Hi, Carolyn: I have two boys, 11 and 13, from my first marriage, and forming a cohesive family with my husband of two years has been difficult. When we fight about the kids, my husband explodes on everyone and then just checks out. He is distant, shows no affection and barely talks to anyone in the house until he decides to come back into the fold. He doesn’t apologize.
Two weeks ago, we had a blowup fight about the boys; I butted into an aggressive exchange between him and my older son where I felt I had to protect my child from my husband’s caustic, totally unreasonable behavior. I was told what a failure I was as a mother because the boys are so poorly behaved. We got the silent treatment for most of a week, then things were patched up, then another fight, then silence/resentment.
My husband is now back to “normal” and being the loving, funny, kind person he often is. However, I’m just waiting for him to explode again because the boys are normal for their age, which means they behave badly sometimes.