if your oh and his ex have an awful relationship....

(27 Posts)
ilovenavy Sun 26-Jun-16 08:00:25

....how do you not let it consume you?

My oh had an awful breakup with his ex. One day he came home and shed kicked him out, moving in her boyfriend she met at the gym.

Since then it's as though she has made it her personal vendetta to make his life a misery.

Pretty much every day she will send him an email about how he is a crap dad. They have shared care and he is amazing with his DC. He really is. His children often say that mummy would never do that (as in bake cakes etc).

The stuff she says is just laughable. Like his eldest was upset that daddy didn't put him on the swing first. That he gave them cheese sandwiches when the eldest had said he wanted tuna. That he needs to make more effort to get things right. That he's an awful dad because he doesn't buy their clothes from next.

It's petty stuff like that - along with some harsh unnecessary comments. It's as though when she gets the DC back she quiZzes them about their time with their dad and chooses stuff to have a go about.

He printed the most recent version of her moans and it was 3 pages of A4. None of it has any bearing on bringing up a child!

He has only once stood up (not physically) to the ex (about 7 months ago) and said she's being unreasonable and it resulted in her boyfriend turning up and beating him up. With the ex being their too and spitting at him. Their DC were in the car too.

My oh reported it but eventually dropped charges as he didn't want to make matters worse.

It's as though she justifies her infidelity by trying to vilify him. Her eldest is struggling with their split - even now and I think it's because she uses him to gleem information - using him a bit like a pawn/spy.

Things have calmed down now in that communication is only via email, which has helped, but it's still regular. I want to support my OH as its not nice to hear lies and be bullied like this all the time, but at the same time I feel that I would rather not know!

MozzchopsThirty Sun 26-Jun-16 08:06:59

I'm in a similar position, although thankfully dp doesn't live with me.
His ex is totally unreasonable about contact, will ring for random stuff,sends him vile texts.

I try and be supportive and also responsive to her needs (as I obvs have an ex husband who gets on my nerves) but sometimes I lose it a bit.

I try not to make suggestions about what he should do, just listen and give supportive statements

Emeralda Sun 26-Jun-16 10:45:31

It's very very hard to have that level of conflict and aggression in your life. Horrendous for the kids too. It's easy to say let him deal with her and tell him not to tell you what's going on, but that's not always feasible. Keep your involvement in the conflict to a minimum, don't read the texts or get involved in the detail, it doesn't matter to you whether they're fighting about sandwiches or cereal bars. You can suggest solutions but you may exhaust yourself. DP's ex cancelled contact because he had given DSD the wrong type of milk. He gave her the right milk the next time and she cancelled contact because he was 5 mins late due to traffic. We've had solicitor's letters about sandwiches.
It might help you if your OH seeks support elsewhere, like Families need Fathers or other family or separated dads networks, but he may not be willing to do that.
Is there a court order in place about contact and is she sticking to it?
Look after yourself and remember you are the only one with a choice in this situation. You can walk away at any time.
Never say anything that might be perceived as negative or judgemental about her because somebody will knock you for it and it will come back to you 10 times worse. Try to be positive or neutral. That's something my step-mother did very well and I try every day through gritted teeth. Don't encourage comparison between parents or households.

Stick around here for support - it's great.

cannotlogin Sun 26-Jun-16 11:30:29

Don't be part of it. Her ability to parent effectively is not affected by a lack of cake making, or indeed the fact she had an affair. What is said to children who say 'mummy never makes cakes? Is there a gloating about superior parenting or a 'am sure mummy does lots of lovely things for you too' comment? You expect the ex not to be picking up on cheese/tuna sandwiches but you are gloating over cake-making?

The ex is showing all the usual signs of dissatisfaction with her choices - common in people who have affairs 'cos what they are often running from is themselves and that's the one thing that hasn't changed. Her comments are petty and not worth paying half a second's attention to. It sounds like shared care is well embedded so even if the ex gets nastier, there is a status quo the courts will uphold. Focus on bringing up the children in an atmosphere of positivity in every respect. You can't control the ex but you can choose how you react to it.

RepentAtLeisure Sun 26-Jun-16 14:26:06

You expect the ex not to be picking up on cheese/tuna sandwiches but you are gloating over cake-making?

Yep, this seems to be another case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Why is he printing out her emails? Is it to show to friends and family?

swingofthings Sun 26-Jun-16 14:47:47

And once again, the poor kids stuck in the middle of both parents thinking they are perfect whilst the other is dreadful. I've known kids with such parents and their response is often that their parents are so focused on proving the other how better they are that they actually forget to do things for them.

