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How do I manage ex's behaviour?

(29 Posts)
Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 22:24:35

I ended the relationship due to man child syndrome & poor interaction with his son. We had been together 12 ish years and have a 19month old son.

I have tried to be civil as I want him to have a relationship with his son. I keep getting texts several times a week with the common themes of:
I have ruined his life
I am heartless
I used him to have a baby
I've left him with nothing
He is failing his course
He has no one to turn to
I've ruined his self esteem

I have answered to say that I won't reply to these texts but only to those about practical arrangements about our son.
I just feel really angry that he is creating a new reality about the reasons for the end of our relationship but I have resisted letting rip because I don't want to kick him whilst he is down and I want to maintain good links for sake of ds.
Just finding this trickle of poison a bit wearing sad

Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 22:25:37

Ps end of relationship was 4 months ago

tawse57 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:04:57

Man child syndrome? What is that?

Have you considered the possibility that he has a point?

Are you heartless? Have you ruined his life? Did you use him to have a baby?

12 years and then split 19 months after having a son together - with you ending the relationship? What does that look like to a casual observer?

Perhaps you son needs a dad in his life rather than a mum who finds his dad "wearing"?

Sounds as if he is not playing the whole separation thing by your rules and it is p*ssing you off?

Oh sorry, did you just want someone to come and agree with you? Not going to happen - I ain't your ex.

pod3030 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:14:16

Bit harsh there tawse

manchild syndrome is when a dp can't cope with the arrival of a baby and feels he isn't getting enough attention, can't 'step up' if you will. That's my experience anyway.

I hear you op, my ex dp became very selfish when our dd came along, and in the end it was like having two children instead of being part of a team.
4 months is still very soon, it needs time to just settle in to a new way. You know your own truth, and you're doing the right thing only talking about practical arrangements and resisting conflict. Do you have anyone in rl that you can vent to?

ConfusedandDazed24 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:20:59

I think unfortunately if he's decided to rewrite history then there's not a lot you can do. I had an ex that did this, put some pretty shitty and untrue stuff about me on Facebook. I remember writing a really long response to post on my own status, but before I posted I realised that this was exactly what he wanted, if you get angry/upset/bite back he will know that he still gets to you and think that he still has some power over you. Just try to remember that the people that matter to you will know the truth, and that you broke up for good reasons.

ScaryFucker Sat 19-Oct-13 23:22:03

Tawse... agenda, much ?

Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 23:33:45

Wow tawse I didn't ask for anyone to agree with me. I asked for advice on how to sensitively manage the situation to aim towards a civil relationship for the sake of my son. I find it wearing because it's negative and not helpful. If you'd read my post properly you'll see that I stated that I didn't want to kick him whilst he is down.
If you want more detail on man child syndrome, it's a common mumsnet term. In my case I supported him for many years whilst he chose not to get a job/turn up at college/help around the home/work towards our relationship/interact with his son.
I will presume that you have your own issues and are not really in the headspace to openly discuss relationship problems.

BasilBabyEater Sat 19-Oct-13 23:40:13

Oh ignore Tawse, he's clearly one of those blokes who have sent that type of texts. grin

BasilBabyEater Sat 19-Oct-13 23:43:58

I think what you need to remember, is that every time he sends you one of these texts, it is saying something about him, not about you.

Keep all of them in a file because if he continues to do it it may constitute harassment and you may need them as evidence.

If you did use him to have a baby, waiting 12 years to do so was fairly restrained, so anyone suggesting the idiot has a point, is obviously an idiot of the same ilk.

Can you set up an automatic response to texts from his number? Something along the lines of "your text has been sent to in box where it will be monitored for appropriate content"? And then explain to him that all texts are being forwarded to a friend's phone, who is simply deleting any shit and forwarding on stuff about DS?

Fuck him, you don't have to play by his rules.

