How do you deal with a jealous ex???(68 Posts)
I've been with DP for 3 years and he has an ex who he has 2 kids with.
She's always been a bit of a pain in the bum but since I got pregnant last year she's got gradually worse, she nags him over tiny little things, makes up issues just so she can have a go at him, creates situations so that she can try and make him chose his kids over me and our baby etc. She's so nasty to him, if he doesn't do what she wants then she threatens to stop him seeing the kids/go to the CSA/ even go to the police if one of us says or does something she doesn't like.
It's all just got out of hand now to the point where she has now said that she won't let me see her children because I am 'mentally ill'. I have suffered with post natal depression for a few weeks which has now been treated and I'm on the mend but apparently I'm 'a danger to her children'.
She could have only found out that I have been ill by looking at my medical records through work which I am currently getting looked in to.
Everything is just such a mess at the moment, we're missing the kids, they're missing us, they're missing out on seeing their baby sister and she's making the kids think that their Dad doesn't want to see them now that he's got a new family which isn't true at all.
I wrote her an email asking her to leave DP alone and stop bullying him and to start thinking about all this is doing to the kids. Apparently she went to the police about the email and they are supposedly coming to see me, so I rang the police to check when they were coming so I could make sure I was in and they have no record of any complaint, she's just completely lost the plot!
She left DP and I believe that she doesn't want him back but I definitely think that she's jealous of what we have got and trying to ruin it for us. She's trying to break our family up every weekend by saying that he can only have the kids if he takes them to his Mum's.
It's just pathetic and it needs to come to an end but trying to talk to her is like talking to a brick wall.
It seems that she can't handle the fact that he's happy again and that he doesn't need her and that she can't control him any more. Everything with this woman is about control and money.
We will take legal action to get proper access to the kids again if we need to but we'd prefer to get it sorted without the need of the courts.
What can we do? I'm happy to let DP see the kids on his own for now but long term that isn't going to work so it will need sorting.
Anybody had similar problems with ex's? How did you deal with it?
Oh dear, that all sounds very hard.
Your DP needs to go and see a solicitor really. The longer he goes without contact the harder it will be to reinstate it.
I think what you've said about DP seeing the kids on his own for a while might be worth a shot but it should be made clear to Mum that it is only a temporary compromise; you're the mother of his kids' new sibling and you live with him so you can't be excluded forever based on a bout of pnd.
It does sound like jealously to me and that's not something that's going to disappear overnight. Sorry I don't have anything more practical to suggest!
He is still seeing the kids, she's been letting him see them in her house for a couple of hours a week and has now agreed that he can now start having them for a whole day (sunday) at his Mum's as long as I don't turn up.
That's great that he now gets them for a whole Sunday but as he works 6 days a week it's the only time that he gets with me and our baby, by the time he gets home from work during the week she's ready for bed so our Sundays are precious. He just wants all his family to be together so we can go for days out etc.
That's another condition of the contact - he's not allowed to take them outside of the local area without her permission! It's so frustrating because she's a shit Mum, does nothing with them, leaves them with babysitters 3 nights every weekend so she can go out on the piss. He's a brilliant Dad and she can't handle the fact that they have more fun with him than they do with her.
She's already said that if we get a court order that she'll ignore it, she'll go to prison if she has to if it means making sure that her children aren't near me.
Don't think she's really thought that through though...where does she think the kids will live whilst she's in prison? lol
You need to go and see a solicitor. DSD's mum was like this when DH and I first got together. She was very jealous and caused A LOT of aggro and heartache. In the end DH went to see a solicitor to get everything made official. It worked, she realised she couldn't mess him around any more. DSD ended up living with us anyway and her mum then tried aggro that way, but she gave up in the end.
She needs to see that she can't walk all over you and that you won't take her shit. Stand up to her, otherwise you're going to have years and years of all this. It's the last thing you need especially with a baby to look after. Does your DH pay maintenance?
Your DP should send a sol's letter to her outlining the contact he wants. As far as the issue of you seeing the kids and them spending time at your house goes, if you've previously had a succesful relationship with them I don't think she has grounds to stop it based on her finding out (unlawfully?) that you're suffered with pnd.
The Sunday stuff doesn't work for your DP for the reasons you've outlined above and he should make that clear in the letter.
Has your DP ever had overnights? If he has, then he should firmly request they are restarted immediately if the kids are being left with babysitters when they're with Mum. I mean at least Sunday when he's had them all day he could put them to bed etc. Are they school age? Can he drop them to school on Monday morning?
I think you're right, we've been avoiding legal action but I think we can't avoid it any longer.
