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#1 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DH has abusive tendencies when confronted about virtually anything. He is emotionally abusive to ds1. I am looking toward leaving him, but that's going to take a while. In the meantime, I need some help. I want to make sure I do everything on my end right. This includes any time I must confront him about something. I want to be sure I do it right - it will give me more confidence knowing that what I'm doing is right before getting into a confrontation with dh.

 

So, I would really, really love it if you could provide me with examples of healthy and sensitive ways I 'should' be able to safely confront dh about this issue.

 

Here's the latest situation. DH coaches ds1's baseball team. Ds1 (age 10) is the star player - he's their best batter, catcher and pitcher. Dh decided to coach this year because last year's coach was too gruff, too serious, and he yelled too much. Well, dh is now all of those things, in my mind. The team loses almost all of their games. The parents of one child removed him from the team citing that the coaching suggests that the children should all be aiming for the major leagues and it was too stressful for their child, not fun anymore.

 

dh is particularly hard on ds1. Ds1 was late leaving for school this morning because he broke down crying telling me about all the stress he's going through because of dh's coaching. Dh told him after yesterday's game that if he pitched better the team would win - that's a fact, he said. Dh told him that if ds really wants to win, then he needs to pitch better. Ds said that after yesterday's game, dh was talking to the other team's coach with ds right beside him and said to the other coach, "Yeah, our first couple of pitchers (incl. ds1) were horrible. No offence, ds1, but you were brutal!" Ds1 said that everytime he looks at his dad when he's pitching, dh has the scariest, meanest look on his face and it scares him. Yesterday he yelled at ds when he was catcher and missed a catch, "Get the freakin' ball in the glove!"

 

One boy was late (his mom is so busy and is single with no help) and forgot his cup so he couldn't play catcher. Ds said that dh yelled at him two times and benched him and ds said that the boy looked really sad and scared. When another boy stole home base but got out, dh apparently really yelled at him too. This was just one game.

 

So ds1 said to me that now he hates baseball, and he fears the next game and if dh says he has to pitch he will just refuse (he could never really refuse dh, though). He said he is so scared. He said that dh "is just always negative, he never tells me I did anything good". Ds said that the coach last year was way better. He said he is embarrassed by his dad. He said that if dh were positive he knows they would play a lot better. And he just cried and cried.

 

When dh tells me about the games he gets really worked up but he downplays his reactions. i've been to enough games to know that ds1's interpretations are accurate.

 

So, ds1 begged me to talk to dh before Tuesday's game. How do I do this? I don't want to bring ds into it too much because I don't want to put him in a bad situation vis a vis dh. Dh will turn everything I say around, but I want to be sure that I'm persistent and that I don't just accept his twist of reality. How can I do that without using ds's examples? I can't go to the game on Tuesday, but I will go on the upcoming weekend. Do I have to wait until I witness some things so I can provide my own examples? I don't really remember specific examples from games that i've been to. I also don't want it to seem like we're talking about dh behind his back.

 

If you had to confront your partner about something like this, how would you start? "Since the team hasn't been doing so well, maybe it's not worth worrying about anymore. Might as well just focus on them having a good time. What do you think?"

 

Or, "I've noticed that Ds seems really anxious about baseball these days. I wonder if it would help if there was some way to relieve some of the stress he feels when he has to pitch."

 

These don't seem direct enough. Should I be more straight up? That's scary, but if I have to do it for ds's sake then I will. How about: "I'm feeling a lot of stress over baseball lately. When I'm at games, too, I feel a fair amount of negative tension and I'm worried taht the kids aren't having fun anymore. I wonder if it's getting more serious than it should be."

 

Thanks so much for any suggestions! I need to have this talk tonight, so the sooner the better. THANK YOU for everything!!!! xo

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#2 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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I like your last "I" statement. DP and I are in counseling and anytime we have a problem with the other person we have to use an "I" statement about our feelings. Usually whenever someone hears a "you" statement they automatically get defensive. I know how hard it is to bring anything up with someone who automatically gets defensive, deflective etc.

 

Is there a way to vote him out of the coaching position? If he's making your DS feel this way, he must be making other kids feel this way too.

