Abusive husband and child contact
6 May 2020 at 12:42 am #39692
Hello, I’m new on here having left my husband very recently and will be going through divorce too. While seeking advice about safeguarding my baby, advisors helped identify my husband’s behaviour as domestic abuse which I didn’t realise at the time. I’m currently getting support from Women’s Aid thankfully but feel crushed about the legal side of things. My husband is a compulsive liar and has a serious mental health history but lies to himself and to his GP and those around him about his mental health. Since coming off medication his behaviour has only become worse and even worse since our baby was born last autumn.
Legal advice has left me feeling crushed…because he has been in denial about his mental health and behaviour (coercive control, manipulation, gaslighting, lying) he won’t seek help. He says he is getting counselling but he won’t have told them the truth so counselling won’t be effective surely? My lawyer said my calls to the police when he has threatened suicide several times won’t be enough either as he told me verbally but never followed through. So if we go through the court, my lawyer said the likelihood is I will end up having to let him physically see our baby and in her words ‘give my baby to him to be emotionally abused’. If he took her away for a weekend if allowed by the court then he could potentially take his own life and hers and by then it would be too late?! I feel absolutely devastated there is so little hope. The only evidence I have are texts to friends and his mum about his behaviour but I never told them lots because I felt ashamed during those times and was scared if I continued with our relationship how they would judge me for staying with him and also have a bad view of him (stupidly looking back in hindsight). The police said I could press charges but my lawyer said it is unlikely CPS will do anything because emotional abuse is so hard to prove with a lot of ‘he says she says’. I don’t know what else I can do. Is there any hope at all? Has anyone gone through something similar? I feel stuck and trapped once again even though I physically escaped with our baby it’s like he still controls us and will continue to do so.7 May 2020 at 6:37 am #39748
It sounds like you’re being given a lot of mixed information. On the one hand you’re being told he’s dangerous and abusive then on the other you’re being told you can’t do anything about protecting your child from that.
That is so unfair, I can’t imagine how you feel but it sounds very frustrating and scary and I imagine it’s taken a lot of strength and courage to deal with.
I’ve no expert advice. Can you contact any other womens organisations or perhaps domestic abuse charities to seek advice on your options?
If he’s not honest therapy probably won’t help him much but you leaving may be the push he needs to get help and take it seriously and he may prove to be a better dad than he was a husband. Ιm not saying that to stop you finding a way to limit the contact he has (which if possible seems wise given his behaviour) but if you can’t then he will have to have some contact it seems. I’ve got a mentally unstable ex, but as wild as he could be, he would never physically hurt anyone and he got help eventually.
He can’t control you, but he is part of your life for now, utilise all the family, friends and support you can to ensure you feel safe x8 May 2020 at 11:30 am #39804
Your ex sounds like my ex.
I also had support from woman’s aid and domestic abuse support to leave.
I left at 6 months pregnant. Was given the same legal advice so felt like there was no hope so went back with my baby girl when she was one month old. During that time his name was put on the birth certificate so he has PR ( parental rights) the abuse continued. I was advised by children services and domestic abuse to leave so a month later I did.
A year on ive tried to allow him contact with our daughter every two weeks he drives three hours to see her but the manipulation begins again. Trying to get me back. The wooing then gifts for me and our daughter, being kind. All very similar to when we first met. All to get me to move back.
The visits are emotionally and mentally draining.
I dread every two weeks. And relief when he’s gone.
It disrupts our daughter ( 1yr) she doesn’t know who is but I’m scared to stop contact just in case he goes to court and gets access. And takes my baby 120 miles away every two weeks without me being there at all to protect her.
Having a child with emotionally and physically abusive people means that they never are actually out of your life until they find a new victim and forget about you ( either forever or temporarily) which is what I’m hoping for.
Sorry it isn’t more positive.
I completely understand how you feel xx9 May 2020 at 8:55 am #39832
I really feel for you. I remember the the pain of a relationship being described as domestic abuse, and then it became obvious that was what it was although I was still trying to deny it. That was some years ago.
The custody battle through the courts was draining, emotionally and financially. There was a lot to learn, not only about the legal system but also perpetrators of DV, and the taboo element within society.
The lawyers and contact centres were not able to protect me from the manipulative behavior initially, but I learned a lot along the way. Finally I had to appeal and litigate in person, his behaviour was his own undoing.
It is a very sad situation, please take care of yourself. You can’t get enough support in this situation, and what you do get depends on the experience of those you interact with. But take what feels helpful without guilt (this was another steep learning curve). Remember to find some ways, however small, to nurture yourself, the self care will help you to make better choices.
Take care of yourself 💐