Co-Parenting With An Abuser

December 6, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

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.

You can find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

Tags: co-parenting

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, December 6). Co-Parenting With An Abuser, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

January, 1 2019 at 7:00 am

My ex and i split up when my son was 2 because he had a drinking problem. We co-parented for quite a while and it had been the hardest battle ever. We had court orders in place to state that he couldn't drink when he had our son with him. He managed to follow it mostly except a couple of times. My son is 10 now and only goes there on day visits of a weekend. His father and i were friends still up until recently when he got a new girlfriend. I have a restraining order against her for threatening me with violence when i went to pick him up.
(i am not the voilent type) and they have been giving my son a hard time about my refusal to take him there or drop him off anymore. He has even called me names, pretended to punch me and said i am a coward for not fronting her. This is what she wants, I believe. I have no idea what to do. I can't escape this situation or move on with my life. I even tried to committ suicide over a year ago, just to end it and give myself peace of mind. This time I am not letting her get to me and I will be teaching my son that these are her issues not mine. I can deal with this. I can cope and i can show him what patience, love, respect and caring is about.

September, 15 2019 at 12:26 am

First of all im sorry you have or are still going through this,it has to be hard.
I was in abusive relationship for 17 years and having kids makes it even harder.
You have to be strong for your son dont let them win you deserve to live a happy peaceful life with your son.
I know especially if your doing this all on your own it may seem hopeless at times but youll get through it.
Prayer also helps it can work miracles and having faith in God knowing that he is always with you.

September, 21 2018 at 2:34 pm

My son is my life, the whole purpose for me being alive. He’s 4 yrs old and I’ve been with his dad for 6 years. His dad is the worst kind of abuser, he doesn’t have control of it. It’s like I’m dealing with 2 people. After the military and some brain injuries he’s out of control of his anger and rage. I should have left after our first date but he swooped me back in. Pregnancy was hell. And now after having My stroke (at the age of 39) he kicked me out, while still mostly bed ridden. He verbally and emotionally abuses me daily. Since leaving he had only gotten worse and takes it out on anyone around him. My son sees it and it terrifies him. He never saw his dad beat me but he was standing next to me when his dad for no reason grew me up against the door with his hands around my neck. My son was screaming and crying. I don’t know what to do. I was a traveling consultant the past 2 and half years so he was primary care giver. I’m afraid the courts will see that as he should continue to have custody. My ex is retired and receives social security for being mentally ill. I don’t know what to do. He threatens that if I don’t share him 50/50 now that he’ll take him from me 100%. I’m not even recovered from my stroke 2 months ago and have no job.

TL Tin
July, 12 2018 at 10:55 pm

I found and read your article at a time when I really needed to hear your exact words. I am a survivor of an abusive marriage in which this marriage produced three wonderful children. After 10 years of abuse in several forms, I finally realized I could not raise my children in this environment, grew strength and left with our children. Only to find out after 7 years of battling constantly through court to protect my children from the life their father willingly gave, that I honestly had no power to protect them from him legally. That even though I proved the abuse, that the courts saw that because he was able to show up to every activity of the kids that the courts saw him as an active father and he deserved joint custody. I felt powerless, like I was failing my own children to protect them from the abuse that I promised myself I would. The verbal, emotional and psychological abuse from him towards me, which I believed would finally stop once I left only increased. The abuse does not stop because I left, and it never will but I can stop allowing him to control me, I actually can choose to not allow him in my head, I have the power to hang up the phone and to not engage in his argument. It was a wonderful feeling the first time I told him when he started yelling at me over the phone that I no longer had to listen to him because I was no longer his wife and hung up. Some days are harder to not fall in to the trap and give him the reaction he wants. Especially after being told every day how horrible of a mom I am, how his children hate me, how I do not support his children and how the best thing I could ever do for his children is to leave them on his porch and never return. Or the days were I see our children while they are with him and they walk right past me like they never saw me a day in their lives, and I cry unconditionally alone telling myself that his words are true, they do hate me, I am a bad mom and they want to live with him. Only to find out that the time before, my 5 year old child was punished for setting with me during their siblings game and as she wiped away my tears I cried for her she let me know she would wash dishes all of her life to just set with me. All I could do was hug her and tell her how special she truly is and how much I love her. Other days I am strong and never even read the messages or don't take to heart that my children ignored me. I know that their reaction is forced not intentional, its only a survival mechanism. I know they love me and deep down I know why they are doing this and it makes me hate him even more. I know that how I feel is only a small portion of how they must really feel, and I know that I can only love them and give them hopefully some tools to protect them from the abuse. Once again, thank you for posting this article, it was a great reminder especially during a hard week.

July, 1 2018 at 6:51 pm

Thank you so much for this article. I have been emotionally abused by my ex for years bc I wanted him to be a part of my son's life. Finaly had enough and drew a line and in a rage he took my son with him. My son now thinks I am the bad guy and says he wants to live with hid dad. Have not been able to see My 11 yr old in a week (and we have never been seperated for more than a weekend). My ex has alienated me from my boy. Been researching all week and just came across your article. You've shown me I'm not alone and that i did the right thing by ending it. Just wish i had done this much sooner. Fearful my son is going to pay the price. Feel helpless. But your words have been helpful. Praying for strength and protetion for my boy.

June, 28 2018 at 12:47 pm

Very good information, thank you for this.

May, 27 2018 at 10:24 am

Im currently in a difficult situation. My ex verbally abuses me, through insulsts, devaluing anything i say and disregarding my instructions in relation to dealing with our 12wk old son. We split during pregnancy for these reasons. I have kept amicable when baby arrived, updating on appts, allowing him into my home to see his son, letting him dictate what he wants to contribute financially (bare min), keeping a relationship between our son and ex's parents (who he does not get along with) and allowing him to take our son out. Although i stopped this, last week due to him ignoring what ive said and feeding him formula incorrectly (too much in a small bottle). On challenging him he wouldnt acknowledge his wrong making me out to be worthless. Ive indicated he wont be seeing his son until his attitude towards me changes and he takes me through mediation, which he is refusing. Am i being reasonable?

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May, 23 2018 at 3:29 pm

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May, 20 2018 at 5:54 am

He and I were in therapy and he stopped showing up. The therapist looked at me and said you can do this. I believed him and started taking action. The focus turned to my daughter and myself, our well being and my sanity. When it feels scary to jump that's exactly when you jump. I could not stay any longer.

