Weak XH & daughters 18th(19 Posts)
I am always amazed by the brilliant and sensible advice given on these threads so I thought I would post my frustration and ask you lovely ladies ( and gents!) for advice.
XH & I separated seven years ago. Now divorced, he had an affair with a woman in the office who he now lives with & who I have strong suspicions subjects him to DV. I have seen the marks. I have asked him and he laughs it off and claims to have 'fallen over'. She has convictions for physical violence and her last relationship was peppered with police incidents. Anyway, things between us are quite amicable, the children are quite well adjusted in the circumstances. I made it clear early on that if either of my DC's witnessed any 'outbursts' whilst in his care, he would have to see them at my house. As time has gone on DD ( who is my eldest) goes to his house less & less and prefers to see him when he comes to pick up my DS who is 12. As parents we still sometimes go to parents evenings together etc etc.
My DD's 18th birthday is next week & XH's sister who lives a long way away is coming to stay with me & to spend DD's birthday with her. It is a working day, but DD has asked me whether she could have lunch out on the day with me, her aunt, my DS and XH. I have no problem with it. She asked him last week and he replied by offering to take her out after the birthday. I questioned him on this the other day and he has told me that he 'probably won't be allowed' to go.
As a bit of a back story, when we got together years ago he had lived on his own for a few months - and told me that it would be his ultimate nightmare to end up old and on his own. I suspect that is the reason for him now staying in a violent relationship.
FFS. It's his DD's 18th. It will be two hours tops. It means a lot to her. I think he is being a spineless twat. Your opinions please......!
OP you sound very invested in your XH life still. You are divorced and he has a new partner so why would he go out to lunch with you?
I agree he should see DD on her birthday but it sounds like you want to play happy families without his new partner, almost pretending you had never split?
Your DD is 18 so she should have a relationship with her father that doesn't involve you.
If you genuinely think he's being abused, bullied and controlled I think 'spineless twat' could be an unhelpful description. Abusive people specialise in isolating their victims from family. Does DD understand the dynamic?
Thanks ladies. Firstly I assure you I would rather have dental work with no anaesthetic than go back so there is no intention there I assure you.
It was my DD's request for the lunch - not mine & I just think that as grown ups (and her parents) it's not too much to ask on a special day. I need to elaborate on the 'spineless' bit - it is a characteristic he shares with his father - he always did take the path of least resistance in life & is a compulsive liar to everyone about everything. Believe me I am a much happier and better person without him. It actually upsets me a great deal to think that because he doesn't want to live on his own, he would rather stay in a violent relationship, but as you say, we are long divorced and it's none of my business. His siblings have also tried to speak to him about it but I think he is in denial. DD knows the relationship isn't great but I've never commented at all because I don't think it's appropriate. I even defend him when she moans about promises that he has made and not kept.
I just feel that as parents, it's not too much to ask to sit in a restaurant and have lunch with our daughter on her birthday.
Don't you think, at age 18, DD deserves to know the truth about her father's set-up? No, it's not too much to ask that he has lunch with everyone but it has been turned down so it's not going to happen. Maybe it would be better if his new partner was invited? Maybe it will have to be a separate lunch on another day more convenient to them? Think DD needs more information.
Would you feel the same
If an ex-husband was calling
His ex-wife "spineless
Twat" because she was
Not able to get away
From her abuser?
Thanks Cog. Its difficult. Its not my place to comment on his set up & I have always been very careful to never say anything about him to either of my DC's. DD doesn't like the new partner but that is honestly nothing I've done or said. I suppose all I can do is suggest she speaks to him about it.
Answers - my description of him is more just his general demeanour and the fact that historically he has always lied for a quiet life. As I've said it is terrible that he now finds himself in this situation but he won't accept help and is more worried about being on his own. His father behaved in a similar manner and is now indeed old and lonely through womanising. What else can I do?? Our relationship is long dead. He needs to move on and find somebody decent.
It's unfortunate that your DD didn't phone to ask him to come to the lunch then she could have demonstrated her disappointment and he would have had to explain his excuses to her and might have said something different.
You're right Maggie. If she mentions it again I will suggest she phones him. I will take her anyway of course.
I'm afraid this is the reality of life with a relative who is in an abusive relationship. This could be one of many future occasions where your XH appears to be putting his DP before his DC. It's nowhere near as simple as that from his perspective.
While there is a lot to be said about not interfering in your XH's personal relationships, especially now your DD is an adult herself, I think your DD needs to know what's going on. I wouldn't advise you to do it yourself though as you could end up caught in the middle. Rather, I'd step back from your XH completely and let him deal directly with his DC now they'er old enough to let that happen. That way, he has to make his excuses to them directly. He will either find that harder to do (and it may help him break free of the relationship) of if he still makes excuses, your DC will work it out for themselves eventually. Either way, it's no longer your problem and you can be just a sympathetic ear for your DD rather than someone trying to fix a problem you neither made nor are capable of solving.
Could it be that he meant that his employer wouldn't "allow" him to have a 2 hour lunch?
Thanks Dahlen. You are right. 99% of the time I have no need to speak to him and it is only because of the upcoming birthday that there have been issues. He has in the past promised things to my DS and not delivered. Its hard not to get cross. My DD has gradually pulled back from him because of his DP and it makes me sad for her that the relationship with her DF will probably go by the wayside if he doesn't change his ways.
Mutton- no he can get the time. His job allows him lots of freedom.
I realise I was clutching at straws with that suggestion.
I wonder whether your DD already knows - or has an inkling of - what is happening between her father and his partner. If she doesn't then would telling her be helpful? She would no doubt feel very upset/angry/protective but would it help her or her Dad? It may even drive him further into the
fists arms of his P. I'm not suggesting you don't do it, just that it's so sensitive.
These guys - www.mankind.org.uk - may have some helpful advice.
Thanks Meridian. I will look at that. I know it might help her understand better if she knew. Maybe she does already. It's a very difficult thing to discuss. I will have a read of the website.
I worked with someone who was being hit by his wife a lot and he confided in me and another colleague but it was very hard to know how to support him and that website/org did not exist at the time so I'm glad there is some help out there now.
My colleague left his wife and went back a few times and in the end she cheated and left him for the other man so there was a happy ending eventually.
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