Boyfriend needs to go, for kids' sake

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  November 21, 2011 06:00 AM

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My 4 year old face's was a little black and blue with scratches on them when I came home. He said that my boyfriend hit him and called him some bad names. When I asked my boyfriend if that's what he did and why, he said that my 4 year old was pushing my 2 year old and arguing with my 2 year old and being bad. My boyfriend then said that he did not hit him but instead he grabbed my 4 year old by the arm, threw him on the couch, and grabbed his face. Told him to stop being a bad boy. However, my son has marks on his face to prove something more than that happened. Could he have gotten the marks on his face from fighting his little brother then blaming it on my boyfriend? But the two have always been very fond of each other. In fact, they tend to cuddle with each other, hug one another, hold hands when we are out in public, and my 4 year old is always asking where my boyfriend is when he isn't around?

From: CuriousMom, Snowy City, US

Dear Curious Mom,

Do you really think a 2-year-old could strike a 4-year-old with enough force to cause black and blue marks? I don't. Do you notice that your boyfriend is admitting he "grabbed" your 4-year-old and "threw" him on the couch? Those are your words, quoting him.

This is serious. Don't be misled to think that it can't be true, just because your son seems attached to the boyfriend. Even if it's only a kernel of truth, is it worth putting your kids at further risk?

Get this boyfriend out of your kids' lives and, hopefully, out of yours. Readers, let Curious Mom know you agree!

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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31 comments so far...
  1. I'm shocked and dismayed that this is something you even have to think about.

    The majority of cases in which children are abused to the point of death or serious injury are when "the boyfriend" is babysitting.

    You are a mom and your number one job is to protect your kids. Get rid of this guy today.

    Posted by just cause November 21, 11 09:43 AM
  1. IMO.. Boyfriend DOES need to go. NO question about it. Why put a boyfriend ABOVE the safety and needs of your children? I question why a person would put their love lives above the needs of their children every time I read the news about how some mom's boyfriend beat and/or killed an infant. Sorry but I wouldn't second-guess it. I would rather my children be safe and have no love life than not have my children safe.

    Posted by jd November 21, 11 09:49 AM
  1. I agree with Barbara, Curious Mom. You need to get right on top of this situation and make sure you are protecting your son. Don't leave your children alone with this man again.

    And, as a person who grew up in an abusive environment, I can assure you that it is perfectly normal for a child to love a person in spite of how rough they are. You might even be more attached to them and try harder to please them. That's one of the tragedies of abuse; you always think that if you're good enough they'll love you enough to stop hurting you. That's how kids think and, of course, they can never be "good enough" because they are growing up normally and will make mistakes and get into scuffles with sibs and so on. The abuser discharges anger and abuse that is not appropriate to the misbehavior, but kids don't understand that and internalize it. BTW, as an adult I never tell a children that they are bad; if a kid misbehaves I tell him or her that the behavior is/was bad.

    I got hit a lot, but was never black and blue. I think that your suspicion that something more than being thrown on the couch occurred is correct and that your bf is lying to cover up some of the details.

    Posted by Favorite Auntie November 21, 11 10:26 AM
  1. Are you serious?? This happened and you wrote a note looking for an answer. My guess is she has no intention of ending the relationship and will instead make excuses and look the other way while her babies are abused, either physically or verbally. The fact that you did not immediately end the relationship has me very concerned about the safety of your children. Everyday you read about kids being killed by abuse boyfriends of moms, please if you love your children at all end this TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by mj November 21, 11 10:40 AM
  1. I agree--get rid of him! We don't want to hear about some horrible PREVENTABLE tragedy on the news involving your children and this jerk. He's not worth it. Do the right thing by your kids!

    Posted by chilly November 21, 11 10:42 AM
  1. Your child's face was "a little black and blue" and you take the time to write for advice? Call the cops, get a restraining order, and kick him to the curb NOW!

