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New Partner - Domestic violence worries.

(50 Posts)
Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:23:34

Hi all,

I met a new partner about 3 years ago. We hit it off immediately and actually got married in July last year. A week or two back, he made a comment about Clare's Law that worried me, as he said his past could catch up with him as a consequence of this law being introduced. I asked him what he meant and he told me that in 2008, he was cautioned by the police and had to deal with social workers for 3 months because he had slapped one of his children, leaving a red "hand mark" on his face. He claims that at the time the boy concerned was trying to hit his sister with a piece of wood and that he didn't mean to slap his face. He went into some detail about the circumstances and didn't seem to mind my cross questioning. I asked him why he had never told me and he said he thought he had - he said he'd been open with most people he knew about it. I've since found out that most of the people we know are aware of it, so possibly it was an oversight. His cousin told me that he'd been very upset about it at the time, but she told me the same story that he told me.

In the time we have been together, he has never raised his hand to me or my son, or his own children when they stay and although from time to time we've "had words" as every couple does he has never, ever appeared threatening. He's never so much as grabbed my arm or shouted in my face. He has also told my son off once or twice, but again, there has never been even a slight suggestion that he would do anything more - it blows over in minutes and most of the time they get on like a house on fire.

If i'm honest, i am pretty sure that if he was a violent man, i'd have seen some evidence of this by now. But i am still worried because of the stories you hear. But he is a very sensitive man and i don't want him to think i don't trust him because he will be upset (as in devastated, rather than angry).

Deep down, i think that my worries are unfounded, but i've been in a violent relationship in the past and i am just so worried if he did suddenly flip one day, although i am being 100% truthful when i say i have never seen any sign of it. So to recap, he's never threatened me or anybody i know, he's got a good relationship with his own kids and mine. He rarely drinks and when he does, there has never been any sign of violence to me or to anybody else. He's never had a problem with me going out with friends and beyond "where did you go tonight" he's never really shown any interest in or jealousy of what i get up to.

Anyway,i came on here to ask a question. Is it common for fathers to find themselves on the wrong side of the law in this way? Or should i be worried about something more? I have been thinking about making an application under Clare's Law but i'm worried he will find out and it will harm what is actually a great relationship.

Sorry if these seems trivial, but its really got me worried.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 16-Jun-14 13:30:11

I actually don't know what to say about this. The opening para would normally be enough to have me shrieking 'LTB' at the top of my voice, but then when you go onto explain it all sounds as if his story could be true.

Can I be blunt? Do you think being in a previously violent relationship has made you better or worse at picking up the signs? What do your friends think of him? Your parents?

I think I would be tempted to do the Clare's Law request purely to see if all the stories match up...

KlokkenErOl Mon 16-Jun-14 13:33:54

Well I can't speak for the OP, but being in an abusive relationship has made me better at picking up on signs. I think I always picked up on them on a gut level but now (thanks to mumsnet) I can articulate what it is precisely that has made me feel uneasyy.

In your shoes my concern would be that he's trying to get in there first with his side of the story ie, there is something he's alreadyy trying to explain away.

I've no idea what claire's law is mind you.

It doesn't seem at all trivial to me. Is there any way to corroborate his story? with one of his children?

KlokkenErOl Mon 16-Jun-14 13:37:05

question, did the children's mother report the incident, or did the hospital staff think it was serious enough that they reported it?

KlokkenErOl Mon 16-Jun-14 13:39:18

ps2, I'd hope that although he fears his "past could catch up with him" that as a father, he wouldn't be against this clare's law. It would unsettle me if he were (even with good personal reasons) against a law that is overall in the best interest of children. It MAY potentially count against him in some random as yet unspecified event in the future, but it will definitely protect children in the here and now, so I would be a bit upset in your shoes if he were against the law full stop because of a reason that was selfish and an uncertainty even at that.

MrsWolowitz Mon 16-Jun-14 13:39:37

Why not seek a Clare's Law disclosure?

Call 101 and they'll get the ball going.

If you have concerns you should ask.

canweseethebunnies Mon 16-Jun-14 13:42:14

Have your old him how you feel and that it's brought up concerns for you? Is that a conversation you could have? His reaction to to that might be telling.

Also, does he get on with his children's mother now? Is it something you could ask her about, and would he mind you doing that?

Matildathecat Mon 16-Jun-14 13:43:50

By all means check it out but actually sounds quite plausible. He still looks after his child so you can see their relationship.