 

People respond more to positive re-enforcment then negitave. Your husband is doing nothing but damage for this kids. I remember when I was in high school I tried out for a play. I didn't get it and the teacher told me that I wasn't good enough, blah, blah, blah.. I never tried out for another play again even though its something I love. Everytime I go to audition I get those feelings of being worthless and not good enough. People will always remember how you make them feel. Anway, that really doesn't help you, but KWIM?

 

I would say start with the "I" statement, stay calm and if it starts to get heated call a time out and end it.


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#3 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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I can tell you what I would say to my husband. I don't know what you "should" do.

We both come from abusive backgrounds. We actively want better for our kids. My husband got really angry when the kids were screaming in his ears and he screamed, "so they could find out how it feels." I can't find the head smack smiley. I told him that I take her to the playground so she can learn how to deal with @$$h0!3 children. She should not learn such lessons from her parents. Do you want her to remember someone who was a towering terrifying giant who loomed over her and screamed until her ears hurt? Really?

I ask my husband if he will feel pride when he remembers this behavior in twenty years. When our children are adults, will they want to know us? How do we treat them? What words do we use? Why in the heck should they want a relationship with us?

Given the overall patterns of stuff you post about I couldn't live with such behavior any more. In talking to him don't tell him he is an abuser. Tell him he is a bully. He makes them feel smaller and weaker and that is sad. He should want them to feel awesome because they are better than they were a year ago. They shouldn't feel bad that they aren't where they could be in ten years. That is not a way to live a good life.

I'm really pushy though. I'm very ok with confrontation.

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#4 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 12:42 PM
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I ask my husband if he will feel pride when he remembers this behavior in twenty years. When our children are adults, will they want to know us? How do we treat them? What words do we use? Why in the heck should they want a relationship with us?
.


This is exactly what I say to my dh. What kind of relationship do you want with our children 20 years from now? THAT is the kind of relationship you have to start working on right now.

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#5 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys seriously say that to your partner, just like that? Do they listen? Do they retaliate? 

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#6 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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I say stuff like that to my DP. I'm not afriad of her though. We are just not getting to the point where we can talk through a conversation like that without yelling and fighting. Shes never retaliated physically. She loves me and the kids though. She wants to get better, she wants us to be happy and she realizes she (we) need work and were working on it together.


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#7 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 01:04 PM
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You guys seriously say that to your partner, just like that? Do they listen? Do they retaliate? 

Yes, I said that to dh, just like that. Initially, dh didn't like me saying that. "Oh, we'll have a great relationship anyway............" etc.
But his behavior changed. Not overnight, but it did change. So I can tell that what I said sunk in. And I stood up for my ds a lot (dh conflicted with ds more than dd). So dh was never a "bad" parent; he just wasn't parenting optimally.

For example, dh was a "eat everything on your plate" kind of parent. Ds would get to the point of tears because he was full and didn't want to eat what was still on his plate. Dh's plan was to make him sit there. I'd ask ds if he was full and then excuse him from the table. Dh would say, "you shouldn't contradict me in front of the children." I would say, "Bull crap. If I think what you are doing is wrong, I'm going to tell you." By me (calmly) fighting dh, ds could see that I was in his corner and had his back, so to speak. That made a huge difference to ds. And dh has turned into a much better parent.

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#8 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 01:08 PM
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So, I don't know your dh or exactly how you should approach him. But if my dh were acting that way, I'd say:

"I appreciate you coaching ds, but you're turning into a real hardass. You're scaring ds and the other players. You're not making it fun anymore. You really need to lay off the yelling and remember why you started doing this in the first place."

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#9 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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In the meantime, I need some help. I want to make sure I do everything on my end right. This includes any time I must confront him about something. I want to be sure I do it right - it will give me more confidence knowing that what I'm doing is right before getting into a confrontation with dh.
 
So, I would really, really love it if you could provide me with examples of healthy and sensitive ways I 'should' be able to safely confront dh about this issue.

