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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

ImperialBlether Thu 02-May-13 23:08:07

He sounds absolutely vile and I'm really glad that he's your ex.

When you say he's visiting, how long does he stay? How far does he live from you?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:19:21

I'm sorry your going through such a horrible time.

It's not a good idea to let your ex in your house. What was the reason for them being together in her bedroom anyway? I'm not implying anything here but it's odd for that situation to have been engineered.

You do know you have absolutely no control over your 19 year old and your ex don't you. They will have the type of relationship they build with each - at least she won't see much of him whilst she's away at university.

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:20:05

Its his midweek visit to see our youngest and put her to bed. Usually arrives 6:30pm and goes once she's in bed at between 7:30 - 8:30pm. He likes to have a "chat" when he comes downstairs, but i dont really like or want that, as i dont see him as a friend. Infact the other night after the stupid business i described, he came down bold as brass, saying get the kettle on for a coffee. I told him to go that i didnt want him in the house a moment longer.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:24:56

I wouldn't let him in the house at all. Let your 5 year old go to him for access.

How come your 19 year old DD was home last night if she goes to university?

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:38:14

Theres not really another alternative right now than him visit. My dd is only 5 and he stays over 20 miles away so it'd be an early rise for her to get to school. Plus, ive read its better for younger children not to be shunted around, so i want to keep it to a minimum. She stays with him one day and one night at weekend. Im not overly thrilled even at the time he does have. As he is so impatient with her at times. He actually complains when he visits midweek that ive left her homewrok and bath time for him to do. He says i should not give him chores!

I do accept my eldest dd will have the relationship she wants with him. Just strange how he's become the polar opposite of what he used to be with her eg. used to tell her to drop dead, refused to drive her to school for exams till he made her sit 5 minutes as punishment for being late downstairs, hacked her facebook to watch her business, spied on her personal files etc etc And now he lends her money and chats in her room. He always just walks in and shuts door for a chat to find out whats going on in her life. He does have a very unhealthy interest in her sex life... Commenting to me to always have chats with her about sex. just weird. Ive told him to back off on that front, that he's not being appropriate. And he just says "well it will be all your fault if she gets pregnant ". My fault again, funnily enough! Ive had a safe sex chat with her, after she got a steady boyfriend, but i dont keep bringing it up. Why would you? But now this episode has made me see how he's manipulating situations to make me look bad to her. Its ridiculous. Im doing my utmost to create a stable and secure home, and he just undoes my hard work.

This and much much more is exactly why i asked him to go.

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:39:35

She's not away at Uni. She's at home with me and commutes each day by train. Its not far.

CatelynStark Thu 02-May-13 23:43:48

Honestly, it sounds to me like he's grooming your daughter. I would never let him set eyes on her again - or your youngest.

Whatever his intentions are, they're extremely negative and designed to put a barrier between you and your children. Outrageous!

I'd be raging!

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:44:26

Any man who takes an unhealthy interest in your DDs sex life and goes into her bedroom without knocking then closes the door behind him really really really should not be allowed in your home.

I honestly would not have any contact with him other than to do doorstep handovers when he see's your 5 year old. If he's only there for an hour and he's impatient with her and complains if he has to bath her and supervise homework then your DD isn't really getting anything out of that visit is she?

DionFortune Thu 02-May-13 23:45:02

Don't let him in your house again! While he is still doing that he is still able to manipulate and abuse you. There is NO need for him to come further than the door and I would keep all contact brief and factual and refuse to discuss anything other than your younger DD with him.

Don't get drawn into even as much as conversing with him, the further away you can get from him, the better.

You need to get tough and be cold, harden yourself to him, be businesslike and emotionless. He's using your DD to hurt you and it will continue to damage you both if you don't stop it now.

Also have a talk to elder DD. Explain about the different types of abuse, get books about abusive relationships and discuss them with her. Be honest, let her know that what her dad does is unacceptable. Can WA help there? Ask your support worker about it, see if there are any events or support for your DD.

You have got this far, now get him out of your life completely. You can do this!

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:54:43

I am raging. But rage doesnt solve or help the problems. At 19, its very difficult to prevent her seeing him. She has been to his flat on a couple of occasions to stay over. Ive tried talking to her about him and the depths of his problems and inappropriate behaviour. But she gets upset and cross saying she doesnt want to be in the middle of our battles. so i backed off. But right now, he seems to have cast a spell on her, and of course gives her money when she asks. He even rang me tonight about our youngest and threw into the conversation that my eldest had been in touch with him asking him to call her. That hurts too. Think he knows it. Not sure why she can't turn to me?? I always support her. Its worth saying she is not his biological daughter. Also worht saying, my eldest daughter is in a very unhealthy relationship herself at the moment. Boyfriedn with severe mood swings who can be verbally abusive. My god shes only 19 and repeating my mistake. Ive tried talking to her about her boyfriend and their relationship but she goes nuts and tells me to mind my own business. I think she realises But doesnt want to lose him. I think this is why shes turning to her dad right now rather than me. because im asking her to confront her poor relationship.So all in all, shes really vulnerable right now. Bit of a mess this all is really 😪

PenelopePitstop72 Fri 03-May-13 00:01:41

Ive talked to womens Aid about my daughter too. They gave me leaflets for her to read and offered to see her. She wont engage. She tore the leaflets up. Her head is in the sand. And i become the enemy when i raise the topic of her dad or her boyfriend with her. She's very mich a victim too. And i feel so bad that i have given her such a skewed view of what a loving relationship is.

