Planning to leave with small children

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WaitingForSunshine

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Planning to leave with small children
« on: July 09, 2021, 12:47:07 AM »
Hi,
Iím new here and have read through posts and am shocked/comforted/sad on how I relate to so many things you all are posted when Iíve felt so alone for so long. Iíve been married for 6 years and have two children (both under 4). I just came Out of the FOG last week and realized I have to leave. My BP husband has been emotionally abusive towards me our whole marriage and some physical violence as well.
He has never done anything to our children, but he has yelled at me and thrown things when theyíre in the next room.
I just hired an attorney and told my sister and parents what has been happening last week.
We are in a happy phase right now and I feel horrible for planning this behind his back. I feel like if I could just try harder, I could keep my family together. I feel like itís my fault and am I overreacting? I want to feel strong and confident about the decision to leave, but I donít. The logical part knows this is the right choice, but itís like my feelings arenít also there.
Iím scared of going through this process. Iím scared of my life changing. Iím scared of changing my childrenís life. Iím more scared of continuing to live this life that isnít what I want and isnít healthy.
Iím trying to plan how to tell my BP husband that Iím leaving. My lawyer told me I have enough for a restraining order, but I donít want to just out of the blue, when weíre in a happy phase, hit him with that without any speaking or warning. Do I try to talk and tell him Iím leaving? Things escalate very fast and can get scary with him. I will leave, but I donít want to rush the kids out, that would be traumatic for them. My mom is planning on coming and getting a place set up so the kids and I can have somewhere to go. My goal is to make this as safe and non traumatic as possible for them. Iíve asked him many, many times to go to therapy and he always says he never will. Do I ask him one last time? And when he says no and rages, I leave? Then file the restraining order and get the kids?
Thank you for reading

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square

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2021, 01:20:45 AM »
Good luck to you. Iím glad you are taking action.

I always thought if I left Iíd get all my ducks in a row and then wait till the next blowup to actually exit.

It may not matter, though. They rewrite it in their heads anyway.

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WaitingForSunshine

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 01:41:32 AM »
Thank you.
ďIíd get all my ducks in a row and then wait till the next blowup to actually exitĒ thatís literally exactly what Iím thinking. It feels better than just leaving when things are good. But youíre completely right that the situation will inevitably get twisted to what suites his story.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2021, 03:09:39 AM »
It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and are taking some big steps!  Hiring a lawyer and getting your support network in place are great ideas, as is getting a place set up so you dont have that to worry about.
I got emotional reading your post, as I can relate.  My biggest roadblocks were concerns about the kids and thinking I would be wrong to leave while things were good. 
My BP husband has been emotionally abusive towards me our whole marriage and some physical violence as well.
He has never done anything to our children, but he has yelled at me and thrown things when theyíre in the next room.
You do not need to wait for him to become abusive again in order to justify your exit.  You dont need to trigger him first.  My therapist finally convinced me of that.  I've come to see a year and a half later that she was right.  He has cycled through good periods (trying to convince me to come back) and always ends up doing the behaviors again. If you aren't already, I recommend getting a therapist of your own.  You dont need for him to go with you.  A lot of times, they can manipulate counselors into believing you are the problem (or at least that it is 50/50), so couples counseling can sometimes make you feel worse.

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I feel like if I could just try harder, I could keep my family together. I feel like itís my fault and am I overreacting? I want to feel strong and confident about the decision to leave, but I donít.
It is for sure scary, but it isnt your fault.  If he has been abusive, he is the reason for the breakdown.  Years of gaslighting can make you question yourself endlessly.  I found it helpful to document everything (keeping it factual in case it ever ends up in a courtroom), writing down incidents, conversations, etc..  I re-read the entries when I start to question myself. 

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Iím more scared of continuing to live this life that isnít what I want and isnít healthy.
Re-read this as often as you need to. 

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Do I try to talk and tell him Iím leaving? Things escalate very fast and can get scary with him.
Your safety and that of your kids is the number one priority.  Have you spoken with a domestic violence counselor?  They can often help you plan a safe exit strategy, which sometimes does not include telling them first.  Have you spoken with your attorney about your plan? 

Big hugs  :grouphug:.  I found so much strength through this board. 


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notrightinthehead

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2021, 08:09:12 AM »
If your husband has been physically abusive before you might put yourself and your children in danger if you tell him that you want to leave.  It might be safer to leave when he is not around and let him know this way.  You have been given good advice above - I want to add to that there are two books that might be helpful for you - "Why does he do that?" by Bancroft and "Stop Caretaking the Borderline/Narcissist" by Fjelstad.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2021, 08:38:03 AM »
Firstly well done for making this decision. Your children will thank you one day.

