Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
So sick of OH lashing out at DD1(48 Posts)
Hi all, posted a while back and, due to awesome mn advice, stood up to OH about him calling my DD1 'stupid' in anger. I told him it was unacceptable and that if he didn't see a doc about his anger issues, I would be off with kids in tow.
So he made an appointment but then due to a calendar clash couldn't make it. Since then, no sign of another booking and I couldn't bring myself to ask and lose yet more respect Because I knew he'd have done nothing more about it.
FF to tonight when he calls DD1 a 'spoiled brat' vecause she wouldn't brush her teeth.
Now I really don't know what to do. Up until that, everything had been much better and he'd been trying to be more helpful, patient etc. I made him go and apologise and have asked him again to make the appointment.
So basically I'm now Mrs Empty Threat. I guess I just don't know when enough is enough. Should I have just told him that was his last chance and he blew it? Really struggling to identify what the right thing to do is.
Appreciate any wise words from you, amazing crew.
I just posted with regard to the 'two strikes & you're out' rule on another thread and I suggest you adopt this policy, Lost.
You've gave him one opportunity to address his anger issues and, now you've given him another, I suggest you follow through by telling him that if he fails to act your relationship will be over.
Is there any reason why you should be the one to leave when it will be far less disruptive for the dc if he goes?
You know what people will post, turn MRS Empty Threat into Mrs I meant it and you're OUT!
Good point, I guess I mean it more figuratively. We co-own our house...
I have just said to him that this is his last chance. He's gone to phone his dad to talk it through and see what his advice is. It's heartbreaking because he really wants to change but I think he's just either really lazy or buries his head.
Either way, if we're not enough for him to actually make the change, then he doesn't deserve to hold onto us.
I'll look for your other post now - thank you, really appreciate your input
Joys even though he's currently on the phone to his dad? That's big - he would never admit this to him, and he's promised to phone the docs first thing. Should I give it the day to see if he comes good on his promise?
I should add that aside from this (which is a deal breaker if it doesn't improve), he is a pretty great partner, if a bit lazy and passive sometimes.
If he is taking steps I would give him a chance. Is there a discipline issue? Do DC act in a spoiled way sometimes?
Not any more than your average 3&5yos. I'm very firm with them, don't stand for any back talk or misbehaviour and all that. They're good kids but they melt down at bedtime and that's when they can push buttons!
He is taking steps but it's pretty late in the day. The fact that the idea of being single really appeals to me..? Well I don't quite know what to make of that!
If he has genuinely tried to improve in the meantime, I would follow goddess's two strikes approach now and say he now definitely needs to make an appointment. Though I'm less sure on the 'talking to his dad' front. What if he comes back and says 'dad thinks you're worrying about nothing'? You're the one he's married to and it's you who has made that a requirement for staying in the relationship.
Save your time as I posted on the 'Would you believe this thread' which bears NO relation whatsoever to your situation, Lost.
Your dcs' need for stability trump his. It seems to me that dd1 doesn't get much out of him being around and if he's singling her out for criticism/blame the sooner he goes, the better.
If I were you I'd be suggesting that he lives elsewhere while he deals with his anger issues as they're not going to be resolved anytime soon and this might serve to bring home the seriousness of what you're saying to him.
Also, even if there is a discipline issue with the kids, I don't believe name calling is an acceptable response to that from an adult.
He's a great partner who belittles your child and calls her names?
You and I have very different ideas of what constitutes 'great'. And I'm sure your dc would, too.
I mean he's great in every other respect, in that this is one (admittedly huge) flaw in him. No drinking, hardworking, loyal to the last, helpful etc. But as I say, this is a deal breaker if it doesn't change.
I think talking to his dad will help as he's more on my side a lot of the time. Which probably has a lot to do with DH's behaviour now I think of it. Definitely a lot of undermining and verbal bullying in his upbringing.
Agree that the answer is space right now. I'm freaking out about everyone's response as to the outside world, we're happy as Larry. But I know all of that doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme. I just want to protect my little ones.
There's a book that was first published back in 1973 which may help him understand some of the dynamic he's caught up in - cheap used copies are available on eBay: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Im-OK-Youre-OK-Thomas-A-Harris-Very-Good-Book-/191783125020?hash=item2ca72a401c:g:wZsAAOSwL7VWmDIe
I also recommend this book www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen/dp/1451663889 which may bring about a change in his approach to parenting. I've linked to the amazon.com site because it has more reviews than co.uk but, again, it can be found on eBay for not much more than a couple of quid.
