My h stays angry and upset about our difficult child

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by pinevalley, May 27, 2012.

  1. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    My difficult child has been in jail for 3 months now, and he will not be released and be able to come home for one or two more months. My h and I were on the same page about not rescuing difficult child, and we both know that our son needs to accept the consequences of his actions. However my h is dealing with this totally different from me, and this is really worrying me. My h is extremely angry and hurt about difficult child, and he is still so upset that he does not really want to have anything to do with our son. H does not want to talk to difficult child when he calls us on the phone, and h tells me that it is OK with him if difficult child stays in jail forever. I totally understand why my h would be angry, and I am still upset about all the jewelry that my difficult child stole from me to get money for drugs. But I am trying hard to separate the disease of drug addiction from my difficult child. I hate the disease, but I still love my son. My h can not separate the drug abuse from our son, and he stays hurt and angry for months. I have been going to FA meetings, and they have really helped me to understand this disease and how I can help but not enable difficult child in his recovery. My h went with me to several FA meetings, but then he refused to go to any more meetings, and said that they were a waste of time for him. My h keeps telling me how difficult child has ruined our lives, he has cost us too much of our money, and this kid will continue to ruin our lives for many years. He is very pessimistic about difficult child, and my h is so angry about how this kid had a bright future and he threw it all away. I have tried to explain that I still have hope for our difficult child, but I can not change my h's mind. I think that h is probably depressed about our difficult child, but there is nothing that i can say to help h. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around my h, because I do not want to even talk about difficult child or my h will get upset and stay upset. I don't know if there is any way that I can help my h. I don't know if anyone of this board has experienced something like this with a spouse, but I am worried about my h, and he is not making this situation with our difficult child any easier for me.

    I hope that i have explained how upset my h is clearly. We have not visited difficult child in jail one time in 3 months, and my h refuses to ever visit him. My h actually told me that the biggest mistake of his life was agreeing to go ahead with the adoption of our son, which is what I wanted. Does this make sense to anyone?
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    How painful for both of you. Is it that he is just so sad and devastated but it comes out as anger? I suppose we all have to protect our hearts, too bad he has to cut things off totally and to feel so angry. I hope time will help and that this will be a big turning point for your son. What can you do for you to live with that level of anger? It must be so hard to be on a different page like that.

    I am just so sorry for you. I obviously have no ideas or insight, just wanted you to know I read, and I really feel for you.
     
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh PV,

    This makes it so hard for you both. I understand your Hs anger but I also think that men often process feelings differently than women. I think men often have a hard time admitting to grief and sadness and it comes out as anger.... and what I am guessing is that the real feeling he is feeling is one of grief and sadness... and all the disappointment that his hopes for his son have not happened. Feelings we can all relate to.

    I don't think you can convince h to feel differently.... but maybe you can help him access his feelings more deeply by sharing your own grief with him? Or ask him to see a therapist for the two of you so that you can strengthen your marraige through this. I would suggest asking him to go to counseling for himself but my guess is he won't go on his own?

    My husband comes to the family alanon meetings with me.... but he says he is doing it to support me... he doesn't seem to think he needs it, although in truth I think it has helped him to stop enabling my son also.

    Hugs..... it is so very painful to watch our difficult children do the things they do

    TL
     
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh pv it makes absolute sense to me. We have struggled with many of the same feelings. We adopt a child, we make peace with the fact that we cannot have a biological child after we undergo all the indignities of medical tests and procedures, we want to have a family, we seek out alternative ways to have that family and we go through the process of adopting which is stressful and uncertain. And then we get the wonderful news that we are going to become parents through adoption and we have all the hopes and dreams that any parent has for their child. Sometimes we have to endure post adoption stresses with birthparents or home visits and court procedures and sometimes even extended family not understanding or accepting. And then the problem begin.

    At first we think they may be normal problems and we are use to researching from our pre adoption days so we delve into the books, seek out counselors, ask questions of the doctors. When that doesn't seem to work we get angry and start to resent things. There are school problems, society problems, family problems, problems others don't seem to have or understand. And the financial obligations become overwhelming. Adoptive parents spend more in therapy than the average person, mostly because we are more aware of potential problems and are use to seeking help with the adoption process. What was suppose to be a joyous time of raising our family has turned into a nightmare. We suddenly realize everything is falling apart and there is no help out there. And worst of all.....we asked for this.....we went out of our way to make this family happen, knowing or at least probably being told that there may be serious problems around the corner. We didn't realize or we discounted the heredity part of all this and thought our loving home could conquer everything.

