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heartlikealion

Navigating work/personal life boundaries

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Heart- hugs to you, I am glad you are standing up for yourself some. I pray you find clarity for your path moving forward and the help you need. I'm glad your family is by your side.

re: the dryer- mine does the same thing there is a button for wrinkle prevent, when you turn that off it will not keep cycling off and on. If theirs doesn't have the exact button google "dryer keeps turning on" for that model.

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Dh told everyone to get up. We were scheduled to leave at 8 am so I had time to shower but he insisted we needed to get going sooner if possible because if traffic. I skipped my shower and got dressed. Ds wouldn’t get up and Dh spanked him. When we were all ready Dh just sat in the living room for like 20 min at which point I sent dd to use the bathroom. Ds and I were like, “what the heck? I could have showered” and “I could have slept longer.” We went to the car around 8. I criticized the spanking and Dh said there was no force behind it. Ds apologized fur not getting up. I think this is dysfunctional. 

Dh said he has to stop at Sam’s Club on the way to work. He’s going on at noon. I said why and he said the other librarian dropped the ball so he’s buying supplies for the library food/coffee station. I said do is this coming out of our pocket? Will we be reimbursed? (I have old receipts that he never got reimbursed). He said he will consume free coffee for weeks and I said that’s not really benefiting us and he said it benefits him and he’s the one working. He told me to stop fighting and told me to shut up. 

Later we stopped for gas. I said are you planning on getting drinks? He said you can go in if you want. The kids piped up what they wanted and Dh began pumping gas. I went inside and thought hmm does Dh want anything? But what? I bought just 3 drinks and he got upset I didn’t think of him. I said I did but wasn’t sure what to get he said he wanted coffee and I said I don’t drink or buy coffee and that never occurred to me. Ds said he heard Dh want coffee but all I heard was him state he’d get “free” coffee from the Sam’s purchase. So I just said we can wait, you can run in and get your coffee. He was continuing to treat me like I'm a $hitty wife and said, “f*** you.” 

I feel like I can’t win and it doesn’t matter so I can’t let it get to me. I just need to get me & kids away from this toxicity. But of course we may have a ways to go. 

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8 minutes ago, soror said:

Heart- hugs to you, I am glad you are standing up for yourself some. I pray you find clarity for your path moving forward and the help you need. I'm glad your family is by your side.

re: the dryer- mine does the same thing there is a button for wrinkle prevent, when you turn that off it will not keep cycling off and on. If theirs doesn't have the exact button google "dryer keeps turning on" for that model.

I tried last night but couldn’t find the info I needed. The brand started with a c. 

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4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I blame it on ignorance.  People who have never experienced this just can’t imagine.  My own best friend...since age 11....has said some seriously messed up stuff to me.....well you started that. Well you could have stopped that.  Later, after I began to tell her everything...she then got it.  

this.  they can't imagine because they've never experienced it - and generally psychological abuse can be very subtle.  mil could be manipulative when she wanted to be, she'd make you crazy.  my grandmother was much worse - and she knew what she was doing. (she'd have this little "smirk" after she twisted the metaphorical knife.)

 

4 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Maybe it's cultural, too? Out here, no one can feign ignorance because it's stated a lot that such and such is abusive and not acceptable behavior. Just about no adult, including male, I know in my day to day life who is not an abuser would say that any of this behavior is OK or that it would be OK if he had ADHD.

I've a friend *whose therapist* couldn't see "it" when she described it.  he actually told her "that doesn't happen in families".  "I'm in a group of nine people - and it happens in every one of their families."     I started seeing a therapist a number of years ago - and I got to the point, I was done trying to explain it to her.  I stopped going to her.  she just couldn't comprehended it.  makes you wonder what they're teaching in school.  (both of them were licensed by the state.)

24 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

It may not be popular with some, but I'm also not interested in the other side in most abuse situations. I do not care to hear my dad's side of the story as to why he was emotionally and verbally abusive. There honestly in my mind is no acceptable other side to story of punching a hole in the wall, either. 

I've done a lot of digging into my grandmother's foo.  I have some ideas of where some of the behaviors came from.  it's interesting,  - BUT, she's the one who chose to go down the path in the direction she did.  she could have chosen a different direction. 

ultimately,  *why* she ended up psychologically abusing those closest to her, is irrelevant.  the bottom line is - she did a heck of a lot of damage to other people.   

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19 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh told everyone to get up. We were scheduled to leave at 8 am so I had time to shower but he insisted we needed to get going sooner if possible because if traffic. I skipped my shower and got dressed. Ds wouldn’t get up and Dh spanked him. When we were all ready Dh just sat in the living room for like 20 min at which point I sent dd to use the bathroom. Ds and I were like, “what the heck? I could have showered” and “I could have slept longer.” We went to the car around 8. I criticized the spanking and Dh said there was no force behind it. Ds apologized fur not getting up. I think this is dysfunctional. 

Dh said he has to stop at Sam’s Club on the way to work. He’s going on at noon. I said why and he said the other librarian dropped the ball so he’s buying supplies for the library food/coffee station. I said do is this coming out of our pocket? Will we be reimbursed? (I have old receipts that he never got reimbursed). He said he will consume free coffee for weeks and I said that’s not really benefiting us and he said it benefits him and he’s the one working. He told me to stop fighting and told me to shut up. 

Later we stopped for gas. I said are you planning on getting drinks? He said you can go in if you want. The kids piped up what they wanted and Dh began pumping gas. I went inside and thought hmm does Dh want anything? But what? I bought just 3 drinks and he got upset I didn’t think of him. I said I did but wasn’t sure what to get he said he wanted coffee and I said I don’t drink or buy coffee and that never occurred to me. Ds said he heard Dh want coffee but all I heard was him state he’d get “free” coffee from the Sam’s purchase. So I just said we can wait, you can run in and get your coffee. He was continuing to treat me like I'm a $hitty wife and said, “f*** you.” 

I feel like I can’t win and it doesn’t matter so I can’t let it get to me. I just need to get me & kids away from this toxicity. But of course we may have a ways to go. 

Yeah, it is messed up Heart. I am sorry. 

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8 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Anecdotes are not clinical studies, but I have seen abusive behaviours worsen when nutritional needs were not being met, improve when they were, then worsen again as the person stopped eating the way they need to. 

 

The YouTube I linked above — Julia relates to actual studies and statistics—and there are many if one knows to look.  It doesn’t have the money behind it for research and advertising though that the foodproduct and drug industry has.

The snippet  below relates to a 5 year research study done in 1971.  But almost no one knows about it.  And the book about it (which I recommend for people interested in this subject) has gone OOP.  

 

dystitle2.JPG
dysaut.JPG

Interview with Barbara Reed and Paul Stitt


Paul and Barbara Reed Stitt


Home

 

Andrew W. Saul Interviews 

PAUL AND BARBARA REED STITT

 

Barbara Reed served as an Ohio probation officer for 20 years. In 1971, she developed a program on the relationship of diet and behavior. A five-year study showed that over 80% of people on her program did not get back into trouble with the courts. Fourteen scientific studies have since proven that behavior is indeed affected by diet. Articles on her work have been in the Wall Street JournalScience News, and The London Times. She has appeared on CBS Weekend NewsGood Morning America, the McNeil-Lehrer Report, and testified before the Senate Select committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. In August 1982, she left the field of corrections when she married biochemist Paul Stitt.

 

Paul A. Stitt has a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. He has conducted research for Tenneco Chemicals and the Quaker Oats Company, and holds five U.S. patents. Paul has authored a number of scientific papers, which have been published in agricultural journals and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. He has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and CBS' 48 Hours.

 

In 1997, they together started a whole fresh foods lunch program for the students of the Appleton, WI, Alternative High School. Results: Dropouts, 0. Expulsions, 0. Drugs, 0. Weapons, 0. Suicides, 0. 

 

So this is one couple I just had to interview.

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I am sorry, Heart. The spanking does seem dysfunctional to me, but I was never big on spanking anyhow and nobody got spanked at all past age 5 or 6. 

I can relate a bit to that insecure feeling of “what does he want? Will anything please him.” But IME, the problem resides in him, not in my correctly guessing what he wants or doesn’t want. 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

I don’t fully agree with this, and here’s why: don’t we consider when disorders or other organic issues impact the behavior of our kids? If I have a child with low impulse control, do I help anything by just being furious or penalizing when the child does something foolish or destructive driven by low impulse control? 

