Should I be worried?

United States
January 14, 2007 7:29pm CST
My exhusband has been anything BUT an exemplary father. He was abusive, both physically and mentally to both me and my kids. He bloodied my son's face at one point. However, I simply chose to kick him out. I was afraid if I turned him in they would take my kids from ME at the time, even though I kicked him out and he was not allowed to be with the kids unless I was with them. So there was no immediate record of the abuse; however, later my son went to counseling and the first thing I told the counselor was I was upset because he had been abused by his father and that this might have triggered his episodes of fits and violence. The counselor then felt the need to turn it in to children's services but by that time it was so far done and gone, the man no longer lived with us and CS basically said it wasn't anything to be concerned with and wrote it off. That being said, now that my children are teens I'm assuming they can speak for themselves in court. My oldest is actually nearly 18 and probably wouldn't even be effected at all by his actions because she's of legal age. The twins are 15 now. He's started threatening that he "has a lawyer on retainer" and he's going to make sure he gets to see his kids and if his son wants to live with him he can. My son will live with him over my dead body. Our SON was the only one physically abused out of the children and I know that he knows which buttons to click when it comes to my ex. He would almost certainly push those buttons at some point, possibly bringing on more abuse and I simply won't allow that to happen. All 3 kids decided they didn't want to have anything to do with their dad for the past 2 years. Before this I allowed him to basically force HIS desire of having the kids once a weekend for a few hours because I was thinking that they have only one dad. I'm not remarried, nor will I ever be so that's not an issue here. There's no "substitute" father figure. My son had decided that he wanted to have contact with his father again, yes oddly enough the only one who suffered physical abuse, and I was fine with that because it's visits and very short. My girls want nothing to do with him and today even told him to his face, with me OUT of the house so he didn't think I was telling them what to say. They basically told him that they've given him enough chances and don't want anything to do with him. My question is, do you think I have reason to worry because he is threatening the only thing he ever knew would effect me during the divorce, which is my kids. I told him when we divorced, take it all I could care less. But you won't touch my kids. Now he's making these threats and I basically laugh but I have a small amount of fear in "what if". I personally cannot imagine any court system looking at him, hearing from his 3 teens that he has abused physically and emotionally in the past plus that 2 of the 3 don't want to even see him and still saying "the kids have to visit with him and the son can live with him". Do you think I have any reason to worry?
9 people like this
32 responses
@suscan (1955)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I would hope that because of the age of the children the judge would listen to them Thank God he could not get them when they were younger . Hopefully he will not be anle to talk your son into moving in with heim. Don't you wish when you fall in love with someone,you could know what kind of father they would be?
3 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
It wouldn't even have helped me in my situation to know ahead because with our first born he was really a good dad. When the other 2 were born it was like a switch was pulled and he became completely opposite. He was always angry, hated having twins even before they were born, hated life in general and took it out on all of us. The funny part is, while we weren't exactly banking on twins, we WERE trying to get pregnant again. So it's not like it was an oops that we had more kids. We were blessed with 2 at once and that was stressful but oh well!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 07
You AND the children have to report the abuse to the authorities to have it on record. My ex called DYFS on me because of a small bruise on her arm from a fall that our daughter caused. He figured he could utilize my job (selling adult products) against me but when they came to do the investigation, it was determined to be unfounded (he also believed he wouldn't have to pay child support then!) Unfortunately, your ex sounds like a bully and if the three of your (possibly the oldest too can be included) have to, file some sort of restraining order or supervised visitation (meaning you are there, but someone from the courts handles the visit and is there at all times). I wouldn't let your son live with him until he gets some counseling, but instead let the kids have supervised visitation and increase the frequency if you have to. It's a tough thing to go through, especially with children involved. Good luck!
