This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  [email protected] 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #103847
     Livinginhope 
    Participant

    I’m trying to build a happy life for myself and the children but my ex continues his pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour through arrangements and issues with the children (which are in a court order) and child maintenance to the point that I’m currently exhausted as court orders don’t cover what to do in a pandemic and he has used this to ramp up his abusive behaviour. I have support from Women’s Aid and seek advice from a solicitor to try and manage all the stress this causes. My women’s aid worker says I will eventually reach a place where his behaviour won’t have such an impact on my wellbeing and she has seen this change in women like me who she has worked with. It years since we have separated but as we have young children I feel trapped and there is no end to this. Does anyone have any encouragement or advice on how to stay strong and positive about getting more resilient to manage this in the future please?

  • #103848
     lostandbroken 
    Participant

    I haven’t got any advice to give, but I want to say your not alone. I too have a child and also pregnant. I’m very fresh out of my relationship and he hasn’t yet been in touch regarding our child but I am dreading the day he does, as I know if I see him I will fall to pieces with my anxiety. I am thinking of using a trusted 3rd party so I don’t have to see him and have no intentions of asking for money I will just go straight to the Csa once I’ve collected my own strength, I am in a state of shock and struggling to get through the days at the moment. The less contact I reckon is better at this stage. Stay strong mama x

  • #103850
     Wants To Help 
    Participant

    Hi,

    It is so hard when the children are still so young and you still have to deal with the abusive ex. The way I had to deal with it all in the end was to accept the court ordered contact and show some ‘enthusiasm’ to my son that he was going to spend some time with daddy. In my relationship, my ex was awful to me in the presence of our son, and our son did witness quite a bit, but when the ex had him on a one to one basis the risk of the abuse was minimised. I had to accept that there were times each week when my son HAD to be with his dad. If I started to get stressed about this then my son would pick up on it.

    Handover times were horrible, he just couldn’t be pleasant to me at all, so handovers were done in silence. We would do them at the car park of a police station, just so that it kept everything in order and no risk of anything escalating.

    The courts are expecting contact orders to be maintained during lockdown, the Government have ruled that children can continue to move between households.

    I tried everything to Co-Parent with my ex, but he was having none of it, he considered it that I was trying to tell him what to do! We never went to anything together to support our son. I just had to accept that my son had two entirely different lives and ensured that I did my best to provide a stable and happy home when he was with me. Acceptance of the situation was my way forward.

    My son is now an adult. He has very little to do with his dad and their relationship is strained. As my son got older he saw his dad for what he was; an abusive, controlling bully. Our children can only be fooled for so long by these men. Once our children become teenagers and adults they know which parent is the decent one and which one isn’t. I know that doesn’t help you now as yours are still young, but your support worker is right, these things get a bit easier with time.

  • #103859
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Absolutely minimise contact. Get a separate phone for him and do everything I
    Via text. Then switch the phone off when there’s no need for it. If possible it would be better to Use a third party for all contact if you can including the texting. Accept there’s no such thing as co parenting with an abuser so you set your own rules and guideline and boundaries when you have the kids. You have to ignore his attempts to anti parent until he gets bored trying. In the background you need to do good positive things for yourself. Get a hobby or interest that brings you pleasure and takes your mind off him. Growing things is good this time of year. The kids can help water the plants etc. Mostly don’t let him see he’s upsetting you. Practice the grey rock treatment where you don’t respond and give him nothing. Make yourself as inaccessible as you can, come off all social media. Maybe look into some counselling to cope with the anxiety. Do yoga an mindfulness. Being in control will make you feel less vulnerable and as time goes on your confidence will return and you won’t feel his presence at all. Remember you know him better than most. Pathetic little man. You’re stronger than you think x

  • #103872
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    I’d say firstly read up on how this will be affecting your son being in this climate his father is creating xx not you remember. Kids learn from their dad and I’m sorry to say it a high percentage try to please the father. Due to fear so they sometimes choose between parents in the end xx like as above it can go the other way this happened to me and I’m a good parent too only wanting the best. You’ll see when u read more about this it is best to offer contact only when you know your child emotionally well in every way possible. I have to say in this situation this is rare. I took my ex back to court and maintained contact handover at a contact centre. I used a third party to take a phone only for when he had her. It fell through because he really only wanted contact to abuse me. You can an I did take myself out of the equation even with an order. The court eventually saw his antics because when I stepped back he could not hide his rage even to the officials. He blew it by the second case he got no contact on the grounds of emotional abuse xx

  • #103975
     Livinginhope 
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful words and advice. Things just feel relentless as there is always ‘payback’ every time unless I do exactly as he dictates regarding the children including contact arrangements (order does not specify timings or beyond shared holidays or handover arrangements). Now as payback he is insisting that instead of him transporting the children safely home after contact we should share transport and I should regularly collect them from the side of a busy road/loading area. This will start when they are due back home after half term holiday with him. I can refuse and say it’s unsafe but then it means I effectively don’t turn up to collect my children. Police may not assist because he has parental responsibility. If I collect them then it sets a precedent for continuing to collect them and if schools return he will pick up from school (so I can’t refuse contact) and I Will be in this situation again at the end of their weekends with him. The mental stress this causes makes it hard to think clearly about how to resolve things for the best for the children and myself.

  • #103978
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Call a contact centre and ask for a place do handovers there xx he won’t like it but in this case you really need to take the reigns don’t be scared to xx

  • #103984
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Build a case to get that contact order changed to specific dates. Any wriggle room and he will abuse it. Keep a journal of his behaviour and get your GP to support you. If he breaks the order then the police can intervene. Women’s aid are also a great source of support and information so contact your local one x
    And yes use a contact centre or a police station car park. Stick to your boundaries and don’t let him bully you. He will have you running ragged if you let him. Try drawing up a plan of access and handover times and places that suits you and stick to it. As long as you can show the court you’re being fair and putting the children first then that’s what they want to see. You need to protect yourself too. Is there a third party that can deal with him on your behalf and that can do hand overs?

  • #103986
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    The contact centre will offer u support the staff will handover for you. If the kids don’t want to go if he’s acted up the staff won’t force the kids to go through to see him. Your kept separate from him and u have staggered times for pick up and drop off. You won’t have to deal with him and this gives you lots of options. As long as you present them at the contact centre your still sticking to an order xx

  • #103987
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Even if they don’t go to him. I did this and the order was still upheld in the eyes of the court xx

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