Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

aibu not to let H take kids

(52 Posts)
anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:22:05

I have posted here before under a different name.
H walked out in January after what I would call a 5 month text emotional affair. He still denies it is an affair.
Prior that he had been suicidal at one point about finances and out trapped state in wrecked house and his job and bills out of control. He didn't seek help.
He started to have extreme anger issues, where if he realised he'd incurred a bank charge, for example, he would full force head butt the wall. He also would kick kids stuff, shouting at them they were disgusting etc. I told him he needed help, which he then sort out by starting the text affair.
Since leaving he now comes to the house every single day. He eats dinner etc. This arrangement suits me when he is in an OK mood. His good moods usually last about 2 weeks, then something unknown to me will happen and he'll be the mad angry man again. In the past he forcefully locked me and other kids out of a room and put mustard in one of our DC's mouth. My DC suffers from asthma. It was horrendous. I was locked out of room screaming. This was one of the incidents that forced me to tell him he needed help. Due to these outbursts I don't feel happy to let him have the kids for a day unsupervised. The children themselves are wary, and enjoy him while he's in a good mood but are scared when he's not.
Prior to any of this, we had both agreed that his parents would no longer be asked to watch our DC. HIs mother seems to pick on my DCs but not her daughters DCs. His parents live less than a ten minute drive away but have chosen not to see my DC's since last Christmas. They were told they were welcome round for DCs birthdays, but they didn't come. They won't even answer the phone to them.
My H insists on coming here everyday. If he is in a rage and we have an argument he then threatens taking the DCs. He has never asked for them while in a good mood, only after an argument.
Saturday, after a few weeks of being lovely, one of the DC said a word very similar to a swear word. H threatened to put soap in his mouth, to which DC replied that Mummy wouldn't let him. H then went mental at me saying how I have undermined him by not letting him put soap/mustard in their mouths. Next day of course, he announces he is taking the kids to his Mums in the Christmas week. I refused, he said he's taking them anyway. The oldest 2 do not want to go. I haven't mentioned to the younger 2.
Only 3 close friends know our weird current situation, most people thinks he is stil here. They also know about his behaviour and agree he shouldn't take them.
Since him leaving I have become so indesicive, he manages to blame me for everything and makes me doubt myself constantly.
Do you think it is unfair to let him take them, or should I force them to go in the knowledge that they may well end up with soap in their mouth. Help please. THank you. SOrry it is so long.

FlatFacedArmy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:28:26

Under no circumstances let him take them! He's volatile, aggressive, uses force on the children, is verbally abusive to all of you, uses coming to the house to control you, and has endangered your child's health while in a rage.

Read that back a few times. If you love your children why on earth would you subject them to that?

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:28:40

Sorry for my terrible typing. I just wanted to add, that when he is nice he is like a different person, this then again makes me doubt myself and wonder why I was scared when he was in a rage, then he turns. It is just a confusing mess to be honest, like 2 different people.

EQ2Junkie Tue 17-Dec-13 12:30:49

Stop letting this man come into your house and abuse your children because he is ok sometimes.

Do not let them go away where they will be abused over the holidays by multiple people.

Starr the ball rolling now that he cannot see or harm them ever again.

NaturalBaby Tue 17-Dec-13 12:33:53

How can you even consider letting him take them?
I would be locking the door and not letting him back in after those previous incidents. Think about how you feel - you have a fairly decent understanding of what's going on and why. Your kids have no idea what's going on - what do you think they are thinking and feeling. They are confused, scared and very vulnerable. It is your job to protect them.

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:37:48

Thank you for your reassurance. Please know that I do not let him get near them with soap or anything now, that is why my DC threw the threat back at him. It is so confusing. When he did the mustard incident he still lived here. He felt really guilty afterwards, and agreed that he had gone way too far. In our argument on Saturday, he's changed it in his head to now believe that he and I were apparently both OK with it. This is what he does though. He changes history, but seems to believe his own lies.
He said I would be really petty and using the kids to not let him take them for one day. He made out as if he is doing me a favour by leaving it until after Xmas day/boxing day.
It is easy to doubt yourself when you were once married to a doting calm brilliant Dad, who then changed. Everyone who knows him still thinks of him as superDad, as did I, until the anger. This superDad type person is here many days, but then changes. That is what scares me, he could take them, be superDad and all be fine, or he might be in a mood and it wouldn't. Thank you, I will stick to my guns. He's not taking them.

