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to feel irritated by this reply from my exdp

(19 Posts)
zookeeper Mon 26-Sep-11 16:54:46

hi I need some perspective here.

The background is that I have a very difficult and bitter exdp. He refuses to speak to me at all if I phone he hangs up immediately) so communication is only by email at his insistence. He see our three dcs every other weekend, picking the up at school on a Friday and dropping them back to mine on the Sunday evening.

I always email him and ask him what dates he would like to see them on half term/holidays, asking him to let me know say, within a week or so. Two or three weeks will pass and nothing. I will then email and ask him and again nothing. Eventually a "OK" will come back, usually two or three days before the holidays. Nothing else, just an "OK" And usually at the last minute.

After four years of this I am really worn down. I asked him in August what dates he would like in October and also if he could swap a weekend in November. After a month, hearing nothing, I just emailed the dates and said that as I hadn't heard back I assumed he was happy.

I am being pressed by colleagues who need to organise their own half terms so today I emailed and asked if there was a problem with the dates. I got a reply today from him saying not yes or no but "I don't think so"

so AIBU to feel irritated? All I want is a simple yes or if not a no with alternative dates. I feel that he's just planting that seed of doubt to control me.

I know this all seems ridiculously petty but after four years of this I can't see whether it's me or him ...

He's being a tosser. Go ahead with your plans, and just tell him when he will get access. He has you on a bit of string. Nobber.

pictish Mon 26-Sep-11 17:07:57

I agree - he enjoys being vague as he can have some influence and control over your life that way. Keeping you dangling.

Fromnow on ask once, and if he doesn't reply, press on with your own plans. You can't allow him to pull your strings anymore.

SharrieTBGinzatome Mon 26-Sep-11 17:13:38

Message withdrawn

SharrieTBGinzatome Mon 26-Sep-11 17:14:14

Message withdrawn

TLD2 Mon 26-Sep-11 17:17:35

YANBU. He's deliberately fucking you about as he knows it gets to you.

I suggest YOU decide which dates YOU want and then email him the others saying "these are the dates you will have OUR children". If he tries to change them, tough.

fluffymitmoostabby Mon 26-Sep-11 17:19:57

He's doing it to keep control - my ex does it too - deliberately vague when you ask a question.

Go ahead with your plans, you emailed him and gave him a chance to let you know, he didn't so that's his problem.

zookeeper Mon 26-Sep-11 17:20:01

thank you for your replies

You're absolutely right Sharrie - I ended our relationship because I couldn't put up with his behaviour, but what scares me is that all this time later he seems to be as furious about it as he was then.

The problem is even if I give up waiting for him to agree arrangements and give him dates I am never quite sure until the last minute if he is seeing them so either way I don't have certainty.

the alternative would be to stop contact but that would be unfair on the dcs (who adore him) and I wouldn't have a break at all.

All ideas welcome

Squitten Mon 26-Sep-11 17:24:48

Well, the beauty of email is that there's no he said/she said - it's all there in black and white. If he won't give you a straight answer, then TELL him how it's going to be and let him come back if he doesn't like it. He won't be able to pretend he doesn't know if he gets stroppy.

Ensure you have back-up childcare if you're uncertain of him and take back the control!

SharrieTBGinzatome Mon 26-Sep-11 17:25:39

Message withdrawn

eurochick Mon 26-Sep-11 17:27:28

I think you need to set reasonable time limits in your communications.

E.g. "If you do not reply to this email by next Tuesday I will take this as meaning that you will have them on x, y, and z".

I would also make the point that you need to be able to plan work holidays, etc.

Stopping contact would only penalise your children (and probably see you ending up in court).

SharrieTBGinzatome Mon 26-Sep-11 17:28:33

Message withdrawn

missmogwi Mon 26-Sep-11 17:31:57

YANBU it's a control issue and it sounds like it's pretty common. My ex used to try this, it's infuriating isn't it. Eventually I just arranged mine and the kids lives and he could either be reasonable and arrange things civilly or shag off.

Take the opportunity away from him and as others have said give him a date to reply or you'll assume it's ok.

Good luck!

solidgoldbrass Mon 26-Sep-11 17:33:46

Yup, tell him what's going to happen, give him a cut-off point by which he has to reply and say that unless you hear by that date that he needs to change the arrangements, they will stand. Have back up plans for childcare because he will let you down at the last minute from time to time - once you understand that his behaviour is all about causing you aggravation, you can just ignore it and work round it.
Oh, and don't phone him. There's no point. Just treat him like a disobedient dog, minimize any inconvenience he can cause you and don't react in any way.

MaryPoppinsMagic Mon 26-Sep-11 17:34:16

Op, in future why don't you send an email along the lines of

exp I have planned these days (insert days) for you to have the dc, if they are not convenient for you please inform me as soon as possible. If I don't hear from you I will presume they are all ok

That leaves it so he has to tell you its not ok, rather than yes or no

YellowDave Mon 26-Sep-11 17:34:48

I think he is being a controlling twat tbh.

I'd send an email saying 'these are the dates I'd like to have with our dcs in x holiday. If this doesn't work for you then please email me by x date or I will presume that is the case'. When the date had passed I'd email him a 'following my previous email, these are the arrangements for the forthcoming holiday'. I'd also make sure that I had backup plans in place for the dates that he was due to have them in case he decided not to (although hopefully he wil lshow your dds consideration and not do this).

If he emails after the deadline and says that it doesn't suit I would take the dds on the dates he was supposed to have them but not budge on the days I was due to have them as I would make plans around this. In the future if he shows himself to be accommodating on this I'd be a bit more flexible if I didn't already have plans in place that would need changing but I wouldn't in the first instance as this needs stamping on.

Good luck

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Mon 26-Sep-11 17:41:00

I agree with the others. Give him a date by which to respond then if he doesn't go ahead and make arrangements. If he then tries to be awkward and say he can't make those dates then tell him he'll have to miss out. I appreciate you don't want the DC to miss out and you need a break but it'll probably only happen a couple of times and then he'll realise he either has to co-operate or not see his kids.

The email communication is a good thing because if everything is in black and white he'll be the one to look bad if he tries to take this to court.

planetpotty Mon 26-Sep-11 17:47:27


We have exactly this behaviour but from my DH exw.

If asked any question, and I mean any could be something very, very, simple the reply could take 3 - 4 weeks and sometimes no reply at all. Then when more e-mails have to be sent DH gets acused of hounding/bullying/pushing. IMO its a way to p you off and also its kind of a "well i will reply when Im good and ready - not hopping to anything for you" and then things get forgotten etc. Its a real bugger making plans around someone being purposfully difficult, vague and closed.

I would say lay the dates out for longer periods say each term - they can always be changed if needs be. If you feel better give him a warning saying Its unfair and unhelpful to the running of both the kids and myselves lives that replies from you are vague, please could you be more thoughtfull and reply quicker so as we all know where we are. If not I feel the best thing is that we lay the dates out in writing further in advance.

Not too much messing about since court order but if there is any correspondence DH always states he would like a reply by (then gives a reasonable amount of time) and politely states why ie so as I can arrange to have the car. It is always grumbled about and pointed out how unreasonable/demanding he is being BUT..... it works.

Know exactly how annoying this behaviour is......its designed to be!

zookeeper Mon 26-Sep-11 18:26:00

thank you all for your replies - that really helps. I will try to be firmer and not show my irritation.

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