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Last night my husband and I were up talking late. He suddenly confessed to me that he has been hurting my 5 month old daughter. He said it has happened maybe 10 or 11 times over the past five months, and that it was things like pinching, smacking/slapping, etc. Nothing sexual or shaking or anything. He said the last time he did it was a 3 or so weeks ago. 

He told me he was telling me now because he couldn’t live with himself anymore and was dying because of the guilt and shame. 

He told me he mostly does it to get a rise out of her because he likes to bring her down from her crying. 

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OR DO. 

We have been married for almost two years (in the temple). He has never once been violent towards me in any way shape or form. 

I just feel sick over this. I don’t know what to do, don’t know who to talk to about it. The thought that he could have even laid a finger on my daughter makes me so upset I feel like the room is spinning. I told him he needed to go see the bishop and that we needed to look into counseling for him. 

I told him I love him and want to forgive but I don’t even know where to start. And I’m not even the victim! I love him so much, but I don’t know how to get over this. 

Please help me. Do I work towards forgiveness? Am I crazy to try and save this? Or do I end everything? I’m so scared and feel so alone. I don’t know the next step.

Edited by Mfam2018

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1.  He absolutely needs to stop it.  Now.

2.  He needs therapeutic intervention.  Now.

3.  You need to talk to competent legal counsel in your jurisdiction about whether your husband’s actions, as he has described them to you, meet the legal definition for “abuse” or “neglect” in your state and, if so, what your legal reporting requirements are.  Child protective services *may* need to get involved.  

4.  I wouldn’t be running for the divorce court yet; but you are right that this is a Big Deal.  Don’t do anything rash—but DO take this seriously.

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First off, I'm praying for you. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. 

Second, you need to contact family and get to a safe space-now. This is abuse and could escalate. 

I'm as pro family, anti divorce as they come. But this is child abuse, and you need to protect both yourself and your baby. 
 

Sending love and prayers. 😞 

 

 

Edited by MormonGator

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I am so sorry to hear this! I hate to tell you this but in my area if you did not report this to the police or social services, you would be complicit in the act of assault and abuse. I know that you hate this but...do you have a friend or family that you can stay with? If not, call the Relief Society president and ask to stay in someone’s home. Then start with a lawyer. You can’t leave your daughter with your husband. You will need to get your daughter away from your husband on a semipermanent basis. I am so sorry! 

 

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10 minutes ago, Mfam2018 said:

@MormonGator we live with my mother. Do I just kick him out? What do I do?

This is breaking my heart.

I can see how it would be just devastating to you. My heart breaks reading your post. While none of us can make decisions for you, I think you need to seriously consider asking him to leave. What he did violates his obligations as a husband, father, and as a man. 

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3 minutes ago, Mfam2018 said:

@Just_A_Guy

do I call the police or how do I report it. They won't take my daughter away from me, right? How do I proceed?

That's why he said to talk to a lawyer - so that the lawyer can help you know what, who, and how.  I tend to think this is one of those situations that warrants the expense.

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This is not a question that a religious discussion list is capable of addressing in depth. You need to talk to a counselor of some sort, probably an attorney, definitely your bishop. Your husband should be involved.

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Right now it would be best to have him go to his parents. The child's safety is the most important thing. He needs to go to counseling to see what is causing this disturbing behavior. If you go to counseling and mention child abuse and he is in the same home they may take your child into protective custody. Be proactive and have him take a time out.

He has passed his limit of being able to help your child cope with frustration. He is burnt out and needs a reset. 

Edited by Overwatch

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1 hour ago, Mfam2018 said:

@Sunday21 Do I call the police then? Will they take her away from me even if I wasn't aware or complicit?

I would call the police. I would do this step 1 because where I live, you are in danger of being complicit. I suspect that you will need to assure the police that you will not allow husband to be with the child unsupervised. You may need to change the locks and have the child out of the house while he takes his stuff.

But Canada is different from the States. In Canada, if a professional, teacher, nurse, doctor etc suspects abuse against children and does not report, they lose their license. Even at church, professionals report.

I am so sorry. This is a dreadful situation.

@mirkwood Can you help? 

Edited by Sunday21

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@Mfam2018, First things first, take a deep breath.  No, your marriage/family is not automatically over or anything like that.  But you two DO need to do some major changes to save it.

You need to make sure your kid is safe.   So after you've taken your deep breath, call the police and tell them what your husband told you.  Your husband of course should tell them everything as well.  Have him stay at his parents for a time.  He is by no ways undeemable-- that's why we call the police and get him the therapy he needs to be the good father he wants to be.  Him staying at his parent's house is a way to give him that space while he learns better and daughter stays safe.  It doesn't mean your marriage is over, it means all three of you are working towards a better stronger family.  

3 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

 Am I crazy to try and save this? Or do I end everything?

Not at all!  This is indeed savable -- something that requires courage (such as calling for help), time, space (hence the different houses) and therapy.  And of course Christ.  It is a looooonng road ahead of you, but it is savable.  

3 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

Do I work towards forgiveness? 

