My husband is very harsh (physically and verbally) towards our 10 year old son. How can I ensure he does not cause permanant harm?

Rati - posted on 09/20/2011 ( 186 moms have responded )

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This usually happens when we are teaching him sums and doing some school work. He shouts and threatens and this scares my son that usually he cries so much. He continues this until he (my husband) gets tired. If I try to stop him, he turns to me and the last time it resulted in us actually physically fighting - which was not good at all.

My son only spends NECESSARY time with his father and all the other time he is with me in the kitchen or helping me do some housework...not by choice - because he will be avoiding his father.

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Kellie - posted on 09/20/2011

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How do you ensure he doesn't cause permanent harm? You divorce him and get sole custody of your child.

Quite simply, he is abusing your son and you need to remove your son (and yourself) from this situation, and then you get your child some counseling with a counsellor who specializes in children who are victims of domestic violence.

Amanda - posted on 09/20/2011

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Leave this man now! Not only is he abusing your son, he is also abusing you! For the safety and mental health of your son please leave. Btw he has ALREADY dont permanant damage to his son, as clearly he is scared of his own father.



If you choose not to leave your husband, you are a victum and an abuser, because it is your responsiblity to protect your child, and choosing not to makes you as bad as his abuser. Sorry to be harsh but thats reality.

JuLeah - posted on 09/20/2011

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Your husband is abusive and you allow him to be



Kids won't remember, maybe, the exact things you do, but they will remember how you made them feel



He will remember that his father made him feel frightened, little, worthless, shamed, stupid ... and you allowed him to do it - so, in effect, you agree he is all of those things



Odds are your husband doesn't wish this relationship with his son - odds are he doesn't know better -



He needs help, so do you and your kid



Your son is learning from his father how to be a father, he is learning how to treat his wife ... do you want to see your grandkids abused in this fashion?



Your husband should not ever ever never never be alowed to 'teach' your son anything - not be allowed to help with homework in any fashion



So, what to do .... if he won't get help - paretning classes, therapy .... then maybe you need to take a break - walk away for a time - do you have a friend or family member you can stay with?



Before you take any action, do round up all important documents, doctors records, school records, marriage records .... make sure they are in a safe place only you have access too



You are in a tough spot and I know attempting to do right by your kid .... I might not be a bad idea to contact a womans shelter and ask a few questions - explain the situation to them ... he doesn't have to be beating you to a pulp for this to be a big issue - it is about power and control, right? It doesn't sound as if the power and control is evenly divided in your house

Liz - posted on 09/20/2011

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I may be 40 now, but I still recall _vividly_ all the occasions when my step-father abused me in a similar fashion. Trust me, it is already damaging your son. If you cannot discuss this calmly with your husband when your son is out of earshot (this might make a difference, as your husband may not then feel that you are undermining him) then you need either to leave with your son or have your husband thrown out of the house, backed up by restraining order if necessary.



Your son can recover, but the abuse needs to end first and he needs to see that you can understand what's happening to him, how terrified he is probably feeling, and that you, his mom, can put this right.



Otherwise you risk damaging your own relationship with your son, as he could feel - as I did - that his mother is putting her marriage before her child's well being.

Rachel - posted on 09/20/2011

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as hard as it will be you need to get out of that situation. Take your son and go. It is not good for him to be yelled at while doing school work that will make him not want to learn rather than make him want to. There is no reason your 10 year old needs to be treated like that and neither do you. You need to protect your child. It sounds like your husband needs some anger management therapy. Good luck

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Mother 0f - posted on 09/28/2011

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It's easy to judge when your on the outside looking in everybody commenting on what they would do when half of them are probally in abusive relationships themselves ... My advice would be as a mother I'm pretty sure you know what to do.. What would you want your mother to do if you were your son.. Also maybe family counseling from a neutral third party...Good luck

Susan - posted on 09/27/2011

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I am so sorry this is happening to you. It is a tough decision for you to leave the situation but it is possible.
Contact an Emergency Woman's Center if you feel threatened. Confide in your family and close friends. You can rise above all this nasty situation. We all deserve a safe place to live and learn in so have faith and call for help very soon. I wish you the best.

Ivo - posted on 09/27/2011

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Our children aren't trophies.... They are for us to take care of them and guide them through life. It doesnt take a barbarian to teach a child any given skill. Obviously if the kid is not getting it, there must be a barrier.. A reason why. Your job as a parent is to find your child's style of learning. Unfortunately, the poor kid is going to be traumatized, have life lasting awful memory from his dad teaching him, and turn around and do the same with his own children. You must intervene and stop this now.

