So, I've found this wonderful website accidentally!  Couldn't have happened at a better time.  I split with the ex (father of my children) last July, but he just won't leave me alone.  Police been involved.  A year of hell.  My poor kids have been through so much this last year.  To quote the Dominator characters described on this site, I lived with a 'bully' 'liar' 'king of the castle' and probably a few others all wrapped up into one!

The latest campaign is using my children during their contact visits with him to generally put me down as a bad Mother (as he's always done).  My son, who is 10, is now refusing to see him, which, as you can imagaine has gone down a treat.  He has very valid reasons for this, incidentally.  My daughter, who is 11, is becoming defiant, argumentative, maybe her age, I'm not sure.

I've done my best to get on with him, even after a bitter legal battle over the house, I've just about managed to keep for the children and I.  (We didn't marry but owned the house jointly).

All in all, it's been an awful couple of years.  Prior to that I had years of infidelity and verbal and mental abuse.  My confidence and self-esteem so bad that I couldn't even see it.  Thought it was my fault.

This website looks wonderful with so much information.  Very pleased to meet you all and I hope I may be offer some words of encouragement to others with my experiences.




Posted on: October 1, 2012 - 11:24am

Same here. Head up deep breath

Posted on: October 1, 2012 - 1:57pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hi ns25mrh and welcome to One Space, I am so glad you found us! (I would be interested to know 'how' you found us, if you would care to share??)

It sounds like your little family has been going through some really difficult times.

So your 10 year old doesn't want to see Dad, how long has he not seen him for? Your 11 year old is becoming defiant (and could well be feeling very confused), is she happy to continue with visits?

What is interesting is that you have done your best to get on with him and if he was half reasonable then, this is admirable and necessary. However it sounds as though the person you are delaing with is awkward, selfish and abusive, I think he has manipulated you over the years and he is still managing to do this.

I am presuming that you have always considered his best interests and the childrens before your own and you have tried to fight/negotiate using decency and honesty. However you need to know your boundaries and know exactly what you want first and then be firm without budging.

Posted on: October 1, 2012 - 2:49pm



Just read your story and hope you and you children are doing ok.

Been through a similar situation myself. My ex partner was mentslly and physically abusive towards me throughout most of our relationship.

Since we split my eldest son, like your daughter became a nightmare. I contacted my health visitor as i just couldnt cope with him. She suggested he go to krate/ judo class to try and vent his anger and frustration in a constructive way. My son started ty kwon do and it has really helped get it all out apose to taking it out on me and his brother. After a dew months of going there i am starting to get the son i new and love back. Also i think stibility and routine help, seeing there dad the ssme day, time and place evry week (i no this isnt always easy, well it wasnt for me as my ex dragged me through the courts) but i think them knowing exactly where and when the next time they were going to see him really helped. Just a suggestion, hope it helps:)


Posted on: October 17, 2012 - 2:18pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hi Yummymuumy23, thanks for the input, we all need some routine in our lives, it sounds as though you have been patient and consistent with your eldest and it has paid off. Well done you!

Do you think that your son feels a sense of pride as well, because he is learning something new?

Posted on: October 17, 2012 - 4:47pm


Hi anna.

Thank you, i have really tried to, its been difficult but were getting there:) 

He has started school in the summer there so thats more routine for him to and this has really helped to.

Yeah i think he does, hes always showing us his moves and trying ti teach his brother, im so proud of how hes doing after everything hes been through. Hes now started football training to and took to it like a duck to water:)

J xx


Posted on: October 17, 2012 - 5:43pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Wow, how fantastic, you must be so proud of him. It sounds as though he is thriving!

Posted on: October 18, 2012 - 4:51pm


Hi Anna.

Thanks for your reply.  I just literally stumbled across the website by chance browsing!

My son still isn't seeing his Father.  It's been about 3 months I guess.  Things have gone from bad to worse really.  I did try an encourage him to see him but then something happened which I don't really want to post on here that made it impossible for me to encourage him given the situation.  I emailed the ex, copied in my solicitor, explaining why he didn't want to see him and it has spiralled out of control.  The ex is now sending awful text messages to my son about me trying to poison him against him, etc.  Luckily for me, my son, although only 10, knows the truth and isn't taken in by it.  It's been awful.  I've actually just sent a private message on here to the legal team asking for suggestions on what to do next.  I can't afford re-engaging my solicitor plus he's just ignored any letters she's sent to request that he stops the verbal abuse and defamatory remarks about me to the children.

