I have 50:50 custody of my two kids with my ex husband and all I get from him, in fact pretty much from day one, is email after email about what I am doing wrong, how I should bring up the kids, how horrible I am, how I''m damaging the children by splitting up the family, how he now ''knows'' I was cheating on him (completely untrue) and that I put us through everything as I''m selfish and only think about myself... the list is endless. I''ve gotten to the point where my heart just freezes every time my phone beeps to tell me I have an email because I know it''s him. He won''t phone me which is what I''ve asked him to do if it is urgent about our children, hides behind email after email. He won''t be in the same room as me, cannot stand the sight of me yet constantly contacts me. I just wish he would move on and leave me alone.
I wanted to keep a channel of communication open, for us to try and be civil for our children (4 & 9) but I can''t live with this constant stress. I feel like I have to do what he says when he tells me how to bring the kids up and goes on about what I''m doing wrong as I''m so desperate to make sure my children are ok and have some consistency between our houses but I''m fighting against my instinct that some of the things my ex is handling wrong and I don''t want to do them, such as forcing my youngest to eat certain stuff until it just turns into a massive argument and I dissolve into a mess of frustration and anger that I''m letting my ex dictate my life even though we''ve been divorced for 4 months and separated for 21 months.
I had counselling during my divorce and the counsellor explained that my ex is displaying narcissistic tendencies in that he can''t believe that I would leave such a perfect person as him and therefore the accusations of me having affairs are so he has a reason that I left him rather than the plain simple truth that one of us had to end it before we destroyed each other and the kids.
The ex uses his idea that he is an absolutely perfect parent to get some control back and support his unshakeable belief that I am bad and rotten and the divorce and how he feels is all my fault, he has given up responsibility for any of it. I can see what the counsellor was saying but I still allowing my ex to make me feel so bad about myself and my skills as a Mum. My family and friends keep trying to tell me that I''m a great Mum and I should ignore my ex but why is it that the one person I want to think I''m a great mum is my ex, the father of my kids?
I would love to block his email, block his number, have nothing more to do with him but we do need a line of communication for the kids but I want that to be open to just emergency contact if something is wrong with the kids, not constant scrutiny. He will ask a very simple, kids related question that I do need to answer but then add another paragraph or two going on again about what I''m doing wrong etc. I have to read the emails to get the bits I do need about the kids but it means seeing the rest of the sometimes vile stuff he writes about me.
I guess I''m confused between him having no rights now to know about my life or what goes on in my house and the rights he has to know how his kids are and that they''re well looked after and happy with me (which they are, I adore my children and they are my world). I''m guess I''m scared that if I start to ''rebel'' against him, he''ll turn the boys against me or his emails will just get nastier or worse, he''ll try to take the kids from me so I just suck up whatever he throws at me but I''m at breaking point. I''m on the verge of tears constantly, I can''t sleep properly (that''s why I''m up at 2am... again) and the weekends I don''t have the boys, I can barely bring myself to get out of bed, I just want to hide from everyone and everything and that''s when his emails affect me the worst. I''ve had financial difficulties (common to everyone when divorcing I guess) and running a house as a fulltime working single Mum is hard enough to cope with without the ex making things x1000 worse.
Do I really have the right to tell him to only contact me by phone in an emergency with the boys? To tell him that I will no longer have anything more to do with him and will in no way accept anything other than a phone call when urgently required? I''ve told him he can contact the kids at anytime, I''m in no way banning his contact with them when it''s ''my time'' but I need him out of ''my'' life and this constant harassment to stop.
Thank you for listening to my late night (or that should be early morning) ramblings. Now I have them written down and out in the open, maybe I''ll be able to sleep without them going through my head. I only found this site this afternoon and I so wish I''d found it months and months ago!
hi! your counsellor is correct the only way to deal with this is no contact which you can''t do because of the children ,but i would tell him to mind his own business concerning the children in your time ,tell him you are no longer going to look at emails, delete them straight away and say if there is a emergency can he please ring.
I would block his emails, or change your email address and not give it to him if that''s not to difficult with updating all your contacts. He doesn''t need to email as a point of contact, if it was a real emergency he would phone, not email. And if he had a genuine question - which at the moment you are having to scour the vile emails for - he can and will text it if he has no other means of communication.
