Walking On Eggshells Around My Husband's Fits Of Rage
(San Fernando Valley, Ca.)
This is about my husband's anger. He is the most loving and caring person I know. I know he loves me and our 2 children, however, there is the other side of him that is like the rage of the devil.
I never know when or what will cause him to explode into yelling, swearing, or even breaking things (such as my laptop). He has even tried to choke our oldest son when he was about 10 years old (I just found out about this 2 months ago- my older son is now 19).
If I disagree with him he will go off, if he gets even a little frustrated he will go off, if my mother says something he doesn't like he will go off. He has even exploded at work. Even the tone of his voice when talking is full of anger and hate.
For example, he got really angry just because I was busy with our 2 year old when he asked me to make sure I didn't forget to put laundry away. I said I was busy with more important matters right now and he goes off about how I am not alone in this and that I can think about it when he takes the baby away from me with full custody.
Another time, my older son disagreed with him in the car and he started yelling and screaming at him and turned from the front seat and started hitting him. All this while the baby is in his car seat crying and scared. Even that wasn't enough to make him stop.
I'm at my wit's end with him. I love him so much and I know how much he loves all of us. I know that inside him is the most kind, compassionate, loving person ever. I also know he has hurts inside, but I can't take this anymore. I'm tired of walking on eggshells around him.
Please help me.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Elizabeth, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you see the good aspects of your husband, and that you love him so much. I'm sure that's why you've stayed with him so long, in spite of his abusive behavior.
Something to consider is that no matter how good a person is, how much you love him or how much he loves his family, he has no right or excuse for being abusive to you and your children. I know this is hard, and that breaking up a family seems like a horrible solution to the problem.
Unfortunately, your family is already broken. Your husband's abusiveness is the cause, and if he does not get help or change his behavior, your family will continue to break, and everyone will suffer. Consider that you're not doing your husband any favors by continuing to stay and allow this harmful behavior. The more you try to please him, keep him from getting angry or accommodate his temper, you are sending him the message that his anger is a valid and justified way of relating to you and your children.
I suggest that you read this page on how to deal with abusive relationships. I think you'll also find some great benefit from this article about the battered wife syndrome.
If your husband is willing, you could consider couples counseling, or he could seek counseling for himself. If he's unwilling to do this, that tells you a lot.
One thing is for certain, Elizabeth, and that is that you need to believe in yourself. Take some time to sit and write about what you want and how you feel. Don't write about your husband, just focus on yourself. Then, looking at that, make a plan of action to take care of yourself and your children.
Believe in yourself, and make up your mind that you are going to create a safe, loving life for yourself and your children.
My very best to you,