Just found out about OSC domestic violence - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
Mahla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Didn't know where to put this. I've been with this man for over a yr. Knew he was divorced with a child. He's 12yrs older then me. All this I was fine with. I had no interest initially in the child as I knew he lived with his mom, and we were just beginning, it didn't seem important, after all it might not last, right?
But we have a mostly great relationship now that I'm very happy with.

Anyway. I love this man very much and we're very much the same. However even though I hate snooping, I did it drunk one night and found out he had a domestic violence issue w/ ex-wife. Plus a TRO. 9+yrs ago. Which obviously worries me. But not as much as I feel it should? However, we've been thru alot in such short time, and we've become best friends. So I don't really know what to think about this. I've kept it to myself, not telling anyone. Tell now, I would like to know what other ladies think about this. How should I approach him about what happened, so that he might open up? So that I can evaluate this and decide whether to further the relationship...

Also I don't know his son's name, never met him, don't know his age but know his birthday...whenever I try to care about his son and ask about him, he just shuts down. I imagine it must be really painful for him, because he hasn't seen him since he was 3 I believe. But I just think its odd to not open up about one's child after 1yr+. Is it? How long will it take him to open up?


TIA-all input welcome
Mahla is offline  
#2 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 03:59 AM
 
rhiandmoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honestly, I think you should straight out ask him. Tell him that now that you are getting serious, you would like to know more about his ex wife, the divorce and his child. See what he says, how he responds, and go from there.
rhiandmoi is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 04:04 AM
 
pranamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 5,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you may want to go down to the courthouse and read the actual papers, if you haven't seen them yet. sounds like a potential red-flag issue. I don't think you need to confess, he probably should have told you by now....
pranamama is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 04:08 AM
 
Theia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The father of my DD had admitted to me that his marriage before me had domestic violence incidents. I didn't take it as a warning sign because what I knew of his ex-wife was that she had a violent history. I'm a really non-violent person so I assumed it would never be an issue in my relationship with him. So I continued the relationship. It was wonderful, amazing and we became very close. Then I became pregnant with DD and he wanted me to terminate. When I refused, the abuse began. It started as emotional, verbal during pregnancy. After DD was born it escalated to some physical. I left when our DD was just under a year.

I'm not saying that he will become abusive to you. But based on my own experience I won't be with a person again who has had domestic violence issues in previous relationships/marriage. It is often said that abusers don't change, and from what I've seen it is very rare. Given that so much time has went by between the violence and now doesn't necessarily mean much. What worries me is he is being secretive. Sharing painful elements of ones past isn't fun. But something like that is a big secret to keep once the relationship is serious.

I would tell him what you found out, exactly how it happened. But before you do that, go read about verbal, emotional abuse. A site like Dr. Irene is good. Before you talk to him about this, you should be able to clearly recognize the signs of a potentially abusive relationship. This is something to take seriously. If your gut is telling you that this is not a good thing, then listen to it. If he is still an abusive person he will break your heart either way. Much better if it is only your heart and not your spirit too.

eta: the suggestions for verbal/emotional abuse might not seem relevant, but based on my experience you don't always realize that it is happening, especially at first. Physical violence is much easier to recognize.
Theia is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 04:10 AM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theia View Post

I'm not saying that he will become abusive to you. But based on my own experience I won't be with a person again who has had domestic violence issues in previous relationships/marriage. It is often said that abusers don't change, and from what I've seen it is very rare. Given that so much time has went by between the violence and now doesn't necessarily mean much. What worries me is he is being secretive. Sharing painful elements of ones past isn't fun. But something like that is a big secret to keep once the relationship is serious.
This, exactly. Trust your gut, hon.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is online now  
#6 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 04:45 PM
 