I recently had another instance of ds losing his freakin mind over not being allowed to do something he wanted to do. I mean, if I could wave a magic wand and just eliminate his doing that, I would, but I don’t, so I can’t. The only thing that helps is de-escalation, which is what I used. Within about ten minutes, he realized he was being Mr. Crazypants. He apologized. He said (well, he texted) “I’m sorry if I hurt you. I took it too far.” 

Hopefully, I am giving him skills to sure up something that, IMO, has organic roots. I don’t think, “well, he’s just a bad kid who rains down verbal abuse when he doesn’t get his way. Off with his head!” 

Before anyone points it out, I KNOW abuse in marriage is not equivalent to having a teen who sometimes goes bananas. It’s not a problem simply solved and there are many nuances to consider AFA how severe, how frequent, how much escape power the victim has, and many, many other considerations. But what I am saying is, it’s more manageable if one can see where certain behaviors are coming from. If there’s any possibility that the abuser is sometimes/at any time open to understanding his own behavior, and if he may be willing to seek treatment, then I think, so much the better. 

Hurt people hurt people. You can’t improve the situation by simply closing off to the why

Haven't read the rest of the thread past here, but I wanted to pause and say my concern with the why (not with your ds, but in general) is that the why can be used to turn the abuser into the victim. And then the victim isn't really a victim as much as a trigger and that removes that they are actually the victim of an attack.  They just said the wrong thing/were in the wrong place wrong time, but then it's all about the abuser after that. The victim and the crime gets punted to the side. 

That is a line I feel like I am seeing more and more blurred lately. I think it's one of the reasons people are concerned with the forthcoming Joker movie tbh. You can humanize someone who is a horrible, horrible person, and I don't think that's immediately a bad thing- to recognize they are a human and not an animal and there is always a story, isn't there?  But when you start rationalizing things as being beyond their control because of their biology/nature/upbringing, then you remove the culpability from the abuser by them simply being an innocent bystander of bad biology or poor upbringing. And then the next step too often means that because of all that, they aren't culpable. That they shouldn't be punished, because they are actually just another victim. They're misunderstood. If we had just done XYZ as a society there would be no bad people. And maybe then their upbringing prevented them from knowing that there are coping mechanisms, and well, it's not their fault they were born into that ignorance.

And then you have the guy Garga mentions upthread beating the shit out of his wife and you will have someone, somewhere justifying that it's not that guy's fault and he needs to get therapy and not a penalty and be removed from society as a danger. And it just goes from there. Then you have people trying to rationalize pedophiles and serial rapist and people like Ted Bundy. That might sound extreme, but it's really not. Once people get the story out, if they want, you can always find a reason of why it's not your fault and why you weren't able to control yourself and therefore......and it really is all leading to this whole victim culture that is actually making everyone else a victim excepts the ones actually enduring the abuse. Much like other things we talk about here, the tables get turned, the abusers claim the title, and suddenly the ones who actually ARE the abused ones are left standing, yet again, out in the cold. While everyone pats the abuser on the back and says, there there. You're so BRAVE for dealing with this and being so public with your story. 

There is one thing to have sympathy, and we should have that, but there also needs to be culpability. End stop. Otherwise there is always going to be an excuse for abusers to victimize people, be they male or female. So it makes me really nervous when the why starts getting more attention than the deed in these situations. At the end of the day these are still adults we are talking about (again not your ds- general abuse and the dh in this thread) and adults have and make choices and they need to be culpable for those choices. The "victim of biology" line isn't going to lead anywhere good for the ACTUAL victims or society as a whole. 

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8 hours ago, Frances said:
  8 hours ago, maize said:

I'm a bit surprised that putting a hole in a wall is seen as a huge deal, most walls just aren't very strong--one of my kids put a hole in our wall when they were maybe six years old? Child was feeling irritated about something and kicked the wall, was absolutely shocked that it made a hol

 

I think 6 year olds get a pass on that because they don’t know better.  Adults deliberately hitting walls and making holes are different.

Read the excerpt in photo below toward bottom, “attacks against property and pets”.    (Though I am sorry killing and abusing pets got lumped together with hitting walls, as I regard attacks against animals as far worse.) 

EFECEC4C-2578-45CC-BDF0-C7718E05A797.png

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

I am sorry, Heart. The spanking does seem dysfunctional to me, but I was never big on spanking anyhow and nobody got spanked at all past age 5 or 6. 

I can relate a bit to that insecure feeling of “what does he want? Will anything please him.” But IME, the problem resides in him, not in my correctly guessing what he wants or doesn’t want. 

Agree.....one time Dh spanked dss when he was 8 or 9 and I thought that was ridiculous.  It was before I met him....and I rolled my eyes when he told me about it.  That was the last spanking he ever gave. I mean, I don’t really think I is abusive exactly...I just seems like poor parenting.

What  I think is worse is telling a grown woman aka your wife that she can’t take the time to shower before a long drive home.  I mean who does he think he is? 

And saying F you to your wife.  Wow.  Just wow.  

 

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9 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

It's amazing how many of us there are with neurological differences or mental health issues, who manage to know that these things are not OK AND refrain from them.

Despite having chronic depression and anxiety, I have managed not to punch holes in the wall, threaten my spouse with abandonment, hit my child, keep my spouse perpetually just short of the money she needs to care adequately for her family blah blah blah. It's amazing the things non-abusers know not to do! 

What a pathetic response. I suppose then I can say that depression/anxiety/bi-polar and other mental health issues do NOT affect people the same. And no one here EVER excused his behavior, you guys know that. They asked questions and gave instances of what they had seen or experienced, the same as you. Getting mental help should never be crapped on, as you seem to be doing in his case. Suggesting ways for her to suggest mental help for him should not be crapped on.Yep, he’s a big boy and she needs to put her safety first. But he’s also the father of her children for the rest of their lives, and if suggesting mental help makes their lives better then I’d move mountains to do it.

And before you go all aggressive about me not being intimate with mental health issues, let me add that I’ve lived with it for decades with a bi-polar daughter, brother in law, and assorted relatives in dh’s side. I can discuss meds and therapists with the best of you, lol

ETA- while I ageee with AEthe Texan said, I truly don’t think people were wrong with suggesting mental help for him. It’s not excusing his behavior. I hope we’re all liberal minded enough to understand that in this situation. 

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Agree.....one time Dh spanked dss when he was 8 or 9 and I thought that was ridiculous.  It was before I met him....and I rolled my eyes when he told me about it.  That was the last spanking he ever gave. I mean, I don’t really think I is abusive exactly...I just seems like poor parenting.

What  I think is worse is telling a grown woman aka your wife that she can’t take the time to shower before a long drive home.  I mean who does he think he is? 

And saying F you to your wife.  Wow.  Just wow.  

 

Well, I think she said she was the one dropping the f-bomb. Not to say I can’t understand why.

 

Oops, no, I stand corrected. I read that wrong. You are correct. 

Edited by Quill

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

For the record, one time I had a book about leaving a narcissist in the wrong Amazon account. Dh saw it in the cart or “saved for later.” He was very hurt and offended. We had a small heart-to-heart and to this day I don’t know if he fits the definition of narcissist. 

So it’s not as if Dh can claim full ignorance and things. He knows I take meds... but has he ever asked himself if he could benefit from something for anxiety or such? I don’t know. He’d probably scoff at that. 

You do realize I said upthread he’s accused me of munchausen by proxy before. My psychiatrist knows this. He and I spoke a little (some visits back) and I said I don’t feel like I fit that criteria. Generally when I go to a dr there’s a report that supports it. Dh criticized me for spending money on my sprained foot. I should have just laid up on the couch for weeks?? I got crutches & a boot & a brace. 

I would recommend Dr. Les Carter's youtube channel on surviving narcissism.  He describes the different types**, he is objective - he can understand how the narcissist works, while helping the "victim" see what's going on, why it's happening, and how to protect themselves.

he's also started one under just his name.

** - I used to think my grandmother wasn't a narcissist because she didn't fit the descriptions I was seeing.  Then I listened to his description of a covert narcissist - and that did fit.

 

considering those who have munchausen make their child physically sick by injecting them with something, or doing something to them to make them ill so medical drs will do something - I don't think you have munchausen.  

your dh - does sound like he's very anxious.

 

- as for punching holes in walls.  a child isn't an adult, and an adult should have enough self-control to not punch a wall.  same with throwing plates.  dudeling used to try to throw plates - and I was constantly gabbing them out of his hand.  he was shocked the one time I didn't get it from him.  that time all he did was pick it up, and drop it.  he really didn't expect it to break.  but he stopped trying to throw them.