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thanks. The CPS did get involved with the "abuse" part after the first counselor, years ago, reported it even though the man was no longer living with us. I was so afraid of that and oddly enough CPS was the ones that helped make sure it was documented. So the unfound fears went away. I'm not afraid to get anyone involved at this point because I know I'm a good mom, I won't even bring a DATE into this house because of my kids and my fear that they are then open for hurt (even if it's just the stresses of likeing someone I'm dating and then us not working out, I don't want that). There's no way my kids will live with him and I do know for a fact that I will make sure of that with filing for full custody on Tuesday when the courthouse opens. Actually I think beating him to the punch and filing for it all myself before he can even get a chance is going to throw him for a loop. Part of me wants to stand back and let him pay the lawyer fees because I know he's got zero money unless the woman he's living with is going to help some and even then, she lives in a trailer. I'm certain she's far from rich! lol I can't imagine her putting out funds to try to win someone else's kids when hers are all grown and out. She's a lot older than him, but unfortunately wiser! lol
1 person likes this
@korek222 (702)
• Poland
15 Jan 07
You said that one of your children is 18 so she wont get affected by any kind. The twins who as you said are both 15 - shouldn't be affected of any kind too since it is more likely the court will give them to you as a good parent. Well if thet children will say they were abused by him both psyshically and mentally - i'm sure court will never allow them to see each other - and even if court will allow it will be important to have a parol officer at the meating - that is the preocdure :) so dont worry :)
3 people like this
@sizzle3000 (3038)
• United States
15 Jan 07
You need to report every threat this man makes to you. You also need to keep records of the threats in as much detail as you can. Report to social services. I also think that the kids will have a lot of say in who they stay with because they are not little any more. I would not have any contact with him but that is me. The other thing I would recommend is that you make sure you are never alone with this man this way you will always have a witness to what is going on. Good luck with this problem.
3 people like this
@cjsmom (1423)
• United States
15 Jan 07
This is very difficult to you, I know. I've been through an abusive relationship as well. He told me that he'd kill my children if I were to leave him; and I believed him, and they weren't even his kids. I pray that the courts will see your side(s) but the way the court system has been performing as of past few years, you just never know. You just need to be very careful, make sure you know where the children are at all times and keep praying. The Lord will intervene for you and yours. If you'd like, please request me as an friend and we can talk when you'd like. Bless you.
3 people like this
• India
15 Jan 07
You did the right thing and i am really surprised how can a father do such cruel thing to his kid, strange. you can take divorce with your husband.
3 people like this
@kgwat70 (13395)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I do not think you have anything to worry as far as the court system. I believe they will take your side in this matter, especially if they hear from your kids that their father abused them physically and verbally. No court system would allow a horrible father like him to visit your kids after what he put you and your kids through. You should however keep your heads up in case he does decide to do anything bad or come up with some lame or untruthful story. He sounds like a very dangerous person to be around so hope that you and your kids will be careful.
@sylvrrain (659)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I have a question, were you given full custody of the children? If so, your ex has the burden of proof. He has to prove in some way that you are neglectful, abusive, etc. If he can't, the judge will not change the custody ruling. The most the judge can do is give him joint custody. If there is a history of abuse, then your ex can forget it. Don't worry about his threats.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
I must say your a true mother for sure. You put your kids before all else. This will sure shine light in court on your behalf. I would worry because he was abusive in the past. A tiger will always be a tiger. I would just get something documented for your court case. Report any recent abuse,mental or physical. Your a mother to be proud of. I do hope your kids know how lucky they are to have you. :)
• United States
16 Jan 07
Thanks so much. I know they're proud, although at the moment my son is debating. He's really got it harder than the rest simply because he has no man in his life that can even resemble a father. My dad tries but he's older and can only do so much. Above all else I hate to see them have to go through any of this pain. I had hoped it was behind us but I have a feeling the ex will never really let it lie until they finally decide, perhaps as adults, to tell him AGAIN to his face that they're done with him. But this pain I'm watching without any control over is killing me for sure. Thanks so much for your words of kindness.
