18th September 2019 at 2:52 pm #88196
Hi, I’m new here but having looked up various sources of information and read your posts I am coming to the realisation that I am in an abusive relationship – still hard to acknowledge…. My concern is that my children, both over 18, will realise that things are changing as I try to distance myself from my husband and start to re-evaluate my life and what I want to do. Do you lovely people have any advice on how I should talk to my children about it. My fear is that they will think that their family life has been something other than they thought and/or it will impact on their future relationships.
18th September 2019 at 4:16 pm #88205CountyParticipant
I would tell them what you feel comfortable with. Have they witnessed anything have they overhead? My ex was a real head masher and used an underlying problem I had as an explanation. In other words its all her. He has manipulated everyone him to his point of view including our children who witnessed his terrible behaviour belittling leaving the house and not returning the list is endless. I made the mistake of sharing too much and like all kids they didn’t wan to think of their father badly. So tread lightly because you are treading on their dreams.
18th September 2019 at 5:57 pm #88214
Thank you County ❤. They have seen some stuff, and they have talked to me about it and have a very mature attitude but I agree that if I open up too much it may be too difficult to square with their love for their father.
18th September 2019 at 6:34 pm #88216KIP.Participant
I think your actions will speak loudest. Be extremely wary that your ex will get in there first and lie and make you out to be the perpetrator and him to be the victim in all this. You need to be prepared to let your kids go and make their own decisions and not allow your ex to use them to manipulate. You need to plan your own safe escape without his knowledge then you can make all your explanations. Your priority should be your safety and zero contact with your ex. To set up a safe life for you and your children should they choose to follow. It’s good they’re older and aren’t so reliant on you. Answer honestly if they ask anything. They need to know what manipulation is and that you won’t be drawn into using them as pawns. Abusers will use anything to keep control. Including the welfare of their children. Lead by example. Nobody should be allowed to abuse another without consequences x
18th September 2019 at 7:11 pm #88220White RoseParticipant
Honesty, belief in yourself, dont do him down – whatever his faults and whatever you feel he’s their dad.
It’s hard. My daughter was a mature “mid teen” when things came to a head but she saw it, she understood but it wasn’t until she left her teenage years that she used the word abuse in relation to it. Slow realisation and acknowledgement will follow.
Make sure they understand it’s not about them, that your love is unconditional and you wont judge their views.
It’s hard, but at the end if the day it’s you and your life and happiness and safety that’s important. Keep posting, there’s always someone here.
Sending much love hugs and support, things fo get better – you wont see it now but they do x*x xxxx
18th September 2019 at 9:30 pm #88230
Thank you KIP and White Rose for you wise words and kindness xx
26th September 2019 at 11:30 am #88707Twisted SisterParticipant
My fear is that they will think that their family life has been something other than they thought and/or it will impact on their future relationship
You have it in one. This is an excellent way to approach it, because it has been living in a fog, (fear obligation guilt).
You love him, or loved him. Its an important part of separating psychologically from parents to see their flaws.
Yours and his. Stick to facts, be open and honest.
Without this, there’s every possibility that they are minimising and making it all something it isn’t. Living a lie of a life, which isn’t fair.
Use factual examples of how he undermines you, how e blames you for everything, etc.
You dont have to say he’s doing it to them. They will.see the parallels gor themselves, if they are ready to.
I have also said that I feel guilt for wishing I could have protected them better, but being abused messed with my head and tied my hands.
Yes, its a lot to process, but it’s their decision, let them hear the truth of your experience with him.
You are not lying, or manipulating.
This information will help them to protect themselves.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for this conversation, for the emotional fallout, and get yourself some support too.
Keep posting for support here and let us know how you all are after.
26th September 2019 at 12:01 pm #88711Twisted SisterParticipant
I think perhaps, to be clearer, I should maybe have said that them not seeing it is what will impact upon their future relationships.
Seeing it for what it is, and they maybe already feel, but don’t understand, will impact negatively on their mental and emotional well-being.
Not easy, keep posting
26th September 2019 at 12:36 pm #88715EscapeeParticipant
The chances are, as they are older, they probably know things aren’t right.
Both mine knew, and sadly the years of abuse had also touched their lives.
They may be sad but you may be surprised by their support.
My children know that it’s fine that they love their Dad and they do not have to ‘take sides’ – no matter who they spend time with it’s absolutely fine with the other.
I just said that we couldn’t go on making each other so miserable.
Good luck xxxx
17th November 2019 at 1:31 pm #91646Zavvy765Participant
From my experience children do get affected
My eldest daughter has been saying that this is not a normal relationship and why have we lived together . But she has also declined to get married and echoing her father’s life that marriage is not important to her. Having a partner is not important to her, but every other relationship is over the top
important to her, as her father has been behaving. For (detail removed by moderator) he has been going to have a month long holiday with his brother and sister and their families and isolating me. Because I have some negative views about them. And for him they are all faultless.