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32 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh told everyone to get up. We were scheduled to leave at 8 am so I had time to shower but he insisted we needed to get going sooner if possible because if traffic. I skipped my shower and got dressed. Ds wouldn’t get up and Dh spanked him. When we were all ready Dh just sat in the living room for like 20 min at which point I sent dd to use the bathroom. Ds and I were like, “what the heck? I could have showered” and “I could have slept longer.” We went to the car around 8. I criticized the spanking and Dh said there was no force behind it. Ds apologized fur not getting up. I think this is dysfunctional. 

Dh said he has to stop at Sam’s Club on the way to work. He’s going on at noon. I said why and he said the other librarian dropped the ball so he’s buying supplies for the library food/coffee station. I said do is this coming out of our pocket? Will we be reimbursed? (I have old receipts that he never got reimbursed). He said he will consume free coffee for weeks and I said that’s not really benefiting us and he said it benefits him and he’s the one working. He told me to stop fighting and told me to shut up. 

Later we stopped for gas. I said are you planning on getting drinks? He said you can go in if you want. The kids piped up what they wanted and Dh began pumping gas. I went inside and thought hmm does Dh want anything? But what? I bought just 3 drinks and he got upset I didn’t think of him. I said I did but wasn’t sure what to get he said he wanted coffee and I said I don’t drink or buy coffee and that never occurred to me. Ds said he heard Dh want coffee but all I heard was him state he’d get “free” coffee from the Sam’s purchase. So I just said we can wait, you can run in and get your coffee. He was continuing to treat me like I'm a $hitty wife and said, “f*** you.” 

I feel like I can’t win and it doesn’t matter so I can’t let it get to me. I just need to get me & kids away from this toxicity. But of course we may have a ways to go. 

IMO you need to tell him to get help for his anger problem NOW, or he needs to go live with his parent for now. No discussion. Hitting your son? No more hitting should be tolerated. You're calling it 'spanking', but at his age I'd just consider that hitting. For me, that's a line not to be crossed. What'll he do as you son gets older and bigger? 

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

Well, I think she said she was the one dropping the f-bomb. Not to say I can’t understand why.

Well, I re read the post and that isn’t clear to me.  If she is the one who said FU, Heart that needs to stop immediately.

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Well, I re read the post and that isn’t clear to me.  If she is the one who said FU, Heart that needs to stop immediately.

Yes, I’m sorry; I was wrong. I read it the other way the first time. 

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9 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

It may not be popular with some, but I'm also not interested in the other side in most abuse situations. I do not care to hear my dad's side of the story as to why he was emotionally and verbally abusive. There honestly in my mind is no acceptable other side to story of punching a hole in the wall, either. 

I can’t agree with this.  Unfortunately, there are some nasty people who do lie and go out of their way to make the spouse look like the abuser so no ones realizes it is them.   One close to me if you didn’t really know them, you would have thought the former husband was complete evil.  But in reality, it was the wife who made holes, the wife who verbally/emotionally abused the husband and more.  The kids did eventually figure it out when they were adults and then had a relationship with the dad.  

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29 minutes ago, Jen500 said:

IMO you need to tell him to get help for his anger problem NOW, or he needs to go live with his parent for now. No discussion. Hitting your son? No more hitting should be tolerated. You're calling it 'spanking', but at his age I'd just consider that hitting. For me, that's a line not to be crossed. What'll he do as you son gets older and bigger? 

ITA

My dh went through some health problems, those health issues drastically changed who he was as a person, completely. Now, my dh had always been a loving and giving man, much more selfless than myself so it took a bit to figure out what the hell was going on but I got to the point I disengaged b/c you can't reason with someone when they are like that, I'd lay odds that you have no chance of convincing him by talking that he needs to change with how things are now. What I did was disengage and set boundaries. You know, Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings and he says, "You shall not pass!!" With that authority when he'd do something unacceptable, I'd say, "You may not speak to me that way," or"You may not treat me that way." and I'd leave the room and disengage. There was no talking about it because there is nothing to discuss at that point. I highly encouage you to start establishing those boundaries and disengage. I think you are fanning the flames sometimes, even if inadvertently. Your example from this morning , another way to handle it would be to respond with, " I will be ready at 8, no further talk or discussion, go about your business, leave the room and do what you need to do, be ready when you say. Mine never laid a hand on my children but he did speak in a rough voice sometime and I told him, "You may not treat the children that way." 

Dh did get his medical issues lined out and we repaired our communication and connection but he had a desire to change and it was not in his nature. If you fear that your dh will escalate his mental abuse and hit you if you establish boundaries then I'd be taking a long look if you are in a situation that is safe for you or the kids. He may have all kinds of sh*t going on, who knows but neither you or the kids deserve it and he is the only one who can get himself help and make those changes, you cannot do that. You can only change your actions and responses.

Edited by soror
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The morning of getting underway on trip sounds dysfunctional.

 If all family members were of a mind to work on improvement, probably much could be done, starting with a different approach to getting up in the morning.  

Spanking is illegal in some countries. 

Mississippi is probably going to be more open to spanking still with a “spare the rod and spoil the child” mentality than some states. 

However, even if non forceful, a large man spanking an 11 year old boy who is in bed seems really really creepy to me.  Sort of a bit toward an S/M direction slightly sexualized act.   Spanking + adolescent — personally, I feel a shiver of apprehension.  

I think you need Mississippi legal advice on the spanking of an adolescent boy ASAP with someone confidential to whom you can describe details.  Women who allow their husbands to physically abuse their children can get into serious trouble even if they themselves are being abused.  You may need to leave sooner than you think if this were construed in your geographical area to be abuse of your son. 

If you don’t know where else to turn, try the professor at University of Mississippi. She wrote a main book on family law for the state.  

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23 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Haven't read the rest of the thread past here, but I wanted to pause and say my concern with the why (not with your ds, but in general) is that the why can be used to turn the abuser into the victim. And then the victim isn't really a victim as much as a trigger and that removes that they are actually the victim of an attack.  They just said the wrong thing/were in the wrong place wrong time, but then it's all about the abuser after that. The victim and the crime gets punted to the side

<snip>

I understand that concern and yes, I do think it is possible to go too far the other way.  What I see, as far as progress in the world of understanding mental health, is so many, many things which society once thought was just Evil has specific, now-known, organic roots. You can still see remnants of this when a new mom has a baby and a grandma or whomever asks, “Is he a good baby?” 

Again, please, nobody think I’m saying you can just talk an abuser out of abuse. Not at all. I’m simply acknowledging that it’s not always possible, practical, or the best idea to up and leave the marriage. Sometimes it is worth finessing things because the situation, even with abusive behavior, is actually better than being homeless, or impoverished or whatever. Some problems are fixable or can be improved depending on the victim’s response. 

I have had some rocky years in my marriage. There are words and behaviors that make things worse and words and behaviors that make things better. In my case, staying and learning those skills was a better option than leaving and being destitute. I’m not saying this is true for everyone or even for the OP. But Im just saying it’s easy to say, “Oh, you have to leave that ass!” But it’s worth moving wisely instead of just rashly leaving. 

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17 minutes ago, Pen said:

The morning of getting underway on trip sounds dysfunctional.

 If all family members were of a mind to work on improvement, probably much could be done, starting with a different approach to getting up in the morning.  

Spanking is illegal in some countries. 

Mississippi is probably going to be more open to spanking still with a “spare the rod and spoil the child” mentality than some states. 

However, even if non forceful, a large man spanking an 11 year old boy who is in bed seems really really creepy to me.  Sort of a bit toward an S/M direction slightly sexualized act.   Spanking + adolescent — personally, I feel a shiver of apprehension.  

I think you need Mississippi legal advice on the spanking of an adolescent boy ASAP with someone confidential to whom you can describe details.  Women who allow their husbands to physically abuse their children can get into serious trouble even if they themselves are being abused.  You may need to leave sooner than you think if this were construed in your geographical area to be abuse of your son. 

If you don’t know where else to turn, try the professor at University of Mississippi. She wrote a main book on family law for the state.  

 

@heartlikealion   In re spanking:

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/discipline/things-you-might-not-know-about-spanking-including-whether-its-ever-ok/

 

In any case, using spanking as a way to get a child out of bed seems like it belongs on your list of indicators of poor parenting.

