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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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What steps do I have to take to end an abusive marriage We

Resolved Question:

What steps do I have to take to end an abusive marriage ? We live in Idaho. We have four children together. Been married for 16 years.
My husband has been mentally and sometimes physically abusive to me and our oldest son who is now 15 years old and has been diagnosed with Moderate ADHD/Mild Aspergers syndrom.
I want to just leave now and take my four kids with me to my home town in Washington only 2 hours away. I know that I need to do things right though but not sure where to start. Please help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.

Gina P :

Hi,

Gina P :

Thank you for using Just Answer.

Gina P :

Do you have a domestic violence shelter in your area?

Customer :

ya, but i wouldn't have to go there. I have lots of family that would help

Gina P :

I understand when family wants to help, but consider a couple of things.

Customer :

ok

Gina P :

Most people who abuse others have control issues, and his abuse may escalate to the point of even more violence once you leave.

Gina P :

I am sorry, I type slow!

Gina P :

Many domestic violence shelters also have advocates to help you with legal issues such as divorce and child custody, as well as assist you with housing, getting to work or back to school, etc.

Gina P :

Of course this is your choice.

Customer :

Well he definitly has control issues. The hard thing about leaving him is the fact that he has always been such a good provider and hard worker and takes care of the kids needs financially so well. There is just those moments when he hasn't "self medicated" himself when he totally loses hardly any ablility to reason and is angry about everything.

Customer :

I will definitly be seeking some legal help soon too.

Customer :

I'm just so scared about it all. I have always foolishly protected him even when I had been hurt.

Gina P :

He has the good and bad traits. When they are good, they are really good, and when they are bad, they are really bad.a

Customer :

That is him to a T!;)

Gina P :

The battered women's syndrome. are you familiar with this?

Customer :

Oh ya. Never thought i'd be placed in that catagory. I've always known he was in the wrong but being the mother of 4 kids i was just trying to make it work out for everyone.

Gina P :

Yes, that is very common, and to your credit, shows your have strong values to your marriage.

Gina P :

But, it sounds as if you have decided you and the children deserve better and you are right.

Customer :

My oldest has problems already in life due to his ADHD/Aspergers and he now has the anger issue proboblems to deal with and who knows what else. I don't want my younger ones to end up with those same issues as well.

Gina P :

I know what you mean. Children suffer silently sometimes for a while, but the anger is brewing underneath, and the sadness.

Gina P :

There is a great book "Getting Free" by Ginny Nicarthy that gives you practical knowledge about getting emotionally healthier and taking the steps to leave. I would highly recommend this.

Customer :

Thank you so much.

Gina P :

One reason I suggested the domestic violence shelter is because of the potential for violence, but also the potential for him to convince you to return home, with those promises he will make to you about how he will change. He is also very unhappy, as you have pointed out, but does not know how to handle his anger and control. Once you are gone, he will do WHATEVER it takes to get you back "in your place." I don't mean to sound judgmental of him, but know these symptoms well :)

Customer :

So would it not be wise for me to just leave with the kids to my folks house two hours away?

Customer :

He's rarely violent in front of others i've noticed.

Gina P :

I don't know him, but I know the symptoms. Once you leave the violence can escalate to the point that it may not be safe. Of course, he may just be in the sweetness mode. You could give it a try and see his reaction. The first three days are the most dangerous according to the dv statistics, so be careful at least on these days. He will know where you have gone, so you can watch for him. If you will call the dv shelter by phone, they can give you a few more pointers on how to keep safe if you go to your parents

Gina P :

 


A few things to get together if you decide to leave: the children's social security cards, immuniaztion records, school records, medical records. Your personal information as well. If you aren't quite ready to leave, you can be putting some money back somewhere so you will have ravel cash.


 

Gina P :

oops travel cash

Customer :

He was made to feel small alot I believe as a child and then in the Marine Corp I think some damage was done also and so he feels big for a brief moment when he belittles and then feels bad later. When I left the last time to be with my family and then came back after the weekend was over, I came home to a very emotional letter from him. It was a surprise and I know that he knows hes' in the wrong but that doesn't seem to stop his anger moments.

