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    • #120301
      Harriet123
      Participant

      Has anyone got children with their partner/ex partner and decided to leave? Are you able to let me know how you found it and if you had any struggles with splitting days etc.

      I really want to leave my partner but I’m so scared of how it will affect my daughter and that’s my main concern and a big part of what’s holding me back from leaving him.

      He’s so abusive to me but wonderful to our daughter and I know he would want to split custody of her but I’m so scared he will cause issues and try and keep her from me as he’s threatened to do in the past. I am happy for us to split days equally and work together but I know he will be difficult about it and I don’t want to put her through the upset. X

    • #120342
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hey there, you might find it helpful reading other posts. You have time to get all your ducks in a row. To talk to a solicitor, to women’s aid, to gather evidence of his abuse. Whatever happens when you split will not be as bad as staying with an abuser and exposing her to that kind of abuse. Abusing you with a child is child abuse and children from abusive homes are far more likely to be abused as an adult. So leaving is your goal because staying will affect her far worse. You can use a third party for any access and communication. You can be the primary carer with the court and that gives you more control. Get all the information you need now to make the next step easier for you both.

    • #120343
      KIP.
      Participant

      There’s the national domestic abuse helpline where you can talk to someone or ring you local women’s aid. Don’t tell him you’re thinking of leaving. It’s the most dangerous time x

      • #120392
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thanks for getting back to me. I’m going to get in touch with Women’s Aid today and see if they can help me.

        I’m really trying to build up the courage to speak to my mum about it when I meet her for a walk (detail removed by moderator) as I know once I do that it will encourage me to take the right steps. It’s just such a scary thought and whenever he’s nice to me I feel bad but then I’m just reminded of how nasty he can be shortly after. But sometimes I feel like I don’t want to give up on him, as I know he needs help too but he’s not open to speaking to someone.

        It’s almost like I feel wrong for doing the best for myself and my daughter and leaving him as I’m scared of how it will affect him but I guess I have to remind myself that he doesn’t care about all the things he’s done that have affected me so negatively over the last (detail removed by moderator).

    • #120393
      KIP.
      Participant

      You need to be happy and strong as a good role model for your child. Google the cycle of abuse. He chooses to abuse you. He knows exactly what he’s doing and how it is destroying you. Abusers don’t change and abuse gets worse. He is not your responsibility. Abusers the the FOG of abuse, the fear Obligation and Guilt. Abuse thrives on silence. Talk to your GP and have the abuse logged. It’s evidence should you need it. Keep a secret journal too x

    • #120423

      Hi Harriet,

      I’m going through a very difficult time sorting child contact with my ex for our child. Your experience might not be like mine so please don’t let sorting contact put you off leaving.
      Once you are out and feeling able I’d set out very clear boundaries about how/when he sees your child. Hopefully he is agreeable but if he starts messing about then you can get a solicitor involved.

    • #120438
      Harriet123
      Participant

      Thank you. In an ideal world, I just wish he could be grown up and let’s us sort days between us. He is always really great to our daughter so I have no fears he would put her in any danger which is why it would be good if we could sort things maturely but he’s just not capable of that. He will use her against me and try and hold onto her if he had her for the day or night and not bring her back. I really don’t want to get solicitors involved but I guess it’s something I will have to think about in the likely event he will use her as a game.

      I’m thinking of telling my mum tomorrow about it all so that will hopefully give me the push to leave.

      I hope everything gets sorted soon for you.

      Can I ask, how did you finally get the strength to leave your relationship with your child? X

    • #120440
      Hetty
      Participant

      Hi Harriet 123, baby steps. Talk to your mum. It sounds like you think that would be positive. Do that then reassess. Hopefully you’ll find you can think clearer once you have the support of someone who cares for you and your daughter. I left my child’s dad when he was very young. It took one more day of him calling me names and his other usual antics and I just thought no more. I had already confided in my mum so I had a place to go. He threatened 50/50 but when the reality of that came to light he wasn’t so fussed as he wanted all the glory but none of the hard work of being a proper parent. Try not to overthink just now. Talk to your mum. That’s a big step. Then make a plan from there. Leaving is scary but nothing like a lifetime of abuse xx

    • #120449
      Harriet123
      Participant

      Hi Hetty,

      I am seeing my mum today with my daughter and I am so tempted to just bring some clothes with me and not come back.

