How do I treat my son-in-law after I found out he hits my daughter!

Melody - posted on 07/18/2011 ( 202 moms have responded )

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My daughter has been married 2 years. She is 20 and her husband is 25. I treated my son-in-law like a son in every way. This weekend I got a call from my daughter - she wanted me to pick her up. She was driving and they were arguing and he started hitting her on the back of the head. She told me later that it wasn't the first time he has hit her. I don't know how to treat my son-in-law now. My feelings for him have changed. What do I do? I don't want to alienate my daughter either as she has chosen to stay with him despite the abuse. I know I can't make this decision for her but just have to be here for her. Any advice from other moms?

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Krista - posted on 07/18/2011

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Oh man, what a terrible situation. It's tough, because if you openly encourage her to leave, and he finds out, he'll start trying to alienate her from you (if he hasn't already). But by the same token, how can you just ignore the fact that he's an abusive bastard?

I honestly don't know what advice to give, but here is a phone number to a domestic abuse hotline -- the counsellors are trained to deal with these situations, and they can give you some good advice:
National Domestic Violence/Child Abuse/Sexual Abuse: 1-800-799-7233

The biggest thing is to be there for her, as frustrating as it will be sometimes. And keep boosting up her self-esteem. As an abuser, he's probably trying to make her feel that she can't do any better than him. So don't make her feel that she's dumb for staying with him -- just keep boosting her up, and letting her know that no matter what he says, she's not MAKING him hit her. He's a grown man, and this is something that he is CHOOSING to do.

ROBIN - posted on 07/19/2011

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I would by any means necessary get her out of that relationship. There is a long history of domestic violence in my family, my sister in law was killed by my brother after years of abuse. We tried to get her out but she said"he loves me. He will never kill me." She left behiind 3 children that I am now parenting.

Teresa - posted on 07/19/2011

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My advice was given to me by the Catholic Priest before he married us. A man who hits will always hit. Call the police you might be saving your daughter's life.

Rosey - posted on 07/19/2011

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Obviously getting married at 18 was too young for her. Have the bastard arrested. She is too young to know it won't just stop. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he loves her....she loves him. It won't end there. I worked in a Women's Shelter and witnesses this stuff. He won't change. She has to get away from him. As for mom not protecting her daughter, it is your responsibility to get her out of there. In some states, you are guilty of a crime by not reporting it. Choose your daughter over her innocence and his abusiveness.

Shawnn - posted on 07/18/2011

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Another thing, (besides prayer and support for your daughter, and prayer for you SIL) you need to document every time she calls you for something like this. Because, if it comes down to it, a written record of calls will be helpful in any court action against him.

It breaks your heart that she won't leave, but it is her decision. You, as a grandparent, can keep an eye on the kids, and if anything starts looking "off" with them, you certainly can report that. Best of luck, and all of my prayers to you!

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Shaniquarogers - posted on 04/05/2014

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Praying about the situation works and treat him with respect for you and your daughter's sake

Cheryl - posted on 04/05/2014

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I cant even talk to my daughter I don't know where she lives or where my grandkids go to school. Once my third grand baby was born on my birthday that was it for my son in law .My other two grand kids and me were inseparable they are noe 7and 8 and before she wasd born stayed with me every waking moment I was off work .Now its a long story of some of the craziest abuse 8 years and still going in and out of my house Im a single grandma widow and my heart has been ripped out of my chest I don't understand My daughter couldn't even have a cell phone she recently demanded one so I could at least have text with kids.Im being punished because thru one of his controlling rants I had 3 yrs ago mind you he decided now that meat was no good they were gonna be vegetarians whatever I had taken them to mall long lines no car left there by them kids hungry I gave my granddaughter one bite of a pretzel dog innocently she tells him .well that opened up excuse city I can no longer take them anywhere they cant come to my house alone I have to be supervised by him and her with them. Its just a form of control Ive never spent time with lil one she still loves me dearly.But IU finally couldn't be under his control anymore even at the cost of seeing kids .I explained to them I love them they actually know whats up cause our time together is watching them fight about whatever were doing.its pitiful and embarrassing they are hurting and they don't understand but I wont ecept their abusive behavior to each other therefore my grand kids think I accept it I don't my life my heart is broken ?>??waiting and praying

Dee - posted on 08/01/2011

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Melody, Krista has given you some good advise. But to add to that, try and educate your daughter. Contact that number that Krista gave you and they can probably give you a local number for your area to get in touch with. Get some information from them and whenever you are with your daughter or whenever she calls you for help let her know that she is not the only one this happens to and she can make it stop, she can have a better life for her and her children.

