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I am 26 and my husband is in the military . We have been married for about two years and his anger is getting worse and worse. At first it was little things and now it is everything and the words are louder crueler and meaner than ever.

For example this past week every morning our baby (9months) wakes up crying. Then our 8 year old comes in talking and he gets so angry that he screams yells and cusses us and slams everything and leaves the room.

If I dont answer him the way he wants me to or do for him like he wants I get this big huge fight with him, he yells cusses screams and belittles me to no end telling me im stupid and so on.

There is nothing I have not been called or anything left unsaid to me. I used to have such confidence in myself and pride but I am slowing dying and chipping away into an insecure , sad woman.

I walked on eggshells before to not trigger his temper. He blames me for his explosive anger saying if I would just shut my f**** mouth that he wouldnt get so mad.

I used to be quiet and the more this happens more anger and resentment build inside of me. I have started talking back telling him no or to get over it. I tell him he is acting like a two year old whos not getting his way and he needs to grow up. With me standing up for myself came bigger and worse fights. If I speak my mind im nothing but a mouthy B**** and he hates me and tells me to get the f*** out of his house that I am a bum. Min you I work and pay bills too.

My love for him was once great and now is only a small flicker. Just today he threw a fit because I have asked him to just put the clothes in the hamper. Well he was throwing them beside the bed so I left them there for three days. He walked into the room and saw the pile and went off on me about it. Told me I was a B**** because I left them there. If I dont grab the remote when he asks for it even though I am busy and he is just watching TV , I get cussed.

If the baby cries he complains about her. If my son speaks he complains saying he never shuts up. He wants everyone silent around him unless he asks you to speak.

I have no respect for a man who I used to look up to. I dont want to do for him like I did. I have no intimate thoughts about him.

His screaming rages are killing me and who I am. He even agreed that he needs help and agreed I wasnt always so snappy and rude. He has made me this way. I used to be so sweet but now I do not care. If I stand up for myself it can get bad. He yells and blames me for everything because I dont walk away or I dont shut my f*** mouth when he tells me even though he continues to rant and rave .
When he is mad he does not care who is around kids friends family nothing. He will cuss me out especially in front of the kids.

I dont want to leave him but this is killing me , he has made me so insecure about who I am I am starting to get jealous and think he is always up to something when really it is nothing. He takes no blame for this. He said I am crazy but I was not like this until he rages got so bad. Please any advice is so very much appreciated.

We did go to a counselor , it only made things worse because we were "tattling" to her and we just fought more after.
 

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Kids who grow up in such an abusive environment often identify with either the role of the abuser or the victim and will seek out similarly unhealthy relationships in their adulthood. You must break this cycle now. Show them that you will not accept such treatment.

It may also be only a matter of time before he becomes just as abusive to your kids. Forget about whether you love him or not. You have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for you children. Do that first.

Either kick him out or leave. Period. If he is willing to enter counseling and take it seriously, you may be able to save the relationship (though I can't imagin why you would want to.). If you continue to endure the abuse, why would he change of his own volition? Your basically telling him it acceptable to treat you this way. He will only get worse as time goes by.
 

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Get VAR (voice activated recorder) and keep on your or near you when he is around. You will want to get his angry outbursts on records.

Keep the recorded files someplace safe, like on www.dropbox.com . That way he cannot delete them and you can get them from anyplace that has internet connection.

Do you have any family or friends near you? You need support very badly in this. Get counseling for yourself right now from a place that deals in domestic abuse. You need to learn to handle this in a way that does not destroy you.

When he yells, it's not you. It's him. He's a miserable person who behaves like a 2 year old not getting their way. The problem is that you cannot put him in time out. So he bullies you.

One thing you can do is refuse to be around him or talk to him when he's being abusive. Abuse is about control. He’s trying to destroy your self-worth so that he can control you. It’s been working. And now you say that you are fighting back and standing up to him. This is the wrong thing to do. He has a need to control you. When you fight back it will make him escalate. Have you noticed that the abuse gets worse when you stand up for yourself? That’s him trying to put you in your place. If you keep it up, he will escalate to violence. Abuse gets worse over time. Over time verbal abuse turns to physical abuse.

What you do is use the word “STOP” as your safe word. When he starts to yell and be abusive put up your hand in the “STOP” sign and firmly tell him to stop. You might need to repeat it a couple of times. Then tell him that you are leaving for a while to let him calm down. Then take your children and go to a quiet room and lock the door. If he tries to prevent you from going to the room or bangs on the door or stands outside the door yelling call 911. This is threatening behavior. Make sure you have your cell p hone on you at all times so that you can call 911 if he becomes threatening.

Alternative things to do are to go for a walk, a car ride over to a safe place like a friend’s house, the mall, etc. Just get away from him.

