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Co-Parenting With An Abuser

All of us survivors know that our ex will at least verbally and emotionally abuse our children. We survivors also know how hard that type of abuse is to prove, and even proving it doesn’t mean your ex will have less time with our children. Proving non-sexual or non-physical abuse typically results in therapy if it results in anything at all. Therapy doesn’t work unless the abuser wants to change. They don’t want to change which is the reason you left them in the first place.

If you are in this position, then you have to fight back through education and love. That is easier said than done, but it is very important to “do it” more often than you don’t.

  • Educate your kids about bullies, sexual predators, and dating violence.
  • Empathize with them when their other parent hurts them, remind them how great they are, and have faith that your children are smart cookies who will continue to talk to you about their problems.
  • Introduce your children to therapy, keep your eyes open for signs and symptoms of abuse, and report any allegations or proof of sexual or physical violence as soon as you see it.
  • Create a new safety plan with your children. Make sure they know what they can do if they feel afraid while at your ex’s house. You may have to be very careful about this because focusing on “what to do if you’re at mom’s house and she starts hitting you” could have negative effects. Instead, create a safety plan for your home, the babysitter’s, grandma’s, their friend’s and your ex’s. Make it a general “what to do if I am scared” plan without singling anyone out, then practice it with them.

Yes, it feels horrible to know that your kids cannot escape the emotional manipulation and pain like you did through separation or divorce. It is very difficult to cope with your kids’ visits to your ex when you truly believe it is but a matter of time before your children are injured on the outside too. It is a helpless feeling to watch them go off to your ex’s home, knowing “something bad” is waiting for them there. However, you cannot allow yourself to remain attached to your abuser through the children. So long as you feel like a victim (out of powerlessness to help your kids like you want to) you will remain a victim.

Remind yourself that now you are free of your ex’s daily abuse, much stronger and smarter, and therefore in a better position to support your children in helpful ways. When you lived with abuse, you did not have the freedom to combat it that you do today. Remember to be grateful that you set an example for your children and try to stop beating yourself up every time they visit their other parent. Your kids visit your abuser because the court says they have to do so, not because you want it that way.

Forgive yourself for being unable to protect them 100% from their abusive parent. You can’t protect them all of the time anyway. Children must learn hard lessons about all kinds of things on their own. They will be grateful that you were there for them, their safe place, if the other parent abuses them. They’ll see the difference in the two of you in time. Let that awareness be as natural for them as possible (meaning don’t habitually point out the other parent’s flaws even if they talk badly about you).

Protect Yourself

You are no good to your children if you allow yourself to be abused by your ex.

  • If you stay on the phone while your ex admonishes you for your poor parenting skills so you can eventually talk to them about the kids, you’re allowing the abuse to continue. Hang up the phone at the first insult and send an email instead. Write only about the children.
  • Don’t allow your ex to enter your house without knocking and respect their home in the same way.
  • Keep your personal boundaries strong. Let your children see that your ex can’t get to you (at least not for long). They need to see you as separate from your ex; they need to know they have two homes, two parents, two different families to love. (They do love their other parent, always will – let them, and be there without “I told you so” if your ex lets them down.)

Your way of parenting will not affect your ex’s ideas about parenting. Don’t let their way of parenting affect yours. The idea is to work with your ex when it is reasonable to do so, but remember that you have separate homes and separate lives. You get to set the rules at your house.

  • Don’t let them talk you into spanking when you prefer time-outs, not even “for consistency between households”.
  • If your ex grounds your daughter from her cell phone (for good reasons) but you feel more comfortable if she has it on her at school, then take it from her as soon as she gets home.
  • Drop any expectation that your ex will enforce a punishment you set for your child while the child visits them.

Realize that your children will play you against your ex sometimes. Your kids are smart; they know both of their parent’s well. Our kids do not label us “bad” and “good” people. We’re “mom” and “dad”. If you think you’re being played and that your child is doing something dangerous, email your ex to tell them about it.

