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Daughter returning to abusive ex. Advice please!

(249 Posts)

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punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 10:18:22

24 yrs ago my dd married a narcissistic abuser.dd was first attacked on honeymoon, and went downhill from there.
*he refused to work, my dd was breadwinner.
*he had numerous affairs which he threw in her face, even one with a family member. he completely isolated dd, only "allowing" her to mix with his parents.
*he tormented me for money.
*dd arrived crying, saying her said he would kill her if she left him, which was what she wanted to do, just 4 years into the marriage.
* then he told me in person he would kill dd if she ever left him.
*he deleted phone messages/emails/texts from me, isolating her further.
*She lost her legal career due to his financial abuse.
*I made a 4 page statement to the domestic violence unit, but when they contacted dd, she said she was "okay"(then proceeded to become angry with me for reporting it)
*then they emigrated abroad, him on a work visa as dd was in the middle of a bankruptcy"
*his "work" lasted just one week, my dd was reduced to being an illegal cleaner to get by to support the "family" home and children.
*he eventually threw dd out by the throat (her ds tried to protect her but took a beating himself)and moved his new GF in.
*dd rang me in desperation, I immediately went to support her, paid the deposit for a home for her and the children.(needless to say he paid not one penny in support/maintenance)
*eventually dd managed to establish a successful business and support herself and the children.
*we secured her house with locks and chains on doors as he was still threatening her for money and turning up with new gf..
*eventually it all became to much for dd, and she took the children, left her house and came back to the uk, and "hid" in a rented house where she thought she would be safe.
*he would constantly ring me threatening to kill dd, but my GD heard him, contacted him on facebook to "leave nan alone ".he laughed at her, told her in writing he would come to her place of work and give her a good hiding, and to mind her own business.
*he found her in the rented house, attacked her sibling who was trying to support her.
*eventually she returned back abroad , and life carried on.
he followed her, but was eventually deported back to the uk, and there was peace for dd.
*he financially abused a widow he found on a dating site, she found my number on his phone and rang me in a terrified state.
*he then managed to convince his ex gf to marry him and went back to the country, and the abuse began for my dd.
*my dd/me and the children lived in fear of his next move, but dd did her best, supported the family home and children.
*eventually dd met a lovely divorced man, who adores her. he is the totally opposite of her monstrous abusive ex.
*I had a police marker on my home, I was terrified he would turn up and cause turmoil.
*through the middle of this I suffered a stroke, the constant worry and fear of what would happen next.
*he has a son by his first marriage who is virtually nc with him. his father died recently, his dm is elderly, basically he is alone now.
*his dsis in nc, she suffered for years at his hands.
*he has a gf of 3 years.
why am I explaining what He is doing?

I was so happy last night .She told me she was returning to the uk after all the years away

I am in my mid 70's now, and miss her and the grandchildren so much.
Then she dropped the bombshell.
SHE IS COMING BACK TO THE UK, TO BE WITH THE EX HUSBAND TO LIVE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.
I felt my stomach in the old familiar churning.
I told her she is going back in the lions den.
A leopard doesn't change it's spots.
Why, after the years of misery, fear, and turmoil?
She "explained" that even though her partner, who would "do anything for her", the adult children won't have the same relationship with him as they would with their real(abusive dangerous) father.
I tried to remind her about the cunning/manipulative devious violent verbal and physical events over the last two decades, but her reply was
"He Has Changed Mum".
I said even though he tried to destroy our relationship he never managed to completely break it, but be sure I don't ever want any contact with him again.
She said it will be lovely to have Christmas's together as a family.
I replied "count me out" I can't go through the disastrous events again.
She replied, if it all starts up again she will leave straightaway.

