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I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place(24 Posts)
A bit of background: me and "d"p have a 3 year old and a 7 year old. I used to love my dp and thought he would make an amazing father. We had been together a long time. After our first child was born he quickly showed that he had no patience and I ended up doing everything with dd alone. I remember when she was 5 weeks old and I wanted him to try her with a bottle of expressed milk one night as I was getting about two hours sleep a night, she wouldn't take it and he was shouting at her it's this or nothing stop being spoilt, he had no patience at all and wanted to leave her hungry for the rest of the night. I fed her and never asked him for help again. Fast forward 4 years and I was enjoying motherhood and me and dp wanted dd1 to have a sibling. My pregnancy was hard and even though he was desperate for this baby and said he would change and help he did nothing. I had a c section and he had two weeks off work and he did nothing. When I came out of hospital he went to bed and left me with dd1 and a baby to look after, he said he was worn out after looking after dd1. I was so upset. Visitors noticed how he treated me, he even asked me to make him lunch and kept saying he was on holiday from work! I wanted to leave there and then but recovering from a c section and no where to go I was stuck. Over the last 3 years I have been a stay at home mum as he works a 60 hour week so all childcare, sickness etc falls on me. I don't mind and I enjoy being a stay at home mum. But how he treats our children and me has killed my love for him.
For example when I was sick he let our then 2 and 6 year old play in the street riding there bikes while he sat inside playing on his phone. So I had to go and sit outside even though I was sick. He doesn't supervise the kids at all, he leaves the cleaning cupboard open with chemicals in, the knife draw open without the safety catch on, he forgets to feed DC at meal times, doesn't strap them in properly in the car so I have to re do it, doesn't put their bike helmets on properly, gives the youngest boiling hot food, these are just some of the things he has done, luckily I am always there to jump in. He is also selfish with money and doesn't like to spend it on the DC. We are OK financially but the DC have to go without things like cinema trips, they don't have many clothes etc. He resents buying school uniform. I scrimp and save out of the grocery money so they have the essentials.
I have wanted to leave him for a long time, I hate to see how he is with the DC. But I am too scared to leave because then he will have them on his own. I feel like I have to stay with him to protect them from his dangerous driving and all the other things mentioned above. That's right he gets angry with other drivers and tries to race them with me and the DC in the car, luckily not at high speed but it is bad enough, he also cuts them up which I think is dangerous. At the moment i try to make sure we hardly ever go in the car with him, we eat on our own, and spend time in other parts of the house playing or cleaning when he is off work. We hardly ever do anything as a family as he is always working and that suits me. Is this the best I can hope for, trying to keep me and the DC out of his way because I can't bear to watch how he parents? I stand up to him infront of the DC and now they have no respect for him and will not do as he says. I just wish I could get up and walk out with the DC. But I feel stuck as I wouldn't want to put them through access with this selfish man. What can I do, does anyone have any suggestions? I feel trapped and am so miserable.
Bumping this up for you so someone with experience can help. You sound like a wonderful mom though
Thank you. I've just posted it in Aibu as well as I'm feeling so desperate tonight.
I think this is always a difficult one, I've got a friend with a partner like this and she's been fighting to keep the kids but he has now won through court to have them 50 50.
I hope someone more useful comes along!
Thank you. Yes that worries me he would probably fight for 50/50 and probably Palm them off on someone anyone he could find for free while he works, he palmed dd1 off while I was in hospital with dd2. But he would want access just to be spiteful. My girls are such well behaved gentle little things I just don't want to put them through anything frightening by splitting up. Staying seems the lesser of two evils I hate feeling trapped.
They are also such mummies girls as I think they are scared of their dad as when he is at home (about an hour a day they see him) he shouts a lot and gives them evil looks if he thinks they are being naughty
They do say they love him though and they hug him. And sometimes he can be nice. But he just has unrealistic expectations of them and has no regards for their safety.
My exh was the same way. I stayed until his lack of patience was turned on one of my kids, then 8 year old Ds2 ( he went for him in anger cos he wasnt putting his boots on fast enough). That was it for me. Threw him out and I have to say it was not pretty. We survived though and my kids, now young adults, see him for what he is. They were 6,8 and 10. I wish Id gone sooner as they all now have "issues". I stayed as I thought it was for the best for them. IT WASNT.
I understand the fear of leaving them with him, it took me years to get over that. The kids cottoned on early to how he was and learned to keep themselves safe when with him.I spent a lot of time explaining the dangers of all kinds of situations It was so sad. I gave them all cell phones and told them no matter what time, if you feel scared or unsafe call me and Ill come get you. I spent a lot of time driving to pick them up the first few years.Never made plans incase I had to go get them.
Mine also had ZERO respect for him and when he used to shout at them they just rolled their eyes and ignored him. He stopped pushing for more contact after a very short time. They were more work than he was willing to put in. Worked for us all that did.
How old are your kids, old enough to suss things out for themselves?. They are smarter than we give them credit for. Basically dont make the mistake I did and stay, thats fcked up my kids more than if Id left and they had to learn to deal with him solo at a younger age.
My biggest regret in life is staying as long as I did and me and my kids are now living with the consequences of what I thought at the time was for the best
I would talk to a solicitor that offers half an hour free advice. (They try to fill it up with form-filling, so be assertive.)
