AIBU to be furious with my H for the way he totally overreacted to our DS (5) last night which then caused a minor injury to DS? WWYD?(302 Posts)
I'll start with a bit of background. I've been married to my husband for 12 years, and we have one child (son) who is nearly 6. We have a good life...could do with a lottery win but then who couldn't?
I'm not sure if this is relevant yet (I think it may be) but I'm an only child and my husband is the eldest of 3.
Our son is a normal, happy and loving 5 year old who is kind to others and well behaved at school but can also at times be disobedient. It isn't serious disobedience, it's challenging his boundaries at home which we've all done and is usually a refusal to do something like picking his clothes up off the floor or arguing that he doesn't like spaghetti bolognaise despite loving it and clearing his plate the last time he ate it. The usual 5-6 year old stuff.
However, when H and DS are together at home and I am not in the same room as them for whatever reason, they start arguing. When I walk back in the room I get 'he did this' followed by 'but he did this' from both of them. It is like having two kids to deal with. I expect it from DS but I don't expect the whinging from my 44 yr old husband. A few times its ended up with H storming out of the room acting like a petulant child and DS stomping up to his bedroom. It's tiresome but until now I've carried on being the referee, sorting it out and maintaining the peace (despite wondering how I ended up with two kids when I only ever wanted one). I don't know if this is linked to having two younger siblings who invariably would've been antagonised by him and vice versa, when they were younger. As I'm an only child I don't have sibling rivalry to compare it to but you would think listening to the two of them arguing etc, that they were brothers.
Last night however, it went a step too far. I left the bathroom to go downstairs and get DS a glass of water while he stayed upstairs with H to do his teeth. Before I'd even finished filling the glass of water in the kitchen I heard DS scream in pain. I ran upstairs to find him holding his head in agony and sobbing 'why did you do that daddy, why did you hurt me?' with H saying 'I didn't, this is what happened and...' blah blah blah. I got down on the floor to cuddle him and once the sobs weren't as desperate I was able to see the injury which was a big red bump above his eyebrow. I ran downstairs to get ice from the freezer to put on his head and came back upstairs to H still going on that it was DS's fault and that he wasn't going to apologise (DS is still sobbing quietly). From what I can gather, H had nagged DS to do something he was already doing (he would've seen this if he wasn't on his phone all the time) so DS picked up his toilet steps (he'd been standing on them to do his teeth) and bumped them against H's leg (both of them said it wasn't a hard bump, just an annoying and antagonistic one). He did this a further 3 times and on the 4th time, H retaliated and swung his arm really hard so that the steps swung up and hit DS just above his eyebrow. It was already turning into an egg by the time I'd run upstairs to see what the scream was about, and you could see the shape of the steps there as well. It was approximately the size of a 50p piece, possibly slightly bigger.
I know DS was wrong to be annoying H but if he had done the bumping of the steps on me (which he wouldn't have) I would've said stop on the first bump and removed them on the second. I would not have waited for bump number 4 to then retaliate in a completely inappropriate way. DS said H didn't tell him to stop because he was on his phone. H got in a grump because it apparently wasn't his fault and stormed off downstairs.
Once DS had gone to sleep I took a photo of the bump and then went down and had it out with H. I was absolutely furious with him for reacting like that and refusing to come up and say goodnight to DS (which upset him even more) and refusing to see what he had done was wrong. I asked him why the fuck he hadn't taken the steps off him before it got to that point and he said 'I couldn't, he was too strong' - my husband is 6'2" and 15st, our 5 year old is 3ft 10". DS is strong but my 73 year old arthritic mother would be able to overpower DS if needs be. It was an absolutely pathetic excuse and I told him so. He retaliated in a wholly unacceptable way to the irritation of a child being annoying. I asked him what he would say if DS is asked at school about the bump on his head which is entirely possible and probable and H said 'I'm not living my life wondering what social services would say'. I agree to an extent but he doesn't get that if DS says what he believes happens which isn't a lie, it's just what he thought happened, that daddy swung the steps to hit him in the face, he is extremely likely to be on the receiving end of SS, the school and worst case, the police. The teachers have a duty of care to report things like this, even if it wasn't true, because it's part of their safeguarding for children.
