Mental abuse from ex – Mother of my son
20 July 2019 at 9:30 am #28115
I will try to keep a very long story as short as possible. Feel free to ask questions for more detail.
I am a single father to a 5 year old boy who lives with his mother full time. We have been separated for 4 years.
I do see him on a regular basis as we have a fortnightly schedule in place, as well as special occasions. Unfortunately he does not stay over as I still live with my mother and there is simply not enough space. I also pay weekly maintenance calculated using the CSA calculator on gov.net. (None of this written legally, all through mutual agreement).
He enjoys seeing me, and being at mine. Regularly take him on days out, I do spoil him quite a lot, and buy him clothes etc. for him to take home.
However, I struggle with constant mental/verbal abuse from the mother. And I just do not know what to do about it.
I do not retaliate, I do not provoke, but it still doesn’t stop. The mental & verbal abuse started when we were together before the child was born and has been a weekly occurance since.
During the split, I took myself to my doctor for help as I was becoming increasingly angry (NOT violent). After some self help it became apparent to the doctor that I was severely depressed and was unintentionally hiding it behind anger. I am now on medication for depression.
Constant threats to stop me seeing him, tells me I’m “not a real dad” (etc.), demands money, lies to our son/puts false thoughts into his head, false accusations, involves herself in my personal life, defames me on public social media, removes me from emergency contact forms for our son, the list goes on… I even get abusive messages from her partner’s. (Unfortunately she gets through a lot).
It’s clear I am used as a babysitter for when it suits her, rather than a father, but I am not always able to comply with her demands, which then escalates the verbal abuse.
I have a photo album with nearly 100 screenshots and videos of evidence of the abuse I have received over the years.
Now just to keep things clear, I have never been stopped from seeing him, she has always allowed that, but frequently uses that as a threat.
He is also always a happy boy. Doesn’t seem to be affected by the situation at all (but we all know that could change as he grows older, which is something I’d like to avoid).
I’ve done some research into legal stuff, and it seems as I do have regular access to my son, there’s not much I can legally do about it. But something needs to change, as it really has taken its toll.
What can I do?
Thanks in advance.20 July 2019 at 5:31 pm #28120
Hey, i think you are doing a great job and sounds like a great dad and you are doing the best thing by not retaliating, all i would say is keeo record of everyrhing she says and in the meantime get yourself sorted out and enjoy the time you do get to have your son and further down the line when you have your own place then maybe speaking to a solicitor about more custordy.
The best thing is to ignore what ever she says because in the end she will stop.
Here if ever need a chat.20 July 2019 at 5:39 pm #28121
Sorry somehow missed the end of what you wrote but i woukd just keep doing what your doing as your son gets older he will see and maybe here if tje mother is still verbaly abusive and he will know and find that your not sometimes thi gs have a funny way of sorting themselves out.20 July 2019 at 6:11 pm #28122
The advice I received was to go “grey rock”. Don’t react because that is what someone handing out verbal abuse wants. They want to see you angry & upset.
Ccmmunicate via an email address that is only for that person. Block their phone number, block them on social media, don’t look at their posts, don’t engage with them in any way other than via a plain email address which is always timed and dated. Don’t express emotion, remain calm, consistent, reasonable & unintimidated at all times. Don’t express opinions. Stick to facts – Son has a cold. Son had pizza for tea – and then leave the conversation.
Your son will love you for your refusal to enter into all the drama and for your refusal to criticise the other parent.
Your friends and family will realise who is the toxic one.
I took up yoga and running, and refused to waste brain space on it. It is hard but worth the effort. Good luck20 July 2019 at 7:05 pm #28123
Hi mate. Just wanted to say that I’ve been in a similar situation to yourself (and still am to a certain degree) and constant abuse eventually becomes not so “constant”. 😂. Thers not much you can legally do really. All you can do is ignore the woman as much as you can and only communicate if it’s something to do with your child. Kids are not stupid, as long as you spend enough time with your child then they will understand what’s what. PM if you wish, happy to talk.21 July 2019 at 8:25 am #28134
Thanks for the responses.
@pcarver – Unfortunately moving out & getting a solicitor aren’t really an option as of right now. I just can not afford it on my own. I do work full-time, and I am looking for a better paid job, but my area is rubbish for finding work.
@Kathymumofone – that’s already how I’ve been for the last 2 or so years. Blocked on everything etc. except mobile number as she’s too tight to pay for mobile data, so emails unfortunately wouldn’t work. Luckily my friends and family already know this, but they also have no idea how to help without causing drama; which is why I’ve turned to here.
@ru83 – I understand what you’re saying, but after 6 years I thought it wouldn’t be so constant… How wrong I was. Hopefully he will understand as he grows older, I’m just afraid that he won’t see it that way, because unfortunately the entirety of his mother’s family are your stereotypical “Benefits Street” type of people. Just really hope he doesn’t get dragged into that, as they share the same views on me as my ex does.
It seems what I’ve gathered here is to just carry on as I am and wait longer until it dies down.22 July 2019 at 7:55 am #28147
Thanks for posting this on the forum. I’m sorry you are experiencing this. There is an agency that you can speak to for advice and guidance. They should be able to explore your situation with you so you can look at what further options you have.
• Mens advice Line 0808 801 0327 – Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members) Call freephone Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this helps, Justine