Confession, I have, in the past slapped my kids. I know, shameful and not something I would do now. I bet that's true of a lot of other people, too.

My naughty little boys are now 22and 24 and love their mummy to bits slaps notwithstanding.smile

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:44:02

Well, thats the funny thing. Since i've known them, they've said "we'll call social services" every time he tells them to eat their dinners, clean their teeth, etc. It was like a standing joke that i never really got. I know they think that he's a bit strict, and he himself says his views are a bit old fashioned, but there is no sign of anything dodgy. That's why i'm not running for the door.
I can't talk to his ex wife because the divorce was horrible and she is, frankly, a nasty woman but i did once see the divorce papers and letters between solicitors and there was never any mention of violence towards her or the children even though there was a long running argument over custody.
He's also shown me the police caution, so he definitely wasn't taken to court, which i assume means he didn't do anything too bad?

canweseethebunnies Mon 16-Jun-14 13:48:26

That's kind of odd, in that you'd think if she was that nasty she would definitely use it against him in a custody battle! She obviously didn't have major concerns about that then I guess?

KlokkenErOl Mon 16-Jun-14 13:51:12

so it's not something that his xw has used against him.

frankly if my x had been abusive to the children, no matter how acrimonious things were (and they were bad) i would have had to have brought that out in to the open.

CinnabarRed Mon 16-Jun-14 13:53:42

A caution is a formal warning that is given to a person who has admitted an offence. If the person refuses the caution then they will normally be prosecuted through the normal channels for the offence. Although it is not technically classed as a conviction (as only the Courts can convict someone) it can be taken into consideration by the Courts if the person is convicted of a further offence.

So your BF almost certainly would have been prosecuted if he hadn't accepted the caution. He might well have been convicted.

I'm amazed that he could have forgotten to mention it to you.

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:58:27

So according to my husband, what happened was that his son and daughter were having a fight and he intervened, slapping his son on the face in the process. His wife noticed that the son had a red hand mark on his face and wanted to keep the son off school that day, however, he said there was nothing to worry about and told the son to tell the truth if he was asked. This does sound like my husband, to be honest. He has this naive faith in the justice system and human nature. He then had a call from the police and was asked to attend the police station, which he did. When he got there he was arrested and charged. I asked him whether he got a solicitor and he said he hadn't but wished he did. He didn't (and doesn't) see that he did anything wrong and thought that the police would see sense. He says that his father slapped him and never did him any harm and he still thinks that he needed to intervene harshly to stop his daughter coming to serious harm. The police kept him at the station for several hours, while, as he found out later, the social workers interviewed the kids and his ex wife. They then offered him a caution or a day in court and he took the caution because by that point he had realised things were not as simple as he thought they were, which he says he regrets because he doesn't think the law is fair - the caution was for "battery" (i've checked, and this is used for everything from a slap to a beating) and he feels that this was unfair, because battery is wounding with intent and he did not intend to wound. He says the idea that you can slap a child and it be deemed reasonable chastisement yet if you leave a mark, it is deemed to be battery is unfair, since he had no intention of leaving a mark.
So the hospital was never involved. The teachers reported the incident as they have a duty to. He also told me some things about the social worker that sound plausible. He says they made a note that his son appeared fearful when meeting the policeman, but he thought that was irrelevant because he had brought them up in this way. He was angry that she misrepresented a teacher who had said "son could do better", which appeared in the report as "failing to thrive". He was also angry because they referred to his seven year old daughter's occasional bed wetting as a possible indicator of more serious abuse, although they didn't follow this up (he thinks because this was an initial risk assessment). He also told me that he had a "bit of a breakdown" after this and resigned from a charity where he drove a minibus for disadvantaged kids. I know that this part is true as one of my friends said he did charity work when she found out i was seeing him.

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 14:01:48

Actually, that's another point in his favour. He's actually very in favour of the law, and the comment about the past catching up with him was clearly intended to be a joke and as they say "it's all in the delivery" i wonder if he genuinely thought i knew. His beef is that he says that there is no risk assessment and it should have been obvious to anybody coming into his home that his kids were not in any way at risk.
Maybe as somebody else says, i should just ask him for some evidence.

CinnabarRed Mon 16-Jun-14 14:13:03

But it must have been one hell of a slap to still show as a hand mark at school.

Why were his children at the stage of beating each other with lumps of wood? That's concerning in and of itself surely?

