Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

It's not over yet - no contact is difficult with children

by Tina

I've been with my partner 28 years. He's never changed but it only became apparent to me about 10 years ago how abusive he is. I've made lots of excuses for him, mostly that his behaviour is deep rooted in his past, but nevertheless he is emotionally abusive and refuses to take any responsibility for anything. Only recently have I become aware that I may have been similarly abused but Im finding that hard to grasp. He has never acknowledged my opinions my emotions, blames me constantly for every problem he encounters, makes me feel I need to adjust my behaviour, but nothing changes, so how can it be me?

Gradually over time I took on the role of carer/mother, I wasn't in a personal relationship with him and he didn't seem to care. I felt unworthy of the affection. That side of things ended when he informed me how crap I was. He has also sexually abused me.

We continued to live in the same house but he would sleep in our daughters bedroom & she would share my bed. 3 months ago we separated our living arrangements & he now lives 1 mile away. A month prior to this separation he began neglecting & ignoring our daughter. He refused to accept this was having a huge detrimental effect & now she refuses contact.

Prior to he had been a reasonably good Dad. She has just turned 15.

He has rekindled a relationship he had 30 years ago with a woman living 300 miles away. He has spent more time & effort on this then he has his daughter, visiting this woman 3 times in 2 months for up to 3 days at a time.

I'm now finding he's continuing his narcissistic abuse by using our daughter to get to me, claiming he wants contact, but makes minimal effort. He also tells me how great this woman is & how much better than me she is. This is alongside telling me he adores me & loves me still. Of course this is hugely challenging as I want the best outcome & don't like to see our daughter be second best to a relationship that's 300 miles away.

We live in close proximity have the same friends socialise in the same places. It's very hard to not have him in my life.

He claims he wants my support in reconciling our daughter but I'm struggling that he's being genuine. I would like the ideal outcome in that we still function as a family but fear estrangement will be the reality.

I've made it clear I will not act as go between. I have done this once and he betrayed me by refusing to spend any time with our daughter at Christmas but going to see this woman instead. I've said I do not want to be part of his life if he is carrying on as he is as I find it too hard being compared to her. He will not make the sacrifice I see is necessary to make things right with his daughter, which is knock the relationship on the head as its going nowhere. Our daughter needs to know he won't let her down again.

She is saying unless he steps up and is a proper dad she wants nothing to do with him.
He won't make any adjustments he wants it all his own way. He wants me, he wants her, he wants me to sort out his mistakes.

I'm struggling with the emotional turbulence this is causing. I'm getting nowhere so feel no contact is the only way forward.

God only knows how I'll do that successfully. Last time he marched into my workplace making demands & threats.

I'm at a point where no contact feels the only option, but logistically how do I achieve that...
I've managed 21 days before but he reels me back in using our daughter as the excuse.

Seems like I'll be forever trapped. Trapped in the middle & trapped in the abuse.

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Dec 03, 2015
Keep At It
by: Anonymous

Your daughter is 15, so he can meet her without your personal involvement, unless there is a court restriction preventing this until she reaches 16.

But then it seems only now you are starting this journey so it can look complex. Just remember that often things which can look daunting to begin with, turn out not as bad as we had feared they would be.

You might feel for a while that your daughter is pulling away from you or starting to parrot your exes phrases and behaviours, just stick with it, stick with positive parenting, and eventually she will realise which parent is the actual parent and which one the tosser!

But keep at it. No matter how often you feel like shrieking or crying or begging her to stop. Keep your cool and your standards, and she will come back to you.

I am sure you are doing it for your own good health. Just keep at it :)

Feb 01, 2015
No contact is difficult with children
by: Lindsey


It sounds like a rather complicated situation. He seems not only to be emotionally abusive and manipulative, but also rather narcissistic and has relegated your role to that of mother (not mother of your child, but almost like his mother), having to sort out his problems.

It is difficult when there are children involved to keep to the no contact. A couple of suggestions would be that you ONLY respond to communication which directly have something to do with your daughter, nothing else, don't get reeled into his problems or relationships or whatever. If need be, involve a third party to negotiate the contact between him and his daughter, that is what I had to do frequently until the children were old enough to sort contact out themselves.

Also, given that your daughter is now 15, she should have a say in what she does or does not want in the form of contact, though it must be difficult for her if he has suddenly become largely unavailable to her. Is there some counselling you would be able to set up for her? And would she be willing to attend?

I would also suggest you get hold of a book by Lundy Bancroft, called the Abuser as Parent, or the Batterer as Parent. I know when I read it, it was a real eye-opener for me. I simply did not realise what depths these people go to to use and manipulate the children and at least it gave me some sort of forewarning regarding what stunts he was likely to pull (and did largely). It also gives you some advice on how to help your daughter to come to terms with at best an ineffective and insincere father, and at worst an abusive one.

Hope that helps and the situation gets easier for you. If you feel at the end of your tether at times, call a DV hotline or leave a message on our forum.

All the best

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