@soadnot (1606)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
theres no sense in getting riled up at anyone who gives you a hard time, in the end the universe tends to unfold as it should.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
easier said than done when it involves your kids though
1 person likes this
• Melbourne, Florida
15 Jan 07
I know this is a very difficult thing you are going through. But you have to let your children experience their father, and deal with their issues on their own. They chose their father for a reason. It may be the unconditional love of his children that makes him snap out of it, to wake up and realize what's really important.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
I have always let them choose. I have never kept them from him. They've always not wanted to be with him for the reasons of abuse. I don't have issues with him being a part of their life IF he does so in the right manner. Causing this turmoil and threatening after 2 weeks of being in his son's life that he's going to take him and such is definitely not in THEIR best interest. As far as he goes, he will never change. He's had so many opportunities given to him from his own children and he always manages to hurt them again. My son chose his father because all his life, even when his father was IN his life, he was never there for him. I was the one doing father stuff like tossing the ball, taking him to practices, teaching him hockey skills, taking him to games to watch and so forth. His father didn't want the twins from the day he found out I was pregnant with them. It was just too much stress for him. And I have to say, what they've experienced of their father has never been good. That's why they've pulled away for so long. My son is at an age where a man in his life would be so helpful and that is the reason why he hopes that his own father will become a part of it.
1 person likes this
@raveena (1355)
• India
15 Jan 07
There is no need to worry. Your Son is already 18 so he is big enough to analyse the things don't you agree to that? You should be happy that the other 2 kids want nothing from their father and leave it all in god's hands he will do whatever is right. Stop worrying.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
No, my son is only 15. His twin sister 15. My oldest is 17, soon to be 18. I realize she is in the position of saying what she wants and they have no choice but to abide. I just have a small amount of worry that they won't listen when my other 2 speak. I guess it's that small doubt that even made me think to post the discussion. I do know that if I pray, God will guide us through it all. He kept me from leaving my children when I battled cancer for a reason. He surely understands what type of person my ex is and will help us. Please, all of you who believe in a God, pray for us daily. I can't say enough of how prayer has helped me through these bad times in my life thus far.
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
15 Jan 07
well right it is really really very tough to get along with all the stuff like this and it is very amazing that u didnt turned in that man!!!!! but well now u may to SPEAK for themselves and then u can go the court they r teeens i noe but still u people have to fight for ur right$$$!!!! BE$T OF LuckK!!
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thanks. I hope it all goes well!
@budsr03 (2354)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
I think you are worried only about the choice the one son will make about living with his father. I think your ex will gain nothing and as for your son, his heart is and always will be with his mom. Please don't lose sleep over this. You are in control. Take care Hockeygalforever.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thanks. I hope "common sense" prevails in all of this because I am not an evil person that is trying to take her kids away from a man that loves them. I truly believe that my son could be in harms way because of the former abuse and while I love that perhaps he could have a relationship with the father figure, this man is just not what he needs and I guess he's proven that. Thanks for the confidence. I appreciate it so much.
2 people like this
@unithorn (193)
• United States
15 Jan 07
As most of the responses have already covered a great deal of your situation, I only have two cents on the issue of your son reconnecting with his father. Everyone, at some point or another, longs to know where they came from. Which traits they can attriube to whom. Also, growing up as the only male in a house of females, I have a feeling that he would like to get a glimpse at the more masculine side of his genetic structure. To let your son live with the man is out of the question, no matter HOW long it has been since the last abusive incident. You ARE correct in that line of thought. a lawyer can only do so much in the light of evidence - you need to be more concerned with the thoughts and revalations of your SON that you do any of your ex's legal counsel. Talk to your son, alone and in depth. Get his feelings on the issue, in their entirety. He may very easily feel alienated in a home with no other males, and you may not even realize that it may or may be growing into an issue. Best of luck to you - please, keep us posted.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
He definitely feels alienated. He's longed for a father figure even when the father was present in the house becuase he couldn't ever be bothered. I'm sure he lacks the male companionship. I've never told any of my kids "no" when it comes to their father and have actually done just the opposite and told them they have only 1 dad, no matter what kind of father and perhaps they should give him yet another chance. My girls are certain the answer to that is no. My son is torn and has even told me so, because he WANTS the father but doesn't want another time of pain and hurt. I guess my biggest concern is that this man has continued for the past 2 weeks that he came back into my sons life to cause turmoil here in this house, now with threats to my kids and me. He's even calling around town to talk to my parents and anyone else he can find asking what's going on and such. Of course my family has told him if he has questions go to the source, me. Now I believe he's sneaking to meet with my son without my knowledge, which will stop because I'm now going to go file for full custody and with stipulations of IF my children want to see him he can see them (which will be only the son I'm sure) once a week at a certain time. This will make sure I have full control of what he is doing and where he is going when it comes to his father. I'll tell you, life is fun! LOL All I can say is, if any of you out there are reading this and thinking of divorce... it's not as cut and dry as it seems. Believe me. And in my case I had ample and just cause to divorce, abuse both physical and mental to me and the kids. My biggest piece of advice is that when you do it, do it with every legal aspect taken care of, no matter how "kind" you try to be to the other party because eventually they show up thinking they're going to change things again. With it all in writing they have no chance of changing unless the courts say so.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Jan 07
just always pray to God even you have a big problem coz He will help you no matter what happened. ok
2 people like this
@korek222 (702)
• Poland
15 Jan 07
well it is higly that she will win it without His help but it is always good to have Him on you side right?
