I don't know what to do....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by zeke11, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. zeke11

    zeke11 New Member

    My husband has an anger management issue and refuses to get help or even acknowledge it.

    My 17yo daughter is very difficult and they do not get along. All the parenting books say do not argue, scream, shout at your teen. I have read the books, husband refuses to. He doesn't even listen when I try to tell him what the books say to do.

    When my daughter misbehaves (beer bottles found in her room, for example), he screams at her, she screams back, swears, throws things and it all escalates. A previous time this happened (about last January) I called the police, fearing someone might be hurt. I also told him that if he continues this behavior, I would take my 13yo ds and move to a women's shelter.

    Last night, daughter said she was leaving and he told her if she does, she may never come back. Another thing that I read is wrong to say. That a child should always know that home is a safe haven and if they want to work on their behavior, they are always welcome home.

    Well, of course she is gone. I'm sure she is ok - she went to school today so she is living with one of her friends evidently.

    But I am sick about this. I am fed up with husband, I am totally dependent since I have a severe heart condition and I cannot work. In fact, all the stress is horribly damaging to my condition.

    I don't like my daughter's behavior and I want her to know she must obey house rules if she wants to live here. But husband does not cooperate with discussions and she hates him.

    Is there anything I can do at all? I miss my daughter and feel horrible about this.

    Oh, yeah, after the big blow out last night, husband announced he was leaving. He left for about 10 minutes then came home and now is sleeping (and basically living in the basement). I don't know what I did wrong here, in fact, all I did was try to talk to daughter in the thick of the arguing. Of course to no avail. I didn't say anything against husband nor did I argue with him in front of her. So to hear him say he was leaving and now to be giving me the silent treatement is really shocking.

    Please help, I am really suffering.
  2. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Wow your husband (husband) sounds so much like my X it's not funny. I'm fairly sure my X has undx'd bipolar disorder and that is a common diagnosis with both my girls that he fathered. When I asked his mom about any family history of bipolar she said no none just manic depression! Apparently my XMIL doesn't know that another name for manic depression is bipolar. What kind of mental health history does your husband's family have? Any suicides or alcoholics? If he is as much like my X as I believe good luck getting this guy to go for an evaluation and treatment. I lived 5 years with that man being verbally and emotionally abusive to me and worse yet later found out he was physically abusive to the kids when I wasn't there; someone like that becomes very toxic to be around. I hope you can figure out a way for you and your kids to be safe my heart goes out to you.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not qualified to offer advice in this area but I assume it won't be that long before someone with similar experiences will sign in and offer some help. I hope it won't be too long because obviously you are in crisis.

    With all the stresses it sounds as though you feel comfortable that your daughter is in a safe environment. What a relief! Do you have family nearby?

    I'm sending a cyber hug your way with caring thoughts. DDD
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    First of all, your husband's issues are NOT your fault. Second, you need to do whatever it takes to keep you and your kids safe. If that means leaving, then do it. There is ALWAYS another choice, there is ALWAYS an alternative. There are lots of resources for women, working or not, so don't let your fear paralyze you into staying and continuing to be abused. Putting up with abuse, verbal, psychological, emotional, physical, is absolutely NOT OKAY. People will not change their behavior until they are taken out of their comfort zone, and usually that means something dramatic has to happen to change the dynamics of the situation. Maybe your leaving, whether temporary or not, is what your husband needs to wake up and see that he has a problem.

    Often men who are depressed express their emotions in the form of anger. Sad, but for many it's the only way they know how.

    But only he can make the choice to seek help. And only YOU can make the choice to help your SELF. If you are not in a safe and stable situation, there is no way you are going to be able to help your kids deal with their issues.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Many of us have been there done that. I hope you can figure out some place safe to go so that you can figure out what you need to do. Find a women's shelter, a church, a county health department. If you have to, call the police department and ask for a list of resources in your area.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hello and welcome!! You are obviously in a very difficult situation and I think it will be painful to deal with it. But, in my opnion, you will have to deal with it or it will only get worse. I would suggest calling or visiting a women's shelter to start with- just to tell them what is going on in your household and get some pointers on developing a plan. You need some support and some help in your area. Keep touching base with your daughter to make sure she's safe.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    You have to do what you have to do to take care of yourself and your children.

