GoddessMommaT's picture

Husband's Temper with the Kids

My husband is a stay at home dad with our two children--a 5 yr old girl and a 2 yr old boy. Whenever he grows very impatient or loses his temper with the kids he screams at them using very foul language (mainly the f-bomb), slamming or throwing objects (not at the kids), belittling them, and storming around the house. And as fast as he loses his temper he is quick to return to a nice a jovial mood with the kids (not apologizing for his behavior). Needless to say, me and the kids find this frightening because we don't know what to make of this behavior and I'm afraid it will escalate. I have tried to talk to him about where this anger is coming from and controlling it. He will either laugh it off, blow me off, turn it around saying my behavior is as bad as his (it is nowhere near his temper), or use the excuse that he does not know what to do because he has never had a positive role model father figure growing up. I have made vast improvements on how I handle my anger towards the kids because I do not want them to experience the relationship I had growing up with my parents (negativity, name calling, screaming etc); and I am beginning to see my childrem emulate the same behavior as my husband. I am at my wits end on what to do with my him--he has read self help books, watched parenting videos, anything he thinks will help him, it seems to go through one ear and out the other though. We are a military family and I am very afraid that a witness/neighbor will misinterpret his anger for abuse and report him to authorities, which in turn, I will be investigated and suffer disciplinary action if my superiors deem it fit. Can anyone give me advice on what I can do with my husband? We are overseas and counseling services are very limited.

mayamay's picture

He may be depressed. He is certainly angry. Depression is misdirected anger, anger is secondary to fear. He is afraid of something. It could be because his status is not acceptable to him. You are the warrior, he is the mommy. It takes a very healthy male to accept that particular reversal of status. I think you have put him in a psychologically impossible position. If he had been reared in a healthy family he might still have had difficulty with this dynamic. Not to put to fine a point on it, but his fear could be of social castration--you have taken away his manhood.
I understand that you are the one providing for the physical and financial needs of your family. Since you most likely can't just quit, the quickest solution for your family is for your husband to find a job and put the kids in daycare which is an awful solution because he would most likely have to go stateside and that would divide your family until you could resign.
A better solution would be for him to find some pursuit in the community there which uses his unique talents, where he can have more status in the eyes of his peers. Again, this would require that there be someone who takes over some of the mommy duties.
In the meanwhile, make him a T-shirt to wear that says "parenthood is not for wimps." The kind of courage a parent needs is not usually physical courage. The advantage a birth-mom has is that she has walked through the valley of the shadow of death during labor. She proved physical courage then. Adoptive moms and all dads don't have that credibility. Give him some honor. He already has braved the disrespect of some of his peers. That took guts.
Perhaps he could find a dojo and get a black belt. That might help.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Many people wld agree that your husband's behavior towards your kids IS abuse--verbal abuse. You need to nip this in the bud NOW. Your husband is definitely not the right person to be raising your children. You yourself said you already see his anger affecting the kids. Is it possible for you to get childcare, in or outside of your home? If not, I wld strongly suggest that you and your husband switch roles. My husband also didn't have a positive father figure, and often I have to remind him to watch what he says or how he acts around our kids. Your children are young, and at that age they're like sponges. It is your job as parents to provide your kids with guidance so they can grow to be well-rounded adults and positive role models throughout their lives. If you don't correct this situation now, it will be very hard to change it in the future. Get help, or otherwise get out. I know that's a hard thing to hear, but it's reality.

geraldo's picture

well sometimes it is the kids sometimes it can be hard for people.