AnyFucker Fri 03-May-13 00:03:44

I was going to hazard an educated guess that your eldest dd isn't his biological daughter

massive alarm bells here

MagicHouse Fri 03-May-13 00:07:40

I think you should definitely stop him coming into your home, and don't feel guilty about it. Maybe he can take your younger dd out to tea? Or stay-over midweek.
My ex made comments about me when we first split up (my dd would repeat them - often just snide comments that she wouldn't necessarily "get" - digs about our home etc). I have no idea whether he still does it. It used to eat away at me, but now I realise that it's something I can't control, so I try not to think about it.

I decided a while back that the most important thing was to provide a calm, stable home (which is why it's REALLY important you keep him out of it - it's YOUR home, and you really don't need him swanning about in it undermining you in front of your children).

I never got into the badmouthing thing (following the wise advice of a friend), and things are much calmer in my life - it was so stressful at first with an endless exchange of bitter texts and emails - I never rise to anything now, and he's stopped being so arrogant (on paper anyway!)

Of course I'll never stop worrying underneath (he's got a fairly abusive, controlling nature and like your ex has no sense of other's privacy, he also lies very easily) but I really believe that in the long run, he won't be able to hide what he's like, and my children will see that for themselves, even if it takes them right into their adulthood.

I would try to be calm about your elder daughter's comments (e.g about WA) which undoubtedly come from him. Just calmly assert that you needed to do so, and that you feel much happier out of the relationship and leave it at that. Don't get into a discussion about why, and don't rise to his attempts to undermine you. After a while she'll realise you are calm, stable and not manipulative in any way. He's NOT "undoing" the calm home you are providing, he's just showing himself up to be petty. Deep down your DD WILL see this. Just keep being supportive and there for her.

Just saw your last post - he's just trying to make you feel bad - take the wind out of his sails. Say something like "I'm glad your relationship is more positive." Frustrating though it is, she's an adult, and I would try to step back, and keep your conversations with her about positive topics and making her feel good about herself.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 22:20:53

Thanks, that is all sound advice MagicHouse. I do need to work a bit to get the midweek thing sorted out. I'm not really keen on either idea, mind you, as you say, i dont like him being disruptinve and manipulative when in my house. I need to get that sorted andof course i need to watch out for my eldest too.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 04-May-13 22:24:15

She's not his child, right? Is he having or trying to have a sexual relationship with her?

Something's not right with this picture, tbh. I'd be looking very carefully at it if I were you.

Snazzynewyear Sat 04-May-13 22:32:35

Agree that you should not let him into your house again. Take your 5 yo to meet him for tea at a café or something midweek, then call and collect her and take her home to bed, would be my suggestion. Say it is too confusing for her to have him putting her to bed in your house now that you are not a couple anymore.

The situation with your older DD is worrying but you have less control as you've said there. I would suggest they also meet in public places as there's less opportunity for him to behave inappropriately. You could offer to drop her off and pick her up, if that's doable.

PurpleThing Sat 04-May-13 22:34:31

Get this book. It describes exactly the things you have mentioned and will help you understand why she is behaving like this.

I have only started it so I haven't really got to the bits about what you do. But getting plenty of support yourself is really important it seems.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 23:19:07

Thank you for the book suggestion. I was thinking of getting theWhy Does He Do That From the same author. So i will maybe get both. It is so much easier to deal with when younrealise behaviours you are witnessing or experiencing are part of a recognised pattern. i hope it will bring me coping strategies. I still see Womens Aid for support and will be going on a course theyve recommended. and my friends and family are great. So i have a good support structure. Thanks again. X

PurpleThing Sat 04-May-13 23:27:54

Yes get both, they will really open your eyes to what is going on.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 23:29:47

No, she is not his child. But he has been her father figure and been called "dad" since she was 7. And no, they are not having any kind of sexual relationship!!! What a horrifying suggestion. I know somethings not right, both with the way he treated me, and the way he treated her as well as the way he would also behave infront of our houngest dd. that is of course why i asked him to leave. I think his issues run very very deep including OCD, anger, msnipulstion and lying, control and emotional and psycholgical abusive tendencies. I DO NOT think he is a sexual predator where my dd is concerned!!!

PenelopePitstop72 Sun 05-May-13 00:33:37

Just ordered the books online. Should be with me soon. Sounds like both are a very enlightening read.

spiritedaway Sun 05-May-13 00:52:10

Hope you're right but hacking her Facebook, getting info on her and being her confidante all sound massively worrying in someone you know to be controlling and manipulative..especially as you took control and got him out. Please don't let him in your home anymore. Stay strong and keep giving your daughter's a clear example of acceptable boundaries.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 05-May-13 09:57:28

I'm very glad if that's not the case. I wouldn't wish it to be so. It was just what you had said about him previously not having a good relationship with her. His history of being too involved in her personal business - hacking her facebook, spying on her, etc. Now trying to buddy up to her, lending her money, trying to create 'code words', telling her about his personal relationships, taking her to dinner, having her sleep over at his flat with him, chatting in her room or otherwise closing them off from you in order to chat privately and making those chats sexual, and what you yourself call an "unhealthy interest in her sex life"

I am very glad if none of that means that he has a sexual interest in her, you're right, it would be vile. But you can't detail all of that and be cross if someone asks if he has some unsavoury motive. It wasn't my intention to offend you.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 11:06:06

He's grooming her alright.