    Has your husband always been this way towards the kids? Screaming, my way or the highway kinda thing? There are a lot of various disorders out there, but sometimes it's just plain old, can't deal with this anymore acting out.

    Do you receive SSI or SSDI? If not, I would be applying. I know how hard it is feeling like you have no options because you are dependent on another.

    I'm sorry for your pain and that your daughter is struggling. This board is a great place for support. We are a very accepting group.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome. Sweetie, you are NOT completely dependent on husband. He sounds like he harms rather than helps you. Have you tried to collect disability? Then, it may be helpful to your condition to try to move to an apartment for those on limited income. At least you'd have peace. I don't want anything to happen to you because of all the stress and there ARE ways out.

    Is husband her father? If so, he sounds like he has some mental health issues which she could have inherited. If not, in my opinion he should let you to do the parenting and stop throwing fuel on the fire by acting like he's two years old.

    Your daughter is going to be eighteen soon and you can choose to make her leave home if she doesn't shape up. She has the symptoms of a drug abuser. Do you know if she uses drugs?

    Sadly, there isn't much you can do with a teenager of seventeen legally. Most of the time they are treated like badly behaving adults and you have to decide how you want to handle her behavior (and husband's too!).

    in my opinion they both have serious mental health issues. I'd say your husband has more than just anger management issues. Sounds to this layperson like he may have a mood disorder and is out of control. Does he drink a lot? Use drugs?

    You have your hands full. I would get a therapist to help YOU deal with the people around you. You also need to learn to trust your instincts and to be strong. Sounds like husband can be quite the bully.

    I don't know who your bigger problem is, him or your daughter, but you deserve a peaceful life. I think your #1 issue right now, since your child is probably not going to change unless you place her in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), is to take care of yourself. (((Hugs)))
  8. zeke11

    zeke11 New Member

    I am so happy to see all the responses. I will try to answer some of the questions that I remember.

    husband is erratic in his behavior. Most of the time he is a good provider and rather a quiet person. He doesn't drink at all, only quite rarely, and doesn't do any drugs because his work regularly drug tests. But he has had very little involvement with parenting. When the kids were small, he preferred to sit and watch tv or read a book rather than be involved with them in daily life. That is not to say he totally was isolated - we did take family trips, etc., but more or less in the day to day - not a lot of family type involvement (playing games together, etc.).

    He doesn't drink at all, only quite rarely, and doesn't do any drugs because his work regularly drug tests.

    So most of the time, he ignores bad behavior, doesn't help me enforce chore time, homework time, etc., but then suddenly reaches a point where he explodes. This happens perhaps every couple of weeks. The time in between, he half-heartedly is a parent, but that's not enough. At one point, about 10 years ago he said to me, "you're the one who wanted the kids, not me." I was shocked at this. But now I see the relevance.

    It sickens me that his influence (or lack thereof) is possibly a big cause for the problems in our family. My eldest had her share of problems between ages 17-21 and is finally coming around at age 22. The second is a great student and has goals, but she is a mean person and is hard to even talk to. Then the third is the 17 year old. My youngest seems the best of the bunch, he is 13, but I worry that the worst is yet to come. I try my best to keep talking to him and encouraging him to do his best and praising his goodness. But he has his father and we know that role models are very powerful influences.

    I tried to apply for ssdi, but was turned down for a very simple reason - you have to have a certain amount of work credits in the most recent five years of applying. Since my last full time job was in 1986 (I stayed home with my kids), I don't have enough credits.

    If my daughter was the youngest, I suppose I would try to find somewhere to live. I have pets (2 dogs and a cat) which keep me sane and provide comfort and I don't know what I would do about that. To give them up would cause me a lot of stress and sadness.