    We are constantly reminded that we didn't give birth to this child, that our child resents us and blames us for being ripped away from his birthparents, that at times our child hates us, really hates us and has not adopted us as we have adopted him.

    Finally the last straw, we are drained, our emotions are raw, anger is so close to the surface we can't look at our child without feeling angry. We can't fix things. Our child's future is dismal. Our hopes and dreams are dashed.

    And again....we asked for this....we sought it out. In my case we brought this into the life of our biological child and caused her irrepairable harm.

    You may have experienced some or all of this. Your husband is angry and right now he can't get over that anger. You love your son irregardless and if I had to guess deep down inside, very deep down inside, your husband does too. I watched my husband cry over the past two years over our difficult child. I have heard him say how devastating this all is to him. And yet there were times he was so angry he said he regretted what we did 21 years ago and wished we could go back and make a different decision. We can say that to each other now and still say we love our difficult child and always will and the conflict in all this is enormous.

    Give your husband time. He needs to have some space now to let his anger out. It is a scary thing to do, we are afraid to say things that most people would not understand. When husband and I were at our lowest point and cried and hung onto each other as difficult child sunk lower into the life of addiction and were able to be honest about our feelings without fear of hurting each other, it got better.

    I promise it will get better. If he did not love his son so much he would not be so angry. He is hurting.

    Sending understanding hugs to you and your husband.

    Nancy
     
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PV, Cory is our biological son and Tony has been has angry and completely done with him over the years as your husband is now. Heck there are times now that he wants to be rid of him forever. He really seems to dislike him for the most part and Cory feels it deeply and it hurts him badly. It has gotten so bad that we have ended up in huge fights where Tony screams that I always take Cory's side over him but that isnt true, I only take his side when Tony is being completely irrational. I am put in the middle far too often. It was far worse when Cory lived here but Cory works with him. They were getting along fine with that until Tony hired his brother...Tony's brother...and now it appears Cory can do nothing right and Tony's brother can do no wrong, at least to Tony but to everyone else the brother is the biggest slacker on the job. Tony ends up in arguments with others over his brother and takes them out on Cory. Its a mess. When his brother lived here, I got the blame for everything, now Cory does. Sigh. Never the brother.

    Tony blames Cory even now for things he did 10 to 12 years ago. It has been 6 years since Cory stole from us and Tony cant get over it. If so much as a screwdriver goes missing in this house, Tony jumps to the conclusion that Cory has been here and stolen it. Most of the time Tony finds the stupid thing someplace he put it down and forgot it. Tony wont help Cory at all but he will go out of his way to help his brother. The other day his brother walked into our house without knocking and snuck up on us at 9:30 at night to do a load of laundry. We were just about ready to go to bed. We were laying down on the couch and never heard him come in until we saw his shadow on the floor of the kitchen, then I yelled what the hell are you doing here? He said...I came to do a load of laundry. I said there are laundry mats for that. He just laughed and said yeah but they cost money! So we had to stay up until his laundry was done.

    I got mad about that and Tony said I wouldnt be mad if Cory walked in the house without knocking so why would I get mad about his brother! I told him people I give birth to can walk in my house without knocking or calling first. No one else. Its only good manners. Evidently neither one of them no what those are. I could have been naked as a jay bird.
     
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry your son is causing you to have such a hard time. I agree with others, anger is a mask for other feelings and it may take more time to you husband to get a handle of it. It would maybe do some good for your husband to speak about this to someone outsider, either professional or even to trusted friend. But while your husband's feelings are understandable don't let him throw all of his bad feelings on you. Don't take a blame for this. And if his anger towards your son comes too much for you to handle, you have a right to tell him, that he is your son, whom you still love and you don't have to listen that kind of talk in your home. Not even from husband. That of course is rather extreme stand to take, but anger can be very exhausting to live with and it is really not right you to have to walk in eggshells, because you wanted a child and you together decided to have one.

