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(27 Posts)
whereisthegin Sat 25-Jun-11 20:51:05

Just need to vent. DH was a bit heavy handed with brushing 2yr DD's teeth and she started choking on the tpaste. I was busy with DD 3yr but went to sit her up - she really was coughing and almost being sick for a good few minutes. I was livid and let it be known - didn't shout but he knew I was mad and so did 3yr old unfort. - She was then upset and wouldn't kiss him good night which I then felt guilty about. Now he's sulking in another room. We have so many instances like this. I feel like our relationship is a bloody struggle at times. We both get so stressed.

cjbartlett Sat 25-Jun-11 20:53:16

Why is he sulking?
He made a two year old choke? What do you mean this is one of many instances?

Blondie73 Sat 25-Jun-11 20:58:44

Oh God, my ex is just like this - they do these things, don't have the intelligence of fore-thought, and then when you get angry about it they go and "sulk" because you had the temerity to tell them what to do!! Jeez! thanks - just reinforced for me why we split! Our relationship too was full of these sorts of instances! Good luck to you!

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 25-Jun-11 21:00:00

Sorry, but what?

He was so "heavy handed" helping a 2 year old to brush her teeth that she was choking and was almost sick? For a few minutes?

I don't understand what happened. How on earth did he hurt her so much? No wonder she wouldn't kiss him.

Jesus if I (somehow, can't imagine how) managed to accidentally do this to one of my DDs I'd be appalled. I certainly wouldn't be sulking.

How could it have been an accident? He must have shoved the toothbrush down her throat. That is appalling. I know 2 year olds can be frustrating. But if it comes to it you let them go to bed one night without a very good toothbrushing. You don't make them gag on a toothbrush to make your point.

I'm really quite concerned about what you're saying. It sounds like quite serious abuse of a very little girl.

cjbartlett Sat 25-Jun-11 21:01:32

Also she'll be afraid to have her teeth cleaned sad

whereisthegin Sat 25-Jun-11 21:05:11

He has a short temper which I know he tries to control. He's never violent but can be aggressive verbally at times in the way that he responds to minor irritations of children. I sometimes get the feeling that he would like to just walk away from it all. He's quite strict with DD's although he does play with them. 3yr old has been aware of his temperament for a long time.
There is a side of him that I hate and a side that I love.

Blondie73 Sat 25-Jun-11 21:07:03

You know why he's sulking?? because he knows he did wrong and feels guilty! The guilt then for some reason makes them angry (instead of making them feel like they need to make it up to the person they hurt) and that then results in either a row or sulking! Idiots! My ex is like that too. Whats he like in the rest of your relationship? Is he just an extra "child" you have to supervise? Has he apologised sincerely to her? Has he told her how sorry he is that he hurt her?

Blondie73 Sat 25-Jun-11 21:09:38

Oh and like your DH mine has anger management problems too.... aggression can be violent too.... I didnt want my baby boy growing up with this as his model on what fathers are like, and didnt want him to "be aware of his temperament" and have to modify his behaviour accordingly.... I left him 6 mths ago....

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 25-Jun-11 21:10:56

What do you mean he's never violent?

He just was violent. To a toddler.

He is abusing your children.

Who cares which side of him you hate and which side you love. You need to protect your children from growing up "aware of his temper"


whereisthegin Sat 25-Jun-11 21:11:34

Amazingly she cuddled him and let him read her a story and put her to bed. I've got the monitor on here now as I'm worried about her chest but she's not coughing now thankfully. It was the older one who wouldn't kiss him goodnight.

cjbartlett Sat 25-Jun-11 21:11:42

He's never violent? But he caused choking with a toothbrush
I'm sorry but you sound like you're making excuses for him
and your posts are all about your three yr old
how is your 2 yr old?

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 25-Jun-11 21:13:40

It's not amazing that she gave him cuddles.

She's 2, her love for her parents is unconditional. That's why child abuse is so cruel - children still love parents that abuse them and it totally fucks them up.

Please get these girls away from him.

whereisthegin Sat 25-Jun-11 21:15:29

I don't know what to do. When everything is fine - as it is most of the time -it's lovely. I know deep down though that things aren't right. I just don't know what to do.