    Posted by patches2 November 21, 11 10:50 AM
  1. I can't believe I am writing in AGAIN. I just can't help thinking about this situation. It bothers me to think of the potential outcome here. It may be an overreaction. But are you willing to risk it? I wouldn't be. I am curious, where is the children's father? Does he know you leave his children with "some guy"? And yes, he is just "some guy" essentially. Not knowing how long you have been with this guy but given the fact your children are only 2 and 4, I am assuming not that long. Sorry to sound judgemental but I am curious on that. But regardless, get your children out before something worse happens. Your children won't miss him.

    Posted by jd November 21, 11 10:51 AM
  1. Your children should be your priority, not your boyfriend. Kick him out and move on otherwise you're teaching your kids that they come last in your life.

    Posted by Not Again November 21, 11 11:33 AM
  1. Oh my goodness, this letter makes me so sad. Those children -- I want to scoop them right up. They are in danger. They are being abused. And their mother doesn't believe them. Even if what the boyfriend said is the 100% truth, he has abused them. His own description of events is heartbreaking. Telling the 4 year old he is bad, throwing him on the couch, grabbing his face.... these poor kids.

    Mom, get boyfriend OUT. Save your children. Do not let this turn into tragedy. Your kids need you. Step up.

    I almost didn't write anything here, because frankly, if there is a parent who hears this story from a boyfriend and doesn't know what to do? Doesn't immediately get furious and kick boyfriend out and get a restraining order keeping him away from the children? I'm pretty sure nothing I can say will get through to such a parent. But maybe.... hopefully...

    Posted by jjlen November 21, 11 11:41 AM
  1. Oh, my god, yes! I agree wholeheartedly. PLEASE get him out of your life immediately. If this has happened once, it will happen again, and you could be next. You need to keep your child safe.

    Posted by PJ November 21, 11 12:02 PM
  1. Dear Curious,
    If I knew your real name I would call DSS and make sure they took care of the situation before it was too late. Please take pictures, document the abuse and change your locks/take the key back and get him out. Even if what the BF did was exactly as he stated (which it wasn't), that is actionable ABUSE. Too bad you are taking the time to ask about this rather than do something about it. Shame on you. Your kids need protection - they are little and innocent.

    Posted by Always Summer November 21, 11 01:17 PM
  1. Can you imagine just how HARD a child's face has to be "grabbed" to result in bruises?? And same day bruises at that -- that's a serious level of pressure.

    Your boyfriend is admitting to throwing a FOUR YEAR OLD on the couch by the arm and grabbing his face -- not to mention berating him verbally. Your son told you your boyfriend did not just grab him, he hit him. Chances are the actual scene was much worse than what you've been told.

    I'm with everyone else here. This should be an instant dealbreaker. I don't know why you haven't shown your boyfriend the door AND changed your locks. Your children are only 4 and 2. They can't protect themselves; it is your job as their mother to protect them. Do what you MUST do to keep those precious children safe.

    Posted by SandEE November 21, 11 01:23 PM
  1. There is no way I would stay with a man who would throw a four-year-old onto a couch, grab him by the face and tell him he was "bad." And I *certainly* wouldn't stay if I suspected there was even more to the story.

    This guy sounds like bad news to me.

    Dump him. Now. Your kids' safety is more important than your love life.

    Posted by Robin November 21, 11 02:12 PM
  1. CuriousMom,

    Read just cause's statement, then read it again:

    "The majority of cases in which children are abused to the point of death or serious injury are when "the boyfriend" is babysitting."

    I am furious, CuriousMom, that you would even consider doubting your four-year-old.

    Take it from me - it's far better to be alone, than to be with a man who harms children! I've been alone, I don't like it - but MY CHILD'S SAFETY COMES FIRST.

    I agree with number 11 - If I knew you, I'd report you to DSS for continuing to allow this man anywhere near your children. If you need child-care assistance, your local social service agency will help you get vouchers for day-care or evening-care (there are a number of day-care providers now who work evenings, even overnights).

    Why do you give ANY consideration to what your BF says? He harms a child, therefore he's a monster. Get rid of him. Change your locks; passwords; and REPORT HIM TO THE POLICE and to YOUR CHILD'S PEDIATRICIAN!

    If you don't dump the BF, then you are complicit in your little one's abuse.