 

It seems to me you are asking two questions -- one is how you might go about approaching your abusive husband in the way most likely to result in change. The other is what would be ok to say in a normal relationship -- what would be you "doing it right". I can't answer the first question. But with respect to the other, if my husband was acting in the way you describe I would feel no obligation to mince words. I'd sit him down in private and say "You are getting too serious and being an asshole when you coach the kids.". I wouldn't yell at him, or shame him, I'd just say it straight out. He'd get upset, of course, but I would tell him exactly how upset our kid was, and how it made him feel, and then my husband would go away and think about it.

 

Now OF COURSE you should not do this. It would not be safe for you you to do this. But I think it is important for you to know that people in normal relationships should be able to speak frankly with their spouses.

 

In case you think this is entirely theoretical, here are some things my husband and I have said to each other recently, without losing tempers or raising our voices. "Stop interrupting me in front of (our daughter), you are teaching her that it is ok to be rude to me." "It's not ok to use that tone with me." "You are just being an asshole now, stop it." 

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#10 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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If my partner retaliated I would leave. I put my partner on a pedestal because he tolerates a lot of excessively abrasive treatment from me he shouldn't. He knows that it is very hard for me to say things in a "nice" way and he would rather I say them than not say them. I pick my timing carefully and I don't criticize him in front of the kids other than to say, "It sounds like you need to tap out." These conversations happen late at night and I'm usually crying when I say this stuff. It's hard to criticize him but I believe that our kids are important enough to do stuff that is hard.

 

We have a long history of therapeutic type work together. I don't know that my advice is relavent to you. :-\ My partner is not abusive. I'm not afraid of him doing anything bad. The screaming stuff with the kids is by far the meanest thing I have seen him do since before we were married. Once he slammed his palm against a wall many feet away from me during an argument. He doesn't even raise his voice to me. So yeah, I'm not afraid to say anything that goes through my head.

 

I don't think I could live with someone if I had to be very careful about what I said. :(


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#11 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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Now OF COURSE you should not do this. It would not be safe for you you to do this. But I think it is important for you to know that people in normal relationships should be able to speak frankly with their spouses.


OP are you afraid of your dh, physically? Otherwise I don't see why you wouldn't be frank with him, even if he gets upset about that frankness.

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#12 of 749 Old 05-28-2012, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did it. A&A, I'm only somewhat physically scared of him but mostly I'm scared of the escalation and the crazy making and doubting.

I started off by saying that I've noticed that baseball seems to be getting really tense and stressful. He rolled his eyes and waved his hand to dismiss me. He said baseball is fine. He said I'm too sensitive. I said I worry that the kids aren't having fun anymore. He told me I worry about every stupid little thing. Then he said, "is this your subtle way of telling me you don't like the way I coach? Because I don't see you out there coaching. You acuse me all the time for ds' problems. But I'm the one who does all these things for him (ie. coaching)." he said that if ds seems unhappy then its just because his team sucks. Then he asked what ds told me about bball. I said nothing (I knew he would go after ds if I told him anything). He then told me that Im making it up, that I'm too sensitive and thinking I'm sensing tension but really I'm just making problems where there are none like I always do. then he gave me the angry, tight-lipped look and silent treatment.

Eta: he also said at one point, I really hate all your negativity. It's how you bring these thing up, he said. So I asked how he would like me to raise these issues. He said "just don't. "

I know I'm gonna get an earful either when he comes to bed or tomorrow. What do I tell ds? That I suck? That's how I feel. Like I suck and I've let him down, like I always do. greensad.gif
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#13 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 05:06 AM
 
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I did it. A&A, I'm only somewhat physically scared of him but mostly I'm scared of the escalation and the crazy making and doubting.
I started off by saying that I've noticed that baseball seems to be getting really tense and stressful. He rolled his eyes and waved his hand to dismiss me. He said baseball is fine. He said I'm too sensitive. I said I worry that the kids aren't having fun anymore. He told me I worry about every stupid little thing. Then he said, "is this your subtle way of telling me you don't like the way I coach? Because I don't see you out there coaching. You acuse me all the time for ds' problems. But I'm the one who does all these things for him (ie. coaching)." he said that if ds seems unhappy then its just because his team sucks. Then he asked what ds told me about bball. I said nothing (I knew he would go after ds if I told him anything). He then told me that Im making it up, that I'm too sensitive and thinking I'm sensing tension but really I'm just making problems where there are none like I always do. then he gave me the angry, tight-lipped look and silent treatment.
Eta: he also said at one point, I really hate all your negativity. It's how you bring these thing up, he said. So I asked how he would like me to raise these issues. He said "just don't. "
I know I'm gonna get an earful either when he comes to bed or tomorrow. What do I tell ds? That I suck? That's how I feel. Like I suck and I've let him down, like I always do. greensad.gif


I don't normally post here, but this made me angry. Don't give him the power, don't ask him how you are supposed to behave.

