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Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

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Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby workNprogress » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:40 am

So, I have been married 3 years. My wife has serious anger management issues. I've always been very calm, but her destructiveness (screaming obscenities at me over something trivial like her anger I am not more interested in her gardening ideas while our little children are crying and screaming at her to stop) can really push my buttons. We generally have a blow up about once a month. Yes, I've considered it is related to PMS, but my issue here is my own behavior, not my wife's.

With concerted effort on both our parts, we went 2 months without a major blow up, until yesterday. The kids were napping. My wife expressed her opinion I caused our daughter grief when I took our son to the store a week ago. My reasons were very practical -- my son was ready to walk out the door, I was trying to run a quick errand as a favor to my wife, I figured leaving her with just our daughter instead of both kids would be doing her an additional favor, my daughter is still in diapers which means a production whenever we leave the house of preparing a diaper bag, bringing a bottle of milk, and my daughter is much more bonded to her mother than to me (our son is the opposite) which raises the specter that my daughter might realize at the store that her mother is not in sight and have a melt down. The easiest thing to do was take my son. As I was walking out the door with him, my daughter went to follow us (she follows her older brother everywhere) and I shooed her back inside. My wife said something like, "Oh, she feels left out," and I said something like,"Oh, she's not missing out, I'm sure she's going to be doing something special here..."

I was hinting -- strongly -- that my wife should distract our daughter from feeling like she was missing out, by getting her excited about something they would do at home while I was gone, like have tea party or go on a treasure hunt, or whatever. The point is, a 2 year old is very easy to distract and can get excited about almost anything. When I got back from the store, my wife hits me with the news that my daughter was hysterically upset that she was left behind, and she thinks it is my fault because I have now taken my son but not my daughter three times in a row on errands of this sort over the past 2 months. Again, my reasoning was always based on practicality -- these are quick errands and my son is old enough to hop in the car -- and I never figured my wife was so unable or unwilling to distract my daughter from feeling as if she was being left out.

So all week, my wife keeps bringing this issue back up, of me not treating our daughter fairly. I have spent the last week wracking my brains on how to tell my wife that I really think she could have tried harder to make staying home something special for our daughter so she didn't feel left out. It's exactly the sort of thing I would have done without even being asked. To me, it's what parents do, as partners, to help each other. I wanted my wife to realize she could have made an effort to make my daughter feel like she was going to do something special so she would not feel left out simply because she was being left at home. I did not say anything for a week because I feared it would set my wife into a rage. Anything that seems critical of her parenting does that.

Finally, yesterday, she made a comment again about my not taking our daughter a week ago. I finally said something about how I thought there were two sides to that, and I thought she could and should have made an effort to get our daughter excited about staying home, instead of reinforcing that she was being left out by saying stuff like, "oh, don't worry, you'll get to go another time." That sort of stuff just reinforced that she WAS being left out of something special. As I had feared, this threw my wife into a rage. She started shouting how I don't love my daughter like my son and how I ignore her and am causing her psychological damage. Both our kids awoke from their naps and started crying. Not knowing how to calm my wife, I left the room. My wife followed and continued yelling.

I told her to stop and think of the kids. She did not. I said it over and over. I shouted it. She kept on swearing at me. The kids were crying. I was holding a glass of water. Finally, I threw the water at her. She looked shocked, then she came at my swinging her fists. She's smaller than me, but strong and in better shape. She hit me a couple times, and something in me broke. I knocked her back and said, "YOu do NOT get to hit me!" I hit her again, and grabbed her, subdued her, then let her go. She came at me again swinging. I again knocked her, told her she does not get to hit me, grabbed her, immobilized her, and let her go. It happened one more time like that.

Afterwards, her view is that, as the man, the same standards do not apply, and she gets to hit me without me being allowed to hit her back. I should have subdued her by grabbing her arms without landing any blows myself. On reflection, I wish I would have done that. I've always thought I was the kind of man who would never hit a woman, even if the woman was hitting me. But at that moment she was hitting me, I was enraged that she was so out of control, so disregarding our children's emotional health, and so insistent on turning a simple discussion of differing views on child-rearing into a screaming argument -- and that she does this regularly. But part of me was also enraged at the double standard that I should let her hit me and she gets off unscathed. I probably could have subdued her without landing any blows myself, but at that moment, I wanted to land a couple blows myself. For whatever it's worth, it's not like a swung first, and it's not like I hit her after she was subdued. But I also did more than the bare minimum to subdue her.

Now that I've hit a woman for the first time in my life, I am forced to ponder what kind of man I am, how badly I am flawed, and what type of problem I have, whether it's an anger managment issue or an interpersonal issue, whether it's a function of a lot of stress I've been under, or what. Any opinions would be appreciated.
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Re: Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby jasmin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:09 am

WorkNprogress, I think the most important issue here is your wife's behavior. It sounds like she has real problems and they won't go away on their own, she probably need some professional help. Her reactions sound very weird to me.
It's more than anger management, she needs to see a doctor who could give her a diagnosis and tell you what's going on as well. Pressing a simple issues like the one with your daughter, having meltdowns, being violent and thinking it's ok all indicate that there might be more going on. She may become abusive towards the kids too, if she hasn't already (even in ways that are more subtle than assaulting them like she did you).
Yes, it's wrong to hit a woman but she had been harassing you and hitting you and you made a mistake. Try to figure out what to do with your wife and your life if you don't want it to happen again.
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Re: Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby Benderover » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:15 pm

I agree that the issue isn't you, but your wife. She seems to have very odd, explosive reactions when things don't go her way, and obviously can't take criticism. She needs to go to a doctor and get this sorted out; she does not seem to be well at all.