Why didn't he grab the wood from his son, rather than slap him?

Could he have grabbed his son round the waist and pull it backwards?

And, surely, surely if you'd spent several hours in a police station, resigned from a charity and then had a breakdown - you would remember to mention it to your DP?

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 14:16:50

Sorry, i missed your comment.
I know for a fact that my previous experience has made me very wary and that's why i wonder if i am being overly sensitive. He has been very good to both of us and we have a great life together in all other ways. My parents like him (which is unique based on previous partners) and it's not like he's gone on a charm offensive. My friends all seem to like him too - i've not specifically asked but everybody was thrilled when i told them i was getting married.

Keepithidden Mon 16-Jun-14 14:20:28

you would remember to mention it to your DP?

If it's common knowledge amongst friends and family, then I can see it would be easy to assume others knew. Or is that being naive? Not sure.

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 14:25:23

That's what i keep coming back to as well. I'm not worried about the blocks of wood thing - his middle son has been a tearaway and is always getting himself in trouble which causes my husband a great deal of heartache (mostly because his ex wife seems to trivialise it and does nothing to punish him).
But as you say, he could have taken many other actions other than slap him and i asked him about that. But he said that he needed a short sharp shock to put a stop to what was happening. I know he has strong views about what he sees as his right as a father to keep his kids on the straight and narrow and he sees slapping as a part of that. I've never seen him slap any of his kids so it doesn't look like it is a regular thing (although granted he now knows the consequences).

LittlePeaPod Mon 16-Jun-14 14:26:09

I was brought up in a violent home. Watched my evil dead (grin whilst dancing on his grave) fuck wit of a step father beat my mother to a pulp. As a result I am probably more risk averse with regards these situations.

Seek disclosure using Claire's Law Op. If your DH has nothing to hide he won't mind. My advice if in any doubt (even a tiny but) then seek disclosure.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 16-Jun-14 14:30:33

I can see how if one child was threatening another with a big lump of wood, a bigger stronger parent might slap them to shock them out of it. I'm not saying it's good parenting at all but I can see how it could happen in the heat of the moment.

I'm so on the fence with this one OP, sorry I'm probably not being very helpful! I think if you have 3 years experience of him and that experience is saying 'it's a one off' then you should listen to that gut reaction. But then I know you'd never forgive yourself if you felt you were putting your DCs in any danger. But there's also the fact that he has a good relationship with his DCs now... aaargh! I really don't know what to say!

I agree with hidden that sometimes when things are common knowledge you assume everyone knows...

CinnabarRed Mon 16-Jun-14 14:31:03

I'd expect it to come up not long after starting to date - and certainly on moving in together.

wannaBe Mon 16-Jun-14 14:38:02

iirc Clare's law has to do with violence against a partner. And even then the police will not disclose exactly what the convictions are - only if there is a risk.

Tbh his story sounds plausible to me. If he still sees his children then clearly there aren't worries on the part of their mother or ss (if he was deemed a risk to his dc then there would have been ss involvement too).

Three years is a long time esp if you have been living together for the majority of that time, something would have shown by now if he had a tendency towards being violent.

And some people believe in smacking. We may not all personally agree with that but that doesn't make them monsters prone to domestic violence.

I was initially thinking along the same lines as other posters - that this sort of thing can happen in the heat of the moment with an otherwise good parent. But the more you post, the more it starts sounding... not quite right, somehow. For one thing for a slap to leave a mark that's visible days later, it would have had to be a really, really hard one. Also, you mention more than once that he is 'strict' with the children. I wonder if he's a bit of a bully?

LittlePeaPod Mon 16-Jun-14 15:34:20

Seek the disclosure Op. At least you will know if he has ever been violent towards his previous partners. If his got nothing to hide he won't mind.

AnyFucker Mon 16-Jun-14 15:35:50

OP, you say he is a "sensitive man". What do you mean by that ? Are you able to bring anything up at any time? Or do you modify your behaviour because you fear (on some level) his reaction.

