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Please help me see clearly

(44 Posts)
AnneWentworth Mon 18-Nov-13 12:50:23

This morning H went ment DS1 and 2 (5 and 7). It was over something silly and he hit them. He was furious and you could see it in his face and he swearing. He then proceeded to DS3 (2) and force him to lie down in bed and smacked him and was shouting. I intervened between the older ones and went back and took DS3 on the school run.

The issue is that this is not the first time. He is often like this over the silliest of things. He gets annoyed about taking any DC to an activity and would have them go to school, come home, go to no parties and play dates and watch TV. When we are all home together he never ever wants to do anything at all.

Today I said that I was not willing to tolerate it anymore and he told me to fuck off loudly continuously until we left. He told me I cannot have the flat and the DC.

DS3 and I stayed out to give done thinking space and we were texting. He said I have no control over the DC and if I instigate alone rules and they follow them then he won't lose histemper. I told him the only way I would work I. It is if he/we have counselling. He said he first need it the problem is I know what annoys him and don't do anything about it.

Since coming in an hour ago he has consistently told me how if I keep the house tidy etcthen and I quote "he won't be a cock to you and the kids".

I want out. I have had enough. I am not being unreasonable am i? The conversation just ended with him saying he will go then but nothing seems to be happening and he doesn't actually have anywhere to go.

I am so confused and upset.

Leverette Mon 18-Nov-13 12:51:51

Report his assault on the children to the police and ask them to support you in getting him away from you all. Today.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 18-Nov-13 12:58:22

Definitely report this to the police. He is a violent, threatening man and his behaviour is criminal. They will get him out of the house while the DCs are out at school and then you can take it from there. Your poor kids experiencing this abuse.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 18-Nov-13 12:58:59

BTW... you realise this has gone much too far for counselling?

Glenshee Mon 18-Nov-13 12:59:51

That's terrible and unacceptable.

Put all your energy into getting him out. Involve police and social services. That's hard and terrifying - but remember that this will come to an end - the more energy you put into it now, the sooner you and the kids will be safe in your own home.

onetiredmummy Mon 18-Nov-13 13:00:17

Oh my goodness OP, basically he's saying that if you don't do exactly what he wants then he will get angry & its your fault. I'm not sure counselling is the way to go at the moment, his behaviour is liable to escalate quite rapidly.

Can you & the children stay somewhere else tonight? Family or friends?


English National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247

Women's Aid

Or the police & report him

You know he is wrong & you don't have to tolerate this. Get your strength together & keep you & your children safe, ignore his threats about you 'not getting the DC's' etc, don't worry about that for the time being. Just get some outside help & don't let him know you are doing it.

SkateLife Mon 18-Nov-13 13:07:00

Op, I feel for you. This is past counselling, you need to get you and your children away from him. Call woman's aid, they will talk you through what you need to do. Do not think for a second that this violence is okay, if a stranger hit your kids, you'd be straight onto the police.

By saying he wants you to cook and clean or he'll loose his temper, or by not wanting to be involved in the kids lives or letting them out - he wants to control you all.

Get help, do it now.

Snoozybird Mon 18-Nov-13 13:08:25

OP my father used to smack us in temper, I left home as soon as I was able and didn't speak to him (or my mother for allowing it to happen) for 15 years. It left me hugely damaged and has affected my adult relationships. Please find the strength to leave, your children will not thank you for staying.

cookiejam Mon 18-Nov-13 13:14:54

It's the start of a new year in 6 weeks. Do you want go into 2014 still in a terrible relationship? With a man that beats your children? With a man who bullies and issues threats? Of course you don't.
It's not easy, but you can do it. There are people who will help you, seek out their help. You are not alone in this, your children need you to help them get out of this situation, you owe it to yourself too.

FobblyWoof Mon 18-Nov-13 13:38:43

You're not unreasonable. Don't let him convince you otherwise. There are so many things going on here, I'll try and address them separately.