May, 1 2018 at 4:31 pm

I am not sure what I should do with my situation, me and my ex had dated for about a few months and the relationship wasn't all that good, well I ended up becoming pregnant my senior year, my ex was never there for me or for our son from the start of my pregnancy, when I told him that I was hurting, he would just say that I'm fine to quit being a baby, when I would throw up 1 to 3 times a day my first trimester he would either just sit there and watch me puke or just stay on his phone and not comfort me, he expected me to do everything and expected me to be patient for him, he wanted me to wait with him to go to the gym, so we ended up breaking up because I didn't want to wait in the rain and he started yelling at me for not being patient when I had stuff to do that day. So now after us breaking up he has been calling me awful names, saying I slept with 5 other men, and a whole bunch more. He would tell me that he is going to take our son from my home or my families home and to not put him on child support, (he is currently on child support and hasn't paid anything but can afford to get himself things), he has done awful things to me and others as well. He is trying to get custody of our son or even try to get visitation. I am not sure what to do, because my son has never met his father and doesn't like to be around certain guys and my ex wants to see him, yet my ex has done some nasty and horrible stuff. He has done a certain something in classrooms, he has used his nieces shirt for "something", he has almost undressed in front of all 3 of his nieces, I mean undress all the way. He has called different girls names, flirt with other girls, etc. I just don't want my son learning terrible habits from his father. I mean I think he is doing just fine without a father, I taught him how to brush his teeth, how to blow kisses and so much more, if my son's father comes into the picture again then my son will possibly be scarred more than what he is now as well as learn nasty things from his father. There is more to this while situation I am in but I just wanted opinions please.

Trying my best
May, 1 2018 at 8:13 am

What do you do when your 14 year old son is insisting on living with his abusive father? I understand a boy's desire to bond with his father, so if he was safe and good for him, i wouldn't fight it. Unfortunately, his father is neither safe nor a good father.

