Contact with Emotionally abusive father

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  • #26608 Report


    Hi all,

    After ending a 14 year emotionally and abusive relationship last January I am in need of advice for contact between my ex and our daughter.

    I spent the last year living in the hometown of my ex as I wanted him to have a close relationship to my daughter. In that time I had to fight for every day and weekend for them to spend together while he continued to spread negative lies about me, manipulate our mutual friends, and doing everything in his power to make me struggle.

    I ended the relationship because it was toxic and absolutely not what I wanted my daughter growing up believing is right.

    After 4 months after we had separated he got another woman pregnant and they had a son at the end of the year. I have never met her and know he is making me out to be the bad guy to her. (He did this with me about his ex prior to me)

    Due to his lack of support, having to cope with the realisation that he used me for a long, long time, and with no family around, I had to move myself and my daughter to Scotland where we have family who give us unconditional love and support, and we are both flourishing.

    This is what he cannot deal with. The happier we are, the angrier he is. He has absolutely no acknowledgement of the hurt he has caused, and continues to blame me just because I had the strength to end the relationship before he could cause me physical harm.

    He has been acting like I never even existed and is basically living our old life with a new woman while I am left to start my life all over again.

    I received a letter from family law today outlining contact arrangements without any notice from him. On the surface, it seems reasonable, however, knowing him so well, this is another attempt at using emotional blackmail.

    He is a narcissistic sociopath who treats the people he claims to love with hate, negativity and wants only to get out what’s in it for him.

    His anger levels and emotional abuse have been dangerous to a point where I can honestly say that I do not trust he has the well being of our daughter at heart.

    One hand I want my daughter to have a relationship with her dad, but she is very sensitive and he will beyond a shadow of a doubt manipulate her too.

    I feel I need to take a stand and show my daughter that it is not ok to treat another human being, let alone the mother the way he has treated me.

    The worst thing is that he has absolutely no idea of the hurt and pain he has caused, and I don’t feel comfortable with my daughter being around him. His love is so toxic, and he is very manipulative and controlling and my daughter deserves so much more.

    I don’t really have anyone to talk to, and I really only want what is best for my daughter and I’m stuck between severing contact completely so she has the best chance

    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated and thank you for taking the time to read this.

    #26609 Report



    i am in a similar situation my sons dad is verbally abusive towards me and is very clever at twisting things around to make them my fault. He’s mr nice guy to everyone but constantly calls me names and ***** me off. We spilt up a while ago and he won’t except that it’s over. He states that if he catches me with anyone else he will destroy my life.

    The problem is he looks after my son while I am at work and the fear is there everyday he won’t be there when I pick him up.

    he also threatens that he won’t have him when I go to work knowing that he is my only option for child care.

    If anyone has any advice please help

    #26610 Report


    Follow your instincts! You are not going mad! Narcissistic behaviours are awful… keep strong and if you don’t want access as you feel it’s not safe for your child, let them go via the courts!

    #26630 Report


    My main problem is that he is currently looking after my son four day a week while I am at work at I can’t afford someone to look after him, every time I drop and pick him up I receive verbal abuse this morning apparently I am selfish because I won’t take him shopping why should I take him shopping he is his own car and can do it in his own time but it’s me whose the horrible one for not taking him! He keeps threatening by saying things like you get yours soon enough your see what you’ve done to me soon enough! Son do you see what kind of a monster your mum is.

    Im at my wits end with it all I don’t k ow where to turn to get help

    #26641 Report



    You are both suffering from abuse which is totally unacceptable. These 2 organisations are well worth a call.

    Womans Aid 0808 2000 247

    National Domestic Violence helpline for support on 0808 2000 247.

    Hope this helps


    #26642 Report


    Hi Mark,

    Thank you so much for your response and the helplines to call. I will definitely get in contact with regards to how I proceed from here.

    And Char, i hope you find a solution as well. Hurting the mother of his child is totally unacceptable and i think if you call the organisations to they will be able to offer you sound advice x

    It’s great to know that i am not mad and that you have confirmed that this behaviour IS unacceptable

    #26648 Report


    Good afternoon ladies

    When you can please call either one of the helplines that ramblinjon has suggested.

    The fault lies with them. Their behaviour is not normal and it isn’t your job to try to help them. They are highly intelligent and are master manipulators. But it is possible to get back to normality once you have ended a relationship with someone like that. It is also their job to build a relationship with their child. If necessary you can stop them from getting access.