As everyone has said, you have NO obligation to an abusive spouse, none whatsoever. Once someone steps over that line, they are not deserving of a civilized, end of the relationship chat. Not that you would ever get one with an abusive PDperson. Your number one priority is your safety and that of the children.  Some PDs become very unhinged when their partners leave them and you would do well to take all the precautions that you can. This isn't to scare you, but to strengthen you and get you safely out, away and to safety. Get all the support you can. Don't be embarrassed by your situation. You'd be surprised by how many people out there have experienced similar (there's a lot of it about)

Lean on us here for advice, support and a shoulder to cry on. Once free, you'll be amazed at how good life can be again.
It gets better. It has to.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2021, 09:10:35 AM »
Hi WaitingForSunshine, I've been in this exact situation and left earlier this year. Some of my posts might help- or maybe not, I don't know. It's never easy and I wish I could have been stronger and done things differently, but anyway look, I got out, and that's the main thing, even if I had a few wobbles.

I had an apartment set up before I left  and that was a big help. The problem was, looking back I'm sure he sensed I was leaving- and he turned on the charm, was extremely nice for the last month or so. It made it harder to leave, for sure. But it's just more emotional manipulation. Ad everyone here has said, you don't have to wait for an excuse to leave- his behaviour has been bad enough already.

In terms of logistics, I told him and the kids that we were going for a weekend away, to visit relatives (people he doesn't like so he wouldn't want to join us!). This gave me an excuse to pack and semi-prepare the kids. Then a day or so into the 'trip' I phoned to say we were not coming back. He blew up at me. I'm glad I had this conversation over the phone, not in person.

With little kids (mine are under 4 too) the important stuff is bringing their favourite toys and books, and keeping them busy when you move. Mine have surprised me with how well they have adapted. For little kids, their mum is their whole world. If you are ok, they will be ok! They feed off our emotions so much, its unreal.

The difficult thing with young kids is visitation and getting your head around pdH having unsupervised access. This has been my stumbling block. But in your case, if you have evidence of physical violence, then you might be able to limit his visitation.

Keep chatting to us, we are here for you x

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WaitingForSunshine

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2021, 11:38:40 AM »
Thank you all so much for the responses, advice and support. Iím talking with my lawyer about the best exit plan as well as my therapist. I still canít get my head to accept that itís over and Iím going to leave. I stay up at night thinking is it going to be this week or next week? Is this our last dinner together as a family? Is this the last nice thing heíll ever say to me? Similar to what cagedbirdsinging said, heís turning on the charm and making it so hard to think itís not my fault and not in my head. @bunnyme, I just started to document things last week and I also go back and read things when I get confused. It helps me to think that Iím not crazy, this is real and this is bad. Itís just hard because we are still living together and I feel so deceitful and fake for pretending that things are ok, and like Iím leading him on making him think weíre good when in reality we are far from that. None of the abuse is documented besides my journal so I donít know how that will play out for custody. The physical part has only been pushing, grabbing and throwing things. I know I shouldnít say ďonlyĒ, but heís never left bruises and Iíve never had the courage to call the police.
My ideal short term situation would be for the kids to remain in our house with all their things and where they are comfortable. He can come some days and I will stay with my mom, and when I come he will stay somewhere else.
I want to stay focused on the immediate issue, which is how to safely leave and make sure the kids are safe and comfortable, they love their dad and I donít want to take that from them. I hadnít even thought about the next part, that most of you have posted about, where heís going to rage then turn on the charm repeatedly when I leave and how to manage that. Thank you all again for sharing your stories and replying, itís nice knowing Iím not alone.

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Stillirise

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2021, 01:29:47 PM »
You are courageous, and are taking bold steps for yourself and your children! Youíve gotten some great advice from other posters.  I just wanted to add, even though I shouldnít have been shocked, after reading here awhile, I still was floored at how much my uPDxh followed the PD ďplaybookĒ when I left.  All I can say is, prepare as best you can, and then learn to rely on your wits and intuition again.  I know I was a little rusty in that area, after years of living with emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical abuse.

