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Life update and where to from here


LotusBlack
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While I'm not glad to hear about any of your suffering, I am glad that you are no longer in an unsupportive relationship. It doesn't sound like your spouse ever viewed you as family. Someone mentioned a roommate situation and someone else posted about being sexist and I agree. I'd think moving back to Australia is a step forwards rather than backwards. It's a blessing and a means to more financial independence. Don't hesitate on new work opportunities or delay any means to getting back on your feet. 

I think anything to do with this person in the romantic sense is a waste of time which means delaying filing for divorce is also not in your best interests. You have one life to live and we all have limited time on earth so make use of all the time you have and live well. Wishing you the very best, Lotus.  

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I would not view his past behavior as how he is going to act during a divorce and with respect to custody -for all you know he will ask for his parents to take the baby or another family member or do something like that.  This is a whole new context and arena and I wouldn't go on what you think you know about him.  People who are married to their work can all of a sudden divorce their work under the right circumstances.  I'm so glad you've done what you've done for now - do not abandon all the legal options available to you please.  Just my humble opinion.

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Everyone who's gone through it has said "I never thought he/she would ever do that!".

It's not really about your feelings for him but rather protection for your child.

Since you say you still hope you can "work it out", I think this is why you don't want to pursue anything regarding court orders. But again, this is for the wellbeing of your child.

It would be one less thing you would have to worry about. You have enough on your plate.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, LotusBlack said:

he’s never been a liar, rather, he’s brutally honest.

Welllll... if he were truly brutally honest, he would have acknowledged your full value as a wife and mother instead of insisting that you were a constant tax on his existence. 

Best of luck to you, and be careful.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

People who are married to their work can all of a sudden divorce their work under the right circumstances.

So true. And consider the character of a person who refuses to divorce their work at the cost of losing their family! It's unlikely that such a person values the well-being of other people. 

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OP, you keep saying that he is brutally honest.....but.... he did pull a complete 180 in terms of how he presented himself initially when you started dating and how he really is when you were hooked. That's intentional manipulation staring you in the face and yet you are in denial about it. That's more than one lie, that's a whole lot of lies that he pulled on you.

Even worse, he coldly watched you struggle to the point of a complete breakdown while he hid financial assets from you, his wife, and again you are conveniently ignoring not only the colossal lie, but the fact that he was downright sadistic about it.

What you call brutal honesty is in reality his abusive behaviors and commentary and there is nothing honest about that either. Abuse is always intentional and manipulative, intended to break you down and keep you down.

You continue to defend him and make excuses for the fact that he abused you psychologically, emotionally, and financially to an extreme and that is actually dangerous. No it's not that he is inexperienced or because of his culture or because of his work. There comes a point where you need to accept and deal with who he really is, stop trying to paint him as normal because he is not, and address your own issues as to why you put up with such abuse and continue not only to try and normalize it, but also continue to seek his approval.

Even now that you've finally gotten away, you are consumed with pleasing him, arranging calls for him at his convenience, teaching your son Japanese, etc. You are still living and revolving your life around trying to please this abuser and get his approval even though you are half a world away. This has to stop.

What you should be focused on is getting back on your feet, getting away from him completely, and getting the help and counseling you need to get your head screwed on straight. I hope that you do find a therapist/psychiatrist who is expert at dealing with victims of narcissistic abuse in particular because a regular therapist will not have the experience to untangle the damage you are carrying and still on a large scale refuse to face up to yourself. You need a lot of help and support.

Unfortunately, for as long as you continue to live in denial, you will continue to be stuck and in danger of him flipping on you and causing you a great deal more damage....not just you, but also your son. Sorry to say but abusers do not make good parents. Talk to anyone with a narcissistic parent and how much damage they are carrying from that "relationship". Search for videos on youtube and get educated. Maybe if you hear about that experience from various strangers, something will click in your brain and help you wake up and snap out of the awe you are still carrying for his facade of a grand man that everyone loves..... Everyone who has never seen what he is really like when the mask comes off and he tells his wife in labor that he is tired, she should stop crying and he is going home to take a nap.... OP, do you even grasp how appalling this is or do you just paint over that as "inexperienced"? Basic humanity doesn't require experience - it's something you are either born with or not.

