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I'm concerned that I'm a "controlling" "redflag" husband HTF do I change? (long sorry)

(154 Posts)
bongopants Tue 25-Sep-12 14:49:23

Preamble & Context Ok! short of everyone going she should leave you, you bastard... What do I have to do to change? I did go to see a therapist but he dobbed me in to social services and cause a load of grief at home cos I mentioned that I'd smacked my daughter once, left a bruise and I was freaked at what I done. We had three months of interviews, enquiries etc before they found there was no case to be found.

I've got anger issues, I'm quick tempered and can be quite obnoxious when I put my mind to it. I like things to be orderly and disciplined and I'm marginally obsessive compulsive. I had a really really shit upbringing crappy broken home, alky stepfather, cold violent mother, distant everything. To top all of that I have a sex compulsion too.

I'm pissed off with myself cos I feel that I'm fucking up my wife's life and my kids lives and I don't want to. I recently got some self help books but they seemed overly "Christian" and I'm a Jewish atheist.

The therapist I saw appeared to talk a lot of shit about "comming to terms", "understanding" and other such stuff. I don't want to come to terms I want a bloody fix for myself. I have considered drugs (prescription one of course but I won't rule out other sorts).

Even I annoy and irritate myself. Some of the things I've read on here about controlling, red-flag and paranoid make me think of myself. I have a deep inner worry that DW cheats on me, there's no evidence for it, we get jiggy together three or four times a week. I do mither about it but as she points out we do it more than most couple with two children under the age of 8.

I do get very narky when she doesn't answer the phone, which is stupid and its getting worse - I'm becoming way too needy at times.

Some other bits and pieces, three years ago I had a nervous breakdown and tried to top myself after psych services cleared me as no danger I've been feeling deeply fucked up inside and dunno what the hell to do.

Any helpful pointers on how to stop being a controlling knobhead, being needy, and/or a fucking dick whose gonna ruin his marriage and children would be greatly appreciated.

greeneyed Tue 25-Sep-12 14:53:56

You recognise it and want to do something about it, that's a good start, hopefully some wise people will be along soon with some advice

ClippedPhoenix Tue 25-Sep-12 14:55:32

Remove yourself from your children and wife. Then seek professional help.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 25-Sep-12 14:56:04

If you really want to change there are no quick fixes - drugs or otherwise. Therapy or counselling might be a good idea.

If you're anxious and/or depressed medication may help with that.

Tamoo Tue 25-Sep-12 15:00:31

Go back and have another go at counselling. Start with your GP, explain your issues (anger management, obsessive behaviour etc) and go from there. There will be a therapist out there who suits you, whom you feel comfortable with and who will help you.

Have to say, re. the sex issue, 3-4 times a week is plenty for anyone, and 'mithering' about it to your wife is not likely to put her in the mood for more.

Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 25-Sep-12 15:01:47

Stop calling therapists 'shit' for a start, maybe? Even the way you write is jumpy and aggressive. I don't know how old you are but if you're looking for a quick fix for a lifetime's ingrained bad behavioural habits then I think you're going to fail before you even start. Then you can add 'disappointment' to the list and that doesn't help. Rewiring a personality is not like changing a spark-plug. It does start with understanding. Understanding why you get anxious, angry, jealous, possessive, paranoid, suicidal etc.... and then working through some techniques for dealing with each trigger situation in turn. Have you been diagnosed with any mental illnesses? Take medication at all?

I'd recommend that you do this away from your family, however. Even though you may not be able to help your behaviour, living with you must be hell on wheels and it's not fair to expose your family to that. They can support you but this is very much something you have to tackle as an individual. Once you feel more confident in yourself to control your behaviour, then work on being part of a family again.

waltermittymissus Tue 25-Sep-12 15:02:14

"I'm pissed off with myself cos I feel that I'm fucking up my wife's life and my kids lives and I don't want to."

