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Family counselling

(10 Posts)
willyoulistentome Wed 10-Oct-12 09:31:58

long story short.

The dynamics in my family are awful. DHs Dad was awful. He had mental issues, was hospitalised a few times because of it. I don;t know if the mental health issues were the cause, but he was very abusive to DH and his Mum and siblings. Physical, verbal and emotional. Now DH is emotionally abusive to me and the kids - mainly DS1. I am on eggshells all the time. This makes me short and snappy with the kids and I fear it is also making me abusive towards DS1

Separate issue - I also fear Ds1 is on the autustic spetru,m. he is 9 - nothing has been diagnosed, but I have my suspicions. DS1 behavious is also dreadful at home, though fine at school. He has issues relating to other kids and becoming involved with anything out of the normal i.e go to football club even though he loves football.

DS1 picks on DS2 relentlessly. I quite literally cannot leave them alone together to go to the loo, or nip into the garden to hang up the washing, without DS2 ending up in tears having been wacked.

I am unsure whether DS1 behavious is due to ASD or just a symptom of DHs behaviour and our marriage issues.

Evenings and weekends have become a nightmare with either DS1 tantruming or DH kicking off sulking at any one time. We never do anything any more. DH finds fault with just about everything and everyone. I have stopped seeing friends and my family when DH is about. I dread Christmas, Easter, even weekends. We do not socialise as a couple or a family because DH just doesn't interact. He sits there grumping and I have given up trying to 'make it alright' all the time.

Much as I love DS1, he is bloody hard work. DS2 is so easy and loving in comparison

I have fantasies of DS2 and I leaving, and letting DH and DS1 stew.

Obviously I would not leave Ds1, but it does seem tempting sometimes.

Not so short after all - sorry!

It has become clear that we all need a lot of help. I cannot afford expensive counselling, and DH probably wouldn't go anyway. Anybody got any ideas where I can turn to get help??

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 10:14:31

Talk to your GP about personal counselling. It is never advisable to enter into joint counselling with someone who is emotionally or otherwise abusive. They will simply use the sessions as a platform to rehash all your 'failings' and admit none of their own. Also, don't be too quick to excuse your DH's behaviour because of his history. Children of abusive parents are just as likely to grow up determined not to repeat the experience as they are to be a carbon copy. If he is treating you badly, he is choosing to do so and has problems of his own that he needs to fix, preferably well away from the rest of the family.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Oct-12 10:23:23

it may be dh is perpetuating what he learned in childhood but it is no excuse really.

i also think ds1 may be reacting to the environment. if he is autistic h will be autistic at school too in some ways...spak to teachers.

agree with cogito that next step shoudl be you seeking peronsal individual counselling via GP so you can get better idea of where to go from here.

options could be

asking dh to seek help himself - why is he so grumpy? it isnt normal
asking dh to move out, even temporarily

you could also seek gp help in dealing with kids behaviour eg referral to otehr services/parenting courses etc to gvie you strategies

but it maybe that the family dynamic cant change while you all still live together - your fantasy is telling you something and it is useful to disclose this to a therapist and talk about why you feel this way

willyoulistentome Wed 10-Oct-12 10:26:00

Thanks Cogito. I don't think I am excusing DH, but I think I can see the reasons behind hisbehaviour. He fear Ds1 will end up just like him as he has ended up like his Dad. I forgot to mention he was married before. His ex left him. He has 3 kids from the first marriage. I am pretty sure why his 1st wife left with young kids in tow, though he insists she 'had someone else'.

DS1 is so like DH in some ways. i.e selfish, no empathy, no understanding of how his behavious makes others feel. Blowing up if he doesn;t get his own way. I can see a future life of failed relatioships behind him and I want to break the cycle.

willyoulistentome Wed 10-Oct-12 10:36:56

Thanks all. DS1 behaves very 'well' at schcool i.e he gives the teachers no problems, but he does not interact normally with the kids. He won't be in the school plays, won't join after school clubs, he struggled to make friends, although he does have one 'friend' now, although I think it's a bit of a one way friendship, with Ds1 just doing whatever the friends wants. Doesn't 'get' when new kids are trying to instigate play. He gets obsessions. E.g keepy uppies, all evening for months, screaming about it when it was gong wrong or when it was time to do homework.

