Incest

Kimberly - posted on 10/16/2010 ( 71 moms have responded )

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I recently heard a story about a former high school classmate. Apparently, during high school, his mother made him have sex with her- often. He was more or less her acting "boyfriend" all while she was still married to his father. The abuse went on for years. Later in life she apologized to her son and they still have a relationship, no longer sexual, but they still relate as mother and son. He has a child now. His ex-wife is trying to get sole custody as she claims she fears he will repeat the cycle of abuse.

If you were married to this man, would you tolerate this relationship? Would you interact with this woman? What if you had a child together? Would you allow her to see her grandchild?

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Krista - posted on 10/17/2010

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Jess, let's say the situation was reversed:

Let's say my brother married a girl who had been raped by her father for years during her adolescence. She forgave her father and still had a relationship with him. My brother marries this girl and they have a baby girl. They later split. You think my brother (and my entire family) would be damned nervous about the mother having unsupervised visits, considering that she has a personal relationship with an incestuous sexual predator?

This isn't about punishing the victim, this is about being very, very alarmed about the company that the victim chooses to keep.

Jess - posted on 10/17/2010

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I'm sure that when this goes to court the father will have his full rights exercised.

You can't punish someone for something they haven't done. Its that simple, and I'm sure if this was a mother who had been victimised we wouldn't even be discussing it ! It would be deemed that she was an innocent victim who will take the experience and use it protect her kids. And why should it be any different for a father.

The ex wife trusted this man enough to sleep with him herself and be the mother to his child. Now that it doesn't suit her anymore she digs up something horrendous to try and hurt him. I bet she had no issue leaving him alone with their child when they lived together !

Petra - posted on 10/17/2010

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If he has never provided any indication that he may abuse the child, and if it has never been an issue up until now, then the entire issue is moot. Legally, if she's known for years and it didn't bother her until the opportunity to use it against him arose, a Judge and any other reasonable person is going to see through her opportunistic BS. If he forgives his mother to the extent that they still relate as mother - son and nothing more, nothing less, that speaks volumes about this man's level of depth and compassion, rather than his alleged capacity to abuse. This is absolute nonsense. You can't use this argument to deny him his rights, and his child's rights, without some basis to hold the belief that he is going to abuse his child. It hasn't happened yet, there is no reason to think that it will. Forgiving his mother is no indication that he is going to sexually abuse his children. Take it before a Judge, hit up some really good counselling, make sure Grandma is never allowed contact with the child, sure. But basically condemning this man as a would-be paedophile because of what his mother did is baseless and completely irrational.

Sharon - posted on 10/16/2010

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If you were married to this man, would you tolerate this relationship?

No.

Would you interact with this woman?
Hell no.

What if you had a child together?
I'd move to another country without a divorce and I'd contest any divorce to keep him from even having a chance of taking my child from me and being alone with it.

Would you allow her to see her grandchild?
FUCK NO.

[deleted account]

I agree! I'm amazed that as mother's we can't all agree on this. Put yourself in that situation. You find out that your (ex)husband was repeatedly raped by his mother and he's now not only forgiven her but has a "normal" relationship with her and wants to have shared custody of your child. Are you honestly telling me that you'd be ok with that? C'mon...

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Paige - posted on 10/19/2010

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I don't think I would try to take my child away, especially if he acknowledged that it was wrong. If the ex wife is that concerned, maybe ask that he go to counseling, kind of for an assessment? To be honest, I would be pretty nervous of having my child around her, especially alone. I can't rightfully tell him not to have a relationship with his mom, but I really wouldn't be comfortable with my child around her.



Edited to add : I agree with Liz on this one, he shouldn't be punished for her crimes.

Gabrielle - posted on 10/19/2010

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I would definately NOT allow her to see the child, as she could do it to them. If i was married to this man i would tell him that its not healthy for them to still be speaking etc. Does he not hate that he suffered at the hands of him for years, and is he not fearful that she will do the same to his child. x

[deleted account]

This is a hard one for me because my kids will meet my dad at some point but will not be left alone with him. They know he is in prison but don't know why and I know how it feels to have an ex throw that crap at you. So I guess it would have to depend on his relationship he has with his mother and the relationship he has with his child. My dad has been in prison for almost ten years and what happened was 16 years ago. And there was no sex involved. His mother has no right to his child but he shouldn't lose his rights because he was abused and forgave her years later.

