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DM is walking into a relationship with a convicted DV abuser

(56 Posts)
waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 18:49:36

Please may I have a handhold.

DM moved in last year to help with childcare. DH, the kids and I are all very happy to be living together.


DM divorced my abusive alcoholic father around 10 years ago after 30 years together. It was a massive relief to know she was safe from him. It was a long and awful marriage - she finally left him after reading Lundy Bancroft when he threatened to kill her one night.


Fast forward to present day and I signed her up for online dating as I knew she’d love to meet someone; definitely still young enough to enjoy retirement with.

A month in, she is now in touch with a convicted abuser; he assaulted his wife 10 years ago. They are now divorced. He also has a separate professional tribunal suspension for unethical behaviour in the workplace, the details of which also show him abusing his power at work.

DM really likes him, is impressed by him, feels sorry for him and wants to see where this relationship will go. She does not want to judge him and wants to give him a second chance at happiness because ‘he who is without sin should cast the first stone’. She is already super defensive about his behaviour and minimises even his criminal conviction as a mere peccadillo. I suggested therapy for which DM showed zero enthusiasm.

The heavy feeling in my stomach I used to have when my parents lived together has now returned. DM is so awesome and I cannot bear to see her do this. Yet I know this is her life and she has to make her own decisions - I’d never dictate who she could see.

Vipers, I knew some of you could understand the terror I’m currently feeling. I could cry.

OP’s posts: |
TwentyViginti Tue 17-Nov-20 19:00:02

I don't know what you can do really, except maybe refuse to have anything to do with him, and tell your mum he cannot visit her at home, because you have DC to protect.

tenlittlecygnets Tue 17-Nov-20 19:03:27

Handhold here...

Did your mum ever do the Freedom Programme? It might help her to spit the signs of an abusive relationship and red flags, and raise her boundaries in relationships.

Why is she drawn to this man? Why doesn't she care about his past? Have you shown her stats about abusive men and that they will probably go on to abuse again?

How did she find out about his conviction? And the work thing - did he tell her?

I'm not surprised you're worried.

YoniAndGuy Tue 17-Nov-20 19:05:20

I am sorry but I would be telling her she 's looking at having to move out if she chooses to carry on in a relationship with this kind of man, as you have children to protect and you have no intention of someone like that coming within a country mile of them. And that INCLUDES relationships with other adults in your home.

She's being an absolute fool!

waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 19:05:22

Ah @TwentyViginti this is just it, isn’t it.

I obviously won’t be spending any time with him - it could have potential implications for both mine and DH’s job. They are yet to meet (thank the universe for this lockdown) but she is in so deep already, which is obviously in itself a red flag. It’s been a couple of weeks ffs.

OP’s posts: |
CuriousaboutSamphire Tue 17-Nov-20 19:10:49

Have you been really blunt with her?

Mum, you are repeating the same mistake and you won't save this one either. You DESERVE someone who is loving, normal, uncomplicated. You don't have to save the broken ones.

Or something similar.

waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 19:44:23

Sorry, have small DC to put to bed. Will be back later to answer questions as this is helping me. Thank you for your responses and your handholds, I needed these.

OP’s posts: |
PussGirl Tue 17-Nov-20 19:47:22

no fool like an old fool sad

ChaToilLeam Tue 17-Nov-20 19:51:02

Your mum sadly still hasn’t broken free of her chains and is still so vulnerable to hideous men like him. She needs to reread Bancroft’s book and to do the Freedom Programme.

I recommend having blunt words with her too: is she putting this man ahead of her relationship with you and your children? Because that is what it will amount to, you will not be letting him near them, you will be protecting them.

There is only so much you can do for an adult who is taking a bad path, but I so feel for you, OP. I can only imagine how horrible this is for you.

Mistystar99 Tue 17-Nov-20 20:01:12

Not your finest hour suggesting online dating, where all the weirdos and worse congregate, looking for and finding the vulnerable. Not much help to you now but if she gets free of this one, don't put her back online! There are safer ways to meet people.

waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 20:44:50

@Mistystar99 mea culpa but it is 2020 and all our lives are online. DM deserves to look for a fulfilling relationship and it is impossible at the moment irl.

@ChaToilLeam Yes to everything you said. She is definitely putting this man ahead of our relationship, but this happened with my father too when she could not/chose not to protect us when we were children. She loves me, but I would not expect for this to have the earth shattering effect it would have on me if one of the DCs said that to me.

@CuriousaboutSamphire I have been very blunt with her. I think she has lingering issues with her self-esteem - she told me today she was old and nobody was pursuing her as doggedly as this bloke (no kidding). The bigger problem is that her expectations of a relationship are all out of whack, so normal blokes behaving sensibly don't cut it.

I am also aware this is a curious role reversal. The more I step into the role of the parent the more she retreats into the role of a petulant teenager who wants to rebel by insisting on keeping in touch with this vile creature just to 'see where it goes.'

@YoniAndGuy The temptation to throw all my toys out of the pram and give her an ultimatum is strong. It may yet come to this, but for now I am just reeling from the news that she is in touch with him after learning what he has done.

