DEAR DEIDRE: I AM separated from my violent and manipulative ex, but I want to stop him turning our kids against me.
We met and married eight years ago when I was 32 and he was 39.
Our kids are seven and six.
Throughout our marriage he punched and kicked me.
I suffered depression as I tried to keep the family together but was miserable with him.
He finally left and I am trying to keep a good relationship with him – but it is proving difficult.
After time with him, my children taunt me and say things like “you’re ugly” and “just die”.
He tells them I lie, but how can I defend myself?
I don’t want to stop access but everything I say falls on deaf ears.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Thank goodness you are now out of your abusive marriage.
Children long to please both their parents and you are hearing their father’s words.
But his trying to turn them against you – parental alienation – is now a recognised form of abuse.
It isn’t usually in children’s best interests to have regular, unsupervised contact with a violent and abusive parent.
It would be less damaging for them if they saw him in a contact centre.
You can get advice on how best to achieve this through Gingerbread, who help separated and single parents (gingerbread.org.uk, 0808 802 0925)
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