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Being constantly undermined - how to manage?

(10 Posts)
boxingroo Mon 22-Oct-12 23:23:30

How have others managed ex's who are involved with dc's but are totally unsupportive of your decisions and would rather things done their way, even when it's totally unrealistic?

How do you handle it when they undermine you by cancelling medical treatment for example or making it known they are and always will be totally, and without good reason, against your "choice" of school for example and berate you for it on a regular basis without justification.

I know about legal routes, but how do you cope in your head with the reality that the parent of your dc's is forever going to seek to oppose you, on everything.

posting in sympathy as in a pretty identical situation. My ex is "my way or no way". It is my head space that is hurting sad

boxingroo Tue 23-Oct-12 08:43:29

thanks veryconfused.

This can't be unusual so I wanted to know how others managed it.

NicknameTaken Tue 23-Oct-12 11:29:33

I can't say I have found The Answer, but as someone who has been forced to ponder these matters, here's the best I can do. There are two aspects:

a) Dealing with the impact on you. Start by realising that his criticism doesn't mean you're doing it wrong - if you say X, he'll say Y is the right way to do it. If you started off by saying Y, he'll say X. Don't try to second-guess him, as he'll automatically change position to wrongfoot you. The best you can hope for is to wring a little private amusement out of it. Take quiet bets with yourself about what he'll say. Play a mental game of bingo with the negative phrases you expect. You might let him catch you grinning a little because he's just so predictable - it might even take the wind out of his sails.

b) The impact on your dcs. It hurts to have your dcs exposed to this. But if you can master the above, you'll be more relaxed about his criticisms, and your dcs will pick up on that and not get so anxious themselves. You can't control what he says to them, but you can teach them valuable life-lessons about not crumbling in the face of criticism and negativity.

This is what I aspire to. Lord knows I fail very often when confronted with the teeth-grinding reality of it, but ultimately I think it's the only way to remain sane.

Katkin13 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:45:32

I think the trick is to get some perspective. When it comes to the day to day events and what you both do with the kids on "your time" is one thing. In terms of medical, educational things then you both need to agree. You both can't act unilaterally on matters such as these.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 23-Oct-12 14:29:09

Boxing are you in the UK? I am asking because I wonder if it makes a decision re health decisions. Have you had any legal advice?

boxingroo Tue 23-Oct-12 15:40:57

Some great advice NicknameTaken. Thanks.

Katkin I appreciate your comments and I think the same about everyday stuff but on bigger issues agreement isn't always possible and even if something ends up needing to be decided in court (which it likely will) and finds in my favour (which I hope it will) the other parent can still make things difficult and make it known to all, including dc's, that he does not support decision.

It's going to be confusing and difficult for dc's to be at a school for example, that other parent is openly and unjustifiably hostile about, and where there won't be any acceptance and stepping back for the sake of the dc's either.

Katkin13 Tue 23-Oct-12 21:51:48

If it ends up in court then at least you would have a court order which both parents would have to abide to. I assist people in court to try and to come to a resolution. Of course, it would be brilliant if everyone could get to resolution without the need for court but sadly, that's not how always the cookie crumbles.

crackcrackcrak Tue 23-Oct-12 23:01:01

I sympathise too. Exp is such a fool. If he had half a brain is welcome handing over some decision making to him but since that would be outright negligence I have to muddle on.
I am gaining a lot of confidence in my parenting now I've done it alone a while. I feel at least I try to make informed decisions. I research, I post on here, I talk things over with other parents and so on. Exp does nothing like that except maybe asking his quite sensible family them totally ignoring their advice because he obviously knows better. I know at least I try to do the best for dd and I have kept her happy and safe.
I keep an open mind. If exp proves he can act responsibly I might let him bowl a few balks now and then.

crackcrackcrak Tue 23-Oct-12 23:07:50

Pressed send too soon....
In desperation I have sought back up from the hv - was v helpful and write in dd's red book to document her advice etc.

Meanwhile I have heart that he is only the nrp and his influence is limited. For example dd came home from contact and licked the table where she spilled milk. I know exp will have encouraged that as he thinks licking plates is acceptable manners in public! I was v angry about it but when I calmed down I realised I can stop her doing it here and nursery will stop her doing it three and that's her two main influences - she hadn't fine it since grin

As for schools though I'm expecting a battle as I'm considering an independent school for dd. it's an alternative school whose phillosophy I'm v familiar with but exp isn't so I know he will dismiss it through fear of the unknown etc. I could end up in court over this and I don't know what the answer is.

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