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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Nikki - posted on 09/21/2011

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"Jodi, seriously?? Don't tell me you never get upset at anyone when frustrated? does that make you abusing someone? Let's not even go to someone, your kids. Have you never ever raised your voice at them when you are frustrated and then catch yourself after? If you have NEVER EVER done that, I salute you! You are THE most perfect person I have ever come across. "

The OP is not talking about getting frustrated and upset every once in a while, she is talking about the father threatening, shouting and scaring the child and physical confrontations with herself. I get frustrated at times, I might raise my voice, I am human but what I do is very different to the abuse this child is subjected to.

Erin - posted on 09/21/2011

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If this man has been as you put it "abusing" for the past 10 years, then she should have done something about it sooner. Not after years of abuse.



Nice. Let's blame the victim.

Kalpana - posted on 09/21/2011

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Numbers are numbers, people change ALLL the time. for the better, some times for the worse. I am not defending him. like I said, it's about trying to salvage the relationship if it is worth.

Jodi, seriously?? Don't tell me you never get upset at anyone when frustrated? does that make you abusing someone? Let's not even go to someone, your kids. Have you never ever raised your voice at them when you are frustrated and then catch yourself after? If you have NEVER EVER done that, I salute you! You are THE most perfect person I have ever come across.

I come from a society where family is priority. we learn and grow and learn somemore before we make decisions that are drastic. I choose to see if something can be done first to help my husband and my child.

If this man has been as you put it "abusing" for the past 10 years, then she should have done something about it sooner. Not after years of abuse. If it's a recent thing, then what's wrong with seeing alternatives?

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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BTW, she didn't say he hits the boy, he shouts and threatens. It's still abuse. He physically fought HER.

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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"Is his father hitting him only during the time he does his homework or all the time?? "



Only???? ONLY during this time?



OMG.....I'm not going there. But I am STRONGLY disturbed by referring to any level of abuse as "only".

Erin - posted on 09/20/2011

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Kalpana, I have actually not had a problem with dysfunctional men like this. You know why? Because I would never put up with it. The examples I was referring to in my PP were from friends and family.



And did you read Juleah's post? Her numbers overwhelmingly back my assertion that these men don't change. Once an abuser, always an abuser.

Kalpana - posted on 09/20/2011

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I didn't say he has to put up with the abusive father. I am saying the father needs help. You don't want him forever hating his father if his father's issue if his anger management which he CAN get help for. Everyone has character flaws and if he is willing to change, the sooner the better of course then that should be the first option. That was what I am saying.

Until that change is made, your boy need not be away from his father. Is his father hitting him only during the time he does his homework or all the time?? If it is during homework only then get your son to do it before he comes back from work or get him to do it with someone else, tutor maybe. If it is all the time then yes, you have a serious issue.

Erin, if you have problems with dysfunctional men, I have problems believeing that people cannot change. GIven enough love, respect and counselling and of course some will in themselves to change they can change. I think the father needs to see how scared his own son is of him and that might also strike a cord to change.

Jodi, if a broken home is better than an abusive home, it's already assuming there is no way this relationship can be salvaged. between the wife and husband and between father and son. I was saying it to see how they can all work through this together and still emerge stronger as a family. I am yes, advocating, fighting to keep the family together at the same time, healthy, if it is worth it.



Just my two cents worth.

Starr - posted on 09/20/2011

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These people are right you need to get out of there. I was razed like that my step dad would do the same thing he would hit me every time I could not say or spell a would right and now I'm 25 years old and still have problems reading and writing and I kinda blame my mom for it cuz she didn't do anything to stop it.

Priyanka - posted on 09/20/2011

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Hey there!!!

I have a couple of things to say -

1) Your son is 10 years old. Why does he spend most of his time with you? Why don't you encourage him to go out and play with his friends? Or be at the park? Or he can ride his bike? Why does he spend his time hanging around with you? This will only add to his fear and his misery and make him an introvert (which is what happens when boys do not have fathers who can be their friends)
2) Your husband seems to be a strict man - maybe this is the way he was brought up and its the only way he knows to deal with his son. You can sign him up for a community like this and he could read about other fathers who are friends to their sons.
3) If possible, don't get your husband involved in your son's studies. Get him enrolled into a tuition class. This will limit the interaction between your two men, keep your husband's anger under control AND best of all, your son will get to step out and be with boys his own age. A conducive environment will help your son study better, it will boost his confidence and lead a happier existence!!!

