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Please don't feel you have to reply to this but I need to write it down.

(264 Posts)

I can't be arsed to name change to my other name for this. I need to write this down to see if getting it out of my head helps me to make sense of it.

I have an ex husband. He was abusive, controlling, and all kinds of a bastard. If you search for my other name it's justforthisonepost and some of it is detailed there but it might have been in chat and it might have gone. I am out of the situation now, have a lovely DP and all is good.

Except that the ex is still controlling me through the kids and it is driving me slowly insane. For example, he sees the kids one night a week and every other weekend and takes them to school on the morning after he has them. This is going to sound really petty but it is really annoying - he keeps their clothes. If I send a coat or anything I don't get it back. DD2 goes to school on the morning in joggers and trainers with her uniform on the top, I never get the joggers and trainers back and end up having to text him to get them back. When I text him, he ignores the texts.

For example, I texted him and said "I need trainers for DD2. She has 3 pairs, all at your house please can I get a pair she can't get out to play tonight because it is wet out and I only have school shoes or sandals". That text was sent at 4pm. he doesn't reply. So I text again at 7, please can I have trainers. Still no reply. I ring at 9.30pm and say I need trainers for DD as she can't get out to play and he is totally passive aggressive nasty with me.

It's hard to describe, he doesn't shout or yell but it's all contained aggression and "I have not got time to be replying to texts that you send I'm busy".

Yesterday I texted him "When suits tomorrow to meet to swap xyz" (ie trainers and coats and other stuff. The reply I got was "I will be there at 3.15". This has really upset me and I can't explain why very well. It feels like he's ordering me and treating me like a second class citizen, that he is more important than me (which is how he treated me when we were together) and that I have to do what I'm told and be dictated to.

I know I'm being unreasonable but I'm not up for posting there. Please don't feel you have to respond I just need to get this out and see if I can work a way of making me not feel so crap.

God that was long. Sorry.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:12:25

I don't think you're being unreasonable.

I do know couples who have a strict rule about clothes HAVING to be returned asap - in fact, I know one man who is so bonkers fixated on this that he insists his daughter be changed out of Dad's House clothes as soon as she arrives at Mum's House, the clothes be put in her backpack, and she wear only Mum's House clothes until her return. He doesn't want 'his' clothes 'contaminated' by being at her Mum's.

Um, that was a tangent. Anyway, you are not being unreasonable at all here, he's doing exactly what you think he's doing. Does he do dropoff and pickup, or can you pick her up and while you're there, check that she's got all the stuff that you sent her with?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:13:18

Not on the school day, obviously, but on the weekend?

QuinnFabray Thu 09-Jun-11 07:15:09

You are not being unreasonable. I know an ex couple, where the man behaves like this. It is crazy making, I really feel for you.

Thing is Tortoise, because we live close, on the weekend he takes her to school Monday morning.

As a for example, she has loads of coats. But came out of school the last weekend he'd had her and she had no coat on. And when she went out to play that evening - there was no coat here for her to put on. So I texted him and said "I need her xxx coat and her yyy coat" (these being coats I'd bought for her.)

He said he had no idea what coats I was talking about, he'd never seen them, didn't have them and actually had DD and I thinking she'd lost at least one of them.

Went to his house to collect other stuff, and he was trying to give me others coats which were torn/worn/old and tatty, and not the two good coats I had asked for. Then he turns up to mine a couple of days later to do a pick up, I'm putting stuff into the boot of his car, and there in the boot is one of the coats I was looking for and he swore blind he didn't have. Apparently he didn't notice it in the boot and I am being unreasonable expecting him to keep tabs on what coats they have.

I am seriously considering a cheap Primark outfit each and dressing them in that to go between houses, but they're 9 and 12 and a bit old for that.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:20:38

Oh, I didn't realise he always took them to school after a visit, I thought it was just a weekend (sat-sun) and then a mid-week overnight-to school.

And if he's not even giving you the right coats when you do turn up, that's infuriating.

I'd do the Primark outfit, rather than keep losing coats, but if he keeps that, you're back to square one, aren't you? I hate to suggest it, but can you not get the kids involved in this? I'd have thought a 12 year old was old enough to say hey, Dad, where's my coat I came over in yesterday, i need it for school? And to know where the coat actually was.

DP's here today and we're supposed to be going shopping for the day. And this is ex's evening to have the kids, he's picking them up from school. So it feels like we can't go out and do what we want to do because ex has to come here to get stuff.