I sincerely hope that as you get some more time away from him and some therapy, you'll finally learn how to start taking care of you rather than staying fixated on an abuser hoping that some day he will finally approve of you and value you. For what it's worth....he did value you in that you paid half the bills while he enjoyed the extra money for himself. Beware of how he might flip when child support kicks in and he suddenly feels harmed by having less. He used you and again, you are still in denial and oblivious. He loaned you money for a new computer....you, his wife.... Do you even grasp how appalling and absurd that is? You keep calling him a husband and yet....there was never any real marriage or partnership except on paper.....smh

 

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Everything you've shared about him reeks of sexism. I don't know why you'd expect him to suddenly change that and be cool about respecting you and what you want. You aren't totally human in his eyes. Sure, you are good enough to care for his son now while he is young and that's convenient at the moment. But he will want his son, and that's how he sees it... His son. You are just a helper. 

 

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1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

OP, you keep saying that he is brutally honest.....but.... he did pull a complete 180 in terms of how he presented himself initially when you started dating and how he really is when you were hooked. That's intentional manipulation staring you in the face and yet you are in denial about it. That's more than one lie, that's a whole lot of lies that he pulled on you.

Even worse, he coldly watched you struggle to the point of a complete breakdown while he hid financial assets from you, his wife, and again you are conveniently ignoring not only the colossal lie, but the fact that he was downright sadistic about it.

What you call brutal honesty is in reality his abusive behaviors and commentary and there is nothing honest about that either. Abuse is always intentional and manipulative, intended to break you down and keep you down.

You continue to defend him and make excuses for the fact that he abused you psychologically, emotionally, and financially to an extreme and that is actually dangerous. No it's not that he is inexperienced or because of his culture or because of his work. There comes a point where you need to accept and deal with who he really is, stop trying to paint him as normal because he is not, and address your own issues as to why you put up with such abuse and continue not only to try and normalize it, but also continue to seek his approval.

Even now that you've finally gotten away, you are consumed with pleasing him, arranging calls for him at his convenience, teaching your son Japanese, etc. You are still living and revolving your life around trying to please this abuser and get his approval even though you are half a world away. This has to stop.

What you should be focused on is getting back on your feet, getting away from him completely, and getting the help and counseling you need to get your head screwed on straight. I hope that you do find a therapist/psychiatrist who is expert at dealing with victims of narcissistic abuse in particular because a regular therapist will not have the experience to untangle the damage you are carrying and still on a large scale refuse to face up to yourself. You need a lot of help and support.

Unfortunately, for as long as you continue to live in denial, you will continue to be stuck and in danger of him flipping on you and causing you a great deal more damage....not just you, but also your son. Sorry to say but abusers do not make good parents. Talk to anyone with a narcissistic parent and how much damage they are carrying from that "relationship". Search for videos on youtube and get educated. Maybe if you hear about that experience from various strangers, something will click in your brain and help you wake up and snap out of the awe you are still carrying for his facade of a grand man that everyone loves..... Everyone who has never seen what he is really like when the mask comes off and he tells his wife in labor that he is tired, she should stop crying and he is going home to take a nap.... OP, do you even grasp how appalling this is or do you just paint over that as "inexperienced"? Basic humanity doesn't require experience - it's something you are either born with or not.

I sincerely hope that as you get some more time away from him and some therapy, you'll finally learn how to start taking care of you rather than staying fixated on an abuser hoping that some day he will finally approve of you and value you. For what it's worth....he did value you in that you paid half the bills while he enjoyed the extra money for himself. Beware of how he might flip when child support kicks in and he suddenly feels harmed by having less. He used you and again, you are still in denial and oblivious. He loaned you money for a new computer....you, his wife.... Do you even grasp how appalling and absurd that is? You keep calling him a husband and yet....there was never any real marriage or partnership except on paper.....smh

 

I don’t keep saying he is brutally honest, I said it once and referring to the language he uses. You are right though, he mislead me through manipulation about our marriage, and that was dishonest.

I am not bending over backwards to please him through facilitating contact between he and our son - I am doing it because it is what is best for my son. And I my son is half Japanese, so you bet I am going to do my best to keep him connected to his language and heritage, and his grandparents who are kind, sweet people. The problems between his father and I are not going to be projected onto their relationship.