 

You can't change him. The only thing you can control is your behaviour, and whatever you do, you'll be in the wrong.

I don't know your husband and I have no idea what is the right thing to say. But he reminds me so much of my own father. And whatever my mom did she was wrong.

 

I would tell him: if ds is still feeling miserable after the next practice, *I* am pulling him out and will register him in another team or sport. *I* will not allow you to bully him. I DO NOT CARE what you think about this.

 

Not very diplomatic, eh? But can't think of anything else matching your dh's behaviour. Bullies are afraid when someone stands up to them.

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#14 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 07:27 AM
 
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Is this little league or rec ball?  Honestly, I'd take it to the people in charge of the program and tell them about the way he's coaching.  You don't have to do it as his wife, do it as a concerned parent.  At least that takes it out of your hands.  I am a baseball wife, my kids play LL and club ball, I've seen some crazy stuff from grown men, it isn't just your dh, it happens everywhere.  

I have no idea how to help you fix things at home, but I hope you find a way. ((hug))

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#15 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Honestly I would tell him to quit coaching I would start doing it. But I'm overly codependent. :-\


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#16 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 01:10 PM
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There's really something wrong in the whole dynamic when you can't share with dh what ds said about him.

The more you stand up to your dh, then either he will change, or you will get divorced faster.
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#17 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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This is wrong on so many levels. I agree with the previos poster about talking to who is in charge of the program and telling them whats going on. Furthermore, why are you with someone you have to walk on egg shells with?


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#18 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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 Don't give him the power, don't ask him how you are supposed to behave.

 

I think that ultimately it was a great thing she asked him.

 

He told her clearly that he is not interested in resolving any issues that might come up. She might have wondered otherwise if there was anything she could have done. But now she knows.

 

Very useful for her decision-making process, I think.


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#19 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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I cannot answer the question about how you should answer this question.

 

In my relationship the conversation would probably involve me saying something, him getting defensive, me getting mad, us fighting, but me noticing him doing it differently at the next game or practice. He would hear what I said but he takes criticism really poorly and wouldn't behave well in the moment.

 

If our conversation didn't result in any changes. I'd tell him that DS was miserable, I'd tell him exactly how upset our son was about it. He'd feel really lousy about that and I'd see him trying harder.

 

Neither option worked I'd explain to him that I would be pulling DS from his team if the behavior continued and if I didn't see more effort I'd follow through.

 

It doesn't sound like your discussion went well, but it may still have made a difference. You may see him making more of an effort at the next game or practice.


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#20 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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I think that ultimately it was a great thing she asked him.

 

He told her clearly that he is not interested in resolving any issues that might come up. She might have wondered otherwise if there was anything she could have done. But now she knows.

 

Very useful for her decision-making process, I think.

 

I agree with this.

 

OP, you're in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation... DS either gets bullied at baseball if you don't tell DH about what he said, or he gets bullied at home if you do, or both if DH doesn't step out of the coaching position. Talking about it doesn't make it better. If you think that having DS at least enjoy baseball, even if it means some extra abuse at home, then I'd tell DH it's either him or DS involved in baseball, not both, and DS won't be attending again until DH is no longer the coach, then make alternate arrangements for before/during the game times for myself and the kids and just be elsewhere. If anyone asks about it, it's not you who needs to be ashamed about anything, just tell them the truth: DH was bullying the kids and it was no longer fun for DS. If DH goes after DS, you just tell him it isn't up to DS, you made the decision, DS can say the same. There's no reason for you to ask, consult with or even warn DH before you take these actions. You tried to resolve it with him, he didn't want to, so resolve it without him.