I recommend keeping a bag hidden, but ready, with clothes, cash, copies of important documents, keys., etc.  Then, execute your plan accordingly, but with the benefit of being prepared to leave with a momentís notice, should that become necessary.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, Iíll rise.
óMaya Angelou

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JustKeepTrying

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2021, 03:25:21 PM »
If you read some of my earlier posts you will see why waiting can be harmful.  I waited every time it was good and for the cycle to restart and I would get sucked into the fog and another few years would slip by.  The long-term stress led to serious physical.  I thought I could wait and shield my children until they were older and now they don't believe me and we are on very rocky ground with each other.  My OCPDxh is a master manipulator and it has been difficult at best.

There are excellent lists to help you plan - check here and online at the domestic violence hotline - follow those lists and make sure you have the paperwork you will need.  It will save you money, headaches, and time in the future.

As for your little ones, unless they are disabled (I have an autistic son), they are resilient.  They don't need to be in their own home with their own things - they just need a stable mom - time with you, etc. The rest is window dressing and they will view it as an adventure.  Trust me.  In the long run, it will be hard, but better for them to be in a place with emotional stability.  So they don't have their toys - they can play with pots and pans and plastic dishes or whatever.  They are far more flexible than we give them credit for.

I walked out with what I could if in my car.  I eventually received through the divorce process what meant most to me but I learned that it is just stuff.

You are stronger than you know.  You are a good mom.  You got this.

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BeautifulCrazy

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2021, 06:46:46 PM »
I just wanted to emphasize what the last few posters have already said about the children.

The kids will follow your lead when responding to what is going on.
Especially at that young age, they will turn to you, looking for guidance and cues.
(Think of how, literally, your toddler will turn and look at you for a sign before touching an unknown object, engaging in a new situation or interacting with a new person!)
Your actions and words let them know if a situation is safe, something to be cautious about, or something to fearful of.
I learned something very valuable about parenting and life in general when I learned that my children's experience of the world was directly affected by me!

If you are ok, they will be ok! Just like CagedBird says!
This may seem like a lot of pressure at times when you are not feeling very ok. And at other times it might feel like you are faking it until you make it. That's okay. You can do it!
Be the best mom you can by making sure to prioritize self care. You may have heard this many times already, but you have to put on your own oxygen mask before attending to others. It might feel selfish but do it anyway. It is worth it. Do whatever you need to do to be at your best. Sleep. Hydrate. Eat nutritiously. Therapy. Listen to uplifting music. Meditation. Time outs. Take 20 minutes to get grounded when you feel overwhelmed... just stop, have a shower or have a cup of tea. Lean on your support network. (They want the best for you and will be glad to help. They are probably willing to do MUCH more than you would ever ask!) Soak in the tub. Drop everything and center yourself with a breathing exercise. Get your kids involved if you can. Don't ever be afraid to let them see you navigate through a tough moment. Despite what some of us were taught in childhood, it isn't weak to feel low, or experience a hard time. And it is a solid life skill to be able to acknowledge this happening and take a few moments to rebalance. I'm not advocating falling apart in front of your kids. Don't do that. But there will be times you are not at your best and they will certainly notice.

Remember also that is never selfish to prioritize your own well being. That is another life skill. Your mental health and physical health are incredibly important. As a single parent, if one of those things suffers, the whole family is affected. Even here, you are the role model. Visibly prioritizing this will help teach your kids to value and respect themselves.

For me this was critical: You set the tone. (This is one of my parenting mantras)
Whatever happens, whether it is fleeing in the night and everything suddenly different, or staying in the family home with a whole new family dynamic, YOU are often the deciding factor in how your children experience it. Is it stressful and scary? Or is it a new adventure that arouses curiosity? Is it only sad, leaving old things behind? Or is it also a chance to make new choices and try new things and do some things exactly the way you always wanted?
Some of it might still be difficult for them along the way. Support and validate that as it comes up. But you, the parent, choose the focus. Do it mindfully as much as you can.
Even years on, as a parent to tween and teens, remembering that "I set the tone" is a great tool. I am in charge. And, mostly, they will follow my lead.
When my 15 year old and I disagree, it doesn't have to escalate into a confrontational and angry interaction. And if it does, it doesn't have to stay there. It can be a negotiation instead. Or maybe it can be a brainstorming session.
I decide.
I set the tone.
Maybe we have to walk away and cool off first to get there, but I get to establish the mood when we come back. When we do, I speak quietly, I use a neutral tone and constructive language, I listen respectfully and maintain open, accepting body posture. I model. They follow. (Usually)

