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Can I ever truly escape an abusive man when I am the mother of his children ?

(41 Posts)
MeaninglessStrife Thu 10-Jan-13 22:29:18


Another name change after he 'found' me here again.

Over 2 years separated after 15 years of an abusive relationship and there are still days when I just despair.
His contact with the children is court ordered but he has an OW and an estranged mother back on the scene who are cheer leading his attempts to paint himself as the poor victim. He lies, he denies, he rewrites history.
He is utterly vile in court - he represents himself after falling out with a string of solicitors. He emails my solicitor constantly - 3 times a week on average. Aggravating for extra contact, complaining about property, complaining about not being answered quickly enough. He has alienated the school, social services.
He found out I was going to the Freedom program - it corresponded with one of his contact visits so he started to refuse to bring the kids home to babysitters - meaning I had to give up.
I've had 'counselling' with Womens Aid but because he is still so actively trying to control, it ended up being fire fighting his latest antics. I've read Lundy -I know 'why' he does it but I don't know how to cope.
OW is pregnant and rather than leaving me alone and focusing on that, he seems to have upped the ante.
He refuses to engage with my solicitor with regards the actual divorce and I am trapped in a situation where he pays the mortgage on the FMH as it is significantly less than the maintenance he 'should' be paying. If I don't play ball, he stops the mortgage payments.
I regularly have police patrols passing the house as it's on a high alert list. I am trying to hold down a stressful job and I'm starting to make mistakes there sad
I dread opening my emails. I don't even go to court hearings any more because he is so hostile.

I don't even know what I'm trying to say. But I'm so very, very tired. My physical health is awful but I'm sure it's all just stress related.
I just want it to end. but will it ever stop as long as the children are still kids?

theghostinthewashingmachine Fri 11-Jan-13 13:31:14

morning! right, so would I be correct in saying the immediate problem is that you daren't press ahead with the divorce because he responds by not paying the mortgage? if so, you need to talk to your mortgage company as soon as possible and see if either you can pay it, now you have a permanent job (which is very positive), or if you can take a payment holiday on the understanding payments will restart once there is court ordered maintenance - this can't be a new problem as far as mortgage lenders are concerned? - or do you have any savings or someone who can stand surety for you? Once you have that sorted then you can press ahead with the divorce and, hopefully, getting things finally sorted.

I think you should definitely press for divorce on grounds of UB if you can - sounds like it's psychologically important to you, and also like you have A LOT of grounds for it. And I second not moving house unless you absolutely have to, as that is massively stressful in its own right.

also second going to the doctor as a first priority - if you are tired all the time and/or sleeping badly that makes everything seem x1000 worse. also second trying to compartmentalise the bad thoughts, and maybe also identify the times of day when they tend to strike (last thing at night?) and make sure you have something positive to distract you - book, dvd, music, friend you can phone - once you've processed as much as you can.

MeaninglessStrife Fri 11-Jan-13 22:13:19

Thank you all so very very much - I am overwhelmed by your responses and by the time that you have taken to 'listen' to me and to give me ideas and solutions. My friends and family absolutely hate him, so even though I have lots of people around me, IRL, I often can't really talk much because they don't fully understand the issues in anything other than black and white, how complex my feelings are and how powerful he has been - and still is to an extent.
I am going to have an early night tonight and am going to make a longer 'list' tomorrow.
Ideally, I don't want to face moving house so I think that's still the priority from the assets POV.
Eldest DD has had counselling - she's also on a waiting list for support from the NSPCC. At the minute she's 'ok' - she talks to me a lot and I'm getting better at responding in the way that she needs me to.
Thank you all again - I have had to name change a few times because he always tends find me online but I kinda feel strong enough to keep posting with this name because i have nothing to be ashamed of.

olgaga Fri 11-Jan-13 22:37:24

Oh my goodness, what a terrible time you and your children are having. I do feel for you. Hope you get a good night's sleep, you are going through a terrible time but you also sound pretty strong and determined despite it all.

You'll get through this. Will be back tomorrow to see what transpires. For now I can't add to the excellent advice you've already had here - just wanted to add my encouragement, and to say how much I admire you for the way you are managing to hold it all together.

SkaffenAmtiskaw Fri 11-Jan-13 23:01:22

I'm really shocked that your children are still having contact after he assaulted the eldest. I would have thought that would be grounds to stop any contact.

I can't add anything to the brilliant advice you've had, just that I would give you a hug if I could. One day you'll be free of this monster and his control, and I hope that this day comes soon.

Take care of yourself and good luck.

SkaffenAmtiskaw Fri 11-Jan-13 23:16:54

Just to qualify MeaninglessStrife, I'm shocked that a court granted your ex access to your children after he assaulted one of them. Didn't want to think I was blaming you. On the contrary!

Jux Fri 11-Jan-13 23:22:43

Make an e-mail subfolder, set up a filter or rule, so that anything from him or yr solicitor goes into it. Then only open it once a week and deal with the lot in one go. Tell your solicitor that's what you're doing for when there's something more urgent she could put a keyword in the subject line so you can make the filter keep anything from her with that keyword stay in your main inbox.

