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Ex's anger problems and impact on children

(107 Posts)
mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:01:13

In many ways my ex is a very good ex. He pays child support, on the dot, every time, he takes huge interest in the dc and is reliable about pick ups and drop offs.

The children are 6 & 10, and spend 2 nights a week with him.

Last night I got a call from my dd holed up in a bedroom saying "Dad is going crazy, yelling and hitting." I said I'd pick her up and asked her to pass the phone to her dad, he was able to contain himself enough to say "OK" when I said I was going to pick her up.

When I got there she was at the door waiting, then the younger one came flying out, howling at the top of his lungs. (I had assumed he would be in bed asleep.) He climbed into the car and I told him to buckle up and close his door.

My ex stood there looking very grim but didn't say anything.

Took the kids home, calmed them down & put them to bed.

Later I got a text from ex saying he was sorry, he'd lost it and had hit them both and that he thinks it might be better for them with him out of their lives.

This has happened countless times before with the exception of the remorseful text.

I am unsure what to do. I have toyed with phoning police about his violence towards them, with doing nothing, with resigning myself to the fact that he's a lost cause and to get on with our lives without him, and with trying to talk sense into him.

I am trying to work out what will be the least damaging way forward for the children and I'm not sure that no contact is the answer. Surely this will cause terrible grief and issues of rejection?

His own father was an alcoholic who shut himself away and did not speak to anyone for years. My ex carries a lot of grief about that. His insight into his own behaviour, however, is nil. One day he'll be knee deep in remorse and self pity, the next he'll be blaming the children.

I would really appreciate some advice. Thank you for reading this.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 25-Sep-13 23:07:30

You have a text confirming that he hit them. Keep that, don't send them again.

If he's unlikely to push to see them again then just encourage him to get help

If he starts to insist on seeing them then you will have to refuse and he will have to go through the process where he goes to court and you can explain why etc

If he's violent to them and you knew this it wasn't the best thing for you to let them go. He's an adult and responsible for sorting himself out.

DollyTwat Wed 25-Sep-13 23:09:03

What an awful situation for you and your dc
I think you know you have to protect them, especially as this isn't a one of. Social services would most likely see you as not protecting them.

I would go down the supervised contact route if your dc still want to see him. I would guess there's more they haven't told you. You can't send them to him knowing that he will abuse them

SolidGoldBrass Wed 25-Sep-13 23:11:54

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mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:14:00

Laurie he won't push to see them, I am sure of that. He finds fatherhood a massive chore.

The children don't know about the text, but my daughter has already offered a very reasoned opinion "I love Dad and want to see him but there is no point going there to listen to him shout." and I believe I can support her adequately.

It is the 6yo I am more worried about as he is developing anger issues of his own and swings between feelings of shame/remorse and rage. He will take this on as rejection and shame.

With me they are both fine, almost angelic. But from what I hear from ex and the dc, they fight constantly in his care.

haverer Wed 25-Sep-13 23:14:57

Your poor children. If it were me, I'd contact the police and SS. as you say, he can very easily snap back into blaming the children (Seriously, how much will that fuck them up?) and when he does, and wants to see them again, how will you feel about sending them back to that sort of treatment.

Supervised contact/contact centres can help keep them safe if they still want to see him.

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:16:30

< does a double take >

You have sent your children to stay with this violent man, knowing that he has hit them "countless times" ?

Really ? Can you explain why you have done that ?

DollyTwat Wed 25-Sep-13 23:17:52

Is there a court order in place op?

mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:22:27

SGB I am not in UK and there is no risk that the dc will be taken into care. We have had involvement with social services in the past (I had a mental breakdown when youngest was newborn, largely to do with ex's behaviour!) and they were fantastically supportive.

While violence (including smacking) is illegal here, children are not automatically removed from homes where a few smacks have happened.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 25-Sep-13 23:26:51

It sounds like you're trying to minimise it though.

Is it really a few 'smacks' or sustained violence? - not that hitting is in any way ok.

Your sons behaviour already indicates he is being influenced negatively by the violence. Better to feel rejection or however you explain it rather than think that this aggression is normal.

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:27:45

I don't understand your hesitation.

elliebellys Wed 25-Sep-13 23:28:34

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mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:30:56

haverer how much will that fuck them up?
I am trying to work out the lesser of two evils. The evidence is that some contact is better than none.

