Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Question for adult daughters of fathers who were abusive to your mother.

(41 Posts)
Ginebra Sat 02-Mar-13 22:27:36

Do you feel that loyalty to your mother prevents you having, or wanting to have a (better) relationship with your father?

Or, maybe loyalty isn't an issue.

Looking for the thoughts of adult daughters here. I'm trying to make sense of what I'm feeling.

bruffin Sat 02-Mar-13 22:35:26

No was petrified of my dad and was relieved when he died. I do have some nice memories of him and i do understand in part why he was the way he was.

I don't have a relationship with my mum as obviously the abuse we all suffered from him was all our own fault and I should apologise to him.

I have had therapy. My mother and sister haven't. They are still caught in his narcissistic websad

SlinkyB Sat 02-Mar-13 22:39:07

My father was abusive to my mother, and violent towards me, that's why I don't have a relationship with him.

Not seen him for 16yrs and have no regrets.

Wish he'd died recently and not my lovely Mother sad

Branleuse Sat 02-Mar-13 22:39:52

a mixture of loyalty to my mum which isn't necessary as she never tried to prevent a relationship, but the fact she actually told me some of the stuff he did ruined the relationship a bit because you can't unlearn stuff like that.

Admiraltea Sat 02-Mar-13 22:40:44

My mother for a ton of reasons stayed with the man. My guilt is prob that if she wasn't trying to make a good family and I wasn't trying to be a good girl and keep him happy too she might have have had a life. He has managed to break all relationships by himself. In fact as an adult is very very much easier to stand back and see them both as people. I have judged by their deeds not their words.

Ginebra Sat 02-Mar-13 22:44:31

Thank you for replying. Sorry about your mum slinkyb.

My children probably don't remember any abuse as I left. But now they think he's a great guy. I'm finding it a betrayal.

They know why I left him. I don't know what I am asking or saying really.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 02-Mar-13 22:45:50

My Mother would deny he was abusive... He was badly damaged as a child, and became a bully... I think I blocked a lot of it out. It was only my sister having memories that convinced me I hadn't imagined it. He's dead now. That makes it more complicated, but it has affected my relationships with men. I have picked men that in many ways were similar. I am recently divorced for the second time...

TattiePants Sat 02-Mar-13 22:49:47

I have stuggled for most of my adult life to have a relationship with my father including a period of 2 years where I had no contact with him at all (my choice). My feelings towards him are a combination of how he treated my mum as well as how he treated me. I do now have an ok relationship with my dad. It is never going to be perfect and I don't think I will ever forgive and forget but he is actually a really good grandfather (even though I always swore he wouldn't get a second chance with my kids).

My dad has just done something really generous for me this week, that will enable me to make a really positive change in my life. It won't wipe out the past but I think he is actually really trying to make things better.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 02-Mar-13 22:50:28

X post. If it helps Gin my Grandfather was very cruel to all his kids. Possibly partly as a result of his upbringing. Never knew. I could never reconcile the idea of the father of my Dad, from Dad's re-telling, who was vile, to this quite sweet-seeming old man...

TattiePants Sat 02-Mar-13 22:54:02

Ginebra...How old are your children? I know my mum has struggled in the past with me trying to have a relationship with my dad although she has always encouraged me. I can totally understand why it feels like a betrayal but you need to let your children make their own relationship with him. If they anything like me, they will always have more loyalty to their mum and that will only grow as they get older.

SlinkyB Sat 02-Mar-13 22:55:09

How old are your children Ginebra? I was too young to remember the abuse, and my Mum never said anything negative about my Dad during my childhood. They split when I was a toddler, and remained friendly for my benefit I guess.

I didn't find out how awful a person he was til I was 16 and he tried to beat me up. I was angry at my Mum for a while for not telling me what he was like, but she said she hoped he'd be different with me.

I think whoever said that you treat your parents as two, separate, individual people was right.

Mum always taught me to judge people on how they treat you - and to never, under any circumstances let someone be violent towards you.

Ginebra Sat 02-Mar-13 23:02:36

Tattie, thanks, it does help to know that they'd have more loyalty to me than to him even if they have a relationship with both. I know it must sound awful. I'm cruising for a ten page pasting here.

Slinkyb, don't want to say exact ages but young enough not to know the full truth, old enough to ask questions that are awkward, and not to be satisfied by answers that aren't the truth.

As they get older, they are obviously going to have a relationship with him that he doesn't deserve. Until he messes it up.

If your children's father is abusive - and your posts suggest he is not mildly abusive but considerably so - then get a contact order and only allow supervised contact. Or none at all until you know them not to be at risk.

With a violent man/woman, that time may never come.

So?

A kid needs a hitter rather than no parent at all?

Bollox.

Take some responsibility here op:
Why would you consider waiting to see if he visits the shit treatment he meted out to you, on your kids too?

confused

seaofyou Sat 02-Mar-13 23:28:35

no I met my F 18 yrs after I refused to speak to him again as he was on his death bed. i decided for him i would see him and forgive him! i spoke to my mum before this and she said I had to do what i felt was right and not at all hurt i contacted him. anyway he is still around but old frail and blind now so cant do much physical harm but still nasty as when my DB died my F never tried to contact or support us dc or my mum. so i will for that reason never see my F again. my decision based on how I was treated by him....not a seconds thought!

No. Never wanted to see the nasty bastard and the courts ordered NC. No regrets here and he's dead. No loss to mankind, frankly.

LoopDeLoops Sun 03-Mar-13 12:40:30

Exactly what bruffin said. I felt I could breathe again when he died, and my relationship with my mother has improved - she can't be hurt by him or allow him to hurt her any more.

LoopDeLoops Sun 03-Mar-13 12:41:41

And Katie.

The world is so much better off without the evil bastard.

DB, however, seems to have convinced himself that my mum made it all up and that our father was a victim of something or other... hmm

I barely have more than a civil relationship with my mum, I don't blame her, but I don't forgive her if that makes sense. He is dead to me (unfortunately not actually), my children will never know him or be near him. But mine stems from the fact he was abusive to me as well.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 12:47:25

No, but I don't think he was "that" abusive - tended to be minor emotional abuse/control and threats. He's not like this at all with my stepmum (as far as I can see) so perhaps he was just young and immature or something rather than abusive.

My general crap-feeling about my dad has been about the way he treated my sister and I in comparison to his "real" family ie our half-siblings and stepmother.

Also I wasn't aware of the abuse aspect to my parents' relationship until I was 16 when my mum told me. He was fairly civil to her in the interim although he did always used to make nasty comments about the fact she didn't have a job (due to illness hmm) and smoked.

Loop (hug)

LoopDeLoops Sun 03-Mar-13 13:37:25

smile right back at you Katie smile

Ginebra Sun 03-Mar-13 15:08:14

Thanks. I fear my children will minimise the abuse to me. He has not (so far) been abusive to them. I do fear it. On the one hand it would vindicate me and corroborate my reasons for leaving but also, obviously, i don't want that for my children, that they suffer that fear and those threats. So far he is nice to htem. They think he's mr niceguy.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 17:04:16

sad That must be really hard for you. FWIW it was only when I became a teenager that I started to see cracks with my Dad. Sometimes it takes a long time to see someone for who they are. Even though it's hard for you I think it's a good thing that they have a good relationship with him. You can just tell your children that the relationship didn't work out, or you weren't suited to each other, unless they start to notice things.

Ginebra Sun 03-Mar-13 17:21:36

It doesn't seem fair and I'm struggling with the injustice of it all. How parenthood has impacted upon my life, financially, practically. NOt at all on his life. And yet, the end result will be that he has two children who love him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now