BasilBabyEater Sat 19-Oct-13 23:44:57

(You don't have to get a friend to monitor the inbox btw - it will just really piss him off knowing he doesn't have that avenue to harass you.)

Bogeyface Sat 19-Oct-13 23:45:12

Tawse she left you for a reason, learn from it because if you dont then they will all leave you.

BillyBanter Sat 19-Oct-13 23:48:17

grin at tawse. totes amazeballs.

Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 23:49:55

Yea thanks, I think I will consider this. Don't really want to involve RL folk as we have mutual friends so don't want to embarrass him or involve others. It's just hard at times not to sink to retaliating especially to the 'you used me for a baby' line, it makes me so fucking cross especially as we were together 10 years prior to ds. Will be restrained, it will help in the long run.

Piaffle Sat 19-Oct-13 23:56:11

That must be so frustrating. I agree that the idea of filtering his messages is a good idea, but can see why it might feel icky to involve RL people.

At least you have had the strength to end things.

Using him to have a baby - after ten years?! Idiot.

Neeliethere Sat 19-Oct-13 23:57:22

I had a DH with man child syndrome. He's getting worse by the day. I left him after 20 years. For 15 years with a child and him a permanent 14 year old. I don't exaggerate. It is wearing having two kids and no adult support despite having what appears to be another adult in the house.

He very quickly found someone else but he is still rewriting history too. I am responsible for just about everything that is wrong with is life. He has a lovely new girlfriend who is much prettier than me, younger than me, sexier than me, cleverer than me, kinder than me, more loving than me, wealthier than me, prouder than me, works harder than me. But for some reason still he is angry with me and looks permanently like he's going to blow a gasket.

Man child syndrome is a very complex but common problem as far as I can make out. It also causes superiority complex, deafness, short sightedness, temper tantrums, inability to get out from under a duvet, inability to deal with other children and general laziness.

I too receive regular text messages and emails about just about everything that are about nothing. Luckily I can block the email but the texting is more difficult. Also luckily my daughter is much older and he can contact her himself by telephone and no need to contact me at all really. But he still does it as a way to feel he's still got some measure of control. If he doesn't get any reaction he eventually gives up though.

With a man child you probably won't get any respite until he's run out of guns to roll out or meets someone else to concentrate on. Then the kids suffer as they are too busy chasing after the new woman to give their kids a second thought.

I have deep sympathy for you. It is a brave thing to give up on a man child because you spend years hoping they will grow up and change but they never do. They just move on to the next woman (mother replacement). It is wearing but better cut and run not like I did and let it run on for so long our daughter begged us to separate.

BasilBabyEater Sun 20-Oct-13 00:04:02

D'you know I think I've spotted a gap in the market.

I wonder if Dragon's Den would give me money to set up a service of monitoring texts so irksome ones could be deleted before they reach the intended recipient? It could work for unwanted marketing messages, tiresome not-yet-over-it-exes, etc.

grin

Sorry OP, hope his general idiocy isn't getting you down.

Gretagumbo Sun 20-Oct-13 00:06:43

Yes it's that failure to take responsibility that makes me cross. I'd happily live with 'I was a bit of a idiot, you were a bit of an idiot, constant rows aren't healthy, let's separate, be civil and focus on the child'

Ah if only it was that simple smile

Yes Neelie you nailed it on the head, it was like living with a teenager.

If I take a positive view, these texts are constant reminders of why I ended it and I have not once regretted that I did.

Gretagumbo Sun 20-Oct-13 00:08:43

Yes Basil 'I'm in'

Do you remember the 'flirt divert' service radio 1 used to run? Similar idea to that smile

cestlavielife Sun 20-Oct-13 00:49:38

You cannot manage someone else.s behaviour.
You can only manage yours
Ie you can only change how you react.
Set your boundaries.
Don't acknowledge his texts .

Keep a mobile payg just for him to text to.
Or change your number and establish a new contact for everyone else.