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:42:51

It's strange with the kids. Most days they are OK. They went through a period of wondering which Daddy would turn up after work but now as the moody Daddy appears less they are OK. Sometimes now, he'll direct his mood to me, rather than them. He says sarcastically now that he better not shout or we'll all be scared again. He said that I obviously don't know him if I can be scared after 20 years as he would never hurt us. The thing is, I never thought he would do any of this, so it has tipped our world upside down. It threw me too as my own Mother at first said that I should let him take them. If he even starts to raise his voice now, I intervene immediately. I seem capable of sticking up for my DC just not myself. Thank you

CoffeeQueen187 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:44:29

Why on earth are you even letting him into your house? Never mind considering letting him take them for Christmas!

Tell him to fuck off! Ring womens aid if you have to. Just don't let him near your kids. If he wants to see them, tell him to take you to court.

He sounds horrible!

Why should you and your children pay the price just coz he's pissed off? He's a selfish controlling wanker.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but your
Children must be terrified of him. Put yourself in their shoes.

plco1223 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:45:54

your ex sounds sick and in need of help

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:51:13

Thank you. Please don't think I would let him hurt them physically, as I wouldn't. They are not terrified of him, they are wary of him, as am I. You see he softens the shouting with lots of tickles, and giggles and kisses. Like I said, perfect parenting moments, then wham, angry man. I wasn't really considering him taking them, but he made me feel as if I was using them, I just need reassurance. As I said, he makes me doubt myself constantly. Like apparently I wanted him to leave, and I said it was over, when I can remember embarrassingly begging him in tears, along with the kids to stay.

mummytime Tue 17-Dec-13 12:55:39

I can't understand why you haven't called the police on his behaviour before now. He sounds dangerous to me.

No I don 't think your children are unharmed by him. Your home is not safe for them, especially as you keep letting him come in.

Phone Women's Aid and/or the police (101, unless he is there) NOW.

rainbowfeet Tue 17-Dec-13 12:55:46

He has already hurt them physically!!!! hmm

But the mental. & emotional damage is on a different level.. I wouldn't let him anywhere near them until he has got help for his anger

FluffyJumper Tue 17-Dec-13 12:55:58

I think you can safely feel reassured.

It must be very confusing for your kids that he comes round to the house every day. He sounds awful, and that is true even if he is usually nice.

Blu Tue 17-Dec-13 13:01:14

OP, you poor thing, and your poor chikdren. Really sorry, it sounds terrible for you all.

Of course YANBU (I know this is not AIBU), your concern is very well founded.

The fact that he has been able to spin this to make you doubt yourself and impose his fictional versions of events is ossibly a sign that he has actualy been gaslighting you and that you have been living with emotional abuse.

I think you should take legal advice asap with a good family law solicitor, and fiond ways to protect your children from unsupervised access, and your legal basis for refusing the Christmas request.

Once you have had chance to draw breath, you might also find some strength in getting counselling as a vitamin shot for your self esteem and assertiveness. It all sounds so traumatic and wearing.

The locking you out and mustard incident was violent abuse.

How old are your children?

goshhhhhh Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:41

I think he might have a mental Illness. Too difficult to say with certainty. When in a rage consider calling the doctor & or police. Do not let him take the children.

I think he needs help & you with dealing with him.

wannabestressfree Tue 17-Dec-13 13:28:41

I would start by letting him know he cannot come to your house every day. How on earth is that sustainable? You and they [the children] need a routine. The fact he is coming everyday for dinner is ridiculous.....

I was brought up with a dad like you describe. I am still a bag of nerves around him at 35 as he is so up and down. Don't do that to them.....

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 13:31:03

Thank you all.

I don't let him in, he lets himself in with his key. As he says it is his f**** house. He still pays the mortgage, but throws it in my face constantly. His house is falling apart though. He also threatens to stop paying and names a local terrible area that we'll end up in. He knows it is really important for me to stay in this area due to DCs schools catchment. Plus I don't have a car. Our family car broke just before he left, he keeps promising to sort it or buy a new one but hasn't as yet.

