5

My daughter is two years old, happy and healthy.

Her father and I were together, but he was always jealous (accusing me of looking at other men, flirting, cheating, etc. and there were many rules), he tried to control everything and sometimes slapped me and threatened to kill me. He hit my arm with a belt while I was pregnant. Basically I can't trust him.

I left after that of course. Had my girl alone, it was a good time, 7 months in peace.

He came back, saw her sometimes and was good with her and much better to me. But when it was clear we would not stay together he stalked me little, smoked hash, drank too much, he would hit his head against the wall and tried to force me to kiss him - in front of her! He has lost his visa to stay in my country. There has been no contact since, and I have a good life with our daughter.

Now he is coming back, wanting to stay here illegally. He is unstable, mentally he is off. He is okay when he was with her, even though it was me who was the more responsible one, and he was more like a play uncle. I think he cares about her.

I want to say he can't see her, not even one hour supervised, because I don't want a situation like that our lives. It's crazy and not good for anybody.

On the other hand I don't know if I am overreacting and the father has a right too.

Just want to hear somebody else's point of view, I just want the best for our daughter. I have full custody so there are no legal concerns for me.

  • 4
    He's illegal, so how could you arrange supervised visits? I do not know if everything you've said is true -- we do not know his side of the story -- but based on this info -- do not allow him access and don't see him. You can always call and have him deported -- but do not threaten him with that. Do it or don't do it, but never tell an abuser what you can do or will do. Act or don't act but threatening an abuser is like lighting the fuse. Best of luck. This isn't really a parenting issue as much as a bad relationship issue. – WRX May 23 '17 at 21:45
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    Yeah and don't forget there are laws about harboring illegals too. Just being in his presence, with the fact that he's the father, could implicate you in a way that would be difficult to disprove. Ramifications of which may involve loss of custody or deportation yourself. Who can tell? So don't risk it. – Kai Qing May 23 '17 at 23:50
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    Short answer: no! – L.B. May 24 '17 at 12:34
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    That sounds like a dangerous history, and I think that the only safe thing to do in the long term is to report him as an illegal immigrant and get him out of your life for good. Since he's not there legally he doesn't seem to care about the law, and he can't be trusted to leave you alone if that is your wish. You can't have a restraining order issued, or supervised visits set up because legally he doesn't "exist". IMO act now, before he begins to be a problem. People who do drugs and are violent will not magically become well adjusted individuals. – AndreiROM May 24 '17 at 14:39
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    @AndreiROM I am not a lawyer, and maybe it depends on the country, but I don't think it's true that illegal immigrants don't exist (in a legal sense). They seem to be able to get jobs and drivers' licenses. Also the point of a restraining order is not to wave in the target's face! It is so that if the person comes near you, you can call the police and say "this person is violating this restraining order, please come arrest him immediately." – stannius May 24 '17 at 16:11
9

It is obviously much better for a child to have two loving parents but as a child to a single Mother of two I can also say that I did just fine without a Father figure. We both did.

The fact that he has hurt you whilst pregnant means there's a good chance he'll hurt you again and there's no way to say that won't be in front of your daughter.

There is also the added problem that he is now undocumented, which is a big problem for all of you. This will have huge ramifications. You don't want to be in a position where you're taken away from your daughter. You'll also not get supervised visitors because of this. I would strongly advise not meeting with him. If he sorts out his VISA then you can move forward with supervised visits.

Your child right now probably doesn't know right from wrong. They'll look to their parents and mimic. I fear that if the Father has any influence in your daughters life this could have a negative impact on her. I'm not saying it will but it could so I would be wary of this.

  • 1
    and at two, all the child understands is that 'that man makes Mummy afraid or nervous.' "The possibility of witnessing violence is increased and some studies show that witnessing violence is not good for kids. Depression, trauma symptoms, antisocial behaviors, and suicidal behaviors were related to childhood experiences of sexual and physical abuse." LINK – WRX May 24 '17 at 14:18
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    @Willow interesting link, thanks. I have to agree with that man makes Mummy afraid or nervous also. They won't see Daddy they'll just see Mummy being hurt. No child should see their Mother being hurt. – Bugs May 24 '17 at 14:30
4

In most cases, allowing a child to see both of their parents is healthy for development, and for a happy child. That said, the behavior of your daughter's father is grossly inappropriate and I can't see this going well for you or your daughter. Statistics show that children who are witness to the domestic violence he's exhibited are more likely to become victims of child abuse or domestic violence themselves. On top of that, the father has his own issues he needs to work on, and bringing those into the dynamic of your family is not a good idea. That being said, if in the future he is able to demonstrate that he has been able to work on these issues, visits in a controlled environment might be an option. I hope this helps!

1

Purely to the parenting aspect and nothing to the awfulness you've been through:

A child this young doesn't understand her daddy is a screw-up. She doesn't understand about custody or personal integrity or right and wrong. It's just her daddy. There may come a time when his help will be a blessing. Doubtful, but parenting can have a maturation effect on people.

I would recommend a meeting in a public place, probably a restaurant. Even a simple "This is your dad" can have a positive psychological impact on your daughter.

  • The child is two... – WRX May 24 '17 at 1:27
0

A father absolutely has a right.... provided they don't show reason that would be considered detrimental, as a parent. Being abusive, unstable, and violent are all disqualifiers.

Along with any paternal rights, and above them in priority are paternal responsibilities. This includes being a loving, nurturing, mentally healthy and stable parent, and being an equally positive mate or co-parent to the mother.

As a mother, your responsibilities to the biological donor of 1/2 of your child's DNA falls far, far below your responsibilities to protect and raise that child in the safest, most loving environment you can. That includes shielding your child from dangerous, toxic influences that can physically and emotionally harm and scar your child. In short, your responsibilities as a mother actually dictate that you not give access, if you have doubts about his stability and control of emotions, given his physically violent history with you.