Rose Marie Herrera
March, 17 2018 at 10:21 am

I was young when I had my first child at 18 yrs old young an no parenting skills. I had no love respect from family cause the verbal n mental abuse hunt me all my life. My childs father left me never came back cause my family got in the way. I decide to move on a single mom n dad but I was soround abuse family who always in the negative issue I could never nothing right for them not judge me. My son was 4 months when I aloud myself be free stress n focus on our future. I met this guy in the military I was close to my 19 bd since he was in US military Army he was not to be close by to actually get to each we decide to communicate to mail letters in February of 87 we decide to meet up n see what happen it was love at first sight for me. I reject others near by. He seem charming guy intelligent very good educated hard worker n gentle man he actually swept off my feet. I felt like young teen. He met my son he hold him n my son smile at him. It didn't took long n we married that was biggest mistake I regret. My friends try to warn that they disapprove cause he was not meant to be my mother got upset but didn't have no choice. I became his wife n I felt so happy that my son would have a future. We move in with him military base not far from home. He was most loving husband n step dad gives all love caring n respect. Then summer of 87 he start change his behavior like in control which I could never imagine. We had gone to trip together horse riding everything was good. My son seem enjoy n happy. Then out nowhere my son ends with some scratches on his face I start asking questions but no answers. Cause of that someone report child abuse. We got investigate n child protective services want a explanation from me . Since I legal parents but I didn't know nothing. I requested to ask husband but refused so they said he has nothing to explain. I was upset cause we a married couple. I was close for my son to taking away but I fight for it. I could accept the fact that husband was not intorragated for child abuse. As we return home my husband behavior was different every time he would leave to field n return. Just by October 86 he decide to fiinish his military training n suggested to follow-up with going back home. I was not convinced of it I had doubts but he keep pushing to convience I had a bad feeling I could not feel good reason to go with him. I was like maybe 5 months pregants I call my family but they never put interested to be there for me. Friends turn their bck on me. I was alone felt no way out. So I accept to go with him. He call his mother to notified her that he got it married n new wife had a child she did not took so well that's when my marriage got complicated n negative issues start coming in. She had warn him that that I come with him n child we weren't welcome to the family. He refuse to litsen proceed anyway. He left by himself so he could arrange meeting with family meeting he had promise that no matter what he love me there nothing would get our marriage. I actually believe him. After 2 week waiting to send for us. We finally took a plane home to Boston Massachusetts he pick ups at airport. 12/12/86 . I felt strange with my heart rising fast my mind was full of not secured n scared. My son seem calm n smiling. I taken to his mothers house in Hatfield Mass. Out the country. I was not received not good I let go cause I was with his band n son . I met his step father George Lafanier a in his 60s he was most adorable caring loving repecful ederly man he was charming n welcome me with big hug. He ask me if I was really in love with step son n I answer yes he smile n said I hope so cause his mother was not happy with his marriage n step child n said well I love him n he loves me too. I hope my child cause she evil if she don't something. I try settle in n adjust to idea I was gone from family n friend thosand miles. He advised to pray while I was that house. I said ok I will. Then his mother walk in n said go with your man n child but don't expect from me. On 12/23/86 she got early she was bossy n demanding to everyone in her house she had strict rules to follow. I got up shower n got ready I would do my chores as she indicated she precisted to have done good by time she got back home from work .Her left with her n as well everyone else I stay home with son n George for about 4 hours the other daughter in law came in pregant too n her oldest who was 3 yrs. She came in went her room . I had long day my son would play in his crib most of time he was not walking yet. Then husband came home I started dinner I was cooking but the kitchen was small 2 pregant women did not enough to be in it . She start complain to get out I did argue n I said fine I told husband you dinner will be cook until you sister in law is done. He said ok fine im tired but I want sex n I said no thank you. I'm busy being mother n your mother's slave. I do everything in this house but that bitch doesn't he look at me said oh I would call like that cause she will kick your ass. I laugh really I dare her to put a finger at me. Pregant or not I won't no bitch touch me. George was hearing what I was saying n tell my husband. Once again he warn me. I said if you going on her side then I won't cook wash your clothes iron do nothing for you cause I won't take your bs . He stood n said really u mean that I said yes I do. I'm your wife not your puppet. So he slap in my face I push him away n said oh now going beat me. My son start to cry I hold him I said coming with you. He just walk away mad after waiting like 3 hours the house was clean Yvette had left with her child. My son was inside his crib sleeping my husband was watching TV in the living with George so I went upstairs to clean our room. As I was busy upstairs I heard my son came downstairs n he was alone in the living room on the floor. I pick him up he seem quiet at first so I told is bath time as I taking his clothes off which I didn't notice he had been change sundenly he started screaming on his left hand I was read swallonen red he was crying n I what is wrong so I was approached to the kitchen husband came out bathroom I ask what is wrong with my son ? Why is his hand red n swallowen n he just I don't know so why was left alone in the living room by himself n he just oh I got him to watch TV with me but had to go the bathroom n just putting on the floor but did not think I would take long ! How long ? He says like 30 mins n I scream WTF you left him 30 minutes are stupid or isane what is wrong with you ? I try to calm him down I could figure how to stop crying that when George approach I was sitting on the stairs with no idea what wrong with my child George check on him he like oh Goodness children what have done to this child he has a 3 degree burn on his hand i said what how I had left him inside his crib sleeping . Skip took him out n left alone in the living by himself for 30 minutes. Well should of not gone upstairs trust your man with your child I didn't he took him out. Yeah I did I am his step but you neglected him that's is child abuse. You skip may be retrict to near him but by law Rose your wife be blame. She is the mother of this child. Take him to the hospital now don't put anything on this child hand but there is storm of snow outside I can't drive yes you can this a child treading life. Go before it gets worse I call 911 but never showed up so I argue to taking the hospital we got in the car I sit on the bck with child crying could calm him down I could feel he was in pain. My husband driving we get the hospital n there were a lot people I walk to the emergency n told please my child had accident please help he is alot pain they ask for insurance I ask my husband I don't have with I forgot it so I said look I rush to be n forgot the nurse looks at me weird n says we'll take sit fill up this with child information n bring bck I did within 5 mins n looks at me said you got wait your turn n said just bill me I want child to seen. She look said look don't push your smart face here u got wait your turn n I said no I have child 14 months is emergency n you expect me to wait I don't think so I demand my child to be seen she call security n escort me to chair or be arrested. My husband didn't child so I told him you are the blame I warn you anything happens to my child I swear to God I will divorce you never seen your daughter he got from arm told don't dare tread me cause I will kill you first before even take my child. After 4 hours finally was call in the emergency doctor came in said what is wrong with your child well let tell your hospital has worse services 2 the nurses are bitches n 3 I wait 4 hours to be seen he sees my son's hands says oh my Goodness lady this child is burn why did you get him in soon cause I got rejected by front staff nurses. I blame my husband step of my child who did this as you see I'm pregant n I can't kick his ass. He went the front with me n said who the nurse n I said you see that bitch with blond hair that's the one who escort to chair with security or be arrested. Well I didn't want be arrested with child ok. He went to the nurse n said you get out this patient mother is pressing charges against you for not let her in with her child. I was taken to the back n my child was being check. Husband didn't bother coming with me. The doctor said mam your son is serious injured by law I got report this then yes husband did it not me. Then I come here I wait 4 hours please I would my child he is light of life he is my everything. I don't care if husband goes to jail I pressing charges I want full report to police n child protective services but please don't blame. He saw me holding the Bible n said I telling you the truth nothing but truth. The doctor said ok let see what I can do but no promises ok I believe you but it's your word against your husband. After a 3 hours child protective services walk in n inform me that that my child is been remove from my custody that I only aloud to be with him not decide nothing for him I scream panic n said but why ? I have no reason to be blame I have protect myself cause I know my rights. Your husband he don't know nothing you the only who takes care of child not him. I was upset hear broken cause my son was taken away from me I fight hard to get him bck for 3 yrs in half but my fight was not satisfied enough mother in law did her evil for me not get him bck social worker try to manipulate me by offer sex to get my son bck I said no Foster mother was bitch she would make false report against me mother in law n family n husband put everything in negative to loose full custody. I lost my whole life I had my daughter in April 88 that's when I put my heart into hate I swear to get ex husband. George try to help me but the family didn't aloud him too. I was alone. Lawyer told that my family sign documents that refused to take my son I never saw documents sign to indetity sigtures . Ex had join the US Army again n send to station in Ft. Lewis Washington base that when my revenge start it I wouldnt no cook clean laudrory nothing for husband I dedicated to my daughter. He try hard to make up to me but I told him what makes think that this marriage will stay together nope I want divorce my love for you is dead you kill it I hate n your entire family . You plan to hurt my child you like I got blame for it you put me as worse mother to my son I lost custody n case of you lies non support. You cause deep inside me. I see you a selfish sunbitch ass hoe I don't no more I feel nothing and your daughter is mine child no yours cause I will trust tyou with her . He lost temper n beat me I fight it bck but as I try it neighbors heard n step in military police took report n pictures n took him to military jail. A few days later send to field 100 days I was in peace I stay home dedicate full time to my daughter. His mother call want to come to visit n oh yes sure u welcome to come but to warn is under my rules. She stay quiet said nothing n then ok. She came summer 1990 spend 2 weeks in my house she try to make it to me but I treat the way she treat me n I told I'm not the stupid ignorant stupid daughter in you met once things change since your son n your entire family destroy my life n my son. I don't your apology cause I won't accept it I didn't married your son for money or cause he seem everything I believe he was but in reality he wasn't . I was stupid n deep blind you in fact warn me several that I would regret I met him n you know yes I do regret it now I hate him . His own daughter don't let get near her at all. She young but she understands my pain n hers not having her brother n you n him took away. I see you mad n I don't blame you but I am sorry what we done no it's late my son is gone I have no way get him bck no more. As you see granddaughter is no longer close to you like she was explain to her why you took her brother you son child abuse him n he should be in prison not US military serving our country . I see you carry lots hate tours us n forgiveness will not happen . Well I accept you complains not going to go against you you have that right. I judge you badly. My son is no Angel but is to him to confess the truth not mine. And maybe you can get your son back . He step to confess the truth cause he has told to many time no. He did this now is my turn to have pay back . His out in field for 100days n I'm home with my daughter not him n won't him get near her . When he returns if he is agreesive he will not be aloud to be with his family. His mother visit n left my husband return with strong attitude n I didn't recognize. I had warn him if return take conseling to help manage you mean attitude. But intstead he got agreesive n he rape me with 3 child n then try to make miscaaaiage cause I was having a boy not girl. I report him got a restraining order against him until I had my son April 91 then I took him to court n suggested that I could aloud to come near my children cause child abuser military support me but he got in trouble with his unit n got kick out like suspension for 2 months return continue with his bad behavior n the US Army witness that he was willing to change so they dishonorable him in 1992 with no pay no veterans benefits he lost everything. I decide to bck home to Texas n pay own trip n he pay his I still had plans for divorce I requested military evidence so my divorce proceedings faster it took 2 yrs n 3 months July 94 I didn't requested nothing from him. Becoming a single mother want going to be easy . My family got on his side but I just confront them n battle with them. In June 95 I move to California L.A. till 9/2003 I live happy life I had no contact with ex his child support was enough for 2 children but I manage to survive until each reach 18 yrs daughter 2006 n my youngest 2009 they had required alot but I put my best to both of them. I raised good children. They took over their life as adults. My daughter in 11 yrs she been to her ups n downs good n bad but I seen her manage life very well. Her realionship with her father is not good he decide to see her again after 23 in Nov 2017 yrs n she didn't like it all. My son in 8 yrs he has became good leader brother uncle n son sometimes he has ups n down but he learn to manage it. Both grown adults 29 yr daughter n 26 yr old son. I been empty for 27 yrs without my son I want suited my ex cause he don't regret a bit he never apologize to his children he abused his older brother n cause of him he was taken away. My family is the same. I have to search for my son but I have financially enough to pay detective to find him but I believe that should have those the hurt pay for it . A good 600.000 k will do . How can proceed this family sued ?

