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I don't think DH is responsible enough to have DC

(13 Posts)
PressToChange Sun 01-Dec-19 09:46:11

Hi, I'm looking for advice and probably a little hand holding. This is not about me wanting the children all the time for me only and I'm not anti relationship with their father, but I have very serious concerns about them should he attempt to go for the role of main parent.

I would like the children to have a good relationship with him, to spend nights/time with him but really don't think he can be the main parent. Three children can choose and 1 is under 10.

I'll try to be brief and to the point but don't want to drip feed either.

I want and will go ahead with a divorce. He is in COMPLETE denial. We have been living separately under the same roof for over a year.
I have been with him all my adult life and married 18 years.
I have realised that I have been living under his control for that time. There is no equality, no joint decision making, he just goes ahead and does everything anyway.
Last year he punched me in the head. I called police. He has a caution for assault.
This is his second caution for assault, first one 14 years ago when he hurt me.
Three years ago he had a break down (I did post on here but have name changed) and his behaviour deteriorated. He is/was permanently angry at being wronged by his work, people he named etc.
During his breakdown he mentioned he had suicidal thoughts.
Recently he has sent a text to a counsellor saying he has suicidal thoughts.

I also think (and this is what worries me if it were to go to court) that he has all the classic traits of a narcissistic person. He can be utterly charming but also when it suits go into the I'm damaged have sympathy for me, most times any situation he comes away the victim.

I can come up with a long list of things he's done with the children where he hasn't been safe with them and what they were doing.

Would anyone know if the above were enough for him not to be deemed suitable for him to have the children if they were to choose him.

I don't think they will but he is a very high earner. 10x more than me. Suddenly he is interested in going shopping with the older ones etc.

I have been SHM until last year when his pay dropped because of sick leave. I have a job that allows me to do drop off and pick up 99% of time and have school holidays.

Prior to his breakdown he has always worked very long hours, coming home after bedtimes. Travelling extensively and even had a period working away for three years. Only now because of his breakdown has he been involved in bedtime, assemblies etc.

I'd be grateful for any advice but please remember I am not after blood, I don't want to restrict contact, I want them to have a relationship I just don't think he is fit to be a real parent.

OP’s posts: |
MrsDarcy4092 Sun 01-Dec-19 10:21:59

If you think (and it sounds like it to me) that he is controlling then I think you should look into Evan Starks work on cohersive control as it shows just how dangerous that form of abuse is.

Also, are cafcas involved?

And lastly, have you spoken with an IDVA? I would recommend that as they will have been through this situation with other women many many times

PressToChange Sun 01-Dec-19 10:30:20

I've googled the idva and will look into it thank you.
At this stage, no one is involved as I have t filled the forms in.
When he got his caution social services were briefly involved. When they spoke to me they said I should have a grab bag ready and a friend who knows so we could go to ASAP if needed.
Then they spoke to him and it was suggested I get my hormones checked due to my age. That's what I mean about extremely charming and manipulative.
I'm having counselling because I know I'm confined to take this type of behaviour as normal and it's not.

OP’s posts: |
MrsDarcy4092 Sun 01-Dec-19 10:38:53

That’s really bad of social care. Absolutely appalling. Cafcas represent the children in any cases of child contact. While on the one hand he may not even want to have the children live with him permanently unfortunately controlling men often use the children as another way of control so you should be prepared - can you start to save up money secretly incase you need extra funds for legal? Definitely speak to idva, they are a great support .
I hope it all works out for you

Winterdaysarehere Sun 01-Dec-19 10:45:56

In my exh's care my dc regularly had preventable accidents.. Included are :
Ds3 falling into a frozen pond with exh the other side of a bridge away.
Same ds falling onto rocks and splitting head open with exh on the promenade.
Neither accident told to me by exh only ds4 later after returned.
Hospital check up needed for both but stitched eye/head the only visit.
Back down the rocks the week after....
My barrister told me honestly that judges are reckless with other people's dc...
Very sad ime..

Techway Sun 01-Dec-19 11:00:04

Cafcass will look at the current set up, what the children preferences are and any other factors, such as ability to care for the children. If he has not been aggressive to the children then it will not be an significant factor. My DC spoke openly to Cafcass about their Dad's anger yet it was played down in the report with a short statement that said "he may need to see someone".

There seems to be an agenda for fathers to have equal time with the children, irrespective of circumstances. Perhaps the pendulum in previous times was too far away from fathers but I would argue now it feels to have swung the other way.
If he pushes for residency then it will be based on the older children's wishes and feelings. 50:50 is likely.

I divorced a very similar man, although he was too clever to be physically abusive. You have to get a solicitor who understands abusive men. This is critical. They need to know tactics that will be used and have knowledge of good barristers as if your H is disordered this will go to court as these individuals cannot tolerate compromise and have to win.

You can get through this but it is a rough ride. Ex fought for contact and insisted on a consent order, as that is used for CMS payments, however he refuses to step up to the Order as his work and gf come first. I knew this would happen but there is nothing you can as he has to be allowed to fail.

If your children are older then time is on your side

Winterdaysarehere Sun 01-Dec-19 11:03:59

Ime experience please do not put any faith in Cafcass....

PressToChange Sun 01-Dec-19 11:44:34

He has been aggressive to the children. It's not usually in front of me. This is what has prompted me to say no, this has to come to an end.