Cat - posted on 10/18/2010

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I agree with Teresa on the first page, I'd be going for full custody with supervised visits with the father... I would never let the grandma within 20ft of my kids, and I'd make sure father visits were supervised so that he, with his 'good' relationship with his mom didnt bring MY kid around her against my wishes... I'd be less likely to worry about him turning into an offender himself as I would worry about the 'grandma' finding a way into my child's life... It would NOT happen....

Desiree - posted on 10/18/2010

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Jodi yes I meant the grandfather. Not the Father. I understand that there are very subtle signs and sometimes we miss them, but there are always the screaming ones that we have a tendency to ignore because we don't want to believe that the people we truely love could do something so cruel to a child. lest of all a child of our own.

There is a reason I know this is because it happened to someone I know and the wife caught the father in the act and the person who got the blame was the child. She was told that she seduced her father and no one believed her until 50 years later. So Yes I blame the grandfather because he must have noticed something.

Jane - posted on 10/18/2010

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I'd be long gone, assuming another identity with my child and hiding from the entire sick ass family.

Jodi - posted on 10/18/2010

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Desiree, I really hope you mean the father of the father in question, not the father that was sexually abused when you say you do blame him for not seeing the signs and having a clue what was going on. I agree with THAT to a point, but sometimes the signs are so subtle only a psychologist would pick up on them, or someone trained to see the signs.

Gina - posted on 10/18/2010

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It really pisses me off when people who were abused get blamed. It was not his fault, and history doesn't always repeat itself.I can understand him forgiving his mum but to still have a relationship with her? I would never let her see my child, and until I understand how and why he still sees his mum, he won't be alone with my child.What a evil woman she is, and has no right to be called mum or grandma.

Desiree - posted on 10/18/2010

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on first thought the answer is No, but when sitting and thinking aboutit, is it fair to punish someone twice in thier life time for somethin that was not thier fault in the first place. i would certainly never allow the grandmother near my child unless I where near to watch. As for the son, Why should he be punished again for his mothers actions. who is to say that he will repeat it, some people won't do to thier kids what thier parents put them through. But as a mother it would be up to me to watch like a hawk especially since I know the history. and if I alowed my child to visit the father there would be certain rules like never alone with the child , never alow the child near the grandparents. And yes I blame his father as much as I blame the mother, because somewhere inside he knew what was going on and ignored the signs.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Oops, my bad.



Laura, I'm not angry. lol Just goes to show how tone doesn't come across in posts, we're friends, have been for almost a year and you thought I was angry. I hope you don't get angry that I'm laughing right now. :P

Isobel - posted on 10/17/2010

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Quote..."He still has contact and a close relationship with this "woman" who spent MANY years molesting him. He was also a teenager when it started, this(according to the information given in the OP) is no young child that had been molested for years since early childhood. So, as a teenager who slept with his mother, how can you be sure he has good judgment?"

How on earth would anybody ever allow that to be said about a woman that was molested by her father...everybody's head would've exploded.

But yes...you did say they had a close relationship...and I am simply debating the other side too...no need to get angry.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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:D
I like looking at all angles, it's the only way to learn something other than your own opinion. ;)

Petra - posted on 10/17/2010

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No worries. I love that you play devil's advocate, really gets things going on here :-)

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Okay, thanks, I figured but, wanted to clarify since that question has been asked of me, several times already....lol

Petra - posted on 10/17/2010

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No Dana, only the first paragraph of my response was directed to an earlier post of yours.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Petra, I'm not sure if you're talking to me or not when you say this (since you did address me in the beginning of your post)
"His gender has no bearing on his tendency to either abuse or not abuse his child. And if, thus far, he hasn't, what makes you think he will?"

In case you are, I never have said he will continue this abuse himself.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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To clarify, I have never said, FOR SURE that this man's rights to see his children should be removed. I'm debating a topic and looking at ALL angles on what information we have. Because I'm throwing questions or statements out there and playing devil's advocate does not mean that I'm saying what should happen in this particular case or others.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Eh, I never said it was a close relationship and I've never said he will become an abuser. I assume you're talking to me Laura?
Oh and yes, the fact that I said he might take the kids around the grandmother is an assumption, I just went back and re-read the OP, for some reason I thought it had stated that the mother was worried he'd bring the kids around her....