Firstly, what he has done to your children this morning is abuse. Plain and simple, black and white. They could have all manner of behavioural problems, could have just been incredibly lippy, could have been lashing out at your H in a physical way- it's all irrelevant. It was abuse and it was unacceptable in every way. Please don't let him convince you otherwise.

What makes this worse (if that's even possible) is that he doesn't see what he's doing as wrong. As you say, this is not the first time. Nor will it be the last. He blames the kids (for their behaviour) and he blames you for not raising them properly. The only person he's not blaming is himself. This will continue. He is not only a man capable of doing what he did in the first place (which is not normal, or acceptable) he is a man who will not admit his mistake, who doesn't even see his mistake.

To be honest, even if he showed tremendous remorse at this stage I'd advise leaving. But he's not.

He's then exerting even more controlling behaviour by telling you that if the house was cleaner he wouldn't do what he's been doing. Gender equality issues aside, what the actual fuck? Again, he pushing things on to you. Things that aren't even related.

As others have said, this goes way beyond getting help for your relationship etc. it's time to get out.

You have a duty of care to your children. You've done nothing wrong to this point, it is all your husband, but if you decide to stay with him you are deciding to let this continue.

Who cares about the flat etc, etc. I'm sure your dc would far rather have nothing and have to live in sheltered accommodation for a while than live with an abuser. They'll thank you for it when they're older, but they'll never thank you for staying with the man who hits them but getting nice Christmas presents etc (not that I'm suggesting you would out that before your dc's, just an example).

I'm so sorry if any of my post has come across as harsh, but I don't believe in sugar coating things in situations like this and it seemed from your OP that you didn't want that either. thanks

AnneWentworth Mon 18-Nov-13 13:46:32

Thank you. The last words we said to each other were that I am not willing to live this way any longer and him saying I can go. I already called the council this morning who told me to not leave the flat as I would be making us intentionally homeless and I told him that I gave rights and would not leave.

He has now gone out, he said he needs to think.

The DC love him to bits though which is just incredible.

All he keeps repeating to me is that he guarantees there would be no issues if I sorted things out. I keep saying that he is an adult and has to control it himself. He said that if us following the rules didn't work then he would go to counselling. I feel sick.

This morning when I left I felt such a weight off my shoulders thinking that this might be it but now I just feel really really sick.

I am terribly messy and he is very tidy so I do get that it agitated him, but me being messy = upsetting the DC before school I just cannot accept.

rainbowfeet Mon 18-Nov-13 13:50:03

Vile man who has no control over his emotions .... Please seek help from the agencies mentioned, do it for yourself & your children.

onetiredmummy Mon 18-Nov-13 13:56:00

Its not your being messy. If you were freakily tidy & clean it would be something else, he's just finding fault for no reason.

I particularly like the part where you have to follow all of his rules or else, that was a genius touch of control there by him! Of course if you stay & agree to follow his rules then the next time he was annoyed you wouldn't be following them properly. If you then made more an effort the next time it would be that you are stupid & don't understand his rules, then the next time there would be nothing he could do to make you understand so that's where a slap comes in, next time you didn't understand the slap so he has to punch you & this is all your fault of course.

Well done for calling the council, its normal to feel sick but it will pass. Carry on getting him out & then you won't have to deal with him any more xx

Glenshee Mon 18-Nov-13 14:08:14

Feeling sick is entirely understandable, but please don't delay any actions because you feel unwell - it will not last forever - but action needs to happen now!

Did you ring police and SS yet?

AnneWentworth Mon 18-Nov-13 14:16:21

Glenshee - the police and SS just seems so extreme. I can't gets head around it. I want him to go of his own accord. I am waiting for him to come back so we can talk but I want to do it in the least upheaval.

SleepyFish Mon 18-Nov-13 14:23:28

Your first priority is to protect your children. Please report this assault. It will help protect your children in the long run when he goes for access. NOTHING YOU do will make any difference to his behaviour. He's displaying typical abuser behaviour trying to blame you for HIS behaviour. I really hope you can see that.
In your situation I'd have the locks changed before he got home. I hope you've told your children that their father's behaviour was unacceptable. You may think they love him but they'll grow up knowing you allowed their father to abuse them if you don't stop this now.
Hopefully someone will be along soon with some practical advice for you. You and your children deserve to be happy and live a life without fear.

