Advice much needed

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    Hey all, could really do with some impartial advice. Just come out of a one and a half year relationship which ended really badly. I’d been single on and off for a couple of years after breaking with my ex who I had a son with. It wasn’t always easy as I felt I missed out on been a full time dad but built a strong relationship with him, having him every weekend and holidays too.

    Anyway, met a girl online a year and half ago who had a little girl the same age as my son. I fell completely for her, she was kind, great with the kids, wanted the same in life and was very attractive. Not long after we started seeing each other she disclosed that she had recently broke with fiancé who she was due to buy a house with and marry. She appeared very low and depressed at times and I tried to support her the best I could. I asked if it was maybe a little soon for her given her recent break but she assured me she only felt low as she realised she was going to make a massive mistake marrying this other guy now she had met me.

    To take her mind of things I took on a very expensive weekend away to a top hotel. I did all I could to give her a romantic, special weekend away. On our first night out we went to a bar, she came back with some drinks and told me she had been chatted up at the bar, she then went onto explain guys buy her drinks all the time and she got angry when I suggested this may give people the wrong impression. Anyway, she got quite mad and stormed off back to the hotel. I tried to calm the situation down but was told that I wasn’t the man she thought I was. I went up to our room as she wanted to stay outside and smoke. When she came back up she told me that a guy in the lift had asked her back to his room and said her boyfriend was a lucky man. I though it odd that she felt the need to tell me this given what had happened in the bar.
    After trying to talk to her she broke down and told me that she had been sexually abused as a child by her grandad and then in later life raped by her brother’s friend. I gave her all the support and help I could with this very sad and difficult situation. Things got really tough though as her grandad was still alive and an active part of her life and her daughters, to the point in which she would let him pick her up from school and babysit. It caused a lot of fights very early on in are relationship as I said I could not allow this to continue with her daughter given what I knew. She put me in some really difficult positions as she invited me to her family home where I had to make small talk with her grandad, knowing all he had done.

    She was in a very difficult position as she was supposed to be buying a house with her ex and was quickly having to look for a place to live. She told me the town she lived in had so many bad memories as the guy that raped her would still come into her place of work and smile at her. I had a house in a different county/state so I said her and her daughter could move in with me. I spent most of my savings making the house a home for her, letting her choose and decide on decoration and things.

    At the point we were moving she disclosed she was pregnant, I had mixed emotions as I was concerned how quickly this had happened and that I had seen a different side to her. However I was excited to get a second chance at been a full time dad. Not long after we moved in the cracks started to show, one minute she was fine and telling me how much she loved me, the next she would get really angry, storm off and not talk and tell me she hated me. As things progressed I tried to get her to understand that some of her outbursts and the depression and anxiety could be related to her past experiences. She agreed to see a doctor who referred her to a mental health team. Things just seem to get worse though, she would say really hurtful things like I don’t love you, you’ve let yourself go, you’re not the man I met, I’m leaving and you’ll never see your son, she even told me she wished he was her ex partners child not mine.

    I spent all my savings trying to give her the things she wanted and needed, never asked her for any money towards bills, paid for all her daughters day to day stuff, bought her a car, expensive clothes, jewellery and put money into her account so she could have some independence after she stopped working. All I got in return was to be constantly told that I was selfish, a horrible man. The next day she would love me again though and never mention her comments or apologise. Her insecurity was always there though, asking about female friends and telling me about ex partners that wanted her back and guys that had asked her out in bars.

    I had just booked and paid for a family holiday for the summer 2016, we had an argument one Saturday afternoon and ended up back home after a walk out. I sat her down and said sorry for been a bit short tempered as id had a stressful week at work. She got really mad and wouldn’t accept my apology, as a result the following morning she told my family the relationship was over. I went to work on the Monday and tried to speak to her about her plans, telling her I loved her and to wait and talk. When I got home from work she had packed the house up and taken her daughter out of school. I was naturally worried about are young son and said I was concerned with her behaviour and state of mind. She then picked a glass up and came at me with it. She stated afterwards that she was just trying to throw a drink over me but I naturally put my hand out to stop it hitting my face, she cut open my hand and severed my tendons. I had to drive myself to the hospital with one hand as she refused to get me an ambulance. I was kept in for surgery and told I would be off work for three months.