 

 

Edited by Pen

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29 minutes ago, soror said:

ITA

My dh went through some health problems, those health issues drastically changed who he was as a person, completely. Now, my dh had always been a loving and giving man, much more selfless than myself so it took a bit to figure out what the hell was going on but I got to the point I disengaged b/c you can't reason with someone when they are like that, I'd lay odds that you have no chance of convincing him by talking that he needs to change with how things are now. What I did was disengage and set boundaries. You know, Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings and he says, "You shall not pass!!" With that authority when he'd do something unacceptable, I'd say, "You may not speak to me that way," or"You may not treat me that way." and I'd leave the room and disengage. There was no talking about it because there is nothing to discuss at that point. I highly encouage you to start establishing those boundaries and disengage. I think you are fanning the flames sometimes, even if inadvertently. Your example from this morning , another way to handle it would be to respond with, " I will be ready at 8, no further talk or discussion, go about your business, leave the room and do what you need to do, be ready when you say. Mine never laid a hand on my children but he did speak in a rough voice sometime and I told him, "You may not treat the children that way."  Dh did get his medical issues lined out and we repaired our communication and connection but he had a desire to change and it was not in his nature. If you fear that your dh will escalate his mental abuse and hit you if you establish boundaries then I'd be taking a long look if you are in a situation that is safe for you or the kids. He may have all kinds of sh*t going on, who knows but neither you or the kids deserve it and he is the only one who can get himself help and make those changes, you cannot do that. You can only change your actions and responses.

 

I think this may be significantly different in that I don’t think @heartlikealion ‘s dh was probably ever a loving man (she can maybe clarify that) who then changed, and from what she has written I do think that escalation to more direct physical violence is possible .

But I nonetheless think that your general approach of disengagement would be important to consider as an approach.    She may not be able to that well until she starts to get herself into a position of less dependency.

“You may not _____” May not be possible if someone is on the edge of pushing you out of car on interstate.  

 

Edited by Pen
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Again, I'm going to emphasize going to see a lawyer on the DL and not doing anything rash or making any sweeping proclamations for him (or you) to get out unless you think there is immediate danger. You really do need to get the ducks in a row. I agree with Quill about the not being rash. And coming from a weekend with his parents, who are obvious button pushers is not going to have you in the calmest, rationale line of thought. Although again, what he did to you at the gas station was uncalled for. 

Is the spanking accelerating? If it is, this is something I would bring up with the attorney ASAP- like as soon as your dh goes to work, you need to start calling for free consults if you are beginning to feel that you and/or the children are at increased risk of true physical abuse. On the one hand, boys your ds's age having to go through a parental divorce can have a lot of issues- that's an upset I'd avoid if at all possible . BUT. If the spankings are accelerating, become more frequent, that's not going to bode well for your ds either outcome wise. If you have concern that your husband's frustrations are playing out against your son because he can't hit you etc., then you again, need to tell that to a lawyer in not just your state, but in your specific county who knows the judges you're likely to deal with. They are the only one in the whole situation who is going to adequately be able to tell you what you are dealing with. They will have seen this all, and a lot worse, and will also have the local resources to direct you to. If you leave, or you tell your dh to get out, and you have one joint account, there is a very good chance he can take all of that money and move it to where you cannot access it and then you will be screwed. So again, lawyer, lawyer, lawyer before you do anything if at all possible. 

If you both previously agreed on spanking as a punishment, and no longer don't, and this is a one off and you aren't concerned really about abuse at this point, then another thing to bring up at a calm point between you and your dh to see if it's possible to get on the same parenting page here. But I think that's a different scenario- disagreeing on what was previously an agreed upon issue, with no warning. That falls under more of the marriage dysfunction if it's solvable, at least imo. 

 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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3 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I think this may be significantly different in that I don’t think @heartlikealion ‘s dh was probably ever a loving man (she can maybe clarify that) who then changed, and from what she has written I do think that escalation to more direct physical violence is possible .

But I nonetheless think that your general approach of disengagement would be important.  

 

Yes, from what I gathered I don't think he was ever a good guy but I'm not sure to what extent he's changed, surely if he was that big of an asshat she wouldn't have married him but as you said I think the disengagement would be good regardless- I was just relating my personal story as to where I was coming from.

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I’m not offended at all that any of us would want him to get mental health help but I want you to know this man shoots me down over every little medical thing so no, there isn’t much room to have a civil conversation about him having anger issues or w/e. Also I’m an HSP so people sometimes throw that in my face. “You’re too sensitive.” I’m more in tune, though. He wants to take ds hunting. Ds is tender hearted. I don’t think he’d like that in reality. But Dh doesn’t follow through with much so I don’t think it will even happen. I said ehh don’t you take him fishing first? You guys bought a pole like 2 years ago and never used it. 

Getting off topic again but yeah he’s not going to get anger management help. Not right now. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. I have hit him before and I later told myself I’d never hit him again. I don’t want to sink to that level. I am much smaller than him so I was surprised to actually inflict any any. After an argument he tugged my chair and I fell out of it and host a nasty bruise. He said it was not intentional for me to fall but he was just pulling the chair closer to him. It was pretty fishy and I told my psychiatrist about it and showed pics of the bruise to a girlfriend or sister I think. 

He has been mean to the cat before. She kept trying to go in the dryer. She did once and he closed the door and I believe let it go around one rotation. I freaked out and yelled at him. He said oh I didn’t hurt her. She won’t do that again! I brought it up later and he said he didn’t turn the dryer on  but I’m 99.9% sure he did. I know my cat is mean but I love her and try my best to understand her temperament, nature, etc. I would never do that to her. 

When I was pregnant I asked him to scoop the litter box. Before then I scooped it 1-2x a day. He hardly did it. Every do many days. Or no scooping and just dumping the old litter. Then I started slacking on it but I feel like I only started slacking because of his attitude and I regret that and know I can’t neglect things just because he did. He’s the one that forced the cat on me but doesn’t help with her at all now. I would not leave him in charge of her. 

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No one is saying that there isn’t severe dysfunction 

No one is saying to excuse everything or to do nothing. 

What people are saying is to look before she leaps unless she and her kids are in physical danger) in which case you just leap. 

My abuser was a violent alcoholic. IF he had gotten help for the alcoholism then there might have been a chance. It wouldn’t have excused or erased his past behavior but it might have made it possible to turn things around. I still benefited from Al-anon even though he didn’t turn things around and I had death threats for a year after leaving.

My thinking was also seriously messed up and I needed help getting the objectivity I needed to make right choices. If I had had kids at the time it would have been even more important, I think, to try to get help for their father because I could leave but he would still be their father and most likely would still have had some custody. 

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I posted and then saw your last post. He knocked you out of a chair, and put your cat in an f-ing dryer?!!? These are some major flags. Like, on fire flags.

And no, you shouldn't have hit him. But that doesn't justify any of this stuff either. Is there legal separation in your state, where you could get some breathing room from each other and try to drain the toxicity from the relationship? Then you can see what is you, what is him, what is salvageable, and what is not, with some legal protections AND A PLAN  in place. That might be worth thinking about. I'm not a shrink, but i feel like you've justified and passed off somethings that would have had some of us filing or calling the cops, as a normal minorly dysfunctional marriages. People should not put cats in dryers. That wasn't an accident. I doubt the chair was either, in that it was a show of force. He might not have meant to knock you out, but he was using his size and strength to dominate you in that moment if it happened in the way you describe. Not scooping the cat box when asked is being a tool. Putting a cat in the dryer and knocking your wife out of a chair is being abusive and crossing completely different lines. He has far exceeded Tool-dom and moved on to bigger, worse things. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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I was never a fan of spanking and he’d urge me to discipline with it. I would do it in anger and realized that is the worst thing a parent can do and later learned more about positive parenting etc. I learned about 123 Magic when ds was about 4 and Dh refused to get on board. You need all adults on board. Since then I joined s positive parenting group and asked if he’d want to attend a class but he wasn’t interested and/or the cost. It was like $60/couple. He used to pop the kids on the cheek too and o didn’t know he thought that was ok til after we were married. I told him don’t touch their face. I know I’d popped them on the hand before and again, regretted that. You don’t have to “pop” someone to tell them no. 

We are listening to the radio and John Tesh is talking about toxic people lol 

I will look up the professor when I get home. 

No, I don’t feel like I have power sometimes when I refuse things. If I had said I’ll be ready at 8, leave me alone he’d have restated the thing about traffic. But we didn't actually leave early! 