      (Detail removed by moderator) there’s been abuse thrown at me. He’s told me to get out and that he doesn’t want me around. Even told our daughter that he hates me. (She is still quite young so hopefully won’t understand but will still pick up on the aggression) and now I just think f it. I should go. Why should I stick around for him to constantly have expectations of how I should be and how I should act, knowing that no matter what I do, I’ll never be able to live up to them. He says to leave now but when it comes down to it (like it did when I tried last time) he cried and told me how sorry he was and that he’d do anything if I stayed.

      The more messages I receive the stronger I feel. So thanks a lot. It’s really helpful to see that you’ve made it out and it’s worked out for the better. It really gives me the strength and that extra push.

      My only worry is now, that I think of this and then when it comes to it I feel scared and lose my confidence. In reality I probably won’t leave today but I need to tell my mum as it will probably be my biggest step in getting out soon.

      Thanks a lot xx

    • #120450
      Hetty
      Participant

      This is no way to live. I’m so sorry he’s done that to you and you’re right, your daughter may not understand his words yet but she will be picking up body language, tone, tension in the house etc. Take that step. Tell tell your mum today, do it for you and do it for your daughter. Think how you’d feel if this was her as an adult going through this. Is this the life you’d want for her? Start getting plans straight in your head.
      Save yourself and your daughter. If it’s hard to do it for yourself do it for her. When I left I knew I had to save my child. It keeps me strong and determined Xx

      • #120461
        Harriet123
        Participant

        It’s so true. If I found out this was happening to her, I’d be devastated. You’re right, I have to think about this for her. It’s not an environment I want her to grow up in.

        Thanks so much. Hopefully I’ll have some better news today after speaking to my mum. Xx

    • #120451
      Trueblue
      Participant

      Just wanted to say i know how you feel and this has held me back for years. The more you read, the more you learn, KIP taught me that! I am almost out, i just kept thinking this is just not how i want to live, yes family be split up and it kills me but this is his fault. Also these men think they want custody but i bet you do almost 100% of the child caring. He wants you to do the hard work and he gets to do the easy bit, least that is how mine works. Just think, you are doing this for her, you want her to see and know her mummy as a happy one. You will be ok, im here and in the same situation with 2 kids. Sending strength and hugs x

      • #120458
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thanks Trueblue. It’s so true about the more you read, the more you learn. I have learnt so much in just the last couple of weeks by reading other people’s situations.
        Yeah I think that too, a friend of mine has also told me that about custody as she had issues with her ex partner. I do pretty much everything when it comes to caring for her, but he just says to me he shouldn’t have to do other stuff because he works harder. And I think he would have a real shock if he ever had to take on my role. Thanks for your support. Xx

    • #120452
      KIP.
      Participant

      He is not always great to his daughter and if he’s using her just now, it’s going to get even worse as the years go on. What he’s doing is child abuse. He doesn’t care about his child’s feelings or emotional well-being. My advice is to get out now. Go to your mums and get in touch with women’s aid for support going forward. Make sure you keep a journal of his behaviour. They push and pull of his behaviour, the crying and pleading then abusing you really messes with your head. He chooses to abuse you. It destroys our souls and leaves us incredibly damaged emotionally. If you have somewhere to go then take what you need and get some breathing space. He’s not a good father. He’s an abusive father.

    • #120474
      Harriet123
      Participant

      I spoke to my mum and no surprise she was really supportive.
      My plan is to leave (detail removed by moderator) when my parents have my daughter as part of childcare. I don’t want my boyfriend to suspect anything so I’d rather just pretend everything is normal until it’s time to go. I want my daughter out of the house as well as I know he will have a moment of rage.

      One thing I’m not sure whether to do, is to talk to him before I leave and explain my thoughts and what I’m going to do now or to just leave and then text him. I’m know he will definitely have anger at first and then it will probably turn to sadness and he will beg me to stay and I just don’t want to be sucked back in and let him manipulate me into staying.

      Does anyone have any suggestions? X

    • #120488
      Hetty
      Participant

      I’m so glad you took that very brave step and told you mum. Your path to freedom is paved. You have worries he will rage so my advice would be to get out and to safety, no sitting down talking. Leaving escalates risk and these men are so unpredictable how do you know how he’ll really react. If he’s going to be there when you leave is to there someone who can support you? Try, if you can, during the next week to get important stuff out. Get things organised so you know where they are that you want to take xx

      • #120492
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thank you.