OP’s posts: |
Muchadoaboutlife Tue 17-Nov-20 20:46:29

This is really sad to read

Bunnymumy Tue 17-Nov-20 20:51:17

Could you sit down and sis us red flag behaviour with her. Maybe with some internet links.

For example 'love bombing'.
And how to spot a narcissist in dating.

So that 'if he displays any of these behaviours, you'll know he is a bad one'.

SandyY2K Tue 17-Nov-20 20:51:30

How did she find out about his past? Did he tell her?

Bunnymumy Tue 17-Nov-20 20:51:40

*sit down and discuss

OurChristmasMiracle Tue 17-Nov-20 20:53:08

I would be soooo severely tempted if you know her online dating password to go onto the app and block this man.

Also online dating really isn’t the place for your mum until she has worked on her boundaries and had some therapy for the years of abuse she tolerated. I understand she may want to meet someone and you want her to be happy but she is very vulnerable. Maybe find her some online classes that she can do to meet people and hopefully expand her friendship circle? Has your mum got many friends? She may well be lonely but honestly she is better off alone than with someone who will abuse her.


I hope that your mum sees sense or contact drops off as it often does with online dating.

TwylaSands Tue 17-Nov-20 20:55:38

A month in, she is now in touch with a convicted abuser; he assaulted his wife 10 years ago. They are now divorced. He also has a separate professional tribunal suspension for unethical behaviour in the workplace, the details of which also show him abusing his power at work.

How does she know all this? If he told her, id consider that a red flag too. As he can say well she knew who he was when they met, so why have a problem at x point?

waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 21:04:01

@tenlittlecygnets Sorry, this will be long.

Why is she drawn to him? He is bright, articulate, well educated, GSOH. Also a wife beater, but, I kid you not, apparently we all make mistakes. They have lots in common and lots to talk about. More importantly, he is an abuser and she had lived with an abuser for the vast majority of her adult life (I will leave you to imagine her family of origin, as there is only so much time I can spend listing various inadequacies of men in my family). Naturally, this relationship feels familiar.

I told her this too. I explained how it took me years to unlearn bad attraction habits. In fact, to this day when I have a crush on someone I am careful to examine him for red flags. My celebrity crushed are all old wife beaters. Nine times out of ten, I fancy abusers. The difference is that I don't want to have a relationship with an abuser.

As for this prince among men DM found online, his professional suspension was salacious enough that it made the papers, which in turn dragged up his earlier DV conviction. He did tell her about it, but only because the widely reported (but relatively old) story has his name and photo in it on the internet for everyone to see.

However, he disclosed it in such a way that DM immediately came to his defence. There is saviour complex there on her part, but also lots of Christian indoctrination with regards to salvation, redemption and never judging people.

Obviously he is also testing her boundaries with this disclosure. The very fact she is still texting and talking to him is a massive victim beacon above her head.

She knows all about the stats about men like this almost never changing.

What a fucking mess this is.

OP’s posts: |
waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 21:05:26

Also, I've sent her links to the freedom programme and will now google love bombing in the context of abusive relationships. Thank you flowers

OP’s posts: |
CuriousaboutSamphire Tue 17-Nov-20 21:09:22

To see where it will go?

Did you respond to that with

To hospital for you and back to court for him...

Or do you think that the more you push the more she will dig her petulant teen revisit heels in?

I can't imagine anything more horrifying than watching this unfold!

Summerhillsquare Tue 17-Nov-20 21:10:46

She's not met him? Surely when she gets the full DARVO experience in the flesh she will come to her senses.

waterproofed Tue 17-Nov-20 21:15:46

@Summerhillsquare I really would not be so sure. This bloke is a skilled manipulator who has done the freedom programme (or equivalent) himself, if press reports are to be believed.

DM feels sorry for him because he can't escape his past. I don't even know where to start with this one.

OP’s posts: |
Summerhillsquare Tue 17-Nov-20 21:20:08

But online dating is a bit of a fantasy generally (been there, got the t-shirt). We build up an idea of a person in our heads, especially over a long period, and especially when fed by a manipulator. An in person meeting will ( hopefully, sorry!) shatter her expectations.

SinkGirl Tue 17-Nov-20 21:29:54

Hugs OP. I could have written this myself several years ago. My mum never had a longterm relationship that wasn’t abusive - my father and stepfather both were and once stepfather left (to go to rehab) she went from one abusive twat to the next. Ended up marrying a real prize - a man who eventually tried to kill her, she came to stay with me and then got back together with him secretly. Then she was diagnosed with cancer and a year or later she died - he played the doting husband but already had someone new before she died.

I wish I could have talked her out of it, but I couldn’t. She had a very abusive childhood and was desperate for the kind of life bombing that only abusers can provide.

I hope your mum sees sense before she gets hurt and unfortunately there’s very little you can do about it. But you’re not alone flowers

PrincessNutNuts Tue 17-Nov-20 21:31:13

My sisters abusive relationship began like this. He told her all the bad stuff himself both to make himself look "honest" and in order to test her boundaries.

Then followed a lengthy nightmare that involved the whole family.

Nothing we said made any difference even though it was all very predictable from the beginning.

I don't know what you can do, it didn't help that we could all see how things would go.

It's very hard on everyone who cares about the person who throws themselves headlong into a relationship with an abuser.

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