You are speaking as though I don’t recognise his disgusting behaviour. I absolutely do! That is why I left and I do not tolerate his treatment. I never did tolerate it and always called him out on it, which is why we always had arguments. But, I did have very real limitations in the UK, not least of which was because of the pandemic and unable to leave, as well as no money to stay elsewhere and my visa was tied to his and the status of our relationship. Even the police sent me back home after I had gone to them - shelters were only available to those who experienced physical abuse during the pandemic and lockdowns. I left the second my country reopened its boarders to me, like literally the first available flight.

You’re preaching to the choir about how bad his behaviour is. I only made mention once that I may be open to a reconciliation if he puts in the work, attends counselling and actually changes, or at the least we get help to co-parent healthily. Divorce was not on my list of priorities when leaving because it costs money I currently don’t have and time I didn’t want to spend dragging out my leaving. And I need to take a breath, get my situation sorted and back on my feet. Once I do that, then I will look at the paperwork and process. Putting it off had nothing to do with our relationship and simply a matter of priorities. 

Had you read my post, you would have known that I have already planned to get some counselling to deal with all the trauma, not just surrounding my husband but also my family and to assume I am fixated on someone I’ve actually taken all the steps when and as I could to extricate myself from the situation is insensitive. It isn’t a simple thing - there are many steps involved and I am going through each one as I reach it and am pretty proud of myself for doing so and getting things done. I fail to see where I have “conveniently ignored” any of his bad behavior or have continued to make excuses for him. I won’t pretend his culture hasn’t played a part in this because it has, but just a part. His own personality also plays a part in his behavior. 

Edited by LotusBlack
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7 minutes ago, itsallgrand said:

Everything you've shared about him reeks of sexism. I don't know why you'd expect him to suddenly change that and be cool about respecting you and what you want. You aren't totally human in his eyes. Sure, you are good enough to care for his son now while he is young and that's convenient at the moment. But he will want his son, and that's how he sees it... His son. You are just a helper. 

 

I don’t expect him to suddenly change. I considered if there was a possibility with counseling and education, some time, space, and perspective, that he may be able to grow and learn. I’m not banking on it one way or another, but had just wondered if it were possible. Some people actually do change. Most don’t but I had thought on the matter.

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5 hours ago, Jibralta said:

So true. And consider the character of a person who refuses to divorce their work at the cost of losing their family! It's unlikely that such a person values the well-being of other people. 

I agree. My husband is the first person to offer to help someone out, until it compromises his own time beyond what he is prepared to give, then it is all about his own needs.

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9 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

I don’t expect him to suddenly change. I considered if there was a possibility with counseling and education, some time, space, and perspective, that he may be able to grow and learn. I’m not banking on it one way or another, but had just wondered if it were possible. Some people actually do change. Most don’t but I had thought on the matter.

Yes, people change. If THEY want to, and ONLY if they want to. You already told us he said he thinks he's just fine the way he is. Why would he choose to "change"? He doesn't seem to have reconciliation as a priority. 

I truly do hope he doesn't take your son out of the country. But I would be concerned simply because he has every legal right to do so and he seems to think of you as a second or third class citizen. There's nothing legally to stop him currently.

It wouldn't cost much to have a temporary injunction filed giving you full legal and physical custody. You can sort it all out in a more permanent manner later on.

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28 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Yes, people change. If THEY want to, and ONLY if they want to. You already told us he said he thinks he's just fine the way he is. Why would he choose to "change"? He doesn't seem to have reconciliation as a priority. 

I truly do hope he doesn't take your son out of the country. But I would be concerned simply because he has every legal right to do so and he seems to think of you as a second or third class citizen. There's nothing legally to stop him currently.

It wouldn't cost much to have a temporary injunction filed giving you full legal and physical custody. You can sort it all out in a more permanent manner later on.

Yes, only if they want to change, absolutely only if they want to. As it currently stands, he feels he has acted honourably and doesn’t see his critical nature as a problem. I wondered with time and perspective, that might change, but as it currently stands, no, he has yet to change - if ever he even does.

Regarding our son - he cannot just enter my country and take our son - he does not have any legal right to do so and immigration would require my authorisation before he could leave, even if we were a happily married couple and my husband wanted to take our son abroad on holiday. Our signed document is also legally binding, though it was not court issued, it still is legal. 

