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Argument with kids' dad's unhinged wife

(10 Posts)
DozyDora451 Mon 22-Jun-15 11:08:07

OMG! I've got myself embroiled in the most ludicrous argument with my ex's wife. It's ridiculous and I need to vent.

I split with the ex 8 years ago when kids were 6 and 1. He was always philandering, had secret kids scattered about and what I suspect to be Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Over the last 8 years I have lost count of the amount of times he has let the kids down; not turning up, cancelling at the last minute or turning up hours late. I used to argue with him about this in the early days but as time went by I stopped fighting for sanity's sake. If he turned up, he turned up. If he didn't, he didn't. I always lied to the kids to cover up for him. Not for his sake, but to try to protect their feelings. I think this is the standard reaction for parents who are in my situation.

The ex moved 3.5 hours away from or home in Feb. The kids were upset but he promised them either they could visit him or he would drive down to visit them in the Easter hols. He cancelled. Then May half term. He cancelled. Then last weekend. He cancelled. Then father's day. He cancelled.

I used to push him to see them but I don't bother any more as he is a law unto himself. I don't usually comment anymore when he cancels but yesterday I sent him a text telling hm he was a complete bastard. I did this because he is hurting my children and I'm sick of it. If I listed every dastardly deed he has committed over the last 15 years, you'd think me calling him a complete bastard was remarkably tame. Although I'm sure I've called him worse in the past.

My son is almost 9 and it breaks my heart to see his little face crumble when daddy does it again.

My daughter is 13 and in the last 6 months she has washed her hands of her dad. When she was little she adored him and even though he always let her down, to her he couldn't put a foot wrong. People used to tell me that one day she would start to see him for what he is but I didn't really want her to. If she stayed deluded buy happy, it was ok with me.

The day of reckoning did arrive and earlier this year she told me that he didn't care about her or put any effort into being her dad and that she wasn't going to speak to him anymore. She's kept to her word. It was difficult for me to disagree with her because everything she said was true.

I spoke to their dad 2 months ago and warned him that he was losing her and that he needed to take action if he wanted to stay in her life. She's still waiting for action man to make a move.

Sorry, I know I've gone around the houses to get to the point but here it is. I text him to inform him that he was a complete bastard and about 3 minutes later his wife texts me telling me she has held her tongue for long enough and can no longer sit on the fence, that I had no right to call him names (diddums) as he is such a good man and the only reason my daughter doesn't want to speak to him is because... wait... you guessed it - I am poisoning them both against him! Ta da! That old chestnut! The get out clause of the lazy absent parent.

I was stunned. I was furious. I took a few hours to calm down and collect myself. I mulled over whether to ignore her or to take the bait. I took the bait. Maybe I shouldn't have but I'm recently diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and am feeling slightly irrational while I wait for the meds to kick in.

I told her I was justified in calling the darling man a complete bastard and went on to list myriad reasons (although not an exhaustive list) why I did (all relating to the kids, nothing about what he did to me).

You can't argue with stupid.

She either willfully or otherwise missed the nuance of all the points I made and informed me that she knew for a fact that I poison the kids against their dad and that one day, when they're old enough he will reveal to them THE TRUTH. Du Duu Duuuuuuhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Given that I don't badmouth him to the kids I can't imagine what this truth is. I have no idea what she is talking about. It's evident she doesn't either.

I'm having a rant on here because I can't believe the audacity of her. Why would anyone think it's ok to do that? How can she possibly think she has all the facts and is able to comment when she has never said more than 5 words to me? I've tried to be nice to her on the few occasions I have seen her but she doesn't even say hello until I make a point of looking directly at her and saying 'Hi XXXXX' in a loud voice. It's nuts.

I dated someone for a while who had a son. He often criticized the mum (one of the reasons he didn't really endear himself to me) and I never said a bloody word because I have no idea what happened between the two of them. I only know what he told me.