    Posted by reindeergirl November 21, 11 05:05 PM
  1. "he grabbed my 4 year old by the arm, threw him on the couch, and grabbed his face." He admits to this level of abuse - you are in complete and utter denial if you don't know that it was much more than this. And you are questioning your son's truthfulness? Seriously? Why would your son make such a story up, esp considering the evidence? You are very close to showing all the classic signs of denia which will leave your children in jeopardy. The fact that you accepted your creepy BF's story over your own child's is telling Creepo that he can abuse your kids all you want and you don't care enough to stop him. You need to get your head around this situation ASAP. I'm totally alarmed that you signed this CuriousMom. What about HorrifiedMom? Or IPromiseToPutMyKidsSafetyFirstMom? Hmm?

    Posted by JBar November 21, 11 05:14 PM
  1. Does anyone know of resources the letter writer could tap to support her when she does this? Dumping a loser like this is not going to be easy. People in relationships with abusers have a hard time leaving for reasons both psychological and practical (including that she may be relying on him for childcare...) Even if she herself has not YET been physically abused, she will need support and may even need protection.

    Posted by Mary November 21, 11 05:19 PM
  1. If I were the LW I'd be calling the police, not writing in to an advice column. Don't wait for this to happen again!

    Posted by geocool November 21, 11 05:45 PM
  1. You should press charges on behalf of your four year old - he was abused and isn't old enough to protect himself or call the police as you would do if a stranger beat you up leaving your face bruised. If you can't muster up the courage to do that - at least don't ever let your boyfriend near your children ever again (with you present or not).

    To do this, you will have to break up with your boyfriend. Please do that over the phone or by email.

    Posted by Montyy November 21, 11 05:49 PM
  1. Dear LW, my last comment didn't post but I hope this one will. Everyone is in agreement with Barbara. Hopefully you are too. When you do get rid of this guy please 1) make sure your kids are not physically present and 2) make sure that you have protection. You are describing a volatile angry man so please ensure your own physical safety, and ensure your children's emotional safety. They don't need to see the breakup or hear the "bad names". Follow reindeergirl's advice and line up social services support. Also line up family support. Good luck to you.

    Posted by JBar November 21, 11 06:11 PM
  1. LW, forget for the moment that your boyfriend may not have caused the bruising. Even if he didn't (which is a big if), he admitted to you that he did throw your 4 year old onto the couch and grab his face. What that tells me is that this man should have no part in the life of a child. 4 year olds and 2 year olds are going to make messes, argue, yell, cry and frustrate their parents sometimes. Physical aggression is never the way to deal with it. If a person looks at a 4 year old (so young and small) and feels comfortable tossing them around and frightening them, there is something wrong with that person. End it.

    Posted by Linney November 21, 11 06:16 PM
  1. LW, PLEASE let this man go. Like NOW. And over the phone, with someone home with you and your kids at the home of a trusted friend or family member. Get the police involved if you need to. He has admitted to manhandling your child. What other shadow of a doubt do you need that he has, or will do, more to them? 4 and 2 are REALLY young. No child deserves to live in fear of the adult that is supposed to be part of their support system.

    Please seek professional help for you and potentially for your children after being around this man. They do not need to believe that his behavior is "normal."

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:53 PM
  1. I didn't even address the name calling.

    This in and of itself is enough to end this relationship. Please put your kids first. Dump this man.

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:54 PM
  1. I didn't even address the name calling.

    This in and of itself is enough to end this relationship. Please put your kids first. Dump this man.

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:56 PM
  1. Call 1-800-799-SAFE. It is the national domestic violence hotline. (If you are in Massachusetts, a good hotline number to call is 888-314-3683. That's DOVE Inc.)

    You don't say you have been hit by this guy. BUT - the hotline will help you all the same. (They will understand that there is serious dysfunction in your relationship in order for it to get to the point where he abuses your child and you do nothing to save your child...). They will not judge you or yell at you or scold you. They will help you make a plan to get you and your kids out as safely as possible, and help you figure out where to go in your area to get support services.