Aunt - posted on 08/01/2011

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I totally agree with Krista's post! I was in an abusive relationship when I was 23. It took getting pregnant and being at knife point to decide that I was too goo to live that way. Her self esteem must be shattered. Do point out her strengths and love her...just hate the abusive. It is a trap in that if you give her any ultimatums she will close up and stay away forcing her to stay with him. Just keep him close enough to watch......she will leave as soon as she decides she worth it.

Rosey - posted on 08/01/2011

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Sadly, these men who hit women rarely confront men. I have seen them break down in tears if a man hit them. I'm not saying let your husband and sons beat your SON IN LAW up, but it looks like he's scared of that. Good for you that you stopped this one.

Rosey - posted on 08/01/2011

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Sadly, these men who hit women rarely confront men. I have seen them break down in tears if a man hit them. I'm not saying let your husband and sons beat your SON IN LAW up, but it looks like he's scared of that. Good for you that you stopped this one.

Shantae - posted on 08/01/2011

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that was the situation i was in i finally left my son`s father a couple months ago he was physically emotionally & mentally abusive to me.Now for you you to be calm& in you daughters corner.She knows when she will be ready to go. it took me him choking me while i was driving with our kid in the car. sorry im rambling but of course your feelings are going to be like that still talk to your daughter check on her but if you dont have anything to say to your SIL dont say it because it can aggravate the situation im here for you n prayin! xo

Charm - posted on 08/01/2011

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I grew up with my father hitting my mom. It took her 18 yrs before she left him. Its bad enough that your child is getting hit by her hubby but its even worse if they have kids. Can she picture her hubby beating up the kids when they have them? My dad would hit me too often when my mom wasnt around but I never said anything because I thought it was just the way things are. As I grew up I wanted my mom to leave my dad, but instead of leaving him she sent me to be raised by my grandparents which I didnt mind at all until I found out the the beating on her got worse. So bad that she actually left him when he beat her so hard that she could hardly breathe. I never understood why she went back to him after that. Her reason was that because he was my father and did not want to break up a family. Im all for keeping a family together dont get me wrong, it is what I believe in and what my faith dictates. But my faith never said stay with him even if he uses you for a punching bag. If he cant or chooses not to get help for his issues it will only get worse. Right before Christmas of 2000 our dog bit me on my face, it was just a little bite and there was no harm done, but my dad beat that dog up for what he did to me. It was horrible to watch. I couldnt take it and my mom finally asked me if I wanted to leave and I told her that I do but only if she comes with me. We left him and not gotten in touch with him until a couple of years ago to meet his grandchildren and son in law. He has change in a way that he doesnt hit his current girlfriend but I still would not leave him alone with my children. I love my dad still because he is making an effort to reach out but leaving him was still the best decision my mom and I made. I hope your daughter does not let her situation get worse. I heard that daughters marry their father which was something that I was always afraid off, but God blessed me with a wonderful husband who loves and protects me and my children. Goodluck to your daughter. I hope things turn around for her and that she changes her mind about staying with him, before it gets worse.

Romancia - posted on 07/30/2011

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omg this is horrible. I think you need to but her "Why men love bitches" that might give her some self confidence to consider leaving. its a really good book i wish i had it years ago. I think she needs to leave or make a report to the police and leave, either way she needs to get out of that situation, he obviously does not love her because nobody beats on somebody they love. if its just 2 yrs into the marriage and hes hitting on her already if she stays 10 yrs down the road its not going to get any better and if they have kids would he not hit her infront the kids? thats not a healthy relationship to be in. i feel for u as a mother becuase shes a grown woman you cant make her leave but shes still your baby. if you have a husband or some brothers they need to sit down with him and give him a good talking to let him know that her family is not going to put up with that even if she will, let her see that she is loved no matter what and that you have her best interest at heart. if that does not work find a battered woman who had teh courage to leave to talk to her so she can understand what shes setting herself up for. omg i really hope everything works out for her and you. also if she has bruses document them, never know how useful they may come in the future. and if i were you he wasn't getting as much as a hello from me

Marsha - posted on 07/30/2011

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This is a serious issue it can only gets worse. Tell your daughter to run away from this man as fast as she can.

