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Need another perspective on dh's behaviour(147 Posts)
I have NC for this as I think some people in RL know my nickname. But not trolling - been around since the days of Cod and her typos, up until the nextdoor neighbour who doesn't like the birds ruining his piano playing. I feel a bit scared posting here, but at the moment I need other perspectives as I feel like my brain is exploding and going back and forth. To give a bit of background, I take ADs on a fairly mild dose but feel a bit out of control emotionally at the moment, so I don't know what to think and am feeling all sorts of different things. 4 incidents in the last week have shaken me somewhat regarding dh. I will try and tell them as factually as possible.
1. Last Sunday was ds1's birthday (11). He had a football party at a sports' centre, run by them. Dh joined in. The first game was some challenge where you took other players on one-to-one and the loser had to sit out. Anyway, so it was dh and another kid at the end - this kid is really good. I missed most of the game as I was fetching someone from the station but came in at the end, and saw dh taking on this kid at football. Clearly as an adult taking on an 10/11 year old he won, therefore winning the whole game.
2. Later the same evening I was upstairs, heard ds2 (8) scream and cry. I ran downstairs. Dh was hovering about somewhere but not doing anything. I thought ds had fallen off the sofa onto the tiled floor. He was really, really crying, lying on the floor. I scooped him up, cuddled him, asked what happened. Found out dh had kicked him. Then found out ds2 had kicked him in the balls just before that. After crying for a bit he was fine and there was no more pain after that, or any bruising.
3. We were in McD's on Sat night. Just me, dh and ds1 (other dc with my parents). There were 2 kids aged around 12/13 in there, clearly nowhere else to go, no food or anything. Ds1, bless him, was offered a helium balloon and took it. These kids were asking staff for a balloon but the staff wouldn't give one. They started hassling ds for his balloon, and he was torn about giving it to them, but I said don't give it as they just want to use the helium. They kept hassling. We were having a bit of banter as the boy said he wanted it for his 2yo sister and I said he'd have to learn to lie better than that! It was all good natured, but he was annoying. Dh was sitting with his back to them, I was facing them next to ds. Then they called me Michelle. (Not my name). Dh turned around and was quite aggressive to them out of the blue (he had not said a word till then). Then the boy said, "What country are you from?" (Dh is not white). Dh got really aggressive then. He did not hit him, but he was really trying to intimidate him and shouted at him to stop being so rude and to act his age etc. The kids got thrown out of McDs. I was really upset with dh. I could understand him reacting that way if it was a huge, racist skinhead bloke, but this were kids. I think to be honest, it just triggered everything from the Sunday. I was so angry with him I had to leave McDonalds. (I bumped into the kids later in Lidl and they apologised, but dh has still not. I told him they apologised to me).
4. Yesterday ds2 and dh again 'playfighting'. They do it a fair bit. Ds2 started shouting 'Mum! Mum' - I said, If you want Dad to stop then tell him to stop. He did not tell Dad to stop. Next thing I heard a bang and then nothing. I was really worried, ran downstairs. Ds once again is crumpled on the tiled floor, doing 'quiet crying' (this scares me more than screaming). Dh is sat on the sofa. I asked what happend. Dh said he fell off the sofa. I was shouting at him, "Why aren't you doing anything then?". I ran to get ice. Did the usual cuddling. Ds went upstairs but he did not really want to engage with me, was crying in a corner. Had a chat with him later and he said Dad pushed him off the sofa onto the floor after he knocked Dad's glasses off. I was absolutely fuming and lost it with dh. Again, ds2 was fine and no pain later on so he is seemingly overreacting but it is very scary at the time. He was also fine with dh this morning and even later in the evening.
Is this just messing about gone wrong? It's dh's reactions which have got me. If I hurt my child by accident I would rush to help. If I had lost my temper, I may be too angry to do anything or flooded with guilt. The weird thing is that ds2 is dh's favourite (he's extremely clever and very sporty, just v talented all round) and we have had many talks about him not 'favouritising' ds2. Dh is not English and comes from a family where children were hit. I have not spoken to dh since last night. I told him to get out of the house straight afterwards (he didn't) and was shouting at him. I feel so upset just remembering it all and I genuinely don't know what to do. I did not speak to Dh about last Sunday. I was quite ill at the beginning of the week, and tend to go to bed quite soon after he gets in from work anyway, and by Thursday which was the first opportunity we had to talk, I had either forgotten or blocked it out of my head. I have not dh's perspective on any of this, but equally he has not spoken to me.
Please advise. I will try and answer questions as best as I can.
Your poor poor DS!
Please don't let him have to stay in this awful environment.
If a stranger had done something similar to your DS what would your reaction be?
Don't let him keep physically abusing your son.
I can imagine you put up with some shit from him too!?
You probably minimise and make excuses for it though?
You are not overacting.
Your DH has begun to be abusive.
His children are being bruised as a result.
You need to get your kids away from him.
If a stranger did this, I'd assume you'd call the police? The fact that their Dad is doing it makes this space much worse.
God. This is horrendous. You are not overreacting, you must protect your DS.
No, there were no bruises SmallBee, despite all the crying. It hasn't happened to the other 2.
As ^^, this is physical abuse. The fact that he is doing this so frequently means something is very wrong. If it continues, he will hurt the DC much more seriously.
