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How to manage disagreement over what to tell the children?

(7 Posts)
ImStayingHomeWithYouTomorrow Thu 07-Dec-17 20:22:45

Split with ex after years of abuse. He was arrested and bailed and I had to explain to dc why he had suddenly gone and they couldn't see or speak to him for some time.

I took lots of advice and then told them basic age appropriate version of truth - that daddy hurt mummy and the police wanted to speak to him about it, and that daddy and mummy couldn't speak to each other for a while.

Ex was charged but got off since passage of time meant was my word against his.

Dc now see him at contact centre. He knows what I have told them, because I told his family members what I'd said and it was included in the social services report.

He now wants to 'discuss' what 'we' should tell them about him leaving.

He pleaded not guilty and bare face lied in court, and he got off. He's in complete denial (or at least he expressing complete denial). In his head it seems to be working for him - he wasn't convicted. I have no doubt that he has convinced even himself that he is innocent.

I can't see him agreeing to hold up what I have told them, if they ask him. But I don't see what other option there is? They don't ask me about it nowadays, but as they see him more they may ask him. I'm not going to tell them any more detail than they already have (unless one of them talks to me about stuff they witnessed - then I would acknowledge that and discuss it with them, but again not giving them more detail), but equally I'm not going to lie or change what I've told them.

I can't see that we're ever going to agree what to tell them, so it's pointless to try to discuss it between us. Or am I missing something? I really don't want the children drawn into anything - they just need to be able to feel safe just seeing him as their dad.

pudding21 Thu 07-Dec-17 20:37:02

You know he is trying to engage you again. Don't. No good will come out of discussing it with him. Keep your party line and don't move from it. How old are the kids? He is only going to try and minimise it, because he is never going to admit it. Eventually the kids will realize. Is his contact always supervized?

Listen, you know the truth. He is trying to mess with your head. My ex tells my kids that mummy didn't love him anymore and she wanted a new boyfriend. The kids know I left because of his anger. They witnessed it, they are not stupid. The fact is he was an emotional bully, but he won't ever admit that, which is the reason i left. I did love him, I wanted to make it work. He is rewriting history just like your ex wants to do. I understand your concern, but tell him you don't wish to discuss it with him.

ImStayingHomeWithYouTomorrow Thu 07-Dec-17 21:24:40

I know what you say is true. I worry that I'd look unreasonable in court (he keeps threatening court) for refusing to engage at all - even though I can't see a way that any useful engagement on it can take place.

WhooooAmI24601 Fri 08-Dec-17 05:35:57

I think in your situation you need to remove the "us" from everything you're saying and doing. Compartmentalise him entirely on his own. You can't co-parent with an abusive tosspot, so don't try.

Think about what you've told the DCs so far. Think about them potentially needing or wanting more information and have something rough ready to give them if they ever ask.

By making it "us" he is wheedling his way into your subconscious and trying to stake his claim there. He lost that privilege the moment he hurt you. Make your "us" you and your DCs. He can do what he likes; he will always do what he likes, and unquestionably you will have to pick up the shitty pieces he's left behind. But let his idle threats go; he knows they're his only way to control you any more so let him try. And just do what's right for the DCs in every situation. The only plus-side to that is that it devastates abusive people when they realise they're unable to maintain control over someone. Let him see that he's lost it.

MimiSunshine Fri 08-Dec-17 06:07:31

You won’t look unreasonable in court, but even if you did.
Who Do you think would look MORE unreasonable,the person charged with domestic violence or the person who didn’t want to discuss the domestic violence carried out against them with the person charged?

Disengage, don’t let him manipulate you and don’t discuss anything with him.
Keep removing being your children that they talk to you any time about anything and that there are no secrets or lies between you.

If he starts lying to the children they’ll come and ask you about it to find out what’s true.

MimiSunshine Fri 08-Dec-17 06:08:05

* reminding not removing

Offred Fri 08-Dec-17 08:04:24

He’s seeing dc at a contact centre, presumably the contact centre is due to SS concerns, so on what grounds would he bring a court case anyway?!

I agree with others too, this is all about him trying to exert control over you and nothing to do with any concern he has re the DC. I would feedback to SS that you still have concerns that he is trying to use the DC to exert control and that the contact centre needs to keep an eye on what he is saying to them during contact.

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