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What do I do about dh's temper?

(376 Posts)
stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 09:48:43

I have changed my name here, so that dh does not find out that I am starting a thread about him.
Basically I live with a man with a terrible temper & it is getting to the stage where I am not sure that I want to be with him any more.
He has never hit me, but he kicks things, throws things, smashes things & generally scares me to death when he gets very angry.
I have 2 ds's aged 5 & 20 mths who are also seeing Daddy acting like this when angry & I know it is not good for them.
Last year we nearly seperated because it was getting so bad that I was dreading coming home from work, because I knew what I was coming home 2.
This was also shortly after he had got angry about ds1 shouting out in his bed, yelled at him & then on charging down stairs fell down the bottom steps, resulting in him bounding back up the stairs & kicking the wicker basket in ds's bedroom, which obviously terrified my poor ds.
Anyway, he swore he would change & for a while he did seem to calm down.
He works long hours & I am often stressed, as I work & then have to come home & deal with the boys (which I am not doing very well at the moment)
He is very house proud & if he ever finds a bean or something on the floor he goes mad.
Anyway, yesterday he actually returned home early for once (4pm) & I had a friend round with her young children who were playing with my ds & making a little mess as children do!
When they left, dh went mad about the state of the place.
He first started shouting out "for fu*k sake"
because he could not find one of the bin bag holders.
He then came in & discovered that a ball had fallen from the christmas tree & got really angry throwing the ball hard on the floor, resulting in it shattering to pieces.
He shouted "Get upstairs NOW" to the children & then started to throw all the presents around.
I followed the children upstairs & ds1 said " Daddy was not very nice to me then"
I spent ages crying & wandering what I should do after, but dh does not think he was wrong & said that if the ball was not on the floor & the house was not a mess it would not have happened.
I just don't know what to do for the best for my children.

milkybarkid Sat 18-Dec-04 10:05:09

I have been having trouble too stressedmummy. He left me a while back and I was worried about how I'll cope with two children close together, they'll only be about 16 months between them, one due in March, but I was much happier when heleft. Anyway he ahs just come back and is now physically violent and I think the best thing for the children is to be away from him. It may also be the best thing for you, you wnat to be able to enjoy your children and life in general. But obviously only you can decide and only you know how bad you feel. Can you try a temporary seperation and see how that feels?


ponybells Sat 18-Dec-04 10:09:22

So sorry you're going through this sm (not surprised you're stressed!). I don't have any experience of your situation but I really don't think this is an appropriate environment for you, and certainly not for your children. There have been a couple of other threads lately in a similar vein, I'll try and find them, if no-one beats me to it! From what others have said who know more than me about these situations, it sounds like it's a very small step from where your dh is to hurting either you or your children. Is there anywhere safe you can go? Because you don't sound safe where you are. You shouldn't be living in fear in your own home.

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 10:09:29

I know that this is not a healthy situation to be in & have often wished that I could walk out of the door when he gets like this, but I don't know where I would go.
Hugs to you milkybarkid. Glad you are feeling happier now.

tammyBEARinggifts Sat 18-Dec-04 10:14:45

He needs to realise that he IS in the wrong, and that his behaviour is unacceptable especially towards and in front of the children. I don't really know what to suggest as I have never been in the situation and it sounds very much like he wouldnt try to sort it out himself until he realises that it is wrong for him to act that way, and I presume that if you said anything to him, he would just say its not his fault, right? But i wanted to send you lots of hugs anyway xxx

cranberryjampot Sat 18-Dec-04 10:15:33

stressedmummy - my dh is almost exactly like yours (and I suspect a lot more MNers have/do suffer this too). Admittedly my dh's temper did seem to get worse following an accident at work but the final straw came when he threw a washing up bowl of plates etc down the kitchen and into the hall (cant remember the trigger for this one) all I know is I was glad I walked into the hall at the time cos the bowl was heading for our ds who just happened to be standing there. I pushed him into the lounge and it all landed at my feet. Dh said he didn't even see ds he was just so enraged. I rang the GP surgery in tears and begged them to see dh immediately. To my surprise dh actually agreed and came along like a naughty schoolboy. He has stopped kicking stuff and throwing things but still tries to be very dominating and controlling, questioning everything I do. He regularly threatens to leave and will say as much in front of the children.

I think your dh needs specialist help and would advise getting him to see his GP for referral onto a psychiatrist or similar. Has he always been like this?

ponybells Sat 18-Dec-04 10:15:35

here .