Welby Johnson
February, 19 2018 at 12:00 pm

My sons mother uses our son as a pawn and has from the day she conceived, she found out she was preg. Left me that day told everyone it was someone else's yet would secretly say to me its best I just forget about it and my name will not be on birth certificate nor will the child ever carry my name well I took her to court and I now have joint custody and my son has my name, well he is now 6 and his mom has been pulling stunt after stunt trying to keep us apart in Nov she kept me from seeing or talking to him for 30 days by getting a protective order with false claims well I took care of that and right after I did she cut my days down to 4 a month when we had been doing 50/50 this hole time despite joint custody I never missed support nor a day I was to get my son unless she was mad then would refuse to let me have him and what could I do right then and there I've baught her phone paid her rent and car insurance paid all school fees baught all our sons clothes shoes pretty much everything on top of support she recently out of nowhere took away my days through the week and blames me for our son being mad at her I don't know what to do I can't afford a lawyer and she continues to try an damage my son and I's relationship she is absolutely jealous of it because hers isn't like ours I've never had to spank my child never because I talk to him with a stern voice when needed and she admits to whipping him all the time what should I do I feel like just giving in and letting her win I just can't take much more

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 22 2018 at 1:20 pm

I know exactly how you feel. My situation is exactly the same. I can no longer do this with my sons dad. I try everything to make it work. I even gave into joint custody. He still give me a hard time about everything for no reason. It's stressful I never imagined parenthood being like this. I'm at a place in my life where I dont know what to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 7 2018 at 10:01 am

Majority of court systems have legal aide and low cost legal help .. contact your local court system to see if they have the help you need. You may also contact to find a local center that may be able to assist in a variety of ways. Hang in there! Prayers.

January, 18 2018 at 10:03 pm

My children are being made to see there dad even though he slapped most of there life screamed and shouted at my older children held his fist up to my 10 year old then. My kids are very emotional my son is violent towards there dad and others my daughter always cries its horrible to see they r refusing to c there dad and im at risk of losing them. I dont no wat to do

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 19 2018 at 2:37 am

And Nicky I'm in New Jersey I'm not sure on the laws really here or where you might be ...butbypu know we see bad stuff happening to kids all thr tine bc of a bad parent or whenever and is as mom's want to protect our children why is it that the judge or whoever w ont help us protect the kids! It makes me angry bc it's like we have to wait for something seriously to happen before anyone listens . It's not right!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 22 2018 at 1:55 am

Hi Nicky,
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. If you're worried for the safety of your children, you should call the Child Abuse Hotline (Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD). If you don't feel that your children are in imminent danger but their father's verbal abuse is doing long-term harm, could you arrange to see a lawyer to discuss your custody options? It might also a good idea for your kids to see a therapist if that's something they feel comfortable with. Do you have a family doctor who could arrange this? The situation you're in doesn't sound fair or healthy for you or your kids, and it sounds as if you're very worried about their welfare.
I don't know your backstory, however, there are organizations that can help with situations like these. Please refer to our hotlines and referral resources page for more information, and good luck.

April Hubbard
January, 12 2018 at 6:54 pm

Ive been in an off and on abusive relationship for over 13 yrs he was physically abusive now hes just flat out disrespectful, verbally abusive he keeps threatening me he cant wait until i die, the last time time he but his hands on me he choked me out i left the Situation for a few years got married left my husband and went back i cant understand why i had another child by him she's one he dont feel financially he should help with them he calls me all Kind of bitches etc when i ASK if hes going to help with them he tells our 12 yr old when im correcting her that i am petty hes very disrespectful i want to move out of state i feel im on the verge of a nervous breakdown im tired mentally and emotionally

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 14 2018 at 4:47 pm

April, I'm Emily Sullivan, one of the co-authors of Verbal Abuse in Relationships, thanks for reaching out to us. I'm so sorry for your situation, that sounds dreadful. I think you may be on to something when you say you want to move out of state. Sometimes distance helps us more than anything. You and your children deserve a happy, more loving and stable environment. Have you reached out to your close friends and family? Do you have someone you can confide in, that is supportive of you? Also, reaching out to a therapist can be extremely helpful when dealing with these kinds of situations. I'm so sorry April. Your children deserve to see their dad treating their mom with kindness and respect. I hope you're able to plan a safe next step, like looking into leaving or reaching out for help. I'm rooting for you April. Thanks, Emily

January, 19 2018 at 2:28 am

This really isn't a comment but I need to talk about this. My son hates going to his father's house. He use to sleep there when he was younger he's go on Friday night and stay until Sunday afternoon. Things changed though i think because older now, hes 8. Okay so, it started about 6 months ago where every time i would drive him to his father's he would start crying and freaking out that he didn't want to stay there anymore. Would refuse to get out of my car. So if ask him why and he would just say mommy I want to stay with you. O told him you'll see me again and you have to stay with daddy. His father would come out to my car and get him. We did that a few times with our son. He's never tell me why . One weekend my son had his cell phone and locked himself in there bathroom and called me to please come get him. He was crying historically I felt so bad , but then I heard his step mother screaming at him and he said she scares him he wants to leave. I said okay hold on baby stay calm. So while he's crying she s still screaming from the other side of the bathroom door get off the fucking phone your fucking staying here. They she must of got into the bathroom and took his phone. Before I had a chance to call, my son's father calls me, I'm fucking done with this shit come get your bastard son fuck you fuck him let your fucking husband take custody of him! While I still hear my son crying historically in the back ground, hiabstep mother calling him a fucking baby your ridiculous your never coming here again. I was terrified so I literally drove 40 minutes down the parkway and got my son. When I got him he was standing on there porch with his cell phone white as a ghost. After that we got home and he was scared to go back there. He's 8 years old . Evebtually coming to now he only goes every other Sunday bc he's terrified to go there and sleep there. His father did apologize to me and our son about that incident but my son is terrified to be near his step mother. I barely get child support as well but I don't care about the money honestly, I care about my son going there even on just a Sunday to visit. He no longer sleeps there . Which my ex and I both agreed would work. My son never feels comfortable being there. He has finally told me that even times she. He would be crying to come home his step mother would sit him down in a chair and call him a little girl a big baby and tell him that while daddy and your little brother go out pumpkin picking I'm going to stare at you all day while you cry. When I heard that from my son he was in tears. Asking me why I make him go. Now my ex and I don't go through courts and honestly even when I don't get child support which is honestly barely ever I'm scared to go to court bc I feel like the judge would make my son sleep there for every other weekend and I know my son is terrified to sleep there. So I do not know what to do. I'm even scared bc my son step mother has even told my son that if mommy died you will be living with us and that's scares me to bc my 8byear old is scared that I might die now. I am not sick in anyway I'm 33 years old. I'm scared now just bc they will take him from my husband and my step children. I'm so lost and I don't know what to do to protect my child from his step mother. I have told my ex but he never says anything. All he says is well she s not as mean to him as she is to me and the baby who h is his and her 1 year old. I need advice badly.

