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Seriously agitated... me, not DS2

(10 Posts)
Triggles Fri 23-Sep-11 09:52:29

I am wondering if it's just me. I think DH is unreasonable on the way he deals with DS2 (and DS3 if I'm honest). Background - he is depressed, on meds, has been off work sick but should be returning to work in the beginning of October. He literally has no patience with the children at all (although he seems to control it much better in public, even that is slipping hmm). He is very frequently shouting and has resorted to physical discipline a couple times recently, which I am not happy with at all. I personally feel that he resorted to it because he was angry, and NOT because the situation warranted it IYSWIM. (and yes, please let's not get sidetracked on that, because I have already said I don't approve and the last thing I want today is a lecture about that).

He has this stupid idea that when DS2 refuses to cooperate that he is being "defiant" and gets nasty and starts shouting. It's just ridiculous. DS2 gets more upset and then it just deteriorates from there. I can walk in, and generally just by talking to DS2 for a few minutes, get him cooperative and doing what needs to be done. It's ALL in the approach with DS2. Which I've explained to DH REPEATEDLY hmm. He orders DS2 to do something, then if DS2 doesn't do it immediately, he shouts and starts taking privileges away, etc. It makes everything so unpleasant.

The frustrating thing is this is just not the way DH was a few years ago. I am sure a lot of it is the depression, and I'm also reasonably certain that part of it is him having trouble accepting that DS2 has special needs, even though he says he accepts it. I think it's easier for him to think DS2 is defiant than that he has SNs. At least, that's my opinion based on what I've seen.

I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. He is refusing to go to counselling at this point, because he's been jerked around 3 times now by counsellors. I think he's reached the point where he is using that and his depression as an excuse to let loose all the time on everyone around him. Then he trots out the "you don't get it - I'm depressed" and all I can think is "you don't get it - you're being an ass!" I don't want us to split but at the same time, it is not fair on either myself or the boys to have to deal with this all day every day. Maybe it's a midlife crisis thing, maybe it's depression, maybe it's just him being a dick. I don't know anymore. I know he didn't use to be this way at all (and ironically he gets very annoyed at people who treat their children/spouse badly, but he just doesn't seem to see he's doing the same thing hmm).

sigh.. trying to work on him to go to counselling... trying to work through things ... but just reaching a "too tired to care about his issues anymore, just want some peace in the house for me and the boys" point.

Triggles Fri 23-Sep-11 09:53:39

Oh, and I'm hoping that him going back to work will help, actually. If nothing, because he'll be out of the house for some time 5 days a week.

insanityscatching Fri 23-Sep-11 10:47:59

I'm not sure I have advice but I can tell you what has happened here.
Ds needs a uniform approach because if he senses that there is a variation in rules and responses it unnerves him and he has to have the rigid boundaries so as to function as well as he can.
When ds was younger and particularly challenging dh used to drive me potty by over reacting and not sticking with what I thought we had agreed. Ds used to find it even more difficult and used to escalate behaviours as a result.
Seeing as I was the one who had ds the majority of the time I told dh not to intervene anymore and I would sort it. It did make me increasingly housebound as I never left dh in charge but ds benefited enormously.
Longterm ds and dh's relationship is now great because his behaviour is excellent now and there is no discipline needed really and dh is more tolerant of small blips anyway.
Ds though doesn't respect dh's authority so always looks to me to see if I am backing dh up rather than taking dh's word as final. It's not a problem because I do back dh as a matter of course and ds isn't challenging now if dh is in charge anyway.
My dh though was relieved to be let off the hook so to speak, I'm not sure all dh's would be the same.

Triggles Fri 23-Sep-11 10:53:43

insanityscatching - I think DH is actually offended that DS2 acts up around him more than me. But it's all down to approach. A bit maddening really. I see your point about you taking over dealings with him, but dammit DH should be able to act like an adult and learn to deal with him. Makes me cross. I can't leave the boys alone with him at all - I'm literally tied to home and the boys. He can go out and relieve stress but I can't. Aren't we both supposed to be parents? Shouldn't he be making an effort too?

insanityscatching Fri 23-Sep-11 11:26:16

I know exactly how you feel and do sympathise. My marriage is a sham tbh, not least because I'm resentful that he never parented our children. I stick with it because I won't disrupt ds's life. He enjoys the rewards of my efforts and it pisses me off but the kids all know especially now they are older how little input he has put in without me saying a word and it is reflected in the respect and affection they give back now. Dd only eight said "Have you ever thought of getting out of this marriage because lets face it he's (dh) flipping useless? grin"

rebl Fri 23-Sep-11 11:28:46

It sounds terribly difficult. I think you are right though, him going back to work will help. I do feel (speaking as someone who has fought depression most of my adult life) that have a purpose to get up in the morning and an aim to the day, a reason to live etc is very important. Try as you might you just don't get those things by staying at home. Work is therefore very important.

Hopefully him returning to work will give him different focus other than the children and things will go back to how they were and how they "should" be iykwim.

My dh was made redundant 18 months ago. He was at home for 4 months. It was a serious strain on our relationship and his relationship with the children. You can't live in someones pocket 24/7 without expecting to go stir crazy with each other and the situation.

You say "Shouldn't he be making an effort too?". Maybe he thinks he is but doesn't actually realise his effort is making it all worse. It sounds like you need to sit down and spell it out again to him. I've learnt with my dh there is no point telling him he just doesn't seem to listen. As mad as this sounds I now email him! But it seems to get a much better response. Maybe it means that he can process the information at a time when he's calmer. I don't know but it works for us. Plus it means we're not having the slanging matches in ear shot of the children. Maybe that is something to consider trying?

Triggles Fri 23-Sep-11 18:48:17

I'll have to think about the emailing thing. He misunderstands when talking in person, not sure what he'd manage to do with an email. hmm

Thanks for the input. I'm going to have to mull this over more, I think.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 23-Sep-11 20:30:36

Hi Triggles. Don't feel qualified to comment but sending you hugs. It all sounds pretty horrible ATM. Xx

justaboutstillhere Fri 23-Sep-11 20:42:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Triggles Fri 23-Sep-11 21:02:37

Thank you. I really am just not speaking to him right now. He found out some acquaintance/former coworker that he hasn't seen in 8-10 years passed away today (by FB) and is now using that as an excuse to be wretched to me and the boys.

It's the whole:
"You don't understand - I suppose it doesn't matter to you, but it was someone I knew!"
Well, he knows me and the boys too, but he's not too worried about being shitty to us. Shouting and stomping around. Always a reason, always an excuse. now he's in a strop because I won't be all cheerful and chat with him. hmm Well, no because you treated me like crap earlier and I'm not interested in talking to you.

Pisses me off really. My FATHER died in March this year, and I wasn't like this - I still had to deal with the kids and school and everything else. I didn't even get to go to his funeral or anything because it was in the states. He lingered in the hospital about 2 weeks before he died, and I wasn't able to go visit him or talk to him other than over the phone when he was already incoherent. I couldn't go be with my mother and help her through things. I had to deal with the frustration of my siblings trying to take advantage of my mother over a bunch of things (I talked to her on the phone as much as I could). And I had to just get on with things - no time to grieve or anything. Just keep taking care of everything.

He, on the other hand, can come unglued over a hangnail, I swear, and I'm being unreasonable when I tell him to act like an adult.

I am NOT in a good place right now.

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