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Abusive Husband is manipulating my daughter and my relationship with her. Feeling helpless.

(80 Posts)
PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:01:01

My husband and i have been apart for 5 months. He was verbally and psychologically abusive. We were together 12 years and finally i asked him to leave. Took oodles of strength to do so.

He is now trying to manipulate and influence my eldest daughter who is 19. Despite having a very poor relationship with her when we were together he now tries to be her best friend, lending money etc. last night, when he was visiting, i overheardhim in her room making small talk and then suddenly declaring " we need to make a secret codeword, so that when i talk to your mum downstairs, i can text you the codeword and you can come down and rescue me from her rant. " i was pretty stunned to hear him say such a thing, to our dd. but not entirley surprising. Even worse, i'm not even a ranter that he would need rescuing from. How far from the truth! I went into the room and called him on it, calmly. He said it was a joke, and then accused me of causing an awkward atmosphere, so i walked away, determined not to make a scene. When he left, he failed to see the wrong in what he did. Kept saying it was a joke. How ridiculous!

anyway, it hurt me immensely as i felt he was damaging my relationship with dd, teaching her to gang up on me, and that im some unreasonable person that he needs rescuing from. she has little respect for me as it is at the moment since we split. this is not the first time he has behaved stupidly with her. recently, he told dd against my wishes that he took a girlfriend a few months ago. id barely digested the news myself, when he drove 20 miles to dd's uni, and took her out to dinner just to tell her the news. She told me after that meeting "why would dad having a girlfriend hurt you, you asked him to leave!" . How niave of her, but forgiveable based on her young years and his ability to sell a story. She's even commented recently making fun of me going to Womens Aid and having a counsellor. Its weird, because she witnessed and experienced his worst abuse for herself with name calling, invading privacy and withholding stuff. But its like the slate is wiped clean. Of course, i want her to still see him and have the best relationship possible with him. I just wasnt prepared for her siding with him, at least on the face of it. Maybe she's angry at me? Im not sure.

So, I'm just wondering what strategies i can follow to limit his negative and destructive influence on our dd. we have a 5 year old dd too. Im worried he will begin picking our relationship apart too soon. He had no problem with saying nasty things in frnt of her when we were together. I guess i was naive to think that getting him out my house, would stop his behaviour impacting us. Any suggestions gladly received on how to handle him in the way that causes least conflict but limits his influence and ability to damage/hurt me and girls please? Thanks in advance. X

ImperialBlether Thu 02-May-13 23:08:07

He sounds absolutely vile and I'm really glad that he's your ex.

When you say he's visiting, how long does he stay? How far does he live from you?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:19:21

I'm sorry your going through such a horrible time.

It's not a good idea to let your ex in your house. What was the reason for them being together in her bedroom anyway? I'm not implying anything here but it's odd for that situation to have been engineered.

You do know you have absolutely no control over your 19 year old and your ex don't you. They will have the type of relationship they build with each - at least she won't see much of him whilst she's away at university.

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:20:05

Its his midweek visit to see our youngest and put her to bed. Usually arrives 6:30pm and goes once she's in bed at between 7:30 - 8:30pm. He likes to have a "chat" when he comes downstairs, but i dont really like or want that, as i dont see him as a friend. Infact the other night after the stupid business i described, he came down bold as brass, saying get the kettle on for a coffee. I told him to go that i didnt want him in the house a moment longer.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:24:56

I wouldn't let him in the house at all. Let your 5 year old go to him for access.

How come your 19 year old DD was home last night if she goes to university?

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:38:14

Theres not really another alternative right now than him visit. My dd is only 5 and he stays over 20 miles away so it'd be an early rise for her to get to school. Plus, ive read its better for younger children not to be shunted around, so i want to keep it to a minimum. She stays with him one day and one night at weekend. Im not overly thrilled even at the time he does have. As he is so impatient with her at times. He actually complains when he visits midweek that ive left her homewrok and bath time for him to do. He says i should not give him chores!

I do accept my eldest dd will have the relationship she wants with him. Just strange how he's become the polar opposite of what he used to be with her eg. used to tell her to drop dead, refused to drive her to school for exams till he made her sit 5 minutes as punishment for being late downstairs, hacked her facebook to watch her business, spied on her personal files etc etc And now he lends her money and chats in her room. He always just walks in and shuts door for a chat to find out whats going on in her life. He does have a very unhealthy interest in her sex life... Commenting to me to always have chats with her about sex. just weird. Ive told him to back off on that front, that he's not being appropriate. And he just says "well it will be all your fault if she gets pregnant ". My fault again, funnily enough! Ive had a safe sex chat with her, after she got a steady boyfriend, but i dont keep bringing it up. Why would you? But now this episode has made me see how he's manipulating situations to make me look bad to her. Its ridiculous. Im doing my utmost to create a stable and secure home, and he just undoes my hard work.