Yes dp has always had kids over night and they love their time with us.
I always thought that he wouldn't be able to take them to school because he needs to leave here at 8 but they already go to a breakfast club so I suppose he could, they'd just get there earlier than normal.
The thing is that her basis for her concerns is that I've been suffering with pnd but firstly that wouldn't stand up in court and secondly she can't prove it, she would lose her job if she admitted that she's seen my medical records. We've denied that there's any mental health problems so there's nothing she can do it prove otherwise.
It's just an excuse though, we've never liked each other but she never had any good reason in the past to stop them coming to our house, now she's got her excuse and she's not gonna let it go!
My SC go to a breakfast club when they're with us for 2 reasons - one is because it makes it easier for DH to do the school run and get to work and the other is we have other kids at different schools who are all due in at the same time so I figure it's fair if they all take it in turns to go to breakfast club. As it happens they all love it and would like to go every day!
The pnd thing wouldn't stand up in court because you're not their primary carer; your DH is and unless Mum could prove contact wtih you was a real threat (which clearly it isn't) your pnd is irrelevant. Especially given that you've previously cared for the kids and this is the only thing that has changed.
Get your DP to a solicitor pronto.
Plus I had mental health nurses visiting me at home, seen a psychiatrist etc and everybody was happy with my ability to be a mother and said there were no safe guarding issues so again her concerns really wouldn't be ones which stand up in court. I've never been in trouble with police, I can get character references from my employer, the sure start centre where I volunteer, my college tutor, my friend who's a hv etc.
And in response to someone's question, yes dp does pay maintenance plus half the mortgage plus other bills. That was agreed when they were splitting up and he was moving in to his Mum's so he could afford it, now he can't and we get further in debt every month but we can't change the arrangements cos she won't allow him to, she sees it like he's taking from them to give to his new family but its not like that.
So she's now gone to the CSA to get more maintenance off him as he's no longer having them over night, but that's because she won't let him, so frustrating! And the CSA don't take mortgage and bill payments in to account, it's a nightmare!
In that case I would advise your partner to stop mortgage payments and bill payments on top of csa. I greatly admire anyone stepping up in that way with their exes but she cant have it both ways - its either a private arrangement to suit you all or a csa regulated one and you pay exactly what they dictate. Not a penny more or less. PND isnt allowed to be used in a custody battle fullstop - unless they are extremely serious using any form of mental health issues is frowned upon.
What is worrying me is how much your OH seems to be bowing to these wishes - you can fight and rage all you like but (and believe me I know how hard this is to accept - its taken me 5 years and I still have my moments) they arent your kids, its not your issue and you absolutely have to detach. Dont send her emails - it will make you feel better for about five minutes but you cant possibly think telling her she is being a bully will make her stop - bitter experience has taught me it wont. Three words you will see on here very often are:
Detach. Detach. Detach.
That doesnt mean dont try with the SK or dont support your husband - but dont take it on your shoulders or try to force things into being the way you want, dont get involved in slagging her off and dont take any of it personally. Just step back and walk away from it. Its your partners issue to deal with and you have enough with a new baby and stress of your own. What you can do is come on here and vent away - I cant tell you how much it helped me over the years.
My DP's ex was like this - he applied for a court order to resume contact and she ranted and raved at her own barrister in the Court waiting room when the Barrister refused to request that the court ordered no contact with their Dad because they didn't need him anymore (yes, really)
When you are dealing with a woman who believes that there is no need for a child to have contact with their dad, court really is the only option.
I agree with the comments about stopping the additional payments - CSA only - your DP can put extra money to one side to fund his legal bills, which hopefully will avoid him falling into the trap of thinking that he's not doing enough for his DCs. If his ex starts ranting about the DCs being made homeless, he can remind her that they have a home with him
Your DP needs to get this sorted now, before the DCs get older.
Thanks. Yes to stop the mortgage payments would be great but the only trouble is the mortgage is in his name only, if he doesn't pay his half then she won't pay it for him and it'll be HIS credit record screwed n then we won't be able to get a mortgage in the future. The house has been on the market for years and thankfully we have just had an offer on it so fingers crossed it will be gone in a couple of months so that's that problem solved.
Tbh we have reduced the bills he was paying, he now just pays the buildings insurance as legally that's his responsibility because its his house.
He does bow down too easily but that's how he is in general, he hates arguments n just wants to keep the peace so would rather just bury his head in the sand than tackle the problems head on, I suppose I'm probably the opposite which is why I take on the problems. Having seen what she's like I do understand why he does it, there really is no reasoning with this woman and he knows that if he upsets her she'll just stop contact which is the last thing he wants.