Hope I've been of some help...Take care...

JuLeah - posted on 09/20/2011

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I work in this arena ... 95% of the men who enter into treatment, get help, seek therapy, work on their issues, take parenting classes, attend marriage support groups, write letters of empathy to say they are sorry .... 95% of these men abuse again within a year .... domestic violence is caused by domestic violence .... domestic violence is a choice - pure and simple, it is a choice - he CAN control it, he opts not to .... he can come up with all kids of excuses as to why he is doing the behaviors, but bottom line, it is his choice. He learned it somewhere, odds are his father, and he wishes to pass it on .... the best most expensive intervention programs in the nation can only claim 5% sucess and admit they only track for a couple of years ....

Erin - posted on 09/20/2011

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People are suggesting for the OP to remove her son from a clearly abusive environment. Why is that so hard to believe?

Personally, I have little faith that dysfunctional men like this can change. I am yet to see it. They will sometimes lift their game for a few months but inevitably the abuse starts again and the cycle continues.

Eva-Lotta - posted on 09/20/2011

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Have you spoken to your husband about his behaviour (when he is calm)? He needs to stop the "teaching" f your son and you need to take over that part. Learning should be fun and exciting. Kids need encouragement even when they get it wrong. They are not going to learn anything when they are scared like that.
Plese try and talk to your husband, get some help, swap duties. If he is not willing to see how much he is hurting you and your son then it is better for your son to live with just you so that he can grow up a confident boy who isn't scared...
Good luck! I wish you all the best!

Doni-Rae' - posted on 09/20/2011

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Please take your son & run!!! You can't wait til he blows up & hits your son!!! Your husband had issues! My ex husband was abusive and I finally left when he hit me while I was holding my daighter! Your first responsibility is to protect your child & yourself!!!

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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A child is better off with no father at all than one that will abuse him like that AND also physically abuse his mother. Sure, he can get help (he needs a LOT of it), but in the meantime, it isn't acceptable that this child be subject to the abuse. No-one is suggesting divorce, they are suggesting to remove herself and her children from the situation.

My son's father doesn't live with us, and he is a perfectly well adjusted 14 year old. He still has a relationship with his father, just not in an abusive environment. He also has a stable relationship with his step-father.

A broken home is better than an abusive one. I can't believe someone would advocate otherwise.

Nikki - posted on 09/20/2011

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Kalpana, a boy does not need an abusive father as a role model in life. Plenty of children in single parent families grow up as wonderful members of our society. The problem is that a child who is subjected to years of abuse is likely to continue the cycle of abuse with his own children later in life. Personally I would not want my child in that environment.

Kalpana - posted on 09/20/2011

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I am actually quite surprised byt he number of "leave hims" I saw in the replies. Yes, it is an abusive environment but I think a broken home is not the solution to the problem. A child, especially a boy needs his father. No matter who the man is in his mother's life, it cannot replace the father. Yes, there maybe cases where there are fantastic father figures. I am not saying there aren't any but that is only if there can be no relationship with his own father. I think it is good to have some outside help to come in to talk to you husband. In subtle ways. Men with that much anger/issues are usually with a bigger ego and if this is hurt more or insulted by therapy then it could get worse.

Please see if you can get help but in a subtle manner. Not a very head-on kind of way. If the father's only problem is his anger and impatience, it could be his nature which can be changed, work- which also can be changed. But once the home is broken, it is not easy.

I have seen so many boys I teach who come from parents who are not together anymore, (I have nothing against them by the way) and they are so straved for love from the parent they are no longer with even if they were not so nice to them to begin with. Everything about the child suffers.

I am not saying stay in that kind of relationship but I think divorcing him/leaving him should be the last option. Try out everything possible to work it out first. also for the sake of your child.

Natalie - posted on 09/20/2011

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I run a ministry that helps victims of domestic abuse, and I can tell you that this is not a healthy environment for you or your child. It is NEVER ok to be physically abusive, and mental, emotional abuse is equally damaging. There is help available to you if you don't know what to do, but PLEASE do not live this way. You can check out my website at livingouttheword.com for resources that may help you. God Bless!

Nikki - posted on 09/20/2011

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I agree with everyone here, this is an abusive situation for you and your son. You need to leave him now before his aggression escalates, which it most likely will. Document everything he has done and get sole custody.