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 10:21:49

Yes he has always been like this when he gets angry.
He swears thet he would not actually hit me, but I am still petrified when he is in one of his tempers.
He had a very screwed up father, who ended up taking his own life.
I have told him that I am sure he has problems stemming from this but when I mentioned counselling or family therepy last year (I had counselling myself last year) he refused & said "I'm no fruitcake".

leglepartridge Sat 18-Dec-04 10:23:07

stressed mummy, this is awful. What a nightmare for you. You can't live like this and its just not on for the children to see you so upset, and their father being horrible to them. His smashing things is unacceptable, his shouting at them is unacceptable, you can't live your life treading on egg shells around him. We all get stressed and shout from time to time, but this is above and beyond the norm and its not fair on the kids. A. you have to make him understand what effect his behaviour is having B. if he won't listen you need to shock him into understanding and the only way you can do that is to leave or kick him out. What back up plan do you have, what support network??

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 10:31:10

He has just yelled at ds from his bed (he is not yet up) because ds knocked the safety gate down accidently as he could not get it open.
Looks like I'm in for another fun day.

feastofstevenmom Sat 18-Dec-04 10:41:31

no-one deserves to live like this, stressedmummy. if your DH insists on immaculate tidyness then there is going to be constant "triggers" for attacks from him with little kids around. Has your DH always been this obsessed with tidyness?

Can you speak to a domestic violence officer at the police/women's aid/CAB/legal aid lawyer to find out your position if you tried to evict him on grounds of his violence?

Whether he hits you or not, the constant psychological barrage is domestic violence.

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 10:45:40

I haven't really got a back up plan. That is the problem.
A last result would be my mothers house, but I would rather not go to her.
I can't see anyone else taking me & the 2 children in.
I told him during our last big talk, that if it wasn't for the children I would have left long ago.

Caligulights Sat 18-Dec-04 10:46:07

The question is not what are you going to do about his temper, but what is he going to do about it. He's responsible for it, not you.

Why would you have nowhere to go if you split with him? You don't leave the family house, you change the locks and you lock him out.

Must rush off, but hope you have a better day today.

leglepartridge Sat 18-Dec-04 10:48:30

and it doesn't matter if he swears he would never hit you. That's irrelevant. His shouting at you, smashing things, and shouting at the children over nothing is so damaging to you all. Your children are going to grow up terrified of him. I'm sure you don't want that for them. You need to take action, I'm so sorry its a week before Christmas. What are your thoughts on leaving him/kicking him out?

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 10:49:23

Yes he has always been like this about the house.
He did not want children (both were accidents) 7 does not really like children (although he likes his own)
The sad thing is that both the boys adore their Dad, despite his temper & I feel awfull at the thought of them going through a seperation.

feastofstevenmom Sat 18-Dec-04 10:50:43

it really isn't in your kids best interests for them to have to live on eggshells tho - they will be much happier if they can live without the fear of causing a row over some incredibly minor alleged misdemeanour

FestiveFrex Sat 18-Dec-04 10:51:02

The definition of domestic abuse covers physical violence, psychological abuse, financial abuse and emotional abuse. This definitely falls within that definition. There are a number of agencies who could help. Do you have a local women's support service? Your CAB should know or the domestic violence officer at the police station. This doesn't necessarily mean the end of your marriage, but they will be able to point you in the direction of practical help.

Your dh has to see that his behaviour is (a) not normal and (b) not acceptable. Once he does, he is much more likely to accept help. If he doesn't, then I can't see much of a future for you. He may say he would never hit you, but that supposes that he is actually in control of his actions. People who are so enraged are rarely in control and consequently often end up doing things which they would previously have sworn they would never do.

leglepartridge Sat 18-Dec-04 10:51:12

THen you have to kick him out. If you truly have no-where to go, kick him out. You need to shock him if you have any hope of saving this situation. I have to repeat, this is no time for treading water hoping it will go away. he is mentally abusing your children by shouting at them like this and making them so afraid. You can't let this continue.

hercyulelog Sat 18-Dec-04 11:59:15

Your post chilled me as your dh sounds just like my own father. I left home at 18 and have never been back. I'm now 30. One of my fathers favourite past times was kicking our dog round the kitchen. I was terrified of him and thought it was normal to grow up in fear.
Eventually my mum left him when i had my first child and regrets her 25 years with him. She was also terrified of him. He never ever hit her.

