mother taking back violent husband. worrying!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
mother taking back violent husband. worrying!
16
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 6:45am

Hi

I've had a look through a few threads but am otherwise new to the board. This is the first place I thought of for impartial advice, having had some good advice on the in-laws board.

i'll try to keep it short and explain as much as I can.

My mother and father divorced 11 years ago. She met another man a year later, they moved in, but did not marry. He was an alright guy to me - I was in my early teens at the time - and we did some stuff together and I was also a bit of a stroppy teen at times - it seemed pretty normal. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2004, and my mother was alone again. She then met one of his friends, someone I'd only heard not great things about. I'd moved to college at this point and he moved in with her, so the first I met him, he was already living in my home. It was odd at first, and never stopped being odd. He was and is an alcoholic, has drug problems - including harder stuff - is part of a biker gang with a violent history, and has mood swings that don't seem to be triggered by anything. The first thing that worried me was the first time my boyfriend came to stay with me at our home, my mother was fine with it, but he decided to start a fight with her. i was trapped in my room with my bf, too scared to go out for all the shouting, swearing etc. Eventually it went silent and my bf had to go back home, but that's when I realised things were not 'normal'. I was scared to be there. I got to go back to college and tried to visit home less and less. Once I had to go home with my bf and my mother's partner would not talk to me or my bf. She told me that he didn't like my bf, because he hadn't said hello immediately when we arrived

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 9:24am

Hi YJ,

I'm so sorry for all that you and your mother are going through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 11:58am
Hi irishtea,

thanks for your reply.

When it happened -him trashing the house - she did the right things, called the police, talked to their counsellor, told them and me that violence was the last straw and he had to go. I was pleased she had reacted in the way i hoped she would, and didn't just give in to him. However, I have been worried that she would give into him coming back in the last few days, and it seems my fears are become reality. She tells me what a horrible man he is, and has been really honest with me about what's gone on, so I have no idea why she would want to live with him. I guess she'd tell me it's because she loves him, and who am I to accuse her of lying, but it's so odd. My mom and I are close in many ways, but I just do not get this at all. I have said to her 'what would you feel if i was the one who had been the victim of abuse?' and she said 'well, it depends on the situation'! I was speechless. She's making excuses, but she really does not seem to be scared now. She genuinely thinks he's changed. I know it's not likely - he's in his 60s and refuses counselling.

She has emailed me to say he might have some work soon which will be good for them and him, but I don't care! ugh, I will have to be honest with her, maybe in a letter or email, and see if she will be honest with me. I think she'd be furious if I told our friends, but I kind of want that reaction. It's her business, kind of, but it's also the business of people who care about her.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 12:24pm

How about contacting a domestic abuse agency for suggestions on how to proceed? That's good that she is seeing a counselor, what does the counselor say to her about the relationship?

I think I understand about her denial, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship once and the abuser wears you down until you feel like you are nothing without him, I don't know how to explain it... but it takes a lot of strength and support to get out of a relationship like that. And likely your mother is afraid of being alone and doesn't want to start over again in finding a partner, especially given her last choice of man...have you heard the expression "better the devil that you know than the one you don't"? (I am not suggesting that she is better off with him, just using that phrase to illustrate that the concept is common) I do think its a good idea to let a couple of her closest friends know what's going on, people who would be discreet about it. Her friends probably have figured it out already or at least know that something is not normal but don't want to interfere. Maybe if you asked them to keep an eye on her since you're not nearby...

Just wondering, is the house hers or is abusive husband on the deed?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 1:08pm

Abusive individuals are exceptionally gifted at pulling into a relationship, and then systematically alienating their partner from their family and friends.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2011
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 3:25pm

That's got to be tough. Talk to her as much as you can. Call the agencies the other posters mentioned. Some women would rather be with a beater than be alone. She's in denial and blames outside situations for "their" troubles. "He can't catch a break, so he beat me up last night", "he's frustrated at work, so he busted up the house". Instead of getting angry with beater, who doesn't know where to put his anger, she blames the outside sources like "people are keeping us down", "that stupid mechanic can't fix our nine year old car". Your mother has to understand that there will always be something to set him off. It's not her responsibility to be sure there are still waters.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 4:58pm

Hi elc11, thanks for your support. She's seen a counselor once but is seeing another person from victim support tomorrow - she tells me she didn't know why she needed to see them, but I'm pretty sure it's because of what happened. I'll wait and hear what they say to her.

She does get out and about, but isn't in regular contact with anyone, really, and lives in quite a rural area so I do worry, obviously! at times and have been in regular touch lately. The house is hers, but them now being married complicates things. She has told me she is about to change her will to make sure i'm the first recipient of anything should something awful happen, which is all positive, but there must just be so much I don't know about her that makes her feel she wants him back.

She has drifted away from friends, but I can't tell if that's him, or her not being bothered. She has blown off the chance to see some of our mutual friends in the past to see him after he's been away working for a while, but I just put that down to her missing him...however, it sounds like typical controlled behaviour now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 5:00pm
Thanks for your advice. I agree about contacting a local organization and will see what advice they may be able to give me. Because it is her house and her life, it seems easier right now, because she doesn't need to make the move to take him back - he's gone and to me that's great, but as soon as he's back, she thinks it's all sorted and he'll never do it again, but that's what many people think, isn't it?
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 5:07pm

Hi shadowsfall

Thanks for your message. What's frustrating is she acknowledges how irrational she knows he is, like he can be fine one moment and flip the next to being in a vile mood. She's told me how this last fight started where she said she was going to feed the dog, and he wanted to do it instead, so from being in an ok mood, he shut the door on her leg and then it spiralled from there. She knows she's not at fault, but still takes the rubbish from him. I do not get it! It's like she humours his moods, but is so used to it now, that she doesn't see it's so, so wrong.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2011
Sun, 03-20-2011 - 6:50pm
is he gone (as in a break up) or is he just away for work or some other reason? People like him never change because they don't have to. His life is exactly the way he wants it. He still has his wife and he's not paying any penatly for hitting her of busting up the house. It's not until after someone loses something that they change. I hope the counselor will be able to get through to her. Right now, she's just saying "yes" to everyone's input, but she's not doing anything to make her life better (like getting rid of him). I know a lot of women are afraid of their ex showing up at their door, but that's when you call the cops or get a big dog or buy a shot gun. A knew a girl who kept a baseball bat by her bed. She dumped her loser bf, who was a beater. She never had to use it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Mon, 03-21-2011 - 12:43pm

he's gone as in she had a court order put on him so that he couldn't be within 100 meters

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