, but you must focus these good qualities on your dcs. You need to put them first. Let him take some space from his family (one of his stressors?) by leaving for a while. Tough love to him - perhaps he really will get his act together. But your dcs deserve a decent childhood and only you can give it to them.

Mu1berryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 10:22:09

Malignant optimism, yeah, I have to file about four years under Malignant Optimism.

pictish Fri 04-Jan-13 10:27:04

Great posts there from Poppy and Nickname.

skullcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 11:02:33

I cant advocate leaving temporarily, enough.

Not only will it hopefully give him a kick up the arse, but it will also give you and the kids some breathing space to live without that cloud of stress that you're all living under.

shesariver Fri 04-Jan-13 11:29:48

My marriage nearly broke up many years ago because of my DHs unreasonable behaviour - things are completely different now and Im glad we are still togethere. But it was a fine line - if he hadnt admitted he had a problem then there would have been no hope. Its all very well blaming stress and depression but this doesn't stop the other people involved suffering, its no excuse. It may be a reason but equally it may just be his nature. If hes ill, he needs help and if things aren't changing in the short term then temporarily you do need top separate as none of this is healthy for you and your children.

fromparistoberlin Fri 04-Jan-13 13:04:58

he needs a MASSIVE kick yup the arse, as he has basically normalised some shitty and selfish behaviour

I think you need to do something quite drastic to shock him out of this

I think he has maybe got depressed and has developed some rather shit habits and practices?

suggest you read that book, and then have the courage to say "this cannot continue"

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