JustKeepTrying is sooo right about young kids' resiliency. At such a young age, your kids will likely only remember the general feeling of a time and place, plus a few specific memories you would not be able to predict. Mine were 6 and 3 when we fled to a DV shelter. They were not "traumatised" and don't remember the completely insane parental conflict going on. They remember things like how exciting it was to get to sleep in bunkbeds  (they forget it was at the DV shelter) They remember how awesome it was to ride their wheeled toys and run and play in the empty new place we moved in to. (To this day, I don't think they realize it was because we left with absolutely nothing!). For them it was a time of fun and positive changes.
So don't underestimate your children's resiliency and adaptability. At that age they adjust quickly and will accept as normal whatever YOU treat as normal. (A double edged sword if you are accepting abusive behaviour) Home is wherever YOU are. If you are calm and consistent in love and discipline, anywhere you take them will be safe, loving and predictable, not traumatic.

I suspect this is getting long, but I do have a couple more things I think are SUPER important that I want to add.
One is that you cannot overprotect your physical and emotional safety.
When you say:
"My ideal short term situation would be for the kids to remain in our house with all their things and where they are comfortable. He can come some days and I will stay with my mom, and when I come he will stay somewhere else."
I fear for you.
This is a very nice plan. It is a plan that is even recommended, in books, and by mediators and lawyers. But this is for fairly stable people in non- contentious separations.
This is absolutely NOT a safe or recommended plan for anyone in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, or leaving someone disordered.

-"The statistics outline the reality that the most dangerous time for a survivor/victim is when she leaves the abusive partner; 77 percent of domestic violence-related homicides occur upon separation and there is a 75 percent increase of violence upon separation for at least two years."

-One study found in interviews with men who have killed their wives that either threats of separation by their partner or actual separations were most often the precipitating events that lead to the murder.

- Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship.

I understand.
You want to be nice.
You want to be fair.
You want to be reasonable.
You want things to go as smoothly and as civilly as possible for the children.
But having "left" and remaining in the same home leaves you vulnerable and unsafe in a whole bunch of ways. Coercion, blackmail, assault, sabotage, love bombing and other manipulations, gaslighting, controlling, using the children to create FOG, using your possessions to create FOG,
You don't need any of it. Neither do your children.
He might not kill you, but one thing you can be absolutely sure of with a PD: Things are going to escalate.
I wish someone had taught me much earlier to stop focussing on being"nice" and "civil" to my PDxh and stop trying so hard to be "fair" to him, as a person and parent.
I wish I had known to Be nice to myself first by protecting myself.
My advice: Anything to do with your abuser should ALWAYS come second to protecting yourself from further physical and emotional harm. He can take care of himself. In my experience, PDs and abusive individuals don't experience "nice", "good" and "fair" as being positive character traits, they see them instead as weaknesses they can (and will!) exploit.
So in an abusive or PD relationship Niceness = Vulnerability.
Personally, I would have had much better outcomes and saved myself a lot of grief if I had understood that sooner.

Wow, your post has brought up a lot of memories for me!!
I am wishing you so much strength and steadfastness!!
Sending virtual love and support,

~BC

P.S. Don't feel bad about being deceitful or fake or pretending everything is fine until you can leave. That is a perfect example of prioritizing your own safety and is exactly what you should be doing!!

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Bunnyme

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2021, 02:26:42 AM »
 :yeahthat:

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Lauren17

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2021, 12:22:51 PM »
BC, I wanted to give you the most heartfelt thank you possible. 
I'm planning to leave, with older children.  Oldest is currently going through a crisis.  I am smiling and faking it while supporting DD and talking to lawyers on the sly.  And I feeling terribly deceitful about it.
I will be logging in to read this words of wisdom often over the coming days.
I hope your words help WaitingForSunshine as much has they have me.
ďIím no quitter, but I finally quit living on dreams. Iím hungry for laughter and here ever after, Iím after whatever this other life brings.Ē
-Kenny Rogers

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WaitingForSunshine

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2021, 05:18:28 PM »
Thank you all. Iíve been coming back multiple times a day to re-read all these posts. This plus re-reading my journal is helping remind me this is real, itís not in my head and I can do this.
@justkeeptrying thank you. I donít want to do it during the ďgood timesĒ, but youíre right. The fog comes in and 6 years have gone by.
@stillirise, I packed a bag this morning with important paperwork and cash. Iím trying to find the best spot to keep it.
@bc, your post was not too long. Thank you for sharing and providing details. I need to not be naive or have false hope in the situation. I hate having to change (again) who I am and want to be by treating someone in a way I wouldnít want to be treated, but youíre right. Me and the kids come first and I need the reminder that itís ok. Your story gives me hope.
@lauren17, how are you dealing with the faking it and talking to lawyers on the side? I literally throw up every morning bc of the anxiety and stress. The roller coaster of smiling and telling H ďI love you, I believe you that was the last time, I promise weíll always be togetherĒ then talking to a lawyer is making me crazy. I have so much apprehension and fear for how and when do I tell him, and then whatís going to happen. But at the same time this waiting game is mentally and physically not sustainable.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2021, 04:50:29 AM »
I just wanted to emphasize what the last few posters have already said about the children.