Janene Missingmychild
December, 23 2017 at 1:59 pm

I am so happy that I came across this site. I left my verbally abusive husband three years ago and never went back. We have joint custody of our child who is now 13. This year was a very hard year and I found myself homeless and on drugs. Six months ago I decided that although my husband is verbally abusive the best thing for my child was to have stability and Shelter. I have been clean for six months and I am no longer living on the streets. There is no CPS case involved and I still have all my rights but the verbal abuse has not changed and he is not allowing me to see my child. He has taken my son cell phone and I cannot communicate with him at all only from contacting him or his parents. I don’t have the idea of living circumstances for my child yet but I am working on myself daily as well as working on having a bigger place to stay for the both of us. I do not want to cause more drama to my son and arrive at his house demanding that I see my son and I am left feeling helpless. I am willing to do anything that I can but it is so hard to show proof of his abuse because He does not respond to me via text or email and he only contacts me and cusses me out and to Graves and even more for leaving my side. If anyone has any advice on what I can do I am willing to listen. I And working on staying positive and battery in my life. I am completing the divorce as well as trying to find a bigger place to stay for myself and my son.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 26 2017 at 9:09 pm

Janene, I'm so glad you came across HealthyPlace as well! Thank you so much for reaching out. I'm so glad you were able to muster the strength to leave your abusive marriage, that's a huge deal worth applauding. I cannot imagine co-parenting with an abusive ex, that must be so tough! And your other struggles, I am so deeply sorry for everything you've struggled with and worked so hard to fight, to overcome. There are many women's advocate resources out there I hope you will take advantage of. You may be able to get therapy, legal help, medical help, recovery, shelter, etc.... I'll include a link below. Janene, hang in there, it really sounds like you're trying so hard to do the right thing and get better. I believe in you. You and your son both deserve a happy, healthy, loving environment. Thanks so much for reaching out! -Emily
Abuse Resources

December, 12 2017 at 4:34 pm

I left my ex-husband, my abuser of 10 years. I should be dead. My son has seen me beaten nearly to death numerous times all of his life. A couple of times my son was abused himself at the end when I was making a plan to leave. One of the last things that happened was my ex pulled a shotgun with me and my son, who was six at the time. I never pressed charges for 10 years, at first because I felt bad for him. And then later on after I had my son, because I was afraid he be taken by CPS. My ex made threat that if I left, he would get some kind of custody or all custody. I was dumb enough to believe it. Well kind of. But that will come in the second. He also threatened if I left that he would commit suicide, which he did attempt many times sometimes even in front of my son. The final time, he was taken away and I knew he would be gone for a few months. So I took that time to get everything ready and make a plan and separate him. Everything is going well for a while. Except then I started dating one of my best friends several years and I fell in love and I couldn’t believe that I actually hadn’t been in love before until then, and my son looked up to him like a father. My son and I were both diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety disorder. I guess I thought everything would stop as long is I just got out of there with my son. And I was happy and on my way to feeling really great, but with my PTSD came these really harsh symptoms which are still problematic for me. I was having flashbacks, but I didn’t really know what they were. Sometimes I wouldn’t remember entire periods, and then I would really hurt myself. I would come to, and I had black and both my eyes. My boyfriend at the time saw this a couple times, and said that I’d be hysterically crying just hurting myself. And he would restrain me from hurting myself. And that would just freak me out more because I hated being restrained. It was scary because I didn’t remember these things. Then it happened in public. And it was because my ex-husband found out that I was about to get an emergency restraining order on him because despite my feelings, I just didn’t want any more drama or problems so I tried coparenting with my abusive ex. Which might’ve been the worst thing for my son other than staying married. My son went and fed for 24 hours at a time on two separate occasions. He was also gotten high on marijuana by his father in an attempt to get him to go to sleep, because my son had sleep issues because of anxiety and even more anxiety when he stayed with his father. So I was going to file for emergency custody. It was the weekend and I told a friend who I thought I could trust. And that person told my ex-husband who makes a lot of money to say the least. So he retained a lawyer over the weekend and that lawyer emailed me at 2:34am on Monday morning. That was the tactic he used because I was asleep. And he said that first thing in the morning he was going to file on behalf of my ex-husband for emergency custody due to blah blah blah. It was just the craziest things anybody could come up with. And I understand why a judge had to grant it, because I wasn’t there to defend myself because I didn’t get there in time. I got the email when I was getting ready to leave the house. So me and my boyfriend and my son rushed to the courthouse, but it was too late and I was served papers that the following day, I had to serve my son over to my abusive ex-husband. I had a major anxiety attack, probably the worst one I’ve ever had because I didn’t think I’d see my son ever again. I got out of my car and pulled over to a spot where my son couldn’t see me and sat next to my car and just started screaming and crying I couldn’t even help it. I started pounding my head with my keys and Hitting my head. My counselor now says that this is common. I’ve just been able to talk to people about this. It’s embarrassing. My boyfriend got out of the car and was restraining me. And that’s when things took a turn really badly. He was restraining me and I was kicking in screaming because I cannot be restrained. I know it safe for me and when I’m calm like now I’m glad that he does. But at the time I’m scared. And he was trying to hold me down and tell me to calm down and my son… The car to tell me to calm down but unfortunately during the struggle between me and my boyfriend when he was restraining me from behind, my son got knocked over. He just fell down and scraped his elbow. He didn’t even need a Band-Aid later on. But a passerby saw me screaming let me go and just saw my boyfriend holding me from behind and that my face was pretty beat up from myself, and called the police and said that my son was bodyslammed by my boyfriend and that I was being strangled. My boyfriend got charged with felony strangulation and child abuse which he easily could’ve thought because all three of our stories matched when we were questioned separately. But he took a really fast plea-bargain because he was afraid for me and my son, as he should’ve been because while he was in jail my ex-husband attacked me when I won in court and prove that I was abused for 10 years And the court granted me custody and we didn’t have to see him until DVPO renewal, but because of that event with my boyfriend CPS got involved. And because of his charge they did not like him and they were not hearing it. So the next time I had an anxiety attack and I had bruises on my face, I also hyperventilated and passed out at the wheel after I had a very stressful therapy appointment where I had to relive some very scary things . So CPS took my son, and placed him with my family thank God. But all my visits are supervised. And CPS doesn’t believe that I sell farm as much as I tell them and my therapists are treating me for it and they account for, and my local shelter who i’ve been going to for support group meetings for years knows my story and also knows that I self harm. But because my boyfriend took a plea bargain instead of fighting this charge just so he could get out of jail early, CPS thinks he did it when my face was bruised again. Now my son is not allowed to see him ever again when he comes home. On top of that, they are trying to reunify my son and his biological father who my son won’t even talk about with his counselor or any family members or anybody. He won’t talk about any events that have ever happened. So I don’t know that CPS takes me seriously when I tell them how dangerous it was and they never seem interested in seeing my pictures or listening to my story or anything. sorry for the long rant, but yes CPS can screw you up or when you leave. Especially if you leave too late and suffer psychological damage.