My daughter does see him fortnightly for the weekend.  Sometimes she doesn't want to go and I know deep down she feels she has to carry on to keep the peace.  I've tried to explain that she doesn't have to carry this for her brother not going but she won't talk about it or express how she feels.  He, however, has stepped up his campaign with her and is doing ridiculous things to try and get at me.  Bizarrely, on a Sunday afternoon, he put red food colour in her hair and sent her home on Sunday evening, knowing she had school the following day.  She has blonde hair.  My daughter refused to wash it out, which led to a massive row, went to school like it. Luckily it washed out.  This is just one example of his immaturity, I could give you many.

Since my last post on here I have been verbally abused on the doorstep in front of the children again.  It's never ending, I'm at my wit's end and just don't know what to do next.  It's been suggested to me by various people to withdraw contact and let a judge decide but I know it won't be as simple as that.  He is relentless with the bullying and poisoning of the children's minds.  So not in a good place right now, feel absolutely drained of strength to deal with it.


Posted on: January 8, 2013 - 2:10pm


Thank you, hope you are doing ok....

Posted on: January 8, 2013 - 2:11pm


Hi, thank you for that.  Funnily enough I was thinking recently that I should get both my children involved again in some sort of after school club.  They used to do Taekwando but my son has a knee prob so can't really do contact sports at the moment.  My daughter plays hockey after school which she seems to enjoy.  She asked me the other day if she could do kick-boxing so may persue that.  It also comes down to what I can afford too as the ex will not contribute to anything like that.  He refused to contribute to my daughter's school holiday last year telling her he'd already paid for it in maintenance!(He pays the minimum required of him). He's so aggressive and argumentative that I just don't ask for any financial help, which, I guess is the idea!

Posted on: January 8, 2013 - 2:15pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hi ns25mrh, nice to 'see' you back again. 

It is so unfortunate to read that you are continuing to be on the receiving end of your ex's abuse. I do hope that you are writing every incident down in a diary, just in case??

How would your daughter deal with it if you withdrew contact? Do you think she would retaliate against you? Feel as though she was being disloyal to her father? I think it is important to think about what YOU ns25mrh want and what you think is best for your children and their mental health rather than the effect of any actions you would like to take. We would never cross the road for fear of being hit!

Your ex is aggressive and argumentative and as you state yourself, uses this to get exactly what he wants, or at the very least, stop you for asking what you want. Easier said than done, but you mustn't be bullied. You need to show your daughter how to behave against a bully. (this thought gave me strength when I was dealing with my ex who was abusive).

I think your idea about getting the children into extra curricular activities is an excellent one, it would build their self esteem and they can make new friends. 

Now what about you? What would you like to do to build your self esteem?

Posted on: January 8, 2013 - 5:58pm


Hi Anna.  I have been keeping a diary for a long time, from the months before he left when the abuse stepped up because I wasn't agreeing to his terms.  

I do worry about how my daughter would react if I withdrew contact.  I'm sure she understands the reasons why, God knows she's witnessed enough and understands what's been going on with her brother, but I do think she would feel very uncomfortable with it and as you say, disloyal to her Father.  It's very difficult to know what to do.  I do know that I can't carry on like this anymore, it's not healthy for any of us. I have to put a stop to his bullying and manipulative behaviour, just not sure how.

Friends constantly tell me that I let him make me feel the way I do and that I can take control.  It's very hard to make yourself believe that when you've lived with a narcissistic, bullying, control freak.  It took me many years to realise this though and by then my confidence and self esteem had gone.  Not sure what I can do to get that back.  Will have a think on that one.  I am lucky in that I have a great job with fantastic people but only on a part-time basis, but it has kept me going.  That and obviously the children.  It reads like I'm saying 'poor me' but in actual fact I am very angry for allowing myself to be treated the way I have been.  

I take on board what you say about showing my daughter how to behave against a bully.  I've focused in the past on not wanting my son to think that it's ok to treat women in the way my ex treated me - another reason I needed to get the kids and I away from him, but not given much thought to how my daughter will perceive relationships.  I think I always assume she is a lot more resilient because she appears to cope better, whereas my son wears his heart on his sleeve and tells you exactly how he feels.  