    I hate my situation, but at least husband is at work 6 days a week and I don't have to deal with him. And he is, like I said, basically mentally absent most of the time. Now I see that this has had a detrimental effect on my kids, but I think its too late to think about that now that they are almost grown. The thought makes me so sad though. My hope is that maybe they will come around - sometimes the teen years are rough, but I've heard many stories about how even the worst teens eventually grew up and became normal.

    I think my biggest project is to keep on, try to keep myself going, take care of my heart, and get through these years. I don't care if I have no relationship with my husband. When we were on vacation a couple of weeks ago (took the 13yo, 17yo and 21yo to Disney), my husband and I were joking around with each other, kind of teasing, and he blurted out, "I never loved you." My world stopped spinning. He right away started back-pedaling, saying he was joking. But you don't say something like that in a joke. I really believe it to be true now.

    Perhaps the best thing is for me to seek counseling to help me cope. Do you know how I can find a good counselor?

    I feel like I have a big weight to bear, feeling like my children were not raised properly and now are ruined. I dedicated most of my life to raising my kids and feel like I failed big time.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You can ask your clergy for help. You can go online to your insurance company's website and look for psychologists or psychiatrists within their network. You can ask friends, neighbors if they recommend anyone. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral. Ask your children's pediatrician for a referral. Those are just a few places to look for a counselor. And I definitely think that's a great place to start for yourself.

    Don't beat yourself up about how things have gone. You are only one person, and you've done the best you could given the circumstances you've been in. It's time to take care of yourself so that you can be in a healthier place to help your kids. The husband issue can be addressed with the counselor and hopefully they will offer some advice on how you can best deal with that situation.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, wow, to say he never loved you, and then say he was joking ... no way to take that back.

    Actions speak louder than words, and his actions have been saying he hasn't loved you and your family for years. The words just validated it.

    Definitely, go to counseling. I got a referral from a friend whose marriage was in crisis. The child psychiatric was referred by a teacher. And, of course, you can try your church. In fact, since that's free, you could start there for sure.

    If you think your husband really wants to leave, you have to decide if you want the house--if you can afford it--and can negotiate with-your husband--or if you just want a safe place, right now, like a women's shelter. There are places that will take kids, too. (I donated curtains to a place not far from my own house.)
    I don't know what you could do with-the dogs. Do you have friends with-dogs who can keep yours for a while?

    If you decide to leave, rather than have your husband leave, don't threaten your husband that you are leaving. Just make plans quietly and go your own way. If you threaten him, you know it will escalate.

    He doesn't have much in the way of communication skills, does he?

    I am so glad your 17-yr-old is safe. Could you call her cell ph or pick her up at school one day and have a chat with-her? Go out for coffee? Sounds like she should stay out, for everyone's benefit.

    As for the younger one, he will have to stay with-you. Maybe he could talk to the clergy counselor, too. I'm sure he has a lot of anger and fear pent up.

    I am so sorry for your long-term losses and your current crisis.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Hello and Welcome!

    I have not read all the replies to this post, so please forgive me if I am redundant....

    From your post, it seems to me that there are multiple issues at work within your family. First and foremost, if you are suffering from a heart condition, my guess is that you probably don't start a lot of confrontation and try to avoid stress and aggravation whenever possible....maybe even to the point of being a little more lenient with your daughter than you should.

    If your daughter has beer bottles in her room, at the very least we know that she is drinking....she may also be doing a lot more than that. And if Mom is not going to question her too closely and Dad is inattentive, at best, then chances are that daughter feels she can get away with quite a bit of inappropriate behaviors--and probably right under your noses, too!

    husband has disengaged from the family, for whatever reason--but not 100%....and so every once in a while he feels like he needs to step in and do something--he's just not sure what that something should be. And so he gets angry, and frustrated, and he yells and screams.

    Tough situation...and when parents disagree about how to raise their children, it puts even the best of marriages to the test.

    My advice would be to head for a counselor that can help your whole family, both as a family, and as individuals. Make sure daughter does not have any drinking or drug problems. Find out why husband has been so reluctant to be a parent. Find out better ways to be a firm parent, without aggravating a heart condition.

    Good luck!