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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5929
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My eldest son is being verbally abusive to my daughter in law

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My eldest son is being verbally abusive to my daughter in law and grandchildren.
what can I do to get him the help he needs
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your son either has an issue with anger or he is abusive, both of which are similar. However, he seems to lean more towards abuse. Someone who is abusive is not able to handle their own emotions so they take out their frustration on others. It is not unusual for someone who has trouble handling their feelings to blame their spouse or even others around them like their children. And they rarely see that they are the one with the problem.

The first step in dealing with the situation is to suggest counseling. While it is unlikely he will agree, it is worth trying. If he won't go, suggest to your daughter in law that she goes on her own. She needs the support and to work out how she wants to handle the situation. Her children also need counseling, especially if they are exposed to the abuse and she is concerned for their well being. Their pediatrician can help with a referral.

Also, you can talk to his doctor about what is going on. His doctor may be able to get him to try therapy. Ask family and friends to talk to him and try to let him know what they are seeing with his behavior. He may not listen, but it is worth trying. It may take your daughter in law leaving in order for him to understand what he is doing and how harmful it is.

You also may want to learn more about abuse and anger. Here are some resources to help:

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel

I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment-Xavier Amador.

Knowing when to leave may also help. If your son becomes more abusive, your duaghter in law needs to have a plan on how to get out if she need to. She can talk with crisis counselors in her area for advice and help.

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I dont think i will have any luck getting him to a counseling but i will talk to my DIL about a counselier to let her sort herself out and make any plans etc. you are right the kids will need it too to stop them coping their Dad.

he is angry, frustrated and can not release it any other way at this time other than shouting etc

my husband will be visiting soon and he is planning on taking him out to places that interest him so he can see if he can get him to talk and release some of the pressure that building

You could always try to talk to his doctor to see if the doctor can suggest counseling. As odd as it is, sometimes people will listen to a professional even before they will listen to family who know them well.

It's good your husband will be helping him. Talking to him and taking him out might help a lot. And if your daughter in law and the kids can get counseling, that will make a big difference.


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