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 15:37:14

Hi, to be clear (at least what he's told me) this happened almost as the kids were leaving for school, so i guess it would have had to have been visible for an hour or more, but certainly (at least based on what he's told me) for much longer. I certainly wouldn't describe him as a bully. He just tends to expect the kids to do things i wouldn't personally worry about (clean bedrooms, chores, etc) but he doesn't bully. He'll just say "if you don't tidy your room by x time, then i'm turning the internet off" and then do it if they haven't. His kids iron some of their own clothes and are made to clean their shoes, whereas i think kids shouldn't need to do any of these things. It caused some issues when we first moved in together, but he respects my views and i respect his and i have to say that his kids are lovely, respectful kids, even the middle one, whose major problem is that he is easily led and doesn't get enough attention at home (my husband's ex wife works part time, her boyfriend doesn't work at all, the kids are left to fend for themselves and are variously told that their dad either doesn't pay "enough" maintenance or has "paid it late" - i think most parents with care would be happy with £970 a month, with no deductions for the 100 nights a year they spend with their dads, but not these two).
To be honest, we both wish the middle son lived with us. He's been in trouble with the police now for shoplifting and attacking another child in full view of the CCTV. His mum's reaction to the latter - she phoned my husband to berate him for being a bad father, then told her son that it was "no big deal" and allowed him to go to a sports event that he had been looking forward to. It seems a strange thing to say, but he is actually a really polite kid, but where they live he is mixing with the wrong crowd and is a bit too willing to behave badly to get attention. Sadly, they moved nearly 2 hours away so its difficult for my husband to intervene.
Sorry, off topic, i just want to give some context. I wouldn't describe him as a bully at all.

wannaBe Mon 16-Jun-14 15:48:07

tbh I don't think expecting children to clean their own bedrooms and shoes or even learning to iron is strict - it's normal parenting.

He slapped the child before school and the child went to school and still had a red mark - or perhaps he mentioned to the school that he'd had a slap - given that his dad had said that if he was asked he should be honest.

It's not something I would have thought to mention either tbh even though there was a caution involved because it sounds so trivial as to be irrelevant. School will presumably have followed normal cp procedures and especially if the child had been honest when asked it would have been normal for them to report.

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 15:50:45

Hi,

I mean he is sensitive in a good way. He carries a lot of guilt and tends to blame himself for things that are clearly not his fault. We had a bottle of wine at the weekend and after he'd had a couple of glasses he got quite emotional about where his life has led him and said that he felt that guilt about his kids was eating away inside him like a cancer. That's what i mean by sensitive - he's introspective, worries a lot about the past. A good example would be the problems that we had when we first moved in together. Everything was fine for a few weeks but then i found he was getting a bit snappy with my son. I confronted him about it and he initially got quite defensive and disappeared out for a couple of hours (he doesn't really do confrontation). When he came back he apologised and said that he was really struggling with spending time with my child, taking my son out for cakes, etc, when he is unable to see his as often as he likes. That's how he is. I take him to task on something, he disappears, then comes back having thought about it and apologises. I've seen the toll that his ex wife has taken on him over the last 4 or 5 years - honestly, you wouldn't believe the depths she has sunk to in that time. And i've also noticed that the times that we fall out generally correlate with incoming calls from a certain number on his mobile phone.....

getthefeckouttahere Mon 16-Jun-14 15:51:35

3 years and not a sign of it??

I'm gonna stick my neck out and say its not a problem. Remain aware of it, talk to your DC about the importance of being able to tell you anything and that no one is allowed to strike them in any way. Tell fella that its made you a bit uneasy, and that you find any form of violence at all completely unacceptable and any hint of it will be the instant end to your relationship.

Crack on and have a happy life with your bloke.

happyhev1 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:31:44

The thing that worries me a little bit is that you say he doesn't think he did anything wrong. Slapping a child across the face hard enough to leave a mark is abusive. If he is sorry for what he did I would be less concerned, but if he doesn't think he did anything wrong then what's to stop him doing it again.

LEMmingaround Mon 16-Jun-14 19:41:09

My dp slapped my dd's face once. She was 15 and had just got in his face and said "fuck you" he did a sort of controlled slap but caught her in the lip by accident and I think she bit her lip. Around that time we were having problems with dd and her boyfriend. Long story short dds bf's mother interfered and said dd could stay there. Inappropriate as dd was 15 her bf 17. We called police etc and actually phoned social services ourselves. I was worried but open. They spoke to dd and never took things any further. That makes me wonder if there was more than he is telling you

Jamie1981 Mon 16-Jun-14 20:11:47

Well, i popped around to my mother's tonight and mentioned what my husband had said. She reacted with some surprise - because apparently they were talking about some social services scandal when we were on holiday last year and he quite openly told them what had happened. She thought i knew too! She thinks i am making a mountain out of a molehill, although she did ask and seemed quite worried that something had happened between us, which it hasn't. I'm going to talk to him again tonight. I feel so bad questioning him about this.