The kids will follow your lead when responding to what is going on.
Especially at that young age, they will turn to you, looking for guidance and cues.
(Think of how, literally, your toddler will turn and look at you for a sign before touching an unknown object, engaging in a new situation or interacting with a new person!)
Your actions and words let them know if a situation is safe, something to be cautious about, or something to fearful of.
I learned something very valuable about parenting and life in general when I learned that my children's experience of the world was directly affected by me!

If you are ok, they will be ok! Just like CagedBird says!
This may seem like a lot of pressure at times when you are not feeling very ok. And at other times it might feel like you are faking it until you make it. That's okay. You can do it!
Be the best mom you can by making sure to prioritize self care. You may have heard this many times already, but you have to put on your own oxygen mask before attending to others. It might feel selfish but do it anyway. It is worth it. Do whatever you need to do to be at your best. Sleep. Hydrate. Eat nutritiously. Therapy. Listen to uplifting music. Meditation. Time outs. Take 20 minutes to get grounded when you feel overwhelmed... just stop, have a shower or have a cup of tea. Lean on your support network. (They want the best for you and will be glad to help. They are probably willing to do MUCH more than you would ever ask!) Soak in the tub. Drop everything and center yourself with a breathing exercise. Get your kids involved if you can. Don't ever be afraid to let them see you navigate through a tough moment. Despite what some of us were taught in childhood, it isn't weak to feel low, or experience a hard time. And it is a solid life skill to be able to acknowledge this happening and take a few moments to rebalance. I'm not advocating falling apart in front of your kids. Don't do that. But there will be times you are not at your best and they will certainly notice.

Remember also that is never selfish to prioritize your own well being. That is another life skill. Your mental health and physical health are incredibly important. As a single parent, if one of those things suffers, the whole family is affected. Even here, you are the role model. Visibly prioritizing this will help teach your kids to value and respect themselves.

For me this was critical: You set the tone. (This is one of my parenting mantras)
Whatever happens, whether it is fleeing in the night and everything suddenly different, or staying in the family home with a whole new family dynamic, YOU are often the deciding factor in how your children experience it. Is it stressful and scary? Or is it a new adventure that arouses curiosity? Is it only sad, leaving old things behind? Or is it also a chance to make new choices and try new things and do some things exactly the way you always wanted?
Some of it might still be difficult for them along the way. Support and validate that as it comes up. But you, the parent, choose the focus. Do it mindfully as much as you can.
Even years on, as a parent to tween and teens, remembering that "I set the tone" is a great tool. I am in charge. And, mostly, they will follow my lead.
When my 15 year old and I disagree, it doesn't have to escalate into a confrontational and angry interaction. And if it does, it doesn't have to stay there. It can be a negotiation instead. Or maybe it can be a brainstorming session.
I decide.
I set the tone.
Maybe we have to walk away and cool off first to get there, but I get to establish the mood when we come back. When we do, I speak quietly, I use a neutral tone and constructive language, I listen respectfully and maintain open, accepting body posture. I model. They follow. (Usually)

JustKeepTrying is sooo right about young kids' resiliency. At such a young age, your kids will likely only remember the general feeling of a time and place, plus a few specific memories you would not be able to predict. Mine were 6 and 3 when we fled to a DV shelter. They were not "traumatised" and don't remember the completely insane parental conflict going on. They remember things like how exciting it was to get to sleep in bunkbeds  (they forget it was at the DV shelter) They remember how awesome it was to ride their wheeled toys and run and play in the empty new place we moved in to. (To this day, I don't think they realize it was because we left with absolutely nothing!). For them it was a time of fun and positive changes.
So don't underestimate your children's resiliency and adaptability. At that age they adjust quickly and will accept as normal whatever YOU treat as normal. (A double edged sword if you are accepting abusive behaviour) Home is wherever YOU are. If you are calm and consistent in love and discipline, anywhere you take them will be safe, loving and predictable, not traumatic.

