Author Topic: Adult temper tantrums  (Read 5200 times)

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lkdrymom

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Adult temper tantrums
« on: October 08, 2012, 09:53:36 PM »
My DH is the type of person that thinks the only way to get his point across is to yell. Even if we are just having a conversation, when he wants to get his point across his voice gets louder and louder and he will speak over me.

How do you get across to someone who has most likely lived his entire life doing this, that it is disrespectful to yell at someone?  It never occurs to him to just ask for what he wants nicely, it usually comes  as a snappish command. And on the rare occassion he does "ask" it comes across very sarcastic.

DH has never yelled at my kids but if they did something he didn't like or forgot to do something (like turn off a light) he can't nicely remind them, he would come to me and yell at me over it. And most times it would be something so insignificant that you couldn't imagine someone would actually get upset over it. It was almost like it was a personal insult to him.

We have a cat with issues and tonight she had an accident. She has been good for the last few months, but she is  old and I guess we were due. You would have thought the world ended with the way he yelled at me. He said the next time it happened she would be put out. I told him that wasn't going to happen.(if there is a choice between him and the cat, lets just say the cat doesn't have anything to worry about) Now he could have just calmly said the cat needed to stay in the basement if she was still having issues and I would agree. However he can't do anything calmly. He was ranting to me about this, waving his finger in my face. I told him I was 45 years old and he was not to talk to me in that tone of voice. He stormed off to bed.

I know how my DH is, he is the type who needs to blow up and let off steam to make himself feel better. I have seen when he hasn't had a blow up in awhile it is almost like he looks for something to get upset about.  I was not raised in an environment like this. If someone is mad enough to yell, it is serious. I am also not the type of person who easily gets over something so I really take this yelling personal.

How do I get across to him that yelling at me is disrespectful and damaging to our relationship?

LeveeWoman

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 09:59:21 PM »
I'd leave the room. There is no way on this earth that I would tolerate someone screaming at me and waving his finger in my face. I'd leave the room every time he did it. I don't know how long before he'd learn that I wouldn't stand there--or, if he would even learn it--but I would not stand there and take it.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 10:04:18 PM »
Having grown up with someone like that, I wouldn't put up with it either.  I don't do that unless someone really, REALLY makes me that mad, which is hard to do.  I have a very long fuse. But we all deal with things differently, I think.

That said, he needs anger management. You don't deserve to be yelled at and I would not accept the excuse of "That just how I was raised."
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Mental Magpie

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 10:06:41 PM »
Dark Boyfriend is somewhat similar, but I will not say he is exactly the same.  He seems to get so irrationally upset over the simplest things, then later tells me he really wasn't that upset.  By his behavior, I would think it was almost the end of the world until he told me otherwise.

Either I disagree with him immediately and try to downplay his anger, or I don't put up with it and leave the room.

The whole kids leaving the light on?  I would say, "Is it really that important to you?  Is it worth getting this angry over?"  When he doesn't answer, I walk away and shrug, saying, "I don't think it is."  I am being honest and letting him know I think his reaction is OTT.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 10:19:06 PM »
I'd leave the room. There is no way on this earth that I would tolerate someone screaming at me and waving his finger in my face. I'd leave the room every time he did it. I don't know how long before he'd learn that I wouldn't stand there--or, if he would even learn it--but I would not stand there and take it.

POD.

And should he follow you into the next room, still yelling, I'd leave the house. Go for a long drive or something.

Just out of interest, how would he react if you suddenly started yelling at him over some minor thing, wagging your finger in his face, etc. Would he be ok with it?

greencat

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 10:19:40 PM »
I grew up with someone yelling at me constantly and I've only been out of the family home a single decade - and I don't yell.  I find it very strange that your husband only yells at you - for everything going wrong.  This tells me that he has control over it, because if he didn't, he'd be yelling at the kids and the cat.  It's something he is deciding to do.  The talking over you, and the anger over insignificant details are further big honking red flags.  This sounds more like a form of verbal/emotional abuse than an etiquette issue. 

As far as polite things to say to him, sit him down when he's calm and repeat the last sentence of your post - "Yelling at me is disrespectful and damaging to our relationship."  Then tell him you're not going to put up with it.  I had one (ex) boyfriend that used to yell and make verbal jabs at me, and I actually managed to teach him to treat me better by picking up my stuff (which I always kept ready to go and either on my person or close to the door) and walking out when he started raising his voice or getting snotty.  Anger management counseling - and any kind of counseling is only going to work if he's willing to do it.  However, you should get yourself and your kids into some counseling - watching one of your parents express anger in such an unhealthy way is very damaging.

lkdrymom

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 10:23:05 PM »
A few weeks ago my DD left the upstairs bathroom light on. He walked past the bathroom, down the stairs and through the house to ask me why the light was left on...and his tone was snotty. Seriouly, he couldn't have just turned the light off himself?  I know if I asked him that he would have blown up.

When things are calm I have tried to have talks with him over the yelling and over reacting. He just doesn't get it. He did once tell me that no matter how mad he gets he still loves me. I told him that when he screams at me I think about the legal section in the yellow pages. I don't think he took me seriously.

