Sometimes I get so confused on what is right and what is wrong. I feel like I cant fully think clearly, so maybe someone can help clear my thoughts. Ill try to give as much details as I can. To start off....my parenting style is Love and Logic. I dont like to force my kids, i like to give them choices so they can be more responsible for their actions. My husband has a sex addiction and I think my husband is also emotionally and sometimes physically abusive to my children. My oldest two which are 5 and 4 are from a pervious marriage ( which ended because of my ex husbands sex addiction and abuse ), and me and my current husband have 1 child together who is 2, and one baby on the way. I didnt have a clue he had a temper or sex addiction until 2 years after we were married and sealed in the temple, but i was always aware of the fact HE was abused as a child (and we learned a few months ago he was also sexually abused). My husband is a big man. Everyone sees him as a big teddy bear. Everyone loves him, hes nice to everyone, and is the most gentle sensitive spiritual person EVER especially in front of anyone else. Even his own family has no clue about his temper. NO ONE DOES. No one. But these past year since we've been going to counseling im starting to allow myself to realize just how mentally abusive he is to my children and its WEARING me down. Im tired of feeling so bad for my kids. Im tired of seeing them so scared of him. So let me explain a little of what kind of temper he has because its not the usual verbal abuse yelling " your stupid etc etc". When my husband gets mad, or has tension (which is literally 15 hours or more ever day), he more tries to control my children. Hes the "silent" angry type. My kids are SO scared of him. Hes the type that if the kids are crazy or crying etc, he will move in really fast before i can say anything, and he will pick them up and try to force them to stop crying. I cant stand when he picks them up so fast...its almost violent. My kids are in such a state of terror when he does this its so sad. Ugh this is all so confusing so please bare with me, its really hard to sort out all the things hes done because its sometimes so subtle. Its like he just cant let me handle things...he HAS to "deal" with the kids himself.
Heres some examples....the other day we were all outside and i told my kids to please not get their pants wet in the hose water. Next thing i know...my daughters pants are all wet. (Annoying...but hey, its not something i would PUNISH her over because of the fact that I am allowing my kids to put their feet in water, i knew full well that there would be a chance that someones pants would eventually get wet.) But when my husband who was working in the garage noticed she was wet he immedietly told her in his big scary but not yelling, voice!" RYAN RYAN!!!Go change your pants right now!!". My daughter is instantly in fear and runs inside crying to go change. Well...while i was talking with my son who was still playing in water, my hsuband decided to go inside too. I thought this suspicious so i went inside and when i opened the door i heard my daughter crying, then i heard a thud, and my daughter crying even more and my husband demanding "ryan! RYAN STOP. RYAN STOP NOOOOW. RYAN. RYAN. RYAN. STOP!!!!" and when i finally got to the end of the hallway to see what was happening, my husband has his hand over her mouth while still telling her to stop crying. My daughter was in total fear. Turns out when he came in, he yelled at her to go get changed and while she was running away to go change he pushed her and she fell on the floor, which was the thud i heard.
Another example: my kids were playing outside with my husband and the new pool, then all of a sudden i hear "scared" crying and then my husbands slides open the door all fast and just drops, kinda throws my daugher on the floor, and walks back outside. He was very silent angry.
Another example: Hes playing with my son on the ground, he accidently hurts my son and son starts crying. My husband trys to force comfort, and when my son doesnt want his comfort and he wants me instaed, my husband then tries to force him to stop crying and tells him to go to time out until hes happy or he pushes my crying son away. This has happened more times than i can count. Im so confused by this. My husband is always trying to punish them for being upset when HE caused them to be upset.
Another example: My husband has rough housed with my son too much and...bit him too hard on the cheek? Left a crazy crazy bruise on his cheek. My husband lied about this for a long time. When my son would say " oh daddy bit me" my husband would turn to him and tell him hes lying and that its not nice to lie. Weird.
Another example: Went to craft store with husband and my youngest daughter when she was 8mos old. Towards the end of the visit my daughter is getting hungry and she does what babies do, she cries. My husband walks over to her, and then i hear her cry really loud and scared. Even though i didnt see it, something instantly told me "he just pinched her". Well...after lots of lying and me calmly asking him tons of questions, it turns out my husband did walk over to her and pinched her side in an attempt to get her to stop crying.
Over the past year the truth has come out about alot more pinching he has done to all the kids when they act up and cry. Its disturbing. And while I am well aware that the pinching and biting is physical abuse......I am still so confused on if he is emotionally abusing them in any way. My gut says yes....but since its hard to explain and since its always sometimes so subtle....I find myself having a hard time beleiving it. In the MOST subtle ways he is always punishing them for something...whether its by force, or hes secretly getting them back for something, or pushing them away. I dont know...its all so weird. Like even something as simple as doing little things to spite my two oldest children....like doing things intentionally that they dont like.....he picks them up even when they tell him "please dont". I feel like i have worked so so hard so my kids feel like they have a voice, so they feel like they have boundries over their own bodies...but my husband completely disregards every boundry they have. And my husband just does things so....FAST. It always happens within a matter of seconds. I am always left feeling like "woa....what just happend? whats going on?". I am in a constant state of walking on eggshells and feeling like i am always in "mama bear" mode. I feel like i am constantly having to clean up the disaster mess of crying scared kids because of his actions.
Am i making things up? Am i just being totally over sensitive? My intuition is always telling me that its all very very harmful to the kids, but when ive tried to explain it to a couple people they just kind of look at me like im dramatic cuz its not like hes "hitting" the kids or excessively yelling at them. Man sometimes i would prefer the yelling over the silent bottled up, purse lips, fists in ball, type anger. Im scared of the effects all of this will have on the kids when they are older....my goal is for them to NOT grow up with my insecurites. Plus i know how cycle of abusive is hard to break. I dont want my kids teaching this behavior to their children.
What are your thoughts? Experiences? Ideas?