Am I wrong?
Forgive and forget?
I can't do that.
advice please.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 10:30:52

also forgot to say.

dd said if she is back with ex, wherever the adult dc are in the world, they will always have their home to come back to with both parents.(which if they had a stepfather it would never be the same, not being blood related.
so after so many years of abuse, it has all come full circle.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 11:18:34

please, will anyone who had experience of this, tell me how they coped with it.
dd will be here in 2 weeks time.
what can I say?
how can I show dd it will all end how ,it always has, in disaster.
she went back so many times, and I was the one who picked up the pieces.

Cabrinha Thu 28-Jul-16 11:55:24

I'm sorry, this is horrendous.
Can I suggest you post again with a new title (maybe "daughter returning to abusive husband - advice and support?") because you're not going to get people with experience opening your thread.

I would tell her, I love you, I can't stop you, I won't accept him, I'm frightened for you, I'm glad you have said if he acts badly again you will leave. Please know my door is always open to you.

This is devastating, I'm so sorry you can't stop it sad

WannaBe Thu 28-Jul-16 12:04:10

I read to the end of that hoping you were going to say that he'd fallen under a train or something. Agree you need to get the thread title changed.

TBH I think I would have to cut contact at this point and make it clear that I was there for the grandchildren, but not for her. So the grandchildren had a safe place to go to.

She is with this man through choice. Someone who wants to leave but finds it hard I have every sympathy with. Someone who leaves, moves away for years and then goes back, not so much.

She's made her choices. I would no longer be supporting them. I would make it clear that I would be there when it all went pear-shaped, but not before. And we certainly wouldn't be having lovely family Christmases.

But I would make it clear to the GC that my door was always open to them. And I would give them a place to be away from the pair of them.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 12:04:42

thank you, I was thinking the title isn't very descriptive, I just don't know how to change the title.

last night that is exactly what I told her. she replied the guilt she still holds in her treatment of me, at his demand (she wanted to keep him happy and prevent more abuse)is still something she suffers. yet she is still going back to him.
I feel physically sick today, knowing this will happen shortly.
dd has booked her flight back to the uk, and it will all start over again. though she is adamant he "has changed".
his present long term partner has a shock coming.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 12:09:19

well, the grandchildren are grown adults now.
one definitely has issues of some kind, the other informed me as a child while were hiding up in a house to escape him, "if you do what dad wants you will be allright nan"

I guess that is all I can do now.
dd can/will do what she has decided.

she text last night "onwards and upwards, everything will be fine"
not for me though.
At my age, I can't take it anymore.

WannaBe Thu 28-Jul-16 12:11:38

I have reported the thread for you HQ and asked them to change the title.

TBH I would give it to her straight. That you want nothing to do with her while she's with this man, that he is not welcome in your home.

I know that the GC are adults, however it will help them to know that someone is on their side.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 12:39:01

thank you it would help if the thread is changed..

I as kindly as I could told dd he would never be welcome in my home, ever.
the Gc even they are adults now, have been conditioned into accepting the father's behaviour as normal, but they are always welcome in my home.
last night dd was full of anxiety and depression as her lovely partner wants her to commit after years together.
so felt she had to choose one lovely kind one, against the monster.

she sees it as "keeping the family together" so will sacrifice herself to play happy families.
even when I advised her the leopard doesn't change it's spots, and referred to his abuse of his present partner, she still says he has "changed"

my world has been rocked to the core yet again. I dread the future.

from being so happy when she said last night they are finally coming home in two weeks, to the reality of her actual decision.
I just want to find a hole and climb in.

magoria Thu 28-Jul-16 12:53:56

You have to put yourself first.

Your DD has made this choice.

Tell her you love her but you are out and don't want to hear, see or in anyway associate with his man.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 13:02:10

that is true.
dd has made her choice yet again, and is dragging me down with her.

I just can't understand why after his many relationships/marriages since they finally split many years ago, just why he would put the pressure on for "happy families"
or is it because she is selling her financially excellent company and he wants some of it?

cynical I know, but he would go to any length to find someone to subsidise his lifestyle.