MrMan Sat 25-Jun-11 21:28:59

Just a note that I am a guy, and I brush my 2 year old's teeth almost every night. I cannot imagine what you have described. I have on a couple times accidentally made my kids upset by bumping into them, and I immediately apologized to them to show how sorry I was - both because I wanted to and to set the example of what to do in these cases.

Temper is one thing but your DH owns the actions and words that he decides to use from his emotions. He can control himself in a positive way to be a role model for his kids, or he can teach them to act in untamed animal instincts.

nicecupatea Sun 26-Jun-11 01:04:42

Hi whereisthegin I'm appalled at your H's behaviour, and the most worrying thing is that you say there are "so many instances" like this sad I know your original post says you just want to vent, but I think you really should do more than that, and take a good long look at what is going on around you.

I recently realised that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, something I knew very little about until I read a book called "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft. I really recommend you get and read that book, because as other posters have pointed out this kind of behaviour is abusive and you need to learn as much as you can about how this kind of abuse works, so that you can protect yourself and your children.

Over time its very easy to fall into a trap where you (and your children) modify your behaviour so as to try not to make him angry and sulky - would you still feel comfortable asking him to do the teeth brushing again? Or has he now gained a privilege where he doesnt have to do any of the frustrating tasks and no one is allowed to criticise him if he doesnt do them/does them badly?

whereisthegin Sun 26-Jun-11 07:46:32

Thank you for your replies. Had a sleepless night. Nicecupatea thank you for the book recommendation - I'll get it. No - he won't be brushing her teeth again. She doesn't like it - never has - but he really was forceful - like 'you will have this done!'.
DD1 is fine this morning although I did get up to her in the night as she woke up crying.
H doesn't manage stressful situations easily. He can be like a teenager at times. We've been together for 19yrs but this side of him has got worse since we had DD's. I didn't want my girls to end up with a broken family but I think it's going to happen. I just don't know where to start though sad

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 26-Jun-11 07:50:24

A family where your father shoves a toothbrush down your throat until you gag is a broken family.

A family where you are safe and secure us not a broken family, even if your mother is a single parent.

barbiegrows Sun 26-Jun-11 09:01:58

Hi whereithegin,
It sounds as if you are getting caught up in a spiral of abusive behaviour. Let's take the teethbrushing incident. I'll get devil's advocate out of the way. Assume this was an accident. You've gone up there fuming at him. What's important is the well-being of your child (of course you know that) but what's happening is that you are engaging with him on a level that isn't helpful.
When you are in a relationship with someone that is, as you say, verbally aggressive, unexpectedly and disproportionately, you get your defences up. I suspect it is this that prompted your fury at him (assuming it was still a mistake - blokes just don't get childcare etc).
I recommend you read Beverly Engel's 'The Emotionally Abusive Relationship'. This will give you a measure of how bad things are, or whether they can be fixed. I always think it's sad when a relationship with young children is broken, but you need to take a good hard look at where it is going and whether you or he can prevent it getting worse.
You can get the book on Amazon - it is a good one for both of you to read. In the meantime, disengage from his negative behaviour as much as possible, keeping the children protected by just being away from him (in another room/with another activity). The key is to be civil and kind - don't stoop to his level. If he reacts positively, great. Do everything yourself if you need to, see if he offers to help. Disengage for the sake of your sanity and for the sake of your children but only disengage from his bad behaviour.
People on MN often tell you to get out, quick, but this can often lead to you getting into a similar relationships. Have a look at yourself (the book helps you do this). Only then can you decide what you want from this relationship.

I spent years 'defending' myself in front of the children thinking that would make them understand what was acceptable behaviour. The kids are OK, but essentially a good example set by a good father is the only solution.

Ambers123 Sun 26-Jun-11 09:25:35

Feel sorry for you and your kids , read the book , then contact WOMANS AID, they are amazing will offer your help and support and a REAL LIFE line if you want to get away from this abusive man, i know it isnt easy but please think of your own wellbeing and your kids safety, i wish you all the best for now and the future.

nicecupatea Sun 26-Jun-11 15:07:06

Hi again,

Just want to say I agree with barbie whole heartedly about not ending the relationship quickly. You need time to take a good look at what is really going on, both the Lundy and Beverly Engel book will help you do this. I left my H several times but always ended up going back because like you I didnt want my kids to have a broken home and he wasnt abusive all the time, so I couldnt recognise how bad things were. After I read the Lundy book it took me 5 months to decide if the relationship could be saved or not, in then end I left even though I have a 3 year old and am 5 months pregnant. I finally realised that the damage was greater than I initially thought, to both me and my children. (have to say, I am doing very well and am happy now!)

