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Anger Management Counselling

(30 Posts)
sohackedoffwithit Sun 29-Nov-15 17:10:58

Has anyone done this successfully, or had a partner complete this successfully? I really need to hear views, as I think that if it doesn't work, I am going to be posting for divorce advice instead.

I am really at the end of my tether with dh of 17 years who is ordinarily lovely, but every few years has a full on red mist rage fuelled episode which usually ends in a door getting punched or me getting shoved.

I can't get through to him that it is not normal behaviour, and that although I do love him very much, I cannot live like this anymore. It tears me apart to tread on eggshells and encourage the dcs to do the same. We shouldn't have to. Everything is always MY fault, and today I finally grew a backbone and said that actually, normal people don't lose it like that and push their wives against the wall. I did nothing to deserve it, I simply said "stop" because he was shouting at teenage ds in an overly agressive way. Because he was pushing, not punching, he seems to think that I am overreacting.

Strangely, he has apologised to ds and said that he is not a good example of how a man should behave, but he hasn't apologised to me. He says that if I wasn't so soft on the dcs then he wouldn't lose his temper. We have had this conversation so many times, that we have to both parent together and make considered decisions. Teenage ds is a handful (I think that's quite common), but has some additional needs which are waiting diagnosis. We agreed some weeks ago that if he is getting annoyed with ds then he has to walk away and calm down before tackling the situation. Not unreasonable imo.

I have spent the day either in tears, or trying to keep it together choking back tears. I can't see a future anymore with this man unless I can stop being terrified of him and what he might do next. I know that when I broach the subject he will suggest that I am being over dramatic, and that there is no need for any kind of external intervention.

Help please, how do I move on from this without falling back into the cycle again?

kittybiscuits Sun 29-Nov-15 17:36:40

It's up to your H to find out if it works and to pursue it. If this has been going on for years he possibly hasn't made it a priority. His treatment of you is appalling. You should leave him. He will keep on making excuses, blaming you and minimising.

ilovesooty Sun 29-Nov-15 17:38:47

Unless he actually wants to access help with anger management any intervention will be pointless.

tribpot Sun 29-Nov-15 17:41:19

Anger counselling already doesn't work in this case as your DH didn't accept he's done anything wrong, nor would he attend. If you want to go through the motions, why not ask him to? You know what the result will be.

Do you tread on eggshells all the time waiting for the next big blowout? Teenage ds may be a handful because of the abuse he's witnessing. More of it is unlikely to help him, even if it is unconnected.

sohackedoffwithit Sun 29-Nov-15 18:05:24

Yes tribpot, I do pretty much tread on eggshells most of the time. I don't think I had realised how much I do. And yes, I think that it may be a contributing factor in Ds's behaviour, not the only factor, but I am sure it doesn't help.

sohackedoffwithit Sun 29-Nov-15 18:08:11

So, I need to get him to agree that his behaviour is unacceptable and take the initiative himself to seek help rather than issue an ultimatum of "counselling or divorce"?

If he doesn't do it then there's little point in suggesting it?

ilovesooty Sun 29-Nov-15 18:15:14

I've done quite a bit of anger management counselling and in all cases my clients have taken the initiative to refer themselves because they genuinely wanted to change.
They have never been persuaded to do so by their partners and no counsellor with any professional integrity will work with someone who hasn't referred themselves freely.
If he doesn't want to acknowledge that his behaviour is unacceptable I don't see much future for your relationship I'm afraid.

Kr1stina Sun 29-Nov-15 18:23:11

* He*doesn't have a problem. His angry outbursts are getting him just want he wants - you tip toe about all the time, trying not to set him off . He gets his own way, you are terrified . As its your fault he is blameless .

You are the only one who is unhappy here. Why on earth do you think he will change ?

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 18:30:50

He is abusive. That's why he won't accept there is anything wrong or apologise to you. Please contact Women's Aid for advice.
You could also read the book(s) by Lundy Bancroft.

"So, I need to get him to agree that his behaviour is unacceptable and take the initiative himself to seek help rather than issue an ultimatum of "counselling or divorce"?"
The problem is, you can't get him to see that his behaviour is unacceptable. He should know it's not. I think trying to persuade him that he's wrong will be like banging your head against a brick wall.

You said you're terrified of him. No one should have to live like that.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 29-Nov-15 19:09:50

Abuse is all about power and control; this man wants absolute over you.

Small wonder therefore you are walking on eggshells; that to me is code for living in fear. Its no way to live.

What is he like with other people; all sweetness and light to them?. He does not act like this around any of his friends or work colleagues does he?. My guess is that he is lovely to those in the outside world and saves his true nature for you and you alone. If this is the case, he does not have an anger management problem at all.

A door being punched or you being shoved are actually strong markers of domestic violence. I note also that he has apologised to his son and not to you; what does that tell you about this man?. He like many such abusive men refuse to accept or take any real responsibility for their actions therefore he thinks its all your fault. He feels justified in his treatment of you and such men do not change. This relationship therefore really has no future.

He is at heart abusive and this is no environment for your son to grow up in either.

I would call Womens Aid and talk to them; they can and will help you here and their number is 0808 2000 247.

Hissy Sun 29-Nov-15 19:34:57

Anger management...

I think you'll find that only works with those who have issues managing their anger.

Not abusive types.

Just get yourself and your son out of this before it destroys even more of you both.

Seriously, there is no help that works.