    I have had this same experience in smaller scale. MY difficult child screwed up, didn't end up to jail but to exile (well kind of) and it looked like he was both throwing away a unique chance we had invested loads of our time, energy and money in and putting his whole future in serious danger. We were both angry, but from the beginning I was even more worried. For my husband the anger was the main feeling for a long time. There were many background factors starting from family dynamics and old things to that and while I worried for our difficult child's whole future life, was seriously shocked of suicide rates for gambling addicts etc. my husband had very hard time getting over the fact, that our son was screwing that unique chance he had gotten. Maybe it was because that opportunity was something husband had dreamed for himself but didn't have a talent, maybe it was all the extra money we had put to that, all the time used to it or even the fact, that it is also our easy child's, who indeed is a 'perfect child' and an apple of my husband's eye, dream and it is difficult to say, if easy child will ever be lucky enough to have that same chance, maybe not. But anyway, my husband was seriously outraged. Didn't want to talk to difficult child, felt he should be given a good sound beating, was ashamed difficult child is our son, didn't want to have anything to do with things concerning difficult child. Well he was out of his luck on that because difficult child was still a minor at that point. And luckily husband was smart enough to not let all those feelings and thoughts out to difficult child. He ranted and raved for me and didn't talk much to difficult child, but luckily didn't cause any unrepairable damage to his relationship to difficult child, whom he indeed does love. It did take a lot of time for him to get over it and before that I was at the point there I had to tell him, that I was not going to listen any more of that. That I was difficult child's mother and I didn't have to listen anyone talking about him like that. I do believe husband would had gotten over his feelings at time anyway, but our situation was greatly helped by difficult child really stepping up and starting to try and solve his issues. It is so much easier to support the kid who does try. And now it even seems that our difficult child didn't screw his unique chance after all but is indeed working hard on it. But I do believe, that even without difficult child stepping up to the plate my husband would had gotten over it in time, because he does love the kid.

    Your husband has a right to his anger and it may indeed be common for men to feel that way in that situation. And time probably will help. But do remember that you don't need to let your husband's feelings to dictate what you do, how you feel and what relationship you have with your son. And don't let your husband to blame you. This is not your fault and if your husband feels that having a child was his life ruining mistake, it is a mistake only he himself is responsible at and he can blame only himself on that, not you, not your child. And if your husband irritates you too much with this, you may want to remind him about that.
     
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    PV,
    I think Nancy's response was brilliant. Your husband is hurting in his way, as you are in yours. While you are both not on the same page, you are in the same story (nightmare?) and need to validate each other's feelings. It's bad enough that your difficult child has hurt you individually, you do not need to have the situation tear your marriage apart as well. I know you're worried about your husband, and he is justified in his anger, and you can acknowledge that. But I guess more importantly for all of us, is what do we do AFTER the anger. We can't just stay angry the rest of our lives and not move on. Maybe you can work on that together in therapy, because despite what your son does with his life, you and husband have made a commitment to each other first and foremost. The legacy of broken glass your difficult child is leaving behind him cannot only be measured by his incarceration---he has destroyed his connection with his father because of his actions, whether he was in his right mind or not.
    I can totally understand where your husband is coming from. Once, when talking privately with difficult children psychiatrist, I described my feelings exactly as you have described your DHs current state of mind. I really let it all out, no matter how awful it sounded - I was not politically correct, that's for sure. The psychiatrist said my feelings were valid, as husband and I were emotionally abused by our difficult child, and the natural consequences of that abuse was our feelings of anger, hurt, victimization, etc. psychiatrist helped me get past my anger, otherwise it would kill me and kill my relationship with-husband. I think your husband IS justified in his feelings, but his anger will lead to depression, then more internalized anger, and emotional separation from you, etc. Please see if he can go to therapy to begin to work this out either on his own or together with you before your son is released. It is very, very hard. I'm sure husband would say that he doesn't need therapy...he just needs to not have any further contact with difficult child for the rest of his life! He can't be faulted for putting boundaries around himself after what you both went through. No one should have to feel regret that they adopted a child, and no one should have to feel hijacked and emotionally strangled by their child's actions. Even if husband never breathes another word to difficult child, or sees him face to face again, husband still needs to deal with his anger and hurt, or the anger and hurt and possibly guilt for those feelings will deal with him. I feel so bad for what you're experiencing and don't want you to feel alone in this at all. Take care of yourself and husband.
     
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The pain, the alienation, the fears, the disappointment and the embarrassment really, in my humble opinion, don't differ between adopted or birth children...particularly sons. We all know that men and women view things differently. My kind, quiet, and easygoing husband had great stress and waffling emotions as the result of our difficult child#1's choice. husband, I think, found it particularly dificult attending community functions where people had previously asked "up" questions (like "your grandson going to be a starter?")....and then, after jail....no questions or comments.

