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New to all this, need advice.

(10 Posts)
Jojo65 Mon 20-Jun-11 21:48:11

Hi all, I'm new on here and desperately need some words of advice from people who have been through it.
I've been separated for three years after my controlling husband walked out. Thing is, I spent all that time working hard to keep him close to the family and do family things together and he recently asked for a reconciliation. I said no for a number of reasons, mostly because he is a very bitter and angry man and I can't put up with his constant blame. As far as he's concerned, I'm the reason for his unhappiness and any other bloke would have run a mile a long time ago. He says he's the only guy who would put up with me and all the crap I bring. And my kids, 14 and 13, have found him very overbearing over the years, he is so strict on them and although they love him they don't like spending a lot of tim him. My SD got really ill with stress over her dad's behaviour with stress over it and he blamed me. She doesn't want him to move back in. So I said no and all hell broke loose. After refusing to talk to me for a month he is now begging for another chance, offering counselling to try and bring self esteem and love back in to our relationship. I don't trust him and don't want to be with him but he has also said he'll expect to have the kids for more than 50%, I'll have every other weekend and 2 nights a week with them, he'll have them for the rest of the time. Which is what I originally suggested to him. I know he can fight dirty, he'll probably tell the courts I'm mad and a bad mother. I'm terrified he'll get his way and the kids will hate it. They'll refuse and then he'll see me done for contempt of court.
Oh god, what to do. We used to be best friends but I don't trust him at all. My DD doesn't want him to move back in but I don't want to lose them. I know it selfish, after all that's what I'm expecting of him, but what the heck do I do now? He has said he'll fight tooth and nail to get them. Sorry for the weird mistakes but typing is playing up and not allowing me to edit.

Meglet Mon 20-Jun-11 21:54:00

I would guess that he's just trying to scare you by claiming he will go for shared care. If he's as much of a twit as he sounds then he won't actually get his act together and take it to court.

Do you have a DD between you and his daughter (SD) also lives with you?

I worked my ass off to get my XP to act like a decent dad and partner, I paid for Relate and it all went wrong. Once we split I arranged for mediation and he was thrown out for being abusive. Some blokes are all talk, but cannot calm down enough to actually be a dad.

slug Mon 20-Jun-11 22:00:18

At 14 and 13 your kids will have a say in where they want to live. If they've been with you since the split, the chances of him getting the children for more than 50% of the time are slim to none.

sunshineandbooks Mon 20-Jun-11 22:00:57

Ok, first of all, stop worrying about residency. It won't be an issue. You are currently separated and the DC are with you. A court would be very unlikely to change that arrangement without good reason.

IME, controlling men who threaten their partners with residency battles rarely follow through. It does happen but most of them do not want the responsibility; they just want a big stick to threaten you with and know it's the thing you probably fear above all else. Your XH cannot just say you are mad and an unfit mother blah blah. He has to be able to prove it.

At age 13 and 14 your DC are old enough to be asked what they want and their wishes will be taken into account.

You are highly unlikely to lose residency, so stop worrying about it.

It doesn't matter what he wants. If you don't want to be with him you don't have to be. You don't owe him anything. All you owe is to your DC, to make sure you handle this as best you can for them. That includes not obstructing access but it doesn't mean you have to leave yourself open to abuse or manipulation.

You sound very vulnerable and scared right now and I think you need some breathing space. I would refuse to communicate with him in any way other than email/text or writing, so that you can think about what you're saying and have some proof of his behaviour should you need it in the future. Suggest mediation to work out future access arrangements. If he refuses you'll have to go to court but that would probably go in your favour for the reasons I mentioned above.

It's always hard at this stage, but hang on in there. smile

Jojo65 Mon 20-Jun-11 22:40:34

Hi Meglet, no, we have a DS of 14 and a DD of 13. SD was one of my weird misspells. Thanks to you all for the strengthening words, it's good to speak to others about this, and yes, sunshineandbooks, I'm feeling pretty low right now, and terribly insecure. Why the heck didn't I formalize things 3 years ago. I'm kicking myself now.

PinkCarBlueCar Mon 20-Jun-11 23:02:33

What sunshine said.

Whatever is going through your head, know this - his abuse has caused you to think in this faulty, confused manner. It is not you, there is nothing wrong with you. You are a good, kind person and mother. You are also far stronger than he or you think you are.

His abuse of you left you with his thought patterns in your head, and sunshine's suggestion won't just give you evidence should you need it, it will also give you (as she said) the space to consider your responses (or even whether a response is necessary at all).

<tries to remember to apply advice to self>

cestlavielife Mon 20-Jun-11 23:09:49

the DC are old enough to expres their views about who they want to live with.
dont get back with him. ever.

Jojo65 Tue 21-Jun-11 23:15:29

Hi pinkandblue, I feel that way, I don't recognize myself. I used to be strong and confident and now have so many conflicting thoughts running through my head, from a desperate desire to sever all links with him, to feeling sorry for him and thinking I should go back. If it was me giving the advice, I'd tell them to run a mile. I never realized that the person doing the breaking up, as in me, would find it so incredibly painful. Is this normal?
Cestlavielife, thanks, you're right, but is it normal to question my decisions?

PinkCarBlueCar Thu 23-Jun-11 20:58:33

It's entirely normal to question the thoughts in your head and the decisions you are trying to make.

Like I said, he has imposed his thought patterns on you, and you have absorbed them.

Think of it as his thought patterns being on tracing paper - you see them first, they look a lot like your thought patterns, and they obscure your true thought patterns beneath. Just like tracing paper, the thought patterns he has imposed on you can be seen through, and are just as thin and worthless.

If all abusers were pure evil, then it would be very easy to spot them, and (in the emotional and psychological senses at least) equally easy to get away.

As it happens, he chooses to abuse you. You think it's because of something you have / haven't done? Think about all the other relationships he has with other people - they function to a greater or lesser extent, don't they? But wherever he can, and especially with you, he chooses to abuse.

I found this fascinating: It's a review and something of a precis of Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?".

Never feel sorry for him. Whatever he has been through, whatever the explanations or reasons, he manages to not abuse enough other people to be a functioning adult to the rest of the world. Therefore, he chooses to abuse you.

MatureUniStudent Fri 24-Jun-11 18:09:10

Yes, Jojo, there is a lot of pain. Grieving almost. It will hit you like a sledge hammer in the chest at certain times. The "what might have/could have been". I learnt to avoid situations that brought that pain on. I protected myself and my children by avoiding places where "happy families" (mum and dad) were. Now I dont even notice them and it is v v rare to have a sledgehammer in my chest moment.

This is why I said it is like grief. You have to work through it. You need to intitally protect yourself, give yourself time to doubt yourself but remain strong in your decision. Your confidence will return. You will doubtless as I did, catch yourself feeling incredibly happy and able to surmount everything. Even looking forward to the future.

So in answer to your question, it is incredibly painful and horrid, but go with it. You will v soon be that strong happy INDEPENDANT woman, and NOTHING can beat making your own decisions and knowing they are the right ones for your children and you.

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