Kirsty - posted on 07/30/2011

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I was in the exact situation 2years ago and I approached my son-in-law and told him that if he ever did it again I would send around my husband and her 2 brothers to do to him exactly what he had done to my daughter and see how he liked it. I have a great relationship with my daughter and she told me he only once lost his temper and she reminded him about what I said and he didn't hit her he just went for a walk to calm down. It is now 3years later and he has never touched her in a bad way again and apologizes about the past regularly. I hope that you can do this for your daughter as there is nothing worse than abuse on anyone.

Yvonne - posted on 07/29/2011

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Support your daughter. Give her the resources to gain confidence to realize this guy is a dirt-bag and no spouse should hit another spouse. She needs to come to that decision. If you try to make it for her you will just alienate yourself from her. Make sure she stays in contact ALWAYS with her friends and family. If she falls off the radar, step in agressively as it would appear that the abuse had escalated. Domestic batterers are all about control. They will blame, threaten and isolate their victims. She needs your support, so talk to her daily or several times a day. No pressure on her. It took a lot for her to disclose this bit of info, even to you, her mom.... God's speed!

Claudia - posted on 07/29/2011

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try to contact one of those shelters for abused women, talk to them about bringing her to one of their support group meetings. Maybe hearing the other women experience from when the abuse started and where the abuse took them, maybe will help her make a better choice. Now if after this, she does decide to stay with him, all you can do is love her without ennebling her.

Lizz - posted on 07/29/2011

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Get her a cell phone that he does not know about, with important numbers already programed in, have clothes, supplies, important documents at your house, birth certificates of her AND her children...as well as the numbers of safe houses in your area....have you spoken to a neighbor, who can inform you if they suspect imminent danger>????

Mrs. Danielle - posted on 07/29/2011

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I am 27 and I know that for a mom that may be very frustrating to see your daughter going through something such as this. I would suggest that you let your daughter and son work out thier issues and give advice only if your daughter ask for it. It can make matters a lot worse if you continue to give your opinion on what your daughter should do.

Jessi - posted on 07/29/2011

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Let her know regularly that your door is always open. When she comes, listen to her, encourage her to stay with you or help her find a place of her own. Make sure she is on a reliable form of birth control so she doesn't have children with him. It may take time, but she'll eventually want to leave him if she can see a way out. If she has children already (whether or not he is the father) you need to call child and family services in the area they live in. It is a crime to abuse your spouse, and another crime to do it in front of children. If family services gets involved they can help her get out of the relationship too. Know that domestic violence usually gets worse over time until old age when it may taper off. Unless he gets some real help he won't likely stop hitting her. Treat him as nicely as you want to, but make sure that your daughter knows how much you love her and that you'll help her leave him as soon as she says the word.

Mary - posted on 07/28/2011

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Tell him that if he hits her again and you find out about it you are going to hit him and it's going to be worse than what he did to her. Your daughter doesn't need to stay in an abusive marriage and it won't stop until she puts a stop to it. She needs to get out of that mess cause it's only going to get worse. I know my first marriage was like that and the only way I stopped it was I got out. If they have children it will eventually affect the children. She really needs to fix him a pot of grits throw them on him and start hitting him with an iron frying pan like the girl did in one of Madia's movies. You need to find someone to talk to about it. If you don't it could be too late one day and I hope and pray that doesn't happen. I promise you it will only get worse. You and your daughter will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lavina - posted on 07/27/2011

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I think now is the time that you start praying for your daughter. Unfortunately its a difficult situation for both you and your daughter. There are ways to encourage her without directly telling her to leave. Educate her on her options as a woman and what God wants for her. Sometimes young ladies don't understand that there is so much that is out there for them but they have to make the best decision rather than just settle. This is still your baby and you don't ever want any harm brought to her.

Shawntae - posted on 07/27/2011

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I am so sorry this has happened to you and most of all your daughter.....I will pray for you guys but she has to be the one to leave and you being mean to him will only push her away......soooooo keep your son-in law close!!!!!