    Posted by jjlen November 21, 11 07:58 PM
  1. You are wasting writing this letter and reading these responses. Call the police! If I knew your name, I'd be calling them for you.

    Posted by MG November 21, 11 08:08 PM
  1. Barbara,

    Could you post the state the LW is in? Mary (#16) also asks about resources. If we knew the state, we could offer some help to her.

    Posted by reindeergirl November 21, 11 08:14 PM
  1. Your children will never forgive you if you continue to protect this abuser at their expense. You will eventually lose them, either through injury/death, DSS, or them abandoning you for not protecting them.

    Get out now.

    p.s. - the reason he cuddles and holds the guy's hand is because he is trying to get on his good side. Classic behavior of an abused child.

    Posted by Mama November 21, 11 08:53 PM
  1. "Could he have gotten the marks on his face from fighting his little brother then blaming it on my boyfriend?"

    You know this isn't the case. For the sake of your kids, please break up with this man IMMEDIATELY. Someone who admits to throwing a child and grabbing his face is already abusive; but it seems your boyfriend did much worse.

    Has it occurred to you that your son frequently asks where your boyfriend is because he's scared of him and wants to make sure he isn't nearby? I don't know your son or boyfriend but this could be the case.

    There are resources out there (see jjlen's comment, #24)...don't be afraid to use them. There are people who devote their lives to helping people like you and your children.

    Posted by Carly December 14, 11 06:07 PM
  1. Be a good mother, and protect your children.

    Posted by Jen June 10, 12 04:37 AM
  1. I'll never understand mothers who put their boyfriends over their children. My mother dated and then married a very violent man. I always told her of his beatings but she claimed to never believe me. Once he stabbed me in the hand with a fork and she still did nothing - she stayed with him and tried to get pregnant by him! I've moved on with my life but I've never forgiven my mother and I never will. GET RID OF YOUR BOYFRIEND!!! If you don't love your children enough to do so than you're a sorry excuse of a mother.

    Posted by Sallie June 21, 13 04:44 AM
  1. Curiousmom, most people answering here are women. Women put their emotions in front of their rational thinking. They are not giving advice; they are answering irrationally with their emotions. I'm sure there is more to this story than you are not telling the public. Do what you think is right. Kids could lie, could mean "touched my face" when they said "he hit me" so in their minds you punish your boyfriend, etc. etc. It's a 4 year old for God's sake. Grabbing a kid by the arm, that is hitting a two year old, and throwing him on the couch is normal and all these mothers would probably do it too. Put a camera in your house if you are worried. Does the guy have a temper with you or others? Is he abusive to you or animals? Those are clues you are with an abusive man. Use your brain.

    Posted by Toto The Scottish July 27, 13 01:11 PM
 
31 comments so far...
  1. I'm shocked and dismayed that this is something you even have to think about.

    The majority of cases in which children are abused to the point of death or serious injury are when "the boyfriend" is babysitting.

    You are a mom and your number one job is to protect your kids. Get rid of this guy today.

    Posted by just cause November 21, 11 09:43 AM
  1. IMO.. Boyfriend DOES need to go. NO question about it. Why put a boyfriend ABOVE the safety and needs of your children? I question why a person would put their love lives above the needs of their children every time I read the news about how some mom's boyfriend beat and/or killed an infant. Sorry but I wouldn't second-guess it. I would rather my children be safe and have no love life than not have my children safe.

    Posted by jd November 21, 11 09:49 AM
  1. I agree with Barbara, Curious Mom. You need to get right on top of this situation and make sure you are protecting your son. Don't leave your children alone with this man again.

    And, as a person who grew up in an abusive environment, I can assure you that it is perfectly normal for a child to love a person in spite of how rough they are. You might even be more attached to them and try harder to please them. That's one of the tragedies of abuse; you always think that if you're good enough they'll love you enough to stop hurting you. That's how kids think and, of course, they can never be "good enough" because they are growing up normally and will make mistakes and get into scuffles with sibs and so on. The abuser discharges anger and abuse that is not appropriate to the misbehavior, but kids don't understand that and internalize it. BTW, as an adult I never tell a children that they are bad; if a kid misbehaves I tell him or her that the behavior is/was bad.

