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3 Bumps

DH showing temper around kids

My DH has suffered from depression for years and occasionaly he gets so overwhelmed he kind of freaks out. He will yell, sometimes name call and say inappropriate things, throw things. It's not directed at anyone in particular, usually he is just walking around the house doing this. Our kids hear and sometimes see this and I am usually trying to get them out of the room while DH is yelling. I am at a loss as far as what to do. It doesn' t happen a lot and months can go by in between ” episodes” but I just hate that my kids see this and even my oldest asks what' s wrong with his dad. DH says he will try harder to not do it but he still does. I am so torn and can' t decide what is worse, my kids seeing this or ending my marriage and breaking up their family. I also want to be a good wife and help my DH.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:01 AM on Dec. 9, 2012 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • Does he takes medications to help with the depression?
    I'd also insist he go to a Dr or counselor.
    PMSMom10

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 12:12 AM on Dec. 9, 2012

  • He does take meds but at times will forget to take them or get lazy about taking them. We have talked about him going to therapy many times, he always has an excuse to why he can' t go but as gone briefly in the past.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:18 AM on Dec. 9, 2012

  • I suffer with bipolar depression, so I know what your husband feels like, and ya it sucks! Especially when you see yourself doing it, you know it upsets your loved ones, but from a personal point of view, its soooo hard to stop. I strongly recommend him going to see a doctor who specializes in mood disorders, not just a "medical doctor." But if you cannot afford a psychiatrist or he refuses to, your PCP can help, but he may not get the right med for whatever his condition may be.
    Michigan-Mom74

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 12:23 AM on Dec. 9, 2012

  • OP...When he takes them for awhile then he stops, or takes them every once in awhile, doing that will make his depression worse cause it screwing up brain chemistry. The chemical imbalance in his brain may level off and her feels better as many do, then they stop, a few weeks later the chemical imbalance is even worse then it was before. Its kinda like taking antibiotics. His body may adjust to a certain drug and t will make his condition even worse. Amd I do not know this for a fact but, possibly he can end with bipolar disorder. And its not fun believe me.
    Michigan-Mom74

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 12:27 AM on Dec. 9, 2012

  • I totally agree with Michigan-Mom74. He needs to be consistent with his meds, and make it a more regular part of his routine. You might have to give him a serious ultimatum if you're at the point where you're considering taking the kids and getting out of this situation, where he needs to get help from a good psychiatrist or psychologist, or you're out.
    musicpisces

    Answer by musicpisces at 12:43 AM on Dec. 9, 2012

  • I think this is the kind of thing a person has to want to stop doing, or change, in order to improve things in a lasting way. It's about skills (coping & regulation.)

    If it's true that months go by between incidents, then maybe it is something you & he can accept, as long as he takes responsibility for whatever happens & is clear to the kids about this. (Acknowledging when he crosses a line & says something unacceptable, and taking responsibility for it--not that their behavior/actions caused it or caused his feelings.) AND as long as you are clear about boundaries & stay committed to what is healthy for your family (not tolerating what you shouldn't tolerate, and essentially sweeping things under the rug.)

    I have a hard time imagining this kind of behavior being that intermittent, though. It sounds more like the kind of thing that would happen when he's not coping well & is overwhelmed in general, not isolated instances.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:01 AM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • Anyway, there are a variety of ways to respond at those times when he is just to "that point." You could agree to certain ground rules where adult "tantrums" are concerned, recognizing the need for space to express what he needs to express while agreeing about (mutually evaluating) what is healthy or reasonable as far as what the kids are exposed to. Have specific "what to do" strategies & implement them when needed. This would be an improvement!
    Beyond that, there also are strategies for how to HANDLE those kinds of feelings, when he might be very triggered by things at home/with the kids. This would be more about alternative ways to respond to the feelings in the moment...what to do INSTEAD of name-calling, ranting, etc. This strategizing can be helpful for parents who are in a rut of yelling & need help for changing (doing something else) in the moment, to interrupt the pattern. But it could be helpful for him too.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:13 AM on Dec. 10, 2012

  • I think, though, that the thing that supports lasting change (not that the feelings "go away" or stop happening, but that the behaviors in response to those feelings change in healthy ways) is increased understanding of the reactions. This amounts to increased self-understanding.

    You can begin to recognize your reactions as a signal that you are avoiding some threatening emotional experience; the anger functions as a defense against other feelings that threaten to be excruciating. Then the big reactions & impulses "cue" you to connect & feel your feelings instead, which is hard but healing.

    You become less reactive when you build your tolerance for your own feelings & can contain them more (rather than resisting them, and discharging anger through venting--thus successfully avoiding threat but feeling crappy about how you treated other people in the process.)

    Getting support for the issues coming up behaviorally can be key!
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:29 AM on Dec. 10, 2012

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