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Persistent contact from non resident ex - advice please

(21 Posts)
Meeeh Wed 12-Feb-20 13:51:31

Divorced six years. Kids with him every second weekend and shared holidays.

He was incredibly cruel and controlling and we have next to no ability to communicate.

When he is stressed/bored he often starts emailing me about the kids non stop and his go-to for any conflict is that he wants the children because he knows this is a weak point.

There are zero reasons to change the child care arrangement we set from the start and agreed in court and any changes would mean more contact between him and I which I can’t bear.

There are no threats or violence - just persistent shitting in my inbox.

Can I do anything to make it stop?

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Otter71 Wed 12-Feb-20 17:02:24

How old are the kids? Can you block him and tell him to communicate with the kids direct?

Meeeh Thu 13-Feb-20 04:39:40

One senior school, one junior.

The problem is he is prone to make plans with them to annoy me.

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CheddarGorgeous Thu 13-Feb-20 05:29:05

Set up an email filter so the emails are automatically filled. Only read them if you have to (or better still, if possible get someone else to read them and just respond to specifics).

SD1978 Thu 13-Feb-20 06:04:25

But so the kids want more contact? 4 days a month isn't much at all- I get he's being an arse, but if the kids want to see him, can there be a compromise? Maybe offer a mid week dinner. If he's always hassling you for more contact- and there's no reason the kids should have more contact- as the current amount is very little- either they get an extra evening with dad or he backs off as he doesn't really mean it.

isitpossibleto Thu 13-Feb-20 06:18:07

What do the children want?

marly11 Thu 13-Feb-20 06:28:16

I had this from an ex-h who was very controlling. In the end I told him that I didn't want email contact so he could text or phone. (He is still angry about this 13 years later.) I found it intrusive having endless missives just wanging in during my working day, some of which were stressful and upsetting. Actually, when limited to text, he found it more difficult to write more, so this limited the lengthy size of his communications. Might be worth a try?

divorcedtobe Thu 13-Feb-20 06:39:53

Marly11 that sounds like a positive step. Can I ask... did he not just text all the time? How old are your kids? Do they have direct phone contact with him?

marly11 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:00:10

@divorcedtobe no he didn't because I presume his thumbs couldn't cope with the copious uncontrolled volume he sent by email! He was the father of DS1 who has just turned 18. Sad,
but I have spent years counting the years until He was 18 and I could officially get rid of Ex-h. It has got easier - much easier in the last 2 years, but I had years of emotional control from ex in the ways you described so I just made sure I facilitated contact with his dad for him but that that didn't mean endless contact with me. Yes he had phone contact. He wanted Skype contact when he was young which I refused - I didn't want his presence in my house virtual or otherwise! But that is likely to be more difficult to control in 2020. DS does sometimes have dad on speaker in his room but I ask him to turn it down. He did phone him several times a week which was in a court order but this became less of a burden to me as DS became older. He was a very disruptive man domestically and powerful man professionally, so I had to have some kind of regular routine established officially which helped me know where I was (and DS) and prevent his constant intrusion in my life while not preventing DS from having regular contact.Hoping things get better for you. Worth choosing your battles otherwise it can make you bitter! I think I'm still a bit 'toughened' from it all...

Twickerhun Thu 13-Feb-20 08:03:10

I recognise this!! We have a separate phone for contact and we only let the ex text to that number - that way messages are short and we can put the phone in a draw and just check it once a day. Saves on the stress of waiting for the next rant

marly11 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:11:17

I also ignored most of it unless it was necessary to do so. Sometimes he just wanted attention... or a reaction... to ensure he had a place in my life I think.

divorcedtobe Thu 13-Feb-20 08:32:45

I am being driven mad and am not sure I can take much more. I cry at night. Pretend for the kids during the day and am accused of all sorts via email. Sometimes I just want to never wake up because it feels like a life sentence. I try to create a peaceful home but am accused of all sorts just because I don’t want to constantly reply. No one understands and this is the first time I’ve seen that actually lots of people are dealing with abusive men long after a split because of the kids.
Why live a life sentence when I can do no right and he tells the kids all sorts.

Meeeh Thu 13-Feb-20 08:34:14

The kids are fine with the way things are as he is inconsistent and forgets appointments etc.