    It may take a longer time for your husband to reach the point you have already achieved. Chances are great, in my humble opinion, that he will reconnect in due time. Understanding hugs. DDD
     
  9. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Thank you so much for your responses and very wise words. I am crying as I read your stories, because it is bringing so many emotions to the surface for me. I can't possibly talk about all this anger and hurt with anyone else, so I am so glad for this board and such caring people.

    I know that my h really loves our difficult child, but he really is not comfortable with showing any kind of emotions to people. He will vent to me because he feels like he can share these emotions with me, but he has never been very good at showing his feelings with our son. I am probably much closer to our difficult child than my husband, and my difficult child feels comfortable sharing his problems and feelings with me. When our difficult child calls us from jail now he will end every call my telling me that he loves me. My h is not able to say to difficult child that he loves him also. I know that he loves difficult child, but that is just his nature and I hope that our son understands that.

    My h gets extremely upset when he realizes all the money that we have spent on difficult child over the years, and he thinks that he has wasted his money. I have always pushed for therapy, medications, more therapy, etc for difficult child, and h has always been upset about the cost of all these things. He is always planning for our future, and he is cautious about spending any money at all. Now whenever he thinks about all the stuff that difficult child took out of our house and sold for drugs it really upsets him because of the waste of money. In the month before difficult child was arrested difficult child pawned everything that he owned that had any value, such as a game system, a drum set, several guitars, etc. Then he started stealing my jewelry and he even started taking some of his father's tools to sell (I caught difficult child taking a saw and drill out of the house and put a stop to that.). It was all such a waste, because now difficult child wants that stuff back again, and he does not have the money to buy them.

    I wish that h would go to therapy, but he would absolutely refuses to talk to anyone. I might be able to convince him to go with me to a marriage counselor (maybe....). I definitely agree that it will take time for h to sort out all feelings of anger and hurt over difficult child. He really does not feel like he can talk to anyone about all this except me, and I don't want to be blamed for all of his problems. When he gets really angry about difficult child, my h will make these demands that he expects difficult child to straighten himself out when he comes home from jail and if difficult child uses any drugs again then my h tells me that he will just leave us. He tells me that he can not take any more of difficult child's problems, and he would rather leave us than deal with difficult child anymore. I am going to be here to support my son in his recovery, and I tell my h that this will be my first priority. I am not ready to give up on difficult child yet, and my h will just have to accept this if he wants to stay with us. He likes to get upset and make demands, but eventually my h will calm down and think clearly, It just takes time for this to happen, and sometimes I am not so patient with him.

    Thanks again for understanding all these emotions. I don't feel so alone when I know that there are others on this board who understand what I am dealing with.
     
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    PV,

    I really think you should suggest to h that you go together for marriage counselling... that the issues with your son are becoming between you and together you need to figure this out. I was seeing a therapist for a while to deal with my feelings around difficult child and the need to let go.... and I brought my husband with me a few times because we were not totally on the same page and it helped.

    The thing that kind of concerns me is it does sound like your priority is your son over your marriage and if I was your h this would really bother me. I totally understand and support you in wanting to support your son in his recovery and healing... but you cannot do it for him. He has to do it. You should not give up your marraige to save your son, because first you can't save your son he has to do it, and you don't want to lose your marriage in the process. That will hurt you and not help your son.

    I got to the point for a while where my h was sort of avoiding confrontation with my difficult child and so enabling him a lot... my son was still living at home... and I started to consider getting an apartment and taking my daughter with me. Of course it never came to that and it did make my h realize he needed to take a stand and get on the same page with me... which he did.

    I really hope your h would consider going to therapy with you to "help you and your marraige " even though in the end it would help him.

    TL
     
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My h gets extremely upset when he realizes all the money that we have spent on difficult child over the years, and he thinks that he has wasted his money.

    This is exactly how my husband feels. He often talks about how he could have retired by now if it were not for the money we spent on counseling, medications, hospital visits, psychiatrist's, treatment centers, court fines, attorney fees, failed college attempt, home repairs due to her destruction, so much money and none of it made a difference. He is dead set against us spending one more dime getting help for difficult child. I had to beg him to send difficult child to the substance abuse center and it cost us $25,000 out of pocket. Our insurance never covered anything because of our high deductible. I told him it was our last chance to help her. I understand his feelings now and I too am angry at all the wasted money, especially when I see him getting older and not being able to enjoy life the way he worked so hard to be able to do.