MadBusLady Mon 18-Nov-13 14:25:08

If a stranger did to your DC what you have described, you would report them unhesitatingly. And this isn't even the first time.

You must act to protect your DC from a man who is violent towards them. That is the only thing that matters - not this to and fro about tidiness, or counselling. All that is irrelevant.

The DC "love him to bits" because they are fucking terrified of him, most likely. Can you imagine how scary a full-grown furious, violent man must be to a 7yo? Never mind a 2yo.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 18-Nov-13 14:29:10

If your DC tell their teacher today what happened this morning then not only will your husband come under suspicion for assaulting them but also you for allowing them to live in a violent household. So your responsibility is to tell the police and get things moving before that happens.

He forced a 2 year old to lie on the bed and smacked him while shouting at him.

The children don't adore daddy they are scared of him. They will be all nice to daddy when he is around because they are frightened of upsetting him.

What on earth are 'the rules'?? Would this mean the kids all being seen and not heard, not making any demands on his time or energy? House being perfect?

All of it completely unattainable in a family with young children imo.

My ex was like this 'if you will change I will change' as he could not believe there was anything wrong with his own behaviour. If you speak to womens aid they can talk to you abou tfinding alternative housing. It makes my blood boil that the council say you will have made yourself intentionally homeless, because staying is all kinds of wrong for you and the children.

LondonNinja Mon 18-Nov-13 14:40:33

You need to heed the advice here.

Also - if that is your real name, you may want to change it pronto, OP.

Monetbyhimself Mon 18-Nov-13 14:49:07

Children are often desperate to please and placate abusive parents. It looks like love but it isn't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 18-Nov-13 14:55:14

Police and SS is extreme but you're describing an extreme situation. This isn't just some strict parent with a slightly old-fashioned idea about discipline. This is a man that hits and terrifies very young children... his own children.

stickysausages Mon 18-Nov-13 14:56:11

sad please get help today.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Mon 18-Nov-13 15:01:00

Being messy isn't going to ruin your children's lives but an abusive father will. He is the only father they know so of course they love him. Children give their love easily and without limit. You are responsible for their safety so you have to take control of the situation and call the police.

I am so sorry you are in this situation but you need to be strong for your children's sake and get this abuser out of the family home today.

SkateLife Mon 18-Nov-13 15:16:11

Polices and SS seem extreme because he's normalised the behaviour. It's NOT normal, he hit your kids. Maybe you can remember him doing it, maybe that will make you see he's controlling you. It's not normal to make a 2 year old lie on the bed and smack him. There are parents that lash out in anger ( not that it's okay), but he took the time to lift your child up onto the bed and hit him. He had time to stop himself.

On top of that he's telling you to behave yourself or he'll do it again.

Sorry to be harsh, but I'm honestly worried about you.

TeenyW123 Mon 18-Nov-13 16:03:40


If you report your husband's violence to the police and SS you will be demonstrating that you are trying to protect your children from this awful, out of control bully. They will ensure he doesn't have contact with you and the children.

While SS prefer families to stay together, it isn't at any cost. Your husband is physically abusing his own children! Tell someone in real life; get the ball rolling and get this horrible, horrible man out of your children's lives.

Jesus, I'm not often moved to respond but I went all sweaty and sick reading your post. He's a bastard.


ImperialBlether Mon 18-Nov-13 23:31:42

LondonNinja, Anne Wentworth is a literary figure, in Persuasion.

SkateLife Mon 18-Nov-13 23:45:18

Op please tell us you're okay.

AnandaTimeIn Tue 19-Nov-13 00:02:01

I couldn't even get further than half the second paragraph of your OP....

I would instantly leave a man who hit my children. I would call the police.

After the first time.

I hope you get the help you need. You owe it to yourself and your boys to get you all out of there for good.