I do try to practice disengaging. I haven’t mastered that obviously lol 

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58 minutes ago, Jen500 said:

IMO you need to tell him to get help for his anger problem NOW, or he needs to go live with his parent for now. No discussion. Hitting your son? No more hitting should be tolerated. You're calling it 'spanking', but at his age I'd just consider that hitting. For me, that's a line not to be crossed. What'll he do as you son gets older and bigger? 

While I also consider it hitting and not just a spanking and very concerning, I am actually more concerned about the kids regularly being exposed to the arguing, emotional abuse, disrespect, etc. 

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Yeah I don’t do anything rash. I need a little time/planning. 

Our county just removed corporal punishment at the public schools. Like the year Ds was there? And the private school asked if we wanted to opt in. Instead of a simple no Dh said he’d come to the school and deal with it himself if he had to (implying he’d be the spanker, not a school employee). I knew it could be taken as a joke or not... Dh has weird ways of interacting/joking sometimes. 

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He was a nicer guy at a time. He would get off his video game with no delay to pay me attention. He cooked for me. He got an apt with washer/dryer hookups near my apt and did some of my laundry for me there so I didn’t have to lug it to the laundry room at my apt. We purchased the washer and dryer together at the store but on my cc? We still have the same set from over 10 yrs ago.

he told me a story of how he saved a cat in distress and had to go to the hospital for it. The cat sunk its claws in him as he tried to remove it from a dangerous angle or something. But he knew the cat was stuck. 

He was a vegetarian for years and a vegan for a few. He wouldn’t eat at restaurants that served veal. He was a meat eater when I met him but I thought he was a bigger animal lover/advocate. He is very opposed to zoos. So the cat stuff? That’s crazy to me. The cat can be nice but it’s hit and miss. She does best with me. I love on her all the time lol I think she’s a wee bit feral. 

We dated long distance several months. He would drive a few hours to see me every weekend. Then he moved closer. He let me drag him to clubs and concerts. After we got married he stopped trying so much. Wouldn’t attend my 10 yr high school class reunion with me but might go to my 20 yr. in 2020. 

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11 hours ago, maize said:

You haven't seen mental illness result in abusive behavior?

Dysregulated brains are not good at nice polite interactions.

In something like ADHD, impulse control may be the primary problem. 

Our behavior--all of our behavior--is regulated by our brain and if the brain is malfunctioning that turns into behavioral malfunction.

Is that the source of all abuse or even most abuse? Almost certainly not. But I think it is a bigger issue than is often recognized. Irritability is more and more recognized as a primary symptom of depression in men.

Yup. I will flat out admit that the biggest and most shocking impact that ADHD meds had on me was I stopped yelling all the time. Anger management is an issue for me, and I'm working SO hard on it and avoiding triggers, looking at the big picture, etc etc but in the moment the anger would spike and I'd yell my head off. It's an impulse control thing - I knew it was wrong but didn't seem to have the ability to stop it before it happened...like the part of the brain controlling things kicked in a bit after the part that was angry. Meds were AMAZING. And again, I had NO IDEA that would be an effect, so this isn't some kind of placebo effect - it was shocking. In fact, I may need an increase and my biggest indicator is trouble with my anger again. 

Depression can also cause mean behavior. My ex husband was NEVER a mean person - not  mean bone in his body - until his depression hit in his twenties. He got SO mean - he made me cry. And although he was never ever violent (his depression gave him fatigue, slowed him down, at it's worst he was nearly catatonic) he did indicate on the forms he filled out at the psychiatrist that he had thoughts of harming others. This is SO out of character for him..I can't even express how much. Don't get me wrong, he was a terrible husband for many reasons, he gaslighted, passive aggressive to avoid conflict, had non existent conflict resolution skills and refused to learn them, etc etc but mean? Never. It was the depression/anxiety. Thankfully he only got mean that first bad bout, when he was so bad he couldn't get out of the shower once he got in, couldn't get out of bed, didn't leave the house for months, etc. 

So yeah - mental illness can trigger anger issues, meanness, and so can brain differences like ADHD (not a mental illness). Heck, look at post partum psychosis! That sure can trigger abuse. 

10 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

Some people on here very well did try to explain his behaviors away because he might have ADHD. I do have ADHD and am a survivor of abuse and feel no sympathy toward people who would try to use it as an excuse to hurt others. People know that punching a hole in the wall is not OK. They know that threatening to kick your wife out of the car in the middle of a freeway is not OK.

Maybe, maybe not. They may not know that isn't okay. Or, more often I bet, they have an impulse control issue. ADHD means knowing what to do but being unable to do it. It means the part of the brain that controls higher level functions and knows not to punch the wall kicks in a few seconds or so AFTER the part of the brain that is angry, and so right AFTER punching the wall you know it was wrong. It's a terrible feeling, and probably makes the abuse worse "Look at what you made me do" is the shame part. 

That doesn't make it okay. And if a person refuses to get help, yeah, that's not mental illness that's character. But if that IS the problem, and they WILL agree to get help, it's a path out of that abuse. 

Some abusers are narcissists and terrible people and LIKE causing abuse 

Others really do lose it in the moment and feel badly, and want to do better, and those ones, those ones can and should get help. That doesn't mean the wife needs to forgive, or stay in the relationship. But maybe later on that person can do better in other relationships, or in society in general. You know how they say a kid acting out isn't giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time? That can be true for adults too. I've lived it. 

Also, my father has similar issues as me. He has "a temper" as my mom would say. He is a lot bigger and scarier than me, too. What's funny? His temper never scared me. I can remember him getting SO angry, turning red, and breaking a broomstick across his knee. My mom was scared. But I KNEW he wasn't going to hurt anyone - it was just "big feelings" coming out physically as we say about toddlers. So I ran right up to him, shoved him hard in the chest to get his attention, and told him to knock it off, he was scaring mom. 

My mom was horrified, but I KNEW he wasn't going to hurt anyone. To ME it wasn't abusive. But - to her it was, because she would alter her behavior to not provoke him because it scared her. So he had to stop. (and he did....he wanted to change, he realized it was scaring her even though he wasn't trying to be scary, and honestly, partly he just grew up. Like my oldest he most likely is on the spectrum and had very delayed social skills. He figured them out in his 40s I think. 

9 hours ago, maize said:

Links to a few studies that have attempted to explore the link between anger and depression (anger and irritability being one advice of abusive behavior).

https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-so-angry-irritable-it-might-be-depression/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959025/

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C45&q=irritability+depression&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DBcPC3T0LFuUJ

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C45&q=irritability+depression+anger+abuse&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D4OiAfbhW0oAJ

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C45&q=irritability+depression+anger+abuse&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DJFfO-3zdxBgJ

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,45&qsp=2&q=anger+attacks+in+depression&qst=br#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D63pIlJaIIQUJ

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,45&qsp=2&q=anger+attacks+in+depression&qst=br#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DFCKJ9tJNRIcJ

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165178100001207

You've also managed not to end your own life. Would you say "it is amazing the things non suiciders know not to do"?

Of course not every person who might qualify for a given diagnosis will engage in every behavior that links to that diagnosis.

Do you see suicide prevention as primarily a matter of people with suicidal impulses comprehending that suicide is not OK and refraining from it? The people who don't kill themselves are simply more moral than those who do?

What if for some people abusive behavior stems from the same kinds of underlying mental dysregulation as suicidal behavior? What if we could address it using some of the same tools?

Suicidality and inappropriate anger and other dysfunctional behavior 100% correlate in my spouse; treatments that have a beneficial impact on one also have a beneficial impact on the other.

Exactly. I can't imagine ever ever ever committing suicide, not do I see my son doing it, despite his struggled with depression/anxiety/adhd. We joke that both of us are more likely to turn homicidal than suicidal, but it's true to an extent. My husband on the other hand, more likely to be suicidal I bet. (I do still worry about it with my son, as you never know). I think it's kind of like how there are different reactions to fear - fight, flight, freeze, appease. Same with other aspects of our primal brain. 

9 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Anecdotes are not clinical studies, but I have seen abusive behaviours worsen when nutritional needs were not being met, improve when they were, then worsen again as the person stopped eating the way they need to. 

Yes, and for me sugar makes it worse. Also, gluten. Gluten makes me mean. I do not know why. 

