If you have been in an unhealthy relationship, I'm sure you are no stranger to conflict.
With conflict, come feelings. And if you are in a relationship that threatens your safety, these feelings most likely include: anger, sadness, shame, guilt.
(And most of all: Fear. Gut busting, straight up, worse than your most awful nightmares, fear.)
Maybe you diffuse it, by explaining it away. You think things like--but he really does love the children. And I really love him. I promised I wouldn't leave him. I promised I would help. He didn't mean it. If only I hadn't forgotten [fill in the blank], then he wouldn't have [fill in the blank]. I need to be more understanding. He really does love us. Tomorrow will be a new day. He'll be better tomorrow.
While he might have the most wonderful qualities about him--he may make your children laugh. He might hold a steady job. His boss might adore him. His colleagues, too. Maybe he takes you on a family day trip. Maybe he surprises you with kind, thoughtful gestures, when you least expect it.
Those instances where he instills fear, hurt, shame...those are real experiences, too. That's part of him, just like the nose on his face, the eyes that stare at you with love between the nonviolent times. That's the part that you have to confront...and fully accept...and you can. You can get there.
The good part of him does not erase the part of him that hurts you. It is the part of him that hurts your children, too.