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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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I just finished reading the Are You Dating A Loser article,

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I just finished reading the "Are You Dating A Loser" article, and in it my husband is described. We have been married for 11 years and I am at a point in my life where I can see clearly where we are going. He has not physically abused me, but he has lashed out at our children and he has broken things that belong to me. My question is the end of the article you talk about how to detach and how to get out of a dating relationship. How do those rules apply to getting out of a marriage relationship with someone like that? Especially a marriage that involves 4 small children
I am glad you are thinkning about how to make a healthier family for you and your children. Somtimes, it is very difficult. One of the biggest obstacle for many people in this relationship is financial. Do you work outside the home? How old are your children?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, I don't work outside the home...I know...another way he can control me and what I have access to. My children are 8, 7, 4, and 23 months.
Hi, Yes, sounds as if he has done things the right way to keep you there. When you have children some people also feel reluctant to leave. What do you see as the biggest obstacle for you beside financial? Gina
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My biggest concern besides financial is going to be the actual divorce, which I know he will fight tooth and nail. He has told me in the past that if I ever left him he would hunt me down (something that was mentioned in the article). I have a friend who lives several states away who has offered me a place to stay, but I really just dread any custody battles or anything that will happen afterward. I am currently taking online classes to get my MBA-Accounting so I know I have that going for me, but I won't be done with that until 2012.

Hi, What state and county do you live in?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Missouri, USA

I need to go for a while. I will check back in about 45 minutes though. He's been gone for the evening, but will be back shortly. I will try to check back after he goes to bed.

Thank you for your help.

Ok, that's fine.

There are some books available to help you get things in order before you leave. A few of those; Getting Free by Ginny NiCarthy, The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond XXXXX XXXXX, Violent Voices: Twelve Steps to Freedom from Emotional Abuse Kay Porterfield. Some of these are dated but the information provided is eternal. They will help you sort through what is happening and how you choose to deal with it.

A few other things to start getting together: copies of you and the children's birth certificates and social security cards, immunization records for the children, extra car keys, some extra money put back, change of clothes. Put these is a bag somewhere that you can get to on the drop of a dime. I know he has not been physically abusive but when he is breaking things and verbally and emotionally abusive, this is always a possibility. If this happened you would want to leave as soon as possible.

If you believe he will fight you tooth and nail, you may want to also have some support. Many times, people like this have isolated you from family and friends, and done so for a reason; to keep you under his thumb so to speak. It may not be a good idea to go to a family or friend's house if you feel he will follow you there and cause havoc. It may be a better idea to go to a domestic violence shelter. I know, these sometimes have negative connotations, but consider the positive. They are free housing, utilities, food, counseling, and you are safe from him having the ability to talk to you when he wants, harrass you with phone calls, coming by "just to talk," etc.

If you decide not to actually go there to stay, they all have support groups, there is a legal advocate who will assist you by explainng what to expect from the court system, and the legal battle of child custody, and many more services that can help you. In many cases, they will also help you with finding an attorney, and will go to court with you. And most or all of these services are free. Here is the website for your state:
If you will click "services" it will give you the county list to see which one serves your county. They will have a phone number and are usually a wealth of information for other needs as well.

This is a complicated issue for you with the four small children, but as I'm sure you know may be the best solution. The children are like little sponges, in that they soak up how relationships work and how people interact from their parents. Your boys are watching their Dad and your girls are watching their Mom.

They are also aware if there is anxiety or tension in the home even when there are no bad behaviors. This can create anxiety and sadness for them also. Some mental healt professionals believe this can create a form of PTSD in some children if they are afraid of a parent, or see another parent feeling threatened. Please don't feel sad or ashamed about this yourself, it is part of the battered women's syndrome. The constant put downs and emotional abuse really do a number on self esteem and make you feel you can't make effective change, and of course he probably reinforces this as well. Just work on this when you are able to do so with a counselor.

A few words of caution. I am not an attorney, so before you take the children to another state, get some form of legal document to do so or at least talk to an attorney about the repercussions. Some states have strict laws about this.
You can also expect your husband's bad behaviors to either increase or decrease if you leave. He will do what he thinks will get you back. He may even escalate to physical abuse and threats. So if any threats occur, or God forbid, physical abuse, complete a police report on every incident and get the report number.
This will guarantee it has been completed, and they will be able to find it on file.

I know, some of this infromation may seem outlandish and you may not believe your husband could get this bad, and I hope he doesn't, but the information is here if you need it. Please let me know what other questions you may have. Gina
Gina P and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you! XXXXX on your journey and bless you as well. Gina