Sex may not be the reason though. He's doing it to hurt/keep tabs on you.

Abusers use kids to hurt their partners. He was an arsehole to her when he lived there, to hurt you.

That tactic won't work now, as without the grooming, he'd get nowhere. Your 5 yo is less usefull to him for now, except only to gain access to you and your home.

This man is poison. Stop the midweeks, and stop access to your home. Keep at it with your eldest. Her very life it at stake here. Don't give up on her. (I Know you won't)

flippinada Sun 05-May-13 11:14:04

Firstly, well done for getting rid of him.

I haven't read all the posts but just reacting to your first one. The first thing that struck me is that he is allowed in your house. You don't have to let him in. How DARE he come into YOUR home and behave like this!

Also wrt to your DD, if she is making fun of you then I think it's ok to tell her she is not to talk to you like that and you will not communicate with her if she does. I do realise this is easier said than done.

happyhev Sun 05-May-13 13:25:52

His behaviour sounds suspiciously like grooming to me too. Your Ex may or may not have a sexual interest in your daughter but he certainly has an interest in hurting you, and i think he's using your daughter to do it.

LineRunner Sun 05-May-13 14:32:50

I also agree about keeping him out of your home.

My twatty Ex is currently trying to use our 17 year old DD to get at me, and I'm thinking quite hard about strategies. He wants me to start having a negative relationship with her, so I am trying to only communicate with her in a loving, positive, and/or factual, way.

She does know now that I want nothing to do with him, and that I do not wish to talk about him, and on one level I'm sure that's hard for her, but I hope it's better than 'mixed messages'.

PenelopePitstop72 Sun 05-May-13 18:36:21

Id agree that it presents as grooming , and that it is all about being able to control her/me and yes, he will know the hurt it causes me to think of her turning to him. Thats why he always tells me when shes rang him etc. but i dont react. He knows how much my girls mean to me.

Hissy. A couple of things. I was not cross with you. Nor offended. Simply horrified at the suggestion as i stated. and to be clear, i have never said or suggested he has conversations of a sexual nature with her.he has those with me in reference to her sex life and i set him straight and tell him to butt out. he certainly has conversations with her about whats going on in her life, and like happened this week, the door was closed at the time, and i overheard him say that stupid stuff about a codeword for her to rescue him from me. And like i said, he took her out to explain he was dating, but also told me that he had a lomg chat with her to set her staright about why our marraige failed. That was him trying to win sides and her approval to move on and get girl friend i think. He certainly got that. Also, he has two rooms at his flat, and sometimes her boyfriend has stayed there too. i just wanted to clear that up, as i dont want to paint more of a horrible picture than it actually is. I think the unhealthy interest in her sex life, comes from him being a control freak and its something he cannot control. He actually says to me "if you dont have that chat with her again and she falls pregnant, it's all your fault". Some people might call that a protective father. again thoug, id say its controlling. Thsnkfully, ive not had to listen to that stuff since hes gone. I would agree, lots of his behaviour is soooo way off the normal scale.

As i realise and learn more and more about his abusive condition, i get stronger and become better equipped to deal with it and protect my girls.

I will continue to fight for the stability and happiness, free of control and manipulation, that me and the girls deserve. It is going to be an uphill struggle with eldest, given his influence and what she's heard and witnessed over years, but i will not give up, and one day she will open her eyes.

flippinada Sun 05-May-13 18:53:36

Penelope I would really recommend stopping the midweek visits and keep him out of your house.

I'm wondering - is the midweek thing something he's pushed for to suit him and you've gone along with it because you're worried about the fallout if you don't? Obviously you don't have to answer that here but something to think about. When I split up with my XP I would just "naturally" defer to him because that's what he trained me to do.

That removes an opportunity for him to manipulate your DD and by proxy cause distress to you.

PenelopePitstop72 Sun 05-May-13 19:25:25

I will be thinking long and hard about midweek visit. I agrred to it when we first talked about his visits and access to youngest before we split. Because he chose to move away to stay near his work (cos his travel to work petrol cost would be so high if he were to remain closeby - his words).

So we agreed that him visiting her here would have to suit midweek, in order that they saw each other. Because she'd need to get up super early to travel from his and get to school. And i guess i gave him the ok to put her to bed, so that he was still involved. So all in all it felt like best solution at time.

I can see why its not, now. But if he cant come in, he could take her out to dinner. Id be happy with that. B i think he will insist he wants to be involved in bed routine- despite the fact that he gets fed up if she doesnt go down fast, and complains if i tell him to bathe her or to complete homework. Despite this reality, he still thinks hes a wonder ful dad. And to be honest, our youngest loves him dearly. Even though his outburts can happen in front of and at her eg. Couple of weeks ago, 5 yr old was being stroppy going to bed, wanting to keep colouring in and wouldnt listen to him, so instead of dealing with it firmly but calmly, he starts to shout at her and create a huge scene at which she was breaking her heart and even in her room he continued to have a go at her when she played up (over tired) and he even told her "daddy will go back to, his house right now if tou dont behave" . Nasty piece of work, to say that to a child who's trying to come to terms with him being away from home now. she will probably blame herself for his absence now in a way. and when i tried to calmly intervene, it just made him worse and he wouldnt calmly come out the room and talk to me.

