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So much aggression :-((35 Posts)
Our youngest DD aged 3 woke us crying at 5am this morning. DH woke first as he often does due to being a light sleeper and went to her. He picked her up and brought her in our room. She was clearly having a nightmare as she was still crying and squirming/kicking to get away from him.
He shouted "I don't fucking think so, you're not running away from me at this time of the night" aggressively in her face. I kept saying "please give her to me she's still dreaming" but he continued trying to hold her whilst shouting at her as if she was being naughty and then threw her on the bed swearing when she didn't immediately calm down for him. He shouted and swore at me and her some more and called her a psycho. He only left because I said her pull up was leaking and begged him to get a new one. It hadn't - I lied to get him away from us and diffuse the situation. DD wasn't hurt and only properly woke up when I started cuddling her. She told me a dinosaur was trying to eat her.
When he came back up I gave him his pillow and told him to sleep in the spare room as he was being aggressive and I needed to comfort DD. He continued to shout at me even from the spare room saying things like "this isn't over I'm going to be having words with you tomorrow about this". I ended up going to him and calmly saying "Yes we will speak about this tomorrow, I don't understand how your reaction to our DDs nightmare is anger and aggression. You have no empathy." He claimed that he had plenty until she started kicking him and trying to get away and that she was going to wake our eldest DD. He swore at me again because I didn't get up first (heavy sleeper) and said he was sick of always "getting into trouble, why is he the bad one?- it's always us 3 against him." By us 3 he means DD aged 3, DD aged 4 and me.
The above comment refers to the fact that I do step in if I feel he is being unnecessarily aggressive in dealing with bad behaviour and he regularly accuses me of undermining him.
I told him that I hoped he was ashamed of his behaviour in the morning. He continued arguing with me so I just said I was going to go and cuddle DD and left. At no point did I shout or swear.
I've been awake since 5am feeling so angry and upset. DD is happily snoring next to me and won't remember but that's not the point. This isn't the first time he has become aggressive during the night due to being woken up. Yes it's annoying to get woken up but it's parenting. If I could make myself a lighter sleeper and wake first every time to avoid this ever happening I would.
To avoid drip feeding - He has depression and has had counselling, anger management twice and has been taking antidepressants. He weaned himself off his meds with doctor supervision 2 weeks ago and has had a very short fuse since then. I appreciate things are difficult and unsettled for him at the moment but what he did this morning is not ok. It's also not the first time. If he is woken during the night he will often react badly.
I'm not really sure what I want from this post other than to not feel so alone with all of this. I feel like the burden of keeping everything together falls on my shoulders and it's exhausting
Your poor children, this is a terrible environment you are keeping them in. Will you leave for their sake?
Your Poor dd
I think he needs more help tbh before someone gets hurt
What on earth would have happened if you hadn't been there ?
Depression isn't an excuse for behaving this way. Had he ever been violent before? Does he often shout and swear at you and your children?
What you have described doesn't sound like a healthy environment for any of you. Perhaps he wasn't ready to stop the antidepressants.
Have you considered staying somewhere else for awhile?
Your 'D' H has just abused your little 3 year old daughter. How terrifying for the child. Dinosaurs are actually the least of her problems. I could not spend one minute longer with any person who treated my child like that. And this is in front of you, how do you feel leaving your children alone with him?
Ball's in your court. Every child has the right to feel safe, in the middle of her terror she was only safe because you intervened
How awful My DP is a grumpy twat sometimes when woken in the night and a few times he's sworn at me or the situation, but he would never speak to his child in that way. I honestly couldn't be with someone who treated my children in that manner - middle of the night or not.
My dad was a very angry man and I used to end up tiptoeing around afraid of him, it really screwed up my childhood and abilities to be assertive and confident in my decision
making as I was always so afraid of upsetting people. I can completely empathise with your children here as although your DD wasn't awake enough to understand, one day she will be, and it'll start the pattern of her being too afraid to ask Daddy for help.
I'd suggest he goes back to his GP if you've seen such a marked difference since he came off his antidepressants.
I also think you have to look closely at your relationship and see what you and your dc get out if it. I'd be concerned about leaving him alone with your children after this. It is hard to be woken up and have to deal with issues but as a parent you expect it and you don't get angry. You sound like you handled it really well though.
He needs to leave this morning ... I think you already know this deep down.
He is not safe to be around your children.