9 hours ago, maize said:

I'm a bit surprised that putting a hole in a wall is seen as a huge deal, most walls just aren't very strong--one of my kids put a hole in our wall when they were maybe six years old? Child was feeling irritated about something and kicked the wall, was absolutely shocked that it made a hole. Sure punching a wall isn't a great idea but it's a lot better than punching a person; I could totally imagine myself punching a wall as a way to release anger. I don't get angry very often but when I do I really, really, really want to do something physical with that anger. 

We still talk about the stuff my sister and I threw at each other as kids - I guess they made walls stronger then? My teen has put multiple holes in walls and doors, with very little force. But thankfully, time, meds, etc have stopped that. 

9 hours ago, maize said:

So here's a crazy maize punching things story as I head off to bed. 

Happened during an argument with dh when he was in a less than rational mood. My husband is not a physically violent person (fortunately!) but he also tends to not accept the severity of verbal harm. He'll claim that since he isn't hitting anyone his behavior isn't a problem (this has improved in recent years). I was trying to communicate that his verbal attacks were in fact harmful--that emotionally they felt like being punched. 

I must have been less than rational myself at the moment (and I really do have a massive urge to hit things when I am angry) because I had the bright idea to illustrate my point by punching myself in the face. Yeah not the best idea; I apparently broke my nose, it was months before it felt more or less normal again. I never did go to a doctor because I didn't really think they would believe my story.

(Our Martial arts teacher was explaining the other day that it only takes about 8 lbs of force to break a nose...)

That's freaking hysterical. I can totally see myself doing that back before meds. My worst one was that I got mad at the kids once and in anger slammed the book I was reading down on the table, hard. Except it wasn't a book - it was my kindle, which I realized only after I did it. Totally broke it. 

9 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I only realized within the past year that Dh does have anxiety about things that come out as controlling — saying he doesn’t want us going somewhere and then later saying oh I just worry and didn’t know if the car would break down or if someone would get hurt (ie me taking dd to a skating rink). I don’t know if he suffers from anxiety on a clinical level, though. Don’t know how often things make him anxious. 

So funny thing about laundry... I accidentally didn’t pack enough pairs of underwear for myself. I removed the heap of towels from the bathroom today and asked Dh if he could wash my underwear with the towels. I was heading out to meet my girlfriend and I also didn’t want to mess with my inlaws’ washer because they totally micromanage me when I do. They were both home. Dh said, “oh I don’t need to wash them with towels. I’m going to wash a bunch of our stuff.” I said, “well I suggested towels because I wash underwear on a hotter setting than T-shirt’s, etc.”

Fast forward... I was leaving my parents’ home and texted him. “Did you wash my underwear?” (Paraphrasing) He said, “no, I decided not to do laundry because we’re leaving tomorrow and you always rewash the clothes anyway because of the smoke smell.” I said, “can you just wash my underwear with the towels? I still need underwear.” “No, my mom already washed the towels. I didn’t know you needed underwear.” “I specifically asked for underwear.” “My mom had already washed the towels.” “Not when I first brought it up.” 

He knows I always wash underwear from the store too so buying more pairs doesn’t really solve it. 

Ugggh 

so you see if it was me in his shoes, I would have thrown a load in. But when I got home he was just watching a movie with his mom and when she left the room I asked if he’d thrown a load in since our text exchange. He said no and went to bed. 

Guess since my inlaws went to bed I can use the washer without them telling me I’m using the “wrong” settings. Instead of going to sleep I’ll babysit the laundry. Here if you run the dryer it will beep til you open it. And my fil gets up really early and I don’t want to have him mansplain the machine to me when he sees the machine is being used (it has all these blue digital lights on in use) so I want to be done before that. 

I think that was selfish & dense of him. Like I said the word underwear what, 2-3 times and he thought what? I was just asking for kicks? 

If you think I’m a hypocrite I asked him to do me a favor. I didn’t expect it by default. 

He's either selfish or clueless. i don't know which. Some people on the spectrum will not get things like this. Doesn't make it easier to live with. 

9 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Think what you will about the wall. I don’t care. But the man is 6’5.5” and over 300 lbs so it’s scary when he does something aggressive. He has hurt me before without intending to. He doesn’t realize his own strength. One time I put the hook & eye on the master bedroom and he forced the door open. I don’t remember if I was avoiding him or locking a kid out because I wanted to be alone but he just bullied his way in the room. I was not pleased and that was a bit terrifying. 

I threw a remote control in anger at my sister’s home before. Wasn’t aiming it at anything in particular. I get it. Sometimes we lash out in different ways. 

Ok - wait. He hurt you? When? How? And he broke down a door  on purpose to get to you? In anger? Honey, those are flat out abusive, period. Seek help, legal help. Forget how it is for you - your kids will grow up thinking this is normal if you stay. Period. 

8 hours ago, maize said:

ah, but that's nice rational thinking.

Punching oneself in the nose is more ADHD impulsive consequence-what-is-a-consequence behavior 😉

 

yup - leap first think later. 

4 hours ago, Garga said:

Interesting.  We have a boardie who talks about how her husband used to hold her down and hit her in the face until his mental illness got under control with meds.  Sometimes mental illness does result in violence to the people around them and when the mental illness is controlled, so is the violence. 

But the person must be willing to get help, and that's probably the biggest part of the equation.

That last line is the whole thing. My DH wasn't willing to heal himself to fix our marriage. So I had to leave. Not to punish him, or because he was an awful person, but to save myself and my kid. Because the bible says to love thy neighbor as thyself, not MORE than thyself. But mostly, because I refused to let my son grow up thinking that was normal. 

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh told everyone to get up. We were scheduled to leave at 8 am so I had time to shower but he insisted we needed to get going sooner if possible because if traffic. I skipped my shower and got dressed. Ds wouldn’t get up and Dh spanked him. When we were all ready Dh just sat in the living room for like 20 min at which point I sent dd to use the bathroom. Ds and I were like, “what the heck? I could have showered” and “I could have slept longer.” We went to the car around 8. I criticized the spanking and Dh said there was no force behind it. Ds apologized fur not getting up. I think this is dysfunctional. 

Dh said he has to stop at Sam’s Club on the way to work. He’s going on at noon. I said why and he said the other librarian dropped the ball so he’s buying supplies for the library food/coffee station. I said do is this coming out of our pocket? Will we be reimbursed? (I have old receipts that he never got reimbursed). He said he will consume free coffee for weeks and I said that’s not really benefiting us and he said it benefits him and he’s the one working. He told me to stop fighting and told me to shut up. 

Later we stopped for gas. I said are you planning on getting drinks? He said you can go in if you want. The kids piped up what they wanted and Dh began pumping gas. I went inside and thought hmm does Dh want anything? But what? I bought just 3 drinks and he got upset I didn’t think of him. I said I did but wasn’t sure what to get he said he wanted coffee and I said I don’t drink or buy coffee and that never occurred to me. Ds said he heard Dh want coffee but all I heard was him state he’d get “free” coffee from the Sam’s purchase. So I just said we can wait, you can run in and get your coffee. He was continuing to treat me like I'm a $hitty wife and said, “f*** you.” 

I feel like I can’t win and it doesn’t matter so I can’t let it get to me. I just need to get me & kids away from this toxicity. But of course we may have a ways to go. 

He told you "shut up" and "fuck you" in front of your children just this morning? 

This is not okay for your kids. You absolutely need to plan to leave. 

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@Ktgrok yes. And when I asked about the school book order he said he placed it. I said I have been asking to review the list (had some of my requests on it I wanted to double check) before you placed it since my friend’s book has been revised and that might be the old version. He said, “I don’t give a s#it. Those books are for tourists. You can use google like everyone else.” It is a book called 100 Things To Do In Jackson, MS Before You Die. She revised it because places closed. 

So he’s said the f bomb and s#it in front of the kids this morning. He also barked shut up loudly at dd earlier. I’ve done that before but when I called him out on it he didn’t apologize. If he’d called me out I’d have apologized to her for losing my temper. He had this saying I absolutely hate. “Are you going to be a helper or hurter?” He tries to manipulate us like if we don’t help with something we’re this class of people “hurters.” I don’t like it when he said that to the kids. 

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So I have dealt with people like this, @heartlikealion 

their goal in these interactions is to prove that they’re in charge. They do this in several ways. The most common is to take charge of your emotional state. 

The only way you can “win” is to not them take charge of your feelings. 

You can calmly state as a pp has said “I’ll be ready at 8 after I shower” or

you can simply go along with it and calmly breathe through the frustration . 