2 people like this
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Stop listening to the lawyer threats, get in touch with social services and report him for threatening your kids. Flat ou beat him with his own meaness. If they didn't atke your kids from you when the one was in counselling then you make sure social service knows that you got help for the kids because of the past abuse from the father. Make sure to tell them that you allowed visitation because you thought the man had changed but he has turned back into the same old dangerous person you divorced. NOw...here's something else you oneed to think about. At 15, your offspring are not really children anymore. in 3 years they are legally adults but they are, biologically, pretty much adults now. What exactly is he threatening you with, and why are you even talking to him? If he has a lawyer let him get his lawyer to take you to court. No big deal. I don't see where the worry is. YOu need to get a restraining order on him right now, so that you can set him off before he feels your concern, and he will feel it. Make him mess up so that there is no hiding what he is really like, don't answer his phone calls, cut off everything that he thinks is his to have.
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thanks. I pretty much was forced into talking with him because my son had some major issues and was acting up. I also have always told the kids if they want him to visit and take them out they are welcome, because at this point I think he pretty much knows the kids are old enough now to fight back and the spineless person he is he hates to fight anyone who would fight back. He can hit women and children but when it's someone that might give him a run for his money he doesn't even go near! I never thought of the idea of calling childrens services and telling them what he's doing and how it's effecting the kids again. I realize they're older now and that's pretty much what I figured any court would say to them. They are old enough to make their choice. But my fear is that my son, always wanting his father to be a real father, will go to any extreme to get the man to "love" him. With him and I having issues, ones that I'm taking him to counseling for again on Tuesday to see if they can at least give us some ways to deal with each other better, I'm afraid he would speak up in court and say he wants to go with his father because he made the comment to me when we were arguing that he wants to live with him. I know this is a ploy most teens, especially boys, will pull on their single moms and I realize he said it out of anger. But what if he decides to say that in a court situation? Would the fact that the man has bloodied the boys face and all 3 kids would attest to that, even my son, make any difference? I would hope so but I'm just not so sure.
2 people like this
@inked4life (4226)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Thats a horrible situation for you and your kids..sorry to hear about it. I agrre with most of the previous respondents. You have to contact child services immediately and let them know what is going on. If he is calling you with these threats then record youe telephone calls so that you have hard evidence. I don't think he'll have any success trying to take you to court, it sounds more like a scare tactic to try and get you to give up access to the kids...hoping everything turns out okay for you and your family
2 people like this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I don't think you have anything to worry about. If I could afford it I would look into getting a lawyer though.
2 people like this
@Randync (544)
• United States
15 Jan 07
He is probably just making the threats to annoy you. However I would consult with a lawyer (not very expensive to ask for advice) and maybe even think about getting a restraining order if they don't want to see him. I spent about $35 for a session with an family law attorney when I took my Ex to court for visitation. I had to hire another one (because the case was in another county) but he advised me what to do and who to hire in that county.
2 people like this