It sounds as if he has a history of aggression which is now escalating to the point that the children are at risk.
Protect your family, little children shouldn't have to deal with this.
Do you have anyone in RL to support you?
This sounds awful! A really frightening and damaging environment for you and - especially - your children.
Would it be possible for you to get away, even if just for a short time, to give yourself a bit of thinking and breathing space? Stay with relatives for a few days?
Take the children with you, obviously.
This doesn’t sound like a safe environment for your children, does he recognise he has a problem?
I have to get the kids to school and preschool so can't mumsnet until mid morning. I have read the replies thank you and I will have a think.
I would be seriously concerned about living with someone I can't trust with my children.
Have you thought about asking him for a trial separation? It might wake him up and make him realise what he would be losing if he doesn't sort this out.
I spent my entire childhood petrified of my father and it's made me lack confidence and be very insular as an adult.
From what you've written it doesn't seem you can trust him not to hurt the children at some point. On top of that, regardless of physically hurting the children being so angry and shouting at them will make them really scared and force them to adjust their behaviour as a coping mechanism. That is ultimately harmful too. They will experience an inconsistent unpredictable relationship with their dad.
How does DH feel today about what happened. Are you with him because of anything particular anymore? Sadly it seems unlikely that's he will change quickly enough for the children if he ultimately sees himself as this victim who is picked on by the 3 of you.
He shouted in her face and threw her on the bed?
That would be enough to make me want to leave him. He sounds like a ticking time bomb OP.
Every week I read about a woman being killed by her violent partner, sometimes children are involved too. I don’t want that to be you or your children.
Do something now before it’s too late.
DD is happily snoring next to me and won't remember
Why do people assume small children won't remember things like this? Of course they do. I can remember awful things that happened to me when I was tiny, and so can the people I've spoken to who had traumatic or abusive childhoods.
This is a horrible way for your children to grow up. Get rid of him, and do it soon.
It's especially worrying that, even in the cold light of day, he considers his aggression to be justified. He's dangerous.
Hey Op. This sounds horrible and I'm so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. Before you mentioned your husband's history of depression I was already wondering if there were underlying mental health issues so I wasn't surprised when you described his problems.
I'm in no way condoning his behaviour but, having lived with someone with mental health problems for a long time I think I have some understanding of what you are going through. My own husband suffers from depression which is sometimes severe. He's never exhibited the behaviour you describe but he has sometimes shouted at our children and lost the rag with both them and me when I have felt it is unjustified. I've never been afraid of him physically, I don't believe he would hurt me or the children but his behaviour is sometimes very difficult.
Why do I stay? Because 99% of the time he is a wonderful husband and an amazing Dad who in many ways is a better parent than I am. My kids adore him and would devastated to to loose him. He has actually been the stay at home parent for much of their lives.
I don't know your situation but perhaps it is similar and most of the time your husband is a wonderful man. I know that the period coming on or off anti-depressants can be incredibly destabilizing in terms of mood. Perhaps your husband wasn't ready to come off or he needs more support while he does. I'm in no way condoning violence or aggression - I suppose I just wanted to say that I do understand why you might stay with someone when everyone on the internet is telling you to leave because you can never have a complete view of someone's life from the two dimensional representation we see online.
From a practical point of view - my husband doesn't cope well with lack of sleep - he an also be grumpy when woken - again not to this extent- but during his really down times I would not have allowed him to be responsible for night time wakings because I wouldn't have trusted him to behave sympathetically. If you are staying I think you need to sit down and discuss his behaviour - he should be feeling remorse by now. Explain that it's not acceptable and agree that in future he will wake you to deal with nocturnal wakenings. As the partner of a heavy sleeper I must admit it is immensely frustrating always being the one to get up - this in no way justifies his behaviour - I'm just acknowledging how hard it is being up in the night while your partner slumbers away.
Anyway - I just wanted to give you some words of support from someone who has experienced some of what you have and to acknowledge that it's not always as black and white as it might seem. I hope you are OK and have some real life support too xx
He's clearly not coping and needs to go back on the meds, tell,him if he doesn't you'll LTB as your kids are being abused by him.
My mother was/is very much like this. No empathy or warmth even in the nighttime. The upshot is we all - including my lovely father - spent almost 40 years tiptoeing around her, trying not to anger her. It doesn't work. You'll never get it 'right' all the time. It can really effect children's view on their right to speak up, be heard, have their own opinion because they've learned that the most important thing in life is not to anger someone.
