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My ex is verbally abusing our children

I have two older children (ages 16 and 17) whom I share custody with my ex-husband. I have physical custody. We have been divorced for 10+ years. During that time he has done the bare minimum when it comes to the visitation with his children. He was supposed to have 90 nights a year. He barely would take them for 10. Two years ago we went to court so that I could get permission to move my children out of state. Now my children and I live in GA and he lives in MI.

He was always mentally and emotionally abusive to me. That's what lead to the divorce. All this time his children haven't "noticed" or haven't been willing to admit that he's abusive towards them... until now that is.

My kids went to MI to be with their dad for the summer. Seems DAD has a new girlfriend though and he quickly made plans for the kids to stay with relatives for the majority of the summertime. They didn't mind that all that much. What they did mind was what happened when they got back to dad's. On the last two days (out of the whole 9 days they spent with dad) of their visit their dad just exploded with continuous complaints, lies, accusations, etc.

**By the way... my kids told me all of this soon after I picked them up at the airport in Atlanta 4 days ago.**

He told them they were disrespectful and rude to all the relatives, that none of the relatives wanted to even see them again (which we've already found out to be false), that they are filthy and unkempt (obviously untrue), that they (my kids) hold very little value to him, even less value then his dog, that he believes 3/4 of the world's population is headed towards disaster and he hopes his children will be right there with them, that no would hire them with their current behavior and rudeness (my children are extremely polite and well behaved), etc. ((That's just a handful of the things he told them))

As I'm sure you can imagine, my kids are EXTREMELY upset over this and never want to see him again. I haven't said anything to him about this. None of us bothered to send him a "courtesy text or call" that we usually give when the kids are safe and sound back in my care. We've been so upset. I'm not really sure how to address this. I HATE talking to him because it just brings up those years of abuse that he did to me. The kids want to wait until we can all go to MI for Christmas and just have a sit-down with him and have a big discussion about how we all feel. They feel his behavior is mostly due to his new girlfriend but I know that may have "helped it along" but he's always been like that.. just not as straightforward about it.

I want to say something to him - send him an email or something - not that it'll probably do any good, but just to let him know they are REALLY hurt and I'm hurt for them. What would you do?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:50 PM on Aug. 4, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • "I want to say something to him - send him an email or something"

    Speaking from experience, this will make no difference to him. He'll deflect, make it all about you, continue the abuse and live the lie. The kids are old enough now that I believe a judge would no longer require they visit.

    You've described my ex husband to a T. Really, don't waste any more emotional energy on him. He'll never change, he'll always be right in his own mind and he'll always be abusive.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:57 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Are they old enough to make the decision to not go visit him?

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 8:54 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • I wouldn't say anything because it wont help and could make matters worse, don't feed into his drama. Talk to your boys instead, let them know this are their dads issues not theirs. Tell them you trust and love them and you know their dad just has emotional problems he needs to deal with. Your kids are almost adults you can't shield them from the reality of their family.

    Your sons rarely see their dad, if they choose not to see him they can tell him that. If your ex wants to take you to court over it, let the kids explain it to the judge.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 9:05 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Well, I would not wait for Christmas, that's for damn sure. I'd probably fly to Michigan myself and fillet him.
    I'd document this and get statements from relatives, etc. You'll need to talk to him and the relatives and get armed with all the information you can. Then talk when he is not with the new girlfriend and get to the bottom of his nastiness.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 8:55 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • talking to him is your choice, and think it out

    i would speak to my lawyer and as the children are old enough to decide, i would want it in court record that they do not have to see him again if that is their choice. a gardian ad litem might be the way to go on this- a lawyer will know

    for me, it would be more important that they do not have to see him again, confronting a man who says these things and makes up lies will most likely bring out more lies and more asshole drama crap from him, which does no good. you know what he is like, so you talking to him about his behavior is not going to accomplish much. the kids still need to learn about him, i do not know how i would handle that. he is not going to change or admit any wrong doing, so i would concentrate on the family members who are not abusive.

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:03 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • At 16 and 17 I am not sure the HAVE to go to visit him at all if they do not wish to do so. Check wtih a lawyer.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:06 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Document document document. It may be time to go back to court to change the visitation.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:02 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • I wouldn't bother saying anything to your ex, as tempting as it would be to rip him a new asshole. It's pointless. He's made that very clear over the years. I would get your kids to write down every objectionable thing he said, and then get statements from the relatives the kids stayed with. Ask the relatives not to make an issue with your ex, if possible, but have them write out their thoughts about your kids as well as how much of the summer the kids were with them. That's the information you'll need in court, just in case. Then let your attorney know that your kids don't want to visit their dad anymore. Good luck, and I'm glad you and your children got away from such a horrible man.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:25 PM on Aug. 4, 2013

  • Thank you all. I appreciate the advice!!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:19 AM on Aug. 5, 2013