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#21 of 749 Old 05-29-2012, 05:42 PM
 
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I think you "should" be able to say any of the things the PPs have said.  I especially think you should be able to say that you've noticed tension without him a.) getting hyper defensive, and b.) shutting down and insulting you.  Some might get a *wee* bit defensive, but would ultimately stop and listen and digest what you are saying.  Not twist it around to make it somehow your problem. eyesroll.gif

 

You certainly should be able to say DS is upset and explain what he told you.  In a normal relationship, DH would feel bad that DS was stressed out - he would be sad, he would want to apologize and make it right.  But that's apparently not the man you married.  From what I've heard, it seems your DH isn't really capable of putting someone else's needs and emotions first like that, and admitting that he is at fault.  Instead, you have a very real fear of him going after DS for daring to suggest that he is imperfect.

 

Finally, you're dealing with a complete stone wall - he has made it very clear he doesn't WANT to work on any issues.  Ever.  Especially if you *dare* insinuate that he did something the slightest bit wrong.  You can't work with that.  I agree with the PPs that said this should be eye-opening.  You did exactly what you should have done.  He responded in a completely inappropriate and impossible way.

 

Again, I have to drive home that this fear and stress are tearing your lil kid apart.  Kids should not be afraid that their Dad will come after them - they shouldn't be afraid that sharing their feelings comes with horrible repercussions.  You, as his mother, should not have to do this dance to protect him.  Long term consequences (as you've been advised) are not pretty.  I know your reasons are your own, but I don't think you should delay getting out of there - for DS's sake.


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#22 of 749 Old 05-30-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. It is so useful for me to read examples of what I should be able to expect when confronting my partner with a concern about our son. I find it shocking, actually.

 

Dh just dropped the whole issue. Ds didn't pitch because he wasn't allowed to given the rules on the number consecutive games a pitcher can pitch. But ds said he didn't notice much difference. I simply cannot pull ds or talk to the people in charge of the league. They all think he's God. If I pulled ds, it would really put both him and I at risk - and I'm too scared to find out what that would look like.

 

The fact that I shared my concern with dh,though, is a HUGE deal. Huge. The outcome validates me and adds to my conviction that I can't continue living this way.

 

Last night we had a simple miscommunication about where our babysitter would babysit the youngest - at the bball game or at our home. I had to take ds2 somewhere. Dh erupted and yelled and blamed the mix up entirely on me while I was driving them to the game when we simply both had different ideas in our heads but hadn't communicated them to eachother. Regardless, it should not have been a big deal, but it was. 

 

I'm meeting with a therapist this afternoon. I'm hoping I like her. Thanks again for the support and your ideas and for the added clarity. Pickle18 - you clarify my muddle so well. I wish you could be my brain, lol. :)

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#23 of 749 Old 06-01-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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Funny, the league thinks he is God. Who told you that? DH? 

 

Sadly for your DH, if you approached the head of the league, he/she would have to listen to you, believe you etc because of the document he signed before the season started. Most organized sports, schools, scouts, etc have a code of conduct to sign, which includes reporting abuse, child abuse etc. I have signed dozens of them. Most also include a confidental clause. So even if this person is your DH's best friend, he is legally required to report, demote etc your DH for his behaviour. If he overlooked it etc, the league could be shut down, sued by you or given really bad publicity. You DH also signed one as a coach, if he gets accused of any of this, he is on his own for defending and dismissed.

 

FWIW, yes, I am one of those who has no problem confronting a$$holes like your DH. I would be in his face and verbally go right back after him. But I have no issues with confrontation or saying whats on my mind. Bullies by and large hate me, shake when I come by or just avoid me all together because I say what everyone else is thinking. I do not use bully tactics on anyone. Ever. But if someone starts it- whether a parent, child etc, I finish it. I have a gift of shutting them up and most people either thank me later in private or agree in the situation. Usually bullies are not used to dealing with people such as myself. They are used to others tip toeing around them  or kissing their ass so when I confront them and answer  them back, they are usually speechless -men and women.