Trish - posted on 09/27/2011

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Sorry but this is no longer about you or your needs, you have a duty of care to your son and should protect him from this bully. I find it hard to understand why you are even asking for advise, the answer is so very obvious.

Rebecca - posted on 09/27/2011

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Sorry to say this, but the damage has already been caused, the best you can do now as a Mum is to minimize any further damage by getting the hell out of there. This man is a bully.

Jasmin - posted on 09/27/2011

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why would you choose to stay around a man who constantly makes your child cry and if you have to keep the child next to you all the time just to keep him away from his father then you should take a step back and reevaluate your relationship cause thats not healthy for any child to be in that situtation your child should come first not your husband if the abuse continues it will be your fault for not doing anything about it

Anna - posted on 09/27/2011

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Sounds like your husband has temper issues and the last thing you want is for your son to turn out that way when he grows up. I would first try to talk to your husband when he's calm and in a good mood. Explain to him that yelling and threatening are not the way to discipline children. Yes, it might cause them to behave but out of fear not out of respenct and trust. You might want to suggest he read The Successful Child by Dr. William Sears or at least tell him to look on Dr. Sears website for some info on discipline. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipl... If that doesn't work, you probably gotta do some serious thinking on whether you and your son should be living with your husband.

Sharonda - posted on 09/27/2011

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Same experience - My son was about 8 or 9 years old. My Husband (step-dad) didn't quite understand at the time what my son was going through with his learning disability. He was so hard on him and said a lot of harsh words to him. My son didn't want his help any longer so I was responsible for helping him with all his homework. Avoiding will be a defensive mechanism that your son will have with Dad until your Husband make homework time more relaxing and welcoming for him.

Hanjo - posted on 09/27/2011

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You need to pray and ask God to calm your husband and fix the bond there should be between father and son. Proclaim things in faith and it will happen. Say thing loud in your house like...Love is more important than anything else, there will be peace in my house. My husband's speech will be seasoned with kindness towards our son. Sometimes the root of the problem is because your husband's father did the same to him and he does not know any better. Talk with him and ask him to be more considerate and loving toward your son when they do homework.

Michelle - posted on 09/27/2011

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Why does he feel he can physically, mentally and emotionally abuse you and your son? You need to get out of this situation for the sake of your son. As his mother you are responsible for his safety and well being.If your husband can act this way over homework I am sure he is capable of more. Why should your son have to go around avoiding his father in his own house.You say he avoids his father by staying with you doing housework etc. He is hiding behind you for safety. Do whats best for your son and in time you will see that you have done the right thing.

Sherry - posted on 09/26/2011

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Get out now! My daughter stayed too long in a controlling relationship and it cost her life and that of her beloved and precious son. Your first duty is to protect your son and to act in his best interests. Good luck and God bless!

Serena - posted on 09/26/2011

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Darling I feel like I have a lot to say but I know this is hard for you..I Have 3 children and I now live in a seperate home from my husband because I felt I tried everything.They THINK they are helping but u can clearly see the problem.
Sometimes Its the man they have grown into and unfortunatly only they can admit to and change that. Stay strong for your boy and stand up for Him Always so that he learns through love rather than fear ...When we grow up we remember these things and he will decide for himself if he knows he is loved and he has rights. His day will come. ps I dont agree with some of these other comments.

Yvonne - posted on 09/26/2011

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Try to make your husband look good in the eyes of your son. Explain that maybe that is how he was treated when he was little and he is just trying to do his best. Remind him that many fathers out there would not even try to help their kids. Do your best not to express your objections to your husbands methods in the presence of your son. When you do talk to your husband try to be soft, gentle and patient in your approach. I once heard someone say the better a woman treats her husband the better he treats his children and the more love and compassion he shows to his family. Give your husband lots of loving especially physical. Without even realizing it he will be doing his best to please you. He will mess up often but you continue to be patient and kind. Pray too.

Sarah - posted on 09/26/2011

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Ha! I have been in the situation of abuse as a woman and a child and I am also a child advocate for abused children. I have no patience when it comes to any of this especially "talking it out", I have only seen this end in death or more abuse. Get off your pitty pot and open you eyes. You wanted a child...that means you have responsibility...Now there is a word...look it up. I care about your child and you and am only shooting it to you how I feel you need to hear it. As far as anyone else here, It's none of your business what I post as a response. Worry about what you post and if it is indeed the right advise.

