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DH gets very angry. Looking for advice.(144 Posts)
Regular but NC for this one as I think DH knows my username.
I'm in a bit of a mess, and increasingly upset re DH's anger. We've been together 15 years, married for eight of those.
He's always had angry tendencies, but they've become worse in recent years and I don't know how to cope with it. Now it's got to the point where he's regularly blazing at me in front of the children and I need some practical advice in how to tackle it.
Years ago, when he got in one of his rages, it would upset me. I'd cry and beg his forgiveness. He could hold a grudge for days, and it would be like walking on eggshells til he deigned to be kind again. Now, I'm not so soft. I tend to tell him he needs to calm down, and calmly walk away, but I feel shit inside. I'm also worried about the kids hearing their dad speak to me the way he does. He doesn't swear, much, but he calls me an "absolute idiot", a "moron", "idiotic", "stupid"...all that stuff. Says its my fault for driving him to it.
On holiday a couple of weeks ago, I slmost took the kids and drove home because it was so bad. I remembered that last year's holiday had been the same, and it made me so sad.
I love him. We have so much in common. He's a great dad. But he often treats me appallingly.
Tonight, the rage (full blown shouting, in a shop, in front of the kids, followed by 2 hrs of silent treatment) was brought on because I took us to collect an order from a shop but it wasn't ready. I'd been told it was, but he was furious with me for not double checking. When I told him not to be so angry and it wasn't such a big deal, he shouted that it was all my fault, I was turning it on him, etc etc.
Other recent examples of his full-blown rages include an occasion when we were playing sport together and I asked the time. That caused him to scream that I wasn't taking it seriously, and to end the session.
On holiday, DS (6) had an accident. He was ok, just cuts and bruises. DH screamed at me "this is all on you" - said I hadn't been watching him properly, didn't care for the kids, was a bad mum.
On another occasion recently he didn't speak to me for a full say because I was 10 minutes late home.
There are numerous examples. Every conversation is the same though. He rants, he raves, over minor things, but tells me it's all my fault for driving him to it.
I want things to get better, but I don't know how.
You can’t live your whole life trying to keep the peace and appease him all the time. <a href="https://www.ezeehow.com/how-to-build-trust-in-a-relationship/"> Building Trust</a> is not possible I this case...
OP - I feel for you and your children.
A very good friend of mine left her angry controlling husband earlier this summer.
The man cannot hold a job down (he has lost 3 jobs in the past 18 months because of angry outbursts at colleagues) fell out with neighbours regularly, got kicked out the local gym, is blacklisted by local dog walkers and unsurprisingly, has no friends.
The final straw for her? After an enormous row with her sister , he point blank refused to accept responsibility and turned it into her fault. Emotional abuse .
It's early days for her : but almost 3 months on and I see a stronger woman emerging.
I wish you well. Men like this do not change!
How are you doing, OP? Please update, I really hope you’re ok x
Hi OP you are doing the right think - however please speak to woman’s aid for a safety plan.
Has he ever threatened to kill you or harm you? Has he hit you?
The most dangerous part is when they know a relationship is ending.
Do end it but please seek advice and do it safely for yourself and your children.
I experienced this. Then one morning, teens of years in, he shouted seperately at both DC and me before 8am on a Sunday morning, and I thought, that's IT! NO MORE!
Four months later after counselling (he only went a handful of times, said it was a waste of time) I filed for divorce. Was sad and scared to death.
Now me & DC live in a quiet house full of love.
Please do this for them. It's doable. You can have a quieter, lighter life, you know.
He is not necessarily 'on the spectrum'.
Some men just have a massively overgrown sense of entitlement and deep down they don't really like or respect women that much. Or a personality disorder.
I want things to get better, but I don't know how.
Here is how:
Stop hoping things will get better.
Stop thinking there is some special formula you haven't hit upon yet that will help him see the light. There is none.
Optimism isn't your friend here - in fact it is toxic, your worst enemy.
Stop thinking in terms of 'we' and 'us'.
It's 'me' and 'I' and 'me and the children' from now on.
DO NOT go to counseling with this man. No counselor worth their salt would take the two of you on as a couple anyway, given the background.
Call Women's Aid 0808 2000 247.
www.womensaid.org.uk/about-us/contact/ Other contact info.
Leave your name and number and a time that is good for them to call you.
Ask for support in ending your marriage to an angry, abusive narcissist.
Give details of your financial situation - who owns the house, who can claim to be the primary carer for the children. Ask if there are any solicitors locally who have experience dealing with divorce and child custody in abusive relationships.
Get counseling for yourself.
Buy and read Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.
Get your children into therapy.
Play therapy, art therapy, talk therapy. Whatever Women's Aid recommends.
Buy and read When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse
Another book you might like to take a look at.
Don't be overwhelmed by the thought of all the rehab that needs to be done.
It can all be accomplished - reach out for professional help for both you and your children, and talk to friends. Be prepared to lose a few but also to gain a few and to find some friendships becoming much stronger.
Sounds like he's on the spectrum and not been taught coping strategies for handling his anger.
Doesn't excuse his behaviour.
Contact a local centre and ask them for advice and encourage him to get assessed.
Maybe his parents have memories of how they handled his teenage tantrums and it might give insight into how to handle it from there.
He is vile and abusive and a shit parent to do any of this.