This and much much more is exactly why i asked him to go.

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:39:35

She's not away at Uni. She's at home with me and commutes each day by train. Its not far.

CatelynStark Thu 02-May-13 23:43:48

Honestly, it sounds to me like he's grooming your daughter. I would never let him set eyes on her again - or your youngest.

Whatever his intentions are, they're extremely negative and designed to put a barrier between you and your children. Outrageous!

I'd be raging!

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Thu 02-May-13 23:44:26

Any man who takes an unhealthy interest in your DDs sex life and goes into her bedroom without knocking then closes the door behind him really really really should not be allowed in your home.

I honestly would not have any contact with him other than to do doorstep handovers when he see's your 5 year old. If he's only there for an hour and he's impatient with her and complains if he has to bath her and supervise homework then your DD isn't really getting anything out of that visit is she?

DionFortune Thu 02-May-13 23:45:02

Don't let him in your house again! While he is still doing that he is still able to manipulate and abuse you. There is NO need for him to come further than the door and I would keep all contact brief and factual and refuse to discuss anything other than your younger DD with him.

Don't get drawn into even as much as conversing with him, the further away you can get from him, the better.

You need to get tough and be cold, harden yourself to him, be businesslike and emotionless. He's using your DD to hurt you and it will continue to damage you both if you don't stop it now.

Also have a talk to elder DD. Explain about the different types of abuse, get books about abusive relationships and discuss them with her. Be honest, let her know that what her dad does is unacceptable. Can WA help there? Ask your support worker about it, see if there are any events or support for your DD.

You have got this far, now get him out of your life completely. You can do this!

PenelopePitstop72 Thu 02-May-13 23:54:43

I am raging. But rage doesnt solve or help the problems. At 19, its very difficult to prevent her seeing him. She has been to his flat on a couple of occasions to stay over. Ive tried talking to her about him and the depths of his problems and inappropriate behaviour. But she gets upset and cross saying she doesnt want to be in the middle of our battles. so i backed off. But right now, he seems to have cast a spell on her, and of course gives her money when she asks. He even rang me tonight about our youngest and threw into the conversation that my eldest had been in touch with him asking him to call her. That hurts too. Think he knows it. Not sure why she can't turn to me?? I always support her. Its worth saying she is not his biological daughter. Also worht saying, my eldest daughter is in a very unhealthy relationship herself at the moment. Boyfriedn with severe mood swings who can be verbally abusive. My god shes only 19 and repeating my mistake. Ive tried talking to her about her boyfriend and their relationship but she goes nuts and tells me to mind my own business. I think she realises But doesnt want to lose him. I think this is why shes turning to her dad right now rather than me. because im asking her to confront her poor relationship.So all in all, shes really vulnerable right now. Bit of a mess this all is really 😪

PenelopePitstop72 Fri 03-May-13 00:01:41

Ive talked to womens Aid about my daughter too. They gave me leaflets for her to read and offered to see her. She wont engage. She tore the leaflets up. Her head is in the sand. And i become the enemy when i raise the topic of her dad or her boyfriend with her. She's very mich a victim too. And i feel so bad that i have given her such a skewed view of what a loving relationship is.

AnyFucker Fri 03-May-13 00:03:44

I was going to hazard an educated guess that your eldest dd isn't his biological daughter

massive alarm bells here

MagicHouse Fri 03-May-13 00:07:40

I think you should definitely stop him coming into your home, and don't feel guilty about it. Maybe he can take your younger dd out to tea? Or stay-over midweek.
My ex made comments about me when we first split up (my dd would repeat them - often just snide comments that she wouldn't necessarily "get" - digs about our home etc). I have no idea whether he still does it. It used to eat away at me, but now I realise that it's something I can't control, so I try not to think about it.

I decided a while back that the most important thing was to provide a calm, stable home (which is why it's REALLY important you keep him out of it - it's YOUR home, and you really don't need him swanning about in it undermining you in front of your children).

I never got into the badmouthing thing (following the wise advice of a friend), and things are much calmer in my life - it was so stressful at first with an endless exchange of bitter texts and emails - I never rise to anything now, and he's stopped being so arrogant (on paper anyway!)

Of course I'll never stop worrying underneath (he's got a fairly abusive, controlling nature and like your ex has no sense of other's privacy, he also lies very easily) but I really believe that in the long run, he won't be able to hide what he's like, and my children will see that for themselves, even if it takes them right into their adulthood.

