New here - need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2011
New here - need advice
Sun, 05-01-2011 - 6:03am

Hi all - I'm from the UK but the UK site doesn't seem to have a message board for this topic, so here goes:

I've been seperated from my ex for six and a half years. We're now divorced and he's remarried.

He was extremely emotionally abusive during our relationship, repeatedly unfaithful, critical etc etc. We had three children and eventually he held my 6 year old daughter down in a fit of temper, at which point I told him to leave.

I hoped that he would improve once we were no longer together, but my daughter has become more and more unhappy. She's been saying for a long time that she didn't want to go to his house anymore (they now go every Wed and every other weekend). She says he undermines her, criticizes her, constantly swings from being nice to critical etc. Now she's told me that he grabbed her recently and made as if to punch her (made a fist and pulled it back but didn't strike). apparently his wife had to pull him away.

She told me that she remembers the original incident when she was six and has been remembering it vividly, shaking and crying. She refused point blank yesterday to go to his house (he had already taken my sons) and so I called him, told him she was distressed, didn't want to come and I wasn't going to force her. I told him we needed to meet to discuss some issues. (I refused to discuss them on the phone).

Well, he went mad. Ranted down the phone at me that he wasn't going to stand for it, it wasn't the first time he had had to put up with this from me, she and I didn't get to go off together and make decisions without consulting him etc etc. I have tried many times to talk to him over the past few years about her, he has always dismissed me and told me that she needed firm boundaries to feel safe and if we allowed her to 'dictate' about where she lived it would be bad for her. This time he ranted and ranted, wouldn't let me talk and finally hissed 'Do not push this. Do not push this'. I repeated that she wasn't coming, and told him she wanted to have a meeting with both of us there and his new wife because there were things she wanted to say.

There was complete silence for about a minute and a half and then he hung up.

He hasn't called back, or contacted my daughter by text, phone or email to check how she is. I have no idea what he's going to do. I started shaking uncontrollably after speaking to him, it brought back all the feelings of the eleven years with him.

I have booked counselling for myself and my daughter. I don't know what else to do. I'm scared he may try to prevent my sons from coming home in retaliation. I don't know what he's saying to them about my daughter and me. If he tries to take me to court I think we'd win (my daughter is 13 and very certain about what she wants) but I worry about the effect on all three of my children.

I am feeling completely wrecked. I don't have a partner and haven't even had a date for four years (I briefly dated someone before that who stalked me - I was obviously in such a state that I repeated the pattern) and since then have not been able to bring myself to trust another man.

Does anyone have any advice or strategies for dealing with him from now on? What do I do about my sons?


Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Sun, 05-01-2011 - 8:40am

Hi Colleen and welcome to the board.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2011
Sun, 05-01-2011 - 1:10pm

Thank you so much for replying. I have already looked through that website and called their helpline. They were good and referred me to a local branch who can offer counselling, home visits etc.

I guess really I just wanted to be in touch with others who knew what I was going through. The ivillage site was fantastically helpful when I was pregnant and so I came here just to know I'm not alone.

He has now emailed me (still no text or call directly for my daughter to check how she is) going on and on about how unreasonable I'm being, how I'm undermining his authority, preventing him from parenting our daughter etc. He wants to have a mediation session with a counsellor. I am not willing to do this as I have been told by womensaid that abusers tend to turn counselling sessions into a platform to attack the other person, sometimes even manipulating the counsellor into agreeing with the abuser. I do not want to put myself in that position ever again. He has not responded to my offer to meet with him, his wife and my daughter so that she can say face to face what she has experienced.