I had to leave my marriage before my child was 1 due to violence. No way I would have let my child grow up to experience that... not what I wanted either in my life!

The best decision in my life even though SP is hard! But always better than that!

He is a young adult now and thriving... me too, actually grin

garlictrivia Tue 19-Nov-13 00:13:52

The police have powers to get him out and keep him out. He has committed a crime - several, in fact. The police don't need your permission to act, they only need the crime reported quickly. If you are not at home now, call them from where you are.

If you are at home, take pictures of the kids' bruises or slap marks, and either report it now or first thing tomorrow.

Your life is going to change, and that's scary but is a good thing. Your children will suffer for life if you don't rescue them.

Also call Women's Aid and tell them what's going on with him, the police and everything. Here's their number: 0808 2000 247

You can't fix a man like him, I'm afraid. The damage runs too deep, and he uses violence & verbal abuse to get power. It's very sad but he is broken. He will break his children, too, unless you save them.

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 19-Nov-13 00:26:51

I loved my daddy because I just thought this was normal behaviour and happened in every home.

It was only until I left home that I realized it wasn't normal. By then he'd smashed a record player over my head, punched me to sleep when I had insomnia and a catalogue of other daily moods and violence.

I also showed my father overwhelming love and happiness because I wanted to make him happy. If he was happy and calm we wouldn't get hit, we wouldn't have Christmas days with no speaking and breakfast cereal for Christmas lunch, we wouldn't be too scared to leave our bedrooms and be children.

The effects have been so far reaching into my life that there isn't enough text space op. Please don't do this to your children.

Just your description of him holding down your dc and slapping them brings back the hot burning shame and fear of being knocked around by my father, and I am almost in tears just thinking about this. Please tell the police if your are scared and he is being an arse. He's a coward really, and he is trying to intimidate you.

Can you call on your parents, siblings, anyone to come and support you?

Glenshee Tue 19-Nov-13 00:36:59

OP, this is really obvious for an outsider, and I do appreciate it's not always easy to see things clearly when you're in the middle of it, but I want to second everyone else's advice and say - your ONLY decent way of dealing with this incident is to report it to police and SS and get the man out of your house and your life. There is no other way.

AnneWentworth Tue 19-Nov-13 09:17:52

Sorry for not coming back yesterday. We are all fine. The DC have not even mentioned.he hasn't spoken to me since our final words yesterday.

There are no bruises or slap marks. I feel so shit not doing as you have all said, but I am binding my time so that when we leave it isn't frenzied. When/if he loses his temper again we will be walking out there and then and letting him know the police will be in touch. We will be leaving though but I want something solid for me and the kids to go to.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Nov-13 09:37:35

Please contact Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 rather than living in fear waiting for him to throw the next punch. Biding your time waiting for something solid to go to could end up meaning you never leave.

stickysausages Tue 19-Nov-13 09:38:09

Please stay safe on the meantime. There may be no physical bruises... but you children and you will be scarred by him.

I dont mean to make things worse but have you thought that at some point your children might disclose this to a teacher or someone else at school?

Because it is abuse that is ongoing, you said this is not the first time and SS would then be involved. And perhaps wonder why you and your children are still in this environment?

I understand that you are saying you want somewhere solid, a plan before you leave but I would say that this is not the best idea. Yes, leaving and going into temp accommodation or a refuge is going to be a huge disruption but surely, surely its better to know your children are safe and not having to creep around so as not to annoy dad in case he hits them again?

Glenshee Tue 19-Nov-13 09:59:33

If you are not strong enough to involve police and SS at this stage, please seek support for yourself immediately in the form of counseling, advice from Women's Aid and friends. You need to get to a point when you're strong enough to chuck him out, and you need to get there quickly.

AnneWentworth Tue 19-Nov-13 10:50:25

Thank you everyone. Glenshee - I am at work today and that is what I intend to do so thank you all so much for pointing me in the right direction even if I have been too weak right now to follow it through properly.

Shellywelly1973 Tue 19-Nov-13 11:06:24


You can't change what you didn't do & I totally understand why you didn't/ couldn't do something about your situation previously.

