Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this serious and frustrating marital and family reality.
Could you please tell me for how long have your husband presented all these serious issues?
From the isolation and lack of activity, to the abusive behaviors and lack of good parenting?
I would say it has gotten worse since the passing of his father 6 years ago.
I see. Most times people presenting similar behaviors use to suffer of depression, and since not knowing how to cope with it, their negative feelings from it turn into anger and relationship problems. Then this is about chronic issues present for several years and worsened by grief.
It is even more serious because it clearly shows very abusive behaviors, poor parenting and lack of healthy and fulfilling marital and family sharing, what totally undermines the overall well-being of each of you as individuals and as a family. If you have even tried counseling and it hasn't worked, I assume it was because of his inability and/or unwillingness to work on his personal issues, to acknowledge the problems he creates and to take full responsibility for his actions.
Any support could only be helpful if the very person is willing to make changes as a responsible adult, to rehabilitate from his personal problems, like depression, poor anger control and any other, in order to be able to make changes and improvements in his relationships with those who are supposed to be the most important people in his life, his wife and children.
I am afraid that time would only deepen what is already there, so worsening these core issues, and you nor your children deserve any form of neglect or abuse. Children are literally shaped in their personalities by the type of attachment , parenting and sharing their get from parents, then it is truly sad and concerning to see this serious situation has been going on for years.
The only approach I could recommend you to consistently implement there is for you and your children to set healthy and clear boundaries and limits, where you would have to support and protect them, in order to control and reduce the abuse episodes as much as possible, thus the level of destructive family conflict, even when doing so, would initially, and for a while create new conflicts, which in my opinion are necessary for you to protect yourselves and reduce abuse-neglectful behaviors.
He used to be very close to our 17 year old - but that has recently changed as she is fed up with the way he treats her. I have suggested that he talk with someone - about his feelings regarding the loss of his father. He always says he is fine and he handled it just fine. He was closest to his mother growing up. He had some bond with his father but called on his mom usually. That used to be an interesting dynamic, and she too is manipulative and pouts when she doesnt get her way, however he tends to ignore her when she is acting this way - he doesnt see that he does the same things. I have learned to choose my battles with him and our daughters.
In any relationship, without basic "mutual" respect, nothing healthy would be possible, abuse, neglect and manipulation would become core patterns and the consequences would be unavoidable in the present and the future. Your children will build their own lives as adults based on what they learn and receive from you as parents, this is why it's so important to work on setting boundaries here and not allowing further abuse.
I hear what you are saying, it is something I have probably known deep down - but felt I could continue to be supportive to the girls and atleast provide one healthy aspect. It is becoming very out of control, expecially with the name calling - thank goodness it is never physical, but emotional is probably worse - it is a deeper scar that probably NEVER goes away.
I am sorry to know about these serious issues. confirming how they are rooted n his personality and life from long ago. Without he taking full responsibility for his feelings, choices and action, including his rehabilitation process, nobody would be able to help him. On the other hand, your children and you need and deserve to have a healthy and fulfilling lives, and this is why as long as you stay together, you would need to improve the way you cope with it through better boundaries, limits and assertiveness. your children are not little anymore, they would build their own lives sooner or later.
Absolutely, I have to say that I agree with you %100. verbal, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect are much worse than physical abuse, even more when they come from a parent, that's why it is so serious and important for you to continue working on how to protect and take better care of yourselves.
It's very sad, since many times people end finding partners with similar issues-features their own parents presented unless they happened to heal from abuse, they end self-sabotaging and enabling their own abuse-neglect.
I too have my fair share of idiosyncrasies, trust me! I used to carry on and fight about stupid things too - but as I am getting older, those stupid little petty things are no longer worth it to me. He picks on our 21 year old - she is pretty independent and does her own thing - and he goes after her pretty hard sometimes. Threatens to take the car away for talking back...
it's very sad since he is just destroying their relationship and pushing her away from him, while negatively impacting her future too and not in simple, but serious ways.
I could go on and on! I think it is escalating - because the younger one who used to do no wrong in his eyes is also under attack. The way he manipulates (or tries) is disgusting!
Thank you for your response. I think I know what needs to happen - much of it is timing.
I see, and it makes sense, as I just said, time uses to reinforce whatever is there, of healthy or destructive. he has built his life already but your children are just starting their own journeys, and these serious issues around abuse and neglect do not help at all but ruin their own chances for creating healthy and fulfilling lives themselves.
You're welcome. I am sorry to confirm the bad news, but it is necessary to come to terms with reality in order to take better care of yourselves.
Thank you for your trust.
Our oldest is seeing a therapist - and I think I will follow that path for the youngest until I can get my things in order.
Absolutely, that is the wisest approach, and very necessary in my opinion, please take gentle care and consistent action.