  • You may get no response or your ex could degrade you for your thoughts, but keep in mind that, most likely, your ex wants your children alive and well too (If they don’t, you probably have proof of that and already took it to the authorities).
  • If you receive a nasty reply, read it (I know you will), then archive it. I add my ex’s emails to a folder labeled ”Jerk” – it feels really good to hit the button sending it to that folder! I save them just in case I need proof of something in the future. I don’t reread them, and I don’t give them a second thought. I did what I needed to do when I informed him about our child.

Remember that you cannot see the future. Your gut instincts and intuition do not determine destiny. Your fears may never come true. Trust that if they do, you will have the presence of mind to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.

Do the best you can today. Take a deep breath, hug and kiss your kids, and talk to them. Parent the best way you know how, keep educating yourself so you can teach your kids how to live free of abuse, and keep your ex abuser’s voice out of your decisions.

Keep your focus on your relationship with your child. How your ex fixes or screws up their relationship with your child is beyond your control.

You can do this. It isn’t easy, but you can do it.


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77 Responses to Co-Parenting With An Abuser

  1. Kim says:

    Unfortunately, emotional and psychological abuse are very wide spread. According to Childhelp, about 11% of child abuse is physical… what makes up the rest? My child is 5 and is being psychologically abused by my ex-spouse, he even pointed a gun at her claiming that he will kill us. My child is in therapy. I believe England is working to rewrite family law to address the issue. The same needs done in the U.S. courts. Do a search for “Cinderella Law”. As parents we continually need to remind both legal professionals and counselors of the disconnect here in the states and how the issue needs immediate attention.

  2. Amelia Green says:

    Actually you can stop your child being abused. You stop allowing visits and you go to a lawyer, then a paediatrician, then a child abuse foundation, then a councillor and then court. You put in effort and time and make your child the absolute priority of every second of your spare time. You do not allow your child to be abused and you do not allow your partner to dictate anything. If the court doesn’t support you then you appeal, you get more evidence and you promise your child that no matter what happens you will watch like an eagle every move that is made. I am sick of this modern day turtle behaviour, fight for your children. Question the law. Do not under any circumstance let anyone hurt your child in any capacity.

  3. Kristin says:

    Thank you, Amelia, that is what I’m trying to do. Thank you for your encouragement. I agree, no child should be abused. Abusers control. If a child says they don’t feel safe, then they don’t have to go to visitation.

  4. Heather says:

    I feel the same as Blanca. I left the man who mentally and verbally abused me and my kids. He also physically abused my 9yo son (not his). Cps got involved when my son told his teacher. He didn’t tell me because i was in a high risk pregnancy. At one point after i left my ex, he was allowed contact with our baby by order of Cps. That lasted a few weeks. A while later when I told them the signs of abuse I was seeing her display, they said I should hope for the best. What? Then they dropped the case for lack of evidence but berated me for having failed to protect my son against someone that claim did nothing. He spent the last few months of our marriage convincing his family and mine that I’m a sociopath, pathological liar, and drug addict. But I passed a drug test every month for over a year. In the end, I became custodial parent. I have been diagnosed with ptsd. He continually curses me and calls me names on the app any time he wants. Does not go to designated drop off location. Instead makes me go to his house. He has not complied with the court order to give me copies of the baby’s pics, instead sent a pic of him flipping me the bird. And threatens to take my baby. Is there really nothing I can do to stop his behavior? My mental health is greatly affected!

  5. Undisclosed says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Amelia Green. I am about to find myself in this difficult situation as I am due in March. That being said, from day one, I will protect her. She is alive, though she is not born and so I have already begun protecting her by leaving him. The wear and tear on my body and mind from his psychological abuse was affecting her, too. Fight for your children. As hard as it can be, it is our job to protect our little one. Thank you, Amelia.

  6. Undisclosed2 says:

    Sadly, its not as easy as Amelia thinks. Most doctors are not going to be willing to stand in court and attest to emotional or psychological abuse because it is so difficult to prove. The author of this article, however, is correct and gives you the best way to deal with this.

  7. D. Aggie says:

    Anyone can advise what to do if the ex continues to hurl verbal abuse and poison the children’s minds by making himself the victimised parent. That’s what my ex is doing. The divorce is over and he plays the blame game. He saw a Facebook post stating that I am in a relationship with a female colleague and literally took that to mean we are lesbians without reading the following comments made by others about the actual friendship.
    He also refuses to comply by a court order to pay half of the fees incurred by my second child who is in my care or hand me the child’s passport..
    I live in Singapore.
    I can’t afford hefty legal fees. .

