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cafemoms i need a lending ear. what would you have done in this situation?

this morning started out like all mornings. i alone got up, fed the kids, got them dressed, cleaned the kitchen, etc while my husband slept in. nothing wrong with that i suppose, im used to doing it all by myself.

anyway, my 2 year old was feeding herself a yogurt. she just turned 2 in december, and cant properly hold her spoon. she points the bottom of the spoon downward, with the mouth of the spoon pointing to her and the back of the spoon facing outward. typically with more liquidy foods like applesauce, it would slide off. with yogurt though, the consistency is thick and it doesn't slide off. she's only 2, she's learning. i stepped outside for a moment, and my husband was badgering her on how to hold it right. his tone scares her and then she gives up, she sits there and stares out into space instead of listening to him on how to do it right. then, he gets upset and puts her in her room.

i told him she's only 2, she's a freakin kid. she's not going to learn with the way he approaches it. he makes her feel bad and scares her. when i found her in her room she was just laying on the floor face down sobbing. he left for work without saying a word.

about a week ago, he came forth and told me he has an anger problem, more so directed to the kids than me. he's actually pretty good to me and patient. but he lacks patience with the kids, and they are so young, our oldest is 4. and i can sense she senses a problem, because if he's upset with her she gets so self-conscious about it. she asks over and over again for me not to tell daddy if she's done something wrong, or if he does know she is so worried about him being mad or "disappointed" in her. this is the behavior of a child who is emotionally abused.

so after he left, i told him he needs to stay with his mom til he gets help. his counseling doesn't begin til february 24th, and i cannot keep living like this. picking up the shattered pieces and trying to keep the kids quiet when he's sleeping or comes home from work in a foul mood. but now that i said that i feel an emptiness, like i was wrong. im sure he feels that i am giving up on him. but i fear that he's going to do psychological damage to the kids if he continues to live here or doesn't learn patience. he just expects way too much out of a 4, 2, and 1 year old. i realize parenting can be difficult for everyone at times but this is a DAILY thing. i would rather him be emotionally abusive to me than the children, that would be so much easier to handle. am i wrong for asking him to leave til he gets help?

the problem according to him is unresolved ptsd issues from his 15 month term overseas in 2007-2008. i am happy he's admitted he has a problem and wants to get help, but i cant wait that long for things to get bettter. our children are the ones paying the price. i dont know what to do :-(

 
tnm786

Asked by tnm786 at 10:16 AM on Jan. 17, 2011 in Relationships

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (30)
  • Your children are young enough that if dad gets the proper help he needs, they probably won't even remember what happened. At this point, it's important that he gets help and I don't think that you were wrong for asking him to stay elsewhere until he does get that help. You're not giving up on him, you're right in focusing on your children. I had PTSD as well, and sought help for it, he can overcome this. Just be there to support him.
    gumby11883

    Answer by gumby11883 at 10:22 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • If you were giving up on him, you would have told him to stay with his mom and that he can't come back. Sounds to me like you have hope that things will get better for your whole family, but in the meantime, you've got to do what you've got to do.

    Pat yourself on the back, and don't forget to give him a back patting, too. You are making sure your kids have a home in which they feel safe and secure, and he has admitted to his anger problem and is seeking help so that he can help you provide that safety and security.
    SpaceToast

    Answer by SpaceToast at 10:46 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • so happy to hear that he came forward and said that he has anger issue
    great job on his part
    since he left house=what has happened, have you two talked, has he visited??
    anger issue program and parenting class for him
    three kids those ages is a lot, especially dealign with his ptsd
    hope all goes well
    all i can say is you did the right thing, space is ok, as long as you two keep talking, if he is close by, he should be visiting you and kids often
    hugs!
    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:22 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • no i dont think you where wrong in asking him to leave and give the kids space .....and i think once the thearpy starts and he begins to deal with his issues then all will get better good luck
    cara124

    Answer by cara124 at 10:30 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • That is probably because I make sure they can do these things or else they usually spend the day in time out. He doesn't sound out of line at all.


    How exactly are you going to FORCE them to hold a utensil correctly? And spending the day in timeout? That is abuse, there is nothing that a TWO YEAR old can do that would warrant "a day in timeout." My 23 m/o is progressing on her own without being forceful and she can talk clearly, potty trained, comes when she is called and cleans up after herself. Do I expect this out of her no but, she is in a happy, healthy environment and does it on her own. If you would really treat a 2 y/o like you said, you have extreme issues.

    matthewscandi

    Answer by matthewscandi at 11:00 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I applaud him for recognizing and admitting his problem. I also applaud you as a mom for addressing the issue on behalf of your kids. Even though his negativity is more directed at the kids, you also feel the tension. If you feel tense, your children feel tense and nobody can thrive in that kind of environment. So I don't think it was wrong to give your husband a "time-out" until he begins his therapy. That being said, I also agree with previous posters in that you should continue talking and visiting until he comes home. You are not banishing him, just making it easier on everyone until he gets the help he deserves.
    hootie826

    Answer by hootie826 at 11:01 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • has he ever really seen how the kids react to him? i mean relly realized how much he upsets your kids i mean he may seee them cry and be upset but has realized tha hey i did htis i caused them to feel like this? that may be what it takes to help over come his anger therapy is good to i'm sorry that you and your kids have to go through this when i was four my parent s had some issues and fought non stop and i can say that even that young it does effect you i relly hope every thing works out just try to talk to him and keep reassuring your kids that evertyhing is all right and i know how frustrating it can be to have a child with a development problem my sister ha cri du chat syndrome and my mom would become very frustrated but it take time like i said just reassure the kids they did nothing wrong and make sure your husband visits with them it will help them both in the long run
    lillymom828

    Answer by lillymom828 at 10:47 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • you did the right thing. personally, i don't care what hes been through. you child shouldn't have to pay for it, and pay she will.
    don't get me wrong, if he's got problems for a very good reason, then it's one thing if other adults chose to be in his company, but your daughter is a child.
    you're right, if this is the way he's acting, then keep your daughter away from it.
    I now have to deal with the after effects of years of treatment like you describe. Dad would drag me along the sidewalk, yelling at me then smacking me for 'not walking right'
    apparently my dad couldn't seem to understand that I just couldn't walk as fast as he wanted me to.
    I was told my whole life that I needed to deal with it because he had such a hard job.
    I was told that it was understandable for him to occasionally hit me since he was raised that was acceptable.

    she can see him under some situations, but don't make that child live with him.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I'm sorry you are having to go through this! You are a very strong woman! We are in the military and I have seen a lot of husbands with PTSD and the way they treat their children. Thankfully, my husbands deployment experiences seem to have made him realize how precious life is, and he has gotten BETTER with our son. I think you did the right thing, though most women wouldn't have done it becuase it is hard! You are doing what is right for your children and while it hurts you, they do need to come first! I am so glad you see that as some don't. I hope things get better with therapy. Your kids deserve to live in a home where they can feel free to have fun and goof off and learn. They won't learn if they don't have the oppurtunities! You sound like you are doing a wonderful job with them! They are lucky to have a great mom who cares about them so much!
    ARast

    Answer by ARast at 10:57 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • OP, you did the right thing. My husband has PTSD and sometimes he is unreasonable with our kids also. Good luck!
    matthewscandi

    Answer by matthewscandi at 11:13 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

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