Of course if the courts decide that the grandmother has no rights to see the children and the father has to go to counseling then that would have to be good enough...

And in case you missed me saying it...I, personally, would be discussing this same thing if it were a woman.

Petra - posted on 10/17/2010

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@ Dana - him forgiving his mother (to some unknown extent) and him turning a blind eye to abuse of his child is an astronomical leap. I don't think it is fair make any kind of judgment or condemnation without further information. Based on the OP, he hasn't abused, or attempted to abuse, his child. This alone leads me to conclude that his full parental rights to his child should remain intact.

I can't help but think that if it were a woman who had been abused by her mother (or father) and had gone on to have a family of her own and either forgive past abuses or just let it go, people would be singing praise to her courage and bravery in getting on with her life. The fact that it was a man who was abused as a teenager is irrelevant. His gender has no bearing on his tendency to either abuse or not abuse his child. And if, thus far, he hasn't, what makes you think he will?

Isobel - posted on 10/17/2010

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I think that you are making just as many assumptions...that it is a close relationship, that he will become an abuser, that he will allow his child near his mother, etc.



If the divorce states that the child is never allowed to see the Grandmother, and that the father must go to counseling that would have to be enough...there's NO way we would be having this discussion if the victim were a woman.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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No, there's nothing wrong with accepting an apology but, this isn't a simple thing either. Accepting an apology and then walking away from that person shows better judgment to me.

And no he hasn't broken any laws but, judge's also go by mental state and whether you have proper judgment, it's not just about if you're breaking laws.



Though my statement on "assumptions" was your whole post....I would be saying the exact same thing if this was a woman and we DON'T know how the wife felt about this during the marriage. For all we know this could be what ended the marriage because she didn't like it. Nor do we know if she was comfortable leaving him alone with the child...but, let me clarify again, in case it comes into question, I'm not saying he WILL abuse his own child.



This case would also not set a precedent as each case would be individually looked at as they already are.



I do think that based on these facts before us, in the OP, that he shows poor judgement by having a relationship with her. You can keep an eye on someone and alert people to her previous behavior without having a relationship with that person.

Jess - posted on 10/17/2010

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I don't think because he has accepted her apology that makes him a victim today. It takes a bigger person to accept an apology than to turn it down.

I am making an assumption that his rights will be upheld, but thats a logical assumption. He hasn't and isn't breaking any laws.

I stated very clearly that I thought this grandmother should have nothing to with the child, I went as far as saying that she should be in jail.

That has nothing to do with the relationship between the father and his child. And if this mother were to win her case, it would set a precedent that would allow parents all over the country to withhold children from parents who have been victimised in the past. Thats a lot of people ! A lot of mothers who would not see their kid's because they were taken advantage of. There is a great old saying, "Keep your friends close, but your enemy's closer". How do you know that this father isn't in contact with his mother to simply protect younger siblings, neighbours, other grandchildren ?

Without knowing the full story you can't take away his rights and judge him based on something that was done to him by someone who abused their power.

Jessica - posted on 10/17/2010

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To clarify- I am not BLAMING him, or punishing him for something he hasn't yet done. But I understand how abuse works, and how much it can mess with your mind. All I am saying is, if I were this man's ex wife and the mother of his child, I would be wary. Because I know how possible it can be for abuse to be repeated- that is a very hard cycle to break, especially when it comes to prolonged sexual/emotional abuse. Not saying that's what this man's intentions are- I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But you cannot totally discount that possibility, and when it comes to ensuring your own child's safety, I know that I as a mother would be cautious and willing to do whatever it takes- even if it means limiting contact with the father. And yes, its true that we don't know the details of this man's current relationship with his "mother"- but the fact that he has one at all throws up a red flag to me. I would strongly push for him to go through counseling, if he isn't already.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Jess, that's just a lot of assumptions...

And this man is choosing to be victimized (still) if he continues to have a relationship with this messed up person. You can't tell me that because this adult mother decides to apologize for her disgusting (to the HIGHEST degree) behavior that she's right in the head, which in turn makes me question his judgment.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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It doesn't say that it's not a close one or not a normal one....

