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Aftermath of domestic violence and underlying issues

(4 Posts)
engineerdad Tue 06-Feb-18 16:58:25

Hi all,

I am a relatively new father of a 9 month old. I am worried about my wife, It is a difficult situation however and I was hoping to get some advice. We had been happily married for over 2 years with very few problems aside from occasional standard squabbles really..

Unfortunately recently previous anger issues of hers re-emerged. This began to be noticeable in late pregnancy and at least since the birth has been a regular, monthly (almost to the day) occurence. She began starting arguments and becoming violent again, pushing me, jabbing fingers in face etc, at one point throwing a bottle at me while I was holding one of the babies baby in hospital soon after the birth.

I have tried to get her to attend counselling, or couples counselling but she turned down each appointment for various reasons and always reacted very strongly against any suggestion that she might see an individual counsellor. She began throwing me out each month after arguments, which became more violent, and I soon after began leaving for the night (to sleep at my brother's) after arguments, to stall any violence. She slowly however progressed back to full blown prolongued punching and kicking me by our last argument.

At this point I am ashamed to say that I reacted, hitting her back. I did not hurt her physically but it clearly shook her, and I left the house pretty much immediately at her insistance. (As an aside I had never considered myself capable of anything of this sort this and I have struggled massively to come to terms with my actions. I have apologised and I am well aware that the fate of our relationship is in her hands).

Since then I have tried to give her space but my own massive feelings of despair over losing a lot of the contact and involvement with my children (after initial problems she lets me see them briefly a few times a week now), and the increasing need to make decisions on the babies health and other issues, have led to me pestering her too much at times on matters to do with the children.

She has banned me from visiting the kids in the house and changed the locks. I have remained civil and tried to be supportive but she continues to be very abusive in her language to me and I am aware she is exaggerating my actions and lying about me to our mutual friends, whom she does not want me speaking to. She continues to deny any violence towards me ever (to me, and the one mutual friend who I had spoken to about it) and I have found out since leaving that she had secretly deleted every single incriminating messages (including anything about her violence, or abusive messages from her to me) from my phone, following one of our earlier arguments.

I am worried about her. she is strongly denying anything that reflects badly on her and describing/creating a situation where I am the sole wrong-doer, to the point where I do not know if she truly believes it. She has verbally attacked mutual friends who have withheld judgement of me and she regularly tells me horrible things that they have apparently said about me which I do not believe. I fully accept my part in this but I do not understand why she needs to demonise me. She continues to be massively defensive, calling the police at any disagreement (never any charges), despite my care not to blame her or be aggressive. She still berates me regularly for leaving her and for not helping raise the children but I would love to be more involved if she would let me in any way. I have repeatedly asked her to attend counselling with me or even just to talk to me about her feelings but she does not seem interested. She described her life (due to this situation) as a living hell to me recently and has said she is generally anxious and, I know, on a bit of a hair-trigger. She has had a traumatic pregnancy in a previous relationship where pretty much the exact same thing happened after the birth and resulted in a prolongued custody battle and squabbles to this day with her ex.

I don't know what to do. I just want to support her and give her space. She is the mother of my children and my wife and I just want her to be happy whether we are together or not, for our children's sake and her own. Unfortunately however I am in no position to suggest anything to her at the moment and she will not discuss her feelings with me aside from recriminating emails and texts. I don't know where this has come from. Her behaviour since the birth has seemed much more erratic and defensive, and she has become a lot more aggressive generally in her arguments.

Has anyone been in this situation or any experienced feeling this way? I want to help but I have no idea why she is reacting this way and everything I do just seem to make things worse. It is an extreme situation and one that I have contributed massively to but I am worried she is not coping well and that part of the problem may be an underlying one.. Any advice would be appreciated.

Apologies for the long post..

Mixedupmummy Wed 07-Feb-18 08:00:12

Hi, saw no one had replied yet so wanted to give you a bump.

I haven't been in a similar situation so don't have advice as such. I would say it's impossible to help people if they don't want to be helped or don't recognise there is a problem.

Hope someone else comes along with more helpful contribution flowers

SuperMam123 Wed 07-Feb-18 19:02:02

Hi engineerdad, I have been in this position with an abusive male. In my honest opinion, the best thing that you can do is to break contact with her altogether to protect yourself and your children. If you aren’t contacting her then she can’t say that you are hounding her and I guarantee that she will harass you with phone calls and text messages. Do not respond. Try and arrange to see your children through a relative or friend that you both trust (grandma/aunt maybe?) You need to visit your local police station and report the abuse and ask for the support of an IDVA (independent domestic violence advocate) they are specifically trained to deal with this sort of thing. In my area they are based in the police station, if not in your area ask an officer if they can put you in touch with an IDVA. IDVA will also support you in taking your wife to court for stable visitation rights to your children. A court order is a must in these volatile situations. You also need to report your wife’s behaviour to social services and her doctor (sounds like she needs medical help for her demons) as your children are in a volatile and dangerous situation. I would imagine if you went to court cafcass would involve them anyway. You need to be honest about everything that has gone on to get the best outcome. Any friends, health professionals etc that you have spoken to about the abuse you suffer will be invaluable to you in court, however if you don’t have anyone to back you up don’t be put off because neither did I. Seek out a councillor for yourself to talk to about the situation because it is very stressful. Contact victim support also to see how they could help you. Where friends are concerned, your wife is trying to alienate you because then you are easier to control! Please don’t think that this situation will change on it’s own because it won’t! I have been there. It’s probably not what you want to hear but it’s the best advice I can offer you. My partner was very very volatile but tried to say it was all me. Once I broke contact and put these actions into place his true colours started to show more as he lost more control! It will be affecting your children terribly.

SuperMam123 Wed 07-Feb-18 19:05:08

As mixedupmummy says, you can’t help someone if they don’t want it! Your priority is the wellbeing of your children now.

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