I practiced doing this in front of a mirror until it became an automatic response to my husband’s yelling. I would image one of his yelling fits and then put my hand up in the stop sign and say “STOP” out loud. I practiced that over and over.

If you can find a time when he will listen to you, tell him that you will no longer stick around when he starts his angry, abusive outbursts. That you will tell him to stop and then you will go somewhere quiet. This will give the both of you a chance to calm down.

When you try standing up for yourself, explain or defending yourself you are escalating the problem. Then he can point his finger at you and say that it’s not just him, you are just as bad as he is. Does he do this already?


There is a high chance that you will need to end this marriage. But at least you can get control over your part of this and hopefully defuse the anger long enough to stay safe.


It's up to your husband to control his own anger, to realize that he has a problem and to fix himself.

You need to take care of yourself and your children.

Do a search for a domestic abuse exit plan. STart to make your plan. Then work it every day until either things get better in your marriage or you are out and safe.
 

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GSL, you've put up with a lot, and indeed you are not alone.
Your husband needs to seek appropriate counsel alone. Military psychologists, psychiatrists and anger management specialists. All of them need to be involved in his rehabilitation if he is to ever become a positive influence to your children and in your marriage.

If you don't want to leave him, then you must be strong to either give him the space he needs to work those things out (with a finite time in mind), or move out/have him move out to do this if this is impossible with the children. He must be made to see what he is doing is destroying the entire family. The indoctrinated regimented military ways are not conducive to a happy family life.

He needs the challenge of mending his ways at home with the right help, or face the inevitable prospect of a broken family. Is he willing to accept that?

From an ex-Navy man...
 

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OMG! It could have been me writing that post. My husband is exactly the same way. Are we both married to the same man? lol I've been stuck in this situation for 25 years! Do not put up with it. Get out now. I feel stuck, and afraid to be alone. You have no idea how hard it is to leave with a 25 year history. I am trying to figure out a way to leave, but it's going to be next to impossible.
 

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GSL, welcome to the TAM forum. The behaviors you describe sound like the traits of a personality disorder. Specifically, the temper tantrums, rapid flips between loving and hating you, verbal abuse, lack of impulse control, and black-white thinking are classic traits of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). I therefore suggest you see a psychologist (not a MC) -- for a visit or two all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you and your kids are dealing with.

Importantly, BPD is considered to be a "spectrum disorder," which means that every adult on the planet exhibits all BPD traits to some degree. At issue, then, is not whether your H has these traits. Of course he does. We all do.

Rather, at issue is whether he exhibits those traits at a strong and persistent level. I don't know the answer to that question. I nonetheless am confident that you can learn how to spot all the warning signs for BPD if you take time to read about them.
He blames me for his explosive anger saying if I would just shut my f**** mouth that he wouldnt get so mad.
There are only a few common causes of the extreme emotional instability you describe. These causes include heavy drug abuse or a strong change in hormones (e.g., as during puberty or midlife change). And, very rarely, the mood changes can be caused by a brain tumor or brain injury.

If you can rule those factors out -- and it seems you have -- the two remaining common sources of such extreme mood changes are bipolar disorder and BPD. Importantly, the behaviors you describe are much closer to BPD traits than those of bipolar.

For example, whereas bipolar moods typically take two weeks to develop and last for several weeks, BPD mood changes -- like the temper tantrums you describe -- typically develop in ten seconds and last about five hours (only rarely as long as 18 hours). If you are interested, I describe 11 other differences between those two disorders at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/physical-mental-health-issues/59344-confused.html#post1175425.
I tell him he is acting like a two year old....
If he has strong BPD traits, you are amazingly accurate in your assessment. BPDers (i.e., those having strong BPD traits) typically experienced a trauma in early childhood that is believed to have frozen their emotional development at the level of a 3 or 4 year old. In a recent large-scale study, for example, 70% of the BPDers reported that they had been abused or abandoned in childhood.

