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dh- sudden violence

(181 Posts)
underachiever Fri 05-Aug-11 20:36:44

My dh and I have been together for 18 happy years but yesterday we were discussing our building project that is currently underway (it is behind schedule and a bit stressful. I admit to often ranting about the builder and it really stresses dh out) he warned me to shut up because he was getting really mad but I didn't and he reached across the table and grabbed me round the neck with both hands and shook me hard.
I locked myself in the toilet and cried for a bit.

When I came out he had typed this on my computer:
You are killing me, you are driving me nuts- I have to suffer your constant ranting- no one else gets the hassle- it is sooooo frustrating for me and you have driven me to do something awful. But I feel as if Im acting under diminished responsibility as you are messing with my mind- I snapped totally because Im haunted by your nastiness and the stress you are creating over this. I am TRYING MY BEST to sort this out- to make you happy- but you criticise everything and Im stuck in the middle. ITS NOT FAIR- I want to scream!! YOU are causing this enormous stress by your response and the worst thing is that you just can't see it- which makes me worry for the future. None of it really matters- I just want to run away now and not come back.
Please help me.

I know I have been ranting about the builder a lot, and I know he is doubly stressed trying to deal with the builder and putting up with me getting cross about it too, but it's not the most stressful thing in the world is it? He worries for the future as he says because if I get worse with my ranting I might provoke him to do something worse.

We have been together for 18 years and have always been very happy together, but from time to time I do feel uncomfortable particularly with the way he reacts when the children misbehave. Sometimes he will grab them quite roughly and he is 6'4 and they are 5yo & 7yo. Sometimes he will grab our ds and hold him up against the wall (high up with his feet dangling) and shout at him. I tell him it's inappropriate but he tells me I'm over-reacting.

This sounds absolutely terrible when I write it down but 99.9% of the time he is totally lovely and loads of fun, a great dad and really romantic and thoughtful but just from time to time the red mist descends.

We talked a little about yesterday's incident, he explained how much I wound him up and I've tried to put it out of my mind as a once in a lifetime abberation. But, tonight dd was being giddy and not listening to him so he went over and grabbed her by the head and shouted loudly in her ear.

He's gone to his spinning class now. Luckily my cousin (who is a massive bloke) is arriving in a bit and stopping the night so we won't be alone with him but I'm not sure what to do next.

RitaMorgan Fri 05-Aug-11 20:40:25

It's not a one off aberation if he is violent towards your children too, is it? How terrifying must his behaviour be for them.

scurryfunge Fri 05-Aug-11 20:40:28

Leave now. Strangling is a common form of DV. He is leaving an audit trail on the computer in preparation for a defence. Get out now.

SarahStratton Fri 05-Aug-11 20:42:34

Why the hell are you still with a man who does that sort of thing to his children? Let alone you?

banana87 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:43:51

It's so much easier said than done to leave, I know. But you really need to think about 1) what will happen next time--will it be worse 2) the fact he is blaming YOU for his behaviour 3) you have young children who will grow up either scared of their father or resenting him or both. If DH did this to me I would leave and not come back until he agreed to seek help for anger management.

lagrandissima Fri 05-Aug-11 20:44:14

IMHO it is wrong to pick anyone (let alone a kid) up against a wall, or to shout in someone's ear. He's an adult, he needs to learn some self-control. It sounds like you need to get some help (e.g. Relate), and get your OH to see that he has anger management issues. If you really feel that vulnerable at home ("so we won't be alone with him"), change the locks and talk to a solicitor. In most cases of domestic violence, things crank up gradually from undermining someone's confidence, to verbal aggression, threats of physical violence, and then physical violence itself. In most cases it doesn't get better. Hate to say this to you after 18 years with your OH, but you need to draw a line somewhere, and for me, it would definitely be where the kids were being physically threatened / aggressed. Good luck.

GypsyMoth Fri 05-Aug-11 20:44:14

he's sooo not a good dad. but i think deep down you know that anyway. he's a violent man,barely keeping the lid on it. this red mist thing? does it ever descend on anyone outside the family home,or even outside the home with you or dc?

sorry you are going through this. i've been there with a man who got increasingly violent. i know the fear

sundayrose10 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:50:05

Wow. Are you sure the last 18 years have been happy? this man is a bully. Do not ignore what he does to your children. Whoever said he is leaving a paper trail is right. He will need that when he does something worse.

underachiever Fri 05-Aug-11 20:50:13

He has sent a text (on the way to his spinning class) saying "I'm sorry I realise that (incident with dd) is totally unacceptable and there is no excuse sad"

He has just rung me on his way back home asking if we need any shopping and what kind of beer my cousin likes.

malinkey Fri 05-Aug-11 20:51:01

Eugh, that stuff on the computer is quite sinister - does sound like he might be building a defence in case (or when) he does something worse. confused

If he really wants to run away and not come back think you should tell him to go ahead. He sounds horrid.

