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domestic abuse? custody issues? blown out of propoprtion? Muddled!

(56 Posts)
MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 00:24:54

Ok. Hard to know where to start....

History - previous abusive relationship, 11 year old son who lives with me and sees ex regularly
Current partner - 6 year relationship, ups and downs, arguments with mostly happy periods inbetween

Issue - rowed with my partner at weekend over division of chores. I am 6 months pregnant and suffering health problems with it. Partner only works 3 hours a day and resentment built up, him saying and feeling he does the chores and I should do more, me feeling actually he does very little and I need him to help by taking more on. I work part time but currently am signed off due to illness.

Arguing was awful, lots of blaming and no resolving (son was with his dad so didn't witness it) and partner said he was leaving me and walked out. I was so upset by the arguing that when he hadn't returned that night and my son was back, I went to bed and locked the doors, leaving the keys in the locks as I didn't want him coming back unpredictably in the night.

At 1am I was woken by him on the flat roof, letting himself in through my bedroom window, a scary event as I could hear noise of someone reaching through and opening the inside window but didn't at that point know it was him. He called me a "fucking stupid idiot" (for locking him out) and went downstairs.

I went down and asked what on earth he thought he was doing. He was swaying and red eyed and said something, which although not a threat, made me think he was mentally unbalanced. This was sufficient enough to scare me and I called the police, who removed him. They said he had a right to be in the house as it's his home and couldn't take his keys as technically he lives here. NB the house is solely owned by me and he only moved in a few months ago.

He came back the next day but I was so upset I couldn't sleep that night and tried to talk to him about how his behaviour had been unacceptable, but he was adamant that coming in through the window when locked out is acceptable and I had no reason to call the police.

His presence upset me so much that I asked him to leave the following day to give me space. He had been fine with my son and they were enjoying each other's company as usual, but I couldn't think straight and attempts to discuss the issue turned into blaming arguments again. He initially refused to leave and I asked my brother to back me up as it was making me feel ill having him here. He did leave eventually.

He has phoned me since, saying he is living rough as doesn't want to impose on friends or family and lost his job as a consequence. Homeless charity have said he has no housing priority, so will receive no help. He hasn't enough money to rent anywhere and wants to come back home.

My head is a mess. When I talk to him on the phone he seems reasonable and I want to believe we can sort things out. He also says he wants to come home. When I talk to friends I see their perspective that he can be controlling and could do a lot more to support me. I feel awful that he is homeless and don't know how he can get back on his feet with no address or income. But, I don't want to take him back and keep going round this spiral where everything's ok for a few weeks or months then an issue comes up and we are rowing again.

I find myself questioning - yes, he swore and was drunk (a rare event) and I was genuinely scared he was mentally unbalanced at the time, but, he didn't threaten or hurt me, so am I blowing this event out of proportion? In all likelihood, if I hadn't have confronted him as he came in he would have slept it off without incident.

I am so confused about whether to take him back and try again, but then risk having to go through this again. Or, to refuse, leaving him homeless, jobless, and losing the good parts of our relationship, leaving myself with an impending birth and no partner or father of my child, as I know I will struggle to manage on my own. Ultimately I want to believe we can make it work, but I just don't know if it's possible.

My other worries are - when the police came out they asked for details of my child and his father. Will they inform my ex there has been an incident? My ex was/is definitely abusive and has tried unsuccessfully to have my son removed from my care, so would try and say my son is at risk. Will Social Services automatically be informed? How do I stand on this? Will it just be considered a minor domestic disagreement as there was no threat or actual violence? I don't want to take my partner back and find I have put myself at risk of losing my eldest child.

So many issues and I don't know where to begin or how to move forward. Sorry for length of post!

Do you really believe he's sleeping rough and losr his job? I don't. Stay strong and insist on as much space as you need.