Anyway today H is giving me the silent treatment (which I'm glad about because I'm likely to snap again should he even dare try and excuse what he did again) he's refusing to apologise to DS despite DS going straight over to his dad when he got up this morning and saying sorry for his bad behaviour last night. H ignored that and asked had he had his breakfast yet (which he knew he hadn't as he'd just seen him come downstairs). My heart broke for DS when I heard that. DS knows he did wrong to bump his dad with the steps and has apologised but H is acting like a petulant child and can't see what he did was far far worse.
I have told DS what I think happened, that it was an accident and that his dad wouldn't do anything to deliberately hurt him but I have not told him not to say anything and I have not told him to say anything if you see what I mean, because if this is picked up, I will absolutely not back up my husband. I will not be seen as someone protecting my husband when I think what he did was wrong. I am half expecting a call from school to ask about the bump on his head (the swelling has gone down a bit this morning thanks to the ice packs I put on it last night).
So, I'm not actually sure what I'm asking here really. Am I being unreasonable to still be furious with H for what he has done. Should I say or do anything to inform anyone? Is there anyone or anything that can help him when he doesn't have anger management issues, but he does have insolent, petulant childish moments with DS where he retaliates in the most stupid unacceptable way and doesn't think of the consequences of his actions? What would you do? What should I do? Should I do anything more than I have?
Sorry for the rambling, I'm not usually at a loss on what to do or whether to do anything. I phoned my mum this morning (she is the only other person that knows) and I cried down the phone to her because I'm gutted for our DS that he has been hurt by his dad. It was an accident but it shouldn't have happened. I never cry but this has stunned me. I'm gutted that the one man who should fight his corner, protect him and love him unconditionally, is actually the one that has physically and emotionally, but accidentally, harmed him and that he won't accept that what he did was wrong.
You are right to be still furious - what an idiot. Could it have been deliberate?
NOT ok. He did it in anger and the force was massively disproportionate. Was it truly an 'accident'? Seems intentional to me, though he probably regrets the injury - or perhaps how visible it is.
And the subsequent behaviour even worse. 'It was his fault', not consoling, not apologising, not saying goodnight.
It's abusive when all added together imo.
He sounds a horrible and childish person.
Your DH has assaulted your Son and you've minimised it.
You've minimised his mistreatment of him and the worrying thing is if this is going to continue. Your excuse making and looking for reasons.
I was a CP SW and I'd regard you as colluding in your Sons mistreatment.
I hope your Son has the confidence to tell someone who will finally protect him, because you are both badly letting him down.
You've already told him that it was an accident, it won't be long before he's blaming himself, for the 'accidents' that happen and the tension in the house.
The balls in your court, who you decide to back.
Yes he sounds an incredibly childish person. Does he not care what he did or about the injury?
Your husband sounds abusive towards your son. This is not normal, regardless of how many siblings a parent has.
As you've written it it does sound like an accident. I would be more concerned about him arguing with your ds and refusing to apologise. Sounds like a nasty bump and surely you would feel sorry even if it was an accident. I think your dh sounds very childish and should be modelling the behaviour he wants to see rather than joining your son in behaving like a 5 yo.
""He need to apologise to your son for starters.""
For hitting a five year old in the face with an object?
Let's hope that the DS doesn't become one of the (around) ten children per week given a permanent injury or disability, by their adult make care giver.
your dh has an issue with being the responsible adult.
he is behaving as if he and ds are equals, rather than that he has control of a situation and is in charge.
If he swung his hand against the steps hard enough for them to fly up and hit ds, I would say that it was not entirely accidental, that he wanted them to bump ds as he was cross with him.