Your doing the best you can right now that's what counts.

Take care of yourself & your dc.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 19-Nov-13 11:08:56

Not weak, perhaps, but shocked and needing time to process it all.

AnyFuckerWillDo Tue 19-Nov-13 11:13:53

He forced your 2 yr old to lie the bed and smacked him?

Oh my god your poor poor babies. You need to protect them and never let this happen again

How you can look at a man like that let alone share your bed with him I don't know. I would call the police and tell him to leave. That's awful.

onetiredmummy Tue 19-Nov-13 11:35:11

Well the decision is yours Anne & yours alone.

As a precaution start setting aside a stash of money in a current bank account that your husband doesn't know of. Ideally it should be a few £100. Keep this ready and don't use it for everyday stuff. Have online statements so nothing in paper every comes to your home address & although its technically savings make sure you can withdraw the money if you need to at any time.

Have a back up plan, know where you would go to if you all had to leave quickly, even if its a hotel or B&B for the short term. Keep the phone numbers of Womens Aid in your purse so you will always have them.

Remember that not one person on this thread has said it is OK to stay with him.

Remember that if you don't protect your children then who will?

Remember that even if you don't take our advice, you can come here at any time for help.

garlictrivia Tue 19-Nov-13 16:56:58

the decision is yours Anne & yours alone - Not entirely, as it goes.* If someone else reports the violence against your DC, they could be taken into care and you could both be prosecuted.*

I have never highlighted this on a Relationships thread before, as it tends to smack of putting the frighteners on an already frightened woman. I remember, however, when a discovery that some of my husband's abuses were illegal shifted my perspective drastically. I was inured to relationship abuse - it was my normal, as it will be for your children, if they grow up in your existing family set-up - and the legal change gave me much needed clarity. If the law considers it a crime, then I no longer had to ignore it. I hope this works the same way for you, Anne.

FobblyWoof Wed 20-Nov-13 11:46:40

Hi Anne, hope you're feeling better today.

I don't think you're weak. I think you're scared. Scared of your husband, scared for your children, scared about being seen and accused of overreacting. To you at the moment the idea of contacting any kind of authority seems a step too far and I think you're worried both that they will dismiss you (they won't) or that others will believe you're being dramatic (especially as we all know, including you, that your husband will use this against you). Some people may think you have overreacted- who cares? You know what you saw.

It must be difficult when you're so involved in huge situation and have so much history with your husband, so let me ask a question-- if you had seen exactly the same situation occur but it was a stranger in the street doing that to his children would you stand by and watch? Or would you call the police?

I do understand that you didn't just watch him do this, you did try and step in, but unfortunately by choosing to stay with him you may as we'll be standing by and letting this happen. Realistically, looking at the situation and your husbands complete lack of guilt and remorse (and the added extra of him blaming and controlling you) I think it's fairly safe to say it's not a case of if he becomes violent again, it's a case of when. So, essentially, you're just waiting until he lashes out, hits and becomes violent to your children again. Would you leave your children in the care of a stranger (babysitter, childminder, teacher etc etc etc) that not only had a history of violence, but a history of violence against your children? No, you wouldn't. So why him? Just because he fathered them?

And if your response to that is "well after yesterday I'll never leave them alone with them" then what is the point in staying with him? This is a man you cannot trust to be alone with your children, what hope do you ever have of making it work and being a family unit? Realistically, I'm afraid the answer is none. I think deep down you know this, but you're scared. You might be able to paint a picture of how wonderful things could be if everything were normal and it could magically sort itself, but the reality of the situation is very different.

My advice? Even if you think contacting police and SS is a step too far, you really should not be with this man. At all. Just bear in mind that if you divorce without informing the authorities of what he's done he may want joint custody and access rights, and then you won't have the ability to be there standing in between him and your children. Perhaps a first step could be you telling someone else you know- a friend, your mum? Because I bet you've kept this to yourself.

Take care Anne, I really hope that you realise you have no reason to be scared and do the right thing thanks

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