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Controlling ex still controlling - how to stop it?

(4 Posts)
LabradorMama Wed 02-Dec-15 21:25:53

Ex partner and I split in August, we've been living separately since early October. All very amicable at first, we'd pop round to each other for tea etc. He has our 2yo DS every weekend. He has really struggled with the separation because of being apart from DS and I've gone out of my way to make it as easy as possible on him - letting him pop in after work etc, spending time 'as a family' here and there. I had to stop all that a few weeks ago as it became clear that he thought we were going to get back together (or rather was putting pressure on me to go back) and I needed to distance myself from him.

Unfortunately I still work for him (PT) and am trying to keep this going as it allows me flexi time which benefits DS. It's getting harder and harder. He was always controlling but it has ramped up in recent weeks and he has turned nasty as he can't get what he wants anymore (me round there all the time) He has been picking DS up from nursery one night per week and bringing him back to my house, bathing him and putting him to bed but things are so bad now between us that I don't want him in my house. We can't even have a conversation without it turning into an argument and he shouts me down which really upsets me as it's so frustrating.

He wouldn't let me pick DS up from his house this week as he didn't want me in his house. I told him that i didn't want him in my house either and so I would be picking DS up from nursery from now on. He went ballistic (at work - humiliating) and went and picked DS up anyway, dropping him off at my house but not coming in. He's now refusing to give up picking up DS and I feel that I simply shouldn't back down - I have let him cow me for so long and he's still doing it now we aren't together. I feel I need to make a stand and show him that he can't dictate to me anymore - but how?? I could tell nursery not to release DS to him but he would go anyway and cause a scene which wouldn't be good for DS and would further humiliate me when I'm at such a low ebb already.

I used to be such a strong person but years of being with him have changed me and I'm ashamed of the person I am now, I'm frightened to stand up for myself and he simply won't listen to me. We haven't been through court to determine access as I felt it would be better for DS if we kept it out of court and kept things pleasant between us but now I'm wondering if court would be the best thing - maybe he will listen to a court order?

And it would kill me to have to find a new job. I'm not as mentally sharp as I was pre DS and have no confidence, plus I'd need to do more hours which would impact DS and maybe a court wouldn't look favourably on that?

Thanks for reading if you've got this far, it's a ramble brain-dump sort of post but the crux of it is I need advice. How do I stop ex from walking all over me ref this nursery issue??

thejanuarys Thu 03-Dec-15 15:00:08

Hello. So sorry to hear about your situation. But I speak from a very sad experience.

First, you need to make an appointment with the CAB. Don't go to your local one - go to the one at the Royal Courts of Justice. They are the most expert CAB advisers re family matters. Website info there. Get an appointment as soon as you can. They will invariably advice mediation. They will give you info.

You need to get things down formally now with someone who will be able to help you monitor your actions re resolving this matter. They will help you draft letters etc, to put your position forward re mediation and separation/divorce. Once you have those letters / formal notices, then the ball is in his court.

If he doesn't comply with mediation and continues his controlling ways, then you are on a strong footing. If divorce/separation goes through, again, you are on firm footing re this. You need advice now - clear advice - on all your avenues forward. Keep notes / diary / dates and times of everything. This is very important.

As you are still working with him / for him, if he makes life difficult for you from this point onwards, then you will have grounds for unfair dismissal etc stuff, if it comes to that.

Do this now, whilst your child is still young, and whilst the problem has just started. If you leave it, it will get worse, and he may make things worse for you at work and then if you try to get a firm position, you will be forever compromised.

Be assertive now against his controlling behaviour - via the proper advice/legal channels. Do not underestimate how horrible the matter can become and by doing the right things now at this early stage will safeguard your position in relationship / work / rights with your child / your house / maintenance for you and your child.

Don't tell him you are doing this. Keep your cards close to your chest and only let him know your position via the formal letters.

You need to be smart about this now. You need to be assertive about this now. Whilst your child is still too young to know the awfulness that could happen. And you never know, if you do this, he will be forced to behave properly towards you and his responsibilities.

Good luck. (And you never know, by being assertive re this, it may give you the boost of confidence to look for part-time work elsewhere!)

LabradorMama Thu 03-Dec-15 18:00:56

Thank you so much for your very detailed reply and I'm so sorry to hear that you have had a similar experience. I've started to look for PT work but it's tough - the hours I want are the hours every mum wants I suppose!

I've also thought about keeping a notebook of all our run ins, I will start writing that tonight and include the events of this week.

I'll also go and see the CAB next week while DS is at nursery.

Thank you once again for the great advice, it looks much clearer now! I still feel a bit 'under his spell' if that makes sense. He's continued with his controlling behaviour, I've been refusing to take his calls so he bombards me with texts and turned up unannounced today so DS saw him and got really upset when I wouldn't let his daddy in. Such a selfish way to score points - I'd specifically told him not to do this.

thejanuarys Thu 03-Dec-15 21:30:03

glad I could help. If he is bombarding you with calls and texts, don't delete any of them. Put them in one folder. Also, you may want to call one of the helplines now - Women's Aid a good one - just to get the proper advice re this. If he is constantly calling you, then they may advise you to contact the police so that the matter is registered. The police should advise you to go to the local community unit where you can speak to someone about the extent of what is going on and what you should do. Don't underestimate how important this 'formal' stuff is.
Good luck.

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