The result is that BPDers never learned the more mature methods of ego defense. They never learned, e.g., how to do self soothing to calm down, how to intellectually challenge their intense feelings. or how to better control their emotions. Hence, absent years of weekly therapy, they are stuck with the ego defenses that are available to young children: denial, magical thinking, blame-shifting, projection, temper tantrums, and black-white thinking.
I walked on eggshells before to not trigger his temper.
You should stop doing that because it is harmful to both of you. This is why the best-selling BPD book (targeted to the abused spouses) is called Stop Walking on Eggshells.
He takes no blame for this.
If he is a BPDer, that blame-shifting is to be expected. BPDers have very fragile, unstable egos -- giving them a very weak sense of identity. To the extent they have an identity, it is the false self image of always being "The Victim." They therefore keep a death grip on that false self identity, getting frequent "validation" from their spouses by blaming every misfortune on them.
He said I am crazy but I was not like this until he rages got so bad.
Of the 157 mental disorders listed in the APA's Diagnostic Manual, BPD is the one most notorious for making the abused partners feel like they may be going crazy. The result is that therapists see far more of the abused partners (coming in to find out if they are losing their minds) than the therapists ever see of the BPDers. Living with someone who can flip between Jekyl and Hyde in a few seconds is extremely disorienting and confusing.
We did go to a counselor, it only made things worse....
If your H does have strong BPD traits, going to a MC likely will be a total waste of time because his issues are far more serious than a simple lack of communication skills. BPDers generally require several years of IC therapy (at the very least) before MC is likely to be productive.
Please any advice is so very much appreciated.
GSL, I agree with all the advice given you by Zookeeper, EleGirl, Weathered, and Sad. And, as I noted above, I suggest you see a clincial psychologist on your own to obtain a candid professional opinion on what you and the kids are dealing with. You are not capable of diagnosing your H's issues.

This is not to say, however, that you cannot spot the warning signs for BPD and other PDs. You are capable of doing that if you take time to read about them so you know what red flags to look for. Significantly, there is nothing subtle about traits such as frequent temper tantrums, verbal abuse, and lack of impulse control.

I caution that, if your H does have a persistent lifetime problem with strong BPD traits, they would not lie hidden for years at a time. Instead, these traits typically start at puberty and disappear -- for 3 to 6 months -- only during the courtship period. They disappear at that time because the BPDer's infatuation with you holds his two fears at bay. When the infatuation evaporates, the traits return. Hence, if you decide that your H seems to exhibit most BPD traits at a strong level, an important issue is when this behavior began and how long it persisted.

If you would like to read more about BPD traits, an easy place to start is my description of them at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/33734-my-list-hell.html#post473522. If that description rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss it with you. Indeed, there are a number of TAM members who are very experienced with living with a BPDer. Take care, GSL.
 

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For the sake of your children you should split. Let me tell you why: I am 35 year old guy and I had an abusive father, he used to think I am the worst of his chldren and told the guests that i have too many negatives and never said a good thing about me. Yet he cared about my sisters. He spent every penny he earned put toward my sister's education. He never spoke about me going to school and getting better education. He just thought I am stupid, dumb and bad person. He used to hit me when I was only few years old. My mom used to tell him not to treat me this way but my father raged saying she is raising her kid against me. Too many times, he yelled at my mother. When his freind visited us and he said craps about my mother right on front of his friends. He repeatedly did so until one time my mom cried and finally he stopped. He used to think my best school friends are bad people. He said the country we live in is ****ed up. In another word, he was the biggest scumbag. I envied my friends who had a supportive and positive strong father. I wish he left us. One time, he talked about leaving us and my mother and siblings started about how screwed up we will be if he left. I was little bit surprised because he will be finally out of teach with me and for several months my life was happy and I was at peace. However scumbag father had no place of his own and came back and my life sucked again. That is my childhood memory of my relationship with father. He passed away when I was 20 years old and I was living in different country. I finally had some chance in life from all negatives forces at home and preparing to enter college all on my own. Before his death, last thing we talked about was briefly on the phone and he asked me how much I was earning from my job not whether I am in school or not. I was trying my best to pay my rent, food and basic necessities. At 35 years now, I had a brilliant accomplishment, 5 years of hard study and engineering degree and working at multinational company. His scar at my childhood still haunts me. Even though for most people's standard I am doing pretty well, I am always afraid of something, afraid of failing and afraid someone is going to screw me. I am not sure if my abusive fathers has anything to do with it. Still his name is on my college diploma. Sometimes, I question whether it makes sense to bear his name as my last name. Several times, I just thought to put my mom as my last name. Because she cared me and spared nothing for my well being. She took me to musical elementary school to pursue performing art when I was afraid someone like me is no good for this kind of stuff. So I had wonderful friends at school and all the negatives at home life was somewhat evens out at school where I had laughter, joy. Yet, many times, I bring out my frustration of my fathers treatment toward my mom which I still feel sorry for this. Because I had no right whatsoever to yell against my father or he was just no body for me. My friends at school probably had a clue of how my fathers treated me but for me it was a sore point and I was ashamed of sharing this with anyone. I just wanted to look I am normal.

So basically for much of my childhood was tormented by this horrible experience. I just wished he would go away and I would ve happily overcome any challenge life throws at me due to his absence.
 

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I went through this for 3 years, finally I am out.. but it's still not over and actually I will be filing for divorce.

I am worried that you mentioned he is in the military - was he in combat? Did he do this before?

If yes combat, and no to before... you need to take this VERY seriously
 
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