Our mums have both said they'll pay the legal fees so that's one less thing to worry about.
It's just hard to not get worked up over it when she's got such an issue with me, I love those kids n miss them n I feel like its my fault that dp has virtually lost his kids.
poppy this will never be your fight - if your DP is acquiescing to his ex to keep the peace/maintain contact then you and he will never be able to build a life together - he needs to stand up for his DCs
My DP gained a lot of confidence when he attended the 'Putting Children First' course which is for separated parents. The courts can order parents to attend as part of the process of putting a residency/contact order in place.
Perhaps your DP could ask his solicitor about it?
I understand your feelings only too well - my DP was estranged from his DD for two years because he wouldn't ditch me - she gave him an ultimatum but he refused. His position was very simple - his job is to parent his DD, if he can't do that because he's scared of upsetting her and of her refusing to see him, then what value is there in her seeing him? He continued to give her stable, consistent boundaries and this has proved to be the right thing to do as she has now chosen to rejoin our family.
Thanks everyone, you have really helped.
I've talked to DP tonight and he had already decided himself that he needs to be firmer with her and now back down to her unreasonable demands.
We will see what happens this weekend and she is apparently in the process of compiling a letter which states a list of her conditions of contact so once we receive that we can then go to a solicitor and go from there.
I do miss the kids and I do see them as my/our family but whilst I've got such a young baby (and a poorly one at that) I do think I need to try and take a step back and just try and concentrate on her.
All this stress really isn't doing my pnd much good either. Plus if I'm 100% honest it has been kinda nice to have more time with DP at weekends, we've never had weekends by ourselves so it's quite novel, suppose best just make the most of it cos with any luck we'll soon have a mad house every weekend again
"basically she is a shit mum" and he is a brilliant Dad"
Been a single Mum have you OP?
Appreciate the situation is difficult but this is a very one sided account and one gets the feeling that we are not getting the full picture.
Must be lovely to be so perfect.
Theydeserve - yes I have been a single mum thank you and did I palm my DS off on anybody who would have them every weekend so I could go out on the piss? No! Did I take him for days out and enjoy quality time with him? Yes I did. Did I look after my son well? Yes I did. You don't know half of the story. She doesn't even bath them, next week DSS is having to have half his teeth pulled out because she doesn't look after them, it's heart breaking to see what she's doing to them. So yes I stand by the fact that she's a shit mum!
I know what it's like to not just be a single mum but to be a lone parent - somebody who gets no support off the other parent, no financial support and little help from my own family. I know how hard it can be but no matter how hard it is your kids come first!
And no I never claimed to be perfect, nobody who is suffering with depression of any kind would ever for one minute think that they are perfect.
I know what I have done wrong, I shouldn't have told the woman to F off and that she's a bully etc but seriously that's all I have done wrong to the woman, it had built up over 3 years and I'd just had enough of the way she treats him.
If he was that brilliant a dad he would have had SS round there and applied for custody well before now if all you say is true. I'm sure if we were given her side of the story it would be completely different and somewhere in the middle would lie the truth.
If I'm honest it sounds like you are also very jealous of her, and if your attitude towards her shows though to the children I don't blame her for not wanting them near you.
Its very hard being a step parent even when there is an amicable relationship between parents, its not your place to go wading in with emails insulting her.
Do you really want the kids to have to choose who is going to be attending their weddings/birthdays.graduation or whatever in the future? The way this is all going thats whats going to happen.
poppy It helped me a great deal when I accepted that the DSC mum was doing her very best - even if I felt that the DSC were unhappy, or deserved more. Just because I believed that more could be done doesn't mean she was failing.
Unfortunately, losing your temper with your DPs ex has lost you the moral high ground and there are always consequences of that - but just like her, you were doing your very best at the time.
If your DP believes that his DCs are being neglected or are at risk, then there are steps that he can take to protect them, and I'm sure that he is doing his very best too.
It does sound like you are very invested in this situation - which can't be good for your own health; can you talk to your GP about how angry you feel at times? There are other things that he might be able to suggest that could help you disengage if that is what you want to do.
Notadisneymum - I've been referred for CBT to help with my depression and stress so yes I'm sure that's something we can work on to try n help me not get so worked up over it all.
Missy - unfortunatly leaving your kids with a babysitter and not cleaning their teeth isn't an offense. I wouldn't go as far to say they are being neglected but she doesn't give them the care and love that they deserve.
She has been referred for parenting classes by her hv because she struggles with their behaviour so hopefully that'll help her.