Isetan Fri 27-Jun-14 01:34:19

I don't know what SS will do but is this man worth the risk? If he only moved in a couple of months ago, what was his housing situation before? What is the time frame here, he has supposedly lost his 3hr a day job relatively quickly? As for him not imposing on friends, that's his choice and the consequences of this choice is not your responsibility. I'm sorry but I'm not buying any of this, he's lying and being manipulative and the sob story is aimed at making you feel guilty for his poor behaviour and choices. Did you have any counselling after your abusive relationship? It's not uncommon to exchange one abusive relationship for another slightly different abusive relationship.

Use the space that you now have to critically appraise this man and the relationship because once the baby is here there will be little time and this mans manipulative tendencies will really step up a gear when you are at your most vulnerable. The risks of leting this man back right now, are far greater than the benefits. You're not parentally responsible for him, no matter how hard he tries to guilt you into thinking you are.

mammadiggingdeep Fri 27-Jun-14 08:16:54

Read your op back. Too much drama!!! Seriously, you're 6 months pregnant and mother to an 11 year old...do you REALLY want this in your life?

Do you think it's salvageable?

captainmummy Fri 27-Jun-14 08:25:32

What do you get out of this relationship? Other than occasional help with the chores, and possibly a person to 'help' with the rather more chores that come with a new baby? Do you really think he is going to help much when the baby comes? If he barely helps now...

It's your home, and you have a say in who lives in it, or even who comes in it. You are not responsible for how he lives his life, if he is homeless, that is not your worry. Do you think you have a duty to care for him? If so, he will take full advantage of that, and live there as long as he likes, and you will continue to argue about chores, and he will still be homeless if you chuck him out.

And your flat-roof is obviously a weak point in your house security. I'd seriously think about rectifying that.

NigellasDealer Fri 27-Jun-14 08:29:26

They said he had a right to be in the house as it's his home and couldn't take his keys as technically he lives here. NB the house is solely owned by me and he only moved in a few months ago
the police are rarely experrts on the law, and in this case they were talkng bollocks.
social services could well be involved yes

hodgehegs Fri 27-Jun-14 08:33:32

Message deleted by MNHQ at poster's request.

hodgehegs Fri 27-Jun-14 08:39:14

Message deleted by MNHQ at poster's request

wallypops Fri 27-Jun-14 08:44:31

I would get individual counciling and sort yourself out as an individual before your baby arrives. This bloke comes across as an adult child and needs to prove that he can step up after the baby comes before he moves back in. I would tell him that as things stand he won't be moving back in until after the birth at the earliest. If he wants to see the baby he will have to really up his game.
What in earth does he fill his days with?

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 09:39:15

Yes, tallwivglasses, the day I asked him to leave (this Tuesday) he phoned work to explain the situation and said because he didn't know where he would be living he couldn't get to work, therefore he felt it best to quit. It's unskilled work so not like a career position they would consider keeping open.

Isetan, before he moved in he lived in a shared house (although spent most of his time at mine), but with no money I don't know how he can pay rent on a new place.

His friends use drugs and drink lots so he says he doesn't want to stay with them and get drawn into that lifestyle.

I called a domestic abuse helpline a couple of times after I left my husband 6 years ago, but found because they just listened and sympathised I didn't feel like I was making any progress or change. I wanted more practical help about how to protect myself.

This partner helped me find myself again, and has supported me in my ongoing trouble with my ex, so having really mixed positive and negative feelings about him.

This time the police put me in touch with the local domestic abuse charity and we had a conversation. They said they wouldn't tell me what I should or shouldn't do, but would offer support if I wanted to continue the relationship.

The place I'm in now is not feeling that I can trust my own thought processes. I suppose I want the good without the bad, but that's not reasonable is it? There's positive and negative aspects in any relationship and I feel like how can I ask him to change then not give him the chance to come back and show me he can (or can't)?

The first 2 times he called yesterday we just got into the same circular argument that caused the split - division of chores and him justifying coming home drunk through the window because I had locked him out. The third time we spoke he seemed more caring and understanding. He said he would be willing to attend Relate sessions with me to help our communication/problems, but how can we do that if he is sleeping rough? (yes, I do believe he is)

Thanks for your perspectives, they seem so clear and sensible without the muddle of emotions which complicates the way I see it and makes me want him back.