vivvysue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: okanagan, bc canada... heavenly
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i dont know... i wouldnt just assume that he was violent and that the tro from 9+ y ago meant anything. a lot of ugly stuff happens in divorces and who knows that his ex wife didnt fabricate any manner of things, either at the end of the marriage/relationship or right after it ended. i wouldnt speak to him about it... especially since you snooped to find out about it. he may be ashamed to have had those allegations made against him wrongly... he may still be angry/hurt at his ex because of them. i would imagine if he has no part in his child's life that the mother was the "golden uterus" type who wanted him to disappear and not be involved in the child's life. i think this is common and a more likely scenario. especially if the only record of his being violent or involved in a domestic dispute was with her.... it shows a lot that he probably is not a violent abusive man, or there would be more record of it with more than on e incident or person making the allegations. like a pp stated, abusers rarely change.
if he has done nothing in your time together to cause you to think he is violent or aggresive or anything other than uninvolved with his child, i would leave it alone. he has his own reasons for not contacting his child or his ex-wife and it isnt anyones place to try and change that... it is his past and his choice of whom or when he wants or doesnt want to share it.
i would look more to your reasons for feeling as tho you have to know everything about him, before he is ready to tell you. for me and maybe for him that would be a red flag on your part and perhaps on your trustworthyness .... not trying to flame you or be nasty.. just saying that people who have pasts have pasts and if they arent sharing their story with you, they have the right to their privacy... you sort of invaded that. i cant imagine he would like it. like you said you dont know what happend, but i have seen many divorces where a woman accuses her exdh of all manner of violence and harm to herself and their children just to be viscious and nasty and to keep him out of the childrens lives out of anger hurt and vengeful feelings... that could easily be the case here

**eta** people do have a right to privacy and not telling you everything doesnt mean they are being secretive.

vs
vivvysue is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Hmmm. I agree with the PP who said that abusers rarely change. I also agree with the PP who said that TROs can be issued without just cause, and that people are capable of telling lies in the course of a nasty divorce.

I would flat-out ask him, and do my best to evaluate his response dispassionately and critically. And before I got married to or pregnant by a guy with this kind of history, I would most definitely read the actual court transcripts. And maybe contact the ex, to learn how bad things were as told by the person with the absolute most negative perspective.
Smithie is online now  
#8 of 19 Old 01-23-2010, 11:26 PM
 
rhiandmoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivvysue View Post
if he has done nothing in your time together to cause you to think he is violent or aggresive or anything other than uninvolved with his child, i would leave it alone. he has his own reasons for not contacting his child or his ex-wife and it isnt anyones place to try and change that... it is his past and his choice of whom or when he wants or doesnt want to share it.
If they are going forward and making a life together, she most certainly should know what his reasons for not having contact with his child are. They might be valid, like it isn't really his child and his parental rights were terminated. Or it could be a huge red flag like his parental rights were terminated for cause. I think asking is the better way to find out, but I would also completely support using a private investigator. Definitely she should read the police reports and court transcripts if they are available.
rhiandmoi is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 01:12 AM
 
Theia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
If they are going forward and making a life together, she most certainly should know what his reasons for not having contact with his child are. They might be valid, like it isn't really his child and his parental rights were terminated. Or it could be a huge red flag like his parental rights were terminated for cause. I think asking is the better way to find out, but I would also completely support using a private investigator. Definitely she should read the police reports and court transcripts if they are available.


I think you should try to read any court/police documents related to him that you can. If you have the money available, and aren't able to find much else out, I'd hire a PI. It's going kinda far, but better to know and make an informed decision than to wish you had done it later. And if he has lived in different counties/states, I'd check those too.

Do ask him about what you've found. Like a PP mentioned, it is possible this was brought against him out of spite. But this is something you have to find out about before you can as you said "evaluate this and decide whether to further the relationship..."

Best wishes with this. I know it must be hard.
Theia is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:02 AM
 
catina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I"d just ask. I think that a lot of this must really bother you if you snoop around, particularly in an inebriated state (I mean no judgement there).
You do seem to want to be with someone who is a more open person generally. I would say 1 yr was more than enough time to open up, esp. about one's child.
Ask, and see how it goes. See how your gut feels, and if he changes towards you at all.
catina is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
Mahla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the honesty.

