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Shocked by dh's angry violent outburst... What to do?

(199 Posts)
itreallyhappened Sat 20-Oct-12 20:18:49

Happily married to dh for 4 years with a 2yo ds.

Dh is the picture perfect family man but he does have the occasional angry outburst where he says I wind him up and Push his buttons. He's never been violent but I have been scared of his angry outbursts.

Last night we were at a party and both had too much to drink. We were arguing about which way to walk home and I was saying I knew the shortest way, dh just lost it with me. Shouting about how I always think I'm right etc and before I knew it he had his hands round my neck and was shaking me. Obviously I got him off and then we went home. I told him last night that it was over and he was just saying he'd get our son as he works less than me so can be there for him more than me.

This morning he couldn't even remember it but was deeply deeply apologetic. Said he had no excuse, doesn't feel angry in general and he said his only defence is his horrible drunkenness but he knows it's not n excuse. He doesn't drink much but has told me he will quit drink. He also said he'd go to anger management, basically anything I want . I believe he is remorseful.

This is totally out of character for him and I am still quite shocked. Whilst he does have a temper, his outbursts are rare and haven't ever resulted in violence.

Ds and I have come to my mums today. Dh is at our house. I wish this hadn't happened. I want to give him a second chance as I do believe that it was a one off but in the back of my mind i don't know if we can go back from this. It's been a hard year for us both health wise, I was made redundant, we moved house, we lost a pregnancy and there has been a lot of pressure on us but I thought we were in a good place.

I don't really know why I am writing this - am I a total mug if I give him another chance?

StuntGirl Sat 20-Oct-12 20:32:16

Violence often escalates and what he did is inexcusable, drunk or not.

I think you'd find it best to get some space from him for a bit, either he leaves for a bit or you do.

Have you tried calling Women's Aid or the Samaritans for some advice?

Jennylee Sat 20-Oct-12 20:37:58

Do you believe that he does not remember any of it? did he drink enough to make him forget what he did ? Was he actually strangling you? if he had his hands round your neck? it depends on what you feel. Did you think you were in danger and that he might not have stopped? I would say to stay away for a few days if not a week to give him a chance to see what he could lose behaving this way and that he should give up drinking.
However if he is a mr angry and hit walls break stuff maybe he is actually like this. Only you know him . for many on this site this would be a deal breaker. if you are both not the type to have quarrels when drunk and act badly and this is out of character only you know how you felt, and if that is okay with you. its not okay, but then I know what you mean if it was out of character, also saying he could have your son is pretty crappy behaviour

itreallyhappened Sat 20-Oct-12 20:38:17

I haven't called anyone. I've told my mum everything and she's been amazing. I could stay with my parents for a week or so but I always read threads on mn which say that the woman shouldn't leave the home. Dh said he'd go to his parents place but he didn't want to. I don't really want to involve them either.

It's such a mess. I can't believe my husband could do this. I feel like its an awful nightmare from which I can't wake up!

itreallyhappened Sat 20-Oct-12 20:43:01

I know - he was vile.

But it was all totally out of character.

I did feel scared - and shocked so I didn't really have time to process it.

We don't drink lots very often and we don't really row. It's been a hard year but I thought we were solid.

Now I just feel pretty devastated and I don't know if I can ever look at him the same way

KennethParcell Sat 20-Oct-12 20:43:05

Are you telling us everything here? did that come out of nowhere? the very first physically aggressive behaviour was that he went for your throat?/ and the rest of the time he is mr perfect?? really?

my x used to have violent outbursts and he did twice put his hands around my neck. It didn't come from nowhere though. i had a constant sense that I was irritating him. The lead up to outbursts was that when he was angry there was pushing and shoving and then rougher pushing and rougher shoving with a poke, then a rougher poke, closer to my face each time, teeth bared........

I left the home but i felt i had to prioritise our safety over financial issues.

ponygirlcurtis Sat 20-Oct-12 20:45:40

I am so sorry this happened to you. I think you've absolutely done the right thing by getting a bit of space for yourself.

Your head is all over the place at the moment. You wish you could turn back time. You wish it hadn't happened. You've got yourself a bit of space, that's going to help you a lot. What you need also is time. You need time to think, time to deal with all this in your head. You can't turn back time but you can stop time for a bit, by staying at your mum's for a while, if that's possible. As well as giving you time to deal with what's happened, it'll give your DH time to show if he's serious about addressing the issues, show he's going to stay off drink, start getting counselling, etc. If he pressures you in any way to go back, then that suggests to me he's only worried about himself. If he realises how upset you are and wants to put you first, he'll not pressure you.

So I don't think you should be making any decisions about whether or not to give him a second chance yet or not. Just let it be for a few days, do some nice things with your DS. After that, whatever you decide should be your own decision (ie not influenced by DH or anyone else). But what I will say is that I don't think it's right to describe this as a one-off, because you say you're scared of his angry outbursts. My concern would be that this would start happening again, and more frequently. I know it's easy to think that it that happened, you'd definitely leave, but take it from me it's not that simple. Take time to think, think about how much your fear of his angry outbursts actually impacts on your life (eg do you change the way you act, are you walking on eggshells), read up around domestic violence and physical abuse, pay close attention to how your DH acts and reacts.

Take care.

dequoisagitil Sat 20-Oct-12 20:53:48

Have you posted this before?

No matter. Grabbing you by the throat is potentially life-threatening, so don't downplay this. I think him genuinely quitting drink would be a good thing, and that would have to be a condition of you returning I'd have thought. But I'd be very doubtful about where this relationship can really go.

