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Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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My husband has a terrible temper. Everything that goes wrong

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My husband has a terrible temper. Everything that goes wrong in our home or small business is my fault, including his anger. We have a 6 month old and a 3 year old as well as a small business together. I do not know how to get him to admit his problem and seek help. I have a feeling of fear in my stomach at all times that I am going to "do something wrong". I am (or was) a very strong woman but feel I am losing that. What type of help is there for him? For us?
Jean N/20pluscounts : Hello, I am available to assist you. Thank you for your post.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Are you interested in a live chat?
Jean N/20pluscounts : This struggle in your life sounds very difficult.
Jean N/20pluscounts : While having choices about what to do in this relationship, those choices are not easy.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Often times underlying anger is fear, sadness, worry etc. If a person does not express those emotions as they are, or lacks an awareness of those emotions, they can come out "sideways", such as in anger and control.
Jean N/20pluscounts : A person in this type of relationship tries very hard to make things "just so", to avoid/prevent the person from becoming angry. That does not work very well because you can not predict what will set him off. An angry person looks at life with darker glasses, thinks negatively, sees the glass half empty.
Jean N/20pluscounts : He's projecting the blame onto you- again, lacking awareness of his own true feelings underlying his anger.
Jean N/20pluscounts : What begins to happen, is that you become so consumed with him, his mood, his anger, that you lose yourself in all of this. The focus is on him, while he's lacking a focus on self- a bit backwards huh?
Jean N/20pluscounts : Life is difficult as you describe it with your sweet young children, and running a business together. It's confusing, doesn't it make a whole lot more sense to support each other vs. all of this animosity and anger, that drives a wedge between the two of you.
Jean N/20pluscounts : We tend to create what we fear the most. He may be afraid of losing it all, including his family.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Assertive communication is important to begin protecting yourself.
Jean N/20pluscounts : The use of "I" statements can be effective, such as, "I feel frustrated, worried, attacked, (whatever the emotion may be), when you blame me, attack me, hurt me with your anger, and we need to do something differently". Stating, "we have a problem and what are "we" going to do about it?", can feel less blaming. When you use the "I" statements the person on the receiving end may respond less defensively. Making a statement such as "you are a jerk, you blame me for everything, I'm sick of it!", has more of a tendency to point a finger and the person then can quickly become defensive.
Jean N/20pluscounts : That you are feeling dread, anxiety, and fear in your stomach tells me it's has become verbally abusive.
Jean N/20pluscounts : In order for change to happen he will need to be a willing participant in that change. If he does not recognize it as a problem, you are left to decide how best to handle it. Putting your energy in establishing clear expectations, boundaries, and being assertive, may be best.
Jean N/20pluscounts : As you begin to respond more assertively, make even subtle changes in how you respond, he will be affected in some way by this change. Things can get worse before they get better because he has used you as a punching bag, a dumping ground, and he will be forced to "deal with it". Finding some way to deflect this when it comes at you- avoid taking "it" on, it's not your fault!!
Customer: Thank you. Yes, much of what you say is true. It has become abusive and I have lost much of myself as I am consumed with wishing I could "fix" him. I know that is not the right way to tackle this, but I can not think of any other way to see it.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Thank you for joining me!
Customer: What do you advise I do differently in terms of answering his abuse "in the moment"?
Jean N/20pluscounts : The "I" statements- and practicing assertiveness communication. I have a couple of books to recommend if you are interested.
Customer: yes please.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Certainly validating his struggle- but I think you've tried that.
Customer: Yes at this point i feel he needs to take responsibility as I am tired of trying to "understand" him.
Jean N/20pluscounts : The books are: The Verbally Abusive Relationship, how to recognize it and how to respond, and The Verbally abusive Man, can he change?, both by ***** *****
Jean N/20pluscounts : Another book: Why Does He Do That? inside the minds of angry and controlling men, by Lundy Bancroft.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Those books can help you understand, gain more insight into this, and help you to learn ways to best respond.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Seeking out counseling for yourself, to help you to take care of yourself in all of this, may help.
Customer: That is funny as I own both of those! Bought them on Amazon last year.
Customer: I just find it hard to apply what I read in the books to real world situations
Jean N/20pluscounts : That is funny- may have to re read them!!
Jean N/20pluscounts : The key is practicing those techniques- have you considered counseling?
Customer: Yes I need to do that.
Customer: We did go to counseling 4 years ago; an ultimatum before I would have kids with him...
Customer: the counselor told us that he needed to address his individual anger issues before he could help us as a couple. My husband was not willing to admit that he needed help and constantly stated that I was the one that was causing him to lose his temper. I am at the point where I am so tired of trying to psycho-analyze him and his issues. I don't know if another ultimatum is the route to go?
Jean N/20pluscounts : Finding a therapist who specializes in this sort of thing?? You do not deserve to live this way. You have not caused this nor created it. It's interesting, he's the one struggling but you are the one "struggling" taking on his hurt, anger- or being the one "dumped on".
Jean N/20pluscounts : Have the ultimatums worked before?
Customer: Well he did go to counseling that time a few years ago...
Jean N/20pluscounts : Protecting and caring for yourself- one tends to lose them self in all of this- become codependent.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Finding someone who specializes in anger management stuff for him to do individual. Might he read one of your books for a start?
Customer: I will try that.
Jean N/20pluscounts : It's not easy- do practice the assertiveness techniques- try again to have that"talk" with him- when he's calm, not tired etc.
Customer: I will. Thank you for the advice. I will re-read the books. They may help more. Just funny that you recommended those exact 2 books.
Jean N/20pluscounts : The "I love you, I want things to work, but things must change" sort of thing.
Jean N/20pluscounts : You have been through it- I can see you are knowledgeable- but it's still very hard!!
Jean N/20pluscounts : You have lots on the line with such a young family. What would you tell your child if they were experiencing such a thing when they grow up? Just food for thought!
Customer: That is a very good point. I know what I need to do... it is just hard to do it. Unless he gets help and makes changes I have to change my life.
Jean N/20pluscounts : Take care of YOU. If you'd be so kind to rate my info/answer ok or higher in order for be to get credit. Much appreciated!! Let me know if I can assist you again. Right- focus on you, getting stronger, better...
Jean N/20pluscounts : Best wishes on your journey- life school:)
Jean N/20pluscounts : Remember reacting, responding differently takes practice, even in your body language.
Customer: Thank you, I will rate it and you have been helpful.
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