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Dog mom wants to do the right thing

Hi Dr. Heidi <3 I have two amazing and very special adopted dogs. I am their caretaker and cannot imagine any scenario where I would exit my toxic relationship (with my husband) without taking them with me... with the exception of: he secrets them away somehow so I don't know where they are (which is a real concern). My husband has not always treated them with respect (one of the reasons I want to leave and take them with me), but I know most of the time he enjoys their company and is attached to them (whether out of love or the ability to control me through them, I can't say for sure). He knows they are very important to me. I don't think I could get through the breakup with him without the dogs, but I also feel horribly guilty for being willing to "take them away" from him (although I know he wouldn't think twice about doing it to me). I also am concerned about how he has treated them in the past, and feel like I am putting them at risk by staying. So I feel like I can't leave without hurting my husband and can't stay without hurting my dogs. How can I work through these feelings so I can be confident in my decision and move forward without regret?

My Girls

I’ve been married to my wife for 9 years together for 12. Over the last few years I’ve noticed myself going into a deeper depression, and even asked my wife for help telling her I was broken. She told me we would talk about it later, 4 months later and I’m still waiting for her to bring it up. So I decided to start seeing a therapist without her knowing. As if I told her I’m not sure how she would take it. Anyway here’s my question. The main reason why I started seeing a therapist is to figure out how to leave my wife. Cause my girls need to see me happy, and see how a happy relationship looks like. How do people co parent with TP? I worry about my girls mental health as my wife is always yelling, belittling and cursing at them over small stuff like spilled water or dirt on the floor that they brought in from outside. How am I supposed to protect them (ages 6 & 4) if I’m not around when she has custody of them?

Stalking/ to the extreme

Has anyone ever had their ex or partner go to the extreme by putting a recording a voice recording in your vehicle or bathroom, bedroom, anywhere so they can "try" to catch you cheating on them? My Ex was very paranoid to the point he put recordings in my car, in our bathroom, bedroom, ect just to catch me cheating on him. I have never cheated on him, nor have I ever thought about it. And to him because I was breathing hard on some of the recordings I was cheating. I couldnt tell you what I was doing that day I was probably cleaning picking up the house. possibly even using the bathroom as you can hear my 4 yr old talking to ME the entire time and no one else. As a 4yr would be curious to who is at the house and talking to them or asking me questions about the other person? Right?


When your ex doesn't want to let you go and still tries to kiss you and rub on you even though you have made it very clear that your not together no more and your just trying to co parent with them but then lash it out on you and doesn't want to be Included in your child's school or life just because you set that boundary with them and don't fall into thier manipulation on trying to sweet talk you back.


How do you protect your child from getting hurt by the narcissist parent. Do you just have to let them live and learn the hard way so you dont get blamed from keeping your child away from their dad. Or protect them and get blamed for keeping them away from thier dad?