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Abusive Husband is manipulating my daughter and my relationship with her. Feeling helpless.

(80 Posts)
PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:01:01

My husband and i have been apart for 5 months. He was verbally and psychologically abusive. We were together 12 years and finally i asked him to leave. Took oodles of strength to do so.

He is now trying to manipulate and influence my eldest daughter who is 19. Despite having a very poor relationship with her when we were together he now tries to be her best friend, lending money etc. last night, when he was visiting, i overheardhim in her room making small talk and then suddenly declaring " we need to make a secret codeword, so that when i talk to your mum downstairs, i can text you the codeword and you can come down and rescue me from her rant. " i was pretty stunned to hear him say such a thing, to our dd. but not entirley surprising. Even worse, i'm not even a ranter that he would need rescuing from. How far from the truth! I went into the room and called him on it, calmly. He said it was a joke, and then accused me of causing an awkward atmosphere, so i walked away, determined not to make a scene. When he left, he failed to see the wrong in what he did. Kept saying it was a joke. How ridiculous!

anyway, it hurt me immensely as i felt he was damaging my relationship with dd, teaching her to gang up on me, and that im some unreasonable person that he needs rescuing from. she has little respect for me as it is at the moment since we split. this is not the first time he has behaved stupidly with her. recently, he told dd against my wishes that he took a girlfriend a few months ago. id barely digested the news myself, when he drove 20 miles to dd's uni, and took her out to dinner just to tell her the news. She told me after that meeting "why would dad having a girlfriend hurt you, you asked him to leave!" . How niave of her, but forgiveable based on her young years and his ability to sell a story. She's even commented recently making fun of me going to Womens Aid and having a counsellor. Its weird, because she witnessed and experienced his worst abuse for herself with name calling, invading privacy and withholding stuff. But its like the slate is wiped clean. Of course, i want her to still see him and have the best relationship possible with him. I just wasnt prepared for her siding with him, at least on the face of it. Maybe she's angry at me? Im not sure.

So, I'm just wondering what strategies i can follow to limit his negative and destructive influence on our dd. we have a 5 year old dd too. Im worried he will begin picking our relationship apart too soon. He had no problem with saying nasty things in frnt of her when we were together. I guess i was naive to think that getting him out my house, would stop his behaviour impacting us. Any suggestions gladly received on how to handle him in the way that causes least conflict but limits his influence and ability to damage/hurt me and girls please? Thanks in advance. X

PenelopePitstop72 Tue 07-May-13 23:07:39

Thanks and no probs, you didnt come across that way. I just wanted to clarify (and explain myself, which is another thing that ive become very good at!!!). I feel the haze lifting when i share stuff. It helps me see things far more clearly. Thanks for listening.

wonderingagain Tue 07-May-13 23:37:08

Hi Penelope, just read your thread. I'm sorry this is going on for you. My main observation is that now is the time to make as many notes and records of how he is behaving as possible. I would also try to record conversations if you can find a way of doing it discreetly. His conversations with your dd should be noted and I believe there is something very strange going on, particularly regarding having his boyfriend stay over with her at his place. I can't imagine any boyfriend wanting to stay over at the girlfriend's Dad's flat.

I would have said keep him coming over for the midweek visit so you can keep tabs on him. I'm not saying he's doing anything but as Hissy said he may be trying to worry you deliberately so he can gaslight you. For this reason I think you need as much hard evidence of his behaviour as possible in order to try to prevent a future scenario where he says you're the mad one and unfit to look after them.

So sad about your oldest. I'm sure you will get through to her in the end, she will see through his lies. Do your best to make sure she understands his duplicity. You are not character assassinating him, you are protecting her.

Snazzynewyear Wed 08-May-13 00:05:08

OP, if you're Christian I recommend the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. Helps with examining why a strong sense of boundaries and taking back control of your own life is good from a Christian perspective. There's a summary here.

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 09-May-13 00:06:22

Thanks for the book suggestion. Im sure this low will pass soon and i'll get back on form. Just knocks me back a bit when he behaves like an ar*e. i will keep a diary with events and I will make appointments to see solicitors this week.

Hissy Fri 10-May-13 18:48:45

Honey, your husband was abusive. this you know.

You are not being mean, unkind or bad by talking about what happened to you. You are healing.

Keep the diary, you can't argue with facts.

I second/third/millionth you changing the phone, and wifi passwords, get some advice on this, old habits won't die and he WILL still be abusing your privacy.

Remember that his behaving like an arse is HIS choice, no reflection on you, so no need to knock you, not at all.

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