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Dh has no patience with the dc

(68 Posts)
mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 08:41:24

We have 3 dc, 6, 3 and 2. Dh has always suffered from a low-level depression, continuous low mood and a low tolerance level for anything. Ie, he gets very angry very quickly. He is not physically violent but he shouts alot.

Our eldest dc is very exuberant, very strong-willed and it is difficult to get him to do anything he doesn't want to do. In general I have a lot more patience than dh but have found it hard to manage ds1 and I have been unacceptably shouty since dd (about to turn 2) was born. I now feel I am much more in control and so I am now able to manage the dc without shouting (much!).

However, dh just snaps really really quickly, he gets so angry with the kids all the time. I feel I'm on tenterhooks the whole time to jump in before it escalates.

An example from this morning - asking ds1 to come to breakfast - when he doesn''t come dh v quickely escalates to shouting and making wild threats re missing trips out etc.

We have never had a day where dh has not "blown up" over something throughout the day.

I have put up with it for so long and have understtood it (his father is like this but worse) and I have sympathy for the depression, but I am just getting to the point where I'm finding it hard to live with anymore.

Part of it is that when he gets angry he talks to you in a rude way eg (Didn't you hear me calling you?????) that really gets my back up and the dc mirror this way of talking. Again, this is how his family communicate - every converstation is quite confrontational, but I don't want my family to be like this..

Anyway.... sorry for long post I was just wondering if anyone else has experiences of this and if anyone has any thoughts about it.

I should say that I am trying hard to challenge this behaviour and dh is aware it is unacceptable and he is trying not to, but he is still doing it. I''m just not sure he can change...

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 08:44:10

Is your H this much of an explosive, threatening, shout arse with his boss? His colleagues? His friends?

Or just to his family?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 08:44:20


mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 08:47:56

That's a good question, I have thought about that and of course the answer is no. So, what do you make of that?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 08:53:05

I make of that that he is an abusive arse.

It's not the depression making him treat his wife and children this way: it is his entrenched belief that he is entitled to, that only he matters in the family.

Plenty of people are depressed, and do not treat their near ones this way.

He treats you like this because he chooses to.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 08:55:04

Read this book. Please.

Among other things, it will dispel the myth that his mental health or his upbringing excuse his behaviour.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 28-Oct-12 08:55:43

Given that you've admitted that you have also been unacceptably shouty, would you both consider some kind of parenting/anger management course.

You need to get on top of this before your kids end up nervous wrecks.

Bearandcub Sun 28-Oct-12 08:59:12

Obviously he needs to change but that will take time and patience and clear rules and consequences of what will happen if he doesn't ie the DC will start speaking to you and others like it. Sit down together and talk through it. If you feel you can't carry on, tell him. As you say though you have taken time to change too.

Maybe tell DH that you will be challenging his behaviour as you don't want the DC to pick it up, could he help monitor his reactions to support this.

As to how he changes, no ideas, sorry.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:00:04

Your eldest DC is not "strong-willed": he is six. Nothing justifies the way his father treats him.

"His father is like that" is NO excuse. If anything, a man who has been raised by such a father should know better than most how much it hurts to be treated with contempt and threats by a parent, and should therefore choose NOT to inflict the same on his own DC. IF he gave a shit about their feelings.

But he doesn't: he cares only about his own.

You all deserve better. And I mean you too, mabel. You deserve to be treated with love, kindness and respect.

minmooch Sun 28-Oct-12 09:01:10

Point this out to him. If he can hold his anger away from home he should be able to hold his temper from his children. Talk to him about his up bringing - does he have fond memories, is he close to family members? Or are there memories of confrontation? Does he want the same for his children? Or does he want to have a close loving relationship with his children? This does not exclude the ability to parent your children, ie tell them off, without losing control.

I have memories of being frightened of my Dad, not physically, but never being able to talk to him without crying, thinking I had let him down. He was quick to anger. I am very similar to my dad but I make a conscious effort to not make the same mistakes as him. I am incredibly close to my sons, they respect me and I them. They take a telling off if needed (very rarely) but they know without a doubt that they are loved and we can talk to each other about things - the good and the bad.