For the sake of your children, leave. Go to a refuge, anywhere.

IwigitcouldbeXmaseveryday Sat 18-Dec-04 12:38:46

Message deleted

lulupop Sat 18-Dec-04 13:27:37

Stressedmummy, I am so sorry you're in thie awful siutation. It's easy to say that you should leave, but if there is no obvious place for you to go, it's not that simple, I know.

I have a slightly similar situation at home, (see my thread below!), in that my main issue with DH is his inability to control his temper. He also had a screwed-up father, and as a child he regularly saw his parents hurling furniture at each other. But he swears he would never hurt me. He hasn't hit me or the children, but when he loses his rag, I do feel afraid of him now in a way I never did before.

I don't know what to suggest to you. I have managed to get DH to agree to some counselling, but as yet nothing's happened and I don't know how effective it'llbe anyway as i think he's only going to do it for me, rather than becasue he thinks he really has a problem.

If someone else thinks they're in the right, there is nothing you can do to change their minds, IME.

My personal plan is to give him every opportunity to show me he wants to change, and to carry on as "normally" as possible at home, whilst quietly making sure I am in position to leave quickly if I have to. I plan to see a solicitor in the new year, to find out exactly what my rights are and how we could keep it all as smooth as possible for the children. It would also hepl if I coudl stash some money away somewhere, but not sure how i'd manage this as there isn't a lot of the stuff going spare.

Anyway what I'm saying is, you must look after yourself and your children first. Perhaps pointing out to him how his behaviour affects the children (rather than you) might change his outlook? No normal man wants their own kids to be frightened of them, and if he can't control himself for their sake, then he really isn't worth the effort on your part. Thinking of you.

leglepartridge Sat 18-Dec-04 13:34:41

stressed mummy, are you okay? I'm a bit worried about you and hope you are alright. I have to pop out for a bit but will check back in a couple of hours and hope you've posted x

Loobie Sat 18-Dec-04 15:41:53

stressed mummy you have my sympathy {{{{hugs}}}}to you,i know almost how this feels.My exp wasnt physically violent with me and kids but was the rest of how youdescribe yours to be,he yelled at the kids for anything including being just children.He too wasnt keen on having any children and the last straw was when i became pg with no.3 my dd.He got even worse though i didnt think it was possible,he totally denied the baby growing in my tummy and was ten times worse with the kids,as if trying to punish me for falling pg,dd was a big surprise.Anyway the upshot was that i couldnt watch him mentally and emotionally abuse my kids any longer and chucked him out.
My eldest ds had just been diagnosed with autism 2 months before i fell pg with dd and exp couldnt accept this and treated him diabolically.
Since we split, i was 5mths pg,dd is now 2yrs the children have blossomed and have become more secure with themselves and their lives,which at the end of day is all children ask.
I know he should be the one to leave as you should keep the house but with this degree of abuse and nastiness going on i would be inclined to say just go get out away from this man anywhere where you will be safe,or if you feel brave enough arrange to have the locks changed when he is out and have someone with you for backup when he returns.
Where abouts are you roughly,im in scotland and would gladly take you and your two kids in.Please get away from this man before he does untold damage to you and your kids which he probably has already started.

Exp shouted at ds all the time for making a mess with food ,he has autism and coordination/motor skill problems so cant help getting food everywhere,He was told he eats like an animal,that animals eat better,had his food taken away from him because he wouldnt stop making a mess etc etc,ds now will still only eat finger food which he cant spill,he wont eat beans,spaghetti,peas etc anything he may make a mess with. Exp done this to our son amongst many other physcological damage imagine how much more he coulod still be doing if i was still with him.
Take care and feel free to CAT me if you need somewhere to run to you are more than welcome.
Liz xx

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 16:17:41

Thanks for all your advice & support.
I had to stop posting earlier, as dh emerged from his pit & would have caught me typing about him.
He is now in front of his football (his favourite place!), so I feel safe to post at the moment.
My dh did not cope well with my 2nd pregnancy either & did not hold ds2 until after I returned from hospital 3 days after his birth.
He describes the way he felt while picking me up from hospital as one of the worst days ever
As a result of this, I suffered from anti natal & post natal depression (hence the couselling)
He now loves ds2 to bits, but the memories of his first days will stay with me for ever.
I know that I should get out, but it is very hard.

stressedmummy Sat 18-Dec-04 16:21:11

I am in kent Looby, so a little far, but thankyou for your kind offer.

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