Rosewine72 Sun 26-Jun-16 14:52:39

Oh ilovenavy I completely get u, how can u not let it get to u and your dp I don't agree with repentatleisure , it must drive your dp in sane! We have similar problems with dps ex but now she is using me to get to him, saying I will turn their dad against them, I've said this and that to her , telling me they are not happy as the house is always filthy I don't do their washing on time , they find me too overbearing . God knows what else , but she has admitted to someone that she doesn't want my dp to be happy and she's gonna split us up! How awful is all this for the children! It seems they are just out to please themselves they are not thinking how it effects the children at all. I can't believe how many twisted bitter women their are out there!!!!

ilovenavy Sun 26-Jun-16 14:59:04

I came on here for support, so Thank you to those who have said something supportive.

I didn't mean it in a gloating way, I meant that she keeps saying he is a shit dad, but he does loads of great activities with them, so what she says is totally unfounded.

For those saying nothing helpful, did you actually read my message?? Do you actually think a physical attack on my oh is acceptable? Do you think that she is being reasonable?

My oh never rises to any of the grief he receives. He tries to keep the peace. If his kids say anything about their mum, he always says the right thing - as do I - as to not cause further problems. I actually think he deserves a medal for how he deals with her.

Rosewine72 Sun 26-Jun-16 15:19:54

Hey , it's a lot different when your in the situation , even the little things annoy you and to others that don't live it it all seems petty! Things will change as the children get older though. Has she not got her own life ? Is she jealous of u? X

ilovenavy Sun 26-Jun-16 15:48:27

Thanks rose - and sorry to hear you are also having problems.

Yes she does have her own life, but I think it's a case of grass is not always greener and the life with the younger person from the gym isn't quite what she thought it would be.

She will say things that are kind of similar.

My oh has said that they need to come to a compromise about how they communicate as its not fair on their children. But the only contact she will allow is email. She has blocked his numbers so he can't even contact her in an emergency etc.

I have not got involved as in I've not contacted her and my name is never mentioned in any grievances she has with him. It is purely venom against him as an individual.

With the amount of abuse she sends - I'm surprised she's not been sacked from work!

Rosewine72 Sun 26-Jun-16 16:25:23

Amazing isn't it, there's no need for it! I guess your oh will have to sort it best he can, surely he could report her for harassment ? I would get him to find out.

Your doing the right thing not getting involved , I don't want to be involved unfortunately it's all been turned on me since we lived together, before that it was aimed at my dp like yours . A lot of it seems petty but when u live with these petty things happening it drives u mad u just want to get on with your life with as least hassle as possible . I hope it stops for all your sakes . Thinking of you xx

swingofthings Sun 26-Jun-16 18:24:30

Yes she does have her own life, but I think it's a case of grass is not always greener and the life with the younger person from the gym isn't quite what she thought it would be.
How do you know? It's comment likes that that makes posters question how well intentioned you/your OH might be.

My oh has said that they need to come to a compromise about how they communicate as its not fair on their children. But the only contact she will allow is email. She has blocked his numbers so he can't even contact her in an emergency etc.
So she's the one who wants to reduce direct contact, sounds like a very wise decision considering the situation. Email is fine, if she's got a smart phone, she can access them at any time.

You don't know their history, you only got one side, his. My OH's ex wife left him for another man. I could believe that she was a horrible person whilst he was perfect, after all, he is with me, but I know that nothing is ever black or white, and ultimately, even he admitted that he had his fault in the breakdown of his marriage, that with hindsight and through our relationship can now see that he had neglected her and taken her for granted.

You think he is a wonderful dad, she doesn't, both of you are entitled to your opinion.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 26-Jun-16 21:11:44

Daily emails that are vindictive are totally unacceptable and are bullying. My Ex would sometimes send horrible emails, thankfully not daily, for odd spurts, but anything of this level is just not on. I think some Ex relationships do get caught in a cycle where one or both people treat each other terribly. Can you imagine any other scenario where frequent put downs would be acceptable? In a marriage it would be considered emotional abuse.

It is good to only allow email though, if the contact is not amicable then texts or calls or adding other types of communication will only make it worse. What you both need to do is minimise animosity. However tempting, don't ever retaliate in any way. OH could suggest only communicating once a week. Have a timetable in advance, so no constant checking of handover times. OH could also ask that any emails are only about necessary handover information or health and safety issues.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 26-Jun-16 21:13:32

P.s. I did end up saying to my Ex that I was not going to read his emails if I considered them vindictive. And I don't anymore. I immediately file them away and never look at them.

iwantanewcar Sun 26-Jun-16 21:21:58

My ex's partner pushed me ( a few times on the same occasion). I was advised by my legal team that was common assault. I was shocked. My legal team advised me to send a strongly worded letter. That was a mistake - I should have called the police and reported it there and then. I am afraid that unless you stand up to a bully they think they can do what they want. If your partner was assaulted by his ex and her partner then he needs to report it. It is a shame but he is helping nobody by ignoring it.