You need to report it, and you need him to leave. Today.
It's that scary calm rage in this situation. It's like DS (or other boys) seem to flip his switch and because he's an adult, he knows he can't get away with something 'obvious' as you know, a punch, so he is hurting him and making it look like an accident then showing no emotion because DS will have 'deserved it'
Honestly men like him scare the crap out of me (can you tell my dad was one of them?)
How can I protect ds? If I tell my parents or even friends I think they will think it is not great behaviour but not that bad either. Can I insist Dh goes to the GP?
This doesn't sound good. The McD's stuff is not really worrying in my opinion but the two assaults on your son are terrible assuming I'm understanding your stories correctly.
You need to protect your son both from being assaulted by his father and from learning that this is how you treat children.
I see why you feel like you are confused because this is so explainable 'they were playing' but his reaction is the chilling part. Ask him outright. He will likely tell you DS is a wimp who needs to be toughened up or similar
How sure are you that it hasn't happened to the other two? Because you need to be Very sure.
I am very sure about the other two. Both these incidents have been 'playfighting' going out of control. The others don't do this with him, and I am around all the time, so if it happened they would definitely come running to me.
I don't think he will say Ds is a wimp. I think he will say DS did something (kick in balls/ glasses) and he knee-jerked reactioned both times. He will say he is very sorry and it won't happen again. I agree that the reaction is the chilling bit for me.
I think at the very least it's time to ban play fighting. Your little boy is getting hurt by an adult. You have a duty to out an end to it.
This is going to get very very bad when the kids are teens and start becoming defiant.
I don't really know the answer. Well I think one of them is absolutely not physical play fighting. It ends badly and DH cannot be responsible adult if he gets hurt, so he must not get into play fights at all.
Is this a new thing op? Have there ever been incidents like this before?
Is DS1 aware that his DS2 is his father's favourite?. My guess is he does and his father's favouritism will ruin his relationship with DS2 ultimately.
Why has that been at all tolerated for so long?.
Your DH came from a family of origin in which children were hit; he is simply repeating what he himself learnt as a child. Its wrong on all levels and H's quiet rage is abusive in nature.
Were you surprised at his refusal to leave the house afterwards?. Its a pity you did not call the police then. Such men like your H do not go at all easily. I also think the reason why you are on ADs currently is your DH; if he did go (and you will need to employ legal means to get him out of your lives) your own lives will be a lot calmer as a result.
You need to get your children well away from your H; is this really what you want to be teaching them too about relationships?.
HalfShell, there was an incident in Feb, where he hit both the boys. A couple of slaps each on the leg/ bottom. They were both behaving appallingly, and he'd just been on the phone for 2 hours trying to sort out 2 grand which had been stolen from our bank account. I was really upset that time too, and couldn't speak to him for about a week, but we talked about it. It's not the actual incident itself (although not great), it's the really aggressive way that it happens. He looks very scary. It's been ok till now.
When was the last time your H actually had a conversation with you?.
Re your comments in quotemarks:-
"How can I protect ds?"
By keeping your children well apart from their dad.
"If I tell my parents or even friends I think they will think it is not great behaviour but not that bad either".
You think they would think that of your H, do these people have poor boundaries as well?
"Can I insist Dh goes to the GP?"
For what reason?. He would not go anyway and he'd laugh at you. You want him to have something like anger management?. Your DH can manage to control himself around adults, its children he is getting angry with. That in itself is not an anger management issue. The fact as well your H is not English either is irrelevant; abusive people are found in all cultures and creeds.
I would suggest you sit your DH down and have a very frank, honest conversation with him. Tell him how you feel, tell him you believe he is abusing your son, and tell him it has to stop.
Tell him it is unacceptable and that you have very serious concerns about your relationship because of his behaviour. Try to make him understand just how badly he is behaving.
I think there are signs here you should not ignore:
1: Ban the play fighting and tell your DH why
2: Express your concern's with your DH - seriously
3: Tell your DS that if he ever needs to tell you anything you will believe him, ask him if he is frightened of his father
It would really worry me if my child was crying and the person who did it wasn't concerned for them
All these incidents you cite are from a man who can and does all too easily loose all semblance of self control around his children. There is no excuse for his actions nor justification.
Would you want your boys as adults to do the same behaviours to their own children?. No?. Just what are they learning about relationships from the two of you here?.
I think somewhere inside ds1 feels the favouritism, although it's not there all the time. . Dh does make it much better at times we have talked about it. I have told him exactly what you said, Attila. Dh does try and he really made ds1 feel very special over his birthday and responds quickly when I point it out. I am very sensitive to it, and point it out v quickly. Also ds2 has become quite arrogant and annoying in the past year, which is possibly helping the favouritism balance out.
I did not have the emotional capacity to feel surprise that he did not leave. There were way stronger emotions in there - I can only describe myself as furious. We all went upstairs and he stayed down. I couldn't call the police - I still don't even know if ds fell off the sofa or was pushed or thought he was pushed, but fell. The police would have really upset all the children and I can't imagine what kind of week we'd be having right now.
I most certainly would not sit down and tell him he is abusing and has to stop! That is such dangerous advice.
Call Women's Aid and/or NSPCC and take their advice. And protect yourselves and your children from this monster of a man.
Thank you Stew and Twitter, those comments are very helpful.
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