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Please help me. I am in a situation with my children's father where he has, for 10 years, been verbally and emotionally abusive to me and the children and is now turning the children against me.


Sadly, your experience is not unique. Often times the only way some people know how to be loved is to inspire hate, which of course isn't long term and isn't honest. I can't tell if you are still with your husband — but obviously the first step would be to leave — for your own sake, but also for your children's sake. That is certainly not a healthy environment for them — and plus over time they might interpret your staying as your being complicit. They need to know that you can stand up against this — not that you have to be heroic, but they have trust that you are going to do what is best for you and them. Whether it's truth or stereotype — they see you as your protector and thus you need to rise to that occasion. I know that's not easy, but it's harder to tolerate a bad situation. And they might be more susceptible to his manipulation because they don't see you doing otherwise. I don't think you need to burden them with too much of your process, but I think they do more what they see than what they hear.

I hope that helps — and certainly you should be in touch with a local lawyer (perhaps legal aid) and also a domestic violence resource — 800.799.SAFE can direct you to local resources.