    I got hit a lot, but was never black and blue. I think that your suspicion that something more than being thrown on the couch occurred is correct and that your bf is lying to cover up some of the details.

    Posted by Favorite Auntie November 21, 11 10:26 AM
  1. Are you serious?? This happened and you wrote a note looking for an answer. My guess is she has no intention of ending the relationship and will instead make excuses and look the other way while her babies are abused, either physically or verbally. The fact that you did not immediately end the relationship has me very concerned about the safety of your children. Everyday you read about kids being killed by abuse boyfriends of moms, please if you love your children at all end this TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by mj November 21, 11 10:40 AM
  1. I agree--get rid of him! We don't want to hear about some horrible PREVENTABLE tragedy on the news involving your children and this jerk. He's not worth it. Do the right thing by your kids!

    Posted by chilly November 21, 11 10:42 AM
  1. Your child's face was "a little black and blue" and you take the time to write for advice? Call the cops, get a restraining order, and kick him to the curb NOW!

    Posted by patches2 November 21, 11 10:50 AM
  1. I can't believe I am writing in AGAIN. I just can't help thinking about this situation. It bothers me to think of the potential outcome here. It may be an overreaction. But are you willing to risk it? I wouldn't be. I am curious, where is the children's father? Does he know you leave his children with "some guy"? And yes, he is just "some guy" essentially. Not knowing how long you have been with this guy but given the fact your children are only 2 and 4, I am assuming not that long. Sorry to sound judgemental but I am curious on that. But regardless, get your children out before something worse happens. Your children won't miss him.

    Posted by jd November 21, 11 10:51 AM
  1. Your children should be your priority, not your boyfriend. Kick him out and move on otherwise you're teaching your kids that they come last in your life.

    Posted by Not Again November 21, 11 11:33 AM
  1. Oh my goodness, this letter makes me so sad. Those children -- I want to scoop them right up. They are in danger. They are being abused. And their mother doesn't believe them. Even if what the boyfriend said is the 100% truth, he has abused them. His own description of events is heartbreaking. Telling the 4 year old he is bad, throwing him on the couch, grabbing his face.... these poor kids.

    Mom, get boyfriend OUT. Save your children. Do not let this turn into tragedy. Your kids need you. Step up.

    I almost didn't write anything here, because frankly, if there is a parent who hears this story from a boyfriend and doesn't know what to do? Doesn't immediately get furious and kick boyfriend out and get a restraining order keeping him away from the children? I'm pretty sure nothing I can say will get through to such a parent. But maybe.... hopefully...

    Posted by jjlen November 21, 11 11:41 AM
  1. Oh, my god, yes! I agree wholeheartedly. PLEASE get him out of your life immediately. If this has happened once, it will happen again, and you could be next. You need to keep your child safe.

    Posted by PJ November 21, 11 12:02 PM
  1. Dear Curious,
    If I knew your real name I would call DSS and make sure they took care of the situation before it was too late. Please take pictures, document the abuse and change your locks/take the key back and get him out. Even if what the BF did was exactly as he stated (which it wasn't), that is actionable ABUSE. Too bad you are taking the time to ask about this rather than do something about it. Shame on you. Your kids need protection - they are little and innocent.

    Posted by Always Summer November 21, 11 01:17 PM
  1. Can you imagine just how HARD a child's face has to be "grabbed" to result in bruises?? And same day bruises at that -- that's a serious level of pressure.

    Your boyfriend is admitting to throwing a FOUR YEAR OLD on the couch by the arm and grabbing his face -- not to mention berating him verbally. Your son told you your boyfriend did not just grab him, he hit him. Chances are the actual scene was much worse than what you've been told.

    I'm with everyone else here. This should be an instant dealbreaker. I don't know why you haven't shown your boyfriend the door AND changed your locks. Your children are only 4 and 2. They can't protect themselves; it is your job as their mother to protect them. Do what you MUST do to keep those precious children safe.