Be firm and clear.

cestlavielife Sun 20-Oct-13 00:57:25

Maybe decide you prepared to lose one of your mutual friends ...pass this friend onto him to listen to his rants....some people love to take sides well maybe it s better they sit and listen to him? Rather than it be you ....

Or suggest to him you both attend a separated parents course or session, if you get a good therapist they could help turn it back onto him.

(but as my ex still plays the same record -when he gets a chance - after several years then best way forward is to just ignore ignore ignore.... Stop worrying about him. You don't need to "kick him" just remember it is up to him to take control of his situation and not be a victim. Just ignore and talk only about when us he next scheduled to pick up ds and anything relevant to ds.

Piaffle Sun 20-Oct-13 01:17:57

A cheap phone that only he has the number for sounds like a good idea. Then you can still contact each other about your DS, but you can just check texts once a day and do a quick delete. That way you're not getting his shit interrupting your consciousness randomly whenever he feels like it.

Lweji Sun 20-Oct-13 01:37:17

He sounds more like a cocklodger.

Regardless, welcome to the world of you did me wrong twats.
That's a script and he'll get tired if you don't reply at all except for the stuff about your baby and keep that to a minimum and don't reply straight away.

Apparently I only used mine just to get a son too, after all of 15 years together and... a 6 year old, plus leaving though dv.

They need this script to feel validated. It has nothing to do with you.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 20-Oct-13 08:01:56

I second the idea for a cheap phone - put it in a drawer, check it once a day and delete the crap that is irrelevant.

If you don't respond and don't acknowledge any of the 'poor me' texts, then eventually he will get bored and give up. It's only if you give him a reaction that he will keep going. It may take time but comfort yourself that at least you are well shot of him!

Oh and ignore Tawse, who is presumably one of these man-children who cannot understand why a woman doesn't want to maintain a relationship with them when they don't contribute financially or emotionally, expect to be waited on hand and foot and generally treated like a king in their castle*

*castle may not actually belong to said King.

Gretagumbo Sun 20-Oct-13 08:47:16

Good plan ladies, I'll get onto this.

For future reference, what's the difference between a cocklodger and man child?

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 08:59:20

Don't think there is much of one, although perhaps a man child is emotionally needy and the cocklodger isn't?

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Sun 20-Oct-13 09:30:53

I'd agree with Random. The cocklodger knows that he is king of the heap and expects everyone to acknowledge this. He becomes angry when people don't automatically recognise his greatness. He of course is brilliant at everything but doesn't need to do chores such as housework or childcare because such tasks are beneath him. His very presence in your household should be payment enough and quite frankly he is doing you a favour by staying with you because everyone knows that he could do so much better.

The man child is a passive aggressive manipulator who is perfectly capable of carrying out chores but likes to make out that he can't because he's a bloke and blokes don't do these things because of course you do it so much better. He expects everyone to run around after him organising his life because it's too hard, too complicated or too stressful for him to do it himself and anyway, you're better/more efficient at it than him.

Lweji Sun 20-Oct-13 09:40:10

Also a cocklodger is a lodger who pays with his cock. Basically, he offers nothing to the household except his presence and bed activities. He lives off you.

I see a man child more like someone who expects to be mothered. He may well be employed and play with the children, but that's where his contribution to the household ends. He is not capable of any house work, his interests are paramount and almost expects to be told off, rather than discuss issues.

BasilBabyEater Sun 20-Oct-13 12:02:04

And of course, you can get a combination of the 2 - a cocklodger and a man-child in one body.

LOL at this forensic analysis of the differences and similarities between cocklodgers and man-children.

It should be an essay title in PHSE, so that girls of the future recognise the symptoms.

"Compare and contrast the characteristics of the man-child versus the cocklodger, with reference to popular culture and media representation."

Gretagumbo Sun 20-Oct-13 14:55:01

For sure, given the symptoms, my specimen had elements of both.

Love the idea of taking this concept into the academic field. PHD in cocklodgerdom smile

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