Plan to get rid of
He is simply a bit of a failure and he knows it OP, the only bit of power he therefore has is ‘making you jump through hoops’ . You are in a good position, don’t put up with this shit, the issues are all his, , I say this as someone not in a dissimilar situation (except with a workaholic) but a more complicated thing to get out of.
See, he blames you. He blames prospective employers. Everyone but himself. He resents you earning when he is not. He says you bore him and that you are intellectually inferior.
What does all this tell you?
He needs to drop off whatever is overqualifying him on his cv, and APPLY FOR WORK. UK currently has historically low unemployment.
I am hearing entitled and making excuses, sorry OP, he sounds like a right twat.
If he went in at a lower level and worked his way up ... but it sounds as though he considers that 'beneath him'. Which would fit into his other behaviour, and considering you beneath him intellectually.
He sounds awful and funnily enough, you leaving him is probably the shock he needs to grow up. But do you know what would be the saddest thing about all this?
Finding out after a month how relaxed your children are with his abuse not around.
You do not need counselling with this man, he will never change.
You are the sole earner and have been for 15 years? I can't understand this, has he never had a job?
Also, people saying he may feel emasculated - WTAF? Why do women excuse men's abuse to other women with crap like this. It does not matter how badly he feels, he has no right to take it out on his wife and family. If he did this to his neighbours he would be locked up, why is domestic abuse so tolerated by society?
OP, you need to make plans to leave as he will not. See a solicitor and get out asap. You seem very successful so please put your work head on and manage your exit. You need to do this for your children. they should not be subjected to this abuse.
OP, you've told him which is stage one.
Now start making the plan to get him out for good.
You can be sad later.
Go see a solicitor and tell them the absolute truth.
Your family are being terrorised and you need the abuser out of your home.
You need to put your children's needs ahead of the abuser.
Yes, get counselling - for you. Not couples' counselling.
Why did he lose his last job btw?
And go and see a solicitor. Stop worrying about him and start worrying about you.
Well done on tell him OP.
But he doesn't think he has done anything wrong.
He believes it IS all your fault.
He believes his own bullshit.
The very next time he has an outburst you need to follow through.
He is a vile abuser and they don't change.
But I really hope something changes for you.
My FIL is a mean, angry man (and a bully) who has emotionally damaged all those close to him. When I saw him start on my DC I cut the visits and consequently, my now adult children have spent very little time with him. They can see clearly how he behaves and how awful he is. His own children hardly visit him either as he is so vile. OP please don't hang around wasting your time with him, letting him destroy you and your children. He is unlikely to change. Go now.
@Gorrisandhorace Nobody is suggesting him feeling emasculated is some kind of excuse for his behaviour.
But if he’s built up some kind of resentment towards the OP it could form part of narcissistic (abusive) behaviour. The need to put someone else down to make oneself feel better. To berate someone to a point where you weaken them and damage their confidence so you look like the strong one in the relationship and they look like the unstable one. Projecting what you see as your own failings onto your partner so you don’t have to deal with/ admit to them and so your partner thinks they are the one with the problems.
Whatever the reasons behind his abuse, there is no excuse for abuse.
You are right to give him a warning. His behaviour is unacceptable however sad he is feeling. You can’t change his behaviour, but you can tell him very legitimately what you will not accept in your life. That is fair isn’t it?
OP a few years ago I was in very similar circumstances with someone who would have explosive rage over small incidentss (no sulking though and afterwards would admit it was disproportionate), when I got to the point you did where I was ready to walk away he finally sought help. He is now on anti depressants and very apologetic for his former behaviour. He is able to analyse the difference and says that before, he had a knot of anxiety in his chest that never went. He is now very kind and loving and supportive. It did a lot of damage to our relationship and despite years of calm I am not sure I will regain 100% trust. I look for the signs and if it kicked off again I would be gone. I am on the fence about whether I should have called it a day back then. I look back and I think why didn’t I just walk away when it was bad, I was crazy to put up with it.
My advice to you would be work out how to separate now. Ideally write a list of reasons he has kicked off at you and record a few of his outbursts on your phone if you get a chance, they will be good for a playback when you or others doubt your decision. When you are no longer subjected to this behaviour you will realise just how very unacceptable it is and how wrong it is for your children to witness it,
He could choose to be grateful for your love and support, to recognise how much you're doing, and do all he can to make you feel loved, cherished and appreciated. Instead he is choosing to be unhappy and choosing to take it out on you.
You would be so much better off without him.
Best of luck OP.
Yes his situation is probably frustrating. No it is not the tiniest teeniest weeniest excuse to take it out on you. Very sad, but entirely because of him.
Start to make detailed plans in your head for how you will proceed, for if (when?) it starts again, so you don't hesitate . Start to get yourself used to the idea.
You can't live the rest of your life hoping he's happy because when he's unhappy he takes it out on you.
To find the conviction to follow through, you need a good solid plan of exactly what follow through would look like, including what pulls the trigger on it. Hopefully you will never have to go down that path as he sorts himself out.
What would your plan be?
Thanks, all. I'm ok. Things are difficult.
He definitely feels frustrated and emasculated by the fact that I'm the sole earner.
He's tried applying for numerous jobs and hasn't got anywhere, as usually told he's overqualified but lacking in experience. Is doing all he needs to do as regards gaining extra on-the-job training and work experience, but no luck thus far.
Hence he's unhappy in itself and takes it out on me.
I've told him his behaviour needs to change, or he's out. I'm not sure he thought I was serious, but have made it clear I am. Now I need to find the conviction to follow through.
I'm desperately sad.
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