    Posted by SandEE November 21, 11 01:23 PM
  1. There is no way I would stay with a man who would throw a four-year-old onto a couch, grab him by the face and tell him he was "bad." And I *certainly* wouldn't stay if I suspected there was even more to the story.

    This guy sounds like bad news to me.

    Dump him. Now. Your kids' safety is more important than your love life.

    Posted by Robin November 21, 11 02:12 PM
  1. CuriousMom,

    Read just cause's statement, then read it again:

    "The majority of cases in which children are abused to the point of death or serious injury are when "the boyfriend" is babysitting."

    I am furious, CuriousMom, that you would even consider doubting your four-year-old.

    Take it from me - it's far better to be alone, than to be with a man who harms children! I've been alone, I don't like it - but MY CHILD'S SAFETY COMES FIRST.

    I agree with number 11 - If I knew you, I'd report you to DSS for continuing to allow this man anywhere near your children. If you need child-care assistance, your local social service agency will help you get vouchers for day-care or evening-care (there are a number of day-care providers now who work evenings, even overnights).

    Why do you give ANY consideration to what your BF says? He harms a child, therefore he's a monster. Get rid of him. Change your locks; passwords; and REPORT HIM TO THE POLICE and to YOUR CHILD'S PEDIATRICIAN!

    If you don't dump the BF, then you are complicit in your little one's abuse.

    Posted by reindeergirl November 21, 11 05:05 PM
  1. "he grabbed my 4 year old by the arm, threw him on the couch, and grabbed his face." He admits to this level of abuse - you are in complete and utter denial if you don't know that it was much more than this. And you are questioning your son's truthfulness? Seriously? Why would your son make such a story up, esp considering the evidence? You are very close to showing all the classic signs of denia which will leave your children in jeopardy. The fact that you accepted your creepy BF's story over your own child's is telling Creepo that he can abuse your kids all you want and you don't care enough to stop him. You need to get your head around this situation ASAP. I'm totally alarmed that you signed this CuriousMom. What about HorrifiedMom? Or IPromiseToPutMyKidsSafetyFirstMom? Hmm?

    Posted by JBar November 21, 11 05:14 PM
  1. Does anyone know of resources the letter writer could tap to support her when she does this? Dumping a loser like this is not going to be easy. People in relationships with abusers have a hard time leaving for reasons both psychological and practical (including that she may be relying on him for childcare...) Even if she herself has not YET been physically abused, she will need support and may even need protection.

    Posted by Mary November 21, 11 05:19 PM
  1. If I were the LW I'd be calling the police, not writing in to an advice column. Don't wait for this to happen again!

    Posted by geocool November 21, 11 05:45 PM
  1. You should press charges on behalf of your four year old - he was abused and isn't old enough to protect himself or call the police as you would do if a stranger beat you up leaving your face bruised. If you can't muster up the courage to do that - at least don't ever let your boyfriend near your children ever again (with you present or not).

    To do this, you will have to break up with your boyfriend. Please do that over the phone or by email.

    Posted by Montyy November 21, 11 05:49 PM
  1. Dear LW, my last comment didn't post but I hope this one will. Everyone is in agreement with Barbara. Hopefully you are too. When you do get rid of this guy please 1) make sure your kids are not physically present and 2) make sure that you have protection. You are describing a volatile angry man so please ensure your own physical safety, and ensure your children's emotional safety. They don't need to see the breakup or hear the "bad names". Follow reindeergirl's advice and line up social services support. Also line up family support. Good luck to you.

    Posted by JBar November 21, 11 06:11 PM
  1. LW, forget for the moment that your boyfriend may not have caused the bruising. Even if he didn't (which is a big if), he admitted to you that he did throw your 4 year old onto the couch and grab his face. What that tells me is that this man should have no part in the life of a child. 4 year olds and 2 year olds are going to make messes, argue, yell, cry and frustrate their parents sometimes. Physical aggression is never the way to deal with it. If a person looks at a 4 year old (so young and small) and feels comfortable tossing them around and frightening them, there is something wrong with that person. End it.