I can see what a terrible effect he can still have, when i write all this down. I know i must do something and take control back. I am not always as strong as id like to be. To make matters worse, he is a big guy, 6ft 7, and although he has never hurt me physically he can be intimidating. Mind you, his skill with words and twisting of every scenario is truly way more frightening. And he is also very good at the puppy dog eyes and poor me face, which i will no longer bonnw to. I often dont know which way is up.

I will attempt to keep him out the house, but am scared it will make the whole seperation thing harder for little one by doing so. I guess i have to decide which is the lesser of two evils. And its a simple decision, at least on paper. Goign through with it is the hard part. And dealing with the fsll out from him.

I will post my progress.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 19:46:30

Oh love, I didn't think you were cross with me, I'm sorry if you thought that.

I totally understand why you reacted like that. His behaviour DOES sound like he's setting her up for something, though, which ordinarily would be sex, but in this case its not for sexual control, its for pure power proper.

The only way he relates to women is to objectify them.

Stop the midweeks. You won't have him shout at her.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 19:50:59

Trust me, there will be an effect only little one, but not in the way you think, she'll probably florish!

PenelopePitstop72 Sun 05-May-13 22:49:48

Apologies HISSY I used the wrong name in my post. The clarification message was meant for the imtoohecsy... person, as they had mentioned stuff that I had not said , and then made a response which reads to me, to be quite sarcastic, when I responded to their question about sexual relationship. So sorry HISSY.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 23:06:04

Oh please, don't worry. ((((HUGS))))

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 23:08:19

Hecsy's heart was in the right place too. What he is doing is HUGELY inappropriate and very, very sick.

As I said, he's grooming her to take power, not to take sexual power, but the dynamic is JUST the same.

cestlavielife Sun 05-May-13 23:46:23

You definitely need to stop the mid week or any visits To your house .

It doesn't work. Not for anyone except perhaps your ex who gets to continue to control...
Of course your youngest thinks he is fab she doesn't have anything to compare...

He has move away if he can stilly et dd to school even getting up really early well this could be done. Otherwise he comes, takes her out then drops her on doorstep and goes. Bedtimes with him should be at his house when that can be managed. It will help herr to understand it more if daddy s house is daddy's house and yours is yours.

Your oldest well she Is an adult and Can make her own decisions... She can visit him elsewhere. Anything you say against him will be twisted by him. But it does look odd and weird if previously he was nasty to her. She must be very confused. And you cant rule out anything that might be on his agenda as they are not blood relations. Nothing is out of bounds...

Presumably he is showing the charm that presumably attracted you to him. So to your oldest dd he is the good guy... All you can do is be consistent. Don't let her or him get to you... Stay calm... And talk to women's aid and your counsellor...and be ready to pick up the pieces when your oldest sees him clearly.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 08:38:30

I was not being sarcastic. I was being perfectly straight and explaining why I had formed the opinion I had formed. Which was based on my interpretation of what you had said. And it was what you had said. Now I may well have gone 2+2=5 but I was not being sarcastic and I was 100% genuine when I said that I had not meant to offend you.

I did not come on this thread to be nasty. I read what you had written and I was concerned. For your daughter and for you. And I gave an opinion.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 08:41:01

And I am sorry if I took things that you had not said. When you posted " He does have a very unhealthy interest in her sex life... Commenting to me to always have chats with her about sex" I truly interpreted that as he tells you that he is always having chats with her about sex.

I cannot stress enough that I was not being sarcastic or a bitch.

IEM3 Mon 06-May-13 09:51:32

This is a horrible situation for you. After all the trauma of getting him out only to still be manipulated by him. He is a very unhealthy infuence on yr eldest dd. I only hope see begins to see him in his true light and soon. Agree with others to not let in the house, idea of tea out for youngest hopefully a possibility. I really feel for you. I have not been strong enough to make the break for myself yet and my eldesr dd at the moment doesnt really get on with dh and is v supportive of me. I would hate to think that situation could change and yr comments really made me think. I definitely need to cut the time you see him out. No more "chats" as hes probably trying to get as much info out of you. Keep it buisinesslike . Is there a family/friend who could talk to your eldest about all this. Be strong.

IEM3 Mon 06-May-13 09:54:44

sorry typos hope she sees soon. You (not.I)

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 09:59:59

Thanks for explaining ImTooHecsy, I appreciate you were saying it out of concern. It is a very difficult situation. I've got so used to the horrible things he does as being "my norm", and finding ways to cope with them.i know it must sound hideous to outsiders. And it is. But I think there's no sexual interest. I have spent so long dashing around, trying to protect my eldest from his bullying, having to stand up for her, second guessing his motives and every move. I must get better at setting boundaries now, to minimise his influence and control. I must get the house in my own name. That might help me.