The problem is he asks the girls about me all the time and then I will get an email about something he doesn’t agree with. Like “why is she allowed tictoc” and if he found out that I have been out mid week he’ll moan about the girls being “left alone all night” (I got home at 9pm and there was a babysitter)

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Meeeh Thu 13-Feb-20 08:43:53

@divorcedtobe this is not your fault. Keep all emails and texts. I am guessing from your name that your are not divorced yet in which case make this part of your child arrangement. When the court sees the nonsense they will hopefully support you in getting an arrangement that minimises his abusive behaviour.

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divorcedtobe Thu 13-Feb-20 08:50:35

Does he try to manipulate the girls to want contact? Can he force phone contact with them?

marly11 Thu 13-Feb-20 13:04:11

'Like “why is she allowed tictoc” and if he found out that I have been out mid week he’ll moan about the girls being “left alone all night” (I got home at 9pm and there was a babysitter)' These are exactly the messages that don't require a reply. Old fashioned I know but when my DS went for contact I wrote in one of those 'carbon copy' books a short note documenting any necessary communication eg here is his medicine, he has PE on Monday or whatever. I didn't open the door and see him unless I had to and often my mum did it if she could be over. When he claimed in court that I wasn't keeping him informed and was excluding him from our child's life, the judge saw all of this evidence (which he was daft enough to think I wouldn't keep) and did not put up with his nonsense. It is bullying pure and simple so just batten down the hatches and try not to let him make you feel indignant. Ignore, ignore, ignore unless it's necessary. He will eventually find a new focus hopefully. Out DC will realise eventually that we are the sound, sane and consistent ones. You will get there in slow steps. I hope at least you have your home without him in it and at least you have got rid of his physical presence which is an achievement. It will get better. It sounds like you are having to be strong and are managing... and being a great parent. Sorry this is happening to you, but yes lots of us have been there and it's hard. It's a well know phenomenon in all walks of life but shocking all the same. thanks

Meeeh Thu 13-Feb-20 22:26:39

@divorcedtobe he can call them on their own phones and will do stuff like offer a lift home from school. So far so good. It goes wrong when he then starts bombarding me about something the kids said or makes some shitty plan with them when it’s not his time and we have other things planned. It’s disruptive and he wants to feel important all the time.

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Meeeh Thu 13-Feb-20 22:28:52

@marly11 how did you get on in court? Was there any mention of his behaviour or action taken to prevent further harassment?

Our divorce judge told him a few home truths which he has by now conveniently forgotten or rearranged in his mind to suit his own fantasy.

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marly11 Fri 14-Feb-20 07:02:19

@Meeeh it was a long time ago. (It was the time which I think had now passed slightly when family courts were leaning towards much more contact with dads. A number of affluent abusive men saw this as an opportunity to financially punish and emotionally stress the women who had rejected them as a way of bullying - that's my view on it anyway. The final judge kept the status quo which was half holidays, every other weekend and an eve in the week so all he got for his probable £10k second endless court saga was an hour in his birthday. Not 50-50. The night in the week tailed off anyway as he started to work more. Now he is very often away doing something else when DS might be going there. It was all a lot of attention seeking in my view. The first male judge was an idiot. I was lucky to get a very sensible perceptive women who I felt could see through him in the end. The whole lot did cost me £££s though and I was doing it to protect my life and also DS really - but mainly me -as coparenting with a controlling man like that would have been a road to madness and I wouldn't have been able to cope. The strongest factor in escaping him really was being well set up with DS, maintaining my job and eventually settling down with someone else and having DC which meant DS1 was part of a stronger unit while ex continued to womanise and lead a fast car bachelor lifestyle - now continuing as he approaches 60...🙄

divorcedtobe Fri 14-Feb-20 12:45:46

@MeeehThis really is a phenomenon isn’t it?
I feel much less alone and upset now. It’s been an actual nightmare sometimes. Settling down with someone has been sidelined because of the constant drama. I’ve had relationships but nothing serious. You’d think we’d just be left alone to do everything but no!
I’m going to implement most of the suggestions so this thread has been extremely useful.
Thanks OP for starting it.

Meeeh Fri 14-Feb-20 15:15:32

Hang in there @divorcedtobe.

It gets better and then there’s a blip once in awhile. This has also influenced my view on onward relationships and whereas I am in a loving partnership now we have discussed the future made the decision not to cohabit for now as there is too much drama on both sides and I can’t be in the middle of that for my own sanity. Maybe when the girls are older I’ll consider it but not now..

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