- 4 years ago
- Wedding: May 2013
It sounds as if he may be emotionally abusive. You can’t fix that & couples’ counseling is a bad idea if he has abusive tendancies.
My suggestion would be that you see a counselor on your own–just make sure she or he is knowlegeable about all forms of abuse.
I would let him know, even in the form of a letter, that it hurts you when he acts like that and he needs to decide if he wants to correct his behavior or have it negatively impact your relationship. Let him know just what you said – that he can talk to you, but not in the way he has been. If he needs to take a break before talking about it, that’s fine, but you will not stand there and have someone yell at you.
I agree that seeing a counselor can help, but I do think it can help with you both. I don’t know what the seemingly small things are but many things that are small to me are a big deal to FI…like running late to get somewhere or an abrupt change in plans. You both might need to learn how to communicate better with each other.
You should close down communication when he is that angry, as communicating at that point is non productive. Agree to discuss the issue later when is is calm and can discuss is calmly. Talk about shutting down emotional arguments when he is calm. Also, I have to second what others are saying about couples counseling.
I went through four years of a relationship with a man with a terrible temper. Since then, my policy for an aggressive temper is zero percent.
Edited to add: the man in question did not want to go to therapy, either couples or individual, regarding his behavior. As the years rolled by, his behavior just escalated until I had to leave for my own safety and sanity.
My ex was like that. Very emotionally abusive. Couples counseling just made it worse. The only thing that helped was for me to go to individual counseling. She taught me how to respond and deal with it in a way that was healthier for me. When he realized I wasn’t going to put up with that anymore, he got even angrier. We ended up divorced.
You do not deserve to be treated that way. Honestly, it would be a deal breaker for me. My DH knows that if he ever raises his voice at me, I would not stand for it.
@sj8082: Sorry but I’m confused…is he physically abusing you as well?
In relation to the getting angry part, DH gets VERY angry about “things” not about me. It does bother me that his temper flares up about “stupid shit” IMO. However after being around his dad/brother more, I realize it was the way he was raised.
He honestly doesn’t know he’s doing it so instead of me getting angry back, I CALMLY try to talk to him. Sometimes he needs to be calmed down.
He has a good book about anger (can’t remember the name) and it says that people that get irritated, mad, angry, etc. over little things have to express it. Once they do, they can move on. If they don’t, they harbor that for the next time. BTW, this book makes absolutely NO SENSE to me but DH says he can relate.
I’m assuming you are like me and weren’t raised in a household where there was a lot of screaming, yelling, cursing so it makes it hard to deal with. I’m 100% certain there was emotional abuse in his family growing up so I know it was a “learned” behavior. I’m trying to get him to “unlearn” it.
Abuse defined, from the DV Hotline web site:
Other bees are right to wonder about abuse, but some people just dont know how to express anger. Let him know he can’t raise his voice with you. Tell him he’s shouting and then leave the room, leave the house, walk away and yes, shut down all communication when he’s shouting. If you stay in the room and listen, you make it clear this behavior is ok. I dont know if you have kids, but you probably dont want to teach them that this is ok!
If he wants to change, the first step he can take is to see a counselor.
He can only change himself, and only if he wants to change.
If you want him to change, you can talk to him, but if he refuses then you need to begin to take steps to protect yourself. Counseling for a start, but begin to consider leaving if his behaviour doesn’t change, because it certainly won’t get any better without some form of effort on HIS part.
@sj8082: Yeah, I agree emotionally or verbally abusive comes to mind!
Here is one idea. Whenever he becomes very heated and elevated, say to him calmly, “I can see that you’re very upset right now. I’m going to give you 20 minutes to cool down and then we can resume this conversation.”
According to Dr. John Gottman, people need a full 20 minutes (not 5) to cool down from their elevated flight or fight mode. When you resume, tell him that is it not acceptable for him to call you XYZ, or to throw things, or etc.
You can try it, you can be consistent in trying it. Let us know how it goes.
If that doesn’t work, then I suggest you start seeing a couselor by yourself.
How is he the other times when he’s not in flight or fight mode? How does he treat people at the grocery store, bank, etc?
PS I’ve read your other posts and sonds like your H sounds like a head ache and a half.
PSS here is a good book to read:
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship
I was in an Abusive Marriage for over 20 years.
It started out as you described… a Man with a Temper HE CHOSE not to control **
And he took his anger out on me
That is emotional abuse.
After that, it wasn’t long before other types of abuse crept into our relationship…
Until is was a full fleged Electrically Charged Abusive Relationship I was in… and worried about my safety as well of that of my children.
I tried everything in 15 years… Counselling for me – Counselling for him – Couples Counselling
I continually went in asking the same thing “What can WE DO TO FIX HIM”
The answer was always the same… NOTHING
He has to want to fix himself. Obviously he didn’t
Your story sounds to me as if you are at the beginning of this roller coaster ride… knowing what I know now, I’d advise you get off ASAP.
You don’t need a LIFETIME of this. It will only get worse, much worse.
(sorry) Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is based on fact.
(( HUGS ))
** PS – Want to know how you’ll know if this is Abuse or not ? Ask yourself this. These high tempered confrontations… where else does he have these. Does he behave this way at work ? Does he act this way towards other people ? Even people who frustrate him… or is it just you ? Just you… then he is doing it because he can. He is justifying his behaviour because it is JUST YOU. He is right there discounting your worth (emotional & psychological abuse). A man who RESPECTS YOU would not do this… ever. A man who loves you would do anything but hurt you emotionally or otherwise.