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Kristin
Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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I have recently seperated from my husband who i am concerned

Customer Question

I have recently seperated from my husband who i am concerned about, expecially in relation to my safety and our 3 children.
our marraige broke up mainly due to my husbands often seemingly unprovoked verbally abusive rages (that were so vicous and nasty you couldnt believe what was being said,) that over the years gradually go worse culminating in a physical assult.
He is considered to be one of the most caring, jolly and passionate people around, yet I seemed to be living with a jeckle/hyde scenario.
after the 1st physical attack, I found my voice and said that the rules were going to change... ie.. counselling/anger management etc...which he did not want to do. (we had about 3 couselling sessions that didnt go anywhere) He from that moment got increasingly worse in his behaviour. I understand that he was very fearful of the outcome (ie: would our marraige make it) but his behaviour continued to get more threatning, (threatening to hit), obsessing that I was having an affair, waking me up in the middle of the night to 'talk' or 'rage' texts and emails that sometimes went into the 50's or 70's in number. and the verbal abuse just horrendous. some of this was in the presence of your 4 year old, but he was smart enough not to expose the 2 older children ( though there were times when they asked questions such as "was daddy throwing things at you?" or "why are you shaking Mummy") Finally after living in paralised terror (I cant believe I did it) I said enough was enough.
Now he is making things increasingly diffucult. When it comes to his time with the children, he is thinking I am trying to withhold them from him when for example today my 9 year old asked if he could stay with his dad tonight. (my husband has 35% access) he wasnt due till a couple of nights time, but I believe in 'leaving the gates open' with the children, and so rang and asked if he would like the boy for the night (on top of the designated days). he has sent 48 abusive texts accussing me of power games and manipulation. (he was unable to have hime for the night and I understand that he was probably projecting his own anger and frustration for not being able to have him). but this is just a mild example of what is becoming an almost everyday occurance. A couple of weeks ago was very concerning as during his weekend with the children he locked himself in the bathroom and wouldnt come out - luckily he had the sense to call be to come and get the children. What am I to do? he is 47 with untreated ADD and has been in hospital twice this year (and few before then) with chest pains due to anxiety. Iwould appreciate some input. thank you RB
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kristin replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

 

I can certainly understand your concerns regarding your safety and for your children of course, as well. What you need to do, is request a psychological evaluation be performed on your ex husband. This will need to be done legally, through an attorney or your local court system. His behavior is cause for concern and this evaluation should be able to determine his ability to parent, if he is in fact any kind of danger or risk to you or the children, etc. The children's safety and well-being definitely comes first and for example, locking himself in the bathroom and not coming out, in their presence, while he is the only adult there to care for them is negligent and also frightening for them.

So, again it is up to your ex husband (or husband) to seek out help for himself, but for now what you can do, is insist on a psychological evaluation be done that also takes into account parenting ability. You should consult with a family law attorney about how to proceed. The attorney may recommend that visits with the children stop until the evaluation is complete, but I cannot say that with any certainty. You would need to ask for expert legal advice. Also be sure to keep any evidence you have about the texts, etc. prior abuse.

It's important that you keep an open communication with your children and reassure them that you are taking care of the situation and that daddy's behavior is about daddy and noone else. Kids will so often internalize what is happening with their parents or in a divorce situation and feel they are the cause or somehow to blame. Be sure that they know in a light way, that any troubles are only between you and Daddy and that they don't need to worry about anything, except being kids. You may also want to consider family counseling for the kids as well. Please click ACCEPT button for this answer and feel free to continue the discussion even after clicking accept. Thank you.

Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience: Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
Kristin and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I have considered getting an assesment, but am conserned about provoking him further. I have had good advice on getting a restraining order, but he seems to get worse with any "tough love" so I have gone the path of least resistance and tried to be patient. He definately gets more irate and irrational with any suggestion that he may need help. I guess I dont wont to provoke him further and/or spoil his relationship with his children (he is very passionate about them - though does 'need' and lean on them) - also the kids would be devistated.??
Expert:  Kristin replied 3 years ago.

I understand that you may be taking this approach out of fear or angering him further, but that doesn't address the problem... just kind of prolongs it. In any case, I would definitely at the very least consult with an attorney about what would be the best option.

It's not a good sign that he gets so irate and irrational... I'm not suggesting that the kids have no contact with him, but simply that he gets some help which could be mandated by the court, or that the visits are supervised perhaps for a time, until he is more stable.

I would probably not suggest to him directly anymore that he needs to get help as he only gets more agitated. Instead take your questions to an attorney who can give you clean and sound options. I understand that you are afraid of him etc. but that is exactly why you do need to seek out more help and support. It could be as easy as your husband getting on some good medications or being assessed by a psychiatrist to determine what is going on with him and how best to treat him... and that could be done by asking for a psychiatric assessment. Otherwise, you risk sort of letting him call the shots due to trying to keep him calm, and this could become a much bigger problem in the long run.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

groan... I know your right.

thank you so much for being so honest, I will see my attorney this week.

 

RB

Expert:  Kristin replied 3 years ago.

You are very welcome. I know it's such a difficult time right now, but I really think you will feel better when you have more information and support, and will help you to feel more in control of this situation. I wish you all the best....thank you,

 

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