  8. Virginia says:

    There is no protection from Child Protective Services from abusers who are not leaving physical marks on the child. In my grandson’s case, someone from the school reported him after he choked my grandson (something he used to do to my daughter). They put a note in the ex son-in-law’s file, then did nothing more. My grandson tells me that he is afraid to ask to use the phone to call his mom, as his dad will “hit me.” When asked what he means, my grandson says his dad tells him to “shut up” and smacks him. He has shown my grandson a gun, and then told him he carries ammunition in his van. My grandson fears that his father will use the gun and ammunition to kill my daughter. My grandson tried to tell the cops, and the cop just looked at my daughter and told him that she had better teach my grandson gun safety, as “we don’t take people’s guns away from them in Texas.”

  9. Yes, unfortunately “physical marks” are required for any real help. Even then, help is not guaranteed. The “consolation” to receiving physical marks as proof is that the abuse always escalates and, one day, your grandson will unfortunately receive his “proof”.

    Check the runaway laws in Texas. In NC, a child 16 or more can run away and the police cannot force them back home. The most the police can do is inform the parent where their child stays. I have no idea how old your grandson is or what the laws in Texas are…but getting creative is a good idea.

  10. Alex says:

    I would appreciate some advice. I am a man whose been divorced with three kids for seven years. For the first 5 years my ex and I were model divorced parents. I paid extra child support, we did things together as a family, had keys to each other’s houses, etc.

    Then about a year and half ago I found out she was dating a registered sex offender who had molested two 12 year olds. Obviously, I objected and told her I was not comfortable with him being around my girls. Two days later I get a visit from CPS and she had accused me of having child porn, molesting my daughter and smoking pot with the kids. To any one who knows me this is laughable and of course CPS determined it was all bullshit.

    After a year and half of legal battles, I now have a court order that he can’t be around the kids (yes, she is still dating him)

    My problem is that now my kids expect everything to go back to normal. That we will start doing things together again. For my own self respect and integrity I don’t want to have anything to do with her, but this puts me in the role if being the jerk. I can’t imagine someone telling a woman whose abusive ex-husband that they should still socialize together?

    I don’t want to say anything bad about their mother, but I refuse to be around this abusive woman who brought a RSO around her kids. What do I say?

  11. Despite your children’s wish that your past relationship with their mother could continue, it is perfectly reasonable for you to wish it to end no matter what the reason. Perhaps you could tell your children that it is time you create a life for them and you outside of the relationship with their mother. You don’t have to badmouth her and you don’t have to make excuses to your children. You must create a separate life for yourself. Period.

    I assume you can be cordial during pick-up and drop-off (if you must say anything at all), so continue NOT ARGUING with her in front of the children. Any nastiness to mom in front of the kids will put you in a bad light with them.

    As to what you tell your ex about the change in your relationship, tell her the truth or the same thing you tell the kids. Personally, I’d tell her the same thing you tell the kids – that way, if the children come to you with “Mom says…” stories, you have the peace of mind of knowing that mom is making stuff up and do not feel obligated to defend yourself against fairy tales to the children. Or to mom.

    This is a complicated issue, I know. If you can find a good therapist for you individually and maybe one for your family (you and your kids), then I think the transition will be easier for all of you.

  12. X says:

    Wow.

    I have made the choice for my ex not to enter my home. My ex has criticised me for continuing with this choice, arguing that it disrespects my ex in front of the children. My ex allows me into their home. I found this article with a search for “allow abuser in my house”. This article has probably been the most concise summary of exactly the things that anguish you most as a parent whose children must still go and be with a person you know, as the article says, “will at least verbally and emotionally abuse our children”. It includes also probably the most concise summary of constructive suggestions and encouragements focused on the most important issues. This is an excellent article. (I had to laugh at the “Jerk” folder name :) )

  13. Sarah says:

    My husband of 22 years is a narcissist, this I have accepted as I have understood more and more about verbal and emotional abuse, reading everything that is out there and now arriving here, on this blog. I have three children. My son is 17 and in treatment for PTSD, talking always about his father. My youngest daughter is 13 and is in therapy, always talking about her father, wanting him out of her life. He is not violent, but extremely covertly angry and aggressive, controlling his anger and making sure we know it, he is disruptive on every level of daily life, absent, withholding and silent, countering, blocking etc etc etc. But utterly charming and loved in the outside world, which he openly acknowledges sees only his fake persona. I get very little support from my extended family, who think I should be thankful that he supports me well financially and should also be sorry for him because he suffers from severe depression.