 

Unless you can do this, but from your posts, I dont think its a good idea, you need to come up with other options. You have  done nothing wrong. Its not your fault or your children's fault your DH is an asshole. You are not going to change him, his ideas, or how wrong he thinks you are. As soon as you understand that, life will open up and be sunny. I mean that. You have a great life in front of you. You just need to go and get it. Start finding it, find a managable way to have DH in your lives and move on. Start spending time  doing this and stop worrying how you are going to handle this and that. Believe me, as long as you're dealing with him, he  will find a way to bring you down. Invest that time and money in a good lawyer who can do the comunicating for you. Good luck.

 

And again, if I knew you IRL, Your DH would HATE me and you and I would have code words to get you out of there.  

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#24 of 749 Old 06-01-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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You have a real power struggle going on with DH. I have been there. In my case the situation was not abusive, just a case where two people got married, had a baby and then got all their baggage triggered. It brought out the worst in me, including all my insecurities. Finally things are getting better now but we almost separated in the process.

 

Some of the things you posted do remind me of conversations I had with DH. I had a counselor and she finally got me to see that with power struggles the one with the power can be identified: they are the ones who do not want things to change. Things are a-ok in their book, it's YOU who are not seeing it correctly. Sound familiar?

 

People will not change unless they are motivated to change. In a normal loving relationship, one spouse need only say "this is upsetting me" for the other to stop and think of how to remedy the situation. The motivation to solve the problem is the love they feel for their spouse. In many other relationships that motivation doesn't exist. Each person will cling to their own "power" unless forced to change. And they are only forced when confronted with something that bothers *them* not the other person.

 

My counselor calls this "who's problem is it"? Often the wife will spend countless hours trying to convince an unmotivated husband to see and own her problem. But it's not his problem, it's her's. So there is no motivation to change. Only when things shift enough that he is truly bothered by something will he find the motivation to change.

 

Real life example:

 

Bath tub is clogged and when we shower water just fills the tub. It is so gross. DH seems not bothered at all by it and has been ignoring it for 2 weeks. (thus proof he has no motivation to change the situation). At first I fail to see what the problem really is: the clogged tub. I see the problem as DH not agreeing with me and keep trying to convince him that the problem is reeeeeeeal. Lot's of whining on my part and ignoring on his.

 

Then my counselor reminds me of the real problem: clogged tub. She asks me to list all the ways I can fix my problem. I say well I can call the rental agency who will send a plumber but they might charge us and we are broke. She says Great! Go tell DH that you are going to solve your problem and he doesn't need to worry about it anymore.

 

So I tell DH that I am going to call the rental agency so they can send a plumber, which might cost us money. He is completely against this... and behold: the drain is fixed that day. He found the motivation only because he was faced with something that finally bothered him.

 

My life changed a little bit that day.

 

Here is a book that really helps: The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

http://www.amazon.com/The-Dance-Anger-Changing-Relationships/dp/006074104X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338582272&sr=8-1

 

It's an older book and you could find a used copy easily.

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#25 of 749 Old 06-02-2012, 07:25 AM
 
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Yeah, sorry, that really doesn't apply to the OP. Her problem is not a clogged bathtub, but abusive behavior toward her and their son.

 

She can't just call a plumber to come and fix it because the problem is entirely his and only he can solve it.

 

And it supports the abuser's position to say that the problem really is hers. She's "oversensitive." She "can't let anything go." Nope, that is an abuser's tactic to avoid taking any responsibility for his own behavior. The problem is that it is a valid line of thought when there is no abuse, so it gets confusing. But when abuse enters the picture, everything changes.

 

I know you meant well but I just wanted to make sure that line of thought didn't linger. The fact that he doesn't see abusive behavior as his problem is part and parcel of the abuse. You and your husband may disagree on the importance of a clogged bathtub and that's fine, but when you and your husband disagree on the importance of your son feeling beaten down by his father and terrified about baseball practice, that should inherently concern your husband and the lack of concern and, furthermore, blaming of you and your son about this matter is inherently abusive.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#26 of 749 Old 06-02-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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OP, I've pretty much been there, done that, both with my ex who never cared what I thought, just shrugged off any concerns as my problem; abusive, non-caring behavior.  I could not be married and pretend to have an intimate relationship with a person like that; we are divorced now. 