To answer happyhev, my husband has said that hitting his son so hard was wrong, but it was unintentional. It is the act of slapping that he has a bee in his bonnet about - he says that fathers should have the right to discipline their children as they did thirty years ago when he was a child. He told me (i don't know if he's right) that there is a direct correlation between youth crime and general delinquency and the removal of the rights of parents in this regard. It does kind of make sense. As i say, personally i don't agree with slapping, but i was slapped, he was slapped and his kids were slapped - and none of us seem to have suffered as a consequence.

Gfplux Mon 16-Jun-14 20:16:19

Now you have doubts about your new husband will you ever be able to get those doubts out of your mind.

wyrdyBird Mon 16-Jun-14 20:36:41

My post is going to echo SGB's. The more you post the more unease I'm feeling. I think it's because it isn't about the one incident. It's the surrounding information offered.

If he got on well with his ex; if he wasn't over emotional about his past; if there hadn't been a custody battle; if you hadn't asked if it was common for fathers to be on the wrong side of the law....etc..I'd perhaps be less uneasy. But something feels off key here. Not least that he forgot to tell you about this episode before you got married.

I don't know what to advise you, Jamie, except that more could be going on here than a simple failure to tell you something. So if you want to find out more under Clare's law, do so.

So if you criticize him he runs off crying, stays away long enough for you to be worried then comes home and 'apologises'... but somehow it becomes a matter of you having made him feel bad...

He talks quite a lot about how he ought to have the right to assault his children...

At least one of his children alternates between terrified appeasement and acting out...

I am liking the sound of this man less and less, OP.

Stalinssister Mon 16-Jun-14 21:08:00

Hmmm.

I wouldn't usually post on threads like these. However, I would strongly disagree that parents should be able to "discipline" their children (meaning hitting) because otherwise there "is a direct correlation between the rise of youth crime, general delinquency and the removal of the rights of parents in this regard".

I grew up in a time when it was common to hit your kids and there was a lot of corporal punishment in schools. I can remember at junior school the whole school being gathered in the hall to watch a boy being beaten with a slipper by the headmaster for taking some money from a teacher's handbag. The boy was sobbing and trying to get away while he was being whacked in front of all of us for what seemed like a very long time. It was so "good" for him he ended up in prison. It was distressing to watch and has stayed with me for 40 years.

So those kind of sentiments tend to make my blood run cold, and I wouldn't want to share my home and my kids with someone who thought like that.

I was also hit by my parents and it did me a lot of psychological harm. That kind of discipline, behind closed doors, is enormously open to abuse.

Punish by all means, but not with violence. There are other ways of making your point and "disciplining" children and we should be intelligent enough to find them.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 16-Jun-14 21:11:33

Do you normally believe what he tells you, by which I mean adopt opinions which he presents as fact? Like that there is a direct correlation between youth crime and general delinquency and the removal of the rights of parents in this regard. Because that isn't fact, it's his opinion and I personally think it's a load of old bollocks.

If you challenged him with an opinion of your own wrt this, how would he react?

CinnabarRed Mon 16-Jun-14 21:56:26

I agree entirely with SGB - something is off key here.

Audeca Tue 17-Jun-14 09:47:24

@CinnabarRed

Depends on how you read it. You could equally say that rather than let an argument escalate further and unreasonably (on his part) he takes a time out, thinks things through in detail and then acts completely appropriately.