Regarding custody - UK and Aus do not call it that anymore; they call it parental responsibility and it is automatically given to both parents who are the legal guardians/listed on the birth certificate/adoptive parents. A parent cannot relinquish their parental responsibility even if they want to. It can only be taken away by the courts and they only do that in the rarest of circumstances when there exists a very real and dangerous risk to the child. They will always seek to grant equal parental responsibility in all cases outside of being unfit to parent. My husband is not unfit to parent simply as a result of him being selfish. My signed parental document that states my son is 100% in my physical care due to living internationally from my husband is sufficient and adheres to all the legal requirements by both the UK and Aus. I confirmed all this with a child protection lawyer prior to leaving.

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54 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

You are speaking as though I don’t recognise his disgusting behaviour. I absolutely do! That is why I left and I do not tolerate his treatment. I never did tolerate it and always called him out on it, which is why we always had arguments. But, I did have very real limitations in the UK.... I left the second my country reopened its boarders to me, like literally the first available flight.

I'm glad if this is true, but I think that Dancing Fool makes some very good points that are worth considering. Sometimes it's difficult to get an accurate picture of the issue through writing, but throughout your writing (and even now) there seems to be a tiny little spark of hope that he will wake up and suddenly realize where he went wrong:

1 minute ago, LotusBlack said:

I wondered with time and perspective, that might change

That's such a dangerous hope because it's very unlikely. If he hasn't developed insight at age 30, he probably never will. Even if he starts now, it will always be underdeveloped and weak as compared to the introspection ability of normal adults.

More likely is that he will change his mind as it suits him. He will woo you until you're pregnant and married to him and then do an about face whenever he decides he feels like it. He will be the first to help until he's inconvenienced. Will he be the perfect father as long as his son is in diapers (read: inconvenient to him), but then swoop in for custody once his son is old enough to clean up after himself?

Be careful.

1 minute ago, LotusBlack said:

A parent cannot relinquish their parental responsibility even if they want to.

 Can they not put children up for adoption in those countries?

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17 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

My signed parental document that states my son is 100% in my physical care due to living internationally from my husband is sufficient and adheres to all the legal requirements by both the UK and Aus.

What if your husband swoops in from Japan? 

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23 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I'm glad if this is true, but I think that Dancing Fool makes some very good points that are worth considering. Sometimes it's difficult to get an accurate picture of the issue through writing, but throughout your writing (and even now) there seems to be a tiny little spark of hope that he will wake up and suddenly realize where he went wrong:

That's such a dangerous hope because it's very unlikely. If he hasn't developed insight at age 30, he probably never will. Even if he starts now, it will always be underdeveloped and weak as compared to the introspection ability of normal adults.

More likely is that he will change his mind as it suits him. He will woo you until you're pregnant and married to him and then do an about face whenever he decides he feels like it. He will be the first to help until he's inconvenienced. Will he be the perfect father as long as his son is in diapers (read: inconvenient to him), but then swoop in for custody once his son is old enough to clean up after himself?

Be careful.

 Can they not put children up for adoption in those countries?

I am not hoping for it with the goal of us being together, but it was something I had thought on. I would not have gone through all the challenge of getting back to Australia and the rigamarole that entailed had I not been prepared to follow through with a total separation and divorce. I think it is very understandable that people assume I am just another victim with rose coloured glasses on wanting to stay with her abuser at all costs, because that is what you all see here on this forum time and again. But that is not me. Just because I consider what is possible doesn’t mean I am going to try to pursue that or even think it’s a good idea to do so. 

DancingFooL may make some good points but the delivery is insensitive, unsupportive, and does not factor in my reality and everything I actually have done to make my life better and remove myself from a toxic situation. The second I even made mention of any potential for a person to perhaps change, I was jumped on as suddenly now being someone who was in denial and not taking strong enough steps forward. That simply isn’t true and is a bit of a slap in the face to the things I have done. And they were bloody hard things to do. I can very easily see how that kind of harsh judging towards a fragile person doing their best could really set them back, regardless of the commenter thinking they are helping. It’s not helpful to feel further judged after putting up with it by an abuser. 

I do appreciate everyone taking the time to read and respond to my thread and am aware that people have the best intentions to offer help and support, for which I am grateful. It is not unreasonable for me to hope my husband changes, because being a good person is always preferable, no matter what the nature of our relationship is. I hope he changes so we can be better parents and my son can have a better father. And I hope he changes because he’d be a happier human being too, and others around him would be happier. Whether he can or not, or chooses to or not, remains to be seen.