If he can bestir himself to read these books they should at least serve to give him food for thought, and may cause him to start the process of questioning himself which he'll be required to do if/when he attends an anger management course.
I'm not suggesting these books as a substitute for a course/therapy but they may just cause him to modify his unacceptable behaviour to a tolerable level until he's referred/a place on a suitable course becomes available for him. To my mind, the first is essential reading for every adult and the second is essential reading for all parents/carers of young dc.
Thomas Harris is a bit heavy going for anyone with no foundation in psychology, games people play has a better format and analogies, but he'd need to understand that it's more of a 'this is what could happen in the future'. Plus Harris is generally applicable to adult relationships so the parent-adult-child dynamic may be hard to understand when he actually is a parent and they're children.
How to talk so kids will listen is often recommended on here, I'm considering getting it myself.
Perhaps get him to look at something that addresses how name calling is a form of ea and that negative reinforcement is self defeating.
Would he consider a parenting class?
He has to see the GP for anger issues because he called your DC "stupid" and a "spoiled brat"? Really? I mean, it's not great but I'm pretty sure I've told my child she's behaving like a spoiled brat when she is. Is there more to this that I don't get? Seems like a monumental waste of time for a stretched NHS to be honest.
That how to talk so kids will listen is an amazing book. All parents should read it imho.
Thanks so much for book suggestions, I will look into those. he's mentioned doing some reading and j think it'll be good prep for any counselling/classes he ends up attending.
Cheese - with the greatest respect, I think there's a world of difference between saying 'you're acting like a' and 'you are a'. I've told her she's acting like a brat before, too. Because she was at that particular point in time! But he's shouted at DD1 that she's a 'stupid child' and a 'spoiled brat'. That is never, ever okay and I won't tolerate it. i think you'd agree that something should be done and whatever that is, it's not a waste of anyone's time if it helps rescue my marriage and my children's self esteem.
Just ordered a copy of 'How to talk' - thank you for the recommendation
Positive discipline was great for me. We still use it 4 kids and 10 years later.
Can you ask that he refrains from intervening in discipline for your DD until he can do it in a respectful and controlled manner?
Shouting and name calling will end up escalating. He clearly can't cope right now so backing off completely and cooling down elsewhere whilst you deal with things might solve it in the short term.
He's not a great partner. A great partner wouldn't bully a child. He doesn't even respect you - he has to call his dad for what, exactly? He's a grown man. He knows he is wrong, you know he is wrong. So if his dad tells him off, is that whats going to change him?
Anger issues - really? So who else is he angry at, and shouts at? Friends? Work colleagues? Your other child? I suspect none of them. He is picking on your child and you are fannying around looking into ways of holding onto a man who is on his way to making your child feel like shit. Saying he will read books and go to counselling will appease you - as has the "oh good he is talking to his dad all will be ok then"
I wonder if your DC thinks he is great. In your shoes if I felt a man like this was a "great partner" Id be more into gauging how my child feels, and focusing on building up her self-esteem. & perhaps get books for myself to help me understand why a man is more important than my own child
But, hey ho... he is a man so Im thinking you may be encouraged to give him more chances and thats what you want to do anyway. Between the 2 of you I hope your DC is ok or there is someone else very focused on making her feel good about herself and life whilst you focus on soothing and miraculously changing Mr Great
That's a very judgemental and harsh response given that you don't know me and the fact that I've been for counselling and reading for hours on the topic. And I've been working very hard to build up my child's self esteem and I've looked at separation options and legal support so that I know what I'm doing if it comes to it. But hey, far easier to launch yourself angrily at someone you don't know isn't it? i haven't once said 'all will be okay then ' but huge thanks for your ill informed judgement! I'm sure you're perfect
Did I read that right, that his dad is bullying and demanding of him, and you think calling his dad is a positive step?
No sorry I should've said his mum is the one mainly responsible for said behaviour, she's pretty harsh and critical. They're no longer together so i was hoping his dad would make him see what an issue it is and how he's continuing an extremely unhealthy cycle. I don't think for a second that his dad can/will help in ways which I can't, but I was encouraged that he was taking it seriously to seek advice and talk it through with him.
But what is his dad going to do??
No, son, you shouldn't be calling a small child names?!
If this was the first time, I'd agree. But it's not. You already gave him the terms. He broke them.
Now, what? You didn't mean it that time but you definitely do this time??
Meanwhile, you're playing Russian roulette with your dd's confidence and self-esteem so you can keep supporting him.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.