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Can anyone talk me through this? It's just my usual summer holiday wobble as exH has the DDs for 2 weeks...(9 Posts)
ExH was verbally, physically, financially abusive.
I left him and have had lots and lots of support on here. I knew the summer holidays would be tough as he has them for 2 weeks (the longest period of the year), and I knew I would wobble. So far I have done quite well - I've seen lots of friends and family, and the time has whizzed by, much better that last year when I was contemplating going back to him because it was all so hard.
Over the course of the year and a half since I have left, ExH has maintained contact with the DDs, on average one weekend per month and half of the shorter holidays - this is his choice, DDs ask to see him more, he says no. Even this summer I offered him 3.5 weeks, he opted for 2.
He is wilfully underpaying CMS, he is hiding all of our money in advance of a court hearing, leaving me and the DDs with literally nothing. I earn, and so we live. He lives in the 4-bed marital house. We live in 1-bed at my parents.
Over the summer hols, he spent the first week with them in the house, they went to the park, his sisters, nothing else, he won't let them see their friends, and he wouldn't pick up when I called/wouldn't let them call me for 4 days after they left. This was horrific for me last year, this year it was to be expected so I prepared for it, but hard nonetheless.
I last spoke to them on Tuesday, so not too long ago. They were on their way to visit his sister who lives by the coast. They have taken the DDs to the beach yesterday, and the zoo today. I know this because of FB posts from his sister. So they must be having a good time. I assume they are, because exH is still not picking up the phone, even though he heard DDs ask me to call them on Thursday. They are young, 8, 7 and 3 and so I do like to call and see how they are doing, so its hard when he doesn't pick up, eldest 2 have both said they ask to call me but daddy says no.
My question is - he is obviously a shit. He is lying and devious and financially screwing over his children.
But when I hear he has taken them to the beach/zoo, I have an urge to just patch things up and get on with it, it makes me question why I left him (physical violence in front of DDs) and if I totally misunderstood him and have indeed screwed up my life making myself a single mother of 3, and leaving the perfect partner behind. Why do I do this? He was truly horrible, is he slowly getting better?
It sounds go ridiculous even typing it down. I just need it to be rationalised as a normal feeling to have, then I can accept it, and live with it, and move on. As it is I am scared that he will become a better and better dad than he was, in which case us splitting would be a great mistake. My best friend suggested he might want to take them abroad next summer (he refused to when we were married, so I used to take them with my parents. But they are getting older/easier to manage now).
I shouldn't be mad, as its obviously a good thing if their dad loves them and spends time with them. But it feels like a confirmation that I did the wrong thing by leaving.
I have a counselling appt next week because I have developed anxiety, esp in the run up to some very contentious court proceedings to sort out finances with him. Why do I feel like he is winning this? I left him because I was right to do so, but now I am questioning myself.
He's still an abusive controlling shit even if he deigns to take the kids to the zoo.
You did not do the wrong thing if there was violence involved. That can never be right or excused. I think some men often become better dads on a split as they then have to do it all when they have them. I know my ex is that way and yet he didn't when we were together. I understand why that makes you question things but you did the right thing. I might cease friendship with his sister so you don't have to see things about what they are doing. I think he is cruel not to allow them and then even encourage them to phone you if they are away for 2 weeks. So there is one thing that doesn't make him a good dad. It's hard when they are away. Get things in your diary, decorate. Meet people for coffee etc.
I know my ex is that way and yet he didn't when we were together.
How do you reconcile that in your head?
If he had been a decent dad when we were married, I might have had a chance of a happy 10-year marriage, instead of sulks and silent treatment.
He really didn't give a crap about me when I was ill, and certainly not the children - e.g. not wanting to come to school activities (but being hero when he did turn up_, refusing to do homework with them (still the same with this now), not helping them during nightmares, refusing to let them use the toilet - this year alone he refused to come see DD2 on her birthday or Fathers Day (the same weekend for both) and has only just stopped emotional manipulating them about us splitting up (making out its all mummy fault).
I find myself looking for instances of him being a crap parent (its not that difficult usually), so I can justify my leaving him. Ultimately one or two episodes of violence doesn't seem to be enough - one was when I was in very early pregnancy, so I could have very easily lost DD2, and the second was infront of all 3 girls, which they all remember.
I am clearly not quite over this in the way I thought I was. He was ruthless after the second hitting, and was goading me into further fights, followed by pressure to sleep with him again to put the 'misunderstanding' behind me. A shitty husband from Day 1 really. I can't understand or rationalise my feelings, they are not right at all.
Maybe that I am just missing my babies, and I;m also feeling guilty that he has taken them to lovely places, yet when they are back with me they will be going to holiday clubs for a lot of the time as I have to work.
I do have nice things planned for them, but it all seems so wrong that he gets this lovely chance of responsibility-free parenting. Anyone would be a great parent in those circumstances I suppose, wake and sleep at any time, and no homework, work, housework to worry about.
He hasn't even seen the girls school ffs. They have been there for a year and a half and he doesn't even know where it is. Argh. Maybe I am just angry and jealous.
I think you last post here sums it up. He is being Disney dad. They deep down do know that and will come to see it in time even if they can't see it now. You give them the stability that kids need and they love you for that. I completely understand how you feel. My ex only has dcs on his rest days so we live around his job (still) yet I do a full time demanding job which requires work at home too and then in my 'rest days' I don't always get to have them! They will love the time they spend with you. They know you are home. I find it really hard too especially when my dcs play me up and all I hear from ex is how good they are for him.
You are really strong for leaving. You have done the right thing for you and your children.
And how I reconcile it is it comes and goes really. Sometimes I get annoyed but I am lucky that generally we are amicable and I am lucky he isn't an arse and mostly I have a new partner and am happier now in lots of ways than I have been in terms of a relationship. I wish my kids didn't have to go between both parents. But they do. I can't change it.
I would get some professional help to keep you going. It is too easy to forget the nightmares, and to mimimise the violence. Your kids saw him hitting you? Keep that one thought in your head, always, if you ever think it could have worked. Remember that he crossed a line that can never be recovered, for your kids sake. They saw him hitting you. You were hit in front of them, and you were pregnant.
You are doing the best for them. God knows what else it could have escalated into. You've done the hard bit, and it sounds as if he is not constantly harassing you, or wanting the kids a lot. If he hit you, then he will always be a risk and not a good Dad. Thank god he doesn't want the kids more than they have. Why would they want to be with someone that they remember hit their mum? Minimal contact is your best outcome.
I think it's not him you miss but the family life you expected to have (but didn't cos he treated you badly).
My mum left my bio dad when I was 7 due to violence and emotional abuse. He died when I was 28 (I hadn't seen him since I was 10 and was not bothered tbh). My mum phoned me in floods of tears and was very upset at his death, which some might find strange as she had been long remarried etc but I knew she was grieving for what could have been, what she had imagined when she had married him and had his kids etc.
Be kind to yourself and enjoy your child free time. Won't be long til they're home xx
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