25th November 2020 at 10:19 pm #116801
I have left. My husband was devastated. Perplexed (I must either be having an affair or a breakdown) and utterly lost. My young adult children all know that I had to leave him, that things were intolerable. But they feel sorry for him as he is so lost and has a very toxic family – who the kids don’t like either. I have a loving and supportive family so they know I am not alone.
But I do feel lonely because the kids feel sorry for him. He is leaning on them. Phoning them all the time. But also I have left the family home, so “home” for them is with him.
He is hoovering, for sure. And he is also continuing to manipulate them. His relationships with them are not healthy. He treats our daughter like the family slave now I have gone. She knows it but she says he has no-one else. Our son has no time for him but knows that his sister will suffer if he upsets his dad.
What’s the best way forward. I want to protect them from him but I also desperately want the relationship with my kids that I left partly in order to be allowed to have.
I suppose it is all worse with COVID as they are having to choose where “home” is.
Any experiences to share? X
26th November 2020 at 7:54 pm #116851LisaMain Moderator
I’m so sorry to hear all this is happening for you. We know how manipulative perpetrators can be; this must be so difficult to see him using your children how he is.
Do your children have any support in place? Much understanding around domestic abuse and tactics that perpetrators will use? You might want to give your local domestic abuse service a call and see if they have any young people’s support around this.
By the sounds of it your children have some awareness of what’s going on which is good. The best thing you can do for them is to keep being you. Whereas he will be draining them, manipulating them, exhausting them, you can do the opposite; show them love and affection, and let them know they don’t have to be living like this. Hopefully with time they will begin to realise that for themselves.
Do take care and keep posting,
27th November 2020 at 1:10 pm #116904
Thank you Lisa. This is a really nice and supportive reply. One of the children is refusing to speak to anyone – he’s the one I worry about most as I think he has come to see his father’s behaviour as normal. I shall keep trying gently to persuade him. Encourage him.
I think things will become easier with time. I hope they will. I love my children so very much and their pain is breaking my heart. I just want to protect them but they are adults now.
I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and support I have had. From family, friends, and this forum. No-one should underestimate the value of support.
27th November 2020 at 5:36 pm #116920CamelParticipant
It must be so frustrating that he’s now playing at being the bewildered and lost victim. But I think you could turn this to your advantage. While he’s busy getting his needs met by his children he’s not paying any heed to theirs. Be sure to fill the void.
I know covid complicates things but you and your children haven’t become less important to each just because you live in different houses. Make your house their home too.
It won’t be just your son whose been affected by the abuse. Is it possible your daughter devoted much of her energy into keeping her father in a good mood? She may feel a misplaced sense of responsibility for his feelings and your leaving won’t have changed that. There’s a real risk that she will become a victim of abuse herself if you don’t deal with it now. Ask her what she thinks will happen if she stops being available to her father. Remind her, gently and often, who is the parent and who is the child.
27th November 2020 at 11:07 pm #116932
Wow, Camel, you are so right!
The great news is that my daughter agreed to start counselling and has had her first session.
Your reassurance means a lot, and makes so much sense. Thank you x*x
28th November 2020 at 7:15 am #116937KIP.Participant
I’ve been through this and sadly have lost contact with my child. Never ever underestimate these men. They will lie and bully their own children. I didn’t have the fight left in me especially when my own child showed signs of an abuser and acted as a flying monkey for their dad. My own child triggered my PTSD. All I can hope is that they realise and accept the truth as they get older and wiser. I’ve told them I love them and the door is always open. But I will never tolerate abuse again. From anyone. So make sure you set boundaries as well as leaving the door open. And don’t try to protect them from their father like I did. Call a spade a spade and stick to the facts x it’s the sting in the tail of domestic abuse when we lose our kids that we spent decades trying to protect x stay strong and just hope the time you spent with them has instilled respect and values x any chance you get to move them away from him is vital x my ex used money. Made my child give up their job and work for their dad. Financial control from the beginning.
28th November 2020 at 6:42 pm #116954CamelParticipant
Great news that your daughter has started counselling. I expect her siblings will also benefit as they witness her gaining strength.
Don’t forget to look after yourself too. On planes, adults are instructed to fit their own oxygen masks before helping children with theirs.
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