Angry outbursts turn physical

My husband and I are both likely add, as one psychologist and one psychiatrist have suggested we probably are, but have never been formally diagnosed.  We have 2 boys, one just turned 8, the other is 2.  The 8 year old is adhd.  My husband has always been frequently angry.  His favorite shirt (which I got him) says "I'd rather be complaining."  He is convinced that he knows best about a great many things, and this attitude often seems to be the source of his anger and frustration with life in general.  In the nearly 14 years that we've been together, I doubt a day has gone by without at least one angry outburst.  We've been seeing a marital counselor for several years.  My husband has found parenting our 8 year old son to be extremely challenging (honestly, so do I).  I've been working very hard for the past several months to calm down when I begin feeling angry at my son and parenting from a better place emotionally.  For this same period of time, I've been trying to give one-word signals or nonverbal signals to my husband for him to calm down.  I've done my best to encourage him to listen to some parenting cd's I purchased or shared books I've read, etc, etc, but he's made it clear he is not interested in these sorts of things.  I decided giving him signals (such that our kids might not notice) was the one thing I could do to help him.  I worked the strategy out with him beforehand.  It's hard to tell if it's made any difference.  Perhaps. 

About one week ago, my husband had a violent outburst.  He and the boys had just returned home from an errand.  Both boys come flying through the door with my husband close behind.  My older son throws himself at me and my husband is growling angrily at my son.  He grabs my son's shirt and yanks him hard toward the garage door, knocking over our 2 year old in the process.  My older son collapses on the floor in pain and fear, and my 2 year old is on his butt crying.  At this point, I'm in-between my husband and the kids, telling him to get out of the house.  He refuses and tells me to get out of the way.  When I refuse, he pushes me and I push back with all my strength and maintain the buffer between me and my kids.  If he had used all his strength, there's no way I could have held my ground, so I do know he held back some.  I told him I would call the police if he didn't go away.  I almost whispered it, I could barely believe I was saying it.  He and I stood there looking at each other and he eventually walked off and I didn't see him again for several hours. 

Since then, he's been apologetic, and in the past few days, he acts as if nothing happened.  With physical violence in my childhood, I am especially sensitive to it, but I know even someone without that history would find this beyond anything normal.  I've told him that I wanted to hear from him how he was going to move forward and what changes he was going to make.  As of today, he's had nothing to say.

I've put a call in to our marital counselor, asking for the first possible appointment.  I am struggling to define what it is that I'm feeling and how I want to move forward from here.  I was hoping some folks on this list might be able to help me think about this from perhaps a perspective I haven't used yet.  Right now, I don't have a clue what would be best for me and the kids. 

When violence begins....

....all bets are off.  That's a deal breaker...you need to remove yourself and your children from this situation immediately.  Chances are good that your husband's anger will continue and probably escalate.    Please take your children someplace safe--a relative's home, a friend's or even a women's shelter.   Things MAY be ok for a little while...until he gets angry again...then he will get physical again and apologize again...it's a vicious cycle of abuse.  Until he faces his anger and gets help, you and your children are not safe.   Talk to your counselor and tell him/ her what's happening.  Don't wait.   Listen to your gut...if you're scared and your kids are scared, get out.

I also had an abusive childhood and how I wish that someone had removed me and my siblings to a safe place.   I'm sorry you're going through this....take GOOD care.

the one time

my hubby had one of those a few years ago. I said anger management or else you leave(I would keep house kids etc) It took some time and searching but he's seeing someone and its made a world of difference. no more yelling even.

Number one is YOU must be an

Number one is YOU must be an advocate for your two kids. There is no one else. So while you try to work out your hugely conflicting emotions, please do not let any more time pass without stating calmly and clearly to your husband that this is not forgotten and must be addressed. IMPORTANT: what conversations have you had with your kids? They need a session with a psychologist as they are victims of domestic abuse -and the eight year old is certainly old enough for you to have a more in depth and direct conversation about how you know this was wrong- and that it will NEVER be allowed to happen again. And mean it. At this point discuss adhd w him he should be told what this is about in a non-scary and non-judgemental way.