Jamie1981 Tue 17-Jun-14 09:53:14

I confronted my husband last night. I'm glad i did. Anyway, he let me read the social services report and it says pretty much exactly what he told me. I think i can understand why he was so angry with social services from some of the statements contained in there. It says, for example, that the family is not well integrated into the local community. It also says his son was failing to thrive, but the school report (that he also showed me) from the same period says nothing of the sort. But as he says (and i know this to be true) they had a wide circle of friends and he was involved with several community charities as was his ex wife. I feel reassured by this, because he doesn't appear to have embellished anything and the report does say that the mark on his son's face had faded by the time the social worker arrived at the school, and that the incident happened between 8am and 8.30, while the kids were waiting to leave for school. He also said he genuinely thought he'd told me and that everyone he knows is also aware of what happened.
We also talked about some of the concerns raised on here (i told him i'd sought advice). He was ok with this until he read some of your comments, then he got pretty angry and said that this was precisely why he'd made the comment about his past catching up with him, because people twist facts and choose to see only what they want to see. He says he doesn't "run away crying" but just doesn't like arguing in front of my son, because he and his ex wife used to have what he described as "violent" arguments which upset his kids. I asked what he meant by "violent" but he said "i mean shouting, not hitting". He also said that he has never said that beating a child is ok, but he thinks that slapping is ok, and says it is also presently legal and it is just the fact that he slipped up once, did no lasting harm, yet now has something on his record that he is worried will come up and yet people who properly abuse their kids are overlooked despite overwhelming evidence. He also explained that it was fear of this that prevented him from applying for a job with the local council last year, which i couldn't understand at the time.
He's told me to go ahead with the Clare's Law application and said he is actually curious to see how the police respond to the request. He also said his biggest regret was not getting a solicitor, because one of the policemen that interviewed told him that they had no option but to give him a caution since he'd admitted that he had slapped his son and left the mark. The policemen were apparently quite impressed by his honesty, which also comes across in the social worker's report, which made mention of the fact that his son had volunteered the information that his dad had told him to tell the truth.
After he went to work today i sat reading all of the comments and i do think some of them are wide of the mark. For example, he's never had a problem with me expressing my opinions and that's why it surprised me that this event happened, because he is normally very calm and measured about everything. When we talked about it last night he said that his relationship with his ex wife, who he finally left in 2006, 4 years after he found out about an affair she was having in 2002 (i knew about this - his ex now lies with the man concerned) had just deteriorated to the point where every discussion turned into a nasty argument and a lot of things were said that he was deeply ashamed off. He said he "felt like he became somebody else" and finally realised that it was best for everybody that he left.
Anyway, i realise that people are suspicious of his opinions, so i will just say what i know about his ex wife. Firstly, she had an affair with a guy she now lives with. He doesn't work, and she only works part time. They get nearly £1000 a month in maintenance from him, but wear clothes that don't fit and seem to exist on takeaway meals. Whenever he spends money on me she makes sure to tell everybody that he is not doing enough for her, but when he gets his annual bonus and she gets her share - actually the kids share - (normally around £1000) it gets spent on a foreign holiday for her and her boyfriend while the kids stay with us. When they first separated, she took £6,000 from his business bank account, which meant he got into trouble for not paying his VAT on time. She also took out a mobile phone contract and bought an expensive computer in his name, after he left. Why he didn't have her charged with fraud is beyond me, but it definitely happened because i've seen the emails between them. The house was sold and by prior agreement she got 75% of the sale value - what he was left with was used to clear his company debts (i.e., the VAT debt) and pay down debts that they had taken up to upgrade their house, but she claimed to be destitute when they eventually went to court (again, he had just decided to let her sell the house and take the money, because she told him she wouldn't ask for spousal maintenance if he did - a promise that she reneged on). Within 8 weeks of him moving out, she had moved the new boyfriend in, and they spent 9 months living in the house at his expense with neither of them working. He had a lucky escape on the spousal maintenance though - she moved with her boyfriend to his council house, which only had two bedrooms and although she claimed she and the boys were just lodgers, the judge didn't believe her (mainly because there was no regular payment of rent leaving her bank account). The custody battle came about because she wanted to move them 100 miles away to a town with a very poor reputation (where her new fella had a council house), which my husband felt was a bad choice. At the time, my husband was working away from home each week and only home at weekends, but was actively seeking work locally so that he could have them live with him. I think in that context, if she could have made a claim about violence she would have done. Since i've had the "pleasure" of knowing her, she has proven that she is virtually incapable of telling the truth about anything.
I know all of this to be true because i've seen the paperwork (probably shouldn't have read it, because i came across it by accident, but i had a need to know whether he was being truthful due to issues in my own past).

Jamie1981 Tue 17-Jun-14 10:00:48

Oh and PS, the troubled son is not living in a state of "terrified appeasement". He's actually a really nice kid and gets on well with his dad, but there is a streak in him. I wouldn't even call it malice, even though it plays out that way. My husband says he sees a lot of himself in him at that age - low self confidence playing out as a need to play the big man. I think there is some truth in that. I've noticed that he (the son, not my hubby) flies off the deep end if he is embarrassed by anything. I know my hubby worries about him a lot, not least because his mother doesn't. Example: he punched a black child in front of a supermarket cctv camera. The black child's mother said she thought it was a race attack. The police visited my hubby's ex wife and said to her that they didn't think the race element was "a big deal" as there was no suggestion that this was the case. His mother told the boy, and my hubby, that the police said that the attack itself was "no big deal". On this basis, she did absolutely nothing to reprimand him. When my hubby rang her to talk through things, she appeared to agree that she would take action, but then told the son that my hubby was really angry with the son and she thought it was completely unwarranted. She cannot help herself.

