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was my relationship emotionally abusive? and how can I protect my son if it was?

(4 Posts)
unsureofmyself Wed 08-Oct-08 09:37:05

I have come out of a very long term relationship. Basically my ex flitted between me and another woman for months, and has finally chosen her. I want to be careful that I am not reading things into the past that werent there, just because I am hurt. He led me to believe he was wanting to work things out with me, even coming to marriage counselling with me for 2 1/2 of the 4 months we have been separated. And now he has secretly introduced our 18month old son to her. From what I can work out, they are not in a committed relationship. I am worried for my son that this will be disruptive and emotionally damaging for him, and want to protect him. But I need to separate my hurt from the need to protect my son. So please help me to do that. I do not want reconciliation with my ex.

My ex was physically violent towards me. I can remember being chased, pushed, hiding behind locked doors while he kicked them, having things destroyed around me, even once he grabbed me by the throat while I was feeding ds when he was about 8 months old. This was all very far between incidents, so I always thought he had got better, then somthing would make him kick off. He has never been violent towards ds, but he has been rough. We went to relate before we separated, but he refused to acknowledge his behaviour may be a problem and we stopped going.

I think our relationship was also emotionally abusive. I realise now that I have learnt to cut off my emotions instead of registering them, as there was no point in registering them. For example, if I was upset about something he would sulk intead of comfort me. If I was affectionate, he would always expect it to lead to sex whether I wanted to or not. He has an amazing capacity for blaming others for his own faults, and I accepted that blame. Again with ds, I canot se if he has been like this with him, but I do have memories of ds crawling up to him crying and him shutting the door on him, and ex h totally ignoring him when ds wanted him. He said to the marriage counsellor that when ds was a baby he didnt see a problem with not spending time with him cos he didnt do anything.

We went to a different marriage counsellor, and did psychological profile tests as a start to work out what needed sorting out. I was very surprised when mine was normal with just 2 blips. ex h's was as extreme as it can be while still remaining on the chart. I realised then that things werent all my fault, and through counselling have realised what wa actually happening in our relationship.

I have granted exh unsupervised access at the weekend, as I always trusted him. But now I know he has introduced ds to his new gf (he has lied to me about this) I am concerned that he isnt really concerned for ds's emotional wellbeing, as he wasnt for mine. The last thing ds needs is another separation (ie exh and gf), not to mention how confusing and upsetting it must be for him to see his daddy in this situation. We have discussed this and agreed that he should wait 6 months before introducing gf, but he clearly has ignored this.

tbh I am scared of upsetting exh about this. every time we discuss things, he turns it into my fault, and storms off, often at speed in his car. I dont want this to happen with ds about.

So please help me separate my own hurt at ds being introduced to his new gf from what I think is a very real need to protect him.

What can I do?

unsureofmyself Wed 08-Oct-08 09:40:15

sorry that reads like he came to marriage counselling for 2 1/2 months.
it should read
He led me to believe he was wanting to work things out with me, even coming to marriage counselling with me, for 2 1/2 of the 4 months we have been separated.

Overmydeadbody Wed 08-Oct-08 09:46:44

It sounds like you have had a tough time of it.

Don't worry about your DS finding the new situation with ex and gf confusing or upsetting, he won't. An 18 month old has no ideas about what is normal and what is not appart from what they see, so meeting gf would not have seemed strange or different to him, and certainly won't leave him confused or upset.

Babies meet many new people in their lives all the time who then disappear after a short while, it won't mean anything to him.

I just wanted to reassure you on that front, of course you are finding it upsetting that DS has met the ow, but he won't find it upsetting and it certainly won't do him any long term harm.

unsureofmyself Wed 08-Oct-08 17:20:10

I do accept that ds will meet this woman eventually, and she will probably play a reasonable part in his life. There is nothing I can do about that.

What I am concerned about is that exh should be spending some quality time alone with ds at the moment. He was not a hands on father, and he needs to show some responsibility for ds's welfare. And fitting ds in while he goes flat hunting with his new gf (for her apparently, not for them) isnt really fair on ds. I know you will say they are moving in together, but he denies they will live together to his friends to me. Surely if he is committed to her and they are at the stage of moving in together, he would confirm it? And it is not for fear of what I will say/do as I have been nothing but reasonable in all of this. I do accept that he has made his decision, and do not want him back anyway now that I can see the relationship as it really was.

Like I said he has serious emotional issues, and I am concerned that he is not considering ds in introducing the two of them. That he is doing it for entirely selfish reasons. If he is neglecting ds's needs, how will it manifest itself?

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