Rosewine72 Sun 26-Jun-16 21:48:57

Swingofthings I don't understand the way your being at all , your not offering any support at all , op is going through a difficult time and she and her oh are in the situation not you! So I think she knows more about what's going on than you tbh!

There are people on here in similar situations op , no one should have to put up with these e mails x

swingofthings Mon 27-Jun-16 17:04:28

I am reacting the way I do because of the unnecessary snappy comments that OP has been making about the ex which makes me believe that the situation is not as white or black as she claims it to be. I personally believe that any one who believes that their partner his holier than thou is being naive because nobody is perfect yet that's what OP seems to hang on to to put all the wrongs onto the ex. Of course I could be wrong, we could all be.

TimeforaNNChange Mon 27-Jun-16 19:14:39

makes me believe that the situation is not as white or black as she claims it to be

So if you doubt some of what the OP says, how can you be sure any of it is true?

You are happy to accept that the OP is genuinely a stepmum, but doubt that her posts are accurate. What evidence do you have to support your PoV, or is it just a funny feeling in your big toe?

That is certainly not in the spirit of MN. hmm

Rosewine72 Tue 28-Jun-16 15:05:09

Brilliant timeforaNNchange! It's hard enough being a step mum without this sort of response 🙄 Xx

CallMeMaybe Tue 28-Jun-16 17:46:03

If the ex has blocked the OP's partner's number and refuses to engage other than through email then I would be wondering why. One person's "amazing dad who does activities with his kids," is another person's "Disney parent."

It never ceases to amaze me how many supposedly awful, poisonous toxic ex wives who also happen to be crap parents there are out there vs the truly amazing dads that have apparently had lucky escapes from these dreadful women. hmm. I am just such an awful ex apparently according to my ex's partner, even to the point that I apparently ring him up to slag her off specifically. Except it's all lies and all part of his attempt to gaslight her into believing the world is against her and it's them against the world.

Of course, if this woman is genuinely sending all of this abuse the OP's partner can easily block her emails. Just as she has blocked his number...

newname99 Tue 28-Jun-16 18:12:38

How long have you been together? Its extremely difficult to not let it consume you.What helped me was a court order for contact and to ignore any provoking emails.We finally realised that the ex wanted the drama,look up drama triangle.When dh stopped trying to justify the silly accusations then she turned on her husband and left him.He has just replaced dh in her hostility.

There are some high conflict individuals, and I agree their resentment is often a result of their poor choices and lack of control over a partner who they left.

I would however urge caution to you however.Is this really the best relationship for you? Consider that this could be your life as sometimes love is not enough.Don't assume it will get better, plan for the worst before making commitments in this relationship.

Also your partner was with her for many years (?) and it ended when she left him. On some level this relationship worked well for him.He may have characteristics that contributed to the marriage failing.I only make this comment after 15 years of being a step mum and 2nd wife. Just ensure the ex's hostility and bad behaviour doesn't mask any negative traits your partner has.I was busy watching in horror how the ex behaved I may not been focusing on how dh & I were interacting.The conflict pushed us together but also hid difficulties we needed to explore.

Potatopie3 Tue 28-Jun-16 21:30:08

newname Your post above is quite insightful. Plenty to think about, and not just for the OP!

Rosewine72 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:05:02

Callmemaybe , unfortunately there are exs like this, I must admit when I first heard my partners children were with him half the time and what a nasty person she was I thought oh no what did u do and poor woman . But I started to see it myself and be on the other side of it too! There are a lot of bitter twisted exs out there mums and dads that do put their children in the middle . I never believed it till I witnessed it, my ex can be annoying and selfish sometimes but nothing like what I read here or witness. It makes everyone's life that much harder 😞 . Hope your ok op x

ilovenavy Wed 29-Jun-16 20:20:49

Thank you for your comments and rosewine for your support.

It's all taken on board.

0dfod Fri 01-Jul-16 18:12:50

Some ex's are abusive, both male and female, some do not put the dc first, some do like to control the other separated parent. I have little time for such behaviour, Op your dp is being abused, simple. He needs to take steps to get strong firm boundaries in place, this may have to go the legal route, sadly.

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