I think I'd have to take it slow asking him to open up more. I'll differently go look at the court doc. soon when I am able. That's something I didn't know I could do, thank you. I feel justified in being curious because I do just want to know if it's a red flag or not, especially since we're getting serious and might be dating for a while. I do feel like he should have told me/ opened up more by now, especially since he'd rather not talk about it.
I am more inclined to think she did make a few things up to get sole custody. It did bother me for a bit wondering why he could never just talk about it, seeing as it was a while ago, but I'm 50/50 as to whether I shouldn't of sought it out. No judgment taken anybody.
I agree that I feel like it none of business. Even I think of as a red flag on me, which is why I don't want to admit a moment of drunkness. But I also feel I should know because I'm thinking about my future children. Then my head says, well maybe it's not an issue, cuz he is thinking about his future children too. Theia I'm sorry you had to go thru that ....I diffidently worry about what if....My gut tells me (so I guess I should listen...) thou that it just really hurts him to not see his only son, so much so, that I have started to really avoid asking, and just be happy not knowing, cuz then he's just so serious/quiet/cold for the day. I was just surprised and worried about seeing that on the court case online. Thanks again for the input everybody. I just needed to talk about it.
(I have never heard 'golden uterus' b4 LOL)
Mahla is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 10:08 PM
 
rhiandmoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If all you did was get drunk and google him, I don't consider that snooping. In fact I am surprised you didn't do that a year ago. Snooping is digging through private papers, private emails, etc. Not searching what is easily available on the internet.
rhiandmoi is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 01-25-2010, 03:11 AM
 
Marsupialmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 9,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would look into why you checked in on his pass. There might be that instinct telling you something.

Also, remember when it comes to abuse or sexual misconduct once a person is accuse in many people's eyes they are always guilt. "Were there is smoke there is fire." This isn't true! TRO can be handed out for very friviolous causes. Or "real" issues, known one person who got a TRO by her ex to prevent her from using credit cards our opening up any further accounts and spending more than $300 every two weeks on groceries for 2 people. I know one lady whose got one for her ex for slamming his door in an intemidating fashion.

It might not be as odd that he is not opening up about his son. There could be many things, like one person said the "golden" womb. Remember, men are socialized to be less nurtures and mom's are what baby's need. Some men pull away because they think that is better than all the drama (expression baby momma drama). Yes it would be nice if adults can get along but they cannot. Women are not always right in these cases, and sometimes pushes the dad out. The dad feels powerless, and just a child support check.

It can be the other side of the coin, he is a complete jerk. I am pretty sure my ex tells lies about me. I don't think his friend's knows he is 12ish years behind in child support. Knowing him, it is all my fault.

People do change. It can take work. Not being in that relationship you really cannot say for sure. The dynamics can be hard. I was the "b#@#" in my first marriage. I haven't been past because I don't want that for my son, but at this point I think my ex feels my son is bet off and two, scared about child support.
Marsupialmom is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 01-25-2010, 04:37 AM
 
pranamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 5,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
marsupial mom has a good point about instinct, do you remember back to any gut instincts you were having at the moment or slightly before
pranamama is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 01-25-2010, 09:15 AM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would not go further into a relationship with this man unless he talks to you about it, talks about counselling, uses regret. I don't think it's something that was made up and I don't think it's a lie. It doesn't mean he'll necessarily abuse you- my ex learnt from our relationship and his new relationship is a very sane and healthy one, from what I know, but this is rare and unusual.

Seriously, do not surrender control of your life, the ability to live apart from him, financial independence. DV is allegedly a trump card played by women who want sole custody, but it also kills. You cannot afford to take this lightly.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 01-26-2010, 06:02 PM
 
bronxmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Something about the self-berating tone of your 2nd post and your description of your bf as "cold" and "distant" for a day after you ask him, worries me. It sounds like you are trying to get him to open up and there's a basic lack of trust in that he's not sharing things with you (after a year) and you are blaming yourself. Those are all worry signs for me.

