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DH flies into angry rages unpridicatable and can be about anything

(52 Posts)
summerparade Fri 19-Jun-09 20:53:35

Atleast that is how my mil described them when she witnessed one recently she was shocked. THe thing is she had absolutely no idea that this has been going on for some time. Been married for 11 years and have 2 children aged nearly 4 and 18 months. He gets so angry with them when he spends any length of time with them and its affecting my relationship with him. He loses it with ds1 ezpecially. When he gets like this he lifts ds1 up to his height and bellows you YOU LITTLE HORROR!!! etc etc We have just returned from holiday and we had situations like this most days!

Mil is very worried and keeps asking me if things are getting better. When I said no she shook her head and said I just don't know whats wrong with him lately. I don't know either but I don't know what to do about it. When he isn't in a rage he is wonderful. He knows its wrong and says things like perhaps if ds1 behaved himself he would be alright! He says he tries not to get stressed but the kids know what buttons to press! I'm rambling now sorry!

lilacclaire Fri 19-Jun-09 21:00:03

Does he have unrealistic expectations of how a child that age should behave?
Can you get him educated on child behaviour for the age and how he should be dealing with things instead of scaring the shit out a small child.

lilacclaire Fri 19-Jun-09 21:01:12

It actually falls into the category of emotional abuse and can lead to low self esteem etc for the child.

edam Fri 19-Jun-09 21:02:45

Would he consider anger management, or parenting classes? This behaviour (his, not ds's) is really Not On at all. Must be very frightening for ds. Imagine if you were three foot tall and someone twice your size picked you up and held you in the air bellowing at you...

Of course ds's behaviour isn't always perfect. He's four. What's dh's excuse?

He needs to stop trying to justify himself and start taking action. Perhaps you could talk to your HV about classes in your area?

And if he's suffering from stress, he needs to deal with it himself, not lash out at ds.

edam Fri 19-Jun-09 21:04:42

how do you react when dh does this? Would it be worth trying to step in, saying something like 'OK, I can see you are very angry, perhaps you could go for a walk to calm down' or something, or would that just wind him up even more? Only ds needs to know that you will stick up for him and that you don't support dh in this behaviour.

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 19-Jun-09 21:10:14

Your poor son must be frightened by this. Unless you want him to grow up afraid of his father, you need to act.

dittany Fri 19-Jun-09 21:13:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hullygully Fri 19-Jun-09 21:18:00

get him some Rescue Remedy, it's surprisingly effective and might just give him enough time to think about his words/actions before expressing them.

foxinsocks Fri 19-Jun-09 21:20:47

yes and like edam says too, the 'blaming of the child' is just typical. i.e. it's not my fault, ds1 was misbehaving!

So he obviously knows it is wrong

Will he read books? I had a dreadful temper and read some anger management stuff and it really changed how I thought about it tbh.

this one is good for men apparently

in the links at the bottom, I read the 8 point plan one. That was good and v useful tbh.

summerparade Sat 20-Jun-09 11:02:54

Thanks foxonsocks! Its not just the dc that get dh going though. THe incident pil witnessed was about his works pass. He went absolutely balistic. We tried to suggest the usual places to look and everytime he just lost it completely at everyone his parents me the dc. It was awful. Mil told him later that he had some serious grovelling to do to dw as he was bang out of order. What she doesn't know is thhis wasn't a one off. Ds1 was so stressed shaking his head saying we must find it mummy we've got to find it we have to find it over and over again.

Even today he has bellowed at ds1 for hitting ds2 and then lost it and terrified him for hitting dh. Yes I intervened and said to go and cool down and let me deal with it. Just reaching the end o f my tether!

GypsyMoth Sat 20-Jun-09 11:11:13

is he ever violent to you too?

summerparade Sat 20-Jun-09 11:14:09

No or to the dc.

BennyAndJoon Sat 20-Jun-09 11:22:33

Is it something that has changed in his behaviour or has he always been like this? How long has it been going on.

There are some drugs like steroids that can change people and make them angry, as can some medical conditions.

Either way he needs to know that this is not acceptable

ABetaDad Sat 20-Jun-09 11:55:28

summerparade - two small children plus a stressful job plus the threat of the credit crunch. Not excusing his behaviour but it can get on top of people and men bottle stuff up. Been there myself. Age 4 and 2 is just the worst time and they do know how to press the butotns. It gets better.

He is not being abusive but should not pick DS1 up like that and shout at him. DH may be feeling totally overwhelmed and it comes out as anger. Talk to DH and try and get him to open up, understand what is going on in his life rather than castigating him though.

Not easy I know but sounds like he is struggling and he regrets what he is doing. Drugs (prescription and no prescription), alcohol, lack of sleep, lack of excercise, poor diet, even raised blood sugar due to onset of diabetes can all have this effect too.

GypsyMoth Sat 20-Jun-09 11:59:16

he's not being abusive, abetadad?? Really??

Beg to differ

It's abusive!!

SolidGoldBrass Sat 20-Jun-09 12:01:15

Send him to the doctor in case there is a physical cause that can be addressed - or if anger management or something similar will help.
But don't allow this to continue. Tell him he either takes action to fix the problem or he will have to leave the house. It is not acceptable for one person to throw frequent scary tantrums like this.