MagicHouse Mon 06-May-13 10:02:21

Don't listen if he "insists" on coming in for the bedtime routine. He simply cannot do that any longer now you have split up. Give him a reason that he can't argue with. The atmosphere is too tense, the children are receiving mixed messages about your split etc and that it is better that he takes your younger dd out to tea instead. Say it's not working for you and the children having him come into the house. Do the broken record thing if he insists "no, it's not working/ no it's too tense/ you'll need to organise it from your home/ you can still see her for a meal." etc etc

I think you'll find it a huge relief to make this first change. I know for me, having my own home that he isn't a part of is a real security for me and our children. Whatever happens, our home is calm, loving, respectful. Also for both your dd's it will send strong messages about the sort of behaviour that YOU find acceptable in your home. Having him rant there sends a message that you allow this and find it ok. I know I'm going on a bit, but I think that the home and behaviour you accept/ provide is absolutely key to how they will grow up to view you both.

Get him out of your house - you don't need to be openly hostile about it, just calmly state it's not working. I bet you'll feel a lot calmer if you do.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 10:11:33

I'm really sorry that I upset you. Please believe that I would never ever come onto a thread where someone was pouring their heart out and try to be a bitch to them. That's not who I am, I promise you.

I am so so glad like you wouldn't believe that you insist I am totally queen wrong of wrongville! I wouldn't wish that situation on you.

Samebod Mon 06-May-13 14:55:38

Am in a very similar position to you OP,very scarily similar.

Look up 'parental alienation'.This is what your ex is doing.

it's a tough one regarding your oldest because of her age but you can be aware that his warped sense of 'parenting' will no doubt begin to start with your youngest.

Get yourself a solicitor and deal with this control freak in the legal,hard hitting way.

Write it all down from now on in.

I recommend reading 'Divorce poison'

I don't want to go into my personal dealings with a control freak ex because I'm aware he could be stalking me on here (new name-old timer)

Feel free to pm me if you need.

flippinada Mon 06-May-13 16:37:16

Another recommendation here for 'Divorce Poison'.

I don't think anyone here is trying to suggest you are not doing your best..of course any suggestion of grooming is upsetting because if the connotations but everyone is on your side.

flippinada Mon 06-May-13 16:37:29

because of

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 18:16:24

I really do appreciate all the advice, and even the hard to hear stuff opens my eyes to the possibility. Again thouh, i dont think it is, but i will be even more vigilant having heard these things.

Hes coming tonight. Very insistent. He needs clothes from our loft. He just takes stuff as he needs it. Ive asked him to clear stuff out, but he gets very cross and insulted. Only a few weeks ago, i bagged up all the clothes he left in his wardrobe and gace him about 15 black bags. He was not pleased. But the attic, i cant get into. So he needs to do that himself. Hes goign away this weekend and says he needs stuff.

He's doing usual nicey nicey, i'll bring a curry. Ive said no about 5 times. He even told me to meet him at mcdonalds. Again ive said no. He wants to be best of pals, but then his alter ego does the nasty stuff in parallel. Eldest DD has boyfriend here tonight visiting too. So DH will be on full superdad/charm mode. I know im going to be told not to let him in. But, if im going to do this right, and not have a drama in front of girls where he will make me look like the worst most spiteful parent imagineable, i have to talk to him elsewhere, with no children around.

I will get on with what needs doing this evening and start planning how to break this cycle.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 18:20:48

Him keeping stuff is a way to keep control.

Is there anyone you can get to come over and clear the attic for you?

Hell, if you have to pay someone to go up there it would be worth it!

Do you have to be in tonight? Why? If you don't want to get into an argument with him and he's only coming to collect stuff and your daughter and her boyfriend are here - be out!

Springdiva Mon 06-May-13 18:37:17

I would think that with the undercurrents at home DD might be better living at uni, is it the costs that keep her at home. Going to uni is such a relatively easy way for DCs to leave home, accomm provided. lots of others in the same boat. Shame she missed this opportunity. Is the boyfriend also at uni?

There is def counselling support for students, you could enquire and then see if you can find a way for her to access this without out it being through you, maybe another relative or friend?

Poor girl, if she could just get some help from someone outside the home it would be an opportunity for her to sort herself out and possibly see DH for what he is.

Also think you shouldn't be speaking to, or seeing DH at all then he can't use your behaviour as a stick to beat you.

Samebod Mon 06-May-13 18:39:18

Agree with hecsy,everything is to do with control and his narcissism.

You have to stand firm and stick to it,don't let him win over you because you feel he will paint you to be the bad one (you left him right? It's all your fault .mummy left me ME? It will always be about him !) you are the stable,reliable parent here,hes lost you and is losing his control hence him getting to you daughter and playing mr nice guy-she'll see through it,he can't keep up the pretence forever,its just to get back at you and hurt you.

Really feel for you as it makes you feel like you are going batshit crazy but hold in there.

Get an appointment with a solicitor ASAP.

Springdiva Mon 06-May-13 18:42:23

Well if he insists on drama he will do drama whether you or the girls are around or not.

Can you say to DDs in his presence, 'we are separating for good so I think it's time we moved on, DH, and both of us need to start our new lives and leave all the differences from the past behind, so from now on you must not come to the house but instead the girls will just go to you' . And you need to be seen to be moving on which it doesn't sound like you are now, your life seems to be busy accommodating him.

flippinada Mon 06-May-13 19:03:13

I agree entirely that this is a control mechanism, an excuse to keep coming around.

