My husband and I have approximately 5 -6 explosive fights a year. He swears, screams, breaks furniture, tears the house apart, etc. We have three children ages 8, 10 and 12. I keep thinking about leaving him, but I'm not sure if I should tear our family apart because of 15-20 bad days a year. The rest of the time we get along fine. I feel l like the fights are so damaging, I truly don't know what to do.
From: Karen, Pueblo, CO
He breaks furniture? Tears the house apart? Screams? And you have to ask? Your kids are living in fear. They wake up not knowing what today is going to bring. They come home from school fearful that tonight will be one of "those" nights. They go to bed wondering if the sounds of breaking furniture will wake them. Your family may be living under the same roof but it's torn apart nonetheless.
Are there lasting effects on this for kids? You bet. Unresolved parental fighting can lead to a host of problems, including depression, aggression, anxiety and hostility. It can cause children to act out, or withdraw, and it can impact their own abilities to have emotionally intimate relationships as they get older, This is not a healthy or safe place for kids. Your husband needs therapy (possibly AA?) and you do, too, to figure out what's keeping you there.