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Can I stop him from texting me?

(64 Posts)
DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:35:09

Brief background: acrimonious break up 3 years ago when XP left us for OW. Ds is now 12 and presently waiting for major surgery to remove a recently diagnosed tumour. I rebuilt my life and am back on track and doing ok. He did me a favour and I look back at those dark days with horror. He treated me badly and I still feel incredibly anxious if I have any contact with him. Although he is still with OW he doesn't seem happy with his lot and I believe he has serious money problems. I suspect he blames me for the fact that his life isn't how he hoped.

So, the last few years have been difficult but I coped and recently I came to the conclusion that it would be easier if contact was by email only. That way I can control when I read any messages from him. To have his name pop up on my screen when he texts causes me huge anxiety. People say "ignore it" or "why do you let it bother you" and "text him back the next day" but I find it incredibly intrusive and feel like he is trying to control me all over again. He usually texts me when he has ds and assumes I am with my new partner. The texts are not abusive but they can be sarcastic in tone. If you read them you would probably think I was massively over reacting. But in the context of what has gone on in the past, the fact that his name can suddenly appear on my screen at any time really distresses me. Does anyone understand that?

I have repeatedly asked him to limit contact to email only and he absolutely refuses. In fact, he dismisses my request with yet another text to tell me so. I paid for a solicitor to write to him and request the same. He told me the letter was bollocks and he had screwed it up and thrown it in the bin. He is still communicating by text. It's all about lack of respect, trying to control me, making me unhappy.

It's really getting me down. 3 years on and still the same old, same old. I have enough on my plate without XP trying to deliberately thwart me. Any advice? Or sympathy? I'm at the end of my tether.

Hopasholic Thu 19-Sep-13 11:46:51

Try sending every text message back to him. He might think you have a setting which is automatically doing it, it's a long shot but he might just give it up? Unless there's a risk of him becoming violent of course. My friend did this with an ex (no kids involved though) and he got bored after a week and left her alone. He just thought it was an automated response.

Alternatively go back to the solicitor, keep all text messages and report to the police.

Or forward them to his partner?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 11:26:57

"if I block his number how would he contact me in the event of an emergency?"

Landline. Like we used to do in the olden days before the mobile was invented. Change your mobile number and give it only to people you want or need to have it. Give him your landline number only. He can't text a landline.

calmingtea Thu 19-Sep-13 07:34:06

DrNelson - oh it is his problem not you. But in this sort of case I would see you having counselling as looking after yourself rather than fixing anything. Or at least it is what I did after a very abusive relationship. I needed to talk things through and learn how to look after and nurture myself again and what I could do to do that. It would be so you can cope better because he is so messed up, as you have been affected by the fallout from that.

fromparistoberlin Wed 18-Sep-13 10:03:03

ugh what a fucking cunt wad

OP firstly I am sorry about your son, and I hope he gets treated

and I know its easy for us to say stuff, but when you have an ill child involved I get you dont want a war

I agree re counselling, its about you getting resisielnce, peace and acceptance

and then, sorry but I agree that you either need to

block his number
change your number
give DS a pay as you go

but I agree that the last thing you need is stress

what a fucking cuntwad I say again, annoyed and angry for you

OH and plan B
you say that : threatening to dump ds at my work place or leave him with strangers

correct me here, buit your chiuld has a tumour and he is pulling stunts like this???? maybe you need to save text messages, and launch a different offensive OP.

piratecat Wed 18-Sep-13 09:47:03

i understand. i know the anxiety seeing that name or number creates. It is really hard.

In the end i changed all my numbers, luckily dd didn't have her own phone at the time, and contact is by email only. DD does have a phone now, but it's recent on starting secondary, he's not asked for it yet.

So ok, you need to minimise his ability to reach you.

Your ds must turn his phone off at bed time. He can use an alarm clock or a digital watch if needs it to get up in the morning.

Change your number, and get another payg switched on only when your ds is with him. If something comes through from ds via him, ignore as much as you can.

Carry on ignoring, i sympathise with you, as you need to have this contact avenue ( a number for you)available as he has your ds alot.

Vivacia Wed 18-Sep-13 09:33:57

I'm surprised at the lack of understanding on the part of some posters. OP can't block contact or give as good as she gets because there's a child's welfare involved.

LessMissAbs Wed 18-Sep-13 09:21:40

If an ex did that to me, Id phone him up, lose my temper and give him severe aggro when he did it. The fact you feel unable to do this suggests he is still controlling you. In which case, id take back control by reporting him to the police for harassment each time. He will soon learn.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 18-Sep-13 09:21:30

I think of problems like this as physical objects as a coping strategy. I am religious, so I imagine it as an unwanted letter, like a bill, and I mentally hand it to God and say "You deal with it." If you are not religious, perhaps imagine screwing it up and tossing it aside with a "feh!" as a way of shrugging it off.

DrNelsonsInhaler Wed 18-Sep-13 08:49:39

Thanks Looking. Yes, your metaphor makes very good sense.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 18-Sep-13 08:38:44

DrN, his behaviour is certainly causing the problem. The thing is, if you imagine a 'problem' to be a physical thing, then it ends up at your feet. It's not bothering him - it's not effecting him. He's neatly bundled up the package with its little trip wires and explosive charges, and he's dropped it, ticking, in front of you.

This is his bad behaviour, certainly. But like I say, he doesn't seem reasonable enough to change his behaviour.

Suggesting counselling isn't to say that you need to get over it, or it's your fault. It's just that you have this ticking package in front of you, and you need help with how to unpack it safely.

