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Exh can't look at me

(33 Posts)
Buster08 Mon 28-Dec-15 15:03:39

Exh and I separated in 2013 after 23 years together. He couldn't adapt to family life and we grew further and further apart. Dcs were 11 and 6 when we split. Exh had been emotionally abusive to me for years, and been in contact with several ow that I knew of.

I wanted us to try for the dcs sakes but in the end he said he wanted a divorce so we did. Despite feeling enormously guilty over how it would affect the dcs it was actually a huge relief in the end.

Fast forward 2 and a half yrs, dcs are settled and split their time between our houses. I've met a new partner who is lovely, we live separately but meet up at weekends, dcs like him.

Exh still seems to be miserable and tells me miserable stories about himself all the time. He has numerous ailments, he's negative about pretty much everything, he seems to feel very sorry for himself and is always seeking sympathy for something.

I find him so draining, and it's only now he's been away for so long that I can what an awful affect he had on me. I feel so much more happy and carefree now he's not here.

He had a habit of texting me long rambling texts that make no sense, about how I'm upsetting the children by meeting someone new. I've spoken to the dcs and they understand, and I try very hard to reassure them that nothing major will change to their lives any time soon, we have no plans to live together while the dcs are at home.

Exh however doesn't appear to like the fact that I've met someone else, and that I'm moving on with my life. His latest text today said that he was struggling to 'look at me' for reasons that I wouldn't understand. He wanted to let me know in case I wondered why he couldn't look me in the eye. WTF?? I had noticed this and just assumed it was him being awkward but why he needs to actually point it out I don't know.

I've recently started counselling and it's only just hit me that he was actually abusive and controlling when we were together. It's taken this long and for a third party to spell it out. It's difficult to take in and I feel so weak, to think that this was going on and I didn't realise.

And it's still going on. He is using the children to get at me because he knows I feel guilt at how it's affected them. He's trying to turn it round and make me feel that I'm the one causing problems. And now he can't even look at me, such is his contempt. And like a fool I text back and try to be nice to make him like me again, like I always did. The truth is I'm scared of upsetting him, he always seem so threatening and I worry that he could easily turn the dcs against me just by his words.

All this is why I started counselling and I know I have a lot of work to do on my confidence and how to deal with him.

Does anyone recognise this and have any advice? I've tried to go nc apart from children-related stuff but he continues to send these long texts, presumably when he's got something on his mind.

LineyReborn Mon 28-Dec-15 15:06:48

You need to break this cycle, and you need to make it a priority.

You do NOT and should reply to these batshit, manipulative texts.

LineyReborn Mon 28-Dec-15 15:07:32

And should NOT

Aaagh sorry!

Northernnights Mon 28-Dec-15 15:07:46

Tell him to fuck off.
He chose to end your marriage although you wanted to try again? Yup a fuck off is indeed a requirement in this situation...... which he engineered.......

tethersend Mon 28-Dec-15 15:10:43

Take him at his word and write 'Fuck you' on your forehead.

If he mentions it, he's broken his vow wink

WicksEnd Mon 28-Dec-15 15:12:32

You need to take control. Tell him from now on all communication is via email only and that you will be getting a restraining order if he continues to send abusive messages. The kids can contact you directly should they need to while they're with him.
He's doing it because he can. Your life is nothing to do with him anymore. Tough shit if he's unhappy and can't stand the fact that you are.

ratspeaker Mon 28-Dec-15 15:22:58

You dont need to explain or justify yourself to this man.
You dont need to make him feel better , you are divorced, you are in no way responsible for his emotional wellbeing, bet he never tried to make you feel better or give you support.
He can't look at you!! Whoop de do. But he can still text on and on and on wanting you to engage and text him back. Even though he holds you in such contempt! Aye. Hes manipulating you again. Hes lucky that you even speak to him let alone look at him.

Set up a new email account, give him the details, tell him that is how you will communicate regarding the DC. Then block his number.

BeyonceRiRiMadonnna Mon 28-Dec-15 15:23:20

You need to stop engaging with this fuckwit! He's so manipulative and is STILL trying to control you and maintain the status quo of you being miserable, you constantly trying to appease him, well F That Sh*t!

Keep conversations strictly about the children, he's no longer your concern. Yes he is the father of your children, but that is all.

My abusive ex still sends stupid manipulative texts 21 years later, he plays mind games, I simply ignore him, I refuse to engage with him unless it's to do with our 21 year old! He hates it, I love it.

Buster08 Mon 28-Dec-15 15:28:22

The thing that worries me even more is that he's doing the same to our dd(13) now and she's now started feeling sorry for him as well. I tell her not to, that he's a grown man and perfectly capable of looking after himself but he's just so manipulative.

OurBlanche Mon 28-Dec-15 15:36:50

So, you ignored his change in behaviour so well he had to spell it out it you in a text (which you obviously kept, to be used against him in any prospective court case, as appropriate)?

So you are getting better at ignoring him. Your counselling is working smile

In a calm moment, think it through: do you really think he could make your kids hate you? If you do, discuss that with your counsellor, ASAP! You need to find your own way through this - and that means stop doing what you have always done or you will always get what he has always given you: blame, hassle, fear, guilt... and an overriding need to appease him.

You might need to have an age appropriate chat with your DC, stop apologising for him, tell them that he is being selfish and they need have no thought that they need to parent him! Maybe suggest your DD speaks to the school counsellor...

Norest Mon 28-Dec-15 16:54:35

Yea I agree that he is mad you ignored his attention-seking behaviour and so felt like forcing his 'misery' onto you. It's another tactic used to control you.

I think counselling is a good idea, as well as looking at ways you can build your boundaries so you don't get sucked into his attempts to manipulate you using the children.