Either way, you MUST rise above the squabbling and anger. This is important for a couple reasons.

1. You want your children to know who the rational reasonable person is. 

2. You’ll get sucked into the emotional mess. For your own sanity, don’t jump into the craziness. 

3. The other person will try to justify their behavior by your reactions. It doesn’t matter if they started it or not. They will make it bettter in their mind and also in the minds of people around them.

if you choose to stay, you’re really going to need to do it this way. You want your children to know without a doubt who is stable.

 

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

So I have dealt with people like this, @heartlikealion 

their goal in these interactions is to prove that they’re in charge. They do this in several ways. The most common is to take charge of your emotional state. 

The only way you can “win” is to not them take charge of your feelings. 

You can calmly state as a pp has said “I’ll be ready at 8 after I shower” or

you can simply go along with it and calmly breathe through the frustration . 

Either way, you MUST rise above the squabbling and anger. This is important for a couple reasons.

1. You want your children to know who the rational reasonable person is. 

2. You’ll get sucked into the emotional mess. For your own sanity, don’t jump into the craziness. 

3. The other person will try to justify their behavior by your reactions. It doesn’t matter if they started it or not. They will make it bettter in their mind and also in the minds of people around them.

if you choose to stay, you’re really going to need to do it this way. You want your children to know without a doubt who is stable.

 

Yes! Yes! Yes! I totally agree. I’m trying to disconnect emotionally and as I told my mom I need to diffuse situations not fan the fire. 

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4 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

@Ktgrok yes. And when I asked about the school book order he said he placed it. I said I have been asking to review the list (had some of my requests on it I wanted to double check) before you placed it since my friend’s book has been revised and that might be the old version. He said, “I don’t give a s#it. Those books are for tourists. You can use google like everyone else.” It is a book called 100 Things To Do In Jackson, MS Before You Die. She revised it because places closed. 

So he’s said the f bomb and s#it in front of the kids this morning. He also barked shut up loudly at dd earlier. I’ve done that before but when I called him out on it he didn’t apologize. If he’d called me out I’d have apologized to her for losing my temper. He had this saying I absolutely hate. “Are you going to be a helper or hurter?” He tries to manipulate us like if we don’t help with something we’re this class of people “hurters.” I don’t like it when he said that to the kids. 

I would turn this phrase on him, without a doubt. He says he doesn’t give a shit, I would say, “Are you being a helper or a hurter right now?” Or if I were going with the “I messages” thing, I might say, “I feel discounted/criticized/like you can’t be pleased.” 

I also would tell him it’s not acceptable to speak to me in that manner/in front of the kids. 

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12 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

I agree,.  DV isn't only physical violence.  But a number of states limit abuse grounds for divorce to only physical, not emotional, financial, sexual.etc

 

Most states don’t require fault or grounds for divorce.  She lives in one of a small minority that does for contested divorces.  They allow irreconcilable differences only for mutually agreed to divorces.  

 

 

 

Edited by LucyStoner

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He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

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18 hours ago, WendyLady said:

You are right, most of us are not mental health professionals, but throughout the thread, she is getting so much advice about abuse, etc, without us having the full facts of the story.  I don't know everything about financial abuse, but this may not be the perfect place to get help with this troubling aspect of marriage. 

Absolutely financial abuse is abuse, but it feels to me (just a casual reader of this and other threads) that there is often confusion and lack of financial honesty, but more in a weirdly messy way that is hard to understand exactly how and why things can be so messy - finding out when checks are deposited is not so hard when you have access to your online bank account, which Heart seems to have, and yet she cannot quite tell how it works or when it happens.  So there is confusion and a messy life.  But your brother's life is not necessarily Heart's life. 

It just feels like she is so vulnerable.  To her husband.  But to our advice as well.  

 

While my brother’s life isn’t heart’s life there’s a very consistent pattern that emerges in DV cases.  Back in 2014, my SIL finally left my other brother who was abusive.  The exact details are different than the other DV cases I’m familiar with but the pattern and the cycle and the choices of the abusive spouse?  It’s like they are reading the same script.  When my brother left his husband in 2017, he would express surprise or disbelief at how his husband was acting in the divorce but I had seen it all unfold before.  There’s very little originality with people who feel entitled to that level of control over others.  I’ve seen it with my friends and other family members.  I’ve seen it just listening to the other cases while sitting in court with my SIL and then my brother and a close friend who got tangled up with a bad live in boyfriend and needed a restraining order just to get away.  

Like you, I’ve been reading Heart’s threads for a long time and a pattern does seem to have emerged here.  

I would also like to point out that there’s a difference between maladaptive behaviors and cycles of DV.  My husband has ADHD that went undx until his 30s and he grew up in a very abusive home with an alcoholic father.  At times he’s done things that in the own could be labeled abuse but I wouldn’t consider him an abusive person. Why?  Because his reaction was to get intensive help.  He never rationalized or justified his behavior.  He never blamed it on me or the kids.  There was no verbal or emotional abuse or attempts to control me.  So I do get that not all incidences of shitty behavior in an intimate relationship are abuse.  But a sustained pattern does seem to be apparent not just in this post but in many others.  

My older brother has still not tried to change.  He’s alienated his kids.  My SIL has a lot of problems, which she still has in the absence of my brother but nothing she did, no unpleasantness or mental health challenges she had mitigated my brother’s responsibility for his abusive treatment of his family.  My brother is an addict and has mental health challenges.  Had he gotten help maybe he would have turned it around but my SIL and niece and nephew don’t owe him their lives and safety while he pisses around.  

I say this to highlight that I have seen this from a lot of angles over a lot of years and not just one side of the equation.  Heart’s husband may well need help but this is a situation where she can not resolve this issue, she can not singlehandedly “save this marriage” and more importantly, the damage this is doing to heart and her kids is very, very real despite the fact that he’s not hitting heart.  We have learned this morning that in addition to spanking tweens, he is “popping” a child on the face.  ETA: this is really common- the spouse who is being abused blames themselves, slowly discloses enough that the telltale pattern emerges.  And then, additional forms of abuse that were not previously disclosed or in most cases, specifically denied, are disclosed.  My SIL insisted my brother was a good dad and never hit the kids.  We knew he wasn’t a great dad.  We took her at her word that he wasn’t physically violent with the kids.  In time it came out my brother had hit the kids, had forced fed my niece until she vomited and forcibly shaved my nephews head.  My brother said the same of his ex husband- he wasn’t abusive to the kids. In time, it came out that he had busted through my niece’s door when she was crying on the other side trying to get away, among other things.  There is almost always more going on than initially revealed.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Other things to think about include whether if you @heartlikealion get a job your dh will sabotage/ ruin it for you (my father would go into my mother’s place of work and shout at her or engage in obscene language in front of others such that she lost an excellent job in a good place that would have made our lives easier ) .  Limits on your ability to get there on time could be another way. 

 

To be continued

 

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33 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

Yeah when it was just hitting a wall and anger I was willing to say OK, could be impulse control. That other stuff? I don’t care what causes it, that’s abusive and she needs to get out and get her kids out of it.

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You need to start documenting every single time he does something verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. You need things written down the day they happen. So you need to write down today in a file somewhere that he told you to shut up, that he said fuck you to you in front of the kids, but you told your daughter to shut up, etc. You need to write down that he spanked DS this morning, and that it was because he didn’t wake up fast enough.

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21 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 

 there’s a very consistent pattern that emerges in DV cases.  

this.   my brother is a narcissist.  he's certainly not healthy, and is currently on his third marriage. (same age as his oldest child, she won't come around family.)

I was at a family event for his son and his girlfriend - so his youngest daughter (2nd marriage) did show up.  she avoided him, and asked me a lot of questions about him. (she wouldn't talk when my sister was around as she didn't want her to overhear either.  she didn't know what her standing would be.)   she's 21, has chosen to not have contact with him (they'd been doing therapy together last year until the therapist put a stop to it because he's so toxic.), and is saving texts and emails from him in case she wants to file a restraining order.

he emailed me later wanting to know what we were talking about.  I deflected, and refused to answer.  then he gave me some song and dance about how hurt he was, he was almost in tears, and was going to leave because he was in so much pain, etc. etc. etc.  just like our grandmother 'oh, you're killing me (she said that a lot), woe is me, you need to treat me better" - that's an abuser pattern when they're NOT getting what they want.  they will turn it into they're "the victim".

you know what - a toxic person might be hurt, but that does NOT excuse them from the damage and hurt they cause their own family members.   and by themselves, and others, turning them into a victim, it diminishes the damage they do to others.  (but it puts the attention on themselves......and they love that.)

