From the start she feared her son was being abused but that was nothing compared to the trouble that lay ahead when the couple separated.
My son’s and my family’s lives have been turned upside down by a legal system which allows and enables women to destroy the lives their ex-husbands; to financially and emotionally cripple them, and to destroy any future they might wish to have with their shared children.
This nightmare began over 14 years ago when my son’s wife chose to leave him and move in with her new boyfriend/partner. At this time, my son and his wife shared three children who were then aged five years, three years, and eight months of age. Her belief was that she would keep full custody of their three children, keep their family home and still be financially supported by my son.
After their separation, my son’s wife then began to phone his friends and business associates with stories of abuse and mistreatment. She has used the Child Support Agency (CSA) to question my son’s business standing and credit rating by having him put through more than 12 audits, even though he has always paid the required amount of child support (and more). Her income, however, has never been investigated.
This failure by the CSA to investigate the financial standing of both parents has cost, I believe, many fathers their ability to provide for both themselves and their estranged families, and consequently the lives of some of these men.
My son’s ex-wife also sought to destroy the business that my husband and I ran by writing to or phoning relevant government departments with fabricated stories about my family.
When they finally divorced my son was awarded 47 % custody and his ex-wife was awarded a large share of my son’s assets.
Even though we had very busy working lives we still sought to support my son’s family both physically and financially for the time that his children were in his care. My son’s ex-wife did not have a job and collected a single mother benefit even though she was living with another man. She also claimed that she could not afford to contribute to the cost of their children’s school, sport, and medical needs, so my son paid for these expenses in addition to the child support he was already paying.
The next blow was the arrival of the police to arrest my son. The charge was alleged rape of his ex-wife! He was handcuffed and lead away in front of his three children. Once the arrest was made, my son’s ex-wife very quickly informed my son’s friends, his children’s school, and his business associates of this, adding allegations of domestic violence. It took six weeks for the matter to come before the court. During this time, we endured abusive text messages and emails from his ex-wife who also entered my son’s home more than once without permission.
On the day of the trial my son’s ex-wife attended the court with the support of her family, a member of the police force and a barrister from The Abused Women’s Association. She had been believed even though she had no proof of an attack. The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence, but the damage to my son’s reputation was done, and our evidence of the threatening emails and text messages from his ex-wife were ignored. Whilst my son could have pursued a case against his ex-wife for slander and harassment, he chose not to put his family through this.
These accusations and false charges have, in time, caused much emotional and physical stress to our family and my son. It has severely affected his relationship with his daughters, his friends, and his business associates. He is currently fighting depression and has experienced a major heart incident. Despite his record of continuous and consistent financial support of his children and the unsubstantiated reports of physical abuse of their mother his two eldest daughters have cut him out of their lives, choosing to instead believe their mother’s accusations.
Looking back there is so much I wish I had told my son. I wish I had talked to him when we first noticed he was tiptoeing around this new woman in his life, trying to keep her happy while she was pushing him away from his friends and family. Everyone could see what she was doing to him but we all kept quiet for fear of upsetting him. We wouldn’t do that with a woman we felt was in a risky relationship. Men need to be warned of the dangers of emotional abuse. That too can ruin their lives.
Read more stories from mothers of sons who have faced injustice here