This context is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner.
‘How did you know where to find me?’
‘Morty told me.’
He was thinner. He stood without baggage in the ugly lobby.
‘No. I haven’t finished yet.’
‘Let’s go home.’
‘I’ll never forgive you if you make me.’
‘Make you? How could I make you? I love you.’
She shrugged. ‘At home I was half dead.’
He began to cry. His face twisted, his mouth was lumpy. He gritted his teeth. He would not use the children against her, he would not. She saw him sob. She did not step closer. If he mentioned them, if he spoke their names, she would splinter. He was afraid of her. She had the stance and the expression of an idiot struck dumb, but an idiot who was holding an axe. He turned and shoved out the door and on to the street.
Does "He would not use the children against her, he would not" mean: He did not want to make the children hate her?
Or he did not want to say to her that because of their children she had to come back home?
And does " If he mentioned them, if he spoke their names, she would splinter" mean: If he talked about their children and said to her that because of them she had to come back home she would be very annoyed?
Can we say "she would splinter" means: She would die?