No one is saying it's his "fault" (as far as I can tell), his judgment on how he continues a relationship with her however is his fault. I'm not even saying he will continue the abuse BUT, if he can forgive his mother and continue to have a relationship with her how can you be sure he won't choose to turn a blind eye if this grandmother starts to abuse the grandchild.

Petra - posted on 10/17/2010

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Okay, so now we're back on the blame him bandwagon. The OP stated that they have a relationship now - not a close one, not a normal one, but only that they relate as mother/son. It is extremely vague and could mean that he only calls her up on mother's day out of obligation, or that they have tea every Sunday. You want to attribute potential abusive tendencies to a person who was abused as a teenager, and went on to forgive his abuser (in some capacity)? A lot of people are abused as teens - no one should point the finger at them and say that, because you have reached your teens, you must be somehow complicit to the situation. This is crazy. How is it, in any way, his fault? How is his forgiveness (the level of forgiveness being as yet unclear) indicative that he's going to "continue the cycle"? A lot of victims do continue the cycle, and a lot don't. That doesn't change the fact that they are victims of abuse and it doesn't mean that they are a danger to their children simply by virtue of being a victim of abuse.

Jessica - posted on 10/17/2010

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Oh yuck. I agree with Dana. I don't know that I would go as far as never letting him see his child, but I would be very wary about him being alone with the child. Whether or not this man would intend to, ts a fact that victims of abuse often repeat that cycle- its insidious like that. Especially combined with the fact that he actually still has a relationship with his mother- it makes me question his judgment as well. And you could be damn sure that if that were my child, I would never let the "grandmother" have any contact whatsoever.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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Well the problem would be, does he show proper judgment? He still has contact and a close relationship with this "woman" who spent MANY years molesting him. He was also a teenager when it started, this(according to the information given in the OP) is no young child that had been molested for years since early childhood. So, as a teenager who slept with his mother, how can you be sure he has good judgment? Is that the risk you would want to take with your child?

Jess - posted on 10/17/2010

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Pertra, I agree 100%

Krista, I'm a big believer of the term "You are who you associate yourself with", otherwise said "If you lay with dogs, you will get flee's". But if this was a mother who had been violated in such a way, would we even be having this conversation ?

There is a fair few women in this COM's group alone that have shared their personal stories, if they were going through divorce I wonder how they would feel if that past horror was used against them and they were labelled potential child molesters, rapist and alike. You can not withhold this man's rights because of what was done to him. The beef is with the grandmother not the father and as long as the child and grandmother have no contact than whats the problem ?

Jess - posted on 10/17/2010

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I guess by contesting his right to see his child your now punishing the victim, and haven't we been saying for years now that its never the victims fault ?

You can't blanket rule say all victims become the predator and if this man has had proper counselling and has truly moved on and forgiven his mother than why shouldn't be allowed to be a great father ? But even saying that, we don't make all mothers who were attacked as children get counselling. I know this is a touchy subject for a lot of women here in this group. Imagine if your husbands dug up what happened to you and tried to use it against you. It would be so unfair.

I would completely back a ban on the grandmother ever seeing the child, in fact the grandmother should be in jail. But thats a whole other matter !

I think this is a disgruntled mother just trying to find any reason to keep her child away from their father, who she is angry at. Very sad !

Tah - posted on 10/16/2010

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is he or has he gotten help for this because that is key....he may think he has forgiven his mom and moved on, but it is important that he seek help for the abuse he received even if he has shown himself to be a good father, she has every right to want to make sure her child is safe....

[deleted account]

I agree, the dynamics of every situation are different. Were they married still when she found out? Were they already divorced? Why did they divorce? Does he see his mom regularily and would he expect that child to be around his mother? How does he feel about what happened with his mom? Why has he forgiven her?

These are all questions that I want answers to but you're right, until I'm in that situation I can't say for sure but my GUT is telling me, NO FUCKIN' WAY!

Jodi - posted on 10/16/2010

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Dana, I do get where you're coming from and *to a point* I agree with you, precautions do need to be taken, and for the record, I think anyone who has ever been molested or beaten should seek therapy for themselves, whether they've had children or not, it can't do any harm right? But, I guess I'm looking at it like if it was MY husband and if I found out tonight that he had been secretly molested by his mother for however long. I would feel horrible for him, I would ask that he seek therapy, and that my daughter never ever be allowed NEAR his mother again, but I trust him and I feel like I would know that he would not hurt his daughter ever. It could be different with this woman and her trust issues or instincts about the father, but for me, I would still trust my husband based on who he is and how he has treated her since day one...I guess that's where I'm coming from, every situation is different and should be treated as such to a degree.

Isobel - posted on 10/16/2010

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I know a woman who maintained a relationship with her abuser...because in her mind she was watching over her siblings...I don't think you can take away her kids for that.

Isobel - posted on 10/16/2010

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I wouldn't want my kid around the MOLESTER...but that wasn't her husband.

[deleted account]

I never said don't allow the father ANY access - it would just need to be supervised and I love the idea of court ordered therapy. Precautions need to be taken and I think that's all this mother is trying to do. Until everything gets sorted out, I think she should have full custody.

Jodi - posted on 10/16/2010

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My mother forgave her brother who molested her and several of her sisters for nearly a decade...I could not ask for a better mother who has never molested me...I recommend seeking, even court ordered, therapy. Yes, the cycle can repeat, but doesn't make it a certainty and shouldn't give anyone the right to deny access to his/her children unless a professional declares that the person in question is highly likely to commit a sexual crime against the child. Even then, supervised visits can be arranged to allow the child to safely get to know their parent as long as that parent has not actually commited any crimes. Once sexual abuse has been commited, all bets are off.

Krista - posted on 10/16/2010

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I don't think that people who were molested should not be allowed to have children. But I do think that they should not be bringing their own children around their former molester. Forgiveness is one thing, folly is quite another.

Isobel - posted on 10/16/2010

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but that wasn't the point...she's worried he'll repeat the cycle...a lot of molested children grow up and repeat the cycle...should they be stopped from having children?

Dana - posted on 10/16/2010

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Maybe if that person forgives the molester and continues to have a relationship with them, even if isn't a sexual one.

Isobel - posted on 10/16/2010

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so are we advocating taking children away from EVERYBODY who was molested as a child now? cause there are going to be a lot of orphans around.

Dana - posted on 10/16/2010

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I wouldn't allow her to have any contact with my child. I would have a hard time allowing the father to have any contact either.

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2010

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Jodi, it's okay I forgive you:-) Perhaps I should have worded it a bit differently so maybe it wouldn't have seemed that way. Sometimes when i'm typing fast that happens and I don't always go back and re-read what it is I am trying to say lol.

Rosie - posted on 10/16/2010

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i was beaten as a child, it's been said that i am more likely to beat my children. i havn't, and won't. if my husband and i were to divorce and he were to use the actions of my father to get custody of my children it would be ridiculous. there is no way anybody can predict what someone will do.
how does he know that she (the ex wife) won't go off and sexually abuse her children? it's certainly not impossible to think that she might, it's happened before. should he get full custody based on something that hasn't happened? it's a bit extreme.

Jodi - posted on 10/16/2010

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Ahhh, I don't understand why you would put it that way I guess, but had I taken it as that...well, I probably still would have replied the same out of uncertainty of whether it was the yes side or the no side lol. Sorry about the confusion, I really thought you meant that.."yeah, maybe (as in "I guess") I am partially blaming the son..." I'm relieved that I was wrong! :)

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2010

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Jodi, I meant that as a maybe yes maybe no type of thing. Sorry if you misunderstood.

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2010

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I'm not blaming the son that is why I said that his wife or ex-wife should not have sole custody of their child. I feel that if I was blaming him, then he shouldn't be allowed anything to do with his child because that would make him just as sick as his mother.

[deleted account]

For me, it's not just about the child potentially being around the grandmother. It's about the fact that a lot of victims of abuse REPEAT the abuse with their children. I doubt the ex-wife had any knowledge that this happened before she married and had this persons child. Sorry, but there's an overwhelming likelihood that he could repeat that cycle of abuse with his son - nevermind the grandma. At the very least, it's a possibility and he shouldn't be allowed to be alone with that child.

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