When he's nice, he happily pays for things, when in a mood he flips about buying a bottle of water from the shop for us, and then says he gives me X amount of money. I explain that he doesn't actually give me any money, he pays the mortgage. Other times he buys loads, meals, food, etc.

The mustard incident was a one off, I would never ever let him do anything like that again. In the summer I stopped him as he was chasing my DS with carex to wash his mouth out. This is why he says I undermine him as I stopped him, and they all know I will not allow it. I tell him he is wrong to threaten it, but he turns it and says I am the one in the wrong as I undermined him in front of them. I did tbh, but I had no choice.

I am currently awaiting counselling or CBT. I don't know what is wrong with me as deep down I still love him, but that is my lovely H who was happy for over 18 years, I don't like the new version, but find it hard not to love the old him, especially when the old him is here for a few weeks at a time.

Our DD would happily go with him, this is also what I worried about. As if he asks her, I would have to step in and said no.

Thank you I do feel reassured, and a bit shocked at the thought of possibly being abused. I used to be so strong, would have a healthy argument with him, but now I don't know, I think I'm just heartbroken. Nothing makes sense.

Lweji Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:36

You need to only allow supervised contact, preferably at a contact centre or somewhere public.

Do not allow him in your house again, nor let him take them anyway.

And go through CSA.

You need to get rid of this man and limit what influence he has on you and the children.

Lweji Tue 17-Dec-13 13:38:19

As for his key, change the locks, put a chain on the doors, and get an injunction.

And you need to sort out finances, even if you have to move house. Your children shouldn't be subjected to this.

Butterytoast Tue 17-Dec-13 13:40:34

You really need to free yourself from his grip in terms if the house! Could you seek advice from housing/ shelter and from cab as to what benefits you could get. Contact the CSS and start the process with them. Lastly go see a solicitor to get formal contact arrangements (or no contact arrangements) firmly in place. Of you are concerned he is going to take the children a prohibitive steps order or residence order may be necessary. Don't let him continue to control your life!!

anxiousnow Tue 17-Dec-13 13:43:54

Thank you.

One couple friends who have known us for years and are also shocked at his recent behaviour told me that the mustard thing wasn't that bad as she herself had done it. I apparently missed a conversation at the school gates where various Mum's were discussing it, some have used horseradish, some mustard, some soap. I was shocked but apparently a lot of them have done it. She also said that her OH punches doors too and that it isn't that bad, it's better than punching the child. See all these things make me doubt myself.

I suppose I didn't want to end up like those parents that have to sit on the other side of the school hall as they can't stand each other. We recently had a lovely family day out to a theme park where everyone was so happy. I felt it really good for the DCs. I suppose I have to realise that I am not the one ruining all of that. sad

peggyundercrackers Tue 17-Dec-13 13:46:56

he has already emotionally and physically abused both you and your children. i think he has mental health issues which need addressed - normal people dont headbutt walls because of a bank charge or try to commit suicide.

i wouldnt let him take the kids for christmas nor would i be letting in my house every day. you need a clean break from this person and be able to feel safe in your own home and provide a safe environment for your children.

you need to stop doubting yourself.

peggyundercrackers Tue 17-Dec-13 13:55:32

anxious just because other people have partners who punch walls doesnt make it right - same goes for people who use soap/mustard etc. in mouths doesnt make it right. I always remember that if i wanted to do something one of my friends had done my dad used to say to me if xxx jumped off the bridge would you do it? what he was really telling me was i dont need to be a sheep and follow what others done/believed in - he wanted me to think for myself and make my own decisions - im glad now because i am a very independent person, i think for myself, make my own decisions and am a quiet but confident person.

StupidMistakes Tue 17-Dec-13 13:56:16

Tbh your ex sounds in need of a psychiatric assessment.

Lweji Tue 17-Dec-13 14:05:20

She also said that her OH punches doors too and that it isn't that bad, it's better than punching the child. See all these things make me doubt myself.

You should really be raising an eyebrow and telling her that her OH is displaying abusive traits.
Just because it happens to others, it doesn't make it OK.

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