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Problem with my cousins relationship

Community Member

Hi I’m not sure if this is in the right forum or not but I’m seeking to get some advice on a situation that’s currently happening. My cousin who is 20 lives away from home with her boyfriend and his parents, they had a child a year ago after dating for only a few months. My cousin recently has been messaging me about how her boyfriend is verbally abusing her and threatening to break up with her constantly. He has been calling her a cheating s*** and fat, and from what she has told me this has been going on for months without us knowing! She told me she wants to move back home but from what it seems he is threatening to take her children away from her if she does.

Im looking for advice on how to handle this and how to help her get away from this kind of situation?

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion


I suggest you inform her to notify Human Services in her region to seek out her options.

Also please be wary that verbal abuse is offensive but not illegal and although there is no excuse for such behaviour none of us know the full story.

There is many avenues she can explore like family counseling that can be commenced by a GP visit.

Many couples go through similar experiences before they settle down by learning their boundaries. As a close friend/cousin try to support her with ideas on how to fix their problems so they stay together rather than encouraging her to leave the relationship.

The easy option is not necessarily the best option especially when a child is involved. The father of the child has rights and can exercise them.


Community Member

All due respect to White Knight, I couldn't possibly disagree with him more. You don't have to have physical violence exercised against you to be in an abusive relationship, and if she is asking for help, then she obviously is experiencing fear and concern. And whilst there are those who may think 'it's just verbal abuse' then allow me to remind us all of the truly tragic story of Hannah Baxter and her three children. Never hit, but controlled and abused and finally killed just the same.

And regardless of the circumstances and details, the fact is your cousin wants to end the relationship, has every right to do so, but is being threatened by her partner with the retribution of 'taking your kids away' if she does leave him (which does sound fairly textbook abusive relationship to me). She does not have to continue in a relationship if she does not want to, but if she is concerned about his behaviour she needs to be extremely careful. Statistics show women leaving an abusive relationship are at their most vulnerable to violence after the relationship has ended.

I would suggest you approach a domestic violence charity and ask for advice on how to leave the relationship safely, and the best way to navigate family law. I would also suggest the family try to find an excellent and experienced lawyer, well-versed in similar situations, who is able to negotiate an agreement with both parties. A good lawyer costs money, so different family members may need to be approached to ask to contribute, but it will be essential to obtain good legal advice.

Wishing your cousin all the best, the rest of her life is waiting for her to go and live it.

I’m sorry Jax but I am not down playing verbal abuse at all particularly as I tolerated it in the past for many years myself.

By all means the OP can assist by various means but my concern is on forums we get stories from one side of a story and sometimes as in this case, a third person that knows one side of the story only.

Furthermore if the stories aren’t fully accurate, then a father of a child could be at risk of losing some contact with his child when he’s done nothing illegal.

By all means the young mum has opportunities like any person to go to authorities as you and I suggested and it is appreciated what you recommended. However I prefer to tread softer on domestic issues like this one. The father of the child’s story could open our eyes!

Until the system of protection is changed as far as verbal abuse is concerned, we can’t jump to conclusions on facts that so far has been allegations he calls his partner names and is threatening to withhold his child which , the latter if it occurs is his right as much as it is for a mother to take the child from him. Nothing illegal there and I do have past law enforcement experience where justice means gathering all facts and a fair deal for all. Facts are not found in text messages but I acknowledge Kaitlinxroses intentions are valid and compassionate.

Regardless the 20yo mum needs help and through her cousin she has several avenues to seek it.


I hear where you're coming from White Knight, and I recognise that you are sincere in wanting to tread carefully and not knowing 'both sides'.

However - It is not this lass's responsibility to teach her partner how to navigate his emotions, or to wait around until he learns to do so, if he ever does. It is not her burden to bear to put up with being told she's a cheating fat s***. It is not her job to find excuses and justifications for his behaviour. Her responsibility is to herself, and by extension her child. She doesn't have to justify wanting to leave a relationship to anyone.

Kaitlin is asking for help on how her cousin can leave the relationship safely, and how she can assist her to do so. These forums only ever present one side of a story, and people can only give their thoughts and feedback on that information they have. It's not perfect, but it is what it is. I'm sure the partner and his family are more then capable of looking after his rights and being able to negotiate fair arrangements going forward.

Kaitlin - Many, many women have found themselves where your cousin is now. Never EVER stay with a man who makes you feel horrible about yourself just so he can feel better about himself. Their issues run deep, and they have to want to change - doesn't sound like your cousin's partner does. Find a support service that will help her leave safely, and an experienced lawyer. Good for her for having the courage to want to leave, I wish her the very best.