I don't have a garage, and I said to ex in a text "3.15 doesn't suit me. I can drop to yours earlier or you can collect from mine". He didn't answer and I had to send the same text 3 times, again about 2 hours apart each time. I was stressing because I didn't know what was happening and I don't like him being here anyway and then he texted back "just leave on doorstep. I will be there at 3.15". But I don't want to leave stuff on the doorstep and go away (one of the items is a violin) in case it gets wet or stolen or peed on by a cat.

bluebobbin Thu 09-Jun-11 07:24:02

I think that given their ages, you should keep reminding them to ask him for the things that they need. Then you won't have to text him. I wonder what he is doing with all your stockpiled stuff!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:24:56

See, in that scenario, I'd have sent him the text once, and then gone out. He didn't reply, that's his problem. I do realise you needed the clothes back, but he's playing games, and another day wouldn't have hurt.

They don't like to contradict him or ask. The 12 year old is scatty at the best of times. DD2 had asked and asked over the flower coat, and he said he didn't have it, and she had hunted the house looking for it and was in tears that she thought it had been lost when it was her favourite coat. And it was in the boot of his car. But it is not his responsibility to keep tabs on what clothes they have brought. Oh and he isn't hoarding the things and how dare I imply that he is hoarding their stuff.

And he's always late for pick up as well and never phones. Which is why we've moved to the pick up from school as much as possible, because my days "off" were being held ransom to when he would deign to turn up.

And I have a stressy headache now this morning over it and I feel like me and DP's day is going to be spoilt because I won't be able to go out and relax.

I'm being really pathetic I know I am but I am almost in tears.

He needs to get the stuff for the kids to take to school tomorrow Tortoise - DD has violin lesson, the violin is here he needs to collect it.

Buda Thu 09-Jun-11 07:31:26

I think your DCs are old enough to take some responsibility here. When I read your OP I assumed your DCs were much younger.

You need to sit them down and tell them that if they don't bring stuff back then they will have to do without until next time they go to his house.

Re the 3.15 thing - just text him "sorry - won't be here at 3.15 - can do earlier or later - let me know which is best".

Why could the children not have taken everything they need to school with them this morning?

He doesn't like them taking the stuff in bags to school in the morning. He says it humiliates him.

I did say won't be here at 3.15 his answer was leave on front doorstep.

And I know I need to toughen up and just send the stuff in bags but he caused such a scene the last time I did this it was horrific.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:36:29

You're not pathetic, rosie, but you are trying to be all things to all people.

With the violin - is it the 12 year olds? That's old enough to remember it herself, in future, but let's talk about today. Have they left for school yet? Send it with her if not. If they have, then just drop it over to his, or to school in the morning, whatever's easiest for you.

And don't send them in their favourite coats to his, if poor DD2 is going to be in tears.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:37:18

X-post: He doesn't like them taking the stuff in bags to school in the morning. He says it humiliates him.

That is his problem, not yours and not theirs. Classic bullying.

The thing is, I know it's classic bullying but he just .. I don't know. Even WRT the texts, I send texts because I want a record of what I've said, but when he doesn't reply and I don't know if he's got them or is ignoring me, then I'm left with no option but to phone him and he is so condescending and superior and treats me like shit on his shoes and then I have no written record of what we've agreed and he twists everything and claims I agreed to something different to what I think I agreed to.

The violin is the 9 year olds, but the 12 year old has one too.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 09-Jun-11 07:44:14

I'm wondering whether it's possible for you to distance yourself further from this somehow. Drop-off and pick-up from school was a good idea but there's still this continued contact. Could DP help at all as a go-between? Or another third party, a family member or someone?

DP doesn't live with me yet, and he's not here every day so even if he did live here he can't do drop offs and pick ups.

Have no family to help, and wouldn't want to involve any of my friends as they all work and it's a big ask.

Ex is self employed so he has flexibility. He just choses not to use it where I'm concerned.

I feel like I'm being held to ransom, and that as much as I am trying to move forward for as long as the kids are here I'll not be able to truly get away from him.

I did text him yesterday pretty strongly saying we need to meet to discuss swapping of stuff as it isn't working and is causing unneccessary stress and unpleasant phone calls. He ignored that text. But then you see he has so much more important things going on than to be able to reply to text to me.

It is unreasonable that I expect him to reply to a text within a 4 hour window.

Abelia Thu 09-Jun-11 07:59:11

He sounds awful OP very controlling. Not ideal for your DDs but can you send them in their school uniforms? They can change at his house if he's got full sets of clothes. If they go in the car don't send them in coats. That's the best I can thnk of sorry.

gillya Thu 09-Jun-11 08:00:23

Nothing particularly helpful to add but I just wanted to pass on my sympathy that you have to put up with such an irritating ex.
Would the school store violin overnight if it was taken in today for the lesson tomorrow?

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