I don't think he'd want the actual grind of having children, just wouldn't want me to have "won". He's had the opportunity to have a part in their lives since they were born and had chosen work over them.

I very much doubt he would see that the position he is in now as a high earner is anything to do with me doing everything for him and the children for the past god knows how long, which allowed him to travel without a second though and have the family.

He will be very scared at the thought of selling possessions, losing his pension though

I'm constantly asked how I could do this to the children. Seemingly nothing about his behaviour has contributed to getting to this position.

Even now he is applying for jobs which say 75% travel...?!?

He is completely contradictory.

I don't think I can stick it out. There would be no point doing it to save as he is financially reckless which is one of the reasons I can't do it anymore. Sick of living with a high earner who decides how it's spent and gets us into debt.

OP’s posts: |
Techway Sun 01-Dec-19 13:53:30

Ime experience please do not put any faith in Cafcass

100% agree (and Cafcass sided with my children as they were old enough so no axe to grind) This is just to help set your expectations. They are very overworked and have too many cases so they seem to follow a boilerplate approach and there is high tolerance to fathers aggression. Perhaps society is so aggressive that what we perceive as unacceptable is tolerable for them. There is also an agenda for fathers rights which seem to override children's rights at times. However the days where fathers lost all contact in the past needed to change but it seems policy is applied without genuinely caring for childrens concerns.

My DC said that I was allowed to separate from their dad due to his anger and aggression yet my DC are forced to continue seeing him until they are old enough to vote with their feet. Being small shouldn't mean you are not heard. If a child says they don't want to see Dad, the mother is often accused of parental alienation. There seems to be a belief that everyone is a good parent unless the charges against them are concrete and very significant.

We are here to hand hold as a great many of us have gone through it. Be prepared for him to go after what he thinks you values so keep your cards close to your chest.

Do you have a good view of the finances? Will you be able to get enough assets to house yourself and children?
A good solicitor will see you through the process but they will need to be super tough.
Do you have family support?

ohwheniknow Sun 01-Dec-19 14:05:20

This is domestic abuse. He is abusing you. Coercive control is a crime. You could report him to the police if you felt able. Him being "irresponsible" is not the issue here - it's that he's an abuser.

He can be utterly charming but also when it suits go into the I'm damaged have sympathy for me, most times any situation he comes away the victim.

This has nothing to do with narcissism. It is standard abuser operating protocol. As is threatening to take the children and portraying you as mentally unstable.

I really think it would help you understand his behaviour and protect yourself and the children if you did the Freedom Programme course. It's free and confidential. www.freedomprogramme.co.uk

It also covers how children are affected and how they heal and respond in the aftermath of the abuser being removed. It won't be instantaneous, but at least you'll be armed with information on what they're going through and how to help them.

Women's Aid are also there for you: 0808 2000 247

It's really important you consistently label this what it is: domestic abuse.

You need to use that description when you ask for help, when you're dealing with agencies and when you describe what's gone on. People can't help you appropriately if you don't give them the correct (and clear) information about what's going on.

So don't talk about him being irresponsible or a narcissist, just stick to the very simple and significant fact that he has been abusing you and the children for a very long time and now you are trying to safely break free.

ohwheniknow Sun 01-Dec-19 14:09:37

Domestic abuse (coercive control) is just about power and control. It's one person engaging in behaviour to control another by any means at their disposal.

That's why you can't reason with him. He's not interested in reason, he's interested in holding power.

PressToChange Sun 01-Dec-19 21:21:46

Thank you all.
I don't know much about our finances. I do know his salary but what's outstanding on property etc., no real clue.
We don't have a joint bank account, he gave me the login to his account saying we don't need a joint one, but "something" happened recently with the login and he now won't give me his access.
Writing this I feel very stupid.

Ohwheniknow thank you, I did go look on the freedom programme and watched the first video. It made me feel sick. I think I'm having a very slow realisation that it's not just bad, it is very very bad. It's not difficult for me to see rationally, but emotionally I am now all over the place, questioning why. Why me. Why didn't I see. But then it's been a very gradual decline. You don't realise how underwater you are until you want to bob up for air and realise you have to kick hard and swim to get back to the surface.

MrsDarcy I quickly googled the author and again my blood ran cold. Since having the first child I feel as though I've been living under house arrest and some quotes I read made that statement ring true.

Would I ever be able to convince a judge if it were to go to court that this is abuse and it counts. He did hit me in front of two of the children if that makes a difference.

I think it will get messy. His behaviour reminds me of a toddler. Wants all his own way and is outraged if he can't get it. He doesn't accept responsibility for anything, including consequences of hitting me. Has actually minimised it to a smack - I thought he'd damaged my jaw and hearing.

If I'm honest, trying to muster a shred of self worth to put myself first and start this process is incredibly hard. I do wonder whether I can bear it until the children have gone but know that's not the way forward.

I don't have very much RL support as I've moved a few times to support him in his job and haven't made many friends. Funnily enough when we first moved I had lots of invites to nights out etc, but couldn't take them as he wouldn't get back from work early enough for me to go out and finances were screwed by him so couldn't afford a babysitter, so the offers dwindled and I missed the boat.
Again writing that down is quite an eye opener. I feel like such a fool.

OP’s posts: |
MrsDarcy4092 Mon 02-Dec-19 06:38:46

You are not a fool, he is. Never take responsibility for his behaviour. He’s in the wrong, not you. Abusive men are very manipulative which Is how they get away with it for so long

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