    Good luck everyone 🙂


    #26673 Report

    Hi AyLouise86 andCharNH

    Its great to see the support that other forum users are giving you both.  As well as Women’s Aid and Domestic Violence Helpline numbers it may be an idea to see what other options are available from a legal standpoint.  Here are a couple of numbers which could help:

    • Rights of Women: Free, confidential legal advice by telephone for women on a wide variety of issues. Specialist areas include family law and domestic violence.

    • Child Law advice service – they again provide legal advice on family law issues related to children, so if you are thinking of stopping contact they have information on their website about this, and a helpline staffed by legal specialists 0300 330 5480

    Also, please don’t forget that you can call our Single Parent Helpline:

    • Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered.

    I hope this information is useful, Justine

    #26729 Report


    I understand completely and am in a similar situation although am lucky to have family support and less extreme abuse day to day (as he is very covert in his abuse, which has its own issues!). I have been able to get support from the local women’s centre and would highly recommend you go to them for support, counselling and advice as I have. It’s easy to feel this is only available in the case of physical abuse but emotional abuse is still domestic abuse and is treated just as seriously.

    My little boy is only very young and only just becoming aware noticably of our behaviours, imitating etc and so far has remained mostly unaffected by the situation (other than starting to miss us now etc or struggle with transitions) but I know this will potentially become more difficult as he gets older and any manipulation becomes apparent. We can only do our best to balance out any negative influence from the other parent, unless they are at risk, which is so hard, but there is so little guidance about this out there. I hope you are able to find the right support, especially if you are dependent on him for childcare which gives him continued control over you. If you seek help from the right agencies, you may be able to get financial support to free yourself from that, and share custody instead, although it may be difficult to fight in court to reduce the time he has with her.

    Please keep us updated on any support you can get from those places and if we can help in any way.  Lots of love from a fellow survivor.

    #26762 Report


    Things just get worse day to day, he makes me feel like I’m going mad and that I am the one in the wrong the whole time, twisting things around, I feel so anxious and physically slick when I have to drop and pick my son off to him. I have though about some kind of taxi approved company who can drop and pick my son off to his dads, but his dad said he will just return by son back in a taxi if I do this as he is not a baby sitting services. I get accused daily of seeing other people, I get called a selfish monster plus worse on a daily basis. His problem is clearly with me but how do I take myself out of the equation and let them still have a relative? The sad thing is towards my son he is great he just had a clear issue with me no matter what I do it’s not good enough and he will find fault in everything I do.


    thanks for all the ongoing support

    #26763 Report


    Yes I used to experience this behaviour. I wont bore you with all the details but I do see similar pattern when I read your stories. I rarely talk to my ex now but it took a while to get to that stage. Here are some guidelines based on my own experiences:

    1. Do not invite him into your home

    2. When it comes to arranging child maintenance it is better to do this through third party.

    3. If you are doing drop off/pick up make sure its done at agreed time and don’t make any major plans whe your child is with your ex (if he knows you are doing this he is more likely to want to sabotage this)

    4. Give him as less information about yourself as possible

    5. Answer any questions about your child in clear concise language and remain calm. Narcissists feed on fear and intimidation

    6. Try not to rely on them for childcare/financially

    You are capable of sorting things out yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can rule out meeting anyone else in the future

    #26770 Report


    Hi guys,

    I feel lucky in that I was able to move away so as not to have more contact. What I have done is kept a log and screenshotted all the abusive messages over the last year.

    I replied to the Family Law service he had contacted and basically laid out the ground rules from my side.

    For the next six months I will not allow visitation, but keep to two 15 min phone calls a week.

    In that time I will make note of all the times he does not call or says something that is emotionally abusive to either me or my daughter.

    This means that if he wants to take me to court then I will have a back load of evidence to prove his abusive behaviour which will prove he is more harmful than good to my daughter.

    Char, please get a diary and make note of all the things he says and does and that will help back you up. Build up your evidence without telling him, and please, don’t let him get to you as it is exactly what he wants. The calmer and less reactive you can be, the more he will feel like he is losing control.

    There is a group on Facebook for overcoming a narcissistic relationship and this has helped me a lot.

    The child of an abusive parent doesn’t stop loving the parent, they stop loving themselves. This is the last thing I want for my daughter and so in these cases seeing the parent does more harm than good. Even if it means changing your life.