Carolyn - posted on 07/27/2011

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After she leaves him. Kiss him goodbye and tell him your so happy she is not with him any longer. Done! She's safe! Send her to a good therapist. She will appreciate.

Sha - posted on 07/27/2011

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Hi Melody, Your daughter needs your help. She must be feeling helpless and confused. You are a wife too and you are her mother. That is why she opens up to you. You are the best person who can help and support her get through her ordeal. It is a blessing that you learned about this now rather than later, while she still has her respect and courage, as she is still capable of seeing the reality of the situation and doesn’t blame herself for it. We know for a fact that she still loves him and wants to make her marriage works, who doesn't right? (I hope it is not fear that is holding her back). You’ll need to find this out somehow. Keep your relationship close with them, tighten the bond and strengthen the trust. Get her to be involved in some of the things you do. Invite her over for afternoon tea to try the cake you made from the new recipe book you’ve bought or ask her to join you for lunch at a newly opened restaurant or invite her to help you pick up some materials for your cushions or window curtain. Find a good quiet moment to have a casual mother-daughter chat about happy things while you are out with her i.e. about self, work, new hobby or favourite things before you move the topic to her love life; your son-in law. Maybe while driving or when you stop for tea or coffee or at the park. Express your feelings for her. Tell her how worried you were after that day, how much it crushed you are as a mother to see her unhappy. Tell her how much she's worth to you and how you and your hubby have raised her with love, respect and care and that is how she has developed into such a beautiful, intelligent and a wonderful young woman. Allow her to vent, explain or clarify the situation. Be supportive and validate her feelings without passing judgement. Support her decisions whether you agree or disagree. Explain to her the core value of marriage and the importance of a healthy relationship build with love and respect as it is a lifelong commitment. Remind her of her strong character that she must hold onto firmly; her values and beliefs. And remind her that she needs to show him that she respects herself and will not allow anyone to hurt her hence reminding him that she needs him to start respecting her. She needs to tell him to stop each time he tries to hit her and to discontinue engaging in the argument no matter how much she badly wants to argue. If need be, just walk away from the situation. Do not show any sign of fear instead remain cool and expressionless. No one deserved to be ill-treated regardless of what the situation may be. When the matter cools down and both parties are ready to talk, tell her to express her true feelings; about her hurt and disappointment. His response will tell her how much he truly values her. Remind your daughter that you will always be there for her through good times and bad and that you will always be supportive of her, with unconditional love. She can rely on you and can come home whenever she wants. I wish you and your daughter the very best in life. Good luck!

Clare - posted on 07/27/2011

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i would talk to him first get both sides of story, and if it is true remind him that your watching him now! n he needs to earn your respect back remember in the heat of an arguement things are made to sound 10 times worse, im sure u brought your daughter up proplery so she will make the right decision just support is all u can do, if you go 'sticking your nose in' (no disrespect) your daughter might take it out on you. good luck it must be a hartd time for you

Norma - posted on 07/26/2011

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Stay out of it mom. It she asks for your advice tell her to go to a pastor in her church or a church.

April - posted on 07/26/2011

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Tell her what she would do if it happened to you and take that advice I know sometimes it's easy said than done

April - posted on 07/26/2011

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Tell her what she would do if it happened to you and take that advice I know sometimes it's easy said than done

Kathleen - posted on 07/26/2011

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I WOULD tell him that if he ever hits your daughter again you will find someone to teach him the same way or level him. UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR from a life partner,

Carolyn - posted on 07/26/2011

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Don't let your daughter stay. We moved my daughter out while he was at work. Best thing I ever did. He was a nut! She is married now with a child. I'm a grandparent!

Heather - posted on 07/26/2011

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You have to be careful confronting him, it can make the abuse worse. She has to come to the point that she isn't willing to take it anymore. Sometime the abused use the logic of "others get it much worse than me so I will be ok". That doesn't make it right but sometimes you use any port in a storm.

Hannah - posted on 07/26/2011

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"If you have always treated him like a son, continue to do so. What would you do to your son if you found out he was abusing his wife? " ...Nooooo if he stops being a good family member you correct that sht. If I found out my son was abusing his wife I would beat the sht out of him and do whatever I could to protect my daughter in law. Like someone else said, this is not a "talk it out" situation, when someone gets to the point that they are physically harming their spouse there is no getting better, just gettin gone

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If you have always treated him like a son, continue to do so. What would you do to your son if you found out he was abusing his wife? Take him out alone, talk to him, and let him know this is not ok. Ask him how he would feel if someone did that to his daughter or his sister. If you can't get thru to him, get your daughter into counseling. It is NOT ok to stay him a man that abuses you. She needs to have more self-worth and confidence. They need counseling, and try to get them into it!