He is pushing and pushing to see whether you will stand up to him or not, no doubt deliberately leaving you in fear of the consequences of what he "might" do if you "disobey" him. And if you keep saying...well just this time...just this once...he will keep doing it.

I would pay someone to clear the loft. Don't have anything of his in the house, that gives him no excuse to come round.

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 22:05:45

springdiva, my eldest dd chose to go to uni in our city. She is a bit of a homebird really. Last twice she went abroad on holiday she became very home sick and phoned constantly, wanting to come home. Additionally, I had to work so hard just to get DH to agree to us providing her with a monthly travel ticket, because he felt we should not be paying it for her. And boy, every month, did he go on about paying it. so Paying for her digs away at uni, would not have been an option, for that reason. And she only has a 10 hour/week job to support herself. Her boyfriend is not at uni. He works.

Its amazing thinking back. Several times i sat him down with her present , to discuss that his beahviours were impacting her so negatively and because she felt so low that he made her feel like a burden, especially financially, as he moaned about any new clothes ( not that i bought her much, just necessities, and she treated herself to luxuries). I felt like such a lousy parent that he had go to her in this way. She would explain to him in her words how she felt, and she would cry. But his excuse was always, he felt resentful because she didnt do enough in the house, and was always take, take take, in his eyes! No worse than the average teen, i'd say. At times, he would say he would do his best to improve, but it never stopped. God, i was so afraid of spending money on her such as doing stuff like her peers got, like buying her a gift to celebrate passing her exams and getting into uni. I got her nothing. That makes me feel so shitty, even now, nearly 3 years later. She also never got her 18th birthday gift (batch of driving lessons) and was told these would come once winter was passed. I got her a token gift at the time. Shes still never had them. Mind you, shes not asked much. I think she knew beter. I am encouraging her and trying to sort them out for her now.

But he was also equally capable of showering her with attention when he wanted to making her laugh with his wonderful wit and humour. Taking her to cinema or football matches. To be honest, i think she craved these moments. It was like oxygen. She had the chance to feel just like her frineds did. But he would then behave like a shit , in a heartbeat. I think the poor girl was as confused and lost as me for so many years.

And now he's gone, he's lent her lots of money, when she asks?!? He still moans about it to me, behind her back though!! And he talks to her like a best friend more than a parent.

Its so ironic she turns to him now a lot of the time....

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 22:18:37

And actaully, i think he could keep up the pretence of Mr Nice Guy for a very very long while. He is such a charming, witty and popular man outwith these 4 walls. He's a very successful professional at work and even volunteers for a charity. And, also within these 4 walls, he was and still can be a very nice man at times too. Thats why it was/is so tough. i was up... i was down...i was up etc.... So many people have been completely shocked at our split, because the facade was perfect. And my sisters husband is still very good friends with him and despite being told what went on during our marraige, he remains under the spell. So the pretence will contine. He is fiercely protective of his perfect image!! He has even lost lots of weight since last summer (a very concerted effort including obsessively counting every single calorie to the point) and he laughs at the fact that people are assuming this is all down to him having to move out his home and lose his family in the process. People think he's a broken man and i'm an unreasonable bitch. But i try not to worry about what is out of my control. But in short, my epectation is managed that Mr Nice Guy is here to stay as far as eldest dd is concerned.

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 22:48:14

Im feeling really crappy right now. He visited. Took what he wanted from loft. Was incredibly nice during entire visit - oh hang on, no, he turned into Mr .nasty when i asked if he could hand down Youngest dds summer bag of clothes/ shoes and he could not find it because i told him the wrong colour of box. Nothing major though. He put littlest dd to bed, calmly. He asked me to make a coffee for him coming down, i said no. He came down and asked for a coffee again, and thiught we should chat to be friendly and i stood firm and said no.

I felt like such a shit. But i calmly told him that i feel his midweek visits into house should stop. I provided all the lines about it beig what i want, amd whats best for DDs. But he was aghast. He said i was being petty. It was not best for girls etc. and eventually he said he knows its just me that wants it so i should not pretend to dress it up otherwise. I told him the alternative options. He told me he would not argue (this was a calm discussion and there was no sign of argument) but we would discuss it at another time. He was very firm. I told him there was nothing to discuss. But he wasnt listening by then. He reminded me the house was still his and until it was in my name, he could entner the house. He calmly left and was looking very sorry for himself.

i know i must stand firm that this is the way forwrad

Im full of self doubt right now. Thinking he's not as bad as all that because tonight i saw the side of him that is decent and this results in me feeling like im making an unnessary problem. Starting to blame myself again and think i am blowing stuff way out of proportion. All the usual stuff that ive become so good at. Im annoyed at myself for feeling that way too.

And then i remind myself what he said during the week to eldest DD, and that i think he was reading my email last week as i accidentally left my Ipad down and when i opened it, it was open at my mail app with an email showing that id got from a friend discussing him. I know i didnt leave my mail on display like that. So ive put a pin locked On it. But tonight funnily enough i had it in a drawer, with the lock n, but again, it was open at mail when i unlocked it. Im not 100% if its him though, but cant explain otherwise. He is an IT genius. Has a history of abusing my and eldest DDs privacy via laptop, phone, ipad. So its more than likely....