Normally when he yells I am very passive and just take it, tonight I told him NO to one of his decrees which I think surprised him a bit. And when he started up again and I didn't just take it and told him he was not to speak to me like that again I think he was surprised.  I have told him many times before that he needs to ask nicely or request something politely and everyone in the house would be happy to comply but he just can't do that.  It seems like if anyone does something he doesn't like he thinks we are doing on purpose to bother him....sure, someone forgot to flush and they did it specifically to upset him...come on! Sometimes people just forget and it has absolutely nothing to do with him.

lkdrymom

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 10:26:03 PM »
People like this don't go to anger management because they don't see anything wrong with how they react.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 10:28:04 PM »
A few weeks ago my DD left the upstairs bathroom light on. He walked past the bathroom, down the stairs and through the house to ask me why the light was left on...and his tone was snotty. Seriouly, he couldn't have just turned the light off himself?  I know if I asked him that he would have blown up.

When things are calm I have tried to have talks with him over the yelling and over reacting. He just doesn't get it. He did once tell me that no matter how mad he gets he still loves me. I told him that when he screams at me I think about the legal section in the yellow pages. I don't think he took me seriously.

Normally when he yells I am very passive and just take it, tonight I told him NO to one of his decrees which I think surprised him a bit. And when he started up again and I didn't just take it and told him he was not to speak to me like that again I think he was surprised.  I have told him many times before that he needs to ask nicely or request something politely and everyone in the house would be happy to comply but he just can't do that.  It seems like if anyone does something he doesn't like he thinks we are doing on purpose to bother him....sure, someone forgot to flush and they did it specifically to upset him...come on! Sometimes people just forget and it has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Well that's when I think you need to sit down and ask him, "Do you honestly think that when I sat down to go number 1, I thought to myself, "Huh, maybe I should forget to flush just to upset my husband."?  I forgot, that's the end of it.  I'm sorry, I'll try to not do it again, but I can't believe you are seriously this upset over it and that you think I did it deliberately.  Do you want me to yell at you the next time you accidentally forget to do something?"

ETA: Then you need to insist he goes.  You can even use the, "If you love me as much as you say you do, you'll go."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

greencat

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 10:33:57 PM »
All I can tell you is to find your spine.  You phrased "I'm going to divorce you if you keep doing this," as "I might look up the legal section of the yellow pages if you keep doing this."  You passively put up with being yelled at.  Don't anymore.  Walk away - or dig out those yellow pages and make that phone call.

Do you want your children to watch you get treated like this?  Do you want to risk him either extending this behavior to your children, or escalating his behavior with you?

Moray

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 10:38:51 PM »
This is more than him just being loud or raising his voice on the regular; this is him raging until you kowtow. That's not a good balance of power. You've gotten some good advice. Disengage, refuse to continue "taking it", etc. Only you can decide when you've had enough.

I do want to say that even if he never, ever raises his voice to your children, do not delude yourself thinking they are unaffected. Right now, they are learning how to deal with the world, and what they are learning is either to lash out and blow up when things aren't "perfect", or to roll over and take it when someone habitually uses aggression and fear to get what they want. 
Utah

LeveeWoman

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 10:43:02 PM »
I grew up with someone yelling at me constantly and I've only been out of the family home a single decade - and I don't yell.  I find it very strange that your husband only yells at you - for everything going wrong.  This tells me that he has control over it, because if he didn't, he'd be yelling at the kids and the cat.  It's something he is deciding to do.  The talking over you, and the anger over insignificant details are further big honking red flags.  This sounds more like a form of verbal/emotional abuse than an etiquette issue. 

As far as polite things to say to him, sit him down when he's calm and repeat the last sentence of your post - "Yelling at me is disrespectful and damaging to our relationship."  Then tell him you're not going to put up with it.  I had one (ex) boyfriend that used to yell and make verbal jabs at me, and I actually managed to teach him to treat me better by picking up my stuff (which I always kept ready to go and either on my person or close to the door) and walking out when he started raising his voice or getting snotty.  Anger management counseling - and any kind of counseling is only going to work if he's willing to do it.  However, you should get yourself and your kids into some counseling - watching one of your parents express anger in such an unhealthy way is very damaging.

That's a very good point, greencat. I also bet he doesn't yell at neighbors or co-workers.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 10:45:37 PM »
Another thing: he threatened to mistreat the cat while he was screaming at you. To me, this sounds like emotional abuse of you. Please don't take it. Do you want your daughters to grow up thinking it's okay to be treated this way?

wheeitsme

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2012, 10:54:01 PM »
When he starts to yell or rant, turn around and walk away.  If he asks what you are doing tell him that you have too much self respect to allow anyone to talk to you that way.  And if appropriate add that he should have more respect for his wife than to allow anyone to talk like that to her.

weeblewobble

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Re: Adult temper tantrums
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 10:55:09 PM »
This isn't just "blowing off steam" or not knowing any other way to express his opinions.  This sounds very abusive.  You say he only does this to work through the situation so he feels better about it, but where does that leave you?  How are you left feeling after he unloads on you?

I wouldn't make another vague allusion to divorce.  Tell him that he either seeks counseling for his anger issues or there will be drastic changes in your household.