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Changed man & "Mummy, Daddy is very sorry..."

(28 Posts)
Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 09:48:34

So, the divorce papers arrived (it took that for my DH to realise when I said divorce, what I actually meant was... divorce). I have posted before so I'll be brief and say he's been highly EA and mildly violent (which is still very intimidating). He grew up in an abusive and highly controlling pushy home.

He has admitted all and apparently it has taken divorce papers for him to realise how badly he's behaved, and how unhappy, scared and miserable I have been. Apparently being miserable, depressed, crying, etc. isn't telling enough --> not actually that unreasonable in my DH's case - I've met his parents and empathy is not an emotion they exhibit.

I am exhausted with the hours of pleading and all the don't do it for the children Monny, they won't want this. He's told me I am tearing the family apart, etc. when I should give him another chance because he's changed. I hold the future of our family in my hands. He's going to the doctor to find out about anger management, etc. One more incident and he promises to pack his bags and go...

This morning, my DD recited told me how Daddy had misbehaved, is going to change and was really sorry, missed me and wants me to forgive him... shock So that feels like she will now see me as the baddy for not forgiving him. How do I explain to her that's not cricket? She shouldn't be put in the middle like that!!

I am at a loss - how the hell do I deal with this man?

wallaby73 Wed 19-Nov-14 09:53:21

Definately proceed with the divorce is the first thing; stand firm. You aren't tearing the family apart, he did that by being abusive in the first instance. Thefact now that he's putting the consequences of HIS behaviour, on to YOU being the family wrecker.....that's not a changed man, it's manipulation at itsvery worst, and he's willing to use his own child in the process hmm stand firm lovey xx

Thehedgehogsong Wed 19-Nov-14 09:55:19

Oh wow what a git! I would tell him putting your Dd in the middle is something the divorce lawyers will be very interested in when it comes to deciding contact arrangements and he should work on his parenting skills!
Tell DD that she doesn't have to tell you anything from Daddy as he's already told you, but she did a good job to remember all that, and you love her very much?

Tobyjugg Wed 19-Nov-14 09:56:50

There is no law against marrying your divorced ex-spouse. If he hadn't spoken to your daughter I'd have inclined to believe a road to Damascus moment. That smacks of seeking to keep control. Go with what wallaby said IMO.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 19-Nov-14 09:58:54

Keep notes of everything that happens and how he's coaching your DD (how old is she).

You are not tearing the family apart, when the dust settles, you'll see the kids will be calmer and happier.

He is abusing the children by coaching them to make you change your mind, go and speak to your GP about it.

Tell him his use of the children in this manner underlines his abusive behaviour and he is tearing the family apart and hurting the children.

Good luck.

Twinklestein Wed 19-Nov-14 10:00:01

He hasn't change though has he, he's now involving the children in his emotional abuse.

Twinklestein Wed 19-Nov-14 10:00:30

Xpost, agreed Fuzzy.

Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 10:01:30

Thanks, all. It's horrid to think that the DCs are now being dragged in to it.

I should have been clearer about when she said it, I was quite surprised and asked her 'Oh, did Daddy tell you to tell me that?' She said no, but it was very clear and definitely phrasing he's been using towards me. I suspect he's just happened to make a clear point of telling her over breakfast (I was upstairs).

Sunna Wed 19-Nov-14 10:02:35

Tell her that Daddy has said the same thing again and again and you no longer believe him.

Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 10:10:13

Thanks Sunna - much as I don't want to drag her in to things further, I do want to be as honest as I can (given her age) and that's not only true but something she may understand. flowers

GoatsDoRoam Wed 19-Nov-14 10:11:09

The only way to deal with manipulators is by staying the hell away from them. So divorce stuff happens through lawyers, and contact with DC ideally through a third party. Or if that's not possible, only in writing, and on point - no straying into other topics than practical arrangements for pick-up and drop-off.

He is showing just how much he continues to shirk responsibility for the consequences of his own behaviour, and how much of a manipulator he continues to be, using your child this way.

I think the only thing to tell your daughter is to reassure her that she still has a stable home with you, and if you think it's appropriate, something simple and true like: you are separating from Daddy because he does not treat you nicely.

Don't get into an argument with him about how he's using your daughter: it's pointless; will only be grist to his mill.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Nov-14 10:15:31

You had to anticipate that an emotionally manipulative/abusive man would stoop to any unreasonable trick in the book to keep the status quo and keep you under control. Browbeating, guilt-tripping, threats, promises... you're going to get the lot and he will not let up

So well done for committing yourself to the divorce but you need a plan of action urgently. All the time you are under the same roof he will not let up. If you move out with the DCs.... which may be what you have to do.... he will carry on doing the same thing but at least it would be from a distance.

Start telling him to pack his bags rather than any of this last chance nonsense. If he has a history of violence and you find him intimidating, alert the police 101 number and do not hesitate to call them if he becomes aggressive or obstructive.

SweetErmengarde Wed 19-Nov-14 10:19:14

Promising to attend anger management is the trump card abusers often play when they see that every other tactic to maintain the status quo has not worked. If he manages to refrain from abusing his coworkers, friends and family than he is perfectly capable of controlling his "anger." He treats you the way he does because he feels entitled to (sorry if that sounds harsh). Please do not be swayed by this.