        My mum said she could wait for me down the road and I might meet her later in the week to give her some more things so I’m not leaving with a suitcase. He does occasionally go out for a run so fingers crossed he goes that day which would make it a lot easier.

        It such a scary thought but I’m feeling really strong and ready to go. I just hope I don’t crumble when the time comes.

        I’ll let you know how it goes. X

      • #120502
        Hetty
        Participant

        I remember my legs were like jelly when I left. My brain couldn’t compute that I was a actually leaving. One step in front of the other. Even if you have to tell yourself it’s only temporary for now. Once you’re out you’ll think clearer. We are rooting for you. Keep posting xx

    • #120916
      Harriet123
      Participant

      I left today. I actually did it. I’m so shocked I actually went through with it.

      There’s some part of me that really feels like this is the worst decision, I feel like I’ve let my family down, and that all I want to do is run back.

      But the other part of me reminds myself I did this for a reason and I tried for so long but he still carried on being horrible to me.

      I ended up telling him this morning when my mum was on her way that I was going to leave. He handled it much better than I expected. I thought he would get angry etc. But he just got really upset. He’s told me he will go and see a counsellor and that he’s so sorry etc. But it’s just something I’ve heard before and never got anywhere with. I really want to believe him but I just can’t, not until he’s actually showing that he is actively trying to get better and genuinely wants to get better for himself.

      I feel so guilty but I just know I can’t let myself fall for it again. I have to stay strong but it’s so difficult. I feel like the next week or two are going to be so difficult at trying to make sure I don’t just go back there.

      Thanks for all of your support, honestly don’t think I could do it without all of you. X

    • #120920
      Trueblue
      Participant

      Yay well done! That is amazing! You should feel so proud.
      Mine did that, boo hoo im sad. And im still here and shouldnt have listened! Mine saw a counsellor years ago and it made him more angry! He will try get help and it wont last. Im here years later. You are doing the right thing. I need to do it too xx

      • #120922
        gettingtired
        Participant

        I’m reading How he gets into her head by Don Hennessy and he actually mentions that abusers can become worse after counselling. They just learn to manipulate more.
        Well done Harriet123 x It’s honestly the bravest thing ever to leave an abusive relationship.
        As you said the next few weeks may be tough but keep using the forum and the support of your Mum x Trueblue, we will get there eventually 💖 xx

      • #120994
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thanks gettingtired. It’s such a scary thing but I know it’s all for the right reasons. I hope you are ok and if you need a chat let me know. You will be able to leave when you feel you are ready. Just keep strong ❤️

      • #120993
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thanks Trueblue. Yes, well I keep trying to think back to before when he’s told me he sorry etc and he would change but never did so I’m trying to not let myself forget the heart ache that he’s put me through because he has really broken me as a person.

        I hope you are doing ok and can leave when you feel the time is right for you. I’m hoping that the thoughts about it and the first few weeks or so are the hardest parts. As surely it can only get easier from now?! Just keep strong and do what is right for you 💗

    • #120929
      Hetty
      Participant

      That’s fantastic news. It’s important to have zero contact if possible. If not keep it to an absolute minimum. Every time you have a pang of doubt read/ watch YouTube whatever. Educate yourself about all the ways he’ll try and hook you back in. It’s all lies. Mine went to counselling. Made no difference. Counselling doesn’t help them. They don’t change. I’ve wasted years on my ex. Make a list of all the awful things he’s done to you/said to you. I bet it won’t take long to get a long list. Keep reading it when doubts creep in. You’ve done the hardest part – keep reminding yourself of all the times you were longing for freedom. You have it now. It’s going to take time to settle. I was running on adrenaline for a good few weeks. Really enjoy the peace and ease you’ll feel at your mum’s house. You’re safe now. Stay strong and keep posting ❤️ We are all here for you. Think about how you want your life to be, what you want for yourself.

      • #120995
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Thanks Hetty. I know, I am definitely going to keep reading books and watching YouTube videos as I don’t want to let myself fall into his trap again.
        I really hope that counselling does something for him, not because it will benefit me but because I genuinely hope he gets better as I want my daughter to grow up with a dad who is stable and not a mess. But atleast me leaving will always show her that I can be strong enough for her and be happy. There’s too many times when I’ve had to try and hide my tears infront of her and that’s not what she needs.
        Everytime I feel guilty, I think about the stuff he has said and done and it makes me remember why I did this. I’m going to by a journal so that I can get my emotions out on that and hopefully look back in a years time and realise how much happier I am then to what I am now.