So, you say you dont know where to start. Buy the Lundy book, read it, without mentioning it to H, and spend some time evaluating your relationship in terms of what you've read. Only you know how bad things are and if things can be saved, but what you must do is learn about and fully understand how abusive behaviour works so that you can recognise it for what it is.

One example is that your H has now gained a special privilege, he no longer has to do teeth brushing chores. THIS WAS HIS GOAL ALL ALONG. He has used very nasty tactics to achieve his goal, by emotionally bullying you, and physically bullying his child. As barbie says engaging him is pointless, he will not respond to reasonable arguments ("what you did was wrong because it wasnt in the childs interests") If he were capable of that he would have had a rational conversation with you in the first place about how he didnt want to brush teeth any more because its frustrating and difficult. Instead he chose to use tactics that ensure success: bullying and aggression. If this is a pattern of behaviour that happens regularly, he always comes out gaining freedoms, power, privileges, and you always end up doing more than your share, taking the blame, being wrong, then you are being emotionally abused. There is plenty that you can do to change things so have hope, the first step is to recognise what is going on. xxx

whereisthegin Sun 26-Jun-11 21:36:35

Thank you for taking the time to reply and for the really good advice. It gives me something to start with - so will read the books. Had a knot in my stomach all day thinking what the hell do I do. Things are quite normal tonight and I don't think he has the slightest clue what I'm thinking about the future. I never thought of the toothbrushing incident that way nicecuppa but it kind of makes sense. I just thought it was all down to his bloody short temper.

SingOut Sun 26-Jun-11 21:46:24

Sometimes it's the oddest things that spell the end. The last straw, and all that. Hope you and your little ones are alright, OP.

nicecupatea Sun 26-Jun-11 23:51:17

"I just thought it was all down to his bloody short temper."

Lundy Bancroft explains it as "not losing his temper, but using his temper"

I found it very hard at first to accept that my H was deliberately behaving badly in order to gain power and control in the relationship. (I sent him on an anger management course once, thinking that would help - it didnt, he became less shouty but was still abusive in other ways)

I was appalled by the idea, and it took a long time to really be convinced.

If you are in an abusive relationship, what happens more often than not is that:

- the victim tries to modify their behaviour so as not to be on the receiving end of sulks/anger. Over a long time period this can mean that you end up doing all the work, never complaining, putting all your needs aside, not living your life they way you want to, becoming isolated from friends and support networks and becoming depressed or very angry. Its also a terrible role model for your children as they will either identify with the victim (usually girls) or the abuser (usually boys) and will grow up repeating the same pattern in their adult relationships.

- if the victim does not modify their behaviour, the abuser will often escalate the abuse or use different tactics, switch from verbal to physical abuse for example.

Its no wonder you are feeling a bit dazed and confused at the moment, but there is a lot of knowledge on this kind of stuff out there. I hope you get to read the Lundy book asap, you will feel more powerful and in control when you are able to understand what abuse really is and isnt (it is not a temper problem) and evaluate with a clear head whether your relationship is healthy or not. Keep posting if it helps xxx

basketswing Mon 27-Jun-11 01:23:29

Why are all you women so anti-men, The young child could quiet easily have swallowed some toothpaste to cause her to choke. Ever thought that the mother might simply have over-reacted and thats why DH is sulking. So young child chokes on a bit of toothpaste we therefore have hysterical women accusing the husband of being the next mass murderer. What I would suggest is that you all just get a more realistic hold on things. If this is how you all tend to judge men its no great surprise to find that so many of you are owning up to broken relationships.

nicecupatea Mon 27-Jun-11 02:15:08

basket case swing I just read your strange thread about your husband having sex with a woman he met on a porn site he set up and then claiming he was hypnotised. I dont think you should really be giving relationship advice!

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