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Views pls - is this one for Relate, or am I overreacting?

(53 Posts)
SammyAnne Thu 06-Aug-09 15:53:46

DH & I have very different ways of dealing with with stress - he's an exploder, I'm a silent worrier. Neither perfect, obviously. Money worries, new baby on the way etc etc (like all of us) so lots of stress to deal with.

DH now exploding on a weekly basis (by which I mean screaming at top of voice everyone but him is an ** ** ****** moron, throwing things against walls, kicking doors etc) normally lasts about 20 mins and involves as broad a range of swear words as he can fit in (all screamed at top volume) - frightens the bejesus out of our toddler, as well as teaching him a whole load of words I'd rather he didn't know.

About 50% of the screaming is aimed at me and my numerous faults (irrespective of the cause of the issue), and the rest at the world generally. By the he's calmed down I'm sometimes in tears at the things he's said about me, which generally winds him up further (like many blokes, believes women cry as a conscious emotional blackmail tool). Then he forgets it all, and I worry for the next 24 hours that he really thinks these things.

Clearly he would think I was mad for suggesting councelling over this - he just sees it as his way of venting - but it really bothers me, and when the new baby comes the tiredness and stress will get worse.

Suggestions pls ladies!

(would like to point out that despite occasional negative postings, we do on the whole have a good relationship and wouldn't swap him for another :-))

rubyslippers Thu 06-Aug-09 15:56:49

it's unacceptable behaviour

it is horrid and violent and directed at you

HighOnDieselAndGasoline Thu 06-Aug-09 15:59:28

Completely unacceptable, particularly in front of your son. Everyone can lose their rag occasionally, but 20 minutes of screaming abuse at you is just that - abuse.

MorrisZapp Thu 06-Aug-09 16:01:46

Sorry but this isn't acceptable behaviour on any planet that I know of. No decent person screams violently at their loved ones, and in particular their little child and their pregnant wife. He should be protecting you, not abusing you.

It's scaring you and your child, frankly it is abuse. I think you need to get help. Lots of people here will know what you should do.

Good luck.

posieparkerinChina Thu 06-Aug-09 16:04:50

This is abuse and it will only get worse if you don't deal with it. Relate relate relate. They will ask you to do timeout for 30 minutes, no talking at all.... if you don't stick to this they won't continue with your counselling togethersad if at all.

lilacclaire Thu 06-Aug-09 16:05:35

Your not overreacting, this is abuse of both you and your child.

SammyAnne Thu 06-Aug-09 16:07:31

Thanks everyone. He absolutely never would get physically violent (finds the idea as abhorrent as everyone else) but he just thinks that these explosions are a normal way of 'venting', but it's completely different from how we deal with anger in my parental family (and believe me, we're not perfect either - bitching and martyrdom galore when the mood takes). I really do struggle with it and how I should react to it - either at the time or afterwards.

lilacclaire Thu 06-Aug-09 16:10:33

Just because its not physical, it doesn't mean its not abuse.

In fact, kicking doors etc is physical and is designed to intimidate you or put the 'threat of violence' there.

This is seriously going to mess up your child, please do something about it.

MorrisZapp Thu 06-Aug-09 16:11:36

Throwing things and kicking doors is physical violence. With respect, from what you've said he has no right to find anybody's behaviour abhorrent while he screams and swears at his family.

It is absolutely not normal and most decent people would be find your DH's behaviour abhorrent.

HolyGuacamole Thu 06-Aug-09 16:12:18

Yep, agree with everyone, it is completely and utterly unacceptable! This is not normal relationship behaviour and you do not have to accept it.

Does he ever apologise to you? (not that, that takes away from the problem) And does he admit to having a problem or is it a big unspoken thing because mentioning it would cause more trouble?

Sorry you are going through this, you really don't deserve it one bit sad

rubyslippers Thu 06-Aug-09 16:13:49

it is physical

he is throwing things, kicking etc

it may not be directed at you but it is violent

MummyDragon Thu 06-Aug-09 16:17:35

These explosions are not "a normal way of venting."

Go to Relate. If he won't go, you need to think about how your children are going to feel about their father in years to come, and how their relationships with other people, their self-esteem and their own anger/depression, will be affected.

You've done well to suggest counselling to him. Continue to insist on this, otherwise you will be condoning his utterly disgusting and unreasonable behaviour.

Sorry, harsh I know, but true.

SammyAnne Thu 06-Aug-09 16:21:30

He doesn't stand in my face and scream, he tends to walk from room to room shouting at walls, along the theme of 'Why is EVERYONE so EFFING incompetent.. I have to do EVERYTHING my C*NTING SELF, for F Sake, what is wrong with EVERYONE (i.e me)".

He does apologise after half an hour or so, but for upsetting me, rather than for what's he's done (IFSWIM). I know it's not an excuse, but in his early teens his family broke down due to his fathers alcoholism so that early examples of dealing with conflict weren't exactly A1. However, I don't exactly want DS1 to grow up learning the same patterns!

BTW sorry to come over so victimlike - I really am not at all a victim type person (rather the opposite) - I just haven't dealt with this before and don't want to either a: accept it (it's clearly not OK) or b: mishandle an attempt to deal with it in a way that damages our otherwise great marriage.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 06-Aug-09 16:23:32

Words can hurt more and for longer than a punch.