My stbx has a tendency to by like that. I never knew there was a word for it narcissist . Friends and family tell me that he''ll regret is treatment of me and the kids, maybe he''ll learn from his mistakes etc but I know he won''t, he will never ever regret anything because he truly believes he has done nothing wrong, his behaviour is either perfect or blamed on someone else (mostly me now, though when we were together it was his parents / his ex / etc. wish i had recognised sooner that these were just his excuses!)
I do find though that if I keep my replies to an Absolute minimum, eg just yes or no to his actual relevant question, ,then it eventually stops. I have a barrage of texts for a couple of days then it goes quiet and I have a few weeks of silence while he thinks of another thing to harass me about. Although, he isn''t having contact with our kids at the moment so that might be why I get lucky with the long silences, if he was having them for contact then there would probably be more issues he could contact me and have a go at me over.
But back to you: I wouldn''t do things his way as a parent. Do what you feel is right and make the parenting choices you want. At four years old your child will soon learn that dad does it one way, mum does it another. Just aim to be consistent in how you do things. Maybe I find it easy to say this as I think I agree more with your parenting style - I wouldn''t force a kid to eat something I know they don''t like - but If you don''t assert yourself and say: this is how I do things" then where do you draw the line? If he thinks smacking is acceptable would you do that too? Agreeing consistency is all very well when you are able to talk to and agree minor parenting strategies with your ex, but it isn''t any good when you are forced to use strategies by a verbally abusive ex.
I completely identify with the ex being hateful and nasty and placing the blame for everything onto you.
You know in your heart that what he is saying is not true, he is a very angry and bitter man, who cannot work out why you divorced his sorry a**!
Self doubt is a horrible tortuous experience and he is playing on your weakness, your children, this is nothing short of harrassment, and abuse.
Do not buy into these games, your friends are telling you the truth, you''re a great mum doing the best for your children. Arguments over food are best avoided, they''ll eat when they''re hungry.
Follow your instincts where your kids are concerned, set firm boundaries but support them with consistency and love.
Try not to let the b*****d get you down, your life without him will be so much better,children grow and they see for themselves who is behaving as a responsible adult and who is not!
Clearly you need to restrict contact with you to information about the children only, I wonder if you''ve made him aware that his behaviour is harrassment and that may have consequences for him?
I also wonder if you have a support group that you could use when you are feeling so lost on your weekends without the boys? Online support is great in the wee hours when we cannot get out, but there''s nothing quite like talking things through with a good friend or experienced women''s aid worker.
Have a look at The Freedom Programme online, your ex seems to fit the characteristics of an abuser , it might help with strategies on how to deal with him.
Don''t believe a word he says about you, that''s his stuff, let him keep it
Try & have a good day today, hope you got some sleep.
thank you for replying
I know I should get stronger and tell him to leave me alone but I''m stuck in the pattern of not wanting to aggravate him more so I ignore the emails at which point he sends another one telling me how he must be right because I have no reply to what he''s saying! If I reply, it just eggs him on more and he send back something even more nasty.
I have to drop the kids to his parents as he cannot bear to see me at all (he lives closer to me than they do!) so breaking contact completely really only involves blocking his email and I guess once I''ve actually done it, it will force him to phone me but what if he doesn''t? What if the kids get hurt and he doesnt tell me?
I''ve missed the court order deadline for the house/mortgage transfer into my name due to delays at my solicitors and he''s now talking to his solicitor about reporting me for defaulting on the order. I think that''ll be the straw that breaks this donkey''s back because there''s no need for him to do that, I''m getting the papers drawn up, the mortgage is agreed and he really could just sit tight for a couple more weeks but no, he has to jam the knife in wherever he can.
Maybe once the papers are signed, house transfer done and there''s nothing left to finalise, I''ll cut the contact, block his email and tell him that that''s it (she says in her best tough guy voice )
Thank you ebonyriver and tinkerbelle, I was writing back to my first reply and when I posted, I saw that you both had replied too lol
I will go with my instincts from now on, I need to do the best for my boys and that includes getting my head straight and being well for them.
I will look at getting some support. My friends are great but they''re all married or in relationships and suddenly I''m a third wheel which takes some getting used to
It is great to find support like this forum, just to natter and get some of the many thoughts out, clear my mind and know that I''m not alone or crazy or the only one going through this
Thank you again!