    We are pretty much on the same page about this now. We will buy difficult child groceries to prevent her from starving once in a while and he did pay her past due rent so she wouldnot be homeless but there is a limit to what we will do now. We simply cannot drain all our resources or we will have nothing left when there is no more income.

    husband and I would always support difficult child's recovery, but it has to be her recovery. I hope you and husband can sit down and talk about what they support will be. In our house it was that we gave her a place to live and food on the table as long as she was following the program. When she stopped she had to leave.

    I'm guessing here but I have known some engineers and I suspect some of his feelings are due to the nature of his work and they personality of the peron who does that work. I don't mean to generalize but I would think he is much like my husband in that this is the way it is, here is the problem and this is the solution. Very little room for emotion or gray area.

    Nancy
     
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's really hard to get men to get help for this, but... anger over these kinds of situations is often a mask for depression. This is a situation they can't fix... they feel powerless, it affects them in so many ways. But, rather than appear vulnerable, they come across as angry.
     
  13. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Nancy, my h definitely has the personality of an engineer. He is analytical, and he is comfortable with problems where he can research a solution or determine the best answer with numbers. The fact that there are so many unknowns with difficult child, and that we can not come up with an easy solution for his recovery from addiction is really scary for my h. I know that he probably also feels powerless over this problem and that is bothering him too.

    We are hoping that difficult child will get a special probation for drug offenders, and then he will have to live at home with us until he graduates from hs. My h and I are going to have to come up with a list of conditions for difficult child to return to our house. Neither of us can trust our difficult child to be alone in our home anymore, and we don't want him to steal from us again. difficult child will have to report to a probation officer when he is released from jail, but we also want him to know that we have boundaries for him to live in our house again. My h and i have not started to work on these conditions yet, and i think that he is still too upset to think clearly about all of this. I am going to give h some time, and then we will have to work together on the conditions for difficult child to return to our house.

    On top of all this, my h and I have our 26th wedding anniversary this Thursday. He just told me that his calendar reminded him of our wedding anniversary, and that we will do something special that day. At least we did not have to worry about where difficult child was going, or what trouble difficult child is causing these last 3 months, because he was safe behind bars.
     
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My husband is the same way pv. He is use to solving problems at work and he can't do that at home. I must admit though since he deal with people in crisis all day at work he is much calmer when dealing with difficult child than I am. That attitude didn't maske me very happy when difficult child was living at home and I needed him to be more assertive but now that she is out of the house he is a calming influence. He just says it is what it is.

    And I hear you on the anniversary. We celebrated ours on May 5 and it was the first time we were able to go out to dinner and not worry about what difficult child was doing back home. LOL about your husband being reminded on his calendar, my husband uses his calendar to tell him literally everything too.

    Happy Anniversary,
    Nancy
     
  15. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    pinevalley,
    I did not read through all of the responses but read your initial post and just wanted you to know that OH YA this makes perfect sense to me!!!

    My husband would absolutely NOT visit oldest difficult child when he went to prison until he had been in over a year. During that year I DID visit oldest difficult child and wrote him all the time. I went to AA and Al Anon and got support for myself. husband refused. husband was so incredibly hurt and angry...Had strong sense of being betrayed as Oldest difficult child had stolen over 10K worth of computer equip from one of husband's clients (a law firm). Eventually...we did lose that client and it cost us dearly in monthly income.

    husband had been Oldest difficult child's football coach in younger years. Oldest difficult child had been the quarterback. They were a "team" once upon a time. And...they are BOTH so much alike!

    Anyway, after all of the years of investment into our "golden child" who seemed to have it all going for him...Good looking, very intelligent, charasmatic, outgoing, etc...It looked like oldest difficult child had thrown it all away and husband just could not deal with well with the disappointment of it all. Of all the years of investment into this child.

    But, I say all that to say this...It DID pay off. Oldest difficult child is a hardworking, SOBER, family man today. He has high standards of living, of taking care of himself and his family. He is excelling...FINALLY.
    And...LOL, he is working for husband again. And doing an excellent Job!!!

    We have to give these husband's of ours time to grieve and heal and deal with their relationship with our difficult child's son's seperate from our own. I understand how alone you must be feeling though in your pursuit to be there for your difficult child right now. How you wish your husband would show some hope and love toward your difficult child right now.
    But...I think it will happen sooner or later. Just have to give husband the space and time he needs to let go of his anger and forgive and try again.