 

 

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The confusion with finances — 

I know he gets paid at the end of the month. I know it says “pending” a couple days in the bank. I view the bank account regularly. I just don’t know if they are paid “last Friday of the month” or what the pattern is because the money had hit the account on a Wednesday before. There is no obvious pattern. The person at the bank was confused, too. 

I went to a financial advisor with him once. It was a free meeting through our credit union (I say bank a lot, but it’s really a cu). He said he was eager to be debt free but his actions speak otherwise. The woman suggested the Dave Ramsey method. Dh won’t even help me grow the folders (emergency fund, savings, etc). 

I made a few folders in our account and you know what he did? He said why did you do that?? And he moved the money out of every single folder I started... except $5. You have to keep at least $5 apparently. I have no idea anymore how much should be in ds’ folder since Dh “borrowed” from it so many times. I told my parents not to send money that way for ds anymore. Just create your own savings for him if you want him to have it later. 

When I got married Dh asked me to close my joint bank account with my mom. It was probably $1000. It was gone before I knew it. When I complained he said we needed it for bills. But our Amazon history shows all the other crap he was buying at the time — mostly physical movies. When he got a student loan he once bought a $1000 LCD tv and it was delivered and mounted while I was at work. I came home to that crap. It wasn’t even mounted at a proper height! Nearly touching the ceiling. We still have the tv. Got it right before Super Bowl with the Saints and he invited people over against my wishes. I’m shocked he didn’t run out to replace it with an LED in recent years. He did a couple big purchases like that without my blessing and/or consent. I thought he got past most of that... was slowly getting more financially mature. But the living room furniture purchase says otherwise. 

I asked him when we were calm if he could please not put the next student payment on the cc. He said he has to because we need to pay the post office box, save up for Christmas etc. I asked if there’s anyway he can get his family to agree to only do gifts for kids or a name drawing. He will suggest the band drawing he said but I don’t think it will happen. I’m sick of going into debt because he has to keep up with his family’s gift giving/spending. Some years his sister takes out a loan for Christmas. 

This is probably some type of financial abuse. When I asked about paying on the principle of the cc he said we haven’t in 4 months (!!!!!!!). I feel like I’ll never get out of debt with him. 

He gets student loan forgiveness about X number of payments. At that rate I’ll be what? 50 years old? 

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the way he spends money is a concern.  you don't know how much he's hiding - and I would assume he's hiding.  the inconsistency about paycheck deposits, and holding a check - makes me wonder if it's being deposited in a different account, and he puts what he feels like in your "joint" account at the end of the month. - again, most legit regular employers pay 2x a month, or every two weeks.

have you seen a copy of the "paycheck" at the CU to make sure it's really coming from your dh's employer?   and not another account?  (eta: there are a lot of digital copies of checks today, so it can be seen.  ask at your CU if they can access that picture for you - then get copies.)

get copies of the last seven years of your tax returns, and keep them together where he won't find them.

Edited by gardenmom5
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7 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You need to start documenting every single time he does something verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. You need things written down the day they happen. So you need to write down today in a file somewhere that he told you to shut up, that he said fuck you to you in front of the kids, but you told your daughter to shut up, etc. You need to write down that he spanked DS this morning, and that it was because he didn’t wake up fast enough.

I did not tell her to shut up today. I have in the past and usually calmed down and apologized afterwards if I barked at the kids. Sometimes Dh may apologize but a lot of time he doesn’t see the error of his ways. 

I am less snippy on my meds. I take them for the kids’ sake more than my own. 

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Sorry that was a voice to text AutoCorrect. I know he was the one who told your daughter to shut up. Just start documenting at all. Having it written down the day it happens looks more legit if it comes to court.

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

He punched a hole in the wall where his wife was, pulled a chair that she was sitting in so hard that she fell out and got a bruise, put a cat in a dryer, and forced his way through a door to get to his wife. Are people going to continue to equate this to children and teenagers having tantrums or excuse it on ADHD?

Heart, please talk to someone in your area who knows the laws and how you and your children can be helped. 

No of course we’re not.  All that talk started much earlier in the thread before all the things you’ve cited came out.  

There is a side discussion going on about how treating mental illness issues can change a person, yes.  But that’s a side discussion and is applicable only to abusive spouses who realize they have an issue and are willing to work on their illness. Sometimes those people need the help of the abused spouse to get treated and that’s ok.  What’s not ok is when the abuser doesn’t think they’re being abusive or doesn’t care and won’t get help, even when the spouse tries to help them.  In that case, the abused spouse is no longer obligated to try to change the abuser and can cut their losses and do whatever they need to do to protect themselves and the children.

Right now for Heart, it has become clear since it was first brought up in this thread that she has informed her spouse that he needs help and he has refused to see the truth and has refused to get help.  

So, her next step is to get that plan to leave in place and figure out a way to live with him while she’s getting her plan in place.  Like, she said she’s already working on disengaging when he gets crazy and people have talked to her about getting copies of financial documents and keeping a list of his abuses, etc.

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3 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I’m not offended at all that any of us would want him to get mental health help but I want you to know this man shoots me down over every little medical thing so no, there isn’t much room to have a civil conversation about him having anger issues or w/e. Also I’m an HSP so people sometimes throw that in my face. “You’re too sensitive.” I’m more in tune, though. He wants to take ds hunting. Ds is tender hearted. I don’t think he’d like that in reality. But Dh doesn’t follow through with much so I don’t think it will even happen. I said ehh don’t you take him fishing first? You guys bought a pole like 2 years ago and never used it. 

Getting off topic again but yeah he’s not going to get anger management help. Not right now. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. I have hit him before and I later told myself I’d never hit him again. I don’t want to sink to that level. I am much smaller than him so I was surprised to actually inflict any any. After an argument he tugged my chair and I fell out of it and host a nasty bruise. He said it was not intentional for me to fall but he was just pulling the chair closer to him. It was pretty fishy and I told my psychiatrist about it and showed pics of the bruise to a girlfriend or sister I think. 

He has been mean to the cat before. She kept trying to go in the dryer. She did once and he closed the door and I believe let it go around one rotation. I freaked out and yelled at him. He said oh I didn’t hurt her. She won’t do that again! I brought it up later and he said he didn’t turn the dryer on  but I’m 99.9% sure he did. I know my cat is mean but I love her and try my best to understand her temperament, nature, etc. I would never do that to her. 

When I was pregnant I asked him to scoop the litter box. Before then I scooped it 1-2x a day. He hardly did it. Every do many days. Or no scooping and just dumping the old litter. Then I started slacking on it but I feel like I only started slacking because of his attitude and I regret that and know I can’t neglect things just because he did. He’s the one that forced the cat on me but doesn’t help with her at all now. I would not leave him in charge of her. 

 

In my $0.02 curbside long distance opinion, my sense from what you have written is that He seems to be abusive (to you and to the kids at least indirectly and probably also directly) and you need to get out.  You need to do that, if possible, with good legal guidance so that you aren’t seen as kidnapping your own kids or whatever...

any one or two things can be excused, but there’s a general pattern and  the general pattern cannot be excused  

you also need to work out a reasonably clear, succinct explanation of the facts for speaking to a Mississippi lawyer.  You can say “some examples are” to be clear that there’s more, but try not to wander around in paragraphs about laundry, or Christmas trees.  

He rages, belittles, swears at you, in front of the children, etc.

closing cat in dryer, breaking hole in wall, threatening to rip out curtain rod, threatening to leave you on an Interstate   All seem to me to be pretty clear

Wanting to refuse xrays for child who caught hand in car door, spanking, refusing to learn positive parenting methods may also be worth mentioning 

 

 

 

another potential big issue to watch out for is that if women get labelled “unfit” in a divorce custody battle so that they lose tHat they lose kids from a first marriage, then subsequently marry someone else and get pregnant, in some states child protective services will immediately seize newborn due to the “unfit” finding during a divorce battle.    It could be a potential reason if it were to look like that were possible to allow custody to go to the father and to plan on having really wonderful every other weekend and 5 weeks of summer visitation.  An excellent lawyer should be able to assist in all this.  

 

I agree that you need to act carefully, don’t do anything rash.  Don’t leave without your ducks in a row if you can possibly help it.  

Yet, I think you also need to get out before you do something to him that puts you seriously in the wrong yourself.  

 

 

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