    When I returned home she was gone, she left to live with family and blocked all forms of communication so I couldn’t find anything out about my son. Few days past and I got an email asking for child support. I explained that I would sort it as soon as I had recovered which she wasn’t very happy about. Anyway, a day or two later she got back in touch saying that she was just unhappy in our home and missed her friends and that she didn’t want to talk about her past or mental health appointment. She told me she loved me and wanted it to work if I would sell my house and buy a place near her friends. I said I needed time to think and asked her to come see me. She brought my son and we had a great weekend together, we made plans for the following weekend and over the next few days she told me how much she loved me. Then like a light switch been turned off I got a message saying, I’ve had second thoughts I don’t want to get back with you. She then blocked my number and all forms of communication. I was completely devastated, my eldest son had thought of her as a step mum and loved seeing his little brother, I had to sit down and try and explain to a 6 year old that they had gone.

    I guess I reacted on emotions though and sent an email to her father explain about her past, her behaviour and the forthcoming mental health appointment. As a result he sent me a very abusive message back and also stated if I ever want to see my son again I need to go through the courts. It’s been a month now and I’m still recovering from the hand injury and without any form of communication from my ex who now has my son. I feel in a very, very dark place right now and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    Hi Ashley

    Really sad story. I don’t normally comment on relationship issues as I’m hardly an expert, but I can identify with so much of what you have spoken about that I hope I can help a little. In my case, I suffered physical and mental abuse from a partner who was mentally ill, but it lasted nearly 18 years.

    First and most importantly, you must keep well away from this woman for your own safety. She clearly has serious mental health issues and it is clear from her seriously assaulting you that you cannot help her even if you wanted to.

    These issues may or may not relate to the things in her past that she told you about, but from experience I would be cautious about taking them at face value. I have often known people who will invent such stories in an effort to garner sympathy, or simply as an excuse to behave outrageously. This has a damaging effect, not only on those around them, but particularly on those who genuinely have suffered such abuse. Whilst there is no way of knowing anything for definite in her case, I would find it incredibly difficult to believe she would let her Grandad babysit her own daughter if he had genuinely abused her. So all I would say is that her statements bear all the hallmarks of being invented to excuse herself, but I accept I may be completely wrong.

    The only other important issue is your son, and access to him. You absolutely need to approach the courts to gain access, and potentially apply for custody. You don’t mention whether you have pressed charges relating to the assault but it would certainly be in your and your son’s interests to do so. As a father, I found that the Court was prepared to overlook virtually any behaviour of the Mother (including violence towards me and my children) because I hadn’t made any complaints to the police. In my case, I was trying to hold the relationship together, but you have no relationship to lose. If she is capable of inflicting such an injury on you, she is capable of doing it to a child.

    I can fully identify with where you are right now, and it feels completely devastating. The best way I found of working through it was simply taking action and starting the fight for your son. Whatever the outcome, the knowledge that you have done everything that you can will enable you to start healing yourself. In my case, I had very limited success, due to a lazy lawyer and an incompetent Family Court system (which has since been acknowledged). But at least it allowed me to look my children in the eye and live with myself, knowing that I had done everything I could.

    Once I resolved that I was going to fight back as hard as I could, not out of spite against her but for the welfare of my children, I felt so much better and more energised, and I’m sure you will feel the same. It’s clear from the way that you write that your focus is on your children. Keep that focus, because it will stop you from pursuing pointless arguments, and at the end of the day it is all about them, not about you and her.

    Good luck, my friend, and stay strong.


    Dear Ashley:

    This last girlfriend of yours, the mother of your younger son, sounds very much as one suffering and inflicting (on you) the suffering characteristic of a Borderline Personality Disordered person. She suffered sexual abuse as a child, other abuses, I am sure AND she has turned out to be a dishonest, manipulative person, highly reactive to her emotions, not stable, not trustworthy and very irresponsible by letting her own daughter to be babysat by the man who sexually abused her!

    This is the woman you invested your time and resources on. It is a no-win situation for you. Never could be a win-win unless she herself wanted and was greatly motivated to start and proceed with the very difficult and long healing process.

    i suppose you have no other choice but to go through the courts regarding your younger son. Please do anything you can to protect him from the dangerous people in his life at the moment: his mother, and her grandfather. I also hope you get closer to your older son, building good, loving relationships with both sons the best you can.