 

Also my son's the same age and currently has a baseball coach who acts like a jerk sometimes.  Ironic as I specifically asked that my son not be put on a team where I knew the coach was a jerk.  I recently complained to the head of Little League here about the current coach's behavior, and was told he'll be spoken to.  I know it's different in your case as the coach is your child's father.  But just like someone else mentioned, there is a "Code of Conduct" that is written up for Little League parents and coaches, and it's supposed to address the sort of behavior your husband has been displaying.  Look for it (not sure if you son's in Little League but whatever organization it is, probably has something similar), print it out, circle the ones your husband is violating.  Show it to him, show it to the heads of the organization.  Anonymously if you like.  How do the other parents feel about their kids being insulted?  It's awful for your poor son; it's also awful for the others.  The other parents should report him, too.  You CAN pull your son out.  You're his parent too.  Yes, it will make a stink.  But there's a stink already!  May as well make it a stink in your/your son's favor.

 

As for the larger picture, I get that you hesitate to say some things because your main concern is getting the issue addressed, and (having experience in this area), you have to edit yourself at times so things won't blow up even more.  But I think in your case, you don't have much to lose.  He is abusive.  I mean... as he's shown you, even tip-toeing does not good.  Just enables him to bully you some more!  Never stay married to a bully.  So bad for you, so bad for your children.  No upside at all.  Good luck getting away from him and remembering the life is so much more enormous than treading carefully around a narcissist.

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#27 of 749 Old 06-02-2012, 12:13 PM
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I would seriously look into whether or not narcissists ever change. I'm not a therapist, but I really think this is what you need to be considering.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#28 of 749 Old 06-02-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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Lil hug2.gif.

 

I so get this, you know I do. I am married to a similar kind of person. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Left feeling gaslighted -- like your perceptions are a parallel universe. Too sensitive, too nagging, too ...whatever. Worried whatever you say in the normal course of married life will somehow set off a very -- at best unsettling, at worst threatening -- reaction and your kids might get hurt (emotionally). 

 

Yeah. You did what you had to do. Now document it, continue with whatever your process is and find strength in the fact you found the power to do something really scary and difficult in your son's defense. You do the best you can with what you have and you work toward finding more resources. 


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#29 of 749 Old 06-03-2012, 07:21 AM
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Take this quiz "for" your husband:
(answer the questions as if he were answering them.)

http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/narcissistic.htm

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#30 of 749 Old 06-04-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If I answer that quiz with several specific examples of behaviours and incidents to back up each answer, the result is 29. If I answer it how I honestly think he would answer it, the answer is 23. Anything above 20 is considered to reflect a narcissist personality. 

 

I've been really struggling this week. Dh is responding so perfectly to everything. He may even have calmed down a bit with the coaching... although that's debatable because they won their last game, so who knows what he would have been like if they had lost. But he got super angry with me one night because I was so tired and went straight to bed after getting the kids to bed (10pm). He ranted on and on and even said again that he wants a divorce. The next day though, he apologized for getting angry and for threatening a divorce. No 'But....'. He just apologized. And then ds1 got up the nerve to tell dh that he doesn't want to pitch anymore because he feels scared when dh gets mad at him (so huge! Way to go ds1!). Dh said he was sorry and didn't mean to scare him. Again, no 'But....'

 

He has been super attentive to my needs and not bugging me about my disability (arthritis). He has been making dinners and coffee in the morning. He even brought a cup of coffee to me this morning.

 

Ah! Who is this person?? I know there are good times for abusers, but usually those good times can still reveal his mean spirited personality. He seems like a good person open to critique and wanting to be a better husband and father. 

 

I am done, though. Done. This has gone on for years and he has not changed enough to even graduate from being an abusive person to a simply grumpy person. But it would all be so much easier in many ways if he weren't doing this flip flop into a super devoted and commited and caring husband/father. ykwim? but I know I should be hopeful that if he is truly shifting to make his children's best interests his top priority then maybe the divorce process won't have to go the legal route. I can hope that he might be rational. I know I will have to be careful, though, and I will not go into it expecting real change.

 

I think my new therapist is good. I am meeting with her again next week. My goal is to develop a plan to leave.  Will finsih 

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