Leave them alone. Then get help. If you manage to get better you can try to start earning their trust again. But really; it must have been some smack to leave a bruise. Quite frankly they're innocent and don't deserve having someone like you inflicted on them.

I know how harsh that sounds and I know you're looking for help but if this is really about what's best for them: leave them.

Proudnscary Tue 25-Sep-12 15:03:10

Look I'm going to level with you - you absolutely do sound like the worse type of partners on this board. You would be an absolute nightmare to live with - your wife and kids will be living on a knife edge. And you are damaging your children just like you were damaged.

Though I admire you for being brutally honest, you are looking for a quick fix, or at least a fix. There is no such thing. No short cut. It's down to you, not only working hard on yourself. But also accepting and taking responsibilty for your actions.

I have a temper and had a pretty shitty childhood too but I hold my temper around my family - not all the time and not always completely but I accept that I can choose not to blow my top. After all I don't shout and scream and criticise my staff at work, so how could I claim I can't hold back at home?

waltermittymissus Tue 25-Sep-12 15:05:32

And actually even your derogatory language in your post is off-putting. Therapy is an extremely useful tool for self-help and self-awareness. There is no quick fix to this. Possibly no fix a all. I certainly don't believe a leopard can change his spots. I hope I'm wrong though.

quietlysuggests Tue 25-Sep-12 15:06:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

There's no quick fix here.
You sound so unbelievably angry, with everyone including yoursel.
You aren't suddenly going to wake up one day and feel better.

I have to be honest, I think you need to leave your relationship short term at least and work on yourself. You have already said you have had SS involved because of violence with your child, you are making their lives a misery.
Well sorry to be harsh but if you know all of this, why aren't you taking steps to improve it?
You need professional help and you need to open up your eyes and mind to the idea of therapy. It won't work unless you truly take responsibility for how you are thinking and feeling and accept you need help.

How long do you think your wife will continue to live like this?

waltermittymissus Tue 25-Sep-12 15:14:45

Do you have a good relationship with her generally?

I wouldn't have thought so, given that he's an abuser.

Lueji Tue 25-Sep-12 15:23:36

What do you mean by
I'm quick tempered and can be quite obnoxious when I put my mind to it.

It seems that you know what you are doing and can control it, so it's really in your hands.

Cognitive behavioural therapy might help, as you will practice controlling your thoughts and analysing situations from a different point of view.

Eg. she doesn't answer the phone - maybe she's in the toilet.

fluffyraggies Tue 25-Sep-12 15:33:27

OP, has your wife ever suggested a separation while you seek help?

Have you ever suggested it already, and what was her response?

Well done for your honesty here. It's the first step towards changing.

PeppermintPasty Tue 25-Sep-12 15:35:41

What lovely people you all are, I now feel a bit ashamed of myself (only a bit) for wanting to give this OP a hmm face....

cestlavielife Tue 25-Sep-12 15:38:19

fanly you sound like hell to live with.

arrange to live apart while you sort yourself out.

you can visit and see the children but give them some space so that you only visit when you feel able to control yourself,
change therapist.
get some really good CBt going on .

TheLightPassenger Tue 25-Sep-12 15:41:37

as a starting point, accept that your wife and childrens' feelings are as valid and worthy of respect as yours. and that even if you can't control your thoughts, you can control how you react to them, and not make your families' lives hell. So it's Ok for you to have a sex compulsion, but god forbid your wife doesn't answer the phone hmm, double standards or what?

Fuckitthatlldo Tue 25-Sep-12 15:42:06

Have a look at the Respect website:

They work with perpetrators of domestic abuse. There is a helpline you can phone - you can also refer yourself to a perpetrator programme.

Perpetrator programmes usually run on one session a week for 12 or more weeks.
They will help you address your issues, face up to how your behaviour is affecting your family, and give you the tools to try to change. Your partner will also be offered support.

If you really and honestly want to change then this is the best start you can make.

There is no quick fix however. Your patterns of behaviour have been learned over a life time. You have to be prepared to put the long-term effort in. There is everything to gain though - not only (most importantly) will your partner and children be safer, but you can begin to regain some self worth too.

