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Thoughts and help with this situation ....
Hi - i am looking for some help and guidance - warning long post !

My partner of 24 years has struggled with depression , anger & anxiety for many years - she has been on medication (various types) from her GP for around 17 years. She also struggles with anger issues which means she can be very nasty for no reason and can be wildly inconsistent in her behavior and lashes out (verbally) especially at the children - but also at me.

I have tried to cope with this over the years and always thought that I was doing the right thing by holding the family together. Our relationship is very broken due to this behavior and although I care for her as a person and want to help , the love went a long time ago. I have become the stereotypical cliche of staying for the children. Things have now been bought to a head by my daughter (see later in this post).
My wife is very aware of how she behaves and does not behave like this with friends - only with family and only behind closed doors. Her relationship with her own family is strained in part because of this behaviour. For example her mother stayed with us for a few months and said to me "I don't know how you cope , she is like a raging bull and she should not speak to the children like that", her mum is scared to get involved in case it makes her relationship with her daughter worse.

When she is feeling okay she is remorseful for her behavior but no matter how hard she tries (and I believe she does sometimes) she defaults back to type. She has tried counselling over the years and some anger management none of which have been particularly successful. There is no doubt in my mind that she loves her kids it is almost the stress of having to care for them that makes her like this.

Her behavior with the children has varied over the years - but when she gets the black anger she just lashes out at them and you cannot tell from one moment to the next how she will respond. Tonight after a conversation with my youngest (14) I feel that I really need to change my thinking and look at what is best for them and for me in the long run.

My daughter told me that she hates living in the house with her mum and is terrified that she will end up like her. She has already decided that she never wants to have children because she is frightened that she would treat her children in the same way that she is treated by her mum.
She has told me that she wants us to live separately as long as she is assured she can stay with me and that her brother feels the same way and that they have discussed this. I have also spoken to my son and whilst he feels he can cope better (he is nearly 18) he feels this would be the right thing for his sister as she is struggling to cope, he has also said that he would not want to stay with his mum if we were to live separately. He also said that a lot of the hurt and anger about the way he was treated when he was younger is buried deep down.

My daughter worries that she will lose friends because she will end up like her mum with anger problems, and she thinks she is suffering from anxiety caused by the situation at home. She says the only time she feels not anxious is when her mum has gone out , she said it is like lifting a weight off her chest.
She told me that she looks at other friends mums and gets really jealous about what she's as the normal mums and she knows that that this is wrong - but this is the way she feels.

She also said she doesn't understand why her mum treats me like rubbish - and doesn't realise how lucky she is - she says I don't understand why you put up with this and you deserve to be happy. She said you are such a nice and kind person and mum is completely the opposite when she is like this.
I have a very good relationship with both my children - they have both said that they understand if I am cross with them that is for a reason and that it will be justified by their behavior , i.e. they did something wrong , they get into trouble are punished and we move on. They see this as fair and normal.
As you can imagine this was a really tough conversation , it was unprompted and did not happen after an argument - she basically just got this all off her chest when we were sitting watching TV together.

I worry that both my children's mental health will suffer if they continue to be in this environment - yet I have not idea how to proceed or who to talk to - or what assistance may be available.

Whilst not as important I have also suffered through this - whilst on the outside I appear to deal with this reasonably well , inside it is tearing me apart - and whilst I am not perfect in any way , shape or form. I do not want to start a process that leaves the children alone with their mum without my support as this would be the worst of both worlds for us all.

If anybody has any thoughts or suggestions I would love to hear them. I am sure you can imagine I am fed up , heartbroken and at this point a bit lost as how to proceed. Somehow I feel like I have failed my kids by doing what I thought was best for them - which hurts beyond belief.

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