I'm upset that I have spend so many years protecting my kids from their dad's careless attitude toward them and then this woman who doesn't know me tells me that I am poisoning them against him. And when I tell her I'm not, she says 'oh yes you are' like she's in a bloody pantomime. She couldn't be more wrong and she hurt my feelings.

Ah, there it is. She couldn't be more wrong and she hurt my feelings. This has been cathartic. I was worked up about it but wasn't sure precisely why.

The ex has been completely silent though all of this but then, the silent treatment is his weapon of choice.

Still, it's not the world's greatest injustice. I know she's wrong. I have a great relationship with my kids and they know they are loved.

I was toying with the idea of continuing to argue my case but I don't need her to believe me and I don't actually think she can afford to. It would raise to may issues for her. Anyway, I'd rather be happy than right.

Thanks for letting me write this. I feel a lot better now and my head is clearer. It does help to write things down.

Lots of love to all who are struggling today xx

cestlavielife Mon 22-Jun-15 12:19:57

it's best to maintain dignified silence and not name call to him or to his wife tbh. it can turn round and bite you eg he could say you are vindictive and bitter. and now he has the texts to prove it -regardless of how right you are...

dont name call him - just state facts "dd is upset because you cancelled" etc. you calling him a bastard or whatever to his face or to his wife does nothing. dont steep to it.

deep breath, stop name calling to him or to his wife. who is probably calling you unhinged as obviously she thinks he is the bees knees and you ranting and wailing and name calling jsut proves what he has probably told her - that you are unhinged...

just stay away from them.
dd is now old enough to manage her relationship (or not) with her dad.

keep a diary, show dates promised and cancelled but dont put an interpretation or spin on it. just state the facts - DD wont come this week because yoo didnt turn up last time. see list of diary dates.

saying "you are a bastard and dd hates you" just goes to their level - dont do it.

Frannie120 Mon 22-Jun-15 12:58:52

What a nightmare!!
I wouldn't get involved with the new wife. If she calls, don't answer. If she texts, text back and say that you are having contact with the children's father - not her. If she carries on go to the police and get a PIN.
And dont worry, your children will understand. They get everything and know that you have been the resbonsible one and that their father is a no show that moved 3 hours away.

Best of luck x

SoupDragon Mon 22-Jun-15 13:03:04

I guess the counter argument to give her is "Never mind. When you are grown up enough you will come to realise the truth."

But a dignified silence is probably best. Or a simple LOL.

DozyDora451 Mon 22-Jun-15 23:06:08

Thanks guys, you're all right. I shouldn't really have dignified her with a response. I did wait until I calmed down and I was very polite in my reply to her (the bastard thing was a direct message to him). She was quite rude to me. I listed the reasons why I was so angry with him on my kids' behalf; the years worth of let downs and disappointment and how this had culminated in my daughter now refusing to see him.

I also explained how I have tried to mitigate for his behaviour and that I don't want my son to go the same way. As I said, she missed the nuance of my argument and continued to tell me that I did poison the kids and was 'taking joy' from the fact that my daughter didn't want to speak to him anymore. This was painful to hear. I arranged for my daughter to go to counselling earlier this year. I discovered that she was self-harming and as she went through the counselling sessions, it transpired that a lot of the issues she was carrying were related to her dad. She said she didn't feel that she was good enough because he didn't seem to care about her and that if she was different, maybe he would love her. My heart broke for her and I just wanted to kill him but I didn't tell him about it as she asked me not to.

I feel guilty because I didn't really understand how much of an impact his behaviour could have. That probably sounds stupid but I didn't realise she was so deeply affected until I saw the cuts on her arm. So I warned him that their relationship was fragile and asked him to make more of an effort. Which he didn't. Now I'm getting an earful from his wife about how I've poisoned her against him. You couldn't make it up.

The counsellor has discharged my daughter now and she said she is feeling more settled. I hope she is starting to believe me when I tell her that she is good enough and that the problem lies with him. It's him who isn't good enough.