And as for you, nothing is wrong with you. I understand that it's a rule that a man should not put a hand on a woman, but I believe that this is the exception. You were trying to defend yourself and subdue her at the same time. Yes, you shouldn't have hit her while subduing her, considering that would aggravate her more, but I don't think anybody with a rational mind would think you had an anger issue because of it.

I don't think your kids are safe in that environment, either. If your wife does not take professional help, I think that you need to get out of that house with both of your children. If it's you now, what about when those kids grow up and have something smart to say to her? That's how kids are; they get sassy, but with your wife's behavior, she might end up hurting them for that.
“I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me.”
- Hunter S. Thompson (1937 - 2005)
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Re: Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby Onebravegirl » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:15 pm

Hi workinprogress,
I think the fact that you are so upset that this has happened is a testament that you are a good man and a good father.
There is a double standard. You do not deserve to be hit. Stupid movies and books make it sound like it is ok for a woman to hit a man because she is less likely to cause real damage. Even if she is in better shape than you, you can hit harder.
Hitting is wrong, but mistakes happen. She provoked it and you did try and get away.
As a housewife myself, I can tell you that it gets very frustrating if I am the one holding the baby when my husband gets to get out of the house with the easier/older child. You and your wife need to learn to communicate your needs. She needs a break sometimes. Instead of having the maturity to verbalize that ,she is using your little girl as a weapon to shame you. Not fair at all.
Your children learn how to behave from you both. It sounds like this concerns you more than your wife. Your wife needs to grow up a bit.
So, your question was Do you have an anger management issue. Based on what you posted, I would say it could become one in time. Right now I think you have a frustration issue. A person with anger issues would make excuses for hitting not ask for help and advice.
You need to set a time aside for the two of you to talk this out. Perhaps away from the house. She may be less likely to act out like this if she is in public. Find out her thoughts about what happened. Marriage counseling could be helpful, or even a marriage work book on how to communicate better.
You sound like a very nice man and a good father. Your wife has issues and is using you to hide from them.
Stay here on this forum, we will try and support you the best we can.
With Hope,
One
Two men looked through bars. One saw Mud, the other saw Stars.
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Re: Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby flamingo5821 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:45 am

Dear WorkNProgress,

Using foul language and physical altercations is just plain unacceptable behavior. No question, that stress is a big factor. You should consider going to marriage counselling so you and your wife can learn to relate in a more peaceful manner.
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Re: Hit my wife -- is this an anger management issue?

Postby Rusty Covey » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:12 pm

jasmin wrote:WorkNprogress, I think the most important issue here is your wife's behavior. It sounds like she has real problems and they won't go away on their own, she probably need some professional help. Her reactions sound very weird to me.
It's more than anger management, she needs to see a doctor who could give her a diagnosis and tell you what's going on as well. Pressing a simple issues like the one with your daughter, having meltdowns, being violent and thinking it's ok all indicate that there might be more going on. She may become abusive towards the kids too, if she hasn't already (even in ways that are more subtle than assaulting them like she did you).
Yes, it's wrong to hit a woman but she had been harassing you and hitting you and you made a mistake. Try to figure out what to do with your wife and your life if you don't want it to happen again.

While reading what you wrote, there were many things jumping out at me, such as you saying "her daughter". I don't have the time to explain in detail. But, you need to evaluate each word in your brain to make sure it belongs in your life meaning know what words and terms are and learn to use your five senses all over again. For example, don't look at something and say that is smooth. or that is wet or that is cold, walk over to it, left your hand, now run your finger across it to feel how smooth it really is. Say this, point to your eyes and say I, now point to your nose and say SMELL, now point to your mouth and say MOUTH, now hold both hands in the air and say, AND TOUCH EARS.
Try new foods, new smells, I bet you guys live the same day aftar day doing the same things, unaware that you have been running on autopilot, stop and think about everything you do during the day. Do you have to think about how to do any of the stuff you do through out the day? A habit is anything you can do without having to think about how to do it. The problem with this it allows you the freedom to think of other things. Imagine having tunnel mind vision and you can't think about anything else, except for what you are doing.
Its time for a new life, the bonus is you get to keep your family. The new life is turning off the autopilot, which means what ever is in front of you, that is the topic or situation, which means it gets 100% of your attention. Not 40/60 which means your giving 40% of your attention to cooking and 60% of your thoughts to your wife or something.
Learn how to say to yourself stop, don't go there, I need to focus on what I am doing right now. When you have any free time, say these phrases over and over so that they just pop into your head with ease. "Several years ago, I picked up a knife to cut some meat, my grandson came into the room. A thought pop into my head to stab him. I was horrified with that thought. I put down the knife, went to my grandson and gave him a hug. Whenever, this would take place, I would say, Stop, don't go there, and I would say to myself things that reenforced my family values and how I would miss them if they weren't here. The thought is gone. I can pick up a knife and nothing happens. It starts with you.
A man is stuff, we don't need to be praised, told nice things, given things, or recognized for doing something. Try letting her stand in the Spotlight and get all the credit. What ever she feels from it, you should feel it to. Goodluck
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