djtc911@..., a user from metacrawler.com, asked this question on 4/27/2000:
I had three children from a previous marriage when I met my present husband. We have been married, now, for thirteen years. My ex-husband had custody of the children, only because of his financial and social status. My present husband and I would take the children every summer and over the holidays. The kids always had a lot of fun, because my husband was like a big kid himself. Now, my middle son, who is 17, is living with us, and has been for the past three years. He is a good kid. Not a straight A student, but he doesn't drink or do drugs. My husband has always been an angry person. He always feels that life is "giving it to him" without a kiss. He was never really abusive to me or the kids before, but he always had a violent side. He gets very angry, for what seems to be, no reason. I can ask him a simple question and he will fly off the handle, like I have attacked him. For the past year or so, he has been directing his anger towards my son. For no reason, he will get angry and interagate him for hours. Almost like he doesn't trust him or he has done something to stab my husband in the back... paranoid like. My son will finally get sick of it and stand up to him and then my husband will become very violent. He has pushed, choked, and kicked my son out of the house. Honestly, my son has not deserved any of this type of behavior. I love my husband dearly. He will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. He even goes out of his way to do nice little things for my son, like buying him a guitar and amp, but my husband feels like he isn't getting enough back from my son. If my husband gives something there are always strings involved, he needs something better in return. What can I do? I don't want to leave him, but I cannot let him do this to my son any more. I have asked him to seek counseling, but because of his job status he thinks people will find out and it will have an impact on his career. Help me please.
drpiano gave this response on 4/27/2000:
This is very difficult. But you know that. The best course of action would be for you to quietly begin counseling with a minister, priest or rabbi of your choice. If you do not have a religious affiliation, make discrete inquiries, to find a man or woman of the cloth who is very good at domestic situations. By going private, not involving officialdom, everything will be kept private, away from public scrutiny. Go alone at first. Give the counseling cleric every bit of information there is to give. He/she will be, as a member of the community in which you live, closer to the reality of your situation than I can be--thus will be in a position to evaluate whether or not you or your son are in even greater physical danger than your son now seems to be in. If the cleric makes the decision that the risk is not immediate, perhaps he/she will be able to lead you into joint counseling with your husband. These issues absolutely must be addressed if you are to stay with him--and staying with him is the most desireable outcome. He is, in the words of a current pop-psyche phrase, "...middle-aged male and deeply disappointed." That can be a dangerous condition to be in. It can erupt into unpredictable violence that will put you and your family into danger. It is likely a disease process, that can have overtones of depression, or in extreme cases other processes that contain the elements of psychosis. This counselor may recommend consulting a psychologist, or in cases where there is a medical condition underlying his behaviors, a psychiatrist; in order to treat whatever condition that might be diagnosed with medication. I strongly urge you to take this action immediately. You must help your husband to work through the causitive reasons that lie beneath his profound unhappiness with life. And you cannot do it alone. Please take these steps before someone is hurt badly.