I would try to be calm about your elder daughter's comments (e.g about WA) which undoubtedly come from him. Just calmly assert that you needed to do so, and that you feel much happier out of the relationship and leave it at that. Don't get into a discussion about why, and don't rise to his attempts to undermine you. After a while she'll realise you are calm, stable and not manipulative in any way. He's NOT "undoing" the calm home you are providing, he's just showing himself up to be petty. Deep down your DD WILL see this. Just keep being supportive and there for her.

Just saw your last post - he's just trying to make you feel bad - take the wind out of his sails. Say something like "I'm glad your relationship is more positive." Frustrating though it is, she's an adult, and I would try to step back, and keep your conversations with her about positive topics and making her feel good about herself.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 22:20:53

Thanks, that is all sound advice MagicHouse. I do need to work a bit to get the midweek thing sorted out. I'm not really keen on either idea, mind you, as you say, i dont like him being disruptinve and manipulative when in my house. I need to get that sorted andof course i need to watch out for my eldest too.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 04-May-13 22:24:15

She's not his child, right? Is he having or trying to have a sexual relationship with her?

Something's not right with this picture, tbh. I'd be looking very carefully at it if I were you.

Snazzynewyear Sat 04-May-13 22:32:35

Agree that you should not let him into your house again. Take your 5 yo to meet him for tea at a café or something midweek, then call and collect her and take her home to bed, would be my suggestion. Say it is too confusing for her to have him putting her to bed in your house now that you are not a couple anymore.

The situation with your older DD is worrying but you have less control as you've said there. I would suggest they also meet in public places as there's less opportunity for him to behave inappropriately. You could offer to drop her off and pick her up, if that's doable.

PurpleThing Sat 04-May-13 22:34:31

Get this book. It describes exactly the things you have mentioned and will help you understand why she is behaving like this.

I have only started it so I haven't really got to the bits about what you do. But getting plenty of support yourself is really important it seems.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 23:19:07

Thank you for the book suggestion. I was thinking of getting theWhy Does He Do That From the same author. So i will maybe get both. It is so much easier to deal with when younrealise behaviours you are witnessing or experiencing are part of a recognised pattern. i hope it will bring me coping strategies. I still see Womens Aid for support and will be going on a course theyve recommended. and my friends and family are great. So i have a good support structure. Thanks again. X

PurpleThing Sat 04-May-13 23:27:54

Yes get both, they will really open your eyes to what is going on.

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 23:29:47

No, she is not his child. But he has been her father figure and been called "dad" since she was 7. And no, they are not having any kind of sexual relationship!!! What a horrifying suggestion. I know somethings not right, both with the way he treated me, and the way he treated her as well as the way he would also behave infront of our houngest dd. that is of course why i asked him to leave. I think his issues run very very deep including OCD, anger, msnipulstion and lying, control and emotional and psycholgical abusive tendencies. I DO NOT think he is a sexual predator where my dd is concerned!!!

PenelopePitstop72 Sun 05-May-13 00:33:37

Just ordered the books online. Should be with me soon. Sounds like both are a very enlightening read.

spiritedaway Sun 05-May-13 00:52:10

Hope you're right but hacking her Facebook, getting info on her and being her confidante all sound massively worrying in someone you know to be controlling and manipulative..especially as you took control and got him out. Please don't let him in your home anymore. Stay strong and keep giving your daughter's a clear example of acceptable boundaries.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 05-May-13 09:57:28

I'm very glad if that's not the case. I wouldn't wish it to be so. It was just what you had said about him previously not having a good relationship with her. His history of being too involved in her personal business - hacking her facebook, spying on her, etc. Now trying to buddy up to her, lending her money, trying to create 'code words', telling her about his personal relationships, taking her to dinner, having her sleep over at his flat with him, chatting in her room or otherwise closing them off from you in order to chat privately and making those chats sexual, and what you yourself call an "unhealthy interest in her sex life"

I am very glad if none of that means that he has a sexual interest in her, you're right, it would be vile. But you can't detail all of that and be cross if someone asks if he has some unsavoury motive. It wasn't my intention to offend you.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 11:06:06

He's grooming her alright.

Sex may not be the reason though. He's doing it to hurt/keep tabs on you.

Abusers use kids to hurt their partners. He was an arsehole to her when he lived there, to hurt you.

That tactic won't work now, as without the grooming, he'd get nowhere. Your 5 yo is less usefull to him for now, except only to gain access to you and your home.

This man is poison. Stop the midweeks, and stop access to your home. Keep at it with your eldest. Her very life it at stake here. Don't give up on her. (I Know you won't)

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