Actually thinking about it surely if it was an accident you would instinctively apologise and comfort your child immediately?
Christ he sounds like a horrible, nasty person. How can you ignore a lo saying sorry to you
People snap yes, but he needs to be the adult and stop himself from doing that. Seem like he may need anger management ?
What worries me more is that most people would immediately be filled with regret & apologise and then work at moving on & up. Even a normal child would do that. As an adult there's something seriously wrong in his thinking to behave like this.
Sorry op I think you have a very difficult road ahead
His behaviour is hugely concerning. He was 100% in the wrong being violent but if it was a total one off I could maybe forgive it if he was so massively apologetic. What is your little boy learning from this experience. Your husband NEEDS help or you NEED to leave.
It does sound like an accident to me too. Accidents do happen, but people apologise for accidents.
What concerns me is the child-like behaviour your husband shows towards your son, and now they row like children he doesn't sound like he is parenting to me.
Children shouldn't be allowed to hit/lash out with objects to another person, the step thing is bad behaviour and your husband should have stopped this from happening and diffused the situation explaining right from wrong.
If it was an accident your husband still needs to get a grip (and fast) at being a responsible parent otherwise nobody in this situation is going to do well in the future.
If you truly think it wasn't an accident, then it's an entirely different conversation and my response would be entirely different.
I just feel so so sorry for your DS. How can you not be scared of a man like that?
I agree with Birds post totally. What an upsetting situation, but your son needs to see that this has been dealt with properly by his mum and dad and that violence towards a child is not acceptable.
Your husband sounds like a childish, horrible prick. I can't believe he caused further upset by not even saying goodnight to his son.
Birds - I assure you that I am absolutely not colluding in our sons mistreatment. An incident has never happened before like this. They argue but it has never resulted in an injury before.
I am not colluding in any mistreatment of my son. This is the first time something like this has happened so I have asked for advice rather than getting a bollocking for being a terrible mother. That's a harsh judgement
I think what H did was deliberate, that he meant to push it away, but I also think he was unbelievably stupid and didn't think that by doing this it would hurt DS. He has gone on the defensive because he cannot see what he did was wrong. In the past if he has so much as trodden on DS's toe by accident he has been very apologetic and felt awful afterwards.
You are right he can be extremely childish as far as DS is concerned but he would never intentionally hurt him. He doesn't even smack him.
Any normal person would have been mortified to cause such an injury.
This is a really awful situation you're in OP. But you need to protect your son from this emotional and physical abusiveness.
And on top of what your husband did, to bear a grudge the next day against a little boy that you've hurt is terrible. He needs a final warning, I think.
If you want an honest answer I think your OH has been abusive to your son for some time but you have been too close to the situation to see it. I would be telling him to leave and reporting this to the police and social services. If this were a genuine accident, he would be distraught and apologising. Your son is 5, for goodness sake!
The hitting is one thing, but the niggling and ignoring is almost more damaging. Heartbreaking to read. He needs to grow the fuck up or your son will be better off without him.
A similar incident happened to a friend of mine and her DS (similar age to your son) a few months back. She was sufficiently worried for her son to call the police and have her husband removed from the house. I suggest you do the same. I'm afraid I agree with Birdsgottafly - if you don't take action, you are colluding in the abuse of your son by your husband.
He doesn't care that he hurt his son is what it boils down to.
And sorry but I don't believe it was an accident. He lashed out. That was intentional.
He consistently acts like a baby and treats his son like they are peers What grown man gets into ridiculous arguments with a child and comes tattling to mummy (you). That's the behaviour of siblings, not father and son. Their dynamic is utterly fucked up.
And that is how it has come about that your husband thinks it is ok to react as though he were a child, reacting to another child. And why he thinks it's reasonable to pout because he's been told off and mummy is cross.
If he isn't capable of being an adult then should he be around a child?
'And on top of what your husband did, to bear a grudge the next day against a little boy that you've hurt is terrible.'
Yeah - that's not good.
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