    I do understand as I have been there done that.
    You are not alone with this here on the board.
    Hugs and love,
    LMS
     
  16. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    LMS: Thank you for your kind words. I am positive that you know exactly how I feel, because of what you went through with both of your sons in prison. I have admired your strength to deal with your son who is now in prison, because I know how hard it is for me and my son has just been in jail for 3 months. I am going to give my h some time to grieve for our son, and I am not going to nag him about visiting or writing to our son right now. I know that he has to deal with this in his own time, and I know that he feels like he has just wasted 18 years on this kid, and that there is no hope at all. I want to believe that there is hope for my difficult child to recover from drug addiction, and your message is helping me to keep hoping for my son's recovery. HUGS....
     
  17. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    My husband has been so hurt by our difficult child that my husband is rude/angry to difficult child. Even now, with difficult child doing so well, husband still treats him with an attitude at times. I had to sit down and talk to husband about how he is responding to difficult child. husband said he didn't realize how he was coming across. I gave him some examples and then he saw what he was doing to difficult child. husband is now starting to respond better but slips once in awhile.
     
  18. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I don't know that I'd fault him too much for his anger and even refusal to engage in your difficult child anymore. It is, after all, a response that makes perfect sense if you remove the family connection (and even if you don't, in my estimation): if someone behaves that horribly toward you and your loved ones at that great a length of time and that repeatedly and expensively, it is certainly understandable to simply turn away from the person and have done with it. And if the difficult child's misconduct has cost you so much that you've had to delay retirement, that's even more entirely reasonable rationale for fury and disgust and closing off the relationship.

    Dear Abby, back in the day, used to advise parents to tell kids at the beginning of high school that when high school is over, they'll need to either go to college on their own dime (i.e., via scholarship or financial aid or savings or what have you), regardless of parental resources, or get a job and move out and start living as an independent adult. Her argument is that a) it's good for kids to have a mature and healthy orientation to preparing to begin life as an adult at 18, and b) parents need to think seriously about the costs of retirement and to be free to prepare for that once their kids are 18. There's no shame in cutting *any* kid loose at 18 via the time-honored "you can live here if you're in college full-time or you've gotta move out" formula, much less a kid who has treated you horribly, stolen from you, disrespected you, possibly assaulted you, etc. It's not unloving or punitive to routinely prod kids to start being an adult at 18--in fact, it helps them attain full maturity more quickly.

    That said, I understand your husband's feelings perfectly and I'm not sure it's technically a "problem" that he feels this way. A young person has treated him and his loved ones horribly and exploitatively for years, costing him so much money that he has had to delay his retirement. Of course he's furious! Who wouldn't be? Of course he's "done" with that kid until he can demonstrate that he's no longer the monster he has been for years! Of course it might take years or even decades for the anger to bleed away, if it ever does. difficult children need to learn that among the various consequences that they seem to so easily blow off or ignore, there is what psychologists call "extinction"--i.e., if you mistreat someone for long enough, the relationship snuffs out, often permanently. That is one of the organic consequences of gross mistreatment of others. If no one ever demonstrates this consequence to them, they never learn that it's possible and even a just and reasonable consequence to gross misconduct.
     
  19. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Oh PV -I hear you. been there done that with and h too.

    It kind of reminds me of those months of pregnancy & the newborn days. I was ott emotionally and concerned with the baby & doing right by him or my pregnancy, the best crib mattress, best menu choices, or adjusting the siblings to the new baby, and "how I would handle it all." (mostly from an emotional standpoint) To me, it was about cherishing the new child.

    While I was doing all this & really needed h's emotional support-he was throwing himself into work. Because the response the new baby triggered for him was that he felt this HUGE FINANCIAL responsibility to provide for us (tho I worked). (to the point that he was on the cell phone with his office from the moment we got in the car bringing pc15 home from the hospital. Egads)

    Parenting stress (good and bad) triggered financial stress for my h. I think that's true of a lot of men. I guess what I am trying to get across is that this life change triggered huge reactions in both of us-nurturing in me, financial concern for h. I think that can be true with the life change that goes along with a difficult child too.

    I try to recognize this in us and say (and often pray) "Let us remember to turn TO each other and not ON each other."

    {{{hugs}}}
     
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