    So, everyone talks about not bad mouthing the abusive parent, but I think, wait a minute, my children need acknowledgement that their father’s behavior is disordered and unacceptable, that they have the right to expect better, and so do I. They need to know that their negative feelings about him are not wrong, that they must listen to and trust their instincts in their own lives going forward. They need to know that this is not the “normality” that they should accept for their own adult lives. I come from an emotionally abusive background, if anyone had talked to me openly about what was happening to me and my siblings as we were growing up, I would have known not to marry him and continue the cycle of abuse.

    Now I “just” need to leave him.

  14. Dear Sarah, your children have the awareness they need for you to support them as they tell you about their dad. Yes, you can directly address their concerns and issues. It is not badmouthing their father if you respond to what they ask or tell you about him.

    I found that discussing my ex with my sons went smoother for me when I acknowledged that he did the same types of things to me and that his behavior made me angry too. I told them how I learned to deal with the abuse and if it helped me, and what I wish I had done or would do now if the same thing happened.

    As their protector, you have every right to talk about the truth. Please take advantage of their awareness and do so responsibly.

    Remember that a part of those children will always love their father and seek his approval. If they didn’t love him on some level, then the abuse he dishes out would not affect them so negatively. With that in mind, try to stick to the issues they bring up to you (or that you witness). The “badmouthing” you could do that might raise the kids’ defensiveness is to talk about their dad without having a direct issue to address, to overhear you talking to someone else about him, to fly off into a rage at him on the phone within earshot, … Do you get the picture?

    Address their concerns honestly and empathetically. Love them. But remember you walk a tight line.

    My boys were about 13 and 15 when I left their father.

  15. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for posting. It’s so hard to co-parent with an abusive ex. All I want to do is walk away forever, but since my children still are involved with him, I have to maintain some kind of communication. He uses every opportunity, even such texts/calls as re: doctor’s appointments, etc., to completely berate me. We’re only a few years out from our divorce, but he’s spending more and more time with the kids and really working on turning them against me. I don’t think he is mean or abusive to them- just me. So they don’t understand when I refuse to speak to him in the doorway of my house, or want them to “FaceTime” with him in their own room where I don’t have to see or hear him. They think that the boundaries I’m setting for myself are because “I’m mean,” which plays right into his dialogue about me. When they want him involved, it’s always painful to me- how do you handle that? For instance, he asked to spend extra time with my daughter alone this weekend, and when I put some limits on it for my own comfort, he immediately went to calling me “crazy” and saying I am going to hell. So I said ‘Nevermind, no extra time.’ It’s just not worth it, but I don’t want the kids to suffer :( My daughter wants to see him, but then he uses the opportunity to be awful to me and I’m stuck in a lose/lose. Me or her. Any advice is appreciated.

  16. Becky says:

    My abuser and I were together for 14 years. left my abuser 4 years ago thinking my kids would want to be with me, but to my devastating surprise they wanted to stay at their own house that they grew up in.
    I was a stay at home mom who cleaned took care of them when they were sick brought them everywhere they need to be.put on birthday parties made sure they had everything they needed. Their father paid for all the bills.
    he was the type to be in control, would like to be little me , not let me finish sentences and make me feel worthless. I would get yelled at if I was making eggs and they broke. If the plastic collar on a milk jug was not removed he would be very angry. He would make me feel guilty for hanging out with friends so I just wouldn’t go anywhere. I even felt guilty going to the grocery store by myself because he would ask , who did you see? who did you talk too? see anyone you knew?
    I could go on and on but my main concern is why do my kids want to stay with him?
    he lies to the government and what he makes because he owns his own business.him and the kids get help from the government and I pay him $600 a month for child support. He doesn’t send the money on clothes or shoes for the kids he is for bills even though I know he has money..he has the house two vehicles and all the toys. The first two years I live in my parents now I live with my boyfriend. i buy the kids clothes shoes haircuts sometimes personal products because I feel bad that they do not get there at their dads house but they continue to want to stay at his house. Why?