October, 26 2017 at 7:04 pm

Yeah but here I am figuring it when he's taken off with my kids three years ago. And steady using the system to abuse me. Having legal help and I do not. Using my bipolar daughter as a tool and not caring about the.digression hed put on her.teaching my son the art and I can't do shit. Not wanting to be the weak statistic Because my kids don't deserve to be stranded.and he doesnt deserve the satisfaction.

October, 16 2017 at 10:51 am

It was the hardest day of my life, when I had to leave my family. The love and wishes I had to remain living with my children was overpowered by my ex's bullying to me. Had I have stayed, my health would have detiorated significantly. years of her telling me that I was mentally unwell took their toll. Now that I am free from the daily pain which was externalised towards me, I am stronger and healthier, and the role model that I wish my children to see, no the shattered, cowering heap that I was.
Sadly, having escaped from such a situation, it has been an uphill battle in the courts for the children to see me. Hopefully some year, in the future the lawmakers will be able to recognise that men get abused too.

August, 7 2017 at 9:25 am

I need help

July, 13 2017 at 8:09 am

This is terrible advice. Bail on the children to protect yourself? This goes against all nurturing tendencies of a parent. Better off to stay in the relationship--this is the only way to fully protect the child. Get a counselor and support team who can support you on your very difficult life journey. Document everything so that if worse comes to worse, you have evidence to present to the courts.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 2 2017 at 3:42 am

Staying in the relationship would only teach your children that it's ok to allow yourself to be treated that way. You are your child's role model, and if they see you being regularly abused, then they will go into relationships of the same type. There is no easy decision, but you can be the guidance to help teach them self-awareness. Staying in an abusive relationship if far more detrimental to a child's well-being in the long run. I left my ex when I was a few months pregnant, and I am so happy that I did. It's still a fight, but I stand my ground with what is right, and won't allow him to take our son if he is unable to control his emotions. Both choices are difficult, but with leaving an abusive partner you are teaching your child how to protect themselves.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 21 2017 at 12:25 pm

I agree. I stayed with mine for 11 horrific years after I realized he was a sex addict and a narcissist. How can you protect your kids if you leave them alone with somebody like that? Run away and leave the innocent kids alone with a monster?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 30 2017 at 6:18 am

I to are experiencing this nightmare at present. 12 years and two small children to a complete psychopath. Sexual violence, alcoholic, drugs and financial abuse and emotiinal abuse....complete monster. I finally got away, but the justice system is so flawed. It allows the abuse to continue because they are more interested in helping the abuser who tells all sorts of lies as that's what they do, and in the mean time abusers the good parent even more. It just destorys the decent parent in the process. My ex admitted and my children gave evidence to his abuse, but didn't matter as now he is sitting in a ridiculously better finanial position than I am using and abusing me to get there, never being present in the children's lives before, has decide quote " now that my children are getting older, I think it's time I got involved as they won't wanna know me soon", and the system thinks that's ok? I've raised my children done everything for them as he constantly traveled with his career never home and now I have to share custody with this monster. I can't protect my children and it has destory me! So the way I look at it the system has made it worse for the children as now they have one patent who abusers and another parent destory emotional. And we wonder why society is getting worse...suicide rates and domestic violence at horrifying high rates. Doesn't take a clever mind to work that one out!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Stephanie Land
November, 6 2017 at 9:44 am

I completely agree with you Sarah. I am a mental health therapist and I work with these situations constantly. I am supposed to provide Trauma focused care to the children as they are being with their abuser every other week. They scream and cry. Mother has shown evidence to police, to no avail. To the Judge, to no avail. To Department of Children and Families, to no avail. It is truly heart breaking for the mom and myself.

July, 7 2017 at 10:30 pm

Here is where I struggle: I know my husband is an abusive and mentally ill man. So how do I leave him and then leave my small children to fend for themselves? He has endless resources and much like a sociopath, can mamake himself seem like a very likeable and "fit" parent and human being, as needed. I am so afraid for my children to have to deal with what my stepchild had to deal with. Also, when I threaten to leave him, he says he's going to call CPS on me (with lies). I just see the road being so difficult for both me and my kids so I just keep sticking it out. But I also feel myself falling into depression, anger and despair. Has anyone ever been in this situation? I keep hoping his mental
Illness will lead to proof that he is unfit...probably a long shot.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 10 2017 at 11:28 pm

I wish I had better news but this article seems trite. Courts ordered me to go be abused by myself with my father when my parents split. I fear they would do the same to my child. I bend over backwards to pacify my ex to remain in a limbo where his Aspergers abuse dictates our lives, just so I can keep his time with my child supervised because I don't trust the courts to do what's in my child's best interest. They'd be more concerned about the abuser's rights than the child's.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 31 2017 at 7:21 am

There is no justice in our court systems.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 29 2017 at 11:09 pm

I was married for 19 years to an abuser. I finally left when my children were old enough to decide if they want to be around him. I'm so glad I stayed to protect them but glad I am out now. My children were 18, 16 & 14. They want very little to do with him and we are all in counseling. When I was married I made it all about the kids and I. I avoided my husband as much as possible. Yes it is a sad way to live but I was protecting my kids. When we divorced it was almost like nothing is still the kids and I. They don't miss him at all, and see him less and less.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 6 2017 at 10:10 pm

THis is a similar story to mine. I had planned to stay until both my children left school but In the end my ex became physically abusive towards me whilst the kids were in the house and I lnew I had to leave straight away. They were 12 and 14. He hardly sees them now which tbh suits me fine. He is a selfishan man always was and like in your comment it was always just the three of us anyway - he did nothing for them., still doesnt. I do not agree that children should be made to see a father that has not been there for them and shows them little concern. It should be their decisiion. So many fathers who would LOVE to have a relationship with their children. But these people never cherish the things they should. My main worry about leaving him earlier was how easy it would have been for him to poison their tiny minds against me when they were younger (he even tried that on my parents!) or that whilst in his careI would not be there to protect them. It is like being caught between the devil & the deep blue sea. Glad to be finally rid.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Eileen H
September, 8 2017 at 8:04 am

