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I just wanted to check in and see if anyone has ever had the same feelings as myself at the moment. Any replies would be most welcome and advice - good or bad - would also be great.

Here's a quick run down -

My x and I have been separated for a little over a year now and it was an abusive relationship, mainly emotional (shouting, intimidating, name calling etc) but there were also incidents of physical abuse. Of course, it wasn't all bad but things had gotten to a point where we were unable to communicate and I felt unsafe most days and nights. We have a child who the x sees each fortnight and things have started to get a little better lately although I have a 2 year DVO in place and hardly communicate - except through solicitors and the occasional email . We are also due back in court soon as we only have interim orders in place and are seeking final orders.

We've both started a local community based program about dealing with communication and helping our child and this has brought up a lot of old issues and also made me remember some of the good as well as the bad parts of our relationship.

Our child has been telling me that her Daddy still loves Mummy and Daddy wants to be with Mummy again. Her wish (like most children of separated parents) is that we were back together and in her words "with no fighting". I'm starting to question myself now and this mess we seem to have found ourselves in - court, mediation, DVO's, the anger, the tug of war over who's right or wrong or deserves more. It's just not who I am or who my x was - when he was at his best.

I don't know if I'm just getting upset about what our daughter has said, am just getting the court jitters or perhaps feeling I could have tried harder at our relationship - we both could have.
I needed to leave to be safe and keep our child safe and have no regrets in that respect but is it possible to reconcile or even try to after so much hurt has happened in the time since separation? Can that be taken away and can two people who once loved each other work through what seem like an insurmountable number of issues.

We're talking about changing years of behavior - alcohol abuse, communication shut down, all forms of abuse - and I'm not sure if it's possible.

I want what is best for our child and it's so confusing at the moment.

Has anyone felt this way or had this dilemma?

Thanks in advance:|

ukelele said
 I felt unsafe most days and nights.
If this is really true, and you can honestly and objectively say that there is no exaggeration or dramatisation accompanying this feeling, what more do you need to know? Why would you want to put your child back into a situation where you yourself did not feel safe? Even if he was not violent towards her, the damage to a child from being in such a hostile environment can obviously be insurmountable. Furthermore, what makes you think that you could go back and things would be any better? I know the old adage is that time heals all wounds, but in real life, time heals nothing. Only reflection, self evaluation, maturity, and the willingness to work at change will fix a situation like this, if it is fixable at all.

I nearly fell for the same thing once, and I believe it also had something to do with the fact that my children were asking hopefully if their Dad and I could get back together. We had split and lived seperately for a year and a half and had gotten to the point where we could interact as friends and spend time with the children together occasionally. I'd been in a brief relationship with somebody else, and when I ended it he started saying similar things to the kids - that he'd always love me, wished we were still a couple, and if I ever wanted him back he'd do it in a heartbeat, etc, etc. I started wondering if this new found friendship could be carried over into a relationship, and it seemed feasible (even though we'd previously not gotten through a day without arguing viciously the whole 4 years, and it has gotten physical on both our parts - I was very young and immature, don't hold it against me :P) I might have even gone for it, but before my stupidity took over, we had some sort of disagreement, and when I tried to discuss it, it just turned into a nasty mud slinging match like every other issue we'd ever had. At that point I realised it would not change - we are just not compatible. I told the kids gently but very firmly, that unfortunately their Dad and I would never ever be getting back together. It told them that I like their dad, but we can't live together beause we argue too much, and it's not good for us or them. They were sad but they got it eventually, and now that they've accepted it there is never any question in their minds. They know the deal.

My advice is don't fall for it. The fantasy will be much sweeter than the reality. You are feeling nostalgic now that enough time has passed for the sting to be taken out of it, but he is still the same man, you are still the same woman, and all the problems you couldn't handle before, all the communication issues, all the aggressive tendencies are still there, because nothing has been done to change those things. Whether you could have worked harder or not, violence is violence, and if somebody was willing to hit you, ever, at any point in their life let alone repeatedly - they are not worthy of your time. There are a million wonderful, respectful, non violent men in the world; why bother with the defective ones? Don't get me wrong, I admit I was also violent with the above mentioned ex, but I would give the exact same advice to him. That should have been reason enough for him to not want me. Fortunately I saw the error of my ways and grew up, and that behaviour is long gone for me. But I would not expect somebody to put up with it if I was violent with them, or to ever be able to truly respect me again.

Also be wary of the abuse cycle. Abusers - male and female - will become aggressive, lash out, feel remorseful, apologise, grovel, promise to get help and never do it again… then you accept them back and the cycle starts all over again. At the time they are making the promises, they are very convincing, because they truly mean it. The problem is, their underlying anger issues do not get addressed, and the next time they get wound up they lose control again. The other aspect of the abuse cycle is the erosion of self esteem in the abused person. You start wondering if it's your fault, if you really do deserve the treatment you are getting, if you provoked them and they might not have lost it if you'd just left it alone, and you want to give them another chance. Ask yourself honestly if this is where your head could be right now.

Just remember - your ex is your ex for a reason. To this day, that man is the only person who can ever wind me up to a point where I feel steam coming out my ears and want to strangle him. I can calmly discuss the most prickly topics with rationale and respect with any other person. Put me in a room with him for any length of time, and I'm seriously considering just doing the time for murder 1. Doesn't mean it's all his fault (although he IS an arsehat). We are just not meant for each other, and never will be. Good luck nutting it out.
Hi Rabbit,
Thanks so much for the reply and helping to put things in perspective. A lot has happened in the last few days including court and a nasty letter from his solicitor. Basically things didn't go as he was wanting and he reverted back to the man who I left for good reason. Nothing has changed and it's a shame but I've done just as you did with our child - explained firmly but gently that this is final and they seem to feel better for knowing that I think.
Anyway, it's too early and I've yet to have coffee…….not good!
But thank you so much, your reply was very helpful to me when I was feeling confused. It's sometimes easier to take in when a stranger - rather than friend or family member - tells you what you might not want to hear.

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