  17. JJulia says:

    My grand-daughter recently got divorced from an emotionally and verbally abusive man. She has a four year old son and the court has awarded joint custody…He lives close by so now he is at her house every day and night…I am upset that she has allowed this to happen..She claims that he is treating her nicely…This man is an alcoholic and an abuser…I believe he is a sociopath …Why would she want to be near this man…she has spent thousands on lawyers (money she had to borrow) and has been to counseling..I would like your thoughts on this situation.

  18. Ang says:

    Thank you for this article and everyone’s posts and responses. I’m at my wits end. I want to simply ignore my ex’s nasty emails, lying, bullying, and emotional abuse. It’s non-stop and increases in intensity when I am not willing to respond to it. Our son is 7 years old. He doesn’t want to go with his father lately. He cries when he knows it’s almost time to go and has not gotten into his car willingly. He has fears and behaviors that are alarming and sad. Everything positive I try to do for our son (even when he agrees on it) eventually turns into a nightmare. He has called the Father at my parish to say horrible lies about me. He has called our sons pediatrician threatening legalities when she referred our son to therapy. He called the office of the therapist organization doing the same to the point they wouldn’t get involved. Any extracurricular activities our son wants to do, and his dad gives consent to, he decides not to follow through on his visitation citing “it’s his time and will do whatever he wants”. He degrades our son for his interest in arts and is no sending lots of bullying emails to me to get him started in intense sports to start him on a professional path which is what he thinks our son needs. What? My son has come home with the need for medical attention (croop, acute gastroenteritis, and now whooping cough). But it’s always someone elses fault that in his visitation it’s someone else s fault (my dog, my nephew, me, and of course it just didn’t happen when with him). He gave my identity to a girlfriend and even though it left me in a lot of debt that isn’t mine, the court just ignored it. She gave this woman gifts sent to my son and I from his parents and his friends to this woman. Now he is married to another, which he didn’t tell me or our son about. I found out on the internet. Now all of a sudden it’s “they know how to take care of him best” and with the last round of whooping cough (came home after four days with them w/out so much as a note about his symptoms) is accusing me of making it up. 8 year of this never mind watching him talk to my son in a degrading manner at time at pick up. That’s just some of it.

    Ok, so I have had letters written by my son’s pediatrician, teachers, and principle all addressing our son and the help he needs and observations and confidential talks they had with our son. The court, ignored it. Why? Because he has an expensive lawyer who deflects in court and comes at me accusing me of unfounded abuse toward our son and using my own therapy to deal with all of this as a sign that I am mentally ill and I make my son sick. He doesn’t even want him for periods of time then gets a new gf or wife and suddenly it starts all over again. If I ignore abusive emails, I get his lawyer writing the court I’m uncooperative because I won’t respond to some of his emails. The court never has let me tell them I do respond, if it is not abusive and reasonable. It’s beyond frustrating as he continues to try to control what he wants (which is ever changing and all about him, not about our son or everyone in his life). Yet if I say “can we discuss why our son is having a difficult time when it’s pick up” he turns it around on me, will not speak to me, and/or takes it out on our son. I’m at a loss and have lost all faith in the court system.

  19. Blair says:

    So glad I stumbled onto this site and this post. My princess is 8 months old and I am beside myself with allowing him and his family time with her.

    We were in a bit of a bad place for a while, then I fell pregnant and hoped that since it’s what we both wanted, it would all start to get better.

    I was wrong, he and his family can’t think without each other and his mother calls the shots. All our arguments came down to me not being a priority and eventually feeling we were more like strangers sharing a flat than the ‘soulmates’ he tried to convince me we were.

    When baby was 3 weeks old, after me breathing a sigh of relief every time he left the flat, and breaking my heart every day I found the strength to say enough, I can’t take any more. It’s not good for me or this poor baby. So he moved out the next day.