My kids are great (I know I'm biased, but...) and us three have a nice little life together. Money is tight but we always scrape by. Since my daughter started counselling I have thought that I did the wrong thing always pushing him to be a 'proper dad' and to be in their lives. I thought it was the right thing at the time but now I think it would have been more sensible to just let him go. At least then they would have known where they stood. You live and learn. I haven't seen any cuts or bruises on her body since the counselling sessions and she seems a lot brighter in herself. Her dad and his wife have taken up enough of my time over the last two days and I'm going to shift my focus back to the two people who really matter.

Adios amigos xx

Ataraxy Wed 24-Jun-15 20:31:03

As you suspect Narcissistic Personality Disorder he will have been feeding her information for a long time to further his cause as being a good man. This of course relies on him making rubbish up against you. She's completely bought into his nonsense.

Leave them to it. Your DCs are more settled without him, and crucially have made their own minds up about him, so there is nothing to be gained to keep in contact. All it will bring is more drama. You're well out of it.

Sammasati Wed 24-Jun-15 20:48:37

I think that you sound like a loving and engaged mother and woman, your children are lucky to have you.

I am shock at your xh's dw, what a complete fool and silly woman she sounds. I can empathise with your pain there. One day she will know the truth of her dh. She had no right to 'talk' to you about your dc, had she been fully involved with their lives and you had been poisoning them against their father then yes maybe.

I am a step mum and I would never talk like that to my dsd's mum. My role is to support both my dp and his xw in raising their ds.

I am absolutely angry on your behalf, how dare she.

Your poor dc, my heart goes out to them for having a useless waste of space of a father. Sadly though the children will work out what sort of parent he is as your dd has done. My dc have gone nc (a hard decision for them, one that came from them having counselling) with their father due to his crappy abusive neglect towards them, no doubt he has spun his new dp a big fat lie. But I will never know as we have blocked him.

Pinkballoon Fri 26-Jun-15 22:20:41

Agree with the poster who suggested LOL as a response. Or perhaps "Who is this text from?" to ram home the point.

His new wife has either two options: believe his tall stories, or recognise that she has married a man who has effectively abandoned his own kids. If she does the latter, then what does it say about her? And how will she explain his disinterest in his own kids to her friends and family? So all so much easier to go along with the 'poisoned them against me' story.

If he has caused so much pain, I would start to cut off and see if they miss not seeing him on the rare occasions that he bothers to turn up. Keep a log of all the attempts at contact, missed visits etc.

Molly333 Sun 28-Jun-15 20:29:55

This sounds just like my life repeated .my ex'snew wife stood by him through thick and thin and we rowed but I gave up . my daughter also made that choice not to see him to stop hurt.

Fast forwards four years and he's not seen them, buys no birthday presents and tells everyone I won't let him see them , I knew he would do all that and warned the kids and we went out and had an amazing day.

Recovery was family therapy which helped us see us asa good strong family where we celebrate all our successes , in fact life's now better, relaxed and no lies.

Take the bull by the horns, you can be great , plan a family treatonce a month cinema and dinner out x

DozyDora451 Tue 30-Jun-15 22:41:51

Thanks Sammasati; I'm sorry your kids are having a tough time with their dad. I hope they're doing ok. If only these guys knew the damage they cause sad You sound like a great mum and stepmum. I did try to be friendly with this woman at the beginning - I have no problem with him seeing people after we separated (it was the women he was with when we together that I had a problem with!) but she was cold toward me from day one and I gave up after a while.

Pinkballoon, I think you're right and that she has to believe I'm the bad guy. I guess I just have to let her believe that.

Molly333, I'm also sorry your daughter's dad is such an idiot. I'm glad you guys have come out the other side of it. I do believe in therapy, it helped my daughter so much and in a relatively short space of time.

Thanks all for the kind words. It's the injustice of the situation that riles me - not what she says about me - but that he causes the kids pain and it goes unacknowledged. I hope he regrets it one day and I do hope he will eventually feel the pain that he has inflicted on the kids. Not very charitable of me but I can't help it. Mother and her cubs, and all that!


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