I've explained that really badly. If you've no idea what I'm talking about, let me know your e-mail client, and I'll see if I can help you set it up (no guarantees, you may have to post in Geeky stuff!)

springyhope Sat 12-Jan-13 01:41:07

How does he find you online? I'd get some geeky advice on that, too.

I'm sorry you're going through so much. Time to stop being reasonable and hoping that by being decent it will inspire him to calm down. He never will calm down. My ex also upped the ante when he got a new woman/wife - ime the ante is consistently upped.

Stunning advice from izzy, as per usual. He is stealing your life - don't let him have it. Keep it for yourself and your children xx

MeaninglessStrife Sat 12-Jan-13 22:17:25

Jux- thank you - have just messaged my (geeky) brother and asked him to talk me through setting up a filter.
As for him finding me online, he knows that I use online forums for support - and because he works in the civil service and does feck all apart from write bloody letters to my solicitor hmm and OW seems to spend her time online, they seem to trawl parenting/mums forums until they 'find' me - I am guilty of posting too much info sometimes (this thread leaves me wide open).

As for his contact not being stopped after the assault, I have huge issues with how the whole thing was handled by SS and the complete lack of support I had initially - the SW was very junior and I believe that Ex completely manipulated him and painted a picture of me as a jealous ex wife with a grudge - the SW even told me to my face that things would 'settle down' when i was able to move on from the 'issues'
It was only when we had a case conference with a SW manager chairing, that she picked up on his control and manipulation. I still feel though that there is far to much emphasis on his rights and the notion that children 'need' fathers despite what they do.

To be honest I'm really struggling tonight. I'm half expecting him to show up at the house in the morning as he demanded extra contact tomorrow- which I refused as we already have plans. He also got put in his place by the court yesterday so will no doubt be angry.

Jux Sun 13-Jan-13 10:54:09

Geeky brothers are great, aren't they? grin

good luck

Jux Sun 13-Jan-13 10:55:37

Just a thought. Does your geeky bro know about keyloggers, how to find them and how to block them? Not wanting to make you paranoid though.

NicknameTaken Mon 14-Jan-13 10:00:32

I totally get what you mean about finding it difficult to confide in the people around me, even though they are on "my" side. I end up shielding my parents because (a) I don't want them to be any more anxious and (b) it just adds to their recriminations about how I could be so stupid as to have married him - hope you don't get that!

Frightening that SS have been so slow to pick up on the manipulation. I'm currently waiting for another SS report on my ex's treatment of dd, and I really don't know whether to pin much hope on it. CAFCASS have been absolutely dire, although I know it's not the fault of the individual sws, and it's all to do with lack of resources. They have paid no attention to potential child protection issues at all. I feel it's very much a situation where you have to wait for harm to occur, and only then is there any hope of being listened to - as you say, you're just painted as the vengeful wife till then, even if/when you have bent over backwards to make it work.

Again, you have all my sympathy, and I sincerely hope you're approaching some kind of turning point with the situation.

SecondhandRose Mon 14-Jan-13 10:11:17

Is there some kind of womens support charity you can contact? Sorry, others might know more about names.

It is def a great idea to only look at his emails once a week and make sure you communicate this with your solicitor.

Your children will at some point refuse to go to their fathers if he continues like this.

You have already come a long way, he is out of the family home. You dont have to put up with his shit.

olgaga Mon 14-Jan-13 10:55:36

I would have a look in particular at the Rights of Women website and advice line in your situation.

Also Maypole.

There's also Women's Aid, search for a local support group.

Here's lots of background information and links re separation and divorce and support services.

MeaninglessStrife Sat 19-Jan-13 22:24:47

Thank you all again for the links and advice smile

Another week, another saga hmm Back in court again and he has again pissed the judge off no end with his entire attitude and belligerence so no further forward with him doing what he has been told to do to address his behaviour towards the kids. Pissed off with SS who once again seem to be falling for his manipulative bullshit. Thank god my solicitor is so on the ball.

I have taken steps this week to start trying to get the kids trust funds transferred into my control - I paid into them for years but it was always his name on them and I want the kids to be able to have some say in what they are spent on rather than having to do what they are told to by him. Scared of what he will do when he finds out - the building society have said it should all be very straightforward.

Another 4 pages of mindless ranting to the solicitor yesterday - amongst other things, some cushions I took from the holiday house and a picture that he wants - which is currently hanging on DDs bedroom wall hmm

I have however remembered to hide the bin before he drops the kids off.

Still absolutely exhausted with it all sad And to make things worse I bumped into the lovely guy that I saw for a few months during one of the early splits that i went through for Ex. Reminded me of how shit my marriage was and how I have missed out on a 'normal' relationship.

The battle continues.

SecondhandRose Sun 20-Jan-13 10:59:17

Don't forget the advice, read the emails once a week and no more. Don't be dragged into his hell.

Try to be strong, I would suggest he asks DD for the picture as it is on her wall!

I am surprised the man isn't exhausted by all this.

susanann Sun 20-Jan-13 11:35:31

You are doing so well OP. It must be hell. I really dont know what to say other than keep strong and you will get your life back.

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