I would definitely check out the court papers. I'd also have a conversation where I'd say "it seems like there are things related to your past marriage and your kid that you find really painful and hard to talk about; but for me, to not be able to talk about such a major part of your life feels like I'm being shut out and makes it hard to fully form a partnership and trust; I need us to be able to talk about these things." Then I'd see how he responds; if he shuts you down, regardless of whether there's truth to the past, it would make me worry about his ability to fully form a relationship. Especially if you want kids. If he has unresolved issues about his son, then those are going to flare up when he has another and that will make it a very difficult experience.

I would try to be cautious and distance yourself a little to gain some perspective. You wanting to know this stuff is not a "red flag on you"; do NOT blame yourself for wanting what you should be entitled to - an open, trusting, mutual relationship.
bronxmom is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 01-26-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Mummoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 3,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I'm very biased because my ex is an abuser, but it sounds to me like he's trying to make himself the victim. Not talking about what happened is probably a more appealing alternative to lying about it. Most people, if they've experienced something painful, find it comforting to talk about with someone they love and trust. What if he won't talk about it because he knows you'll leave him if he tells you?

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

Mummoth is online now  
#18 of 19 Old 01-27-2010, 05:32 PM
 
Crispie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Greater Sacramento Area
Posts: 752
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My husband lost a son to the system due to alcohol abuse years and years ago. He still does not speak of the whole issue. It burns badly. When I was with him in the early years and I did prod information out of him, he was honest. It was one of three times I have ever seen him cry, but he did tell the truth about the whole situation and his regrets. He has scars there that obviously hurt. He's seen counselors regarding this situation, but for the most part, it's something we don't often discuss.

My point being...I would expect it to be an emotionally weighted conversation, but not with anger or resentment at you for asking in the first place-if the shoe was on the other foot, would he have a right to ask you? I would expect him to be honest about it all. Why he would withdraw for a day or more afterword is a big red flagger for me.

...and it would prod all the more questions...has he seen counselors, has he done anger management or any form of abuse/abuser type of therapy, recovery or help programs? Is he willing to do so now or in the future? And you need to ask yourself honestly if that is something that you are willing to deal with as a potential future problem. My husband is a step dad, and as much therapy and all that relates to therapy that we have all had...there are still major problems that arise. Even if he gives you all the right answers, there is no guarantee that this is not going to be a future issue. In fact it's more of a probability that it will be a future issue. You need to honestly ask yourself if that's something you are willing to deal with...where you want to see a line drawn and what would make it okay for you...the last thing you want to do is have regrets and be stuck in a situation with little or no way out. Please be very careful and take some time to be very honest with yourself!

Mama to 4 Boys & One baby Girl! My DH co-sleeps! (with the couch) I'm a Student Midwife!
Crispie is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 02-01-2010, 12:36 PM
 
AZMotherofTwo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay I havent read most of the responses so I'm sorry if I touch on anyone's toes

Depending on what state you are in, the laws of DV cases are varied and wide. I myself have a DV charge from 8 years ago. My ex was somewhat abusive and we were fighting once and he jumped on me from behind and pinned me down. I grabbed whatever happened to be close at hand to defend myself. Anyway, I had a bloody lip and bruises by the time the cops arrived but because I was the one with the "weapon", regardless of the situation, I was arrested for DV and he got nothing. In the state of Arizona you can get arrested for DV for simply yelling or hitting a wall.

My point being, before you start getting scared or believing he's some violent individual, just ask him. I agree with the poster above that said after a year, if y'all are getting serious, then simply tell him you would like to more about his past. If he doesnt bring up the charge than tell him you heard and were just wondering about it. And as for why he may not have brought up his child much, perhaps it didnt end well with his ex and he doesn't like to discuss it because it's hard for him. Whatever you do, don't be demanding or accusing.
AZMotherofTwo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off