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Husband gets violent when our children scream or cry(219 Posts)
We have 2 children, DS is 18mths and DD is 6.5. Both have lovely sunny natures and would not be considered difficult children. I was always more in favour of having children (particularly the 2nd) than him but he is a great dad and does wonderful stuff with both of them that I would never think of. He has always struggled when they cry or particularly scream, it gets into his head, hurts his ears he says (he wears earplugs when putting DS to bed if he cries). He is also prone to depression now and then -on the one full day (ever) I left him minding both of them in March (Easter) while I was at work he was on the Samaritians website that evening and retreated into himself. Over the past few months there have been times when one or both DC is being difficult/crying/screaming and he has lost his rag. Not directly at them or me, but with anger directed at objects. Last year when he had both of them for a few hours one morning they both did something to annoy him and he smashed a fruit bowl and some mugs onto the floor - my daughter still talks about this. At Easter this year when he had that bad patch he nearly put his fist through a wall and nearly broke the kitchen door he slammed it so hard so many times whenever they made too much noise. Yesterday morning he was doing the nursery and school run (I rarely ask him to do both but I had a deadline in work) and my son apparently screamed for half an hour after I left for work, DD then yelled at him when he picked her up from school later on (she was exhausted after her school trip) and that evening DS screamed at DD when she took at toy off him in the garden - at which point DH took a shovel and bashed it against a wall very hard a number of times, partly smashing the chalkboard on it. He then stormed off without a word. DS and DD stood in the garden watching, DD gave DS a hug while DS just stood watching and then put his finger to his lips in a sssh motion. Obviously that was a bad day but it scared them. His anger is never directed at us, just at objects. He is not one for talking about it afterwards, besides, I don't know what to say as I feel it is my fault for putting us in this situation, he could happily have not had children. Is this reasonable behaviour? Do I just weather the storm and hope it will pass when they are a little older (he was not like this before we had kids)? Does he need help? He is scaring DD and I am worried what kind of impression it gives to both of them if they remember this when they are older.
This is, I’m afraid to say OP, a form of child abuse. You need to ask your husband to leave, seek therapy, and consider carefully whether he can return to the home in future.
Putting aside how scary that must be its clear your DH is having an extreme stress reaction to the noise and there must be a reason for that which he needs help to address and coping strategies. I feel for him. He needs some help and quickly.
I am so sorry OP but this is a form of domestic violence. Violence even against objects is not acceptable and is a known precursor to violence against people. It's extremely intimidating and frightening for children which is why this is classed as a form of abuse.
Would you say that he is controlling or displays any behaviours on the emotional/verbal abuse scale?
How does he feel about his outbursts? Does he feel they are justified, normal? Or is he embarrassed or upset or frustrated with himself? It sounds like he just refuses to acknowledge them at all from what you've said, which probably means that he is unwilling to accept that it is a problem.
It is not your fault and it is absolutely not reasonable behaviour.
What are you thinking to do? "Weathering the storm" is unfortunately not a fair or realistic option
I'm surprised you haven't left him already OP.
It's child abuse, and it's going to scar your kids a lot. My Dad was never violent towards us or my mum but if we got on his nerves he would punch things or shout or bang things.
As a result I get absolutely terrified when people shout and have panic attacks if I'm ever arguing badly with someone.
Your children will remember all this and it will fuck them up, plain and simple.
I don't think not knowing how to cope with a stess trigger is being willfully abuse, but most will. If I could urge you to ignore that knee jerk reaction and look first and solving this as a couple - he gets the help. You support.
He needs to leave. If he can address the issue then there may be a place for him back at home. Protect your children. They deserve better than to see this as a normal relationship. It isn't.
I have personal experience of this.
It did progress to violence, which got worse and worse, eventually extending to people outside the family.
The children will remember this and will be damaged by it. Are already being damaged by it.
DS and DD stood in the garden watching, DD gave DS a hug while DS just stood watching and then put his finger to his lips in a sssh motion.
This is really upsetting to read. Your children are being damaged by your abusive husband.
Interesting how noise only bothers him when it's his children making it. His own temper, his own mouse smashing shit up must be considerable but he tolerates it amazingly, doesn't he?
This is domestic violence. That is what you are subjecting your kids to by talking about "weathering the storm".
It's pretty disgusting that you describe him as a great Dad tbh.
This is really frightening for your children and it isn't a healthy or safe environment for them to grow up in. TheSheepofWallSt is right. He needs to leave, fix his inability to parent safely and then you two need to decide on if he can return.
Maybe he has hyperacusis. That might explain, but does NOT excuse, his extreme stress reaction to noise. Presumably clanging a spade off a chalkboard also makes a lot of noise.
I would give him an ultimatum: he seek help for his sensitive hearing via audiology (they can often do desensitisation, though he may have to pay privately or travel) or he leaves until he has controlled his emotional regulation response better.
Small children do make noise, that is normal. Daddies do not throw items, damage walls and walk away in response. His behaviour is completely unacceptable and he must know it. If he frightens your children into silence then they have been abused.
The longer you stay the more you reinforce that his behaviour is acceptable.
Your children do not need to grow up around this. I’ve had anger issues previously and a lot of it was learned behaviour from a similar issue in childhood.
It's emotional abuse (your DH is essentially demonstrating with objects what he wants to do to your kids) and he needs to leave the family home. This isn't remotely normal or acceptable and your kids will be damaged by it.
This is horrendous. Please get your children away, it's a matter of time before he's violent with them.
Also just read that you feel like it’s your fault ... for having children.
That’s pretty fucked up too.
While I can't blame him (I find the noise maddening too) he Reay can't be around the children like this. It isn't good for anyone. I would suggest you stop leaving him alone with them. Either hire a nanny or be there yourself.
You know you need to live separately from this man, don't you, OP? And your children should only see him if you or another responsible adult are present.
It sounds incredibly stressful for everyone. He is abusing all of you with this behaviour and needs to move out now.
I have a post on here where I can track back and detail the damage this kind of behaviour has done to my DD, who struggles to articulate her own emotions now. Violence, Screaming and shouting (in the extreme) still now as a teenager and I believe my part in it was exposing her to this type of behaviour in her father and not addressing it quickly enough or knowing how to manage it.
It escalated into his anger at me for not controlling the children to his adequate expectations, being ‘too soft’ when they cried and I comforted them, NEVER comforting them, blocking me trying to use tried and tested behavioural techniques on them and anger at me leaving them with him - I would get a detailed report on my return and he would expect me to tell them off. And fundamentally, no remorse from him or a willingness to understand where I was coming from. The house was angry and chaotic, kids knowing what they could and couldn’t say or do tiptoeing around him afraid of an outburst. When he would go to work they would both play me up horribly and still now to this day DD1 is displaying acting out behaviour usually about him but to me. So I have to manage all of it
DD2 by the way will not visit him at all anymore as she thinks he is ‘a vile angry controlling man’
He needs to move out of their safe environment and get himself some urgent help. If he won’t, then he should not be left with them and you need to reconsider your marriage
Racecare, hire a nanny? To prevent their own father terrifying them?
Either his 'need' to smash/punch things is so overwhelming that you and your children aren't safe; or he can control what he's doing, and chooses to frighten you all anyway. I don't know if he needs to leave in order to properly address his behaviour, but he certainly needs to leave if he won't.
He is being extremely unreasonable and this is absolutely, categorically not your fault. I grew up with a man like this, it's fucking poisonous.
I agree that this is abuse and is damaging your children. If it was just the two of you, you would have more options in terms of supporting him and working through his issues.
As things are, your number 1 priority must be to protect your children and keep them safe.
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