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Get out. Now. You took a step by posting it, so it's obviously a big problem, but now you MUST take the next one. Separate. Then, get a temporary restraining order, immediately. This will let the court know that you really mean what you are doing. Next, file for divorce. Do it all in one day. Make it a requirement that your husband attend counseling to see your son, that it be supervised at first, and for Godsake, pursue full custody. It will take planning to pull off, but You must be single minded in this and not afraid....single minded about that little boy needing a hero. YOU. I know what I'm saying is hard, I've done exactly what I posted here my very self. I have full custody, and the kids thank me all the time for getting them out of that horrible and abusive situation. As time goes on and I watch my ex, I see how very right I was to do what I did. You will too. And please, get counseling for you and your boy. You can find it free in many places.

Sorsha - posted on 09/26/2011

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What parents do and don't do, say and don't say, provide their children with the experiences that the children interpret into beliefs. Those beliefs, in turn, then determine their behavior and emotions and, ultimately, their lives-for better or for worse. My suggestion would be: have your husband understand that his actions towards his son is going to hurt him emotionally and will ruin his life as an adult. Your husbands behavior may be learned from his parents, and he needs to "break the cycle". If he doesn't treat your son (and you) with respect and love then leave him.

Olufisayo - posted on 09/26/2011

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U need a spiritual counselling, do nt walk out of ur marriage just like tht u need a man of God to sit u guys down a counsel u once in a week, n u need alot of praying n fasting, u need to stand for u family as a woman, a wise woman saves her home n the foolish one destroys it, the Word of God says in Mk 11:24, therefore I tell you, whtever u ask for in prayer, believe tht u have rerceived it, and it will be yours, so tlk to ur father in Heaven abt ur problems n if u believe in ur heart tht He wil answer, it shall be so, have faith n remain blessed.

Lori - posted on 09/26/2011

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LEAVE!!!!!! There are many organizations all over for woman/children who come from verbal/mental/physical abuse. NO ONE deserves any abuse and if you let it continue, someone could end up in the hospital, or worse.

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I don't know the cultural expectations and "allowances" are for your culture but if I was in your position I will first ask my husband to get help in more constructively dealing with his anger. If he refuses, I'd say that it is time to plan your escape with your child. If you live in the US, here is the number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). What you are experiencing is Domestic Violence. Please don't wait until it is too late to get help.

Jan - posted on 09/26/2011

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sounds like the father needs some extensive counseling. he is abusing your son . . .

Dawn - posted on 09/26/2011

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Hi, I know how you feel. Ihad the same with my former partner and it affected both children in a way that did not understand. I suggest that u go and speak to Ur local domestic abuse service as that's what they are there for and speak and also ask them if they can recomebd rant parenting courses as they will help your husband a great deal.

Carol - posted on 09/26/2011

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Simply unbelievable in this day to hit, spank,downgrade any student. this makes me sick and i am 62years old.

Crystal - posted on 09/26/2011

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what are you waiting for? for the kid to be hurt physically? he is already hurting mentally. Get out.

Carolynn - posted on 09/26/2011

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What both you and your son are experiencing is emotional abuse. You don't say how long this has been going on, but your child is already damaged and in fear of the very things that he needs to be successful as an adult - a decent male role-model and a sense of his own worth as a learner.
You and your child(ren) need to be in a safe place NOW.
Please call someone. Your nearest Women's shelter or resource center, your child's school's counselor or nurse, as one writer suggested, your fire station, police station, hospital social worker, someone! Keep seeking help until someone listens and helps you.Help is out there, even if it takes some time. Keep telling your story. You are worth more than what you are receiving, and you are your son's only advocate just now. Get help.
You will second-guess yourself; don't pay attention to that. Get to a safe place and have an advocate. Now. Best of luck, and courage to you.
At this point, don't worry about your husband. He has his own issues. Your relationship with him and on what terms it continues is for later, when you have help in your corner.

Gina - posted on 09/26/2011

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It sounds like your husband has anger issues. I'm afraid it could hurt your son emotionally down the road. Do you think your husband would agree to any type of counseling?

Wanda - posted on 09/26/2011

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This will definitely affect your son, which will make him aggressive towards other kids. It seems that your husband may have experienced this in his childhood. Ask him was his father or mother this harse with him when he was younger. How did that make him feel. Tell him this is affecting his child whereas he is afraid to be near him. When that child is being yelled at, he is shutting down, he hears nothing your husband is saying.