I suspect this is getting long, but I do have a couple more things I think are SUPER important that I want to add.
One is that you cannot overprotect your physical and emotional safety.
When you say:
"My ideal short term situation would be for the kids to remain in our house with all their things and where they are comfortable. He can come some days and I will stay with my mom, and when I come he will stay somewhere else."
I fear for you.
This is a very nice plan. It is a plan that is even recommended, in books, and by mediators and lawyers. But this is for fairly stable people in non- contentious separations.
This is absolutely NOT a safe or recommended plan for anyone in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, or leaving someone disordered.

-"The statistics outline the reality that the most dangerous time for a survivor/victim is when she leaves the abusive partner; 77 percent of domestic violence-related homicides occur upon separation and there is a 75 percent increase of violence upon separation for at least two years."

-One study found in interviews with men who have killed their wives that either threats of separation by their partner or actual separations were most often the precipitating events that lead to the murder.

- Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship.

I understand.
You want to be nice.
You want to be fair.
You want to be reasonable.
You want things to go as smoothly and as civilly as possible for the children.
But having "left" and remaining in the same home leaves you vulnerable and unsafe in a whole bunch of ways. Coercion, blackmail, assault, sabotage, love bombing and other manipulations, gaslighting, controlling, using the children to create FOG, using your possessions to create FOG,
You don't need any of it. Neither do your children.
He might not kill you, but one thing you can be absolutely sure of with a PD: Things are going to escalate.
I wish someone had taught me much earlier to stop focussing on being"nice" and "civil" to my PDxh and stop trying so hard to be "fair" to him, as a person and parent.
I wish I had known to Be nice to myself first by protecting myself.
My advice: Anything to do with your abuser should ALWAYS come second to protecting yourself from further physical and emotional harm. He can take care of himself. In my experience, PDs and abusive individuals don't experience "nice", "good" and "fair" as being positive character traits, they see them instead as weaknesses they can (and will!) exploit.
So in an abusive or PD relationship Niceness = Vulnerability.
Personally, I would have had much better outcomes and saved myself a lot of grief if I had understood that sooner.

Wow, your post has brought up a lot of memories for me!!
I am wishing you so much strength and steadfastness!!
Sending virtual love and support,

~BC

P.S. Don't feel bad about being deceitful or fake or pretending everything is fine until you can leave. That is a perfect example of prioritizing your own safety and is exactly what you should be doing!!

 :yeahthat: All of it.
It gets better. It has to.

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Lauren17

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2021, 12:12:04 PM »
WaitingforSunshine, I've been thinking about your "how do you do it" question over the last couple of days.
I think the most important thing I did was to educate myself.  First I learned about PD and abusive relationships.  Then I researched local divorce laws and processes.  I studied about protecting yourself financially during a divorce and about how to help children through the process.  I took notes on all those books I read and I made myself some checklists.  Then I started working through the lists.  Each time I've passed another milestone, (opened my own bank account, hired an attorney) I've felt a little stronger, a little braver. 
I've spent a lot of time reminding myself that every situation is different, so I just have to make the best decisions I can about mine.  A couple of examples come from reading this thread.  I've gotten very little feedback from either lawyer or therapist about how to tell him.  The answer has mostly been "You know him best"  Ok, not the help I wanted, but I will make the choice.  I've also been unable to get an apartment sorted, so we will have to live together for a time. But those are the choices I've had to make based on my circumstances. I keep telling myself that's ok.
I have those same thoughts about "our last dinner together."  I talked to my therapist about when the best time to leave would be, based on kids, holidays, finances, etc. Then I picked the best time, and I forged ahead.
I remind myself often that I'm doing what's best for me and my children. 
I feel like throwing up from the stress too.  When that happens, I eat something small every couple of hours.  It helps.
You can do this!  Keep coming back here for the emotional support.
ďIím no quitter, but I finally quit living on dreams. Iím hungry for laughter and here ever after, Iím after whatever this other life brings.Ē
-Kenny Rogers

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hhaw

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Re: Planning to leave with small children
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2021, 08:46:09 PM »
My God.  I would never tell a raging BP I was filing divorce, ever.

I'd line up restraining order, get my important documents out of the house, evidence and cherished belongings and maybe take the kids and go somewhere safe and protected before filing divorce.

You can't just up and go after you file.  You might be forced to stay in the house if you can't get that TRO for any reason.

Think it through.  Have supporters in place.  Ask yourself how far you feel stbx will go. 

Honor your intuition while you still can.

Good luck,
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt