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advice on partner with temper

(84 Posts)
deepnorth Wed 11-May-16 17:42:18

I have been with my partner for 16 years and from just over a year in there has been infrequent temper loss on his part. This has resulted in him kicking me 3 times, punching me in the face once (15 years ago) and shouting at me horribly, calling me a cunt etc several times.
In 2012 there was a big incident and we split up temporarily. He vowed to change and in fact completed a perpetrator programme. He also cut down massively on drinking which he has stuck to.
There have been no incidents for several months but in March and last weekend he lost his temper again. One of the occasions was partly in front of some relations who saw my partner drag our 2 yr old son to the car in a very rough manner. Last weekend involved shouting at me including , "you're a fucking lying cunt." Just to be clear, I never talk to him like that.
I really don't know what to do. In between times he's lovely. He hates what he does as much as I do once he's calmed down (although initially he says I've done XY or Z to cause it). In fact once he's apologised for his temper we don't talk about it. Our conversations are about me and what I do wrong. That's not to say I go along with what he says, I do defend myself.
I know I'm not perfect, he says I'm controlling and I think I am a bit, but I also know this isn't right.
I'd like to think there's an option other than to leave. We have 2 children aged 11 and 2.
Please advise!
I have NCed for this.

PatriciaHolm Wed 11-May-16 17:44:48

There is no other option. He's an abuser through and through. Your poor kids, growing up around this. Please change their lives, you are the only one that can.

Marilynsbigsister Wed 11-May-16 17:52:40

OP, if you have NC for this, you must have some knowledge of MN. Did you honestly think that ANYONE would come on here and advise you (and your DC) to remain with such a vile abuser. ? Which makes me think that you already know the answer and for some reason feel you need validation for your decision. You really don't. ! Time to go. You have allowed your eldest DC to live around this behaviour for far too long. With a bit of luck, if you go now, your youngest will hopefully only have very faint memories of his/her fathers abuse.

Hillfarmer Wed 11-May-16 17:55:54

He hasn't changed. Not really. I think you know that. You owe it to your children not to live with an abuser. He's apologising for his temper and then effectively blackmailing you into not to raising the subject again. He has shut you down and shut you up. How does he do that I wonder - are you afraid that he will lose his temper if you want to talk about it some more? Of course he wants to talk about all your faults and what you do wrong. The fact that his behaviour is totally unforgiveable gets swept under the carpet, conveniently for him.

I bet you said to him and to yourself after 2012, that if he ever did anything like that again, you would end the relationship. Well, here we are in 2016 and he has incontrovertibly crossed over into abuse. You don't want to have to follow through. Perhaps you feel humiliated after giving him so many second chances. Maybe you would feel shame telling family and friends what is going on. Maybe they will tell you 'I told you so'. None of that matters. You are in an abusive relationship, he has started abusing you again and your children are in an abusive household. You have to kick him out.

Misnomer Wed 11-May-16 18:03:14

It sounds like a horrendous relationship. The abuse that you have suffered and are still suffering is inexcusable. But now your children are not only being harmed by being permanent witnesses to this relationship, your husband is actually harming your two your old. It's time to leave.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 11-May-16 18:32:37

You know there is no other option.
You should have left 15 years ago.
Get out now for your DC sake.
You as an adult can choose to live with an abuser.
You have a child now.
You can stay and let your DC grow up thinking this is normal or you can show him that no-one puts up with abuse.
You Know what you have to do.
Now get on and do it.
Women's aid should be your first step.

deepnorth Wed 11-May-16 18:36:59

Thank you for your replies.
I know this sounds feeble, and as if it's an excuse but it is the truth if I say that i am generally very happy with this man. I don't mean in any weird way that I enjoy it when he loses his temper but that the vast majority of the time every thing is great. Before March I can't remember the last time he lost it. I desperately want there to be a solution other than to leave. It is also true to say that I feel great shame about it. I didn't tell anyone the full story in 2012 and probably wouldn't now. I feel overwhelmed by the practicalities of it too.

Wolfiefan Wed 11-May-16 18:40:30

You shouldn't feel shame. It's a pity he doesn't though.
Nothing you could say would mean you deserve to be treated like this.
I get cross. I go for a walk, listen to music, find a quiet corner to say FFS! I don't physically or verbally abuse my partner. I'm an adult who knows that is completely unacceptable.
Get out. Now.

Finallyonboard Wed 11-May-16 18:45:07

You're experiencing domestic abuse - leave him flowers

PatriciaHolm Wed 11-May-16 18:50:43

I bet your kids don't think everything is great.

He's an abuser. You can't fix him. All you can do is protect your kids.

Joysmum Wed 11-May-16 18:57:47

Is he like this with anyone else or does he just choose to attack you?

Nothing you could do is justification for his responses. Imagine what would happen if the shit really did hit the fan and you, your children, or life REALLY pissed him off. What would he be capable of then? sad

Please protect your children in case they learn from him and turn out fucked up.

Zaurak Wed 11-May-16 19:09:16

When your kids are old enough to have an opinion he'll turn his anger on them.
It won't get better, it only ever escalates

deepnorth Wed 11-May-16 19:09:36

It's only me joysmum. Although he has lost his temper with others before. He's told me of about 3 incidents in his life where he's hit someone but he doesn't seem to make a link between that and what happens with me. He says no one else except me makes him feel like that.
I do know I'm not easy: quite intense, sometimes bossy, pedantic, not laid back.

DoreenLethal Wed 11-May-16 19:12:12

One of the occasions was partly in front of some relations who saw my partner drag our 2 yr old son to the car in a very rough manner.

So, he is now abusing a 2 year old, and you think everything is great?


I cannot express this clearly enough but you need to leave. He is an abuser.

deepnorth Wed 11-May-16 19:12:18

zaurak that is something I've worried about. I do wonder what will happen as the kids get older. And I do know if he kicked or punched me again that would be it. The shouting is horrible but doesn't seem to me to be in the same league as physical violence.

PatriciaHolm Wed 11-May-16 19:14:30

But he's already abusing them, that's the point. Both physically and mentally. Even if you're "very happy", you are ruining your kids childhoods.

ptumbi Wed 11-May-16 19:14:36

in front of some relations who saw my partner drag our 2 yr old son to the car in a very rough manner. - sorry, OP, I think you are very lucky the relations didn't get SS involved. He is now losing his temper with your 2 yo? Do you really think this is OK?

Joysmum Wed 11-May-16 19:15:18

He says no one else except me makes him feel like that

In other words he's blaming you and expecting you to pander to him.

Let me put it this way deepnorth, a previous partner raped me and cheated on me and left me with an eating disorder and need for therapy. That really is something that would stir the anger in anyone, but neither DH or I have reacted to him by hitting him. Some would say we'd be justified to but we don't.

Whatever your partner believes your 'crime' towards him to be, does to top that? He chooses to react the way he does and there's no justification for it.

It's not your fault so you can't change it. Stay and you'll continue to be a victim of his abuse in future sad

deepnorth Wed 11-May-16 19:17:10

doreenlethal the incident with our youngest happened when there were quite a few of us all going out together. In the doorway there had been someone putting shoes on so we couldn't get out. When she moved i said something like, "come on, are you going?" to my partner and he lost it. Dragged our youngest to the car quite roughly then came back to shout at me. He said he didn't need managing through a doorway.

DoreenLethal Wed 11-May-16 19:21:17

* the incident with our youngest happened when there were quite a few of us all going out together. In the doorway there had been someone putting shoes on so we couldn't get out. When she moved i said something like, "come on, are you going?" to my partner and he lost it. Dragged our youngest to the car quite roughly then came back to shout at me. He said he didn't need managing through a doorway.*

Yes. Abusive. Still.

ptumbi Wed 11-May-16 19:25:38

Abusive 1% of the time is still abusive, OP.

He is abusive.

nicenewdusters Wed 11-May-16 19:40:16

I would be scared to be around this man. He doesn't have the normal boundaries.

You were only one year into a relationship with him and he punched you in the face. So he chose to hit a woman, and someone he was supposedly in a loving relationship with.

He's now being verbally aggressive and physically rough in front of others, not just in your home where no one can see.

He's being physically rough towards and no doubt scaring a two year old child. This is being done in front of others.

You're the only adult he hits. He calls you unspeakable names, and it's all your fault.

You say you'd like to think there's another option other than to leave. If there is one I can't think of it. Unless ending up in A&E, or worse, is the alternative.

Hillfarmer Wed 11-May-16 20:11:22

Ok there are two options OP.

One is: Split up from this abusive man. (He is not 'a little bit abusive'. It's like being a 'little bit pregnant' - you either are or you aren't.)

Two is: 'Stay with this abusive man'.

There is no option 3 since he is an abusive man.

But let's see how this 'Stay' scenario would work....

It feels ridiculous even supposing this for you.

Ok so supposing you have the 'Come to Jesus' chat. You tell him that his recent behaviour is unacceptable. That his rough treatment of DS was unacceptable and that him verbally abusing you and humiliating you in front of family members was truly awful and unacceptable also.

Let us suppose that he puts his head in his hands and says, despairingly, 'Yes, I know you're right. I can't bear it that I treated you and DS so badly. I promised that I would never do that again the last time and now I have let you down again. I can't believe I did that. I love you so much, please tell me what I can do to make it right?'

Dilemma 1: What do you say to that? What can he do to make that right? He's made promises before. He's been on a perp programme before. What can he do? Assuming you can think of something... he will grasp that in both hands and say "Yes, yes, anything - I can see that I have been abusive to both you and the children, I will do [that thing] and I promise I will never abuse you again.
Please, please, please forgive me, you are the best thing in my life and I don't deserve you. You are my soulmate, we'll grow old together etc. etc.'

So you carry on. He reforms completely. He is perfect husband to all intents and purposes. But in the back of your mind you are always wary. You are wondering what will happen when DS hits 14 or 15 and starts being a totally unreasonable, totally normal adolescent. Do you fear for him? Do you shush him? Do you say 'don't go near your father' 'don't wind up your father' 'don't do anything teenager-y? And your behaviour will have changed forever. You won't know who you used to be because you self-censor and you self-monitor all the time.

There you go OP. Happy ever after.

The thing is... and I speak as someone who loved her abusive DH until I realised he actually hated me... is that you may love him, but he doesn't love you. Not love in the way that you or I or normal, reasonable people understand it. He doesn't respect you as an equal, you are to be bullied. It's open season on you. He exhibits hatred towards you, you can only conclude that, actually, he does hate you. He is not out of control, he does not have anger management issues. The fact that he chooses to bully only family members - mainly you for the time being - shows that he is totally in control and he chooses to bully you. He doesn't do this at work. He doesn't do this to his friends. He does this to you. There is only one decision here for you OP. I'm really sorry, but you've done this all before and you know really, that he has no respect for you to treat you so badly, no matter what comes out of his mouth.

And to be sure... he hasn't put his head in his hands and apologised completely. No, in fact, he has blamed YOU.

wotoodoo Wed 11-May-16 20:11:50

Omg you do realise your dc will think this is normal behaviour and will grow up treating their loved ones in the same way?

Your dh is their role model! You are condemning them to the same sort of relationship as you endure/tolerate/enjoy.

You have normalised being physically and verbally abused. You aren't going to leave him and you aren't going to be able to protect your dc.

You are happy that you and your dc live in a toxic and volatile environment and you don't want to change it.

You were kicked and punched and no doubt your dc will be too.

A stranger would have a police record if he had done that to you. Even if he had only done it once. It is a shame you haven't felt the need to protect your dc or yourself from a violent attacker or get it on record.

You say he did a perpetrator's course so perhaps he is known to the police.

Anyway, you are not ready to face the ugly reality of your situation because you love him and are worrried more about the practicalities than your dc's emotional and pyschological health.

When you are ready/wake up your protective tiger instinct will kick in and you will wonder what the hell you were doing poisoning your dc's childhood for so long.

Good luck op flowers

magoria Wed 11-May-16 20:13:26

He is a violent abusive man.

He managed to control it in order to get you back however now that he thinks you are under control again he has ramped it up.

He is now starting to be physically aggressive to your 2 year old child.

He has had his second chance.

There should be no further chances when he starts manhandling children.

Get rid.

You deserve better.

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