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Relationship Health Message Board

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Not sure what to say but that seems like my husband is frequently P*ssed off at me. LIke he really hates me. We have two small children and want to preserve the marriage but he says that I don't value and respect him. My only problem is that I think he has problems with his anger. He seems to be discontent with a lot- I'm overweight now (160 lb), I don't clean enough (according to him), I spend too much money (only on groceries b/c I discuss any other purchases to try and avoid a fight, I also work from home with a baby and my son who just started school).
I was stunned today I didn't even know that I p*ssed him off. He walked away from me and was not answering me and then said get out of the kitchen before the police have to haved to be called. I was shocked- you mean your so angry you feel like you could hit me. He didn't respond. I left the kitchen to try and get him to cool off but I set him off again by saying. Oh my God Greg, Nicholas has a fever didn't you check him? (He had Nicholas while I slept with the baby). Nicholas has been sick for days. I definitely had an annoyed tone because my husband knew he was sick. After that forget about it- he was angry becuase he made a great meal and didn't appreciate it (for which I apologised and said what a wonderful meal it was). I tried to talk things out and apease him but forget it. He looks at me with such haterd. The rest of the night he just stewed.
He ebbs and flows. About a month ago in a fight he said you are my 9/11. I hate you so much , I should lock you out of the house. You make me so miserable. There is no one worse on the planet then you. I looked at him stunned and said well I'm sorry and I do love you. He apologised afterwards but he keeps doing it. He calls me all sort of names and when I later point out after an arguement that name calling is acceptable he says I deserve and I drive him too it. Dumbass, loser, pathetic, moran, retarded, disgusting, etc. He even has shown his anger towards me in front of our son. I finally told him you know I could call you names but I choose not and you need to stop or I'll be calling you divorced dad. He agreed but it now back to it.
He seems to get set off so easily. Sometimes when I try to call him down it seems to anger him more like I'm talking down to him. Last summer- in the car he was furious me and I said Greg, what can I do to make you happy. He said "Shut the ****** up" So I stayed quiet but cried at his parents house in from of all the company. I blamed it on lack of sleep.
I really don't want a divorce he has many wonderful qualities and is a hard worker who helps out around the house. My children really love him and he is a very involved father. Plus I would never, ever, ever want to leave my children weekends with a man who can't control his temper. I feel like I never known when I'm going to set off a land mine and trying to defuse him is hard. Sex works sometimes. He wants to go to counsiling b/c he is so upset with me and wants our marriage to improve. I for the most part am pretty darn happy but just wish my husband would calm down and relax. I'm afraid to leave my baby with anyone because he has some health issues but we definitely can't bring him to a counselor.
How do I get my husband to realize he is flying off the handle. What techniques can I use to defuse him? Could it be possible that I am unappreciative and don't notice how hard he works at home? Maybe I have to make more positive comments. SOmetimes I get a sick pit in my stomach when he is angry- it's not a good feeling.
PS If I had to get a divorce would I be able to get full custody with out visitation rights? Is it really hard. Just afraid some day he's going to really lose it and smack me or something- then it will definitely be over for us.
My second attempt at a first post - hope it goes through...

I read a book once on the topic of verbal abuse in marriage. It was excellent. Go to one of the bookstore websites and search for the general topic, "verbally abusive relationships", read through the reviews and pick a good one...

The book I read was an eye opener. It discussed how the 2 individuals are often living in 2 different realities. The abuser is on a rollercoaster that can include low-self-esteem issues that cause him to lash out at the victim because of false assumptions that the victim is trying to be controlling, etc. So, when you ask what seems an innocent question or make a statement (let alone anything sounding remotely nagging), they assume you are judging their entire being, implying they are lazy, stupid, whatever. Their reality is that you are picking a fight, implying they are inferior (which perhaps they actually believe about themselves) when your reality may have been that you were trying to make a suggestion or simply stating a need or a parenting fact you've become aware of (communicating w/your spouse).

My therapist a few years ago kept implying that I should leave my husband. I didn't because I realized that he had/still has lots of great qualities. Of course, the relationship is 2 people (plus the kids) so it is always worthwhile to consider how you might be playing a part. For example, early in the marriage, we would argue about whatever and I would really be trying to win the fight as much as he was. We married young! Well, 3 kids and 10 years later, I grew up. I really don't care to win an argument. I really am just trying to communicate and work through things in the family. I don't like arguing. I have said these last several statements to him for years (including the part that I used to want to win). And, now, at almost 20 years married :eek: things have gotten better between us because I think he believes me so he is not always on the defense.

Now, the arguments between him and my 17 year old daughter, that's another story... (watch for me in weeks to come on the topic of Oppositional Defiance Disorder).

Hope this little bit helps - wonderful board...

DevotedDaughter (Mother, Wife and Trying to be Devoted Self)
p.s. I named myself devoteddaughter because I came to this site for help on my dear old dad with multiple health complications but my post never appeared. :(

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