Definitely log his manipulation of your DD with your GP, her school/nursery/childminder (if any) and of course your lawyer, you want a paper trail for this when it comes to deciding contact arrangements and it will help access support for DD.

Regarding what to reply to your daughter, the PP's advice is good, you might also add that of course it's better to forgive than to hold a grudge but that people shouldn't stay married if they make each other unhappy. You will know what's appropriate for your DD's age and understanding.

Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 10:34:50

Thanks all for the great advice - I shall definitely start logging incidents. I have mentioned to the school about him shoving DD and the divorce as they noticed she was quiet. As he's sent me a text, I have replied to ask him how she came to be saying all this. I will see how he explains...

SweetErmengarde - apparently he rubs a few of his workers up the wrong way (turn that frown upside down). But where we live he couldn't appear more perfect, gets involved with local life, but has no close friends.

Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 10:35:49

PS- I am ready Lundy Bancrofts "Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" which has definitely been of help.

Can anyone recommend a book/resource/website on divorcing/leaving manipulative men?

GoatsDoRoam Wed 19-Nov-14 10:37:55


Monny Wed 19-Nov-14 10:41:01

GDR - LOL - Yes, you guys are awesome!!!! (But I am also a book geek)

dadwood Wed 19-Nov-14 10:51:27

Hi Monny, books from another MN thread,

I recommended another Bancroft book I have read a bit of and somebody recommended another great looking book.


CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Nov-14 11:04:05

I think you need 'big guns' rather than books here. You're up against an intimidating bully who is trying to manipulate his way out of trouble and, when that doesn't work, he's going to get nasty. So you need to have a plan and it's going to involve professionals rather than too much DIY. Action rather than understanding. Womens Aid, solicitors, GP, police if appropriate plus your DD's school, friends, family.

Vivacia Wed 19-Nov-14 11:05:07

Daddy had misbehaved, is going to change and was really sorry, missed me and wants me to forgive him.

You can say that it's always good when people say sorry when they've done something wrong and of course you're not angry with daddy. (Or that you won't be angry for long, if that's more truthful).

But your daughter also has to see that people need to set boundaries on how they are treated and sometimes words aren't enough.

There is nothing to stop your husband becoming a changed man and winning you back in ten years time.

GoatsDoRoam Wed 19-Nov-14 11:39:56

Agree with Cogito re: taking concrete action.

I understand you're interested in getting your head round the mechanics of manipulation and abuse, but it seems urgent to make sure you have legal information and support, gather financial information, take concrete steps to live under separate roofs asap...

Text wars with him about the shit he pours in DD's ears also not useful. Will not have any kind of satisfactory outcome anyway.

TisILeclerc Wed 19-Nov-14 13:22:24

You have my sympathies... I left my abusive violent bully just over two years ago now. He not only told the dcs to tell me how much he'd changed and how sorry he was but also other family members and friends (not that the ones I care about did any such thing.!)

My dcs were 15, 12, 5 and 1 when we split and all of the older three were offered the same analagy. A few months previously, a sugar bowl of mine had been broken by one of the dcs. It had been a gift from a now dead relative of mine and as such was a little bit of a sentimental thing so I was very upset. An apology was offered at the time, for which I was grateful, but I was still sad as the sugar bowl had been broken. The children got this immediately, even the 5yo.

Saying sorry doesn't fix what is broken. It is still broken. In this case, it was a sugar bowl and so it wasn't really important. But daddy broke his vows - when we married he made vows to look after me and to cherish me. He broke his vows and no matter what he says, those are still broken. So I didn't break our marriage or our family. He did.

I wonder if that might help?

TisILeclerc Wed 19-Nov-14 13:24:40

Otherwise I totally agree with the others. Read books by all means but you need proper professional help when dealing with an abuser. My battle is almost over (until he thinks of a new one) - just had the date for the financial final hearing - but without excellent advocacy from my legal team I would have lost everything. Including the children as somehow, this violent rapist managed to get social services on HIS side!

Meerka Wed 19-Nov-14 13:39:10

I think actually you have to plainly, non-angrily put the truth.

Your husband is playing mind games. In order to counteract them, you need to speak your truth. Practise til you can say it neutrally; the sheer fury and hurt you must be feeling does not have a place in the conversatoin with your daughter. This conversation would need to be calm.

I would say that you've spoken to Daddy about this before many time and that he isn't willing to listen. That in the end if someone will not work on solving an argument, you have to walk away. This is what you've had to do. That you are very sad it's happened but that it is the healthiest thing and necessary.

I personally would also say that "I don't think Daddy should say these things to you, but that is his choice and we have to respect that. But that you don't think that he is right". It's a bit closer to direct criticism but this is such a tricky situation that nothing is exactly clearcut.

Saying these things is not playing games with your daughter. Not putting the truth is not protecting her, it's inappropriately shielding her from dangerous mind-games. Addressing the issue directly, if gently, is a way of facing the bogeyman.

foolonthehill Wed 19-Nov-14 13:49:19

Actions speak louder than words...your child(ren) will understand this gradually. Unfortunately he will be the one who opens their eyes.

He sounds just the same as my STBEX.

Stay strong. Get legal. Stay truthful.

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