Regarding adoption: that is a different matter to parental responsibility. Both parents have to place a child for adoption. One parent choosing to keep the child and the other not wanting to does not release that parent from parental responsibility. Having responsibility doesn’t mean that actively parent or even see their child, but they must be responsible for that child. The only exception is if the active parent has a partner that wants to adopt the child. The other parent may allow that child to be adopted by the partner.

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32 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

What if your husband swoops in from Japan? 

He can’t just swoop in. It just doesn’t work like that. And he cannot take a child away without authorisation and for that to be verified by immigration and the government. They have protections in place to prevent child abductions, which is why I had to get all sorts of permissions to leave with my son from the UK; I even took my husband to the airport with me in case they didn’t accept our letters of authorisation and he could confirm them in person.

Not sure what laws exist in other countries, but in the UK and Australia it is very hard to just take a child without the proper aithorisation, unless documentation has been expertly forged. And, if somehow they do manage to do that, the government will seek them out and enforce the return of the child.

I have taken all the legally necessary and binding steps to have my son with me, and it is impossible to share physical responsibility equally when living internationally from the other parent. If we weren’t, then I would be fine with my husband having our son with him each weekend or whatever. As I said, this was all done through a child protection lawyer. I haven’t left anything undone.

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I think people are concerned because despite similar laws in other countries child abduction does happen frequently. A piece of paper won't stop a determined parent. And if your husband is as charming as you say, it wouldn't be difficult for him to get past airport security with your son.

I presume you have your child's passport in your possession. Definitely keep that under lock and key.

And I don't mean to frighten you, but the way you describe your husband he doesn't view you as worthy of his thoughts or consideration. He might decide his family is better suited to raise your son than yours is. Just be aware and don't let your guard down, is all I can advise.

And yes, it is commendable that you did choose to leave. This marriage isn't salvageable. I know you can be a good role model to your child. He will appreciate all you are doing for him. 

 

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

I think people are concerned because despite similar laws in other countries child abduction does happen frequently. A piece of paper won't stop a determined parent. And if your husband is as charming as you say, it wouldn't be difficult for him to get past airport security with your son.

I presume you have your child's passport in your possession. Definitely keep that under lock and key.

And I don't mean to frighten you, but the way you describe your husband he doesn't view you as worthy of his thoughts or consideration. He might decide his family is better suited to raise your son than yours is. Just be aware and don't let your guard down, is all I can advise.

And yes, it is commendable that you did choose to leave. This marriage isn't salvageable. I know you can be a good role model to your child. He will appreciate all you are doing for him. 

 

Yes, it is true if someone were so determined to abduct a child, then a piece of paper won’t help. That is also true for a legally binding court order. What I have is just as legally binding. So, on my end, I have done as much as I can legally. I also have my son’s only passport. Granted, it is Japanese, but my husband has always let me keep it together with mine and has never questioned my taking it.

I’m really very certain my husband is not going to try to take our son. Not all people with narcissistic traits want to parent. I actually was very close to leaving my son with him and returning to Australia alone. My whole family is incredibly toxic, worse than my husband. I have spent years staying away from them. They had convinced they would do better and they let me down before I even left UK. As tough as it would be on my son to be without me, throwing him into the lion’s den with them would ruin him for life. It would have broken my heart but I saw it to be the lesser of two evils. My husband agreed to be a single father but also said that perhaps we should consider sending our son to Japan so his mother could take care of him, which we decided in the end was not the right thing to do. My husband still suggested that our son would be best with me though. 

In the end, my only family member that isn’t toxic reached out and offered me support, so, together my husband and I agreed for me to take our son and go to my brother. 

At least where it concerns our son and what should be done, my husband generally defers to my call.  

And just because I can acknowledge  my husband’s flexibility on certain things doesn’t mean I don’t recognise his abusive behaviour, nor does it absolve him of it. 

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38 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

My husband agreed to be a single father but also said that perhaps we should consider sending our son to Japan so his mother could take care of him, which we decided in the end was not the right thing to do. My husband still suggested that our son would be best with me though. 

Hey Lotusblack,

I wish you the best of luck in moving forward with your life and hope you can create an amicable coparenting situation.