This is not easy. After 6 months, its still very hard and im still navigating the pitfalls. but now i hate myself for not being strong enough before to keep him out the house.

im embarassed about my weakness and choosing the easy option up to now of having him in the house where i can keep an eye on him, it must sound so frustrating to listen to me going on about his issues and then be upset when he misbehaves. And actually, i really dont want my youngest DD to spend another night away. The thought of that hurts. But then again, ive got this far...

Sorry to be so pathetic.

PenelopePitstop72 Mon 06-May-13 22:51:59

Ps. Im gettign a loft ladder put in soon and will see what help i can muster to get it tidied out. So i should be more self succient soon. Mind you, arachnaphobia is a very good friend of mine. So im not quite sure how its going to work really with me having loft access.. Perhaps i'll put on a diving suit and venture up there! LOL

Springdiva Tue 07-May-13 03:33:37

I don't think you were weak allowing him in the house, it was what seemed the best option.

Poor DD, everyone wants their DF to be 'normal' and caring and believes that it's only them that has the angry/ drunk/ unreasonable parent and everyone else's is loving and kind. But that absolutely isn't the case.

I'd be surprised if everyone really believes your DH is charming and delightful, it's more likely that they are a bit wary of him but no one wants to get involved with other people's problems,so they just go with the flow, if he wants to act mister niceguy then that's fine by them.

This She would explain to him in her words how she felt, and she would cry. But his excuse was always, he felt resentful because she didnt do enough in the house, and was always take, take take, in his eyes makes him sound cruel. This is not normal behaviour, it's some sort of controlling thing he's got going.

DD could do with some support and guidance, or even reading books on being a teen so that she has some reference to normal behaviour. You could really do with someone from outwith the family to help you and DD, is there a family member or GP to give some support.

Keep firm in you moves to stop him visiting your house. Check with a lawyer whether he can come any time if he is the owner. I don't think it's that simple.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 07:18:00

You're not pathetic for letting him in - if you've been with him for (I'm guessing) a few years then it will take more than 6 months to "unlearn" all the training and manipulation he's subjected you to.
I may have missed this but have you had some legal advice? That may help you feel more confident.

Also Women's Aid may be helpful in recommend a family law specialist and giving you support if that's an option you haven't explored yet.

CabbageLeaves Tue 07-May-13 07:42:48

OP. I've been in your situation and it was heartbreaking. I felt utterly confused that DD 'turned' on me. Bottom line is he is using her to get to you.

You need boundaries for all 3 of you.

My DD was confused and loved both but didn't feel she could have both. She felt she had to choose so she picked her Dad because he seemed like the victim ( not in the family home, seems more vulnerable to her and also aware her relationship with him is less secure than with me ...she couldnt risk alienating him because he wouldn't tolerate it but I will always be there for her)

I had to stop giving her the truth about him because it drove her away forcing her to choose (my boundary of keeping my relationship history and perspective to myself). You do not need to justify your decision to leave. (My daughter told me at one point that his physical violence was justified...a very low point but her speaking the excuses she had been given) Don't get dragged into justifying. Until he has lost his spell over her it's wasted breath

She has to stop getting involved in the breakup (her boundary). Hard when two parties are both fighting over her.

Stop him coming around. Stop providing him with a stage to play lovely dad (irritating you and making you out to be the problem and not him). This is a boundary you need to enforce.

He will start using her to enforce his chosen lack of boundaries on you. I.e. getting her to say you are being difficult if you don't do x y z. Stand firm. She is crossing a boundary here by trying to intervene in your relationship.

He will eventually get bored of playing loving dad if it provide him with the joy of seeing the effect on you and he will revert to shit dad and your DD will suddenly see him as she used to.

My DD went through a very strong reaction to our divorce siding with her Dad and nasty nasty nasty to me (including the remark about him hitting me didn't surprise her because I deserved it). I was desperate and could see no way forward.

I offered counselling which she accepted and it helped her. We did a joint session and it wasn't a miracle cure but it paved the way back. She's now a rational loving DD with a good insight into his behaviour at that time. She also knows she can have both of us in her life -interestingly her relationship with him has dwindled -at one point, her very distressed because she actively didn't wish to see him because she'd suddenly had a revelation about his behaviour. I never ever intervened or reinforced this. We have a very adult relationship and can discuss it all without hurt or recriminations.

onefewernow Tue 07-May-13 08:04:32

Check who has the administrator rights on your laptop, OP. whoever has it can override the password.

It can be changed, but you may need a new broadband provider?

PenelopePitstop72 Tue 07-May-13 13:35:36

I was with him 12 years. And eldest DD, the same , she was 7 when i met DH (born during a previous relationship with another abusive man and he failed to keep in touch). so i/we have been exposed to this stuuff with DH a long while.

WA has offered to see her and provided literature. She wasn't interested.but i left the door open to her. And she has been critical of me going to them. but Maybe i will remind her off the opportunity.

I saw one lawyer, recommended by WA, but she was not interested in me, just her opportunity to get Legal Aid which she kept going on about, despite me explaining why i wouldn't get it. I got a very bad vibe. It scared me off a bit and ive Stuck my head in ground. I have 2 recommendations to follow up on, but think im putting off knowing the can of worms it could kick off with him. DH just wants me to settle and agree between us an amount on house equity and split. He even has suggested he's due more as house was valued on Zoopla at Higher value in November last year when he left.

