Can I stop contact due to emotional abuse?

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  • #49028 Report


    Apologies for the long post.

    I have been split up with my ex almost 8 months and our daughter will be 1 in a few weeks. Ever since we split I’ve encouraged him to have contact, he’s always saying he’s going to have half “custody”. I’ve tried to make contact progressive as our daughter was only three months when we split. He’s told everyone that he’s had to fight to see our daughter but that couldn’t be further from the truth as he lives an hour away and I’ve  often driven her there and back to see him when he’s not turned up on agreed days etc.
    During our relationship my ex was the best partner one day but that would change for no reason and without warning as though a switch had been pressed he was the nastiest person. He comes from a small village and knows everyone and they’d all say he is the nicest person you’d ever meet so when he was horrible with me I would always think it was my fault. Looking back his narcissistic ways were evident from the start but I always made excuses for him.
    Over the last 8 months we’ve gone from coparenting successfully to feeling like arch enemies within days even hours, dozens of times and it’s become a cycle where after a bout of abuse I stand strong, limit contact between myself and him whilst maintaining a good amount of contact between him and our daughter, he then starts being nice, buys gifts for my eldest daughter (not his) and he worms himself back in so that we’re having family days out etc. Then out of the blue he turns and the abuse starts again and I find myself hitting rock bottom. For example we’ve just recently had a great weekend together, he was meant to have our daughter Saturday to Monday but he came Saturday, brought breakfast, asked us to go for a walk, bought us ice creams then left tea time without our daughter, he said he was tired and needed a rest so I agreed to take her to his Sunday morning. Sunday morning he phoned me to say he’s got lots of vegetables so would I get meat and cook us a roast, I agreed and we ended up spending the day there before myself and my eldest daughter came home. I then collected our baby Monday evening as he said he was tired and he’d asked me to get a Chinese on the way but I ended up cooking so we had dinner together again and everything was civil. Yesterday (Tuesday) he didn’t FaceTime the girls like he usually does and ignored a message I wrote and didn’t answer two phonecalls. I’d messaged to ask if he was ok and he ignored it. Today he’s got in touch and said I’m using him and his mum… I go back to work on Monday after maternity leave so he’s meant to have our daughter Sunday until Tuesday for his mum to look after her during the day when we’re both in work but now he’s said I’m using him and his mum for money (he pays maintenance amount given by CMS) and as childcare and they won’t be helping me out anymore. I phoned his mum this afternoon to ask her if this was true and she said she’d never think I was using her but since then he’s been messaging me non stop and now said his mum won’t be having our daughter next week so basically I have a couple of days to sort childcare out otherwise I can’t go to work on my first day back. I should have known this would happen but it doesn’t stop the hurt.
    So currently my ex sees our daughter 1-2 times a week and has her overnight both times. They have a really lovely bond but I’m at the stage now where I cannot handle this cycle anymore. I’m worried about the impact it’s having on my eldest daughter as she’s almost 8 and wise for her age and the whole atmosphere in our house changes drastically when my ex turns on me. I’ve got a solicitor involved as my ex keeps threatening court when I don’t do things his way and I’ve started the mediation process but he’s not responding to them.

    I’ve asked my ex in the past if we can do handovers through family members or friends but that’s been difficult due to COVID restrictions and when we have made arrangements for that to happen within our bubbles he’s changed it last minute and I’ve had to meet him. I’m now scared of the consequences of me “letting him back in again” so am thinking we need to have a break. I wonder if I stop him from seeing me for some time that some respect will develop? Can I stop contact for a few weeks until mediation begins because when I’ve stepped back in the past he’s contacted me after a couple of days being lovely again and wormed himself back in. Am I being unreasonable stopping contact whilst things are dealt with legally? Friends and family say our daughter is too young to miss her dad and they say I’m too kind to him but I don’t want her to miss out. Then again I’m worried that he’s going to push me to the edge. I know I become a rubbish mum when he’s affected me and that our routine etc go out the window. I can’t believe I’m going through all this to be honest as I used to be such a strong person who wouldn’t put up with this kind of rubbish but he’s changed me.
    Any advice would be gratefully received xx


    #49030 Report



    it must be a difficult situation. my kids live with their mum and she’s not working, so not an issue for us. I don’t think you can rely on his mum to care for the child in the long-term. he seems unreliable. I suppose your only option is to pay for child care.

    #49036 Report


    I’ve been in a very similar situation, but more than half the time dad didn’t show up. It’s a hard situation to be in because you’re doing you best for the child and dad is doing the best for himself.
    it sounds like he doesn’t want you to go back to work and is trying to control you, Hopefully you can get childcare sorted.
    I spoke to a few helplines and got advice at the time. They were very helpful and talked through my options and rights. It really helped and stopped me feeling like I was going crazy.

    #49037 Report


    I would say you are maybe giving your ex mixed signals. This is normal as you only been split up 8 months . Whilst you are spending time with him one week and not the next,whlst doing things together i think he is always going to be like jekyll and hyde.  Having a 3rd party do a handover is a good idea if you decided to cut ties or he meets you say at a supermarket to do a handover or even have all dealings with his mum. whilst things are like they are at moment i think he is always going to be up and down and sending nice/abusive texts to you.

    #49039 Report


    Thank you everyone. He left us when baby was three months old. I tried to make it work for the children and have since said maybe we should try again but he’s the one who says he’ll never get back with me. I feel I’ve done everything I can for him to be a dad to our daughter and in the meantime I’ve hit some scary lows because of him over the last few months and each time I’ve backed off I’ve managed to build myself up a bit and find a bit of happiness with my girls but when he’s come back in he eventually gets me down again. I want him to be a dad to our daughter but feel like I’ve exhausted all avenues for that as no matter what I do it isn’t good enough for him

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