Posted on: January 8, 2013 - 6:49pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hello ns25mrh

Good to see you here...just to mention, have you done The Freedom Programme? You can see the online version by clicking the blue link.

Posted on: January 9, 2013 - 9:26am


Hi Louise,

No, don't think I've seen that.  Will take a look.  Thank you.


Just realised I did start it ages ago, will continue!

Posted on: January 9, 2013 - 11:59am

happy mamma

Hi ns25mrh

Seems we have a lot in common. my children were 9 and 13 when we split been to hell and back - shame to say i was married to him so had to do the whole divorce thing too.


Diaries are always a good idea i too keep one. One thing might be good if you are not happy with the support of the police contact your local councilor. I had an amaxing response from them once they were involved. I now have a direct email to one police office.

I too encouraged the children to visit their 'father' (using the word very losely) They hated it and stopped going. Cards and presents stopped ignored his daughter who was carrying our grandchild he got bored they always do in situations like this. The best advice I can give you is be honest with the children well as much as you can - they are not daft. My ex tried to tell them i was the one playing about when he was the one (years behind my back with my best friend)

I took me a long time to gain control of my own feelings and even now i have blips of feeling completely worthless but I look at my house and my children and know i have done a bloody good job on my own and i am proud of where i am now - i just need someone to remind me every now and then x

Keep strong he WILL get borde and one day he WILL leave you alone - does he have someone new? If so i wonder what she thinks of his actions


HM (sorry a talk a lot x)

Posted on: January 11, 2013 - 3:43pm


Hi i split with my ex 5yrs ago and still having problems from the abuse he put us through i didn't realise how abusive he was and how horrible and selfish he was until i split and even then didn't see it until now as i am a lot stronger now and my head is a lot clearer it as affected all but one of my children thankfully she was a baby and hasnt been subjected to his abuse.  It took me nearly 3yrs to recover from a break down after the split and because i was so low, i went to womens aid although yes he was physical but i wouldn't say badly but he was more mental and controlling, my now 21 yr old son as now said he was physical to him when i went out when he was younger he is now in prison as he gets violent when on alcohol which could be a after affect of what he saw and dealt with growing up it is sad he is such a caring lad too but just very nasty when on alcohol. We all suffer from lack of confidence now i stayed with him for 17yrs but the back end was the worst that is when i was getting really scared of him as he was more abusive physically and mentally it was horrible. It does take a long time i am constantly praising the kids now and supporting them as much as i can it is hard but you will get there and we are all so much happier xx

Posted on: January 15, 2013 - 12:13pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hello shazb1971

You have done so well to move on from what has happened and I am sorry to hear about the effect on your eldest son. Have you done The Freedom Programme?(click to see)

Hi happy mamma, I do agree with you when you say that they get bored. Having to stick to a rigid pattern of parenting time seems to be difficult for previously uninterested parents (mums or dads)

Posted on: January 15, 2013 - 12:30pm


What I find so shocking is the amount of people that are going through or have been through such rough times with their ex.  It really is quite terrible that children are subjected to their parent(s) unacceptable behaviour. 

Sadly I have had to ask assistance from my solicitor yet again for what, in my view, is totally unnecessary and extremely frustrating.  Why, for the sake of our children, he can't just be civil, reasonable and stop the divisive behaviour is beyond me.  I just don't get it.  But then again, a councillor I was referred to, on our separation, did say that he demonstrated the behaviour of someone with narcissistic personality disorder.  Seems there are a lot of them out there!  Women as well, not just men.  

Everyone that has commented here, thank you for your kind words and sharing your stories.... 

Posted on: January 17, 2013 - 6:56pm

Sally W
Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Your right it can be quite a revelation when you have come out of an abusive relationship and find that your not the only one that has been in that type of situation and that there is support and help for you.

Posted on: January 18, 2013 - 12:14pm


What I find shocking is the courts and others actually help the abusers carry on with the abuse, through the children or to the children saying that it is the best for the child/ren.
Thank god for sites like this and the freedom program

Posted on: January 18, 2013 - 12:22pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

It is very difficult to see isn't' it I agree, I am surprised again and again when abusive men are awarded contact. But things are getting better. DV is being talked about a lot more than 20 years ago, judges, CAFCASS workers, police and other professionals working with survivors and perpetrators, are being given more training on the signs and effects of DV, so slowly things are improving.

Posted on: January 18, 2013 - 5:06pm