Ask your husband to try a different approach and ask your son, how does he feel when your husband yells at him - Angry, sad, disappointed, etc. Ask your husband how does he feel when he yells at his son. The brain shuts down when you feel like you are being attacked and nothing is accomplished. Good luck and my prayers are with you. No child should have to go thru abuse like that.

Lisa - posted on 09/26/2011

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Hello. I am not married and I cannot say that I understand what you are going through. I am a single parent and I have no regrets. I have explained to my child that sometimes people are not ready to be parents and it in everyones best interest that you do not force them to be. She understands that it is not her fault. She also knows that I was more than ready to be her parent and I love her very much. I think that children are so fragile and they do not always understand adult actions. They internalize behaviors and think it's their fault or they should have some control over the situation. They are children. We are they adults. They are innocent by standers/victims of adult behavior. Sometimes it's better to love another adult from a distance. For the safety and well being of your child just know that you cannot change another adult but you can take care of your son and make him feel loved and appreciated on your own. Please don't allow your son to continue to witness physical abuse or endure verbal and physical abuse. He may be learning negative habits. Too many teens are becoming suicidal these days because of bullying in school. This appears to be a form of bullying in your son's safety zone...his home. Please seek help for the two of you and make a better life for the two of you. You both deserve to be treated like human beings and to be shown love and respect. Wishing you the best and God bless you and your family.

Portia - posted on 09/26/2011

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Your child has already suffered damage that may be permenant just by being subjected to that kind of abuse. Violence of any kind stays in the body and the memory forever. He is learning a poor example for relationships, he will feel stress because he will feel he needs to protect YOU, and every time it happens he loses a little more respect for you and his fear for his own and your safety increases. It is never too soon to leave an abusive situation, but it can very quickly become too late.

Samantha - posted on 09/26/2011

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Sarah being constructive not just dictatoral would be more helpful you obviously have not been in an abusive relationship most ppl want wants best for their kids and most dont want to just dump and run they want to make it better.

Samantha - posted on 09/26/2011

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My god i read ur article and ppls replies and saw the similarities between ur situation and mine and didnt realise so many ppl went through the same thing. I am going to have a talk with my son who is 14 and reasure him that i love him and say i am sorry. The anguish these children must be going through is horendous. I have told him if he is eva that scared again when we are fighting to call the police. Our fights have not escalated to physical violence yet like yours and im not goin to let it. Your post and ppls responses have showed me i need to do what is best for the kids in my situation me and the kids are always at fault he wont do councilling because he doesnt see he does anything wrong. He is not just abusive when he is drunk any more the last time he was drunk and he went to go my 14 yr old son while he was taking his 4 yr old sister out of the room and into his room away from us fighting. i see now that if the person who needs help dont want help you have to help yourself and your kids because you are the only adult who can protect them. And by the sounds of it ur son needs protecting. Hopefully u will listen to everyones advice and make a decision that is write for you and your son. Your partner has to want to change and admit there is a problem for him to even think about trying to change. If he cant admit that or noone else can tell him hes doing wrong like one of his mates then there is not much hope. A mate of my partner took him out for drinks a little while back and made him see the error of his ways but we werent back together long and he was back to his usual abusing self. I am lucky it hasnt got physical but i have had cloths thrown at my luckily not punches because im not a fighter. Your son will not hate you for the decision you make but depending on what you decide he may not like it which eva way you go.Good Luck and i wish both you and your son happiness cause like me i think some happiness is well deserved.

Sarah - posted on 09/26/2011

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What era are you living in? I am a Early Childhood Development major. YOU are hurting your son by sticking around. You are your sons advocate and you are not protecting him or yourself. Do your Job.

Sharla - posted on 09/26/2011

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Wow!! sounds familiar. My husband is nasty too towards my daughter. The teachers have told me and my daughter to just allow myself to help her with the homework. Makes life easier for everyone.

Stacey - posted on 09/26/2011

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My friend, your child should be your number one priority. You are his mother. Interfere, do not allow your husband to do this to your son. You are creating another generation of abusers by allowing this to happen. I am not trying to be mean, this story hurts my heart very much. If his mother won't protect him, who will?

Brandie - posted on 09/26/2011

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Parenting classes would be a start. If he refuses to attempt any behavioral changes you have some hard decisions to make. Children learn how to parent from us, what do you want him to learn. Best of luck.