OK, I think it might be a bit to early for metaphor. I just don't want you thinking I was suggesting it was your fault. Not your fault at all.

Ezio Wed 18-Sep-13 08:33:24

Change the name on his contact details to "Same old shit" and just dont read it.

DrNelsonsInhaler Wed 18-Sep-13 08:25:10

Thanks for all the messages of support. I didn't think I needed counselling - I assumed it was his problem and not mine. I shall look into it.
It is just awful when you know that your dc father is prepared to launch an active campaign against you at a time when we should be coming together for ds.

FanDanceLil Tue 17-Sep-13 22:25:19

I definitely know how exhausting this is and can relate to you receiving endless texts. My ex would arrive on my doorstep if I ignore his texts for trivial information. His text messages would become increasingly angry and insulting and my stomach would flip over every time my text alert sounded.

As some poster above have advised, please do consider accessing some counselling through your GP. I found counselling really helpful in dealing with my reaction to my exp's behaviour and some insight into his controlling behaviour while we were together. It has really helped me to feel almost indifferent to his now rare outbursts.

Hope your DS gets better soon.

Bogeyface Tue 17-Sep-13 18:27:34

What about "I feel so sorry for you, that after 3 years you are still not over the end of our marriage and obviously still have feelings for me."

calmingtea Tue 17-Sep-13 18:22:27

Warning about changing name in iphone contacts to something comical, I did that and the person received emails from my phone where instead of saying their name in the to: field, had the comical title instead. They were not amused. In the case of an abusive ex it might be worth being careful about this.

I can completely empathise with the way you feel intruded on and upset when you receive messages from him. After your solicitor's letter about the harassment, did they not have any other steps they could suggest? Perhaps if you can't change his behaviour, if you saw a therapist you could work through how to change your emotional reactions, so you don't keep getting so upset?

Vivacia Tue 17-Sep-13 17:47:37

I think your answer is no, you can't stop him texting you but you're ready to consider alternatives to how you handle receiving them.

AnyFucker Tue 17-Sep-13 17:43:51

You poor thing x What a pathetic wanker he is.

Wellwobbly Tue 17-Sep-13 17:10:38

Just delete the texts without reading?

No reaction: no fun.

If you need to pick DS early etc he can ring you.

DrNelsonsInhaler Tue 17-Sep-13 16:54:13

Thank you.
I normally cope quite well with his attempts to control me - he tries all sorts of other shit too - threatening to dump ds at my work place or leave him with strangers, refusing to return his clothes, etc. I never respond and of course he never follows through. I think I'm worn out with worry about ds' health right now and all these little games he plays have just tipped me over.
I should add that I never reply to his texts or let him see me upset. I must have 20 or 30 unanswered texts on my phone. I don't know because I make a point of not re-reading them.
I send brief, factual emails about ds. End of. I really think he will never give up. The texts are just the latest of his ridiculous stunts.
Thanks for listening.

LemonDrizzled Tue 17-Sep-13 11:48:29

DrN I was referring to transactional analysis not playing games.

Can you see that XP is using your anxiety over DS and your wish to avoid hurt to DS to get you to interact? Just inform XP you wont be answering ANY texts and then stick to it? Just delete them. We all managed fine before we had mobile phones and email.

I am sorry you are having such a worrying time and hope it goes ok

Vivacia Tue 17-Sep-13 11:25:59

It's no fun when you get a text at 11pm asking a trivial question eg. when is the next half term holiday? Then, when I don't reply I get a text from ds at midnight saying, dad want to know when I break up from school.

Ignore both. Non-emergency contact is by email, isn't it?

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 17-Sep-13 10:35:50

Yes. I tried the separate phone but he would text both!

You need a phone that he doesn't know the number of. If you can't block, and he won't listen, you need his texts to go to a phone that is off and in a drawer somewhere. You can turn it on and look at the texts at a time that suits you. Otherwise, it's off and in the drawer.

This, unfortunately, will have to be your current number, as he already knows the number. You can put the SIM into a cheap little phone, and get a new SIM for your iPhone, and do not tell him your new number. In fact, don't even tell him you have a new phone.

You then give your iPhone number out to people you trust. It's hassle, but if you won't or can't block, then it's the only option I can think of.

Separately, you need some sort of help to deal with the anxiety - if you haven't already, see your GP and see what they can do for you. If you think of the problem in terms of things you can change, and things you can't change, altering your ex's behaviour is one of the things you can't change. He's an arse, so will deliberately text. You cannot change that. However, the feelings of horrible panic is something that you can, with time and help, change.

If, in 6 months time, you're responding to the texts with a shoulder shrug and carrying on your conversation, you can guarantee that he will be prepared to stop texting. At the moment, he's doing it because he knows it upsets you. However, that side of it, you can change. It might take a little while, but it is possible.

Really good luck with your son! I hope that the operation goes as well as can be expected. Give yourself a little break though - it's going to be a horrible anxious time, and accepting that and giving yourself as many comforts as you can will help.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 17-Sep-13 10:26:39

You may not be able to afford it, but self employed people often pay for an answering service. They will follow instructions to put through emergency calls or certain individuals only and take messages for everything else.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Sep-13 10:19:55

I'd email him telling him all relevant school related information is on the school website (it is for my children).

At night turn off the phone and don't reply till the morning.

If its an emergency he knows where you live.

DrNelsonsInhaler Tue 17-Sep-13 10:15:24

It's no fun when you get a text at 11pm asking a trivial question eg. when is the next half term holiday? Then, when I don't reply I get a text from ds at midnight saying, dad want to know when I break up from school. It's really wearing me down.

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