If he was genuinely concerned for them he would not be using them as a tool to try to make you feel bad.

It's all smoke and mirrors because he doesn't like that you have moved on. Who knows, perhpas he blamed you and your marriage for his unhappiness and is put out that you are enjoying life again?

Buster08 Mon 28-Dec-15 19:46:34

You're probably right, he still wants to feel that he can control me. I don't know what to make of his latest gem, he can't look me in the eye and no doubt I'll laugh at this or take the piss (well..) but I wouldn't understand even if he tried to explain. But I've got nothing to be frightened of.

This is quite threatening yes?

Buster08 Tue 29-Dec-15 13:16:10

So, New Years resolution, to stop pandering to him and revert back to no contact other than if it involves the children.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 29-Dec-15 13:29:32

Good New years resolution.
Please stick to it.
You owe this man NOTHING.
He's abused you for years. He doesn't get to do it anymore.
I'd be happy he couldn't look me in the eye.
Keep an eye on your DD and ensure you talk to her regularly about abuse and what she should NOT put up with.

Buster08 Tue 29-Dec-15 13:35:47

Yes I'm very aware that I need to teach both children about it, and to tell them that they don't have to put up with being treated badly by anyone.

I worry that one or the other of them has inherited his genes, I have to talk to them about BEING abusive as well. So much to worry about sad

hellsbellsmelons Tue 29-Dec-15 13:42:09

I don't think it's in their Genes.
It's a cycle.
Most children from abusive homes either become an abuser or an abusers 'victim'. It's just the way it is.
But you are now taking steps to break that cycle so well done.

DoreenLethal Tue 29-Dec-15 13:51:39

I tell her not to, that he's a grown man and perfectly capable of looking after himself but he's just so manipulative

Try telling that to yourself before responding appeasing him next time.

The only response should have been along the lines of 'oh dear, thanks for the info'.

Stop playing his games and break this cycle.

mintoil Tue 29-Dec-15 14:12:22

Why do you see him? As one of DC is 13, he should be able to drop them off outside and text on pick up so they come and go without you being there.

I agree with PP you ignore anything that isn't strictly "I will be picking DC up at 1.30 on Saturday is that OK?"

MistressDeeCee Tue 29-Dec-15 16:48:02

He's not your husband any more. Added to that you have a new partner - yet you're wasting your time & life exchanging texts with this loser?

You know what you need to do and I don't see that asking anyone here to spell it out for you will help, unless you make the change. If however you are drawn to and feel a need to engage with your ex in this fashion then perhaps the 2 of you could make a go of it again because you certainly aren't giving your new relationship and life a chance, and he is the reason. Its not fair on the DCs either because he will be manipulating them too.

Sorry to sound harsh but I get so fed up of reading and hearing about women who waste time and life on some stupid cunt who can't enhance their life in any way, in your case at least you got away from him but you're on a path to letting him spoil your life again if you don't ignore his silly texts and attitude.

Ive been there with someone like that, splitting from him felt like losing a limb I dont think Im 100% over it still all these years later, and even though my OH is lovely. He contacted me for 2 years after we'd split..maybe I took some perverse pleasure in that - he was a nasty, narcissistic, controlling bastard in many ways - but Id sit on my hands rather than text back. Even when really tempted Id phone a mate or find something else to do. No contact was the only way.

These men want you back so they can fuck up your life again, no more no less. No man is worth it

PitPatKitKat Tue 29-Dec-15 16:55:00

Good for you for moving on with your life.

As you've said already, disengage. Not more text exchanges. Only calm, functional, practical communications re children. Continued counselling for ou, and think about counselling for the kids if that's not in place already. someone they can speak to who is not part of the situation. Positive education and reinforcement from you about the standards of behaviour that are acceptable (both to give and receive).

Buster08 Tue 29-Dec-15 21:30:52

Thank you Mistress, I probably need harsh words. He still makes me incredibly anxious and I'm still scared of him. My instinct is to 'not rock the boat' which is why I engage with him, it stops him from getting nasty.

I'll talk it through with my counsellor, you're right - I do know what I need to do and I was doing it for a while. I'm not sure what happened but I can see how badly it affects me.

MistressDeeCee Wed 30-Dec-15 02:36:53

He makes you anxious and you are scared of him?sad

Yes please do talk this through with your counsellor, you need rid of this man. You will have to rock the boat, get RL support when and where you can, if you end up calling the police and he ends up seeing the children via a Contact Centre then so be it, but please don't let this man have any more control over your life - he is NOT your man and its far past time for him to piss off now. He wanted a divorce well he got one, so leave him and his misery and ailments well alone and be thankful you're no longer sharing a life and home with him, having to listen to him going on & on daily in close proximity.

Dont let him drain you emotionally, and spoil the one life you have. Please ignore his next text, and get into the habit of ignoring all subsequent messages. Yes he will aim to involve your children and turn them against you, unfortunately the time may well come when you have to tell them some of the truth but I can tell you, as they grow up they see the truth for themselves.

Good luckflowers

mimishimmi Wed 30-Dec-15 06:56:03

Was he ever physically abusive?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 30-Dec-15 08:21:00

Oh dear op !
Time for a fresh start and a clean break

You could co sister some of the following :

Sending a message to say you are NOT replying to any more messages

Block him , get a Pay as you go and share with kids - ask that messages only pertaining to kids are sent and tell him it's shared with kids so if he sends you bullshit they will see

You are Not - repeat NOT responsible for him and the sooner you realise that the better flowers

mimishimmi Wed 30-Dec-15 11:09:59

He is not your responsibility. I am surprised he is complaining to you. As the pp said, just send him a terse message requesting that any messages from him should only pertain to the children and you do not want to hear about his personal problems.

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