I don't feel up to talking to dd again just now, via Skype, I will distance myself for a while.
it's just that I have a special birthday coming up in 3 weeks, and initially she said that was why she had booked her flight.

now I find a totally different scenario.
it's back to square one and full circle.

Anicechocolatecake Thu 28-Jul-16 17:05:26

This sounds terrifying for you but ultimately i'm not sure what you can do. She's a grown woman. Has she had therapy ever or done the Freedom programme? If you contact mumsnet (report the thread) they'll change the title for you and you'll get more of a response

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 17:38:39

thank you anicechocolatecake, my dd has had counselling for years now.

yes, she is a grown woman, over 50 now, but still in the mind set that she must "keep the family together at all cost, even though it has been fractured for many years.
it's like she thinks magically the children will be young again, and it's happy ever after.

Iamthinking Thu 28-Jul-16 17:58:06

Your MN name is so appropriate, that is what it is like to read your OP. Oh my, my heart goes out to you, the stress must be unbelievable.

I think your cynical view about the sale of the business is probably not far off the mark.
Could you suggest she somehow safeguards the proceeds of the sale of the business in some way that he will not be able to get his hands on it? Not sure how that could be done, mind you - a trust or a long term investment?. If she does this now, and is open about it and tells him she is doing it while he is is in the mode of pretending to have changed, she might be able to draw out his true colours before it is too late?

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 18:36:07

wow, she has already been sucked in re her company sale.

I asked her last night when she dropped the bombshell that she is moving back with him, (after god knows how many years )what will she do when she sells her company?
her reply was "we will buy and sell property together"
I reminded her that it was due to him that she lost everything many years ago, (including her career she worked toward for years)due to his demands/needs/wants
at that time the police domestic violence unit told me the prisons are full of women who have been financially abused by their partners, being afraid to tell them "no", it's coming full circle again.

so, it starts once again, but this time I am so much older, and physically/mentally I can't take the brunt of the disaster waiting to happen round the corner.
I tried to tell myself that perhaps he has "changed" but don't believe it for one minute.
He abused my dd, my dsis, me, my ds, his own ds with emotional/physical abuse.
he has left a trail of destruction behind him in peoples lives over the last 25 years.
he threatened my 17 yr old gd many years ago, when she told him to leave me alone, when she found me distraught.
but his response was to tell her he will come and drag her from her workplace and give her a good hiding.
I haven't discussed this in rl with anyone yet, but when I do, I know those who were a witness to the decades of cruelty, they will simply say........walk away this time................
but it is hard to walk away from my dd, she is full of guilt from the past way she behaved towards me.
last night she was falling apart, crying and depressed saying all she can do is to go back to him?

mumandgran61 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:44:41

Tell her straight that she has choices. She doesn't have to go back to him. He has obviously manipulated this situation. Do you have contact with her present partner? Can you get him to talk to her? Perhaps women's aid could give you some advice. I understand your fear is making you want to run away in one form or another but maybe this is a time for fight, not flight.

mumandgran61 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:47:19

And this rosy tinted view she has of 'keeping the family together'? What do your GCs think of that? Isn't it more likely the family will fall apart - they're adults now and can make their own choices about who they keep in contact with.

Cabrinha Thu 28-Jul-16 18:57:59

A different angle...

What's her current "lovely" partner really like?
He wants her to commit now (do you mean marriage?) and yet you say it fills her with anxiety and depression.

You daughter has a history of making very bad choices and her boundaries are utterly fucked. How likely is it do you think that she chose well in her current "lovely" boyfriend?

Many abused women go from one arsehole to another. And many mobsters look oh so lovely from the outside. Plus they're in another country, so do you really know? Her XH has no problem being a visible monster - have you considered that her current boyfriend may be worse but focuses it all on her?

Is it possibly she's jumping from the frying pan to the fire? Thinks she needs any man and the XH is currently looking like the better of two terrible choices - at least he's in the UK and is father to her children.

It's just so common for people who have been ground down by awful partners to end up with similar... And that coupled with you saying she has anxiety and depression about this current one makes me wonder.