Jane - posted on 07/26/2011

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That's a tough on because I would want to beat the s**t out of him! You are right you don't want to alienate her because she is going to need your support! Ask him why he hits her and maybe suggest some help....

Brittany - posted on 07/26/2011

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i was in an abusive relationship.trust me when she gets fed up she will leave.it took me a year and a half to gain enough courage and anger to get out and leave.she will come around.its hard to do but my dad did it.and i am proud to say i overcame that situation and have definately grown from it!just tell her keep her head up.it will turn out ok.

Jani - posted on 07/26/2011

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You do not have to nor must you treat that man with any respect!! He is an abuser that’s it! Get your daughter out of there. She doesn’t know why she stays she only hopes it will get better and it NEVER does! A mother is strong and we can handle the hate and the anger from our children because we know at the end of the day that it was the right choice. I have been there when I was still in school, for 3 years!! I always made excuses why I staid ....I was young. Some how he always got me to believe that I made hom angry and its my fault! He turned his friends in to walls I had to climb to get out! He even told me one day after we broke up that My husband will also hit me I just have to wait!

I am now 26 happily married with 2 beautiful boys and a husband who does more than I could have ever dreamed. I do not think talking to him or her will help. Get someone BIG and strong and send him to her husband to explain that either HE leaves or....

She does not have to know, rather he up and leaves than trying to solve things. This is not a situation where you talk it out! You just leave.

Jane - posted on 07/26/2011

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sorry no advice, but my heart does go out to you and your daughter. All the best for an outcome that everyone learns from and is stronger for the experience.

Donna - posted on 07/26/2011

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The most inportant thing is your daughter knows that YOU are her mum and her ESPACE rounte when she does decide to leave. Can you talk to her alone? Tell her she is safe with you and that she is worth more than a man who hits her. If she wants to stay with him suggest anger mangement. Speak to him not warn him off but just that there is help out there. Talk to a chairty who helps women that suffer abuse. Plan what you will do if she turns up at your door? Have a bag ready with things for you and her to spend some time out of town if this is nessary. Set up a bank account if possible with enoght money for her to espace if nessary. Get your daughter to speak to a conculler. DONT LET HIM SHUT YOU OUT!

Rita - posted on 07/25/2011

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I agree with you Hanna..poor boy my arse! I've lived it as a child and how many times I saw my Dad knock my mother out over the 'dishes smelling of egg' or 'my meat is too tough'! He scared her so much that she is still there and afraid to come and live with us. He beat her while she was pregnant, he beat her when she come home from hospital after giving birth.. I had my childhood taken away with the stresses of being beaten...I am 39 years old and have 6 other siblings and NONE of us are abusers..mentally, emotionally or physically. I cannot even give you a figure of the amount of times he said 'I'm sorry..I won't do it again.' It's all about being in control...looks like it's working considering she has chosen to stay or am I the only one who has noticed this????

Hannah - posted on 07/25/2011

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"the depth of his hits" "this poor boy" What? HE is the one hurting another person...people go through horrible abuse everyday and turn out to be hurt, but good solid people. Hitting another person because your "stressed out" is totally unacceptable

Shelia - posted on 07/25/2011

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Geesz! What a horrible situation. Don't think any if us could give u better advice than what krista posted, it is domestic violence. Having said that, I also understand that there has to be other factors that r in play here. I'm sure u have raised ur daughter to be strong & independent ... It should when she called u:) support her in whatever means she needs, and please offer counseling... Bc he probably didn't intend to do this, it maybe part of his childhood.. We all know that daily stressorscan influence ones behavior. We don't know the depth of his hits... Not that one is better than the other, but this is just my own opinion that if this poor boy was not taught the correct utensils to use in life-- then he was very much cheated out if many of the basics-- that's just who I am I believe he needs to be shown the correct way.u will know more these next few days... U have all our support girl. No one wants anyone to go thru this, much less our own children. Here's my personal email if u ever need to bounce ideas off one another. My 2 sons are going to be 12 & 14 this october-much younger.. But we all need others help. Praying for strength & patient understanding for ur entire family. From:cajunland USA Shelia:) * psbakidder@hotmail.com

Hannah - posted on 07/25/2011

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My husband says you should "treat" him with a crowbar to the temple. That should about do it.