My only advice is to not let your child be taken to Japan outside your custody. Japan is notoriously backward with regard to family law, and in fact does not even recognise joint custody in law (and therefore does not recognise parental kidnapping as criminal). It is a widespread issue where international couples separate here and there are currently complaints before the UN regarding it. 

Not saying this will happen, but just be aware that the protections you are relying on in Oz do not exist in Japan. 

T

Edited by WaywardKiwi
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2 hours ago, WaywardKiwi said:

Hey Lotusblack,

I wish you the best of luck in moving forward with your life and hope you can create an amicable coparenting situation.

My only advice is to not let your child be taken to Japan outside your custody. Japan is notoriously backward with regard to family law, and in fact does not even recognise joint custody in law (and therefore does not recognise parental kidnapping as criminal). It is a widespread issue where international couples separate here and there are currently complaints before the UN regarding it. 

Not saying this will happen, but just be aware that the protections you are relying on in Oz do not exist in Japan. 

T

Hi Wayward,

thanks for the advice! Yes, I am really familiar with how challenging things can be in Japan and they definitely are not very progressive in a lot of ways (I lived there for 4 years). As my husband and son are the Japanese citizens and I not, I would not have any right there to get my son. In the end, we decided, for this reason, to not pursue sending our son to Japan. Even my husband agreed that it would not be a good idea.

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In the US a document that has not been filed in court is unenforceable, which is obviously completely different from Australia. That's why I expressed concern. I presume you know more about the laws there!

And I'm beginning to understand why you clung so tenaciously to your marriage. Toxicity, while upsetting, is familiar to you. You probably felt your husband is "less toxic" than your family. But that's like saying having diarrhea is less damaging than throwing up. Both are bad.

I'm glad you got out. Breaking the toxic cycle is imperative for the wellbeing of your child. He won't view toxicity as normal and familiar if he's not around it.

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

In the US a document that has not been filed in court is unenforceable, which is obviously completely different from Australia. That's why I expressed concern. I presume you know more about the laws there!

And I'm beginning to understand why you clung so tenaciously to your marriage. Toxicity, while upsetting, is familiar to you. You probably felt your husband is "less toxic" than your family. But that's like saying having diarrhea is less damaging than throwing up. Both are bad.

I'm glad you got out. Breaking the toxic cycle is imperative for the wellbeing of your child. He won't view toxicity as normal and familiar if he's not around it.

It wasn’t so much that I wanted to stay with my husband over my family - I left Australia 7 years ago, for good I thought, but had been in and out for the better part of 13 years - but more so the situation I was in in the UK. I didn’t have enough money to move out on my own and support myself because I had been caring for my son full-time and not eligible to access any public funding. Also, my visa was tied to my husband’s and our relationship status - the Home Office would have required me to report a change in our living circumstances and likely revoked my visa had I left my husband. And then, the pandemic also made things very tricky with so many lengthy national lockdowns. I contacted so many people and organisations to find a way out, there was nothing to be done for one reason  or another. But I tried many times. And then Australia opened up for just such a short window and I’m lucky to have gotten back home when I did.

My husband, though not as helpful and supportive as he should have been with our son, has so far never treated him badly. He always plays together well, never yells or gets angry at him. They began to bond very well once I started work and my husband had to take over the morning routine. And when it was just the two of them without me around, I believe things were quite harmonious and happy. For that reason, I felt my son definitely would have been safer with his dad than with me if I had no choice but to be with my family, which would have been the case had my brother not stepped in ( my brother has been estranged from our family, much like me, for nearly 20 years, but we remained close until our mother died 3 years ago and he went underground).

I clung tenaciously to staying in the UK rather than clinging to my husband/marriage, but yes, to stay there meant to stay with him it turned out. So, in that sense, I guess I clung to him and my marriage indirectly.

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But your child would have witnessed your husband treating you poorly. 

I know, adults in these situations always say "But we never argue in front of the kids! They have no idea!" Which is entirely untrue. Children are much more perceptive than adults realize. Think back to when you were a child and remember how it felt to live in a toxic home.

And that's why it's good you got away while your child is still very young. Also why reconciling is a bad idea especially since your husband doesn't think he's done anything wrong or has behaved in a hurtful manner toward you. 