Quitelikely Fri 27-Jun-14 09:54:02

As they say having a baby can be like having a hand grenade thrown at your relationship. Would this relationship cope with that? Tbh he sounds like a bit of a waster. Don't make any rash decisions. Have a little more time apart from him to help gather your thoughts.

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 09:54:05

captainmummy - I know it sounds stupid (and maybe writing it and seeing that will help), but he does help out, although not as much as I think he could. I find myself being grateful the one or 2 days a week he has cooked dinner and done a little hoovering because I know that is more than I can manage. I am anaemic (on tabs but not long enough for them to work yet) and gasping for breath from just walking around the house. I feel so weak that any help is better than nothing. My fear is that with no help at all (ie if I don't let him back) things in the house will deteriorate even further and I'll end up in a worse situation.

Yes, the flat roof was a security wake up call. I only had the narrow top window open a little for some air as it's so hot, but he reached in through it and round to the main bigger window, which he could then open. I don't want to feel every window in the house has to be shut permanently through the summer. Will need to look at maybe some sort of retaining fixing like they have on school windows, where you can open it a bit but not the full way.

NigellasDealer - how frustrating, I expect the police to be experts on law. I did contact a solicitor and she quoted me a fee of £3500 and said we would have to go to court to get an injunction and non-molestation order, which I can't afford.

wallypops - I have asked myself how a fit and able man can spend so long at home, claim to be doing housework yet get so little done. I can't see what he does while I'm out at work during the morning, but when I'm home he is often on the computer, researching his interests. Then he claims he has done the housework and I feel really muddled as it doesn't look like it to me, or he has done a tiny bit and left the rest. So I get confused, thinking has he being doing it? Can I just not see it or am I expecting too much? Then I feel guilty that I can't do more myself and I am criticising him.

I am on the waiting list with my GP for some over the phone CBT, but didn't find it very helpful when I had it before (different issue, was death of a family member). I think I will phone the domestic abuse helpline again. I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over and just getting more confused instead of clearer sad

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 10:01:49

Quitelikely - yes, I know from my marriage the change that happens once a baby arrives. The behaviour that was simply a bit annoying or immature from my ex suddenly looked different. He used to rant at me all the time because he didn't have good coping mechanisms for everyday life. Previously, I tried to be "understanding" and supportive and hoped he would grow up, but when I thought about my baby being there, hearing all that shouting, it became unacceptable, but I felt trapped and helpless due to the exhaustion and giving up work when baby was born, so tried to "make the best of it." Of course it didn't work, my feelings for him died and then he resented me for not loving him and became even more abusive. I am scared this will happen again. This new baby will already have heard the arguing and maybe felt the effects of my stress hormones before it's even born.

But, I don't want to judge the present by the past. This partner is not the same man. I do think it will be a struggle though.

Butterflyspring Fri 27-Jun-14 10:02:04

You posted about this the other day and said he had left and the police had said he had to leave?

His housing and employment issues are not your responsibility - but he is using those as leverage to make you take him back? But you know he can't come back don't you? You know he is abusive.

Have you done the Freedom Programme - you can even do it online for free.

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 10:06:49

I guess I am afraid it is my "make or break" decision now and that I either have him back now and try again (risking a repeat event) or say it is over and that's the end of it and I haven't given the time and opportunity to see if we could have worked things out (risking the loss of a potential family unit)

My eldest child says they want to see him and they are missing him, which just makes it even harder sad

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 10:13:20

Butterflyspring - I haven't posted about this before but I do have a friend who has posted some of the details herself from her perspective, so it may be her thread unless someone else is in a similar situation. The police said to me that they couldn't make him leave, neither could they take his keys. However they did persuade him to go with them. They said to lock my doors and windows, but after they took him away (and didn't charge him with anything, presumably as he hadn't been violent, just scared me) they left him at hospital (perhaps because they realised by then that he was drunk) and he just walked out and came back.