Eleanor - posted on 07/25/2011

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I am sorry for you, your daughter and her children..I have been where she is. She is going to have to realize "I can do this bad by myself..and better for my kids." It's not going to get better, he will say he's sorry and it will never happen again but it will. Does she have any children with him yet? If no..RUN!! It's eaizer to break clean if she doesn't. If she does ask her if she would like her son to think it's ok to do this to women or have her daughter to think this is how a man should treat her? I know it sounds kind of harsh she is young and does not need to let this ruin the rest of her life because trust me when I tell you... it will

Eileen - posted on 07/25/2011

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I've posted a long reply- and am adding that I recommend as a mom and anger management/life coach to help your daughter to get help since it is an abusive relationships- the odds are that it will always be. Really.

Hannah - posted on 07/25/2011

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What. How do you treat him? You are talking like he peed on your rug. This man is abusing your child! You call the fcking police! You drag your daughter kicking and screaming away from this man because if you dont he is going to get worse and worse and worse and someday he will beat her to DEATH.

Laurien (Bo) - posted on 07/25/2011

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Anyway you can let him know that you know about it? If it's out in the open he might get help and if he doesn't then at least your daughter knows that he is not going to change.

Eileen - posted on 07/25/2011

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I went thru a similar-different experience several years ago- if it helps :): My daughter told and her husband had been married for 5 years living in London. We thought they were engaged- it had been a rocky relationship due to his infidelity..several years before I was actually in London looking for a wedding venue.. turns out she was married the whole time and her sister (living in Madrid) had been a witness in the city hall and kept it secret. Soo..over brakfast while she was home the tale was told.. and my younger daughter arrived the next day- was relieved we knew as she couldnt hold it any longer.
So far they all live happily ever after- but of course the odds are against them.
Now, re your question - I too found it extremely difficult to treat him as a "son" but, yes, as this is what she wanted we try our best and as time moves on we find it easier. They had a celebration of marriage in NY last year, right before the 6th anniversary.
I am a life coach and thought I'd heard just about everything! This was and may always be a challenge- good thing I have good acting-act as if-skills :)
You may contact me if you'd like: 516 623 4353 for a talk/eileen@balanceandpower.com

[deleted account]

I was living with my sister while her first husband was abusing her. When I finally found out about it, I asked her why she was taking his shit, she had me and our mom, she didn't need him. Her answer was always some like, "Well, he can have a bit of a temper." or "But it wouldn't be good for our son."

Finally I got her with the son one. I reminded her of the years of mental abuse we went through with our dad. I found my self playing the protector.

She finally got it through her head. Took well over a year but it finally happened. Because of it all she's had to change her name, her sons name, she's homeschooling out of fear of the father finding them, she's even gone so far as to change her soc. He's been deported but, he's a slick one and as a permeant warrent out if he ever sneaks back in (he was over here legally).

One good sign is that your daughter's finally talking about it. It's scary getting away. Make sure she knows that there are a lot of people who can protect her from him, if she ever needs it. Look up numbers for her and give them to her, or at least let her know you have them ready. Act like you know nothing to the husband. Being his "friend" could actually be helpful when your daugther finally decides to leave. Abusers are slick charismatic bastards.

Leeann - posted on 07/25/2011

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I'd sit her down and tell her how you feel about the situation.Try to be nice to him for your daughter's sake,i know it will be hard.Personally,i would want to rip his head off,but our daughters come first

Aunty - posted on 07/25/2011

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WHY is she staying with him? fear? She can stay with him without being with him. Physical abuse is NEVER ok - it destroys more than just her body - He must get help - before she goes back to him - this is a decision he has taken out of her hands - You are the mom - do whatever it takes to keep your daughter safe - I know a mother whose daughter would not move out - so she moved in. Your daughter cannot be alone with a man who abuses her. If he is your son - you must protect him, too - to heck with your feelings - go with the Truth - eventually - the feelings will catch up -

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