You absolutely should NOT have any part of harboring him, illegally. You put your own liberty and your child's entire household at risk if you do that.

I'd further argue that he has not demonstrated that he has any rights, because of past behavior. If he wants to sue for visitation, let him. With no legal standing in your country, all the courts will do is affirm that he has no rights in that regard.

Finally, if you are afraid of him, you can easily inform the authorities of his request for you to illegally harbor him, but that would be pretty drastic. It would probably result in his being deported and barred from coming back, but it would escalate the emotions (even if you weren't named as the source of the information, he'd probably assume it was you). So, if you fear his behavior, that makes perfect sense. If you don't and don't want to escalate it, that might be something to hold off on and keep aside as a last resort.

When you read about tragedies that happen in the news, there is a standard template that seems to fit - the violent, jealous, extreme control. Then the other person either can't get out, or things explode when they try to. Often, when steps are taken, there are promises of changed behavior, which are just a front to get back in, then the pattern repeats, but with escalated behavior because they already lost control of the situation once. The situation you described seems like a classic example of a violent, toxic relationship. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but if the signs are there, you shouldn't overlook them.

Livestrong: Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Obsessive Relationship

-2

I second what most have said. He should NOT be in the picture. However, I may have some unique perspective for why I say that, due to my various forms of volunteering.

Without going into all of the ways I volunteer, as some may distract from the answer, they key point is that I volunteer quite a bit with children, and in particular I often volunteer with single mothers by choice (people who choose to have a child while single).

The first thing I should say is that single mothers can be great parents! I know you hear all these statistics about how kids raised in single parent homes tend to be less adjusted and stuggle more and these statistics are technically accurate, but their also very misleading. The reason that kids struggle isn't so much that the mother's are single, but how they became single. Most kids in single parent homes have young (teen) moms or parents who didn't want a child at all, basically the parent in question was not ready/willing to be a good mother. When you look at single mothers by choice your see that they can do just as good a job raising a child as a couple can, I've known many amazing girls of single mothers, I just spent last night babysitting one and she is not just happy and well adjusted, she is smart, active, very self assured, and her biggest problem if anything is being too friendly (she walks up to strangers and acts like their her best friend lol).

My point being that a father figure is not needed in a child's life for them to do well. Sure if they are a good father figure that is great, but if they are not a good role model they will do more harm then good. I've see this many times as well working with so many children, kids who are doing well alway who seem to 'regress' into bad behaviors after a visit with the other parent because of the poor behaviors modeled by the parent. If a parent is not going to be a generally constructive and positive role model for a child the child will be better off without them in general!

Now lets look at this father, he is not just a bad role model, he is a horrible one!!! For starters you do not deserve what he is doing to you, and should not have to tolerate it for the sake of your child. However, it's bad for your child as well for him to be present. Best case he would be teacher her bad habits and not providing anything constructive, but this case is worse. Children who witness abuse to their parents struggle significantly with it. Any abuse, even what some may call 'minor' (which it is not!) such as forcing you to kiss him, does harm to the child. It teaches them to be afraid, and that their parent can't be trusted to care for them, and as a women it teachers her to expect this sort of abuse which is can lead to her ending up in an abusive relationship when she gets older. This is just touching on some of the harm that it does, this is something you do not want your child to witness!

Furthermore, he is forceful and abusive, and that abuse is not likely to be limited to you. It's just a matter of time until he hurt your daughter if he is allowed near her, and I think it's obvious how this can be harmful. It's much much better for your child if she never has to know him!

I would also mention that I've also advised women in abusive relationships, not nearly as often but I have done it. One thing I have noticed is that the longer one experiences abuse the more willing they are to tolerate it in the future, and worse the more they feel they can't do anything about it or even convince themselves they deserve it or that they can change the man somehow. For this reason I strongly advise you to cut him off entirely for your sake (which also would be for your daughter's sake). I'm glad you saw the abuse and left him, that shows your strong. However, keeping away from him prevents him from hurting you and helps you to feel strong enough to be able to resist any attempt of him, or other's, to take advantage of you in the future.

You mentioned the father's 'right' to contact to the child, so I will also address this. He has no right if it harms the child! In all cases the child takes priority over everything else! The moment that a child is harmed by it that's child's right to a healthy upbrining trumps any other theoretical right a parent may have! His abuse and mistreatment of you have caused him to give up any theoretical right he may have had. Besides, as I know men like him it's unlikely that he cares that much about contact with the child and he won't suffer from lack of it, he most likely uses contact as an excuse to visit and try to pressure you.

So in short, don't let him have contact! even if he says he has changed don't do it. People rarely change, and men like him will often claim to have 'changed' to worm their way back into someone's life only to then go back to their same habits. Just stay away from him however you can, both you and your daughter will be much better off that way. You both deserve better.

-3

I don't see any justification for there not being supervised contact. He has not presented any threat to the child and in your words is good with her and cares for her.

You don't have to be present if you feel threatened.

Some down votes so I will include the reasoning behind my answer.

One parent, especially if they have left an abusive relationship, cannot be made the judge of what is or is not acceptable behaviour or if the other parent should be involved in the child's life. They are incapable of being able to make a fair and unbiased decision that is best for the child because of their own prejudices towards the other parent and the conflict of interest that exists.

Unless there is any threat of harm to the child, which there has not been here, then there is no justification to not allow a child to have contact with their father. It simply does not follow that because of the problems in the relationship between the parents that the father cannot be a positive influence in the child's life.

Domestic violence isn't good but it should not cloud people's judgement when it comes to a parent/child relationship, domestic violence occurs in the context of a toxic/abusive relationship and that same context/parameters do not exist in the relationship between the parent and the child.

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