        Thanks so much for your support. I will definitely keep posting as I’m sure I will have a few more hurdles to overcome yet but just need to remember that I can always get back up again. 💗

      • #120997
        Hetty
        Participant

        He probably won’t attend the counselling or drop out of it. They mostly say they’ll go to win us back. Deep down he’ll think it’s all you even if he’s admitting fault to your face. mine quickly went from this is all my fault to shifting blame to me saying I was a selfish person etc. Mine was saying he couldn’t live without me and now it transpires he was plotting behind my back regarding finances. They look out for number 1.
        Each minute you are away, taking care of yourself and your daughter, educating yourself, you’ll grow stronger ❤️

      • #121089
        Harriet123
        Participant

        He went had his first counselling today and said it went really well and then expected me to just come back now that he’s started it. I’ve told him I can’t, I said I can’t even consider getting back with you until you actually show improvement and that things are really working which will take a few years not just one session.

        Which now brings the anger out of him. It’s like he forgets about everything he’s done to me, the gambling, the excessive drinking, the emotional abuse and he does one thing ‘right’ and expects me to come running back like he’s a changed man. Now he turning it around on me saying I’m selfish for holding onto the past even though I’ve told him that just because the gambling stopped and the drinking, taking out his anger on me has not stopped so his issues are still very present. But he only sees the good in himself and because he’s not as bad as he was it means that I must get over it.

        I’ve told him he’s broken me as a person, I feel destroyed and he literally replied “haha”.

        I’ve been crying pretty much all evening. My sister called and asked how I was and straight away I burst into tears. I just can’t hold it in. This is going to be so tough, I just feel such anxiety and stress. I just want to fast forward a few months to be able to get back to work and seeing friends so life just feels more normal and easier to continue. I’m just so scared of the next few months and feeling so upset. I just want to be happy now, I’m sick of crying and being unhappy. 🙁

      • #121091
        Hetty
        Participant

        I’m so sorry you’re feeling so upset. It will pass and those carefree times will come. This is just part of the process. Keeping in contact won’t help your healing. I’ve had minimal contact since I left. It was hard as at times I did feel guilty but then I thought about all the times he abused me and how he didn’t care how I felt. I’ve had more contact recently as I had some practical and financial issues to sort out and it’s really unsettled me and brought him back into my head. Back to mind games and playing on my heart strings.
        As you can see your ex has no real investment in counselling. He’s probably signed up for ten sessions which would have been a small price to pay to get his claws back in to you. Counselling doesn’t work in my opinion. They take no ownership of who or what they are so no chance of change and even the tiny tiny minority that do can easily relapse into abusive patterns very easily.
        The tears are all part of your healing. You’ll emerge stronger. How I wish none of us were on this path. I’ve took up some new hobbies – upcycling furniture and gardening. I’ve never been a one for these things before but I’m finding joy in these small things. Find something for you no matter how small. Together we are stronger. You’re not alone ❤️

      • #121094
        Harriet123
        Participant

        The only thing is, we have a child together so cutting contact isn’t really possible. He wants to see her and I don’t want to deprive her of seeing him even though he’s been awful to me as much as I would love to, it’s not fair on her as she loves him.
        I don’t think counselling will work for him either, already I can see it’s his way of trying to suck me back in by him acting like he’s doing something right by going. But I still think he should try.
        I am also looking into some hobbies, I’m not sure what yet but I need something to focus on on the days I don’t have my daughter which hopefully won’t be too often!

        Thanks so much 💗

      • #121134
        Hetty
        Participant

        You have to do what you feel is best. My experience my child’s dad continued emotionally abusing me and making life miserable for years after we split. I’m not trying to scare you. Just know you can have firm boundaries in place, third party can support with handovers, keeping contact with you only re emergencies and very important matters. It very quickly turned bad when money became a factor – surprise surprise!
        You’ll get there xx

    • #121090
      Bettertimesahead
      Participant

      Harriet, write down a list of the bad times,the reasons you left, the things he said. If you’re having a day of doubts etc it’s really helpful to go back to. We tend to remember the good and suppress the bad. This has been very useful technique for me when I started weakening