He is still in bed at the moment as he's working a late shift. I left him to lie in so that I could get the kids off to school/preschool with no drama.
Depression isn't an excuse at all but during times when it isn't under control he is quick to anger. When it is controlled he is more level and doesn't have these outbursts. I shouldn't have to second guess this though and tip toe around him but I do. He does admit he has a problem but wanted to try coming off the meds after a period of stability and calm and due to pressure from his doctor. I have been supportive but felt that it was too soon. Does anyone know how long is takes to level out after coming off antidepressants?
I agree that his behaviour was abusive towards DD and also me. Overall he is very hands on, we have a good close relationship and our DDs love him very much which makes it worse when he behaves in an unpredictable manner because it must confuse them. I could list all his wonderful points and there are many but this thread is not about that and it doesn't excuse this.
To the PP thay pointed out that young children do remember these things I agree. They may not remember details but will remember the feelings and the atmosphere. However on this occasions she was actually still asleep thankfully so probably won't and this morning said the dinosaur tried to eat her but then kissed and cuddled her. She seemed happy and carefree this morning.
When he threw her on the bed he did it from sitting and not standing. I'm not minimising it as it's still physically abusive. I just don't want people imagining even worse than it was, even though it's all still really bad
I am noting all the LTB replies. It's probably what I would advise but it's not so black and white when there are treatable MH issues involved. I am not ruling it out though. When he wakes I am going to try to discuss it calmly. I guess it depends on if he is horrified by his behaviour or not. Either way I'm going to tell him to go somewhere else for a few nights and make a Drs appointment. My number one priority is my DDs physical and emotional wellbeing.
Moo - yes my DH is similar and that's why I have supported him through MH issues. Thank you for your kind words and support.
kids do remember and "know" these things, even if it is subconsciously.
The big dinosaur going to eat her? the scary monster under her bed? it's her dad
One of DS friends has a dad like this, also depressed and on and off ends. The mum never left him, she tries to eb understanding and supportive of her DH whilst trying to shield her DS from his anger and aggression.
The boy is 14 now and has lots of nervous tics, anxiety and anger issues of his own. A lovely boy underneath it all and I feel sorry for him.
It is hugely damaging to kids to live with a parent like this IMO.
Don't know what the solution is, as in divorce the aggressive parent then would get to see the child on his own and you would not be there to monitor/calm things down.
Impossible situation to be in and I don't envy you.
I would NOT stay calm though, and tell DH how damaging his behaviour is and that he's not fit to be a parent.
I'm sorry you are going through this. However it is the same when there are treatable mental health problems involved when it comes to physical and emotional abuse of a child, which this is. Nearly every parent who abuses their child has a problem- thats why they are abusive. You need to protect your child- I know its hard when you are in it but imagine your reaction if you were told a friends' partner has shouted sworn and thrown about their child when they were having a nightmare and needed their parent to be there for them?
But if his MH makes him a danger to be around, then he just cannot be around the kids. If/when he gets proper treatment and is stable for a significant period of time, then he can re-integrate into the family.
If he had a highly contagious disease he would be isolated from the kids until it was safe to be around him. Why would you treat this any differently? He's not under control, so he needs to be kept away from young children.
btw - does he have these outbursts towards other people? or is it just you & the kids? because that implies that he is choosing to let himself act like this to a certain extent.
Our DD has terrible nightmares and I can honestly say I’d tell DP to leave after one instance of what you describe (he would never, ever do that).
I have many and varied MH issues, severe anxiety and PTSD among them and I would never use them as an excuse/reason to by physically or verbally abusive to my children.
Put bluntly, the safest place in the whole world for a child should be tucked up in their bed. When they have a nightmare or become distressed in the night they should be guaranteed gentle comforting and cuddles, not a great big ball of aggression unable/unwilling to control his temper and take it out on a 3 yo instead. You are minimising. It’s all very well calmly telling him it’s not on, but it hasn’t changed his behaviour has it? Protect your kids OP, that’s the bottom line, you have got to protect your kids. And don’t say he’s a good dad, because good dads don’t act like your DH.
He has had anger management twice
It failed spectacularly didn't it?
How many times does he have to lose it?
MH or not this is not the environment DC should be brought up in.
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