Customer :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX all of that together already anyway.:)

Customer :

I do need to save more cash though.

Gina P :

Good for you!! Are you familiar with the cycle of violence?

Customer :

I guess I need to find out what I can do legally.

Customer :

uh not sure what ya mean

Gina P :

OK

Gina P :

Stage one: Tension building-he is tense and anxious and you can see it is building up

Gina P :

stage two: abuse comes either through emotional, mental, physical

Customer :

yes, i can tell right away now when he is going into that unreasonable, baligerant mode.

Gina P :

stage three: honeymoon stage-he is remorseful, embarrassed, apologetic, etc

Customer :

He's apologetic for a very short time sadly

Gina P :

After a few years of patterns the tension building and abuse stages get longer and the honeymoon is much shorter.

Customer :

interesting

Gina P :

When you leave you will see the honeymoon resurface again for a while. If it works you will be back in the pattern as now. If it doesn't he will move into the other stages to try to get you back.

Gina P :

It is interesting, but not if you have to live in it.

Customer :

most definitely

Customer :

So would it be a bad idea to leave with the kids to my parents again? Stay longer this time and tell him that I

Customer :

i'm going to file for a seperation or wait for the right moment

Gina P :

I am not doing a very good job of answering your question!

Customer :

you're doing fine:)

Gina P :

Thanks!

Gina P :

You may want to file for the legal separation first to give you rights to take the children, and not allow him to go to their school ant take them

Customer :

So filing for legal seperation gives me the right to take the kids?

Gina P :

I am not an attorney.

Customer :

k :)

Gina P :

I would ask the lawyer what you can file to give you temporary custody of the children

Customer :

alright

Gina P :

Otherwise, he can go pick the up at school or whatever, just like you do. And this is a strong pull to get you to return to home, if he has even one of the kids

Gina P :

I think I have confused you now, sorry

Customer :

He works long hours as a power plant operator so I would have plently of time to go if I want to. I just want to do things right legally.

Customer :

If I took the kids I wouldn't want to be accused of being a bad mother for taking the kids out of school or something

Gina P :

I think, go to your parents, with legal rights to take the children with you, but have some family and friends who are assisting you emotionally. Also, contact the DV shelter in the area to see what services they can offer you. Please, please, please go to some counseling for yourself. Either through the domestic violence shelter groups or individually now of even after you leave. We all follow patterns, and as uncomfortable as it is living there now, it has become comfortable. We usually pick what I call "same person, different package."

Customer :

You are right and I thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it is something I don't like to hear. I never would have thought in my whildest dreams that I would be in this situation.

Customer :

I have actually never known someone like him before. I have had a few boyfriends before him and never experience abuse from them.

Gina P :

You know, it is easy to get there. It is such a gradual move, and you are in the abuse over time, and if you are motivated to stay married, you try to make things work. I have been involved in one of these type of relationships several years ago. The Getting Free book is on Amazon. It will help you make some more personalized plans.

Customer :

course i was pretty young then and they weren't very long relationships

Gina P :

http://www.divinecaroline.com/24133/104991-story-as-inspired-portia-nelson one of my favorite poems that describes abusive type of relationships

Customer :

I have already looked up the book on ebay. Thanks.

Customer :

Oh thanks for that one too.:)

Customer :

Well thanks for the talking with me about this. I guess it's time for me to get busy.;)

Gina P :

I hope I have helped in some small way. You are very courageous and strong. I hope everything works out well for you and your family. Do you have any more questions?

Customer :

I think that the other questions that I have will be directed towards a lawyer.;)

Gina P :

Great idea!!:)

Customer :

Take care and thanks again!

Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience: MSW, LCSW, PIP
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Gina P
Gina P
Mental Health Professional
175 Satisfied Customers
MSW, LCSW, PIP