I might ignore the XH for a moment and ask her if she wants to talk about not wanting her current boyfriend.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 19:03:31

last night when she told me her plans, I told her directly that she has choices.
he definitely has manipulated the situation, she was planning to buy a property close to me, whilst keeping her house abroad for the dc's if they needed it.
I do have contact with her present (5yrs) partner.
but i'm positive that if he realised what is happening, or about to, he would run for the hills.
he experienced the dramas early on in their relationship, and "hates" dd's ex with a vengeance.
I have been fighting/struggling/supporting dd in every conceivable way for over 20yrs, and feel at her age (over 50) she must do whatever she wants to, but this time don't think I can be there to pick up the pieces.

yet again, she is my dd, and has made unsuitable choices most of her adult life.
dd has a brilliant mind, but zero common sense, which she agrees with.
I guess all I can do is tell her as another poster said earlier, "my door is open to you, just keep him away"

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 19:15:38

cabrinha, thank you.
dd's partner has just retired, and wants to travel and be with her.
she says they are so happy together and have been for a long time.
if it wasn't for the children she would happily ride off into the sunset with her partner..

her massive issue is that as her partner isn't her dc's father, it won't be a "proper" family unit, that is why she feels that she needs to go back to the ex.
I don't feel she is jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as the stumbling block is that when she is with her adult children and her partner, she is aware that he isn't their father.
dd told me amid the tears last night, that she needs to sacrifice ,in order to provide a family home when/if the children need/want it.
I asked her why she needs/wants a man/partner, she said she feels between a rock and hard place.
wanting to do her best for the dc's=going back to the abuser.

magoria Thu 28-Jul-16 19:31:57

She wants to do the best for her DC?

That is the complete opposite of going back to a man who abuses them, mentally and physically.

They are already massively damaged. This 'family home' is going to lead to them accepting men beating the shit out of them or being a man who beats a woman.

If she wants the best for them, she needs to stay away from him.

Cabrinha Thu 28-Jul-16 19:35:51

Her children are grown up. Is there any chance that they could bf drafted in to say "not in my name"?

trackrBird Thu 28-Jul-16 19:50:25

this time I am so much older, and physically/mentally I can't take the brunt of the disaster waiting to happen round the corner

This is easy for me to say, but I am going to suggest you don't take the brunt of it: that you don't take any of it.

You must take care of yourself. This must be your priority. Do not let any of her choices hurt you.

See her on her own, or not at all. Tell her you won't discuss her choices, or back her up, or take any fallout from her choices.

In short, she can ruin her own life, but you've had enough. You have a right to health, peace and quiet.

Sqooobado453 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:54:39

Has she ever had outside help eg counselor etc?

I think you have to be blunt for your own sake and her kids. She is making an indescribably bad decision.

A family home is one with a loving tone or atmosphere, not what she is going to get.
I agree with phoning women's aid.

punchintheguts Thu 28-Jul-16 19:57:17

"not in my name" is quite impossible. dd's younger has learned appeasing father is the best way to go.
the older one, simply succumbs, learning early on that appeasement is the best form of defence.
even if he is "changed" and the leopards spots have gone, they will definitely return once he has securely baited them in with his smiles and charm.
that is what attracted dd in the first place.
the big smile and warm personality, but the reality was, which she learned very quickly, unless you walk on eggs shells/appease/anything to keep him happy, you would suffer one way or another.
as far as them learning "a man beats a woman" that is precisely what the ex's father did throughout his childhood.
to him it was "normal"
I was there after dd served an injunction on him years ago, when ex's mother said dd was disgraceful for splitting the family up, a few smacks are nothing" that was his mothers normal.
I don't know. I just don't know anymore.
dd had a good start others would dream of, but constantly destroys everything, with her total lack of common sense.
she is so easily led, I am knocking my head against a brick wall.
she will lose everything once again.
last time it was over 1,000,000,000
god help me

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