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helplessme posted 12/25/2013 06:02 AM

My BH lashed out at me again over dinner. He didnt like something in the dish and he said something like, I'm no good at anything except going out with a guy. He even mentioned about how my family does it so well. Why should he even say that about my relatives?

I was so hurt, I told him not to say that in front of the kids. Then he said, why not? Are you ashamed of yourself?

My only point is that he is already disrespectimg me in front of our children. Am I wrong? How do you handle verbal attacks such as these? Please help!

Daisy1967 posted 12/25/2013 10:52 AM

It is abusive to say things in front of the kids.

knightsbff posted 12/25/2013 11:16 AM

I would wait for another time when he is calm and talk to him about you desire to protect the kids as much as possible from the consequences of your horrible actions.

Also make sure you are fully owning your A. The choice to cheat was 100% yours. Not a result of anything he did or didn't do no matter what was going on in your M. If he feels you are fully owning your mess it might lessen his urge to constantly throw it in your face....or maybe not....

Protect the kids but be patient and don't get defensive. He is probably feeling very out of control right now and that is scary for him too

Card posted 12/25/2013 15:59 PM


Of course his behavior is inappropriate!
You already know this.

He was both thoughtless and careless with his words.
You already know this.

Whenever asked, "Are you ashamed of yourself"? Answer honestly then and let it go. There is nothing to defend, he already knows what you've done.

He is wounded!
You already know this.

He is going to lash out because of his pain!
You already know this.

He is looking to see how you are going to respond to his pain!

Will you be caring and compassionate or will you lecture him about saying this in front of your children.

I never recommend being a door mat for anyone.
I also never recommend lecturing your spouse.

When my wife said hurtful things to me I worked hard to show my compassion for her pain. After all, sometimes just my presence was cause for her pain...

When hurtful comments came my way I often apologized for being the cause of her pain with simple phrases like, "I'm sorry I've caused you so much pain" and then I followed that up with statements like, "I'm working hard to be the husband you need and deserve". I actually had to practice and memorize different statements, otherwise I was left speechless when I was caught off guard by her painful verbal expressions.

This requires trial and error, but find things that work and then help sooth your spouse when he will let you. This is a long term investment in recovery. Just make sure you don't become a door mat. BS's do cross the line at times when lashing out verbally, you just need to discover what your boundaries will be and when will be best to tell him he's crossed them.

Care and protection!

Daisy1967 posted 12/25/2013 18:29 PM

No matter how someone feels, abusive behavior is not ever acceptable. And saying crap about the WS in front of the kids is totally emotionally abusive and the kids will remember. Not that their mom is a whore or whatever...but that their dad said horrible things about their mother.

I mean really, does it make someone feel like a big boy or girl to call filthy names and say nasty things in front of kids? Does it solve anything? If you must say things, do it when the kids are not around.

That is parental alienation and judges do not look kindly on it.

20WrongsVs1 posted 12/25/2013 18:43 PM


Being criticized and attacked hurts. You've written quite a lot on SI about how you're having a hard time with your BH's harsh words.

Can you take a moment and feel compassion for your husband? You did one of the worst, most hurtful things a wife can do to her husband. When I was four months in, I honestly had not fully grasped that. Looking back, I was still very hung up on "pre-A" marital issues at that time.

You hurt your BH. Deeply. He's angry. The fact that he's angry *while sitting at the dinner table with you* (instead of in a hotel across town) indicates to me that he loves you and wants to be with you.

The way you responded to BH's harsh words at the table was not empathetic. One definition of empathy is to listen only to the speaker's emotions, not his words. His emotions said, "I am hurt and angry." Your words told him he was wrong. "Don't say that in front of the kids." At this point, BH may feel you have no right to tell him what to do, and no right to dictate, to him, what is a right or wrong way to behave. So, to avoid making an even worse scene in front of the kids, consider trying to defuse the situation by saying something more neutral like, "I'm sorry you don't care for the potatoes, can I get you something else?" Then later you approach him humbly and you say, "I'm so sorry I hurt you. When you say things in anger in front of the kids, I worry that they'll get scared that we're fighting. This situation is my fault, but I want to shield the kids from it as much as possible. You have every right to be angry and hurt about what I did. Is there any way you could wait and vent your anger toward me in private?"

It is abusive to say things in front of the kids.

It is abusive to cheat on your spouse. Twenty wrongs don't make a right, and adding more pain to the situation isn't helpful. But suppressing one's emotions isn't healthy, either. Let's cut our BSs some slack.

Daisy1967 posted 12/25/2013 19:55 PM

No, I am sorry, but when you start bringing the kids into it and abuse them too, that is where I draw the line.

An affair is wrong, no doubt. No one here is disputing that fact, but I will never ever in a million years think that anyone is justified in cutting down their children's other parent.