Ruth - posted on 09/20/2011

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This is disgusting. It is mental and emotional abuse and your husband needs to get some help. If a neighbor or friend reports this your son will be removed from the home and you will also be held responsible, like your husband, for not doing something. Insist that your husband get some anger management help immediately or take your son and leave. It will only get worse. Get help now. Don't wait any longer.

Ayesha - posted on 09/20/2011

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Not to judge here, but where are you from? Most non-American cultures have this idea of the MAN being the be and be all and end all. Physical abuse is never good and could result in injury or your son making a choice that will be terrible for all. Talk to your husband and try to help him see what you see when he behaves this way. What is truly bothering him ? You son's learning style, speed at learning or does he think this is the most effective way to teach and parenta child? we are not all meant to be teachers... it takes ALOT of patience. Hire an older student to tutor your son to save them both this misery and Remember - the man may be the head of the house, but the woman is the neck. See how you can do some research on impact of yelling on a kid and how to rectify.



If you are from a part of the world i am thinking of, most men wont stand you confronting them, but help him understand youa re doing this to reduce his stress. Physical abuse is UNACCEPTABLE. Find a resource youc an talk to about this. considering what short description you gave, I doubt if he will agree to go to counseling.



I am sorry about this! Stay strong!

Katherine - posted on 09/20/2011

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Your son is being bullied by your husband.

The fact that there is physical abuse going on means you need to leave ASAP.

This could really mess up your son in the future for school. He is going to need counseling and so are you.

Get out now.

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.

Kate CP - posted on 09/20/2011

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Your husband has anger issues and you need to get out of that house and take your kids with you.

Amy - posted on 09/20/2011

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First...it is not okay for your husband to get physical with you! Have you tried taking to him when he is calm? My husband used to get upset & if I said anything at the time would freak out yell & punch walls. It scared me so bad. I finally got the nerve to talk to him when we were both calm...he did not believe me at first that it was that bad but I showed him the wall, repeated back to him the things he had said & he was soo upset with himself. His exact words were "omg I sound like my father" he did a complete 180. We have signals now (so that I am not contradicting his parenting in front of our son) if he is starting to get upset or raising his voice I signal him & he knows that he needs to take a few minutes to calm down then come back and try again. It has worked wonders for our relationship & my son adores my husband. He really did not understand what he was doing because he lived it as a child. Talk to your husband try to help him see this. Also keep in mind...as others said this is what your son is living & he could end up like my husband doing it to his kids because it was how he was raised. Please feel free to mssg me if you need to talk :) hang in there & yes check into counseling if possible

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

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Get both you and your son to counseling asap... and your husband if he will go. If your husband will go... that's a good sign. If he WON'T, get you and your son out of that house (or get your husband out) and away from him unless/until he gets his butt in counseling and gets some anger management and stuff.

This is not a good place for either of you and it's already harming your son. :(

Sheila - posted on 09/20/2011

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That is not a healthy situation. Your husband needs to seek parenting counselling & anger management class. I have 4 boys and my youngest is 11 y.o. and divorced with their fathers. You do not want your son to grow up in a violent and abusive environment. Think about it. My advise to you is to also seek counselling yourself. This will give you peace. As a mother you are morally, spiritually, physically & emotionally obligated to raise your 10 y.o. son in a safe, loving,& peaceful home.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/20/2011

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Is it physical abuse also????? How long have you been living with physical and emotional abuse???? I just realized it said this. You really may need to think of options for you and your son. Especially if family counseling is a no go. Do you have a safe place to go?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/20/2011

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Does your husband also intimidate you? Can you talk with him or is it pointless? I would recommend some serious family counseling to try and get past this with as little harm done as possible. Unfortunately, he is instilling fear associated with school That is going to be VERY harmful down the road on many levels, self reliance, self respect, confidence, etc. What a hard situation you are in.

Erin - posted on 09/20/2011

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Wow, that is outrageous. This is already harming your son. It is seriously harming his confidence, sense of stability and trust, and no doubt his ability to learn. If your husband's response to you intervening was a physical attack, there is really nothing left to say but get out. Get out and save your son from further torment and heartache at the hands of this father.

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.

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2011

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That's abuse. It isn't acceptable. I think it is time for you to remove your son (and yourself) from this situation, as difficult as that may be. Your son will NOT benefit from you staying, and may in fact be permanently scarred by it.

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.

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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