Right now: you SHOULD be angry.  FURIOUS.  Anger exists for a reason: to help us find courage and strength when we are threatened or there is something bad going on.    Even God feels anger-- righteous anger like you're feeling right now.  It is a natural thing you SHOULD feel right now and do not try to make that emotion go away.  Use that courage and strength to keep your daughter safe.

You by NO means "forgive" by pretending nothing happened and keeping your husband & daughter in harms way.  That is not the real meaning of forgiveness and it has zero place in this situation.  

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4 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

Last night my husband and I were up talking late. He suddenly confessed to me that he has been hurting my 5 month old daughter. He said it has happened maybe 10 or 11 times over the past five months, and that it was things like pinching, smacking/slapping, etc. Nothing sexual or shaking or anything. He said the last time he did it was a 3 or so weeks ago. 

He told me he was telling me now because he couldn’t live with himself anymore and was dying because of the guilt and shame. 

He told me he mostly does it to get a rise out of her because he likes to bring her down from her crying. 

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OR DO. 

We have been married for almost two years (in the temple). He has never once been violent towards me in any way shape or form. 

I just feel sick over this. I don’t know what to do, don’t know who to talk to about it. The thought that he could have even laid a finger on my daughter makes me so upset I feel like the room is spinning. I told him he needed to go see the bishop and that we needed to look into counseling for him. 

I told him I love him and want to forgive but I don’t even know where to start. And I’m not even the victim! I love him so much, but I don’t know how to get over this. 

Please help me. Do I work towards forgiveness? Am I crazy to try and save this? Or do I end everything? I’m so scared and feel so alone. I don’t know the next step.

Get your baby away from this man, the most important thing is the wellbeing of this innocent child, everything else has to come second.

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31 minutes ago, JayKi said:

You should no forgive him. Only a messed up person would harm child.

 

I have a bit of a problem with advice that goes directly against what is clearly said in our scriptures.

Quote

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. - Doctrine and Covenants 64:9

1

That said, it doesn't have to be right now. If it takes a while, it takes a while. And, as Jane said,

35 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

You by NO means "forgive" by pretending nothing happened and keeping your husband & daughter in harms way.  That is not the real meaning of forgiveness and it has zero place in this situation.

2

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14 minutes ago, SilentOne said:

I have a bit of a problem with advice that goes directly against what is clearly said in our scriptures.

Luke 17:2 - It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
 

Matthew 18:6 - But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
 

I would no forgive someone who hurt child. Her priority should be taking child away and keeping them safe. However, she seem more concerned for her marriage. 

4 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

 Please help me. Do I work towards forgiveness? Am I crazy to try and save this? Or do I end everything? I’m so scared and feel so alone. I don’t know the next step.

4 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

I told him I love him and want to forgive but I don’t even know where to start. And I’m not even the victim! I love him so much, but I don’t know how to get over this. 

 

Any mother or father instinct would tell them next step. 

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4 minutes ago, JayKi said:

I would no forgive someone who hurt child.

Quote

D&C 64:9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

 

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And where in Luke 17:2 or in Matthew 18:6 does it say that we should not forgive them?

D&C 64:10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

6 minutes ago, JayKi said:

Her priority should be taking child away and keeping them safe.

Which has nothing to do with whether she should forgive him.

I do not believe continuing this debate will do much to help the original poster, so I will bow out after this post.

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2 minutes ago, SilentOne said:

And where in Luke 17:2 or in Matthew 18:6 does it say that we should not forgive them?

D&C 64:10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

Which has nothing to do with whether she should forgive him.

I do not believe continuing this debate will do much to help the original poster, so I will bow out after this post.

She should no even think to forgive him right now. Any thought that isnt to protect the child is wasted. Poor child. 

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8 hours ago, Mfam2018 said:

@Sunday21 Do I call the police then? Will they take her away from me even if I wasn't aware or complicit?

He needs to talk with the Bishop, and if he won't you go and tell him about it.  Bishops have a hotline they can call for legal advise on things like this.  In many places a Bishop has to alert the authorities when they are informed about something like this or the Bishop himself could go to jail for not reporting it.  That doesn't apply to you.  If your husband is willing to move out I expect they wouldn't take her away from you.

As for kicking him out, yes, now.  He needs to separate himself from the temptation to do it again, and your child needs a safe home.  Let him know that you are not breaking up (at this point) but you need him to move out and not move back in until he has overcome this problem and has re-earned your trust. 

He needs therapy from a trained professional and spiritual counseling from his Bishop.  This is not a normal kind of reaction. I think there is a good chance that he has been getting into porn and that has lead him to this.  Linking inflicting pain with feelings of pleasure is a VERY dangerous place to go.

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1 hour ago, Latter-Day Marriage said:

He needs therapy from a trained professional and spiritual counseling from his Bishop.  This is not a normal kind of reaction. I think there is a good chance that he has been getting into porn and that has lead him to this.  Linking inflicting pain with feelings of pleasure is a VERY dangerous place to go

This is a very odd comment. I really hope not. What boggles my mind is she is 5 months old. There is nothing that is going to be accomplished by smacking an infant. He has lost his mind. Is it possible for males to get a form of post partum? Again, he needs a time out before he does something worse.

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