FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Am I in the wrong for not tolerating this? [GF issues with EX-BF]

needhelpplease1
Community Member

Hey guys. (I'm 20, my GF is 21)

I'm currently in a one year relationship with my long distance girlfriend.

Her ex-boyfriend is extremely abusive (has mentally, physically, and sexually abused her in the recent past (past 6 months)), they have a child together which means it's extremely hard for her to get away from him.

We have worked (throughout our entire relationship) on getting him moved out of her parents place (which eventually happened and things drastically improved), as well as just getting him out of her life as he is just so damn right abusive. He was beginning to get over her and slowly get more and more distant, not caring about what she does.

Today, she let me know she has been stressing about getting custody of her child and is considering making a deal with him to let him live with her (as he got kicked out of his current residence) on the terms that he signs over full custody of the child to her. I did not agree whatsoever. Neither of us know much about custody, although I would think she could put in some effort to getting a job and getting some money behind her so she could afford an attorney and getting full custody that way (as it's extremely clear he's an unfit parent currently)

What do you guys think of this situation? It's extremely frustrating and I feel very betrayed as she's willing to erase all her progress and just allow someone so toxic back into her environment, putting herself in danger.

Thank you very much.

5 Replies 5

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello there

I do not know much about custody, but this sounds like a really tricky situation.

It sounds like your girlfriend is very concerned about her child and I would not be surprised if that is her number 1 priority, even above you. I think the reality is that her child can't take care of itself whereas she, you and her ex are all adults.

At the same time, it doesn't sound like your relationship is quite at the place where you are responsible for the child. (please correct me if I'm wrong) I see the issues surrounding the child as needing to be dealt with between her and her ex. I can understand how this affects you and how it must be so frustrating, but i do not think it is your place to say what is right or wrong for her to do.

Instead, perhaps it would be good to understand why she feels she has to do this deal. Is there any way that you can help her with an alternative?

That all said, she is struggling quite a lot and perhaps even just a gentle talk about what she needs might help you understand where she's coming from. does she have access to a good GP or counsellor to help her with the emotional and mental burden?

James

GemAndLogan
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey there, Welcome to the forum

I agree with James

This definitely is a tricky situation and you sound like you're doing the best you can in supporting your partner so kudos for that.

Like James has said, the welfare of her child will be your partners main priority however I do think you're right in not wanting her to live with her abusive ex.

If he is as abusive as you say, this could be a huge set back for her but also could put her child in danger or at the very least, into a hostile situation and i think any caring partner would not want this

I would urge her to do a bit more research into custody and look into getting professional advice whether it be from a family lawyer, a counsellor, a mediator or even online (there is a lot of info out there)

I'm sure there would be other custody options that would not involve them living together, after all there are a lot of parents out there who are no longer together and they definitely do not all live together.

Good luck, I wish you and your partner the best

Gem

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Oops! Somehow I managed to leave off that I also think it's not good for the child to be in such an environment.

Gem's suggestion to urge your girlfriend to do more research sounds like a good one. It can't be the only way, because that could be bad for the child.

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi needhelplease1,

While I agree with the others that your partner will likely place her child’s needs first, I’m struggling to see how that fits in with this situation. I sincerely doubt that someone so abusive and manipulative will simply hand over full custody in exchange for living together, more likely he will move in and dangle the custody thing over her head forever and a day. And then she’ll also have an abusive person in the house. He knows once she has that, she has no need for him.

You have a right to feel the way you are feeling, your partner is putting you last in this scenario and that is upsetting. The reason that she is doing that is because you are the “easy” person in this scenario, you’re reasonable, and not the squeaky wheel in this case. Also, abusers and their victims have a complex relationship and that bond can be hard to break, she is conditioned to bend to his whims. I think that you need to stand up and draw a line, you won’t stand for this. She can find a normal way to get full custody, prove that he is abusive etc, not move another man into the house with her child.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Needhelpplease1, can I offer you a warm welcome.

I don't think that he should live with her even if full custody is given to her, that won't work and can't possibly be a suitable arrangement, because if he has been abusive then that may still continue, that's certainly not the best solution.

If an AVO is placed over him then that's going to make him worse, so contact Legal Aid.

He won't be allowed to get custody if any or all of his abuse has been reported to the police, the court simply won't permit this, so she will naturally get custody and will only allow him to see the child but can only be done under the supervision of another individual, such as a family member or a social worker.

As Juliet has said, plus all the other good comments that 'she is conditioned to bend to his whims'.

Consult a lawyer either Legal Aid which is free or another lawyer on a no win no fee basis, but she does need legal support in this situation.

Geoff.