Hi, this is my very first post here, I just found this forum tonight. So a quick hello from New England, and I am hoping that maybe you can offer a few tips for me. I have been married for 15 years now, and when I married my Husband, he was the sweetest guy. We are a military family, and my Husband retired last year, after almost 25 years Active Duty. We have 4 kids, 3 boys and my daughter, from a previous marriage. In the past 10 years, Hubby has turned into a guy who angers quickly. Several years ago, I can say that he had "fits of rage" where he had punched a hole in the wall, and things like that. He was forced by the military to go to anger management. At that time, we were living in 2 separate states, as my father had died suddenly and I needed to care for my mother. He finished the anger management classes, and it has been about 5-6 years. He is slowly getting back to the way he was before. My kids are afraid of him. They love him to pieces, but they are scared of him when he is mad. Tonight, my youngest (he is 10) pulled the ol' "I dont wanna go to bed" routine, and started acting out. Hubby got real mad and tried pulling him up off of the floor by one arm, (my son doing "spagetti legs", refusing to stand- was helping a whole lot). Hubby was making matters worse, and my son got petrified. Ran in to his room, and put his dresser in front of his bedroom door. When I started hearing furniture sliding across the hardwood floor, that just did something to me, and I thought to myself: "this is just not normal". And I know that. I get it, I do. I told my husband that. I told him that the kids should not be so afraid of their father. I have had to put 2 out of 3 of our boys into a psych facility for a week (for each boy). They were lashing out, trying to physically harm either themselves, or someone in our family. If I suggest anger management, I think it is like putting a bandaid on a cut that keeps getting cut open again, or something. I know I have to protect my kids. I obviously am unsure about the future, as nobody knows what the future will bring. But I cant let my kids live like this. It is just not right. I am afraid of losing our home, which was my parent's. My son, of course, is more important to me that the house. i have asked all 3 of my boys tonight, and all 3 answered that they are scared, literally, of their dad. i told my husband that. He said "well, their actions have consequences" and I replied "yes, and that goes for you, too, you know" Well he did not like that one, and now he is not speaking to me. I am not too concerned about him not speaking to me. But I am concerned that my kids are afraid of him. I am not sure that if I tell him to go to anger management again, if it would work or not. He seems to forget what he learned the last time. And yes, I have suggested counseling. For all of us. The whole family. My boys are already in counseling. My husband is extremely religious (Christian) and told me that he would only go to a Christian counselor. I started looking for a christian counselor. When I found one, he started to tell me that he wasn't sure if he could make it to the appointment on time, whether it be a result of his work, or the commute... I thought to myself "he is making up excuses". We had the discussion again a few weeks ago, and he tried telling me to find a christian counselor. I told him "I DID" and reminded him what happened. He said nothing. I don't want my kids to be scared, and I don't want my family to separate. My boys are also (well 2 out of 3 are) ADHD. And my other son, is slightly mentally retarded. I guess you could say that my husband talks the great Christian talk, but does not always walk that walk. Sad, I know. When he does play around with the boys, wrestling, or what have you, they have a blast, and I usually have to tell them to quiet down. He is not always an angry monster. So do I try to keep this family together with counseling, anger management and lots of prayer (from my part)? Or should I tell him to move out? I would also like to ask that you please use positive reinforcement here, I know that I might sound stupid, or you might think "why hasnt she done something" - I am trying to hold my family together with a thread, that's why. My kids are emotionally fragile. One step in the wrong direction could be devastating. If dad hurts them, it is wrong. If dad leaves, that could be wrong too. I dont want my kids to land themselves back in to a psych hospital !! If you have been through a similar scenario as mine, please, I would love to hear from you. If you have advice you think i could use, please let me know. I thank you for taking the time to read my post.
I'm with diwali. If you have to go it alone, do so.
When I was with this very abusive jerk of a guy, I was planning to leave him. It turned out to separate even if you're not married in the state we were in required mandatory communication classes.
Well I'd taken those kinds of things before when I was first divorced from my first husband, so I knew what they were about. So I set up the appointment - but my lesser half refused to go. So I had to go to those things by myself despite what the law said. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that my partner couldn't even be bothered to do that.
But now when I look back I'm so glad I went. I learned a lot of skills I still use today.
Such things may also help you to get a new resolve on what you need to do. And help you handle your situation better.
I know, I could totally use a therapist. I am not sure if we can afford it. Each time someone goes to therapy (2 kids so far) it is a $25.00 copay. It sucks. So expensive, when you add it up, it was costing us $200. a month for the 2 boys, I had to cut down the therapy because of the costs. We owe these people a fortune.
Today I told my son's therapist what had transpired the other day. I have no clue if she would report it, and start up a whole investigation with child protective services or not, but I talked to her anyways. Sadly, we have been down that road before, due to my husband's anger. He was forced to go thru anger management class, and I guess he needs to go to a "re-fresher course" or something. Anyhow, the therapist suggested that we set up a time, where my husband and I come in, and just us speak to her, and she will suggest some techniques for him to "cool down" and suggest anger management for him. I am not sure how he will take to the suggestion- will have to see what happens from there.
Wow, what a terribly difficult situation. My heart really does go out to you on this, you have a lot on your plate (too much).
Since your husband is a Christian you should reach out to the church to help. Have a pastor or an elder get involved. Many men will be "shamed" by this, but in the end know that none of what you described is what a loving biblical father should be like. He needs to be held accountable to one of the men in his church, no doubt about it. That person needs to have a strong personality because undoubtedly your husband is a strong man both physically, mentally and emotionally. This person(s) needs to meet with him almost daily at first (even if just by phone), and needs to meet with him in an on going basis every week for 30+ minutes. He needs to be held accountable, that will go a long way to helping.
Additionally you're right that he needs to see a councilor. Now there are CHRISTIAN councilors and there are councilors who are Christian (if you know what I mean). I'd pick the best councilor you can find, and if it's a councilor who is a Christian that should be acceptable. What your husband probably is concerned about is getting unbiblical advice.
I'd also remind him, that he needs to consider how Jesus was with children (albeit there's not much in the bible there). There is a lot on how fathers are to behave. Eph 6:4 comes to mind. I'd copy the verse and post it where he can see it everyday as a reminder.
I'd also remind him that he's lost sight of the greatest commandment: that we love God and our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:28-34). He needs to keep reminding himself that all that rage is not loving.