These situations can turn out to be, you are d****d if you don’t and you are d****d if you do.
Share your fears about impact on children’s future relationship with them and go from there.
15th November 2019 at 4:57 pm #91518Eunice AnnieParticipant
I told my adult daughters the full story. But I did take care to emphasise that their childhood hadn’t been a total lie, that the best time of my life was bringing them up to be strong independent women. That I regret that his abuse must have affected them but that I was being manipulated & controlled to the degree that I doubted my own judgment. They are supportive & my eldest says she always knew he didn’t treat me with respect & doesn’t know why I didn’t go sooner. They are currently struggling watching him love bomb me and by him putting emotional pressure on them to guilt me into entering into dialogue with him. In my case it’s been easy for them to identify with my decision due to some pretty lurid infidelities having come to light. Galling thoughts it is, it’s easier for people to understand than the general abuse. I wish you luck.
16th November 2019 at 4:23 pm #91590LottieblueParticipant
I also have multiple young adult children, over 18 but still young. My fear is that by me leaving the family home, they no longer have a home they want to be in, as I have always very much been at the heart of it. My partner will stay. So their home will contain him and not me.
Also, I am a little confused by the advice given above. On the one hand you say go carefully, on the other you say tell it like it is.
Do you tell them you plan to leave, or only after you’ve done so.
I’m sure my children see what’s going on. Of course they don’t see it as abuse – I didn’t for over 20 years! – but I worry that their dad is such a manipulator and liar that he will manipulate and lie to them too. I’ve seen it with others. I’ve seen girls who won’t speak to their mum and she had a full on break down and the dad was through and through bad so all could see.
I don’t want my kids to hate me for destroying their home.
17th November 2019 at 10:48 pm #91691snowbuntingParticipant
I have adult daughters with their own lives, which is easier than when they live at home with you and I do not want them to understand the full extent of the abuse. I am going through divorce now, instigated by me and have almost imploded with depression and grief at not being able to speak, but I know in my loving heart, for their sake its best not to share with them. My own parents divorced when I was young and now decades later they still speak badly of the other and I do not want to hear that, so from that experience, I know my own children will not want to hear what happened, its for the best they think that we were two people not meant to be together. And they have good memories of their childhood. I put a lot of work into them having a good childhood, my head knows that and why would I destroy their memories. But the uglier part of me that rails against how utterly unfair it is that now I do not have the “perfect family” I wanted and they as children deserved, they should know the full extent of what happened.
They are not my friends or councellor, they are my children. Finding someone else to talk to with really helps. It took a long time to find the right councillor and learn some self compassion. Its a great sadness that I cant be the fixer of a great family life and accepting that took a lot of work on myself. I am not healed yet, I just live with it and try and make the best of any times we have together, I have to bite my tongue and I think they respect me more for that. But its so very hard.
17th November 2019 at 11:44 pm #91699IwantmebackParticipant
Hi snowbunting I just want to say that your advice is perfect. Our children are not our counsellors, they don’t need the gory details but they are not daft either. With time they will and do find out what their father was like, maybe not fully but they will to some extent. My children now know why I couldn’t live with their dad, he’s emotionally abused them (I didn’t know he was abusive but now see it for what it was)I never bad mouthed him in front of them though my new partner did, to what extent I’m unsure.
My oh,i choose to call him this as I couldn’t talk about him as my husband once I realised he’d been abusing me,couldn’t help himself he said once. He’s the one I’ve had to go into refuge from, who I’m planning on leaving the area to get away from, my children haven’t told me the extent of his abuse to them, never mind me telling them how he’s abused me. I’ve seen how his abuse has affected them, how their dad’s has too, how my not protecting them has hurt them. So many lives broken
18th November 2019 at 8:41 am #91709
Hi everyone and thank you for your advice. I absolutely agree that our children are not our counsellors and they don’t need to hear all the details. I’m also conscious that I want then to know that their childhoods were as good as they remember and that caring for them was a joy for me.
They have picked up some of the abuse and understand some of their Dad’s character flaws but I don’t think they would want to hear everything.
I have told them that I am struggling to stay with him and that the way he treats me is getting worse. They put it down to his depression and/or empty nest syndrome, which is fine. They have both said that it may be the best for us to have a break from each other for a while. They also said they don’t want to talk about it any more apart from letting them know if there are any big changes, like one of us moving out.
I absolutely agree that blaming and accusing their father would be destructive to our mother child relationship so I will keep information to a minimum. In time I think they will understand more and accept more and may even want to know more but that is up to them to decide.
Thank you ladies you are a great support x*x
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