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anger management for dh? any exp? does it work?(120 Posts)
Will try to keep short, dh and I married 17 years, dd 14, ds12. DH has always had a short fuse, certain things, some predictable some not, will send him into a rage shouting and ranting often irrationally. I have learnt the best way to deal with it is to go v quiet, not argue and keep out of his way till he calms down, kids have also learnt this, dh's father very similar. He has never been violent or physically threatened me or kids, but he can be scary when he is ranting, as will slam doors etc. Recently I have started to notice the kids behaviour is affected when he goes into one, dd very much tries to make the peace, kind of sucks up to him iykwim trying to making him happy again, ds occasionally joins in with this but usually goes quiet like me. I feel ashamed when I realise how much this affects them and want to make it right. In all other ways he is a great dad/dh, and I cant imagine life without him, but I know this has to change if we have a future. Last night after a trivial thing set him off ranting at dd, he accused me of deliberately winding him up etc and I decided enough. I want to suggest something positive as if I say Ive had enough he'll kick off and start talking divorce as he knows I don't want this (crappy unstable childhood etc) for me or dc. So has anyone got any experience of anger management working (or not) and how do you go about starting this process, assuming I can convince him to do it. TIA
"In all other ways he is a great dad/dh"
HOW? How is a man that is clearly a nasty bully with a vicious temper that cows everyone else in the family into treading on eggshells and sucking up to him ... HOW... is that a 'great Dad'???? He's a shit Dad.
You cannot turn this person into a decent human being and anger management is a deluded hope. Stand up to him, predict he's going to kick off and start talking divorce, be one step ahead and see a solicitor first. Get informed and lose the fear.
How can you make it right ?
Only he could make it right
The only way to make it right for your dc is to remove them from the toxic example of a relationship you are both currently framing for them.
OP, let me tell you a little story. My father was like this all my life. I wasn't the "sucker upper" in the family, I was the one who wouldn't swallow it and pretend nothing happened, like the rest of them did.
I have no real relationship with my father now, and a poor superficial one with my mother. Certainly nothing like a mother/daughter relationship should be although we live only a couple of miles apart.
My mother chose her marriage over her dc's emotional welfare. She is still with him, 40 years later, treading on eggshells and treated like a piece of shit. For what ?
What do you get out of this relationship now?.
What do you want your children to remember about their childhoods?. What they are seeing at home is Mr Dominator Dad and Mrs Handwringing mother who treads on eggshells all the while.
And no he is not a great dad; not even close. Women in abusive situations like yours often write that guff too because they can write nothing at all positive themselves about their own man. Stop denying and lying to yourself. You cannot imagine life without him; he has conditioned you to believe that as well. BTW did you yourself grow up within an abusive household?. It appears that you did, well history is repeating itself.
I would argue that your children are learning very damaging lessons on relationships from the two of you and have done for some considerable time. Your own relationship with your children is now at great risk of being further harmed because as adults they may not want anything to do with you. They could well see you as weak and wonder why on earth your put this man before them.
You have learnt to modify your behaviour over the years at great cost to yourself and by turn your children who are doubtless modelling what you do now as well. Indeed this is the case. Your DD is already learning to be a peacemaker and will perhaps go onto meet and marry someone like her Dad. Your son also peacemakes to an extent but is seeing what his Dad does and learns from it as well.
This is and has never been about anger management because it is likely that your H can control himself around people in the outside world. It is therefore not a question of anger. Your H is abusive and uses abusive tactics to keep you all in line; you are but puppets to this person to use and abuse as he sees fit.
I would suggest you call Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 and they can and will help you here. You cannot help this man due to his inherent abusive nature but you can certainly save yourself and your children from a life of future misery and unhappiness.
You all need to get far away from this man before he completely destroys you all and he's doing a job on you all already. You have a choice re this man, your children do not.
OP, I want to back up AnyFuckerHQ. I grew up with an angry step father. Now I only have resentment for my mother as she was the only one who could do anything to stop the situation.
She didn't have the courage to put our welfare first and it caused irreparable damage to our relationship as growing up I always felt she didn't love me and my siblings enough to protect us and take us out of the situation.