    You know you are asking for nothing but more trouble if you try to get back together with your ex…, don’t you?

    I wish you calm and peace of mind as you learn from your experience and make better choices in your future! Please post again anytime.



    Thank you so much for your reply. It’s really useful to hear another opinion on the issues I’m currently facing. I’m sorry to hear you suffered in similar circumstances for such a long period of time. I tried my best to get her the right support and advice, shortly before we broke up I went to the doctors with her who referred her on for a psychiatric assessment. However, she blamed me for this and said it was my fault for discussing her past. Things actually got a lot worse and I don’t think I can write some of the things she said to me online, the level of verbal abuse was quite shocking at times.

    When I look back at the relationship it’s actually quite scary, how someone can present as so loving, kind and caring then like a light switch been turned off can change and become so aggressive, so manipulative and angry. I think what I’ve struggled with the most is her complete lack of empathy. She left me in hospital with very little money left after I’ve supported her and provided her with all that she wanted and needed.

    My son had grown very fond of her and it’s the first relationship I’ve allowed him to become involved in. He was so excited to finally have a sibling when she fell pregnant and she has just cut both of us off. My friends informed me that whilst I was still in hospital she was uploading pictures of herself on a night out on social media sites. I guess sometimes I’m too soft for my own good, I tried to help and support her the best I could and she’s hurt my family in so many ways and within days it’s like we never even existed, it’s quite hard to digest to be honest.

    I will definitely take your advice and once I get back on my feet I will do what I can to ensure my youngest son is not placed in a difficult or dangerous position.
    Thanks again for your reply, very much appreciated.
    Take care



    Hi Anita

    Thank you for your reply, it’s very much appreciated. I supported my ex the best I could with the disclosures she made, more often than not though it was turned back on me and I was accused of been the cause of her negative behaviour by talking her past through with her and going to the doctor with her. The doctor referred her to a psychiatrist for a full assessment as he too thought she displayed many hallmark traits of a Borderline Personality sufferer. I can only say that the experience has left me in shock and deeply hurt, particularly for my eldest son who thought of her as a step-mum. She left with no remorse, no empathy.

    I was taken into casualty and operated on, whilst this was taken place she was moving out and within days asking me for money and uploading pictures of a night out on social media. I was informed in the hospital the cuts had been so deep they had completely severed my tendons in my hand. Apparently if they been any lower my artery would have gone. It just shocks me how someone can do something like that with no empathy or feelings. It just seems so strange as sometimes she could be so kind and caring then change so much. Having said that when I reflect back on the relationship I realise how manipulative she has been throughout, she’s cost me a small fortune and it seems that her behaviour got worse when I had to work more to pay for things.

    As soon as I have recovered and I’m back on my feet I will take legal advice and do what I can to ensure my son is safe and secure, she has had a lot of relationships which and seems to move from one to another almost immediately, by biggest fear is the impact this will have on my young son as her own daughter appears to have a lot of attachment issues, she referred to me at times as stepdad 4 and she was only 7, its very, very sad.
    Thanks again for your support, it’s very much appreciated.

    Kind regards


    Dear Ashley:

    You are welcome. Yes, she sounds like a combination of a few personality disorders: borderline for her instability of mood and moving from one relationship to the next, and worst: her physical and verbal abuse of you! and anti social for her lack of empathy.

    Yes, it is amazing isn’t it how she could change from loving to cruel. But then nobody is cruel all the time. Every cruel person is sometimes kind. When you experience someone’s kindness it is hard to believe that same person can be so cruel but then, it is always the case that a cruel person is not always cruel.

    I support your resolution to go the legal route. To place your sons as your first priority. Take care!



    Hey Ashley – Im so sorry to hear what you’ve endured. Things will work themselves out especially for a good man and father like yourself. She was LUCKY to have you! I don’t have children so I cant give much advice on legal stuff but looks like your priorities are straight. Boy, she is a piece of work its scary. I wish I could understand why we are with the people we are with when one person is the giver while the other is the taker. Like you, Im too soft and nice for my own good and I’ve suffered. These people are lessons for us to learn from. I send you strength and support for your sons.


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