I must make myself a to do list of things to accomplish and plan it out. Im so overwhelmed at times. And actually just living in relative peace day to day is a comfortable place to be. But it can't go on forever. I realise that. Andi must confront the legailites.

Thank you again all, for the advice and supportive comments.

PenelopePitstop72 Tue 07-May-13 13:44:19

onefewernow DH set up all the IT equipment in my home, including this phone, iPad, daughters laptop, my laptop, broadband, WiFi etc. Its his line of work. IT security is his work. Its never been a comfortable thought when I realised that he was monitoring things, even updated my diary on occasions, changing entries to "I love my wonderful husband " etc. He thought jt funny. I didn't. So he had a lot of.power to see/check. If he's out my house, it should get better.

Springdiva Tue 07-May-13 14:39:06

This is the mumsnet thread on geeky stuff

Someone there might be able to tell you how to protect your laptop etc but explain that DH is expert also I would nip out and buy a new phone with a new provider to use to contact solicitor etc and not tell DD the number.

With wifi you can get online if you are within the area eg outside in the street, if you know the pin.

And get some advice about finances what he says about house value sounds bollocks but you need to speak to a lawyer.

Samebod Tue 07-May-13 16:22:10

Agree with the new phone,he's no doubt set up the apple systems to locate you whilst out minding your own business.
My ex set up spyware on comp and tried to every avenue to trace my movements online.
Please go back to a solicitor that specialises in family law.

Its a utterly awful way to live <relates entirely>

Samebod Tue 07-May-13 16:24:53

Ps.even if he is out of the house if he knows passwords to YOUR email/forums accounts/social media he can still access them.

onefewernow Tue 07-May-13 16:51:38

Yes, with the phone, get your own contract. If the phone is still under a contract then ring the provider and change everything. If he is the account holder you will need a new one.

Re the laptop, simply get the administrator changed to you and change the Internet provider, unless by a call to them you can change the security.

It's seems fairly likely he is monitoring you. Ask geeky stuff for advice, for sure.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 17:54:59

Sorry..I just realised I suggested going to WA and you have already been. Apologies if it sounded like I wasn't listening.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 17:56:47

I second the advice about getting a new phone. Don't change your number, just keep the old one for emergencies.

It's really creepy to think he's monitoring your IT use... the creepy controlling shitbag that he is angry .

PenelopePitstop72 Tue 07-May-13 21:50:56

I cant be 100% sure he's monitoring it. I just know what he did when we were together both to me and dd. and when strange stuff with the Ipad happens and theres no explanation why, i make the connection, but i could be wrong. He strenuously denied it the last time i accused him but that was when we were together. I think he's very opportunistic. I cant imagine that he is still interested in me in that way. He has had a girl friend (and broken up after 7 weeks dating) since we split, and to this day, shows no inclination to want back. So i may be casting aspersions about his ongoing monitoring, for which i feel rotten.

Im a Christian, and it doesnt fill me with pride that im talking about this man behind his back. Infact reading it all back, it apears like a character assassination. And i really dont mean it to be so. I have to remind myself that these are the black and white facts of my life. He is always telling me i paint the blackest picture of him to my friends/family since we beginnging to believe it.

Last year i kept a diary, to remind me of all the bad stuff he did. my memory plays tricks and i forget events and details otherwise. Think it is well and truly time for that again.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 22:14:31

You really, really need to stop having any conversations at all with this man about anything at all except practicalities. He's launching bits of conversational bait to see if you will bite (please excuse the overworked metaphor).

Andwhen your do have contact, limit it, as far as possible, to the written word; by which I mean letters or emails. I do this with my ex so I have evidence.

He's either out of your life or he's not...never mind any girlfriends, they aren't important.

Right now he is sensing your ambivalence, using your good nature against you and jumping right in there.

Now I'm not religious but if being Christian is right for you then it's not for me to say otherwise - especially if it gives you some comfort in difficult times.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be very aware of someone's faults. Why are you even defending him when he has tagged you and your daughter so terribly? You have nothing to feel guilty for.

I'm not saying this in an accusing way, but to give you some food for thought.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 22:15:24

treated, not tagged - sorry.

PenelopePitstop72 Tue 07-May-13 22:37:47

Flippinada I only mentioned girl friend thing as a way of showing that i think he has moved on from wanting me. Once i got over initial shock, it didnt bother me and certainly doesnt now.

I have reduced conversations to just the essential ones surrounding DD arrangements. I dont engage in small talk. I am becoming more matter of fact and business like.

Im not attempting to defend him. Im just trying to be honest about the occasions where i am not 100% sure that what im surmising is correct. My goodness, id never defend the way he has treated us all.

He's drummed into me over years that its wrong to share what goes on within our marraige and tells me that i exaggerate and change stories to suit myself. I guess theres still a part of me that struggles with not listening to the voices of doubt his accusations put into my head.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 22:42:41

I understand - I'm conscious of trying not to post things in a way that might seem aggressive or blamey so apologies off I can't across that way.

I really do know what it's like with these men, honestly I do, they can have you thinking black is white and water is dry etc. Devious bastards!

You're not wrong to talk about these things with others. Keep sharing.

flippinada Tue 07-May-13 22:43:30

"if I came across" , on phone, sorry for typos.

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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