AnyFucker Really ? Can you explain why you have done that ?
Absolutely. There have also been countless times that they have gotten on well, they skip for joy when they realise it is "Dad Day".

This is not a case of me sending my dc to a house where they are beaten black & blue, this is a shared care agreement, the father has (until now) said he wants them, they want to go and there have been a lot of happy times. They have never been beaten, but they have certainly copped slaps and yanks here and there. There have also been many times, countless as I said, when they have phoned in tears saying "Dad is being mean".

The other thing is that part of his time with them crosses over my working hours so part of my reason for sending them is so that I can hold down a job and therefore provide for them.

I am now re-thinking this aspect - possibly a combination of change of hours at work and some after school clubs.

There is no family help on either side and I cannot afford babysitters.

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:31:07

Oh pick your jaw up, ellie. This bloke hits his kids. If it was allowed, I'd put him out of his misery myself. Fucking waste of oxygen.

DollyTwat Wed 25-Sep-13 23:31:26

If you have no legal requirement to make them available for contact, thank your lucky stars and don't send them

There is no way you should be sending them knowing he will abuse them, this gives them the message that this is ok and normal. Your job is to protect them op.

mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:32:16

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DollyTwat Wed 25-Sep-13 23:34:44

Not wishing to project my own situation here, but my ex told the dc he'd never see them again. I'm taking it back to court to change the contactvorder to be supervised only

Whilst my ex has emotionally trashed my dc the courts still think contact is a good thing. My dc still miss daddy, even though he's an ass

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:36:23

Make alternative child care arrangements. You cannot use this violent abuser as child care. A nanny or childminder would be jailed for hitting kids, it's not ok just because he is their father.

Your kids may want to see him, but you are the grown up here. Kids love anyone who is occasionally nice to them, especially if it is Big Mr Daddy figure. But they don't know what is best for them. And walking on eggshells around him, always on the lookout for "bad" daddy appearing, being terrorised by him and being one slap away from a serious head injury is not that

You say he won't even bat an eyelid if he doesn't see them. So, stop them seeing him. Any contact is not "good" contact, whatever gave you that idea ?

elliebellys Wed 25-Sep-13 23:38:03

Exactly mrs bingle,he is their dad.what he is doing to the kids is awful but im sure the kids would be devastated if he died.he is in dire need of helpnd i think if the kids want it then supervised contact would be good idea.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 25-Sep-13 23:38:47

I've really winced at the "copped slaps and yanks"

I can hear that you've tried to balance the abuse (and it is abusive) with the good stuff but I think it's tipped over into not being ok for you.

So do what you've suggested - use a combination of different care while you work.

I also hear that you say he does love them - he has to get much better with them before they go again. An activity or supervised contact in public places - is your relationship good enough with him to go?

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:38:57

Your children's father is a violent abuser of them. Stop excusing him.

What is a "typical" sgb comment, btw ?

AnyFucker Wed 25-Sep-13 23:40:28

There is no "help" for a man that thinks it's ok to hit children.

Any "help" should be in securing the kids safety so that he can never abuse them again.

DollyTwat Wed 25-Sep-13 23:40:54

Op he isn't going to change
The dc wil get older and more cheeky

Was he violent to you?

freemanbatch Wed 25-Sep-13 23:42:11

I cut contact between my kids and their dad three months ago when I reported him to the police for a number of domestic violence offences and my kids are so much happier now in just that short time, sadly it probably won't last and they'll have to see him again.

I always speak positively about their dad, he is included in imaginative games and silly songs if they bring him up as a character and I have told them repeatedly that their daddy loves them but right now there are things that need sorting out and there are lots of people involved in talking to daddy and to me and to them and that although I don't know what's going to happen and when they might see their daddy again I promise that I will tell them as soon as I know what is going on.

The kids don't feel rejected by him and from the questions I have been asked by my oldest in the last few weeks I am sure she recognises the things that were wrong with her contact with her dad and that she sees the current position as positive even though she hopes that it isn't permanent.

You cannot send your children to someone you know will hurt them and sadly you can't trust that he will get help for his issues the only way you can be sure that your children will be protected is to make contact with the police and ask advice.

Good luck.

mrsbingle Wed 25-Sep-13 23:46:05

AnyFucker - Your children's father is a violent abuser of them. Stop excusing him.
Where have I said I excused him?
Why are you so angry? You seem to be projecting massively here.

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