I too was in this exact situation you have described. I left my abusive jealous husband with the support of a few friends.
Before we actually divorced, when we only talked about it, he said he would take my children, house and money away. He didn't work. He told me the courts would award him alimony because he earned nothing. Where I had the good hospital job. He said the kids would give him both our kids because he told me he would tell them I was bipolar and an unfit mother who was mental. He said maybe I could see my kids 3 years later. During one of our fights he told my son he didn't love him and accidentally hit my daughters head on the hallway wall as he told her he loved her more than I did. I knew I had to leave. This wasn't our first fight. He once even threw both me and my daughter down onto my bed and threw a closet hanger at me all while my kids cried for him stop.
I live in CA. This is a 50/50 state during divorce. 50 goes to him and the other to you. After years of this not changing I realized my actions needed to change. Obviously my technique of trying to fix the situation wasn't working.
Taking advice from friends I started calling the police. I documented his abuse to me and the times when he took my kids and left me crying alone at home. Not knowing where he had taken them. I also started emailing him about what happened hoping that he would admit to things. He did. I keep these email confessions from him just incase it happens again.
When I met my paralegal she told me that all he had done to me prior wouldn't help during the divorce. Nothing really matters until after I filed. So I filed. More abuse happened so I called the cops and documented those situations too. Six months after I filed I was awarded the house and the kids 50/50. I asked for no hold support and no alimony from either of us to the other. I didn't want the exchange of money to be more reason to upset either of us. He was thankful I asked for no child support. Though sometimes I wished I asked for it. He still tries to control me. He says he can't coparent unless he gets me too. We constantly argue, usually not in front of the children, unless he puts his hands up my skirt and down my shirt. Even after divorce I have to deal with this. I wish I had more help. 15 years too long. And I'm in my early 30s.
Emotionally scarred and feeling like I wasted so much time wondering what to do, I respond to your comment hoping that after reading mine you will take more action. People say people don't change. My ex did. He changed every other day. Back and forth. Told my son he didn't love him one day then the next he did. Told my children one day I was an unfit mother who didn't love them. The next I was a wonderful mother. In the end it was obvious he never really changed.
The only way courts would keep one parent away from the children I believe is if one poses danger to the children. What kind of evidence you would need in not entirely sure. But I recommend speaking to a professional and to not just wait and hope. What you collect may be all wrong or not good enough. After speaking t my paralegal and her lawyer husband I took their advice and just filed. They told me to document everything during the 6month CA divorce waiting period. I ended up not needing to provide it but I had it ready just incase. I may need it one day. He's better now.
He only says bad things to me.
One more thing. Unless he has been diagnosed with a mental illness what you feel about his current mental condition doesn't really help. Maybe situations of him being unfit and documented would help. But seek a professional to be sure. Don't wait.

September, 30 2016 at 3:56 pm

So sorry all of you are dealing with this b.s. After my own years of every type of abuse as a wife and involving the kids, I can give some advice that has helped us all. 1- read everything you can on verbal/emotional abuse.2- read and understand narcassist, sociopath, psychopath, borderline, anti social behavior types. Particularly with narcassists, there is a PATTERN. It's sick to realize that they are heartless, emotionless people devoid of any conscience and you only exist for THEIR EGO,........but it will help you understand and overcome the confusion, which to me was endless. Narcassists can be dealt w/ through employing specific strategies. Learn them and practice them!! Your children, friends, family, etc. WILL thank you b/c they're also living your hell many times. Patricia Evans books saved me. YouTube videos on Narcassism are extremely helpful. Don't give up!! Your kids are worth it and so is your sanity!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sara Quinnell
June, 25 2019 at 8:56 am

Hi, I am desperate, not once did i tell anyone how awful my ex was towards me, I eventually escaped and have now realized he is a covert narcissist. We have a 7 year old Daughter and she has disclosed some worrying things but Social Services have been totally drawn in to his callous lies and manipulation without checking if any of his comments about me were in any way true. This scathing report was presented to the family court resulting in him being granted 40/60 custody. I feel absolutely powerless and cannot protect my child. Please help with any advice please

September, 26 2016 at 11:37 pm

I have been abused by my ex wife I called the police last week she got arrested for domestic violence one of our kids was involved in her anger outrage.. I showed the cops the text messages showing prove of the emotional and mental abuse they already have physical prove. They let her go the next morning and she took the kids out of school and moved in with her parents.. I didn't do anything wrong but I'm the one who is being treated like I committed the crimes.. absolutely ridiculous how this is going on!!

Barbi Aguirre
September, 17 2016 at 5:36 pm

I am at my wit's end right now. I left my ex years ago but we share custody of our 13 year old daughter. He is a power and control type of person so he lies and manipulates a lot. My daughter was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder last year after him and his wife got ugly over a child support increase( I believe that him and his wife are psychologically abusive to each other as well as the kids in their home). After my daughter was diagnosed her father and stepmother sat her down to tell her that she has not anxiety disorder and she is just manipulating people and lying. He has yelled this at me in front of my home after bringing her home at one point. He keeps going to her therapist and insinuating she is a liar and manipulate. Her last visit with him he asked her how she was and when she said fine he said she was lying about school and took her phone. Her phone is actually her lifeline to me. She doesnt really communicate on the phone with anyone but me and her older sister because of her anxiety. This triggered an anxiety attack. I called their house at one point that night because I got a weird text from her phone. They put her on speakerphone and when I asked her if I needed to send someone to check on her I could hear her dad saying no you don't. I could hear my daughter breathing heavy and sniffling so I kept asking her if she was okay but she wouldn't answer. Apparently her stepmother was standing right next to her telling her to lie to me and say she was okay. I called the cops and for some reason they felt they should send cops to me first. The next morning I found out from her father that she wrote a suicide not. This was not him informing out of concern. He was using this note as weapon. I ended up calling the cops about the note because he claimed he was taking her to a hospital he wouldn't tell me where. To this day I am not sure if he would have taken her if I hadn't called the police. Oh yeah and he did call the police on her when he found the note but he didn't take her to a hospital for 10-12hours). I also don't think when he took her it was out of concern. He told the psychiatrist he brought her there for his own evaluation. Coincidentally I didn't realize that I have the sole right to consent psychiatric treatment until I got home that night. When I figured out where he took my daughter he had the hospital deny my rights to be there for my daughter's evaluation by having his court order stating I have that right and saying he didn't want me back there. When I tried to assert my rights he started yelling security. Eventually they did read the court order but it wasn't until after I haf sent my eldest daughter back to my place to find my copy of the court order that says exactly what he says. Its a sad world where I have to think oh my court order when I am worried about my daughter hurting herself. She ended up in a great hospital for a week that stood up for her and didn't force her to see her dad. The first time they told him she didn't want to see him he threw a huge fit and they ended up calling the cops. Unfortunately by the time they got there he had left and the hospital was just across the border from the state we live in. Since then, which was back in May, she has been refusing his visits. Everytime I tells him no he calls the cops. Some have been very nice but the one I dealt with yesterday started scare tactics and I pointed out to him that is how my daughter ended up in the situation she is in by her father using scare tactics. I keep seeing that somehow I am supposed to co parent with him but it's not possible. I either give things his way or he throws a bloody tantrum or better yet his wife does. I am tired and frustrated and really annoyed that I am expected to encourage my kid to accept the abusive behaviors because if a court order. She is a teenager what does that teach her about future relationships? My daughter was more confident and did really well in school until she was told she wasn't wanted at her dad's house by her half brother and stepmother. Before she was told her child support would cause them to give up the family pets. Before she was told the cost of her child support would leave her dad in such dire straights he probably wouldn't be able to afford gas to pick her up and he reinforced that by not seeing her for nearly a year. She has made progress but we have days still that she just cannot cope. Those days are exhausting but I keep reminding myself of the progress she has made. Her dad wants to claim I have turned her against him. I had moved her away for four years and he didn't complain. I moved back because stupid me forgot that abusers generally do not grow out of it and he has blown every chance to make a loving relationship with her and traumatized her so that she does not trust people.
I really don't know what I am trying to say. I want my daughter to feel like a princess again and not think she is the cause of someone else's problems. I don't understand how someone can treat their child this way.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 31 2017 at 7:27 am