Lweji Tue 17-Jun-14 10:18:33

It sounds good and I hope he continues to be the husband you have been with so far.

Regarding the slap, I can see how he could have reacted like that if a child was about to seriously hit another.

Regarding the slap, even the other day one of DS's school mate's mother was telling us how she once left a mark on her son's back. hmm (and she is a teacher) Although I do think it's unacceptable, many people still see physical punishment as valid.
His attitude sounds right, in admitting to it and it seems he has checked himself not to do it again.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 17-Jun-14 10:44:00

Physical chastisement which leaves a mark isn't actually legal. I just wanted to point that out.

I honestly think your DP sounds like a good guy who has been damaged by a toxic relationship with his XP and who could probably use a little bit of help managing his emotions better. Getting angry at a bunch of mainly supportive comments on the internet, for example, seems like an over-reaction. We're not judging him - we don't know him. Posters here give a view, usually based on their own experience, that's all.

I think in his desire to not get into 'angry' arguments like he did with XP, he's maybe lost sight of how to deal with disagreements and anger in a healthy way.

But anyway. It sounds like you are comfortable with his explanation of the incident which is the main thing and I wish you all well.

Jamie1981 Tue 17-Jun-14 11:03:40

Yes, and he would agree with you that its not legal or desirable. I think his anger is because it was a mistake and he thinks that the system should have investigated and then dismissed it as one, rather than him having a potentially career limiting mark on his record. And i do kind of agree with him because making the law dependent on the existence of a mark is completely ineffectual, because you can do a lot of harm to a child without leaving a single mark. That, i think, is why he is so angry about the whole thing. He was involved with a charity that worked with kids from poor backgrounds and saw real abuse first hand, but those abusers seemed to get away with it. In one case he told me about, a girl with learning disabilities was suspected of being abused by her father, but because she couldn't articulate this, nothing was done. It's not like he's some ogre. Which i guess is why i started to wonder if everything i thought i knew about him was a lie.

OK, you know him much better than us internet sprites, and given that you seem to have confirmation of his version of events from other sources, then things probably are going to be fine.

It's just that, to someone who doesn't know either of you, what you were initially describing did sound like it could have been something more potentially damaging. For instance, the views on corporal punishment and 'respect', coupled with the 'my ex wife is a nasty mad cow' are the sort of thing you often get with abusive men. Not always, but sometimes.
ANyway, good luck OP.

kaykayblue Tue 17-Jun-14 14:12:54

I think if it had been more than a one off then it would have come out by now. Parents aren't perfect. My own mother - who is a borderline saint as far as patience is concerned - has slapped my sister square in the face on at least one occasion because she was being so godamn horrific.

Summary - don't forget about the incident, but accept it for what the evidence shows it to be. A one off moment where he made a judgement of error and did something wrong.

mammadiggingdeep Tue 17-Jun-14 17:09:49

Two things bother me:

1) he must've known he hadnt told you about it before- a bit of a big issue to 'think' you've told somebody isn't it???

2) he slapped a child do hard it left a red mark which was seen at school hours (a day?) after.

I don't think I could get past these things tbh

Jamie1981 Tue 17-Jun-14 17:33:02

Well, he does seem to have told everybody else that we know, including my parents. I've confirmed this with several people now.
And from the timings in the social workers report, the mark was only visible for an hour at most.
It's bothered me, but then he is a wonderful man and in three years, i've seen no signs of any aggression. Quite the opposite in fact.

mammadiggingdeep Tue 17-Jun-14 17:53:05

Did your parents not think to mention it to you?!

Jamie1981 Tue 17-Jun-14 17:56:16

Haha! No, they thought i knew. The thing is, they know his family, so i suppose they know (at least superficially) that he is fundamentally a decent guy.
To be fair to hubby, it would not be the first time that he's forgotten to tell me something fairly important (like when my sister rang to tell me she was pregnant. They chatted for an hour but i only found a month later when my mum asked why i hadn't gone to the baby shower)!

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