      • #121092
        Hetty
        Participant

        Been reading over my list tonight to keep me strong. Took me right back to being anxious and scared upstairs in our old house with my ex stomping about downstairs calling me names so I could hear with music blasting. Now I have a calm and peaceful home and will go to bed alone and have all that space 🤗 coffee in bed tomorrow morning for me without being called lazy or disturbed with drama. utter bliss xx

      • #121095
        Harriet123
        Participant

        Bettertimesahead – this is something my mum suggested to do and to write a journal to really be able to get my feelings out. Thanks 💗

    • #121117
      Harriet123
      Participant

      He’s started to show his true colours again. I really was surprised when he seemed like he was being mature about this but I guess now he realises that I’m not coming home so he will be nasty. He’s trying to make out that I’m unstable, that I need more help than just a counsellor like I should go on a retreat or something. It’s so frustrating like I just want to scream at him and say no all I need is to get away from you emotionally abusing me but if I say that he will just become even more difficult to deal with. Hate that he makes out I’m crazy when really I am just fed up of being shouted at and being told I’m worthless and useless etc etc. Every other day!!

    • #121603
      Harriet123
      Participant

      I’m starting to feel such anxiety at the moment. My heart races and I just feel sick. When I think back on all of the stuff he’s done and the way he treated me (which for some reason I can’t stop thinking about!) its like I feel such pain and stress. I don’t if it sounds stupid but it’s almost like now I’m finally realising the intensity of all of the stuff he’s done which makes me feel like I have a bit of PTSD from it – I don’t know if that sounds stupid or over the top but I feel so upset and my heart is racing so fast and I just feel such anxiety. I just go over so many things in my head and just wish I could forget about it all!

      • #121606
        gettingtired
        Participant

        Hey this doesn’t sound stupid at all. I’m not out yet but from what I’ve read on the forum sometimes it’s not until you’re out and safe that your brain starts to process the abuse. Could you reach out to your GP for support/referral for therapy? Xx

      • #121624
        Harriet123
        Participant

        I have a counsellor so I’m hoping speaking to her my help and I guess she will have suggestions on what else I can do. It’s such a weird feeling, you think you’re over it and dealt with it in the past but it all comes rushing back!

    • #120459
      Harriet123
      Participant

      Thanks KIP. It’s so true what you say. Especially as he can have happily say horrible things about me to her which is something I just don’t understand. I do feel really broken by him and I just need to keep telling myself that I there is another side, and I can get out and make myself a better life for me and my daughter. This is the strongest I’ve felt in months at the same time of feeling really scared. I will speak to my mum today and work out a plan of what to do next.

      Thanks so much for all of your support. I really appreciate it.

    • #120977
      Trueblue
      Participant

      How is it going? Hoping you are doing well. Looking for some inspiration! Want to go to my parents but they live far away and my child is in school and dont want to disrupt her right now xx

    • #120996
      Harriet123
      Participant

      It’s been a back and fourth couple of days I’m my head but keep reminding myself how he’s made me feel and then remember that this is for the best.

      If you know that leaving is going to be the best thing for you and for your daughter then taking her out of school now and moving her to a different school is what is best for her. It may be unsettling for her at the beginning but she will benefit from it in the long run. And once she’s made new friends and settled she will be fine.

      I think we find any reason to keep us from going because we feel it may not be the right time but when will it ever be ‘the right time’? What I’ve realised is I was always going to find a reason to make it not suitable because of this that and the other and if I wait for this then I can do it after that but there’s always going to be something stopping us. If you truly believe in your heart that you and your daughter would be better off moving out then you can do it whenever you want to. Life will always bring something to get in the way but you’ve got to do what you know is right. It will be difficult at first and you will question yourself after you leave (which is what I’m doing now) but you’ve got to remind yourself, this isn’t being done because you’ve given up or you’re the one doing something wrong. This is what you’ve been driven to because the person who is supposed to love and support you is not treating your family right.

      You can do this. It will be hard but you’re doing it all for the right reasons and your daughter will settle into a school somewhere else. I’m here when you need me in whatever decisions you decide to make and whenever you decide to make them. Xx

    • #121093
      Hetty
      Participant

      I was so worried about uprooting my child. What I’ve found is that children are resilient. My child shared how actually he’d go to school dreading coming home. No doubt it impacts in learning. My child will have to change schools eventually but he’s accepted that and I have no doubt that in a week it’ll be fine. It’s true that we think about 100 reasons to stay but nothing is worth living in hell for. Things I worried about didn’t become an issue. Xx

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