Wow, this sounds so much like my ex and his new wife with my daughter! :-(

September, 13 2016 at 4:52 pm

My ex is also trying to pull the supposed defamation thing. Not in court or anything, yet, but he also accuses me of deliberately being contrary when HE needs a scheduling change because HE doesn't prioritize the kids so HE isn't available for his ordered visitation. He'll demand a day that he KNOWS is not going to work for me because we just had the SAME issue last week. When I tell him that day is still a no-go, its "any day I say is out for you, I see how it is". How it is, you paranoid psychopath, is THAT DAY DOESNT WORK FOR ME!! He VASTLY overestimates his importance in my life, if he thinks I have time to deliberately mess with him. So since that's not the case, I have to be doing SOMETHING wrong, so on to defamation. Whatever, dude, the kids say all kinds of things you do that aren't right. Abusive exes should be deported somnewhere unpleasant.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 31 2017 at 7:28 am

Make an island for all of them to live on, they can abuse each other...... :-)

September, 7 2016 at 8:26 am

I haven't read many of the comments, but so far I've only read women writing on here. I am a man, I unfortunately was completely dealt a really bad hand in divorce because I was weak, had desperately pleaded for a peaceful divorce with my ex, and at the end of the day, I wanted out of the abubsive marriage so bad that I gave the farm away without fighting in court. All I cared about was having a great relationship with my 4 year old son and to be out of the marriage. I didn't care about the house, the cars, the 3100 a month in support I currently pay, I let her have it all. I thought after all of that, she would be nice to me and we would be able to co-parent. The abuse has continued and now she uses the only thing left to use against me, my son. She plays constant mind games with me and him like accusing me of not wanting to see him whenever I have plans and she's asking me to come pick him up because she knows it kills me when I cant see him. She tells him nasty things about me. I'm almost positive she acts like she calls me without actually dialing my number and then acts like I tell her that I don't want to talk to him. She sends random photos of my son playing with her boyfriend or at a park, etc. While I've made strides to limit personal communication (blocking her while I don't have our son, using a new email address, will only pick our son up when he's at school or not with her), its just very stressful and I don't think it will ever get better. My MAIN concern is if my son will come out of this ok and if he will still me my loving and sweet little boy who adores his Daddy. Lately I can't call to talk to him because it never ends well. It's not that I don't want to talk to him, but having to deal with her is just too much right now. We've only been divorced for 6 months, so maybe I'm just freaking out for nothing. If anyone here has any helpful advice or insight, it sure is welcome. Thanks

August, 10 2016 at 9:01 am

Could he be tracking her moverments on that phone he has given her ?
Switch the location of take to the phone shop or get ride of it.

July, 24 2016 at 5:59 am

I am going through the same thing.I have three children with my ex.He has not seen them for almost thirteen years..yes thirteen years.He was married to someone else,had a new daughter and simply was not interested.I would email him with how kids are doing,their pictures..The last time I contacted him was when I sen a picture of our daughter and his response was quote" They are your kids, I have my own" with attachement of his new daughter picture.
About a year ago he wanted to get to know the children and stupid me said..ok.His wife you see divorced him and stated a new he needed a purpose in life(his words).
Well, it did not go well.We have two sons( one will be 18 in few weeks, one will be 17 and our daughter will be 16 in three months).From the start he was interested only in our daughter..not the boys. His explanation..I don't know how to deal with sons.
His interest with our daughter became obsession..he would stalk her( she would go many times somewhere with her friends and he would simply show up)..still have no idea how he would know where she went.He bought her a phone,however if she did not hug him or tell him she loves him..he would have the phone turned of.He would offer her money to go to places with him..when she refused he would call her b..word,c.. her ugly and that her half sister is way prettier..and so on.Our daughter once a very happy girl..A student became withdrawn..her grades went down.I have to mention also..he would constantly mention if he "goes down" if she will not talk to him..he will quit his no child support..and he would say this to the children.
Our son..who will turn 18 soon has sent him a letter about how he feels about him,for him to get out of our lives..that he had enough of his abuse towards me..and his brother and sister.(Did I mention he would call me in front of the children and ugly..old hag..and how he hopes I just die. He has also hit the '18" year old..all reported at school.
This man now wants custody of his daughter. Claiming I have not allowed him to be her parent..she wants nothing to do with him because of me..he makes good money so can take better care of her..and so on.
As I am typing this I have received another text from him( number 38 from yesterday)..asking if our girl and this time her 17 year old brother can go to movies with him.Same thing as yesterday..when I asked them..response was no..somehow he does not want to hear it.He also stated he will pay me if I convince them..and he will pay them if they go.This is madness..We daughter's friends still live where we live.Well, one of her friends called her to tell her he was seen at the place. So now ,she refuses to leave the house..this is her summer time.

July, 11 2016 at 10:29 pm

I am so glad I found this site. I'm headed back to court for the THIRD time in 8 years. My ex abused lies and lies and lies to the courts. 5 years ago he filed for custody because I had breast cancer. He lost after I spent thousands, and we won a contempt on child support for $18000. Now we're going back. He's accusing ME of parent alienation,SERIOUSLY. OH,and I am fighting Bone Mets, my cancer bus back. He manipulates my daughters. Verbally abused them,threatens to call cops,refuses to brake them doctors, we won't hear or see him for months,then makes them miss games or events. My oldest daughter was being recruited for volleyball, she's had to quit her select team because now I'm paying thousands to my lawyer again. He knows I'm sick, he knows I have chemo weekly, but doesn't care. He put in his papers he filed, "upon the death of", then sent these papers to my 16 year old. She called me frantic, "Daddy wants you to die". I'm so tired of the abuse. I'm hoping I can get supervised visitation. He's put me in contempt with bogus dates that I haven't made my 16 year old and 13 year old "accessible". Complete bs why is it parents can just lie to the courts and we,the good parents, have to defend ourselves like we're felons? I've always encouraged our daughters to love him and see him even though he's never shown up for events,not sent Christmas gifts,birthday gifts or cards, never called them in 4 years or emailed or texted them. My oldest daughter wants to emancipate herself from him and change her name. He's costing her athletic scholarships. My youngest daughter has wanted to see him when her big sister couldn't, and he DENIES HER access to him. I'm at my wits end. I truly think he wants me dead. His wife deffamates my character on social media, calling me a child abuser. The other night a woman called my work saying my kids would be in danger of I didn't get home immediately because he's trying to serve me with papers. I can't file charges because I can't prove it was his wife. I don't now what else to do. My daughters old counselor told me once if HE lived here she'd report them to cps because they abused my daughters. My daughters haven't seen her in a couple years because I couldn't afford the child support. Maybe I should contact her? God I need help.

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