I'm sorry that sounds harsh but it's really key that you accept that you are allowing this to happen as much as your DH. It's not your fault you are in this situation but you can fix it.
Your DH can try and get better if he wants to but the process should be away from you and your DC.
My own childhood was more a situation of neglect rather than abuse, dm is toxic and have been nc with her for 3 years. DF was married (dm his mistress) and I had a better relationship with his wife than dm even though odd circs, df and his wife died 4 years ago. We honestly don't spend all our lives treading on eggshells, only when he has a fit and for half hour after. DC are very bright and have bright futures and Im worried a divorce would damage all that.
I bet he doesn't kick off at his boss or another bloke who is built like a brick shithouse.
He manages his anger quite well by saving it for his wife and kids, as he knows he can get away with it.
A nasty bully.
I'm sorry but you will be modifying your behaviour between outbursts for fear of triggering another one. You may not think you are but you will be second-guessing his reaction, as will your DCs. If you're thinking in terms of damaged futures, it is very stressful to grow up in an atmosphere where one member of the family could kick off without warning.
OP, your daughter is growing up to be an appeaser of men, you have evidence of that already
That is all kinds of damaging for her. Transplant her to age 15/16/17, she meets some spotty oik with a penchant for internet porn and a corresponding attitude towards women and you have a disaster waiting to happen
I have told my mum some of the ways my upbringing fuelled the mistakes I made in my teens, but not even the half of it as it would destroy her. So she is bright...it won't matter one jot if she frames that around manpleasing
I believe the only way you will get him to change - if he is capable and willing - is to take him to the brink and that means telling him it is over.
he needs to see that you have no other alternative and that you are more than willing to take your children away from this situation.
Right now he knows he can do what he likes and you will stay. Where is is incentive to change? he can let off steam in a damaging way and it has no consequences for him at all.
You need to take control and show him the consequences are real and that you will follow through.
Then let him take charge of his own treatment, counselling , recovery - that isn't your job either.
Thanks for the replies, he has just left after I made him come home from work to talk to him whilst dc at school. Told him can't and won't do it anymore, either he sorts himself out or he can leave or I (and dc) will. Proud of myself, he tried to say I wind him up, undermine him etc, I said no excuses everyone gets angry but not everyone scares their wife and kids regularly. I can't just end it without giving him a chance to change, but in all honesty I don't think he will so will use the time to get used to the idea myself and make some plans. I would really like this to work out but it feels now like a notice period if that makes sense. He asked me if I want to leave the house but I said no for the moment I will stay in spare room where I was last night. Tell me I've done the right thing, please? Should I talk to the kids so they are forewarned or leave them for now?
He asked me if I want HIM to leave the house, sorry
I really think you should tell him that you've changed your mind and he should leave the house.
While he's there the children are still being affected, and he'll think things will go back to normal soon.
See if how he deals with your decision. That should tell you a lot about how he is taking you seriously.
Actually, I think it would be better to make him leave the house. It will make him see, properly, what he is giving up by not sorting this issue out.
It will also show you are not prepared to tolerate it and that his behavior will not work as a silencing technique to get his own way all the time.
Also, given he has tried to blame you for his behaviour, I doubt he really has much intention just now of doing anything about this.
Make him experience being out in the cold and he just might do something to change. I wouldn't hold my breath though.
It would be better if he left, at least temporarily
Thanks Lweji, I think we've spoken before but with my normal name on stately homes? I will see if he's made a drs appt when he gets home as that will be a real test, a) he hates drs and b) to actually talk about this will be unbelievable. If he hasn't made the appt I could ask him to go tomorrow so it looks a bit more like a work trip to the kids, or should I just be straight with them? Don't know what to do for the best .....
If he is able to conduct himself around other people without raging and shouting, outside of the home and immediate family, then he does not have an anger management problem, he has an abuse problem.
I'm willing to bet he 'manages' his anger very well. He conveniently saves it all for you.
I wouldn't share anything with the kids just now, love
I tackled him about that Pictish, said can he control himself with customers etc (has own business) and that we are not here for him to shout at. He wouldn't really suffer if I make him leave as he would go to hotel!
And can I ask you... what did he have to say to that?
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