There is not really anything that the school can 'challenge' in his behaviour. It is more to do with intereactions and social skills.

wolvesdidit Wed 10-Oct-12 14:31:03

Could your DH also be on the autistic spectrum?

willyoulistentome Thu 11-Oct-12 08:46:08

Yes, I wonder that too. I think his father most definitely was.

DH just doesn't understand that he is being totally out of order sometimes.

e.g (one of many!) He does not understand that blanking somebody and turning your back on them when they are trying to make conversation with them is very rude. He hates my Mum ( whole other thread!!). Mum has the kids after school every Thursday till 6pm when I get home from work. DH gets home shortly afterwards. My Mum usually shoots straight off as soon I get home as it is just so uncomfortable when DH gets home if she is still there. If she is there he will literally grunt a 'uhn' and his eyes go all hooded, he won;t look at anyone apart from the kids, then he won't answer her very light and polite questions as to how his day was. It upsets me so much but I usually just let it go as it's not worth riling him up about it. I did say something when he was particularly obnoxious the other day and he looked shocked and said 'I wasn't rude'. I think he believes just because you are not SAYING something rude or unpleasant that you are not BEING rude.

At any of my family gatherings he will go all introverted, sulky, and refuse offeres of hospitality. i.e If my brother or cousin or someone asks him, "Would you like a drink?" (e.g at Christmas)He will grunt "No thanks" even though he loves a drink! I asked him once could he please make an effort and he looked at me like I was being stupid and said "So you are saying I should not be true to my own feelings?". He could not understand that actually, yes, it's not always appropriate to 'be true to your own feelings'. I make an effort to be open and friendly to his family and make his family occasions go smoothly when if I was being "true to my feelings" I would also hide in a corner reading a book or simply walk out and go home.

I realised how close Christmas is the other day andit felt like a kick in the gut!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 09:34:30

He sounds like a nightmare. I think you should stop looking to psycho analyse him, not hold out too much hope that a therapist can alter his personality and deal with the raw truth of what's standing in front of you i.e. a grumpy, antisocial, selfish man. If you met this man for the first time tomorrow would you be swooning and thinking of taking him home to meet the folks?....

janesnowdon1 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:03:19

Please put your Dc and yourself first. Go and see a Gp in your practice who you feel will be sympathetic/you trust and start getting some help and advice.

Read Lundy Bancroft's "Should I stay or should I go" even if you are not considering leaving - I'm sure you will find your DH described there and exercises on how to help yourself. There are also very good internet links on the support for those in emotionally abusive relationships thread on here (in relationships)

Does your DS1 play up with your mum? Perhaps you could take him out on his own for some special time basically "lovebomb" him and praise, praise , praise any good behaviour or things he does. Also, don't sweat the small stuff - I know it's hard but try not to get annoyed and emotional about trivial bad things. (my Dd was banned from every drama, dance and gym group in the area) - I found reading the Explosive Child useful in helping her.

Speak to the SENCo at your school as well as his class teacher about how to help him.

willyoulistentome Thu 11-Oct-12 13:00:32

I think I will see the GP. Not loking forward to it as I know I will bawl in front of her. I'm expecting the GP to want to put me on Anti-ds and I am not up for that.

This is constantly on my mind at the moment and I feel very tearful all the time. It worries me that it may be me being getting towards menopause and just being overly emotional, and basically a nutter

I am reading 'Why does he do that ?' at the moment, and it is resonating so much. I will read those other ones you have recommended too.

DS1 doesn't play up with my Mum so much but he does still vicimise Ds2 when she's about. She just basically gives them whatever they want, i.e TV , sweets, etc, which makes life easier for her, but then makes it worse when I get home and don't put up with the shit that she does. Thursday nights are often the worst with DS1, cos he's just spent 3 hours with Granny letting him rule the roost. I don;t feel I can ask her to stop doing what she does, as she is doing me a huge favour and I don't want to make it difficult for her. I HAVE asked her not to give them so many sweets, but she does it anyway. It's a bit of a blind spot with her.

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