SARAH - posted on 09/26/2011

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I am in tears. I hate hearing stories like this. I'm crying for you and your son. Find a way out, even if you have to have to have some sleepless nights. Seek shelter and counseling in your town, but don't allow this man to torment and abuse you and your child anymore. God Speed.

Christine - posted on 09/26/2011

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we were brought up differently which is why some are harsh and some are noit. your hubby is doing it the way it was done to him or the way he thinks is right. we learn parenting from our parents/ guardians. if you talk to him and not condemn him then he might see wt u mean. if u criticise him then he might feel as if you are criticising his man/fatherhood. also explain to ur son that his dad means no harm/hatred he jus wants him to be a better man and he sometimes gets angry but he still loves him. I hope im making sense

my father was like this but its because he wanted me to be a learned girl and have better grades and have a good job. I think of my dad now(God resthis soul) and i smile because i've got a good job and a good life and because noone told me that it was bad i never hated my dad i actually thank him

SARAH - posted on 09/26/2011

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It sounds to me like you need to make a decision as to whether or not you want to continue being with a man who physically and mentally abuses your child. I think you need to put your foot down and demand kindness and respect from your husband toward his your child.

Cindy - posted on 09/26/2011

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Demand your husband get professional help on parenting! Or leave him. Never allow such behavior in your home!

Christine - posted on 09/26/2011

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When things are calm try to talk to him about it it he don't want to listen, you know the next step. it hard but something have to give.

Catherine - posted on 09/26/2011

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for gods sake leave him . its up to you to protect your child from abuse and it is abuse . you should not be having to keep the boy away from his own father. his father has big anger problem by the sound of it why should your son live with fear in his own home

Wanda - posted on 09/26/2011

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I can promise you that if you don't get yourself AND your son away from his father, there will be irreparable harm done that could cause serious issues for your son to deal with throughout his life.

ANNA - posted on 09/25/2011

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I am so sorry to hear that this is going on with you and your son. It's not right,he should not be acting this way towards your son,or you. He is being VERY abusive towards the both of you,verbally and physically,and you shouldn't take it any longer. You and your son deserve to be treated like the special people that you two are and not yelled at or beat on.What is it going to take for you to see that the first time he did this,should have been the last time. You need to go stay with family or have him removed from the home,get a protection from abuse order and have him served with it,and have him taken out of the house. Your son is old enough to know that this is wrong and hopefully he will not lash out when he is older. Your son needs to be raised in a loving caring quiet home without ANY type of abuse what so ever...I raised my son on my own for 11 yrs and then I met the man I married,and from the start my husband knew that I would not stand by and let any type of yelling or screaming or physical abuse would be taken. My son has turned out to be a Respectful, Loving,Caring,Hard Working,Generous young man,he recently turned 19 and just went out and bought a car,all by himself,he works 2 jobs,and helps out around the house,weither its cooking or cleaning,or doing laundry,and he was taught all of these things with me/us talking to him with respect and loving words,not yelling at him. We all know that if someone yells at us about something,we get upset and don't want to do it. So please listen to all of these woman and take your son and get away from this horriable man. He doesn't deserve you or your son...Please be safe and I will pray that everything works out for you. Stay strong for yourself and your son...ANNA

Jessie - posted on 09/25/2011

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You need to leave. Take your son and go to a family member. Tell your husband after you have left and safe why you left. IF he is not an abuser and this is something stemming from stress or something then get counseling but stay seperate until you can decide if this is a safe person to go back to. If he is an abuser then don't waste your time.... divorce!

Diana - posted on 09/25/2011

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I agree with several responses. You need to speak with him privately, if that doesn't work or he feels you are over reacting maybe you should record him then show him. This article actually jolted a memory of mine when I was a child my father was similiar and the four of us avoided him during homework time. Ultimately my parents did divorce when I was very young.

Sally - posted on 09/25/2011

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The group has spoken. You asked for an answer. Make a move now. Find an Abused women's shelter. They will protect you and your son, provide counseling and get you on your feet. Don't let money or fear stop you. Reach out for help. You will get it and your son will get the help he needs. If you don't know where to start, ask the school nurse or counselor. The help will be there quickly. Just do it.

Hollie - posted on 09/25/2011

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Sounds like a really really bad situation that both of you need to get out of for the better!!!

Lorraine - posted on 09/25/2011

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I would say at 10 he is permanently scared. Why do you let your husband abuse him .It is definite abuse. The child should be in counceling and by the looks of things you could use it to. No better love than the love of a child. How do you think your child will feel towards you when he realizes you kept him in that environment?.

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