Hi All! I wanted to get some advise.
Communication between myself and the ex is only via email. It has always been unpleasant and often intentionally hurtful.
There are two young children involved so I can't just block them as communication is critical.
It's taken years of this, but I finally came up with a plan to elevate the issue. That plan was to create a mail address just for family communication that all my close friends/family have access to, and switch communication to that address.
The idea was that if the ex knew for sure that everything they sent me was visible to all these people they would temper their language/style and communication would become appropriate.
All I want is for the communication to not be personal or hurtful. It's had a real and horrible impact on my life for all this time.
I did all this and told them to communicate via the new address BUT they straight away got rattled and refused to send emails to the new address because "it was a validation that I thought their communication was inappropriate".
They refused to stop emailing my personal account.
I said fine I'll set up a forwarding rule from my personal account to the new email account. They accepted this and even sent an email after that that was actually quite pleasant and functional (rather than the usual 10% functional and 90% hurtful). It seemed like the issue had been resolved and I could finally get on with life without worrying about the next "assertive" email. .. until the next morning. They had evidently been rattled again and stated they would block the new address and would NOT stop sending me emails directly.
At the moment they have refused to accept my wish to stop contacting me via my personal email address and communication style has reverted back to how it was.
I honestly don't know what to do and am concerned there is no way out of this. Any advise would be greatly received!
My situation is a little different from yours but thought I would let you know what I did.
My ex and I have been separated 18 months now and are going through the courts with regards to our finances. I instigated it all as he was and is a bully, is manipulative and wouldn't fairly split the finances to take into consideration our two young children. I have had to do things through court as its the only way to make sure myself and the children are okay in the near future. Emailing (and texting) is the only way we communicate - his choice, he says he cant stand to look at me and tbh he is abusive and argumentative in person anyway so its quite a good thing really.
Although my ex doesn't constantly email me, he would still send emails that I considered to be unimportant and they were more of a way to get at me and get a reaction from me than anything. I found myself jumping and dreading every email I got, when my phone made a noise I would think it was him every time and I did not want to be made to feel this way.
I therefore stopped all notifications of text messages on my phone so that it doesn't make a sound when he sends a message. I actually have to go into my text messages in order to see if he has sent a text. Unless the children are with him, there is nothing so important that cannot wait until I am ready to check them.
Similarly, a few weeks before Christmas I told him my email address wasn't sending or receiving emails therefore had to get a new one. This was complete rubbish of course, it was a way of setting up an email account where the only emails that go in were from him. Again, I do not have any notifications on my phone/laptop from this account, I check it as and when I feel like it therefore I am in control and it is a small triumph that makes me happy and less jumpy! Any emails I get on my phone are from my personal account and I do not dread it every time I hear a notification.
I do not answer every email he sends, I answer what is important and relevant. I also leave it a few days, even a week before answering as again, it takes the control back into your space and believe me, it will wind him up.
Perhaps telling him how the email address you set up was also being accessed by your family/friends was not the best thing to do, it would only have angered him more. If you wanted your family and friends to have access to the emails that's fair enough but I would have not have told him but let him continue to use hurtful and abusive language etc etc which would have been useful as evidence for a future court order made against him?
Like I said, read your emails when ready and only answer when necessary!
Hope I've helped a little. Good luck x