Women's Aid might be useful, too.
Afaik, you can offer supervised contact, with a family member or friend that you choose, or at a contract centre if you have one nearby. If he disagrees with this he would have to take you to court and I presume that would be expensive.
But I'm no expert so hopefully someone wiser will be along soon.
My kids are just turned 3 and just turned 7. The 7 year old already checks with me when her dad tells her to do something that she thinks isn't safe ( he asks her to put a plug in for him or carry something glass etc) my 3 year old is just a toddler so she has no idea how to keep herself safe. If I wasn't there he would leave them to play out in the street on their own. he has tried before when I've had flu. Luckily I never sleep even when I'm ill, I've learnt to keep alert so I can go down and sort things out. It's very tiring though, I feel drained most of the time.
Thank you to everyone who posted last night, it helps to not feel totally alone. I am going to start a support thread in relationships if anyone is in a similar situation and what's to join me? Maybe we can help each other in some way? Xxx
It sounds toxic- the 7 yo checking things are safe is really sad.
How cast iron is your contraception?
I can't take the pill it makes me depressed. Although being in a shitty relationship is pretty good contraception! I have thought about trying a different pill, so far I have tried two. The mini pill was the worst. a third baby would push me over the edge I think, I am at my limit of giving everything I have to my two DC to try and compensate for dp. I feel I have to be perfect all the time to make up for dp and it is exhausting.
My ex never bothered much with the children and now we are separated he never bothers at all - doesn't sound like your's would TBH.
Agree with pp you are not doing the children any favors by staying.
Your life will be far far less exhausting without him. Definitely.
He sounds awful and downright dangerous. Your mental health is suffering too because he's an abusive bully. Leaving him would be for the best for you and your little girls. Write down his negligent care of the kids and see a solicitor.
You are feeling downtrodden because of him nothing else. Why shouldn't you leave instead of living with this monster.
If you split there is a good chance he won't want access. You might have an issue money wise. I don't know if this is good advice but I forgo maintenance because my ex doesn't want to pay and I don't want him to have access unsupervised. It's not right a father doesn't pay, but I wouldn't chase it if it meant he'd demand 50/50 to escape paying as much. Just get the dc settled and your own finances in order first then think about his maintenance money/access after. Financially even without his 'help' you'd have more than you have now and when youngest is at pre-school you could work.
I know it's a bit of a chance, but many of these idiots who threaten/demand 50/50 either don't follow through with the threat or if they are awarded 50/50 they quickly peter out on it once they realize that having the child(ren) on their own for a weekend can be pretty exhausting!
My BFF's ex was this way. Threaten to take their son, then threatened 50/50, then every weekend all just to spite her. He ended up w/EOW and a Wednesday from 4-7pm. Their DS was a toddler and it scared her to death to have to let him take him overnight, but he had a court order. I think it was after around 4 months of the scheduled visits when he started making excuses and trying to change the weekends around (it interfered too much with his drinking, smoking weed, and strip club visits). She just stuck to the schedule and refused to alter it. Also refused to 'send his meals with him to be reheated' and provide clean clothing (that wasn't returned). At about 6 months the ex just lost interest and stopped taking him.
Please see a solicitor. Ask about supervised visits if you are truly concerned about your DC's safety. They'll have a good idea how the courts there handle things and what you can realistically expect.
ricketytickety I would be happy to go without maintenance if it reduced contact. That is something I had thought about before. I worked out in a years time once all DC are at school if I worked and received tax credits I could afford to live without any maintenance.
acrossthepond55 your friend is very brave. It sounds like it paid off for her.
It did pay off. Only you know if it's a gamble you're willing to take.
But I remember times when she would literally vomit with fear after he drove away. He was just a fucking idiot with no common sense when it came to safety, cleanliness, or nutrition but of course he 'knew it all' because he had two other children (that he did nothing for and were completely cared for by his first wife whilst they were married). And her DS was, at that time, too young to tell her much of what went on. He'd come home smelly, dirty, and hungry but of course the courts weren't interested in that.
Acrossthepond55 that sounds awful. It's so upsetting that the courts seem to turn a blind eye to neglect? Is it because the men lie in court? Or is contact considered more important that emotional/physical safety? It's so confusing! I'm glad that your friend is ok now.
I'm in the US and where we were all living at that time (this was the early '90s) it just seemed as if it was only important that both parents had time with a child, regardless of the quality of that time. And that many mothers were thought to be exaggerating claims of abuse/neglect in order to 'deny' visitation (as it was called then). It really took something egregious (violence, molestation) to get visitation rights removed.
It was also a rural patriarchal, religious area, very different from where I was raised (I married a local and moved there). Many women had their claims discounted or dismissed as 'hysterical' or 'overly emotional'. We moved from there in the mid-90s (partially due to DH's work, partially to provide a better environment for our sons) and never looked back. BFF moved in the early '00s. She and her son (now 28) are both fine.
I really think the best thing for you to do is seek legal advice. Talk to a family solicitor about your concerns. Be factual about what goes on and what you'd like as far as contact goes. I'm sure the solicitor will be able to tell you if you're being realistic or not.
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