Sure he can stop abusing, anytime he wants to, but he won't because it doesn't suit him. He's entitled to do so. That's how he sees it.

cestlavielife Sun 29-Nov-15 19:38:00

Read the Lundy bancroft book why does he do that

sohackedoffwithit Sun 29-Nov-15 19:41:55

Thank you all. You've all pretty much said what I have been thinking. I am a reasonably intelligent person, and I do know that it is wrong and has been for many years. I don't think anyone outside of the immediate family would think it of him as he is the life and soul of the party everywhere else.

I was really hoping that someone would have a story of a similar relationship where they sought help and it all worked out fine.

But, and I know this will make you all shout "No, No, LTB" if he does accept that he is the one with the problem and takes steps to solve it, can it ever work? I'm just so aware that 99% of the time it's ok...

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 19:48:51

Is it really OK 99% of the time if you're walking on eggshells and living in fear? Or does it just feel ok because he's not shoving you into walls every day?

Rozalia0 Sun 29-Nov-15 19:51:24

It's only 'ok' 99% of the time because you are walking on eggshells. This man has no reason to change.

I lived like this for years, which I hugely regret. It was a waste of my life and bad for the children (understatement). I don't regret even slightly the end of my marriage.

You will be so much happier without an aggressive bully in your life and so will your DS. Why don't you take a look at Women's Aid website? It was a real eye opener to me when I did.

iloverunning36 Sun 29-Nov-15 19:52:43

But in that 99% of the time are you moderating your behaviour to prevent his outbursts? I'm not much good at the advice but a mumsnetter said to me the only way an abusive man can change is if you remove yourself from the situation so that he has every motivation to change and get you back (I think it's highly unlikely a man like this would ever change though)

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 19:55:50

Re whether he can change, see Do Abusive Men Change? and Lundy Bancroft.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 29-Nov-15 20:04:44

You seem more afraid of ending the relationship than of you or your DC being hurt by him again (as you know will inevitably happen). It is already affecting your DSs mental health.

So, what is so terrifying about breaking the cycle by splitting up?

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 29-Nov-15 20:10:20

Hi op

The 99% of the time when he is OK is because your handling him, you pave a smooth path for him
This isn't how an equal loving relationship should be.

And big yes his behaviour is a hugely crap lesson for your son, I would tell him to his face if you have not already when he is calm, that you are terrified of him really scared. Then watch his reaction really carefully
If he goes down the Rd of over dramatics , give him 24hrs to think about it then if still nothing file for divorce. He seems the type who may need a massive wake up call to take you seriously, your sons mental health and well being is paramount. thanks

ShebaShimmyShake Sun 29-Nov-15 20:13:50

I once asked my foul mouthed, foul tempered, abusive father if he would consider an anger management course. He screamed that he didn't need fucking anger management and I needed to fuck right off before he slapped me right across the fucking face.

I think it doesn't work for men like him.

sohackedoffwithit Sun 29-Nov-15 20:14:16

I think because it is low level and infrequent, that I feel that I can't label him as "abusive".

I think I worry that the children will hate me if I break up the family.

But, above all else, I like him, I love him, and he does usually accept responsibility and declare guilt afterwards, that I think that he really does struggle with his temper and if he had the right help, it would stop.

Is it very wrong to hope?

I have just had a very frank discussion along the lines of "It's not me, it's you" and that I am fed up of walking on eggshells and I am not prepared to do it anymore to keep the peace. I have told him that it terrifies me that he can snap like that, but I am not prepared to be terrified anymore, and nor am I prepared for the children to witness it again. I think that if I have been honest that he needs to change, not me, then he has that opportunity open, for a short time to show that he wants to and he can? He didn't like it, and said that I was talking to him like a child, but I have made it clear that that's the deal and left it to him to do something about it.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 20:14:43

"your sons mental health and well being is paramount"
Well yes, and your own well being is pretty important too. Not to mention your physical safety!

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 20:18:31

"Everything is always MY fault"
"he hasn't apologised to me"
"I know that when I broach the subject he will suggest that I am being over dramatic, and that there is no need for any kind of external intervention."


"he does usually accept responsibility and declare guilt afterwards"

Which is it, OP? Sounds suspiciously like you're backtracking.

ShebaShimmyShake Sun 29-Nov-15 20:22:18

Abuse, like rape, is commonly misunderstood. Many people think rape is a stranger leaping out on a woman from behind a bush and dragging her off somewhere. They don't really understand how a woman can be raped by someone she knows and has had consensual sex with before, or how, if it was rape, she might not immediately respond by crawling to the nearest police station covered in blood and tears.

Similarly, abuse is rarely completely one dimensional (which isn't to say it isn't always wrong). Abusers will often go extended periods of being really lovely normal human beings, and the abuse will seem like isolated incidents that have such an understandable explanation really (I mean, honestly, did you really have to argue back with him? Couldn't you have just left him to rant? You know what he gets like if you answer him back...) They frequently sincerely believe themselves to be the victims, the tragic heroes who are just damaged by their own terrible trials and tribulations, and why can't people just UNDERSTAND them?

It may complicate the matter if they're not actually sheer solid evil, but it doesn't make them any less abusive or you any less safe.

If he really sincerely believes he has a problem - not his childhood, not his family, not those around him, but he himself has a problem independent of his surroundings and he himself must change and address it - if he honestly accepts that, anger management could work.

He'd be rare but those people do exist occasionally.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 20:22:31

"He didn't like it, and said that I was talking to him like a child, but I have made it clear that that's the deal and left it to him to do something about it."

Did he say anything else? Did he apologise to you for his behaviour, at the very least? Did he say anything to make you think that he's actually taken on board what you said and is going to do something about it? Or are you just hoping that he will?

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