Opentooffers Sat 20-Oct-12 20:55:03

Not a mug, there may be hope where there is genuine remorse and a willingness to change. You are doing great by making him see what a big deal this is and it helps if he agrees that this was major. Hold him to the anger management and the giving up the drink. If he does this as he says he will, it seems that it could be fair to give him a chance. Ultimately, only you can decide if a line has been crossed irrevocably but at this stage you would not sound like a mug if he does as promised.

tribpot Sat 20-Oct-12 20:56:44

He also said he'd go to anger management, basically anything I want .

But the key thing is, you have to drive it for him. If he's genuinely remorseful - and I believe from what you've written that he may be - let him take himself to his GP, seek help to quit drinking, and accept that it is going on a permanent record (albeit a medical, rather than a police, one) that he has been violent towards his wife.

If he is genuinely remorseful he will do that. He will accept it can never be erased. I think that his response to a suggestion like this may help to clarify what your next steps are. (The signs are not brilliant in that he says he 'doesn't want' to go stay with his parents).

And I completely agree with ponygirl. Do not allow him to paint this as an isolated incident; it was an escalation of the outbursts he had been prone to - for which, I note, he 100% blames you. Refer to it as such, every time it is mentioned.

RobynRidingHood Sat 20-Oct-12 20:56:51

We were friends with a couple. He hit her once. Just once. She had spend 12 years pushing his buttons (to use your phrase). He never hit a woman before, he has never hit a woman again. She really could push his buttons, to the point he was suicidally depressed, doped up on anti-Ds and snapped. The slap (and it was one slap, not a punch) was the wake up call that she was a very damaging person who was sucking the life out of him and he left. He should have left 8 years prior.

Violence isn't excusable, it can happen once. It can be a complete wakeup call to both parties.

Again I'll say it: these threads/situations always involve alcohol.

itreallyhappened Sat 20-Oct-12 20:58:02

No - I haven't posted before and it is the first time he's ever done anything like this. I never feel like i'm walking on eggshells and when he does shout I just leave him to calm down and he will come and apologise. The shouting is rare though... Maybe 5 times in the last couple of years.

I want for us to make it back but I don't know if we can.

I was planning on going home tomorrow but maybe a bit more space is needed and I will stay at mum's for the week.

JustFabulous Sat 20-Oct-12 21:02:51

He says you wind him up and push his buttons? Then he needs to learn some self control and stop blaming you for his failings.

Then I read on and discover he was violent and could have killed you.

Reading on you are then making excuses for him.

Get out. Just get the fuck out. It doesn't have to be forever but you might realise that you are happier and safer without him.

Your son needs his mother alive and safe.

Opentooffers Sat 20-Oct-12 21:05:39

You could back when he can show you proof that he has arranged for therapy for his anger.

Jennylee Sat 20-Oct-12 21:25:48

I think if you stay to keep the house it will just look like its okay .

Jennylee Sat 20-Oct-12 21:40:21

I have a friend who had something similar and she believed she was going to die . She forgave as he was depressed and drunk and nice mostly. But now whenever her partner gets angry she thi k will this be the night it will happen again. And it comes into her mind a lot nut she is not to bring it up or he feels bad . But the family is together and she wants it to fade away into the past. I hope it does for her and you. The good times make her glad she stayed with him. But she always wonders what if . But it's a different person so only you know what your dh is like . My friend dh it can be 5 years without incident .

itreallyhappened Sun 21-Oct-12 07:43:02

Thanks. I am just so confused. And having slept on it today I am really angry - more so than yesterday when it was just shock.

But how could I call an end to the relationship? My ds adores his daddy. I know it was dh's actions that caused it but it would be me breaking up the family. I think it would break dh.

The baby we lost was due this week. So instead of welcoming dc2 into the family I am sitting here wondering whether to leave my husband or not. I don't even know how we got here

MaureenCognito Sun 21-Oct-12 07:44:24

Gah. Drunken row. Never row when you've got beer on board.

CailinDana Sun 21-Oct-12 07:59:58

Give it time. Your DH needs to prove beyond a doubt that he is doing everything to make this right. He needs to sort anger management for himself, he needs to stop drinking without you having to remind him or nag him, and he needs to reassure you and make you feel safe by never shouting or getting in any way aggressive. Any suggestion that you're overreacting, that he's done enough (when in fact he's done nothing) or that it was just a one-off and you need to put it behind you should be met with marching orders. You should never be afraid that your partner is going to hurt you.

Maureen, I really hope you aren't serious. The OP's DH assaulted her - if the OP wanted to she could report him and have him arrested. The OP didn't row - they were discussing something silly, it escalated and she was attacked. I can't believe women still have your point of view - that being grabbed around the neck by a partner is just "one of those things." It absolutely is not. It is way beyond what is acceptable in a relationship no matter how much drink has been taken.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Sun 21-Oct-12 08:14:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaureenCognito Sun 21-Oct-12 08:18:55

Oh I missed that bit.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Sun 21-Oct-12 08:22:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ToothbrushThief Sun 21-Oct-12 08:22:42

It was a complete surprise and out of character when my exH did this to me. I took him back.

Ages passed before anything else but his behaviour deteriorated - the only thing I'd liken it to was if you tolerated that, you'll tolerate this...

ToothbrushThief Sun 21-Oct-12 08:23:27

Maureen why don't you report your own post and get it deleted.

BloodRedAlienReflux Sun 21-Oct-12 08:28:38

Take some time away, him preferably, you don't want the children to have to leave their home. Then leave it to him, don't say anything about the help he said he would get, see if he does it off his own back. IMO it is possible this is a one off, the fact your baby was due this week,on top of a skinful, while not excusing in any way, may at least explain this unusual behaviour. Good luck love

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