I hope that for you it is about breaking a habit your dh has learnt from childhood. If he cannot see it himself or is not open to making changes, with or without help, then you may have to think about your options.

Good luck.

bakingaddict Sun 28-Oct-12 09:03:29

Is he treating his low level depression? If not your first step should be to get him to see his GP otherwise i'm afraid that your family will end up the same way as his.

If your family cannot communicate with each other without into escalating in shouting then it does affect your relationship with this parent. Your DH will only change if he is forced to and only you can decide how to dictate this. My own mum was pretty similar to your DH and it did affect my childhood. While she has mellowed somewhat with age there is still this potential to erupt over the slightest remark and it means i've missed out on a proper mother/daughter relationship over the years because I have to constantly police what I say in case I cause unintended offence

mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 09:06:24

Thank you everyone, your replies are uncomfortable reading because I think I've lived like this for so long I've felt it was "normal" and ok..

Hotdamn - I take your point about ds being 6 rather than "stong-willed" and I have pointed out to dh that he seems to justify his anger by the fact that ds has been "naughty", whereas he should just see the anger as unacceptable whatever the provocation...

So ,is this behaviour from dh really so different to what happens in other families? This is a genuine question - I feel like I can't see the wood from the tress...

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:07:35

It is behaviour that happens in dysfunctional families where one or more members are abusive.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:10:03

We have never had a day where dh has not "blown up" over something

Sweetheart, I understand that you have normalised this. I've been there.
But it is not acceptable, it is not healthy, it is not OK. It is, currently, your "norm", though.

It doesn't have to remain this way.

mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 09:10:24

Thanks bearandcub, I have tried to express to dh how unacceptable I feel his behaviour is and how i'm worried about the kids copying it. I have said to him that I don't think he has really accepted at a base level how unacceptable his overreactions are.

I find it difficult to talk to him about this because he is very defensive and tends to bite back when I criticise him.

I know I'm making him sound horrible but he reallly doesn't seem to want to be this way and is trying to changee.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:11:57

he seems to justify his anger by the fact that ds has been "naughty"

AKA "it's your fault, you made me angry" - the favourite justification of abusers everywhere. It is bunk.

mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 09:12:26

Hotdamn - howdo you change it?
Thank you for your empathy... I do struggle with the concept of dh being abusive though... he really really loves me and the dc.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:13:29

he reallly doesn't seem to want to be this way and is trying to change.


HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:14:41

Hotdamn - howdo you change it?

You don't: he does.

Or doesn't.

His behaviour is his own hands. Only he chooses which words come out of his mouth, only he can make the decision to change and take the steps to do it. None of this is in your hands.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:14:57

*in his own hands

Bearandcub Sun 28-Oct-12 09:15:14

That's a bit harsh HotDamnlifeisgood. I don't think this situation is abusive.

mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 09:15:46

How is he trying to change?
He is trying hard not to get angry. I know he is because I recognise a situation where he would have got angry and shouted and I can tell from his vioce he is tryinng not to get shout.

schobe Sun 28-Oct-12 09:18:52

No, not normal. A lot of us feel this way at times but we make it our life's work not to behave that way towards those we love. Particularly innocent children who will learn that everything is their fault and that this is how you speak to people.

mabelm Sun 28-Oct-12 09:19:06

Mimmooch - thank for your post and explaining how things were with your father.

Dhs father was a very angry man - dh was scared of him and couldn't talk to him about anything and hated him for all of his childhood.....

He is trying not to be like him but I think he needs to accept more deeply that his current behaviour is wrong even though it isn't as bad as his dad's was

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 28-Oct-12 09:19:48

he really really loves me and the dc.

If abusers were vile ALL the time, nobody would ever give them a second glance. The cycle of abuse also heightens emotion: the good is so very good, the awful so very awful. But victims hang on to the hope that if their abuser can be so great SOME of the time, then surely he can be that great ALL of the time, if only he could see how much he is hurting you and choose to change...

You have to ask yourself how long you are willing to wait for that realisation and that change on his part. Because he's not changing, is he?

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