Haribosmummy Sat 20-Jun-09 12:01:41

I disagree, abetadad, if anyone picked up my son (his dad or anyone else for that matter!) and screamed 'you little horror' at him, I'd go mental and would ABSOLUTELY class it as abuse.

He needs to talk to someone - whether it's you, a counsellor or a doctor, but he needs to talk to someone soon about what's going on to trigger this... Esp. as you say he hasn't ALWAYS been like this.

But, until it's sorted (or he agrees to try and sort it) I'd keep him away from your kids.

I'm no expert, but that's what I would do.

ABetaDad Sat 20-Jun-09 15:54:03

ILoveTIFFANY/Haribosmummy - I can see your point of view and fair enough. Let me emphasise, I do NOT think this is acceptable behaviour. However, looking at what summerparade says - no he is not violent to her or DC.

Look also at what foxinsox says and especially at what the book description says she linked to. This is really important:

"Men tend to express their anger differently than women do. Research shows men are often more violent and less willing to confront and deal with their emotions than women. Written by a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of male rage, Beyond Anger shows the angry - and miserable - man how to change his life and relationships for the better. This book helps men understand their anger by explaining what the specific symptoms of chronic anger are and by showing angry men how their actions negatively affect family, friends, and coworkers. It helps men control violent feelings by using simple exercises - developed especially for men - to identify when and why anger occurs and by helping them form new habits to prevent anger before it starts.

Read especally this last sentence:

Women, too, will learn essential strategies for understanding and helping the angry men in their lives. Beyond Anger is honest, tough, and real."

This is very important. I say what I said before. "He is not being abusive but should not pick DS1 up like that and shout at him."

DH has not always been this way. He regrets what he is doing. He needs to stop and he needs help to stop. Counselling may be one way, help from summerparade may be better along with DH reading and engaging in some self reflection. More physical excercise and other strategies. There are many ways to a good solution for DH and summerparade.

DH probably hates his anger and himself for being angry - but things can change. This is not black and white.

There are angry women too and I see it all the time on MN. Men are no different. They get angry but they do express it in different ways.

foxinsocks Sat 20-Jun-09 16:13:20

i agree with abetadad tbh

summerparade, you do need to speak to him though because he does sound very much on the edge

do you have any idea what other factors are leading to him being stressed (is he having trouble at work)?

Also, is he remorseful afterwards, does he recognise he has problems with his temper?

While you are trying to drag him to the GP, anger management or get him to read a book there are a few things you can do in the meantime.

1. Exercise. Encourage him to do a lot more than he's doing now. He needs to 'let out' some of that stress and exercise (like proper exercise where you sweat and feel exhausted) is v good for that.

2. Ask him to try and recognise the point just before he's about to go ballistic. Then tell him at that point you want him to LEAVE. Walk away from the situation and just go outside. Tell him you don't mind dealing with whatever situation it is (which will be a pain for you but might help you both long term). He can walk around the garden or pace outside but whatever happens, he MUST remove himself from the situation. When he's outside, he needs to think about WHY his temper was about to go and what the trigger was. This sounds easy but is, in fact, incredibly hard. He will be used to 'letting his temper go' which relieves the incredible stress he is feeling immediately but he needs to relearn that reaction and walk away and calm down.

3. Start trying to build some relaxing time in for both of you. Now I know with a 2 and 4 yr old that's hard but even if you went swimming together on your own or a long walk on a summer's evening while his parents kept an eye on the kids. Anything where you can be calm together!

If he can start doing that now, it will help him so much if he chooses to go for anger management.

And tell him, seriously, it takes a proper man to admit this is a problem and an even better father and husband to get help for it. It's not normal, it's not right but LOTS and lots of people have this problem and go onto recover and have better relationships with their partners and kids because of it.

In fact, if you are sure that he's not going to be violent, I'd get him to read the thread tbh.

foxinsocks Sat 20-Jun-09 16:18:07

and I would tell his parents the exact situation too, so that you have some support because it sounds like they are v supportive of you

ABetaDad Sat 20-Jun-09 16:42:12

foxinsocks - those are very wise words and far better than how I put it.

Reading it as a man I especially liked this sentence and it might even be something that summerparade wants to say to her husband in a quiet moment together.

"it takes a proper man to admit this is a problem and an even better father and husband to get help for it."

Being a proper man is what it does take. It takes bravery, courage, strength, self knowledge and self control to deal with something like this.

I also hope DH will read this thread.

junglist1 Sat 20-Jun-09 17:04:46

This is abuse, emotional abuse of a child. My P is abusive and losing things in the house is a classic excuse for him to start raging, having us all walking on eggshells. I don't see stress as a reason, plenty of men are stressed and don't treat a 4 year old like that! Even my P has never directly screamed at our boys. Is this man also starting fights with grown men because he's stressed? I very much doubt it!

dittany Sat 20-Jun-09 17:50:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Sat 20-Jun-09 17:53:53

VERY good question, Dittany. Abetadad, I assume you didn't mean to excuse the dh in question by saying 'this is how men are'?

MrKrabs Sat 20-Jun-09 19:33:02

" you horror" is very retro as a chastisemnt isnt it?

Almost vintage

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