    Posted by Linney November 21, 11 06:16 PM
  1. LW, PLEASE let this man go. Like NOW. And over the phone, with someone home with you and your kids at the home of a trusted friend or family member. Get the police involved if you need to. He has admitted to manhandling your child. What other shadow of a doubt do you need that he has, or will do, more to them? 4 and 2 are REALLY young. No child deserves to live in fear of the adult that is supposed to be part of their support system.

    Please seek professional help for you and potentially for your children after being around this man. They do not need to believe that his behavior is "normal."

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:53 PM
  1. I didn't even address the name calling.

    This in and of itself is enough to end this relationship. Please put your kids first. Dump this man.

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:54 PM
  1. I didn't even address the name calling.

    This in and of itself is enough to end this relationship. Please put your kids first. Dump this man.

    Posted by DrunkWithLove November 21, 11 07:56 PM
  1. Call 1-800-799-SAFE. It is the national domestic violence hotline. (If you are in Massachusetts, a good hotline number to call is 888-314-3683. That's DOVE Inc.)

    You don't say you have been hit by this guy. BUT - the hotline will help you all the same. (They will understand that there is serious dysfunction in your relationship in order for it to get to the point where he abuses your child and you do nothing to save your child...). They will not judge you or yell at you or scold you. They will help you make a plan to get you and your kids out as safely as possible, and help you figure out where to go in your area to get support services.

    Posted by jjlen November 21, 11 07:58 PM
  1. You are wasting writing this letter and reading these responses. Call the police! If I knew your name, I'd be calling them for you.

    Posted by MG November 21, 11 08:08 PM
  1. Barbara,

    Could you post the state the LW is in? Mary (#16) also asks about resources. If we knew the state, we could offer some help to her.

    Posted by reindeergirl November 21, 11 08:14 PM
  1. Your children will never forgive you if you continue to protect this abuser at their expense. You will eventually lose them, either through injury/death, DSS, or them abandoning you for not protecting them.

    Get out now.

    p.s. - the reason he cuddles and holds the guy's hand is because he is trying to get on his good side. Classic behavior of an abused child.

    Posted by Mama November 21, 11 08:53 PM
  1. "Could he have gotten the marks on his face from fighting his little brother then blaming it on my boyfriend?"

    You know this isn't the case. For the sake of your kids, please break up with this man IMMEDIATELY. Someone who admits to throwing a child and grabbing his face is already abusive; but it seems your boyfriend did much worse.

    Has it occurred to you that your son frequently asks where your boyfriend is because he's scared of him and wants to make sure he isn't nearby? I don't know your son or boyfriend but this could be the case.

    There are resources out there (see jjlen's comment, #24)...don't be afraid to use them. There are people who devote their lives to helping people like you and your children.

    Posted by Carly December 14, 11 06:07 PM
  1. Be a good mother, and protect your children.

    Posted by Jen June 10, 12 04:37 AM
  1. I'll never understand mothers who put their boyfriends over their children. My mother dated and then married a very violent man. I always told her of his beatings but she claimed to never believe me. Once he stabbed me in the hand with a fork and she still did nothing - she stayed with him and tried to get pregnant by him! I've moved on with my life but I've never forgiven my mother and I never will. GET RID OF YOUR BOYFRIEND!!! If you don't love your children enough to do so than you're a sorry excuse of a mother.

    Posted by Sallie June 21, 13 04:44 AM
  1. Curiousmom, most people answering here are women. Women put their emotions in front of their rational thinking. They are not giving advice; they are answering irrationally with their emotions. I'm sure there is more to this story than you are not telling the public. Do what you think is right. Kids could lie, could mean "touched my face" when they said "he hit me" so in their minds you punish your boyfriend, etc. etc. It's a 4 year old for God's sake. Grabbing a kid by the arm, that is hitting a two year old, and throwing him on the couch is normal and all these mothers would probably do it too. Put a camera in your house if you are worried. Does the guy have a temper with you or others? Is he abusive to you or animals? Those are clues you are with an abusive man. Use your brain.

    Posted by Toto The Scottish July 27, 13 01:11 PM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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