    Our relationship obviously got off to a good start, nice gifts, dinners, quality time together….for 5 minutes. He played football any opportunity he could, played lottery religiously, drank and spent time with his lads. Not a big issue, until it leaves us so skint he has to borrow from his parents to get us to pay day and me with no chance of doing anything social with my friends.

    We HAD to spend every waking moment we had spare at his mums with his family. So my family fell out with me, I lost touch with friends who probably thought I was making excuses to not go do things with them as I was mortified to say we had no money.

    Slowly but surely, feeling completely alone I withdrew further from his family and again, somehow I turned out to be the bad guy, his family love worship and adore me, his young nieces and cousins love spending time with me….how could I be so cruel as to cut myself off from them?

    It’s their way or no way and I can’t live like that. I don’t want my daughter to either. That’s why I left him.

    His family have always been a little off with me, especially if I didn’t agree with them or step in line with their choices. But it had got worse when he lost his job – yes he lost his job and somehow I was the bad guy. So of course I was totally disrespected and hated when I kicked him out, I messed his head up – we wound up trying to give it another go…..and then I found him flirtaciously and inappropriately messaging 10 yes 10 different females. So now he’s not just a mentally and emotionally abusive person but unfaithful and a bare faced liar to boot.

    When she was born, we came to the arrangement that we would register her with my surname, as we were unmarried, I was going to be a stay at home mum and I feel it’s unfair that as soon as baby is born they become property of the parental family (sadly this is the case for me and mine). I was never going to take his surname when we married, but agreed that I would if she could take my surname until then. He agreed, we got her registered – his mother went ballistic. So he came home shouting and balling telling me I’m a selfish control freak. How could I disrespect his family and not care!? Demanding we change her name immediately.

    As a result his entire family have now refused to be in my presence, his mum and dad can’t even acknowledge me in asda even when I’m holding the grandchild they are so desperate to spend time with.

    I have been alienated, his mother has ranted on facebook about me (indirectly of course). Because they haven’t got their way they are now making things as difficult as possible. My 36 year old ex has ran to his mummy to tell her I’m the big bad wolf and now she is pulling his strings.

    Our entire relationship my salary covered our joint outgoings leaving me next to nothing so we lived off what he had left after paying his debts and his car. When he moved out, knowing I was skint as I was having to adjust to less money and running the house all on my own he called me demanding 500 I owe him? He contributed to this flat I’m in so he’s entitled. His mum gave us money to help with deposit and we never gave it back (luckily it went through my bank so I had the transfer details).

    I am a pretty strong minded independent person, thanks to my own mum and this didn’t conform to his mothers liking so I am easy for him to make in to the bad guy.

    My ex isn’t 1 who likes to look bad in front of people. He will spin his own half truths to make himself the victim. It’s always everyone else that’s out to get him.

    For 4 years I was put down by his entire family, maybe they hoped to wear me down and make me conform to their way of thinking…..so now I havent I am public enemy number 1.

    For the same 4 years he managed to cutme off from my family and a lot of my friends, I’m still trying to build bridges – they couldn’t understand how such a strong willed person could change so drastically. My confidence, my self worth and actually knowing who I even was – gone.

    Luckily I have a beautiful baby girl to raise and she gives me strength every minute of every day.

    Now, however, I have a narcissist for an ex, a manipulative serial bully in the shape of his mother and sister who are demanding time with this defenceless child. His dad was diagnosed with terminal brain tumours a few months back, so on top of the put downs name calling and telling me I’ll be taken to court I’m being emotionally blackmailed as his father is dying!

    He has told me his father is depressed, cries all the time, lashes out, the house is always tense or upset – why does he want to inflict that on this poor baby girl?? Oh yes, because he’s selfish. He and his family don’t actually care about her, they just want to keep face and keep up appearances – as long as they can still dig at me, think they are getting 1 over on me and can post pix of the “happy family” on Facebook they are happy.

    They didn’t even get her a Christmas card let alone present – FOR HER FIRST CHRISTMAS!!!! I’m not materialistic but come on!!

    Their house is toxic, the negativity and contempt they all have for me will obviously effect my poor darling girl. She went round for half an hour the other day to be crowded by 6 near strangers – came home….and was up and down all night.

    He has no idea how to be with her, if she cries just give her something to eat, he holds her all the time instead of letting her explore and play. He has no regard or respect for the consistency structure stability and security she needs and his family think she’s a prize.

    I can’t bare the thought of them spreading their poison onto her. She is the happiest smiliest baby I’ve ever known – I’d die if they took that from her.

    I have saved myself, long way to go til I’m me again but every day is another step for me but I feel selfish inflicting them on her without me there with her.

  20. sindy loo hoo says:

    I need some advice. My son is currently 2 weeks old and his father is not on the birth certificate while we were dating he was physically mentally and verbally abusive towards me and come to find out I’m not the only one he’s done this too he was very forceful with a lot of things and is the biggest manipulator I have ever met . He is now out of jail and wants to come see my son I’m scared for my baby’s safety and don’t know what to do. I want the best for him and I feel like it is to keep my son away from him but other people keep telling me I am wrong. It is very stressful especially since my son is currently in the NICU but he doesn’t think he needs help and I just want the best. Am I in the wrong for keeping him away?

  21. You are not wrong. Follow your gut. The feeling that you must keep him away has a purpose. Besides, if he meets your son and sees the boy’s problems, guess who’s fault it is going to be? Yours.

  22. I do not see a judge’s order in place for visitation. If there isn’t one, you do not have to let your child spend time with him or his family.

    Even if you do have to share visitation, block him and his entire toxic family from all of your social media accounts. If any of your mutual friends tell you what they’re saying, ask the friend to keep the stories to him/herself. And if the friend continues to give you or pry for information, block him or her, too.

    Blocking people from social networks is but the first step. Block them from your lives, too. Change your phone number or at the very least set your phone to send their calls to voicemail.

    Sign up for a free consultant with a family law attorney.

    Get serious about your daughter’s and your safety (emotional and otherwise). There are things you can do to protect yourself and your daughter.

  23. This sickens me. If you haven’t already, write your own round of letters detailing the problems you’re having with your ex. If your ex’s attorney calls these people as witnesses, they need to be able to say they heard from you too.

    Your letters are bound to be very emotional. Make sure you have someone with a good head on their shoulders proofread the letters. Put your best foot forward and be as proactive as you can.

    There are systems in place for the mother and father to communicate via email about the child with the court able to see EVERYTHING. Ask your attorney about it or try to find in online. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the name off the top of my head.

  24. She needs you on HER side now. No judgments. As far as her “allowing this to happen,” you should realize that abuse runs DEEP. If you judge her and tell her things like “I told you so!” then she will never again turn to you when things go wrong. Which they will.

    You do not have to be nice to her ex. But you do have to stay strong enough to let her know you are on HER side so when the day comes she needs some support, she will turn to you.

  25. Robert Frick says:

    My 40 yo daughter has suffered through 11 years of 24/7, ever escalating verbal and psychological abuse. She is currently separated, co parenting two wonderful, but suffering children. She went through multiple miscarriages due to the stress, demeaning onslaught and accompanying medical conditions. She has created a home of love for herself and her two children but the father continues his onslaught via emails, texts, phone calls face to face onslaughts in front of neighbors, etc.
    she is still under his emotional control and she has become nearly broken.
    Although she initially provided most of the income and supported his career development he believes she deserves nothing and he remains barely compliant with the divorce arbitration process.
    What help can she get, she has barely enough funds to maintain a small household. She was once a vibrant, happy, giving woman and it breaks our hearts to see all of that destroyed.

  26. Ellie says:

    My ex husband has been verbally abusive to my 11 year old son over the course of his life. He does not spend time building a relationship with our son, just discipline. We separated 2 years ago. Jeff lives in another city but comes every 2 weeks for visits. The visits seem like a chore for him. He has no patience for our son. So he screams at him and pokes him. My son remembers when jeff called him a jackass at the age of 3. Today, when he brought our son home after the weekend, he screamed at him in the basement and hit him for the first time. I told him to leave. My son says he’s scared now. Should i go to cps. I live in canada. Scared to make the next move and not sure what to do. Any help or advice?

  27. Yes. Now there is physical violence involved. If CPS couldn’t help you before, they should be able to now.

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