Madlizzy Fri 05-Aug-11 20:51:01

Any person who held my child high up against the wall and shouted in their face would be out of the door, even if it's the child's own father. That's bang out of order, as his grabbing your daughter's head and throttling you. You didn't make him to it, he chose to.

blewit Fri 05-Aug-11 20:55:21

I think you sound scared and as such you should be finding somewhere safe for you and your dcs. It sounds like your dh is suffering from stress and may need medical help. I know I would find it really stressful to have to confront a builder every day. Not justifying his behaviour - just thinking he's not coping.

GypsyMoth Fri 05-Aug-11 21:02:37

so now he's bringing alcohol into the equation. how do you feel about him op?

underachiever Fri 05-Aug-11 21:06:19

I love him and I do believe he loves me and the kids.
I think he has no idea how serious that behaviour is.
He's just acting totally normally just as he did after yesterday's strangling.

GypsyMoth Fri 05-Aug-11 21:09:14

but he does know how serious his behaviour is.....he apologises. you explain it to him. he fully understands

shesgotherlipstickon Fri 05-Aug-11 21:12:49

You use the fact your cousin is there and phone the police and get him out. He sounds unhinged, like hes preparing for worse. Not only has he assaulted you badly, now dd in 24 hours, he is escalating fast.

You aren't safe.

He has been conditioning you to think this is a blip. Good men dont hang their kids from the wall. However you write it.

SarahStratton Fri 05-Aug-11 21:13:57

Oh he knows. Or he wouldn't have bothered leaving that missive on your computer.

FellatioNelson Fri 05-Aug-11 21:17:13

Is he suffering from depression or stress other than over the builder? Worrying about money? Being made redundant? Health worries? Is it possible that he is unhappy in the marriage or having an affair, and is starting to resent you?

If this is genuinely a recent and very out of character phase then I suggest you tell him he must go to his GP, try to get to the bottom of the root causes and perhaps seek anger management/counselling. But even if he agrees to this, if continues to be aggressive and unprectable (especially around the children) it might be a good idea to insist on a temporary separation until he gets himself sorted out - if indeed he is able and willing to do that.

FellatioNelson Fri 05-Aug-11 21:18:52


annieversaire Fri 05-Aug-11 21:20:37

you can ring the police on the non emergency number and ask for urgent help, they have DV officers who really, really understand these situations and can help you be safe.

They can come over and ask him to leave, get your locks sorted and give you an alarm/quick response thingy to push to make you feel safer, in case you are scared any time or he comes round etc.

You don't have to end the marriage but imo he does have to leave the family home while you sort this out because there's no way you or the kids should be living under this constant serious threat.

He sounds like he has some serious mental health issues, depression etc which he is using as a reason/excuse for dangerous behaviour and he doesn't seem to care if you or the kids is scared or gets hurt.

that's my cue to say get the police involved.

Xales Fri 05-Aug-11 21:20:43

What the hell sort of mother are you? You tell him it's inappropriate when he uses his size and strength to physically intimidate your children who are tiny because you feel uncomfortable? Not because it is down right wrong for him to abuse your children like this?!?!?!? Being a dad like this 1% of the time is wrong no matter how great you try and say he is.

A text saying sorry is not going to protect your DD or DS when they are terrified they may be attacked at any time!

It is only when he turns on you that you decide it is a real problem?

birdofthenorth Fri 05-Aug-11 21:21:41

I'm really sorry you're in this situation OP. I know the correct advice is "get out, now" but I just wanted to say I sympathise with you feeling less clearcut about it. A couple of decades & two kids together is hard to walk out on. But please, please make sure you & DC are -and feel- safe.

Ephiny Fri 05-Aug-11 21:22:09

That sounds very disturbing. I would get you and your child to somewhere safe for the moment at least - not saying you have to break up your marriage, but you need to be safe at least while he gets help to manage his anger/stress better than this.

I don't like the way he seems to be trying to blame it all on you - saying you're 'messing with his head', you've 'driven him' to do it. It's not true. He's a grown man and responsible for his own actions. No one is responsible for their partner being violent to them. And making out he's the victim and the one who needs help hmm.

Stay well away from him until you can feel confident nothing like this will EVER happen again. If that's never, then so be it. If he's like this with your children as well, you owe it to them to keep them safe.

Have you told your cousin what happened, or was he coming to stay anyway?

Eurostar Fri 05-Aug-11 21:22:29

What's with your username OP? Something seems to have ground down your self-esteem and trust in your own judgement - is he part of that?

You are not over-reacting. You do need however to stop making excuses for him. If he is on the verge of a breakdown he needs professional help and you need to protect yourself and your children.

BoysintheHood Fri 05-Aug-11 21:22:31

I'm not usually part of the "leave him" chorus but in this case I think you should. And soon. He isn't a good Dad, he's angry, aggressive and a bully.

So sorry you're going through this, it must so very hard after a lengthy relationship to realise that the man you thought you'd be with forever is who you thought he was. Best of luck to you OP.

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