And no the kids have no idea what is going on, before this all happened we all used to attend parties together etc n we always got on. I see the kids nearly every day at school n they've not said anything, still give me a hug and a kiss like everything is normal. DSD is pretty nosey so if she knew that we'd fallen out she would have said something. From what I can gather all they know is that their mum now wants to spend more time with them at the weekend so that's why they're not coming.
They did see their mum having an argument with DP's mum but that's got nothing to do with me.
I wasn't going to go in to all the ins and outs on here but since now ppl are questioning the circumstances I'll explain in a little more detail what has happened.
I've never really liked her and think she takes DP for granted n don't like the way she is with him, his parents and the kids but I've never said anything and on the rare occasion that our paths cross we've always got on n even had a bit of a chat n laugh together, I always figured it was just best for everyone if I make an effort.
A month ago my pnd had reached rock bottom and I was feeling very suicidal, I saw my gp and she told me to go to A&E. DP came out of work so he could go with me.
It just so happened that that day was his pay day so he was due to pay her the maintenance but as he was sat in A&E he couldn't transfer the money over at that very moment but said he would take it to her when we'd finished. She kicked off big time, sent him loads of abusive texts saying that the kids were more important than me and that she needed the money straight away (despite that she'd also just been paid that same day). It was just one of the many occasions where she makes a big deal over nothing. She threatened to go and get the money off his mum and made some nasty comments about my baby.
Then when I was being seen by a dr n DP was in the waiting room she turned up at A&E shouting and screaming at him so he just gave her his cash card which she then kept for 3 days so we had to cancel it.
That is why I sent her an email telling her to leave DP alone, I wasn't even Nasty to her, just explained that we had enough going on without her adding to our worries.
She knew I was in A&E but nobody knows what was wrong with me, she'd not seen me so she couldn't have guessed by that, she doesn't know any of my family or friends so the only way she can know is by looking at my medical records.
She isn't even using the email as a reason for me not to see the kids, just the fact that I'm 'mentally ill'.
She's also fallen out with DP's mum because she had a bit of a go at her because of the way she is with the kids, starts telling them off from the moment she walks in to pick them up etc.
Hope that has clarified things.
I've read your last message and am really angry on your behalf at your dp ex .
I can't believe anyone could walk into a and e like that and carry on the way she did!
You and dp have got to start standing up to her, she is behaving like a child who tantrums when she can't get her own way and them by giving I. To her tantrums (by giving her the cash card) you are giving her permission to "kick off" next time.
Your dp really needs to deal with this because her behaviour isn't going to help your pnd.
Your dsc are important but so are you and the baby and dsc and ex need to learn that, even if its difficult for them.
Yes well we're going to start doing maintenance payments through the CSA so we won't have issues like that again, if she doesn't get the money on the day she wants it then she can kick off with them instead.
Hopefully the house will be gone soon so the only tie they will have will be the kids.
So once we've got a court order to have proper access to the kids again then we shouldn't need to have much contact with her. I can't wait!
Things came to a head with my DH's ex recently - we've been through all the stages of thinking my SD wasn't being looked after properly etc. Mum doesn't seem able to remember when Inset days, she forgets to call SD when she says she will, she lies about having taken SD to the doc when she was ill, she forgets vaccinations etc. I thought she was basically 'a crap mum' leaving me to deal with my SD's vaccinations, dental appointments, homework etc despite the fact that I had 2 younger kids of my own.
Anyway the ex called a few days ago to speak to my DH and he wasn't here so she burst into tears to me, saying how bad she felt that she couldn't keep on top of stuff, apologised for being unreasonable and making threats, admitted she felt jealous, threatened, intimidated and basically she just sobbed her heart out. For the first time I realised she probably WAS doing her best. I actually felt really sorry for her. To the point where I was defending her to my DH last night - he can't stand her and was looking at me like "whaaat??!"
The thing is, you'll never know her side of the story or what she's really going through. The best thing you can do is detach, protect yourself and your baby and support your DH in being the best Dad he can be to your SC.
I think just the threat of court action can sometimes be helpful. I know that sounds twisted but in our situation, I think what's happened is the ex realised she couldn't carry on behaving the way she has been and the 'mess' has now crumbled somewhat. My DH is meeting her next week to 'start afresh' and hopefully the court action will be abandoned. We can't really afford it and we know it's not great for SD but until now my DH really didn't see that he had any choice.
Fingers crossed when your DP's ex receives a sol's letter she might rethink her behaviour too??
Tbh in the past I have felt a bit sorry for her and thought she mustn't be coping well but I suppose she puts this hard and cocky front on which a) makes it lo