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DP angry and upset and I'm shocked

(121 Posts)
Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 12:02:11

I have been seeing a guy for about a year. Don't live together or anything but we are close. I'm not long out of horrible marriage and have kids. New guy always sweet, caring, considerate to me and to everyone else around him. All good.
Recently a close relative of his died tragically aged only 18. It is all difficult to deal with as death not fully explained yet (possibly super virus type thing).
He is devastated, naturally.
All was going calmly until the last few days. The cemetery, which is brand new, this being the very first burial, is in a bit of a mess. It's boggy, the paths are muddy, tyre marks and diesel spillages and the turf is in poor condition.
My DP has taken this on. He's written to council, MP, made some improvements himself etc.
He is angry and upset by his own admission and understandably.
He's cancelled everything else and concentrating on this.
Well, yesterday he emailed me saying that he had threatened to smash one of the council workers with a shovel and had to be restrained. He said he is horrified with himself for this.
He is well over six feet tall (6'5" or so) and heavy built and most people would find the prospect of being attacked by someone of this build terrifying tbh.
I am completely sympathetic of course to the situation with the death and the cemetery, but this revelation has shaken me. He is generally something of a 'gentle giant' very loving, caring and cuddly.
But I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this kind of anger, not that I have ever previously considered that could be a risk.
What do people think?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 19-May-13 12:03:19

I think he might benefit from some grief counselling, perhaps.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 19-May-13 13:18:26

I can understand someone acting out of character in extremis as it were but I take a pretty dim view of violence in all its forms as I think that, no matter what the provocation, a decent person would walk away rather than be physically abusive towards someone else. I'm always appalled by the notices in places like Post Offices that say 'our staff will not tolerate aggressive behaviour'.. who does that?

I'm sure he is horrified with himself but has he apologised and made amends to the worker? And I agree with the above to get some proper grief counselling.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 13:26:46

TBH, I'd leave him.

After being with a supposedly gentle giant, who would get massive anger at relatively small things and finally at me, I'd walk away.

Perhaps I am biased from my previous experience, but I do tend to be cautious about such behaviour now and would run a mile from this, bereavement or not.

This is how he behaves when things he gets stressed, and that should be a warning for you.

Have you had any disagreements with him, or saw him in stressful situations before?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 19-May-13 13:28:45

Personally I would leave him, but then I was abused.

It could be explained as a reaction to grief, but then could you be sure it wouldn't happen again, or wouldn't escalate.

NotSpartacus Sun 19-May-13 13:32:31

I wouldn't break up with him. Grief is such an awful process it can really mess you up. He does need counselling though.

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 13:43:28

It is a massive red flag, waggling hard and strong. Cos of the capasity for physical violence element

It might be a one off due to unexpected stress or it might be indicative of things to come.

The primary question is, can your children afford you to be anything other than strongly, consistently and unwaveringly risk adverse ?

glub Sun 19-May-13 13:44:43

i wouldn't leave him over it. he told you, explained his feelings, is understandably very upset, and didn't actually do it. he sounds like he's probably very aware of his physicality and that he ought not to get angry because it'd scare people more than if he were little.
as it worries you just watch out for any other signs - these threads are full of info on how to spot a crazy. i imagine he'd probably push you or block your way rather than hit you if he did get angry (experience). and of course it's up to you to decide whether that is forgivable or not given any situation.
grief counselling sounds a good idea.

PrincessScrumpy Sun 19-May-13 13:45:33

I would talk to him further and tell him his behaviour has you questioning who he is. Relationships are about communication - he's going through a tough tine but he needs you to make it clear what you find acceptable. I personally wouldn't just throw a relationship in over that but perhaps keep a check on things - make sure relationship is equal. He sounds to me like he needs a massive hug and reassurance along with a bit of clarity. He's horrified, being honest with you and asking for help.

Finallygotaroundtoit Sun 19-May-13 13:50:58

Seems a strange thing to email about hmm

Why not tell you directly? I wonder if he is actually downplaying it. Whatever, threatening physical violence is not an acceptable way to deal with grief.

Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 14:05:29

We email all the time about all sorts. That's not unusual. I have replied now saying i think he acted out of character, I've never seen him violent, wouldn't want to and suggesting bereavement counselling and to take care cos he is very upset.

He hasn't replied, which is unusual.

wordyBird Sun 19-May-13 14:07:47

Keep watch.
Violent feelings are one thing: attempting to act them out against someone else is quite another. There are always choices.

My suggestion is to follow your instincts. Don't be too quick to understand and rationalise: say very little, but quietly make sure he knows you don't find this acceptable.
I would leave, but you have to make your own decision.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 14:19:56

And there is something else to consider.

He may have told you this because he wants to share it all with you.
Or he could be telling you how he is.

The truth is that you'll probably be worried if you upset him.

Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 14:33:03

He's replied by text saying that he agrees with me but he has issues to deal with at the cemetery before he can address his emotions. I've told him IMO he should stay away from the cemetery for a while and let someone else in the family help with issues now.

Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 14:45:00

Lweji ... Yes this does concern me. Is this how he behaves when he is upset? I'm surprised and i don't ever want to see that.

mirai Sun 19-May-13 14:49:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 14:51:29

His reply is not great, IMO.
He's still focusing on what upset him rather than addressing how he reacted to it.
And it's not healthy that he can't let go. This may be the issue with the bereavement.
Again not great.

If you do stay with him, I'd proceed with caution and get to know him better in a range of situations before committing in any way.

CrazyOldCatLady Sun 19-May-13 14:54:21

I'd want him to be so shocked that he would voluntarily pull back from the cemetery situation. If he thinks it's appropriate to continue dealing with that without addressing the emotional issues, that would suggest that he's not taking the issue seriously enough at all.

Honestly, I'd be very, very worried about a temper like that being around my kids.

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 15:03:19

Honestly, I'd be very, very worried about a temper like that being around my kids

Especially kids that are not long out of horrible marriage

springymater Sun 19-May-13 15:23:46

I would see it that the council worker wound him up unbelievably - that's not hard to imagine! - and the red mist descended. I have had one incident in my life when the red mist descended and I was very violent for a few seconds before I came 'to'. I was, and still am, very very shocked by what I did. Physical violence can often be about powerlessness.

Grief is a hideous thing - especially as this is someone so young and the death, so far, unexplained. i read somewhere it's the only time you can go legitimately mad. I am not at all surprised that someone in this position could lose his cool and become violent. It was man to man, for a start.

I can understand people finding his behaviour difficult and I understand you feeling alarmed by it. I would see it as an extremely unusual set of circumstances and, probably, out of character. You won't be able to help watching him, though.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sun 19-May-13 15:27:36

There's 2 possibilities here: this is who he is or this is a reaction to the death.

He needs help either way, he won't ever get things sorted there unless he sorts himself out. He needs to do something about it or he will end up in major trouble.

Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 15:28:58

I only have a short written account but it says that it wasn't the guy's fault. I think it was maybe the guy was putting earth down over where family had put AstroTurf. I'm not sure.

Lovingfreedom Sun 19-May-13 15:30:43

I would be happier if he said he needs to come away from the cemetery and look after his feelings and emotions. Tbh I'm surprised he hasn't been barred.

skyeskyeskye Sun 19-May-13 15:30:52

he needs to stay away from the cemetary and get some professional help. he is dealing with his grief by becoming obsessed with the cemetary. It is completely irrational to have the sort of reaction that he is having and it is not his job to have to sort it all out.

I think that you need to talk to a doctor, with him if he will go, and see what they think.

garlicgrump Sun 19-May-13 18:05:53

So you are telling us that he's: obsessive; controlling; very violent.

The only question is whether this is how he'll always be when life pisses him off, or some combination of events has pushed him beyond reason. Best to remember people die. People he loves will carry on dying, and life will carry on smacking him round the face with a wet fish. It does that.

If you were my best friend, I'd be doing everything possible to persuade you not to wait around until it happens again. But I can see how, if he immediately stops blaming the council / the grass / life /death for his shocking behaviour and gets counselling, you might want to give him a chance.

There are other men, though, who don't ever randomly attack people.

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