Make a start today.

panicnotanymore Tue 25-Sep-12 15:46:15

I can't help, but just wanted to say good for you in recognising this in yourself. The hardest part of change is accepting you need to.

waltermittymissus Tue 25-Sep-12 15:57:57

There are nicer people on this thread than me, that's for sure!

I don't see why you get any credit for admitting to hurting your child and trying to control your wife.

As I said up thread: if you want to help them, leave them.

Proudnscary Tue 25-Sep-12 17:24:22

Oh God here we go...Walter what on earth would the point be to give absolutely no hope/suggestions/advice to this OP?

Everyone has condemned his behaviour.

But there has to be just a chink of hope in the fact he's even posting, that he knows his behaviour is damaging and abusive.

I would most certainly advise his wife to make him leave the family home and I'd urge the OP to take it upon himself to leave.

waltermittymissus Tue 25-Sep-12 17:31:59

I would most certainly advise his wife to make him leave the family home and I'd urge the OP to take it upon himself to leave.

Which is exactly what I said in my first post to him?

I'm not sure what the "oh god here we go" is about. Presumably it's aimed at me.

I don't think he deserves a pat on the back for bitching about the fact that SS HAD to get involved with him because he hurt his child. Or for bitching about GPs, therapists and anyone else he's had a go at.

bongopants Tue 25-Sep-12 17:43:11

There has been some sound advice her thank you. Some additional context, post breakdown I haven't been at all happy with myself. The smack to my eldest daughter occurred once when it did I was very concerned that i was going to replicate my own childhood, hence the initial stab at anger management therapy. As I said the therapist reported me to social services, my wife was very annoyed and asked me to stop seeing that therapist.

I have put forward the suggestion that I move out, again my wife is very against this, and I may not be quite as bad as some of you wish to portray. The therapist was private costing me £50 a session, yet psych services were so much better.

Yes I'd love a really quick fix someone to wave their magic wand and change everything. But, I'm realistic. Also I'm sure as shit not precious about myself. Since my breakdown I believe I've become needier than I should be and I don't like that. Double standards do wind me up no end. The telephone is a good example, if I don't answer the phone to my wife within a few rings I get a lot of questions, what were you doing where are you etc. If it was like yesterday when I had to call her cos of an issue at school, I'm checking up. That's something I have difficulties dealing with as there appears to be a double standard at play.

As for the sex issue, yes its absolutely ridiculous, I don't know why I do it our sex life is stellar compared to many (before anyone dears jump on it it is completely consensual and mutual - having been sexually assaulted myself as a child there is fuck all like coercion in the bedroom). As a couple we've been through some real turmoil and have come out a stronger couple. I would prefer it if I didn't have anger issues and yeh! Some of my vocabulary may be aggressive - but I've heard ten times worse on the tube. Yes, I can be very obnoxious when I put my mind to it, some of the ill thought out knee jerk posts above make me feel like being very obnoxious.

Also it's quite tough to fined the right sort of help Psych Services are so overwhelmed in this borough, that in order to get help I have to go private. That in itself leads to further issues and problems, how do you know its the right therapist, the right type of therapy without spending money that I don't have, and is better directed at supporting the family.

Proudnscary Tue 25-Sep-12 17:45:28

But he's not getting a pat on the back for that. He's getting a 'pat on the back' (hmm) for at least being honest and posting. As I said that means there is a tiny sliver of hope that he has some awareness and has some impetus to get proper help and change. No-one is giving him credit for admitting to being abusive, but are giving him credit for at least posting.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 17:47:43

I can't believe the response the OP is getting.

How many irredeemable abusers admit to their behaviour? How many offer to move out??

At what point has he blamed anyone except himself for anything?

It's clear what the MN message is: if you fit the 'abuser' tag we want to hate you and we want you to fail in your attempts to rehabilitate.

FFs. Shame on the lot of you.

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