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Need a strategy for a 'situation' I'm facing next week

(9 Posts)
NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Oct-11 17:05:34

It's DD10s parents evening next week, and through sheer coincidence exH has booked the appointment immediately before mine.

He booked first, and when I booked mine, they told me when his appointment was.
They know how 'difficult' he can be - he has regularly involved the school in our disagreements; at one point, he even wrote to the Head directing her to delete my details off the school records!

Since exH tried to bully me into doing things his way last week and I refused, we've had no contact - he has demanded that I meet with or telephone him to discuss DDs school admission form which I will not do given the tone and nature of his emails. I intend to complete the application form and send him a copy by post.

But- we are likely to come face to face with each other at the parents evening and I don't know whether to reschedule my appointment or bite the bullet, and if so, what is the best strategy for dealing with this? I am certain he will try and engage in conversation, probably in front of others - he is quite likely to ask me 'when can we talk about DDs school application?' in front of the class teacher, knowing I'll be put on the spot :-( HELP!

Slambang Fri 14-Oct-11 17:13:58

I'd ask if you could rearrange. The schoo will undretsand as they won want a ding dong in the corridor!

gillybean2 Fri 14-Oct-11 19:18:57

I would rearrange the appointment. Why put yourself in the situation when you know it will lead to a situation you do not wish. Plus he may well wait around until after your appointment and hassle you in school, in the playground or car park or even follow you home...

If you can't talk civily then perhaps you should consider mediation. He does have a right to be involved in decisions about his dc's education. Contact a mediation service and ask him to attend an appointment to discuss the sitation and schooling issues.

Also - I would also be reluctant to tell him when you've submitted the application. If he has PR he can submit his own application and whichever is submited last is the one that will be taken as your final choice. So by telling him you've done it he then knows he can jump in with his own form which will supercede your.
Perhaps you should contact the admissions office to expain the situation and ask them to advise you what the situation is should he decide to submit his own & different form. You could also ask them to advise you if he does submit his own form.
n the one hand you don't want your application to be late. On the other you don't want him overriding it with his own application.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Oct-11 21:45:04

Gilly - the rules here clearly state that where parents with joint residency can't agree, the address where child benefit is received will be used as the entitlement address - and that's mine.
I would love to mediate again - I'm hoping that he has approached a service with a view to getting that kind of support. I've tried several times in the last year; he has refused on the grounds of cost and 'if I was prepared to discuss things, there wouldn't be a problem'.

We've mediated twice before - the first time during divorce, the mediator stopped a session because he couldn't deal with exH constant arguing with him and then the sessions were suspended because exH made a complaint about the mediator being bias! The second attempt (with a different companywink) resulted in a written agreement that has been the basis for our 50:50 care arrangement up to now; but I've conceded to so much that I wasn't happy with just to keep the peace and this is too important for me to allow myself to be walked all over.

I really don't think that things will ever get better between us; in the last 12 months I have expressed a contrary opinion to his on three occasions - once over BD having a smartphone with Internet access, once when he expected me to pay for school expenses he notified me of and then reimbursed me on request and now with the schools application. Each time he has tried to persuade and bully me into changing my opinion to match his.

I can't avoid him forever; so how can I learn to deal with being in close proximity to him when he insists on interacting and challenging me in public?

gillybean2 Sat 15-Oct-11 06:40:08

I would still contact the admissions board to make them aware of the situation and to ensure that only your application will be accepted as per the rule you quoted above.

I do think you should 'avoid' being in close proximity to him for a while yet. And make it clear to him that you are not prepared to 'discuss things' without a mediator present and so he better find the money if he wants to discuss these things.

I didn't have a child with the abusive bully that was in my life so I could simply avoid him. If I did have to deal with him it was all done by letter/email. That way I didn't have to talk to him and I had written proof of what was said and agreed.
You might find women's aid can offer more practical advice on how to deal with the bullying behaviour though.

WhoWhoWhoWho Mon 17-Oct-11 14:10:20

For your situation this week I would ask the school if you could change your appointment time, I'm sure they will be understanding given that they are familiar with him!

For in the future is their maybe any counselling or assertiveness training available in your area? Women's Aid may be able to advise on someone good locally.

Perhaps stock phrases to have on hand would help in terms of if you were to bump into him in public.
"I would also like to discuss that issue but I'm on my way to an appointment/ I'm pushed for time right now - lets discuss it over email."

popalot Mon 17-Oct-11 22:02:19

Rearrange. It's not giving in, it's just sensible.

ivykaty44 Mon 17-Oct-11 22:14:40

I am going to buck the trend and say bite the bullet.

You will be sat waiting whilst he has his appointment - then it will be your turn - so no time to talk.

If he starts to try to talk at any time - firmly repeat and re repeat and re repeat

this is neither the time nor the place, please email.

Do not say anything else apart from the above
don't get drawn in
dont reply to any other question

just repeat the same and don't listen to what he says

this is neither the time nor place email me

then it will give the message loud and clear that you will not be bullied and will not give in and will not be lead into his argument - there will be other people there

NotaDisneyMum Tue 18-Oct-11 00:17:58

Thanks all - I did rearrange to a different day completely, and it's such a relief.

IvyKaty - I probably could have coped with the scenario you describe - but it's a small school so there's no waiting area, parents spend time looking at their childs work in the classroom while they wait, they are likely to be running late, so exH may well still be waiting when I arrive (and the teacher might ask if we can go in together to help him catch up time as we're there about the same child) and he'd have to walk past me to leave.

It's so stupid - I've done so much personal development, including assertiveness, and that is actually one of the things that led to my marriage breaking down - but when it comes to exH, I've been so desperate to "keep the peace" and "do what's right for SD" that I lost sight of the fact that it doesn't mean I have to back down and concede to exH every time we don't agree on an issue.

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