    I have had to start completely all over again, lost all my old friends and my old life with him. It’s a scary prospect, but also an exciting one because now I get to work on giving my daughter all the love and care she truly deserves.

    Stay strong, and don’t let him win xxx

    #26772 Report


    Hi Amy.


    I am am going to start logging things down from tonight and try and think what days things happened. Today I’ve ignored all of his txt to which he has apparently seen a brif and because I’ve not contacted him is going to file court papers on Monday it’s so stressful even though I know he is talking rubbish it’s the stress behind it all he is demanding to see my son Monday and Friday between 10-13 knowing that I work and this is not possible!

    He is taking me to court because I’ve stopped access which is rubbish I just don’t wish to see him anymore due to his behaviour.

    Amy can you let me know the name of the Facebook page please.  It sounds like it could be helpful.

    all my family are around where I live I wish I could move away from him but my support network is where I live x

    #39046 Report


    Reading your post was like seeing my life in print.

    In 2006 I left the father of my son who was a physically abusive drunk.  He was charged and convicted for his crimes against me.  I moved home with my parents and began to rebuild my life.

    I then met the father of my daughter who initially seemed like a knight in shining armour and he made me feel safe. He was very controlling but I put it down to him being concerned and protective after all i had been through. I soon feel pregnant with our daughter and he went on to adopt my son as his own.

    He didn’t like me going out or having a life of my own and to be honest I was initially happy because I was so frightened to leave the house through fear of bumping into my ex husband.  As the children got older and reached school age I wanted to get a part time job and that’s where all the problems began.

    He hated me working and made my life a misery, constantly quizzing me about my new job and who I worked with. The girls at work regularly had nights out and if I asked to go he would make a fuss so that I would end of cancelling or on the odd occasion I did go he would make me feel guilty for days leading up to it and afterwards.

    I was feeling suffocated but I was also desperate to make sure my kids had a stable family home. After all he wasn’t physically violent so it wasn’t abuse – I was just being silly.
    He would regularly ask me to do things I didn’t feel comfortable with in the bedroom and if I said no he would tell me I was selfish and frigid and if I loved him I would do it! I found myself scared to do any other. the thought of having him anywhere near me made me sick.  After he would finish I would cry myself to sleep and this was my life for years.

    After 9 years I finally started to realise what he was doing and told him I was unhappy and wanted a divorce – what followed was worse than the relationship itself.

    initially after saying I wanted out he refused to leave the house, we therefore kept living together for the first two months – him forcing himself on me whenever he saw fit, he traced my phone and was following my every move. In Feb 2017 I couldn’t take it anymore , he refused to leave so I packed my clothes and the kids and moved home with my parents. I was desperate and living out of suitcase , I had no money or savings and all the money I had were tied up in the house. As a result I agreed to sign my rights to our business if he paid me half the equity in the house. He kept the house the furniture and the business and I walked away with £52500 – my equity. I was able to put down a deposit on a house which I brought but the abuse hasn’t stopped.
    He contacted everyone in my family and my closest friends to discredit me as much as possible. To the point I won’t even speak to my sister anymore – she believed his lies! He began dating a friend of mine to spite me. He has befriended friends that  weren’t even his friends to begin with to manipulate the situation and when I got angry – says I’m mental. He refused to have the children for the first 9 months saying he needed his drinking time, did not pay for them at all.
    he has watched me struggle financially whilst living the high life and bullied me to agree to whatever he wants.
    He poisons my children every time they do see him but if I stop contact I’m the bad guy.
    He refuses to give me copies of all digital photos and videos of our children. They were stored on his computer when I left and couldn’t take copies with me – he does this to continue to abuse and torment me. I don’t have a single photo of my babies when they were little.
    since finally contacting the csa in November 19 because financially I could no longer bare the load alone is
    he constantly threatening me with legal action for shared care of our children.
    he is a vile vile man and I feel like leaving the relationship just made my life harder. There is no end to it

    #39050 Report


    Hi Vc

    I glad that you recognise that your ex’s behaviour is not normal.

    It takes a lot of willpower to leave a relationship like that. Sometimes the cost, literally, is great. But I would rather be left with nothing than to spend it with a man like that.

    The reason men do these things is to get under your skin like a splinter. That’s the only way they will remain a part of you all the time.

    Just because he wants shared custody doesn’t mean he will get it. As for you friends and family well when times are hard you then learn who your real friends are 😀

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