Quitelikely Fri 27-Jun-14 10:15:55

It doesn't have to be now or never. You can give it a few weeks to see how you feel and to give him a chance to find a job so that he isn't h

Quitelikely Fri 27-Jun-14 10:16:27

Home all the time doing nothing.

Butterflyspring Fri 27-Jun-14 10:17:52

oh ok - thought it seemed familiar.

Have you spoken to Women's Aid? Even if he isn't abusive, you are allowed to ask him to leave if you are not happy. And you aren't happy - and he isn't treating you properly. Forget any previous relationships - look at this now. You aren't happy and your instinct is telling you to get rid - yet he heaps guilt on you and now you are wavering. I think you need support and I think you nee to keep him well away. And I think you already know what you want to do - it is a case of finding the courage and conviction to do it.

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 10:20:44

Not done Freedom Programme. Domestic abuse helpline said they would put me down for the next course, but this is likely to be in 3 months, just as baby is due. Also, and it probably sounds silly, but when I look at the abuse checklists I don't feel a lot applies to him and when our arguing gets heated I feel as bad as him because I shout too and use the odd swear word and I do criticise and accuse him of not doing enough, which are all things listed as "the dominator", so how can I say he is abusive and I am not?

Butterflyspring Fri 27-Jun-14 10:26:53

he breaks into your house, drunk - calls you an idiot and says something which suggests mental instability - and you are considering a relationship with him? And you are 6 months pregnant and not well and he is angry that you aren't pulling your weight - meanwhile when he worked it was very little, he lives in your home (free I bet) and now has no job, home or decent friends.

What are his good points I wonder? Are you really so scared of being alone that you will put up with such a terrible partner/relationship? I think he is a cocklodger at best and at worst an inbalanced abuser.

Butterflyspring Fri 27-Jun-14 10:27:29

and Freedom Programme can be done here for free

www.onespace.org.uk/elearning/courses/freedom-programme

MavisDavis99 Fri 27-Jun-14 10:35:40

Butterflyspring - I just want to clarify, I am immensely grateful for my friends involvement. She could see the mistake I was making in my last relationship and supported me through that. Plus she has the advantage of herself having gone through an abusive marriage and now being in a supportive one.

Sometimes I wonder if because I talk to her about the crappy or irritating things that happen when we've had a disagreement, I am giving her an unbalanced perspective. After all, if he makes dinner and cleans the bathroom and we have a happy day, I don't call up and tell her that.

That's why I wanted to start my own thread. Plus, I guess I need to keep saying the same things over and over to try and get clearer in my own head and I'm feeling like a broken record taking up so much of her time, that I'm frustrating myself hearing myself keep saying the same things.

I think the more people's perspectives I get, the more it helps to sink in. I have to admit that so far no-one has suggested I give it another go (at least not yet) or that kicking him out was unfair, or that what he did that night wasn't really that bad.

His parents would like to see us work it out, because they know we do love each other, but they also know his behaviour wasn't acceptable and that he is sometimes a difficult character.

My parents would also like to see us work things out and both are very fond of him, but they also think time apart would be good.

EllieQ Fri 27-Jun-14 10:35:49

I remember your friend's thread - is he the guy who was making you clear up cat shit when the doctor/ midwife had said you shouldn't be doing it? Your dad had been staying with you to get him out - is he still there?

Your friend was very worried about you and felt it was a very controlling relationship where your 'D'P was isolating you from your friends and family. Please listen to her and all the advice here - you are not happy, he treats you badly, and you shouldn't take him back.

Butterflyspring Fri 27-Jun-14 10:47:16

cycle of abuse - nice sometimes awful others - is textbook. I would suggest you are minimising his behaviour to justify him coming back because you are scared of being on your own.

I think he is very controlling and abusive and possibly gaslighting too - the sad thing is you are doubting yourself and don't have the confidence to say it is his fault and he is wrong.

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