I have a family of two children (7 yo son, 4 yo daughter) and my husband. I still get confused, since I an incest survivor, of what emotional abuse really is. My husband has increasingly become more aggressive in the last year or so towards my children and I. His behaviors coming from his anger have also escalated. He has had 2-3 recent outbursts where he yells really loudly and throws things - all in front of the children and some of those times directed toward our kids. He especially gets very angry at our 7 year old son. He is not able to control his anger begaviors when our son is not doing what he wants him to do, if our son cusses at him, or anything that doesn’t please him. He is very harsh and often critical of our son. My husband uses threats a lot towards the kids and when I speak up he gets more mad so in turn threatens me with divorce. He has also threatened my son by saying he’s going to move out. He also gets annoyed at our son when he shares with me the things that my husband has threatened him with etc.
The first major outburst my husband had was about 3 months ago. He was already frustrated that we were running late to meet his father at a park and that our kids really didn’t want to visit with their grandfather. We had to exit the freeway because our daughter needed to use the potty. After she used it she was kinda stalling and not getting back in the car seat. I was in the back seat with the kids. Husband was rushing her etc. Then my daughter hit him in the face. He immediately screamed, threw his cell phone to the passenger side, saying stuff like “that’s it, I’m moving out when we get home, we’re getting a divorce, I don’t care if we go to court!.....” Obviously this was scary for all of us.
His most recent outburst was on Christmas Eve. Again involving his father. (I believe he has unhealed issues regarding his father. He’s an alcoholic. Off & on throughout his childhood. Then his father had a child with another woman. After this his parents divorced when my husband was in high school). We were in the front yard with his father. Once again our kids really not wanting to be there. After about 15 minutes sitting there our son started getting bored & restless and showing clear signs of frustration. (He deals with anxiety). Then our son said, “I’m bored”. His grandfather asked, “what do you do when you’re bored?” My son replied, “I die, I kill myself haha”. Obviously he was frustrated, looking for attention and reactions. (Grandfather was paying lots of attention to my daughter mostly). Then his grandfather says, “I’m going to take my belt off boy”. I looked at my husband and he said nothing to his dad. So I did and I said, “you said you’re going to take your belt off?” He said, “yeah I said that, I said I’m going to take my belt off, did you hear what he said?!” I replied, “he has a lot feelings about being here” Then unexpectedly my husband immediately stood up & came towards me and pointed in my face “yeah cause you’re a bi***!” Then he screamed and threw one of the big boxes that was a Christmas gift. Then my husband’s father started at me too, verbally attacking me and saying he was going to take his belt off for me! At this point my husband got in front of him to keep him from coming towards me. Even my husband’s half sister (21 yo) came out of the house telling him to stop.
He has also pinched my son, or grabbed him hard & even threw a shoe at him after my son threw one at him.
So now I’m realizing he’s emotionally abusive to our family and this is not healthy at all.
I’m wondering in this type of situation is it even possible to take steps toward trying to work things out? Meaning the only way I will continue in this relationship is if he gets counseling, anger management and respectful parenting classes.
And if so, how do I even approach this? It feels like an ultimatum and I guess it is because I don’t see him getting better or changing instead only getting worse. So really I don’t wan to be in this relationship anymore unless he accepts and is willing to get help.
Also, I’ve considered divorce but since he’s emotionally abusive and If we have shared custody then he’s going to continue with them still. Im guessing I would have to get legal help? How can I prove he’s being emotionally abusive?