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Husband Flies Into A Rage Over Minor Things, Escalating Violence To Property And Pets

by Kristy

I have been with my husband for ten years, married for six, and have two beautiful young daughters (pre-school age). My husband has been controlling and emotionally abusive throughout our entire marriage. I am only now starting to see/admit it.

The problem starts with his extreme anger/rage issues. The tiniest thing can set him off into a yelling fit, then he will throw things, smash things. He's broken furniture, punched holes in the walls (right beside my face on one occasion) smashed pictures, mugs, etc.

He tells me after that it doesn't matter because he can "buy a new one", "fix the damage", or the now-smashed object wasn't important to begin with. He tells me that I'm being stupid when I tell him I'm afraid of him because he's never actually hit me. I believed him.

We just got a puppy a few months ago, and he has started hurting the dog. One day, I was out with the kids and left the dog at home with him. He got a call that there was a problem at work (he has his own business) that he needed to go deal with right away. He flew into a rage and smashed the coffee table, then picked up the dog and threw him into his kennel so hard that he later called me up and asked if the dog was dead! I am so scared now because I know he can/will hurt an animal. Can he hurt our children?

When he is angry, he is impossible to talk to or reason with. I have to wait until the "episode" is over, then he apologizes and tells me he is sorry. If I don't forgive him immediately and tell him everything is fine, his anger will start to build up again and he will start blaming me for the whole thing.

If he doesn't get angry, he starts acting depressed and says he doesn't deserve a loving family and we would be better off without him. This makes me feel guilty, even though it's not my fault.

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I am afraid of taking the kids and starting off on my own. I don't know where to go, or how to provide for my girls. This is why I have stayed for so long (and because I feel sorry for my husband) but now I am afraid to stay.

We now have guns in the house, and I am very afraid of the next violent rage, and whether he will do something when he is in an irrational state.

I am so scared. I need help.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Kristy, and thanks for telling your story here. You are smart to be afraid, in light of what you have said here. You need to take immediate action to ensure the safety of your children, yourself and your dog. Go to a family services agency, or battered women's shelter in your area, and they will guide you through your next steps. And take your dog with you, or leave it with a trusted friend or family member.

Unfortunately, you are one of many in this type of situation, and that's why I've written a web page specifically about the battered wife syndrome. Please read it all, and follow the guidelines.

You have to be strong, Kristy. Just take one step at a time, and you will get there.

You can do this. Believe in yourself, and take the next step. Make the calls, and find the support that is in your area.

You may also find some other pages on the site to be helpful--just do a search in the upper right search box, By typing in "relationships," and you'll find lots of good information.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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