YanknCock Thu 06-Aug-09 16:23:52

It's simply not an acceptable way for an adult to behave, and it is abusive, even if it isn't physical. Your child WILL be damaged by watching/hearing this.

My own father was very much like what you describe---an 'exploder'. The tension in our house was unbearable, waiting for him to kick off, start throwing stuff, and screaming. Even when it wasn't happening, there was the reminder in the form of a big dent in an interior door--where he'd thrown something at it. It was terrifying to live with as a child, and I had to 'unlearn' that exploding behaviour myself when I grew up.

He needs to get control of it, and by not putting your foot down and demanding that it stops, you are allowing him to terrorise your child. Believe me, I spent a lot of time being angry at my mother for not taking us out of that situation--your child is expecting your protection!

rubyslippers Thu 06-Aug-09 16:24:17

apologising only means something if it doesn't happen again and he makes an attempt to change

it is worthless otherwise

nje3006 Thu 06-Aug-09 16:26:28

Children who grow up witnessing this type of behaviour have all kinds of problems. They can either copy the behaviour and think this is a normal way to behave or they can develop coping strategies so as not to provoke an outburst - or both.

This really is not acceptable from H and he must get help to learn different coping strategies IMMEDIATELY. This is about his inability to control his anger. That is for him to deal with, not you as a couple. There is help out there for (generally) men to learn to control their anger and yes it can change their behaviour. But he has to go and NOW. His behaviour is already affecting your child. it is his responsibility to change his behaviour and if he doesn't agree to do so immediately, it is your responsibility to protect your child. Your dc can't protect himself, you have to do that for him.

I find H's kind of behaviour as abhorrent as he finds physical violence. Has anyone else witnessed his behaviour or mentioned it to you? Not that that makes it better or worse, just wondering how much support you have in RL.

Mumcentreplus Thu 06-Aug-09 16:30:33

He has problems with his anger Sammy..and he is physical...get him to visit his GP and be honest about how he is feeling and acting..they can help him with some counselling..sometimes when a person is angry and they cannot express themselves without lashing out..it's because they don't know any other way (especially if they have a tough upbringing)..it will help him ..I really know where you are coming from ...speak to him about your concerns...I can tell you love him and tell him this and that he needs to take control and make your family life better,because usually this only gets worse..

screamingabdab Thu 06-Aug-09 16:31:42

Another one saying this is an unacceptable way to "vent".

Very hard for an adult to witness, let alone a small child

In fact, his lack of emotional control is similar to a toddler (I don't mean this to sound jokey).

Has he always had this kind of temper ? Is there something going on emotionally for him at the moment ?

Regardless, he needs to see that this is not harmless to you or your child

HolyGuacamole Thu 06-Aug-09 16:34:13

You come across as very sensible and you don't sound like a poor helpless victim at all. You sound like someone who just really wants to sort this out as best you can.

I think he needs to realise exactly how much this upsets you, exactly how much it scares the DC and how worried you are for the future if this continues.

And his language in front of your DC is unacceptable, you know that though. We all freak out on the odd occasion but that is way too much - he needs to find ways of dealing with his turmoil without scaring the life out of the entire household.

screamingabdab Thu 06-Aug-09 16:35:05

How much does he drink ?
Does he do any physical exercise ?

Oh, and I agree that this is not about the relationship, it is about HIM. Perhaps he is depressed (irritability and anger can be a symptom).. Agree with mumcentreplus

MummyDragon Thu 06-Aug-09 16:37:07

SammyAnne thanks for you second post clarifying what your DH actually does when he's venting.

My FIL used to do exactly the same thing when DH and BIL were children.

DH and BIL have both suffered years of depression, low self-esteem, had loads of counselling, anti-depressants etc etc ...

Protect your children; do something about this. You deserve much better too. Again, sorry to sound harsh, but not a single person has posted anything to the contrary on this thread - and that speaks volumes!

Sorry this is happening to you, and I hope you find a way to get DH to deal with his problem.

bluesnowfalcon Thu 06-Aug-09 16:46:27

Hi sammyanne I really think you need to seek some help with this as his outbursts aren't normal and will affect you and children more than shows at the moment. How old is your toddler? Is he/she at nursery or childcare? Is child showing any signs of copying behaviour yet? Only this might be a way to make DH realise the impact on your children sad

I teach so I see some of the affects of this sort of behaviour in the playground and it's not pretty sad There are more people out their in similar position than you think.

Really hope you are able to get DH to seek a little support and help for you guys smile

SammyAnne Thu 06-Aug-09 17:44:51

Couple of answers to questions, then another question from me.
-Normal middleclass drinking i.e a couple of glasses of wine between 7-11pm but rarely spirits and rarely pissed. Pretty certain drink isn't part of the trigger.
-Outbursts not witnessed by other friends/family - these are saved especially for my privileged audience! (although, I did call his mum about it once, and was rather surprised to hear her view that it was a regular feature of their past family life and her view was that we'd have to learn to deal with it - I disagree!)
-No behavioural impact on 2yr old toddler (setting aside normal terrible twos).

So - my question - given that he absolutely would not go to a GP about it (can't even get him to go when ill, fcs), and I agree that Relate isn't so suitable as this isn't a relationship issue, how do I get him to take seriously the idea of signing up for some anger management discussions?

Mumcentreplus Thu 06-Aug-09 18:05:28

Perhaps you should tape him...audio or video so he can really see how he acts..why do you think he wont go to his G.P?

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