During this whole ordeal and even before when he was treating me like shit, I never ever cut him down to or in front of the kids.

If you must say things, at least have the decency to not do it in front of innocent kids. Just because your spouse had an affair does not justify emotional abuse of kids. Sorry.

20WrongsVs1 posted 12/25/2013 20:30 PM

If you must say things, at least have the decency to not do it in front of innocent kids.

ITA. It can have lasting negative effects on children, which they carry into their adult relationships. BH has done it, and when I approached him about it calmly, he admitted it was wrong and pledged to be more careful. If we're committed to R (and Daisy, admittedly, you're not) we need to recognize that our actions have consequences, and have compassion for our spouses as they work through the pain we inflicted.

helplessme posted 12/25/2013 21:52 PM

I appreciate all you guys sharing your thoughts and viewpoints.

At that point when he lashed back at me, I actually politely whispered to my BH in a soft voice "please not in front of the kids". I admit, I was angry at that time too but managed to not direct it to my BH. And yes, it's a blessing too that it was Christmas dinner and he chose to be with the family. I am thankful for that. I just wish he would leave us again on the weekend which he still does. As I did post that topic "gone on weekends"

Thanks SI for giving me strength in this difficult time. Thanks for sharing the pain I feel <hugs to you guys>

helplessme posted 12/25/2013 21:54 PM

sorry, I meant "he would NOT leave us again this weekend"

lost94 posted 12/26/2013 18:24 PM

I can assure you that as a child, you will remember all the times that your mom or dad said something hurtful to the other. When my parents divorced my mom said a lot of mean things about my dad and I have never forgotten them.

Daisy1967 posted 12/26/2013 19:47 PM

Whether or not I am committed to an R, I refuse to have my kids hear their dad call me a whore.

SlowUptake posted 12/27/2013 08:06 AM

My BS called me a "f**king lying cheating bastard" and other colourful names in front of our children at times, during the first year after DDay.
I did whine about it at first, but when she asked me "So were any of the names I have called you inaccurate", I had to admit they weren't, I was all those things.
Sometimes the truth hurts and you just have to suck it up.

Later during discussions I have called myself those names, because that was what I was.
It's called 'owning it'.

Being all indignant about the name calling in front of the children I believe is a bit of a smoke screen.

Just something to ponder.YMMV.

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 8:07 AM, December 27th (Friday)]

Prayingforhope posted 12/27/2013 13:35 PM

The one thing my BS and I 100% agree on is to take care of the kids in the middle of the disaster I created. Unfortunately, that doesn't take her pain away when she is forced to look at me and sometimes these words come front of the kids...because she is in pain and she can't control it. This isn't her fault, it's mine.

At first I would ask her to not say those things in front of the kids, but it just enraged her more - "oh NOW you care about the kids, huh!!!"

In addition to the great comments from Card, I also find our couples counseling to help a lot in this regard. We are a long way from agreeing to R, but spending time with a therapist focused on the kids helps.

I will say, my presence was also the number 1 trigger to her anger, and at her request I moved out of the house. Simply not being there to trigger her seems to help a lot as well.

That last point may be the most salient, because leaving my home was the LAST THING I ever wanted to do in the world, but it was obvious that my BS wasn't able to find any help with her anger (all emotions, really) while I was in the house.

I did this to her and after some soul searching, I agreed to leave, to help her. One small step but it definitely helped.

Daisy1967 posted 12/27/2013 16:50 PM

There were many times I could have called my DH horrible filthy names for the way he treated me over the years, in front of our kids.

I didn't. Want to know why? Because they are not involved in adult business. They are innocent and should not ever have to hear their parents do that to each other. Kids are not stupid. They will figure stuff out on their own. But what they will remember and be pissed about is how Mom cut down Dad or Dad called Mom filthy names. THAT is what they will take with them.

No matter what Dh has done to me, I have always, in front of the kids, talked about their dad without calling names and cutting him down.

Consequences are not getting to be with your spouse anymore, or suffering in other ways. Not being talked down to and degraded in front of or to your kids.

I don't give a damn if he was saying what I did was true or not. You do NOT call your wife a whore in front of her kids. You don't call your husband a whore either, or whatever.

If the whole thing ends in a divorce you had better not show signs of parental alienation or you could damn well lose custody. Also something to think about.

What do you want your kids to remember?

I deserved his anger. I deserved his hurt feelings and pride. I deserved some hurtful words. My kids, however, did not deserve it as well. It is bad enough that I did what I did. Why make it worse? Why should they hurt even more?

Oh and I forgot to say: I never ever got indignant with him. I just let him spew the filth in front of the kids. Doesn't mean I was for it. Just figured he was already verbally abusive. This time, at least I deserved what I got, I suppose.

[This message edited by Daisy1967 at 4:58 PM, December 27th (Friday)]

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