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Yes, I'm a mom and to me especially with a baby/young child it's HUGE whether the parent in question does the work in caring for a child when you're assessing whether the parent is good with the child.  Sorry, he doesn't get to swoop in and be Fun Dad and play nicely with his son and "never yell" if he's not also regularly changing diapers, treating any diaper rash, bathing him, preparing food/feeding him, getting him down for a nap, getting him ready for an outing.  I mean sure if there's a full time governess or nanny both parents can be "good" parents and just be there for the cuddles and giggles because they outsourced all that stuff but that's typically not the case and not your case. 

There was one day my husband was out of the house for 12 hours -at work - I mean this was typical but the difference was he got back around 7:30 which was around diaper change/bath/bedtime and he walked in the house on the cellphone with his mother.  Fine. 

You know what - keep chatting but get to work - relieve the mom/your wife who's been at it for 12.5 hours with a baby.  Get the changing pad, the diapers, etc.  No, he stayed on the phone for "only" 15-20 minutes - and only on the phone, no "multi-tasking".  He didn't get it.  But then he did and it didn't happen again. This was around 12 years ago. I can still picture the situation and my feeling of resentment, frustration and mostly -exhaustion.  I can't picture ever being on a phone call like that and not multitasking especially when my child was young.  Because I never did so.

At that moment- that was a really poor parenting choice on his part and  that's also because the parent needs to be a good teammate with the other parent and not have to be told that the parent on duty for 12.5 hours might need a break ASAP.  That the call with his mom might need to wait or be a bit distracted while diaper changing, etc.  So no your husband was not being a good parent from what you described, IMHO.

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2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

But your child would have witnessed your husband treating you poorly. 

Yes, of course! That is another reason why I didn’t want to stay. I meant that, although our son would have been in daycare a lot and with babysitters while my husband worked (not what I would have wanted for him for such an extended period of time), I know he would have been calm with him and not aggressive like my family. The last 2 years watching them together has shown me he interacts with at least his son in a very calm and easy way. Although, once he get’s to school age, I would be concerned about my husband becoming unyieldingly critical.

Unlike most children/families, we actually never ever saw our parents fight, not once. My parents were married 30 years and were happy together for 29 of them. My mother was a good, kind person with endless patience. My dad was a hard disciplinarian who had a very tough childhood, so his ability to empathise or at least show that empathy, was minimal. But that wasn’t really the problem, it was his complete favouritism of our sister. And my sister was toxic, sadistic, unstable. She used to set me up and my dad would discipline me to abusive levels at her word. It was that that was toxic to me.

When I became a young adult, my other sister joined in on the toxicity because she entered into a bad relationship with a terrible man and stayed in it for 20 years. My two sisters gravitated towards each other and have remained inseparable since. And my dad still does whatever he can to win the approval of my sisters. They are a toxic group. When my mother and father split, I was 16 and the youngest of 4 children. My brother, mother and I went one way and my sisters and father when another way. Things only became more toxic from that point on. 

But with my mother now gone and my brother having completely withdrawn from his already limited involvement with anybody, I would have to go back into the lion’s den with my father and sisters. I am so glad, though, that that is not the case and I could bring my son with me. 

As it stands, of course I would not reconcile with my husband! I would only consider that a potential possibility if my husband went to therapy with a professional specialising in the kind of issues he has, and he was able to recognise the terrible things he has done, genuinely apologise and commit to changing his behaviours, attitudes, and the way he processes things. He would also have to demonstrate those changes consistently over a long period of time and move to Australia. And that is for me to only consider a potential reconciliation. It doesn’t automatically follow that if he achieved those changes then I would get back together with him. I do not believe it is likely he will do any of that, though. I am moving forward with me life, and that is the reason for my update: I left, put a parenting plan/order in place, ave claimed child support, am looking at a new apartment to rent, considering my options for a PhD here in Aus. My visa for the UK expires in 6 months if I stay more than 6 months outside of the UK, and I will not be going back. So, I’ll Definitely be losing my right to be there soon enough, which only further makes a reconciliation impossible. And, my husband has zero interest in moving to Aus - the universities and research labs here are not prestigious enough to tempt him, even if being here means getting to spend time with his son. And even without our issues as a couple, if we were in a healthy and happy relationship, it wouldn’t be able to survive indefinite long distance. I knew all this before leaving, so knew doing so would render a reconciliation pretty impossible, but I left anyway.

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