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out.. how to interact with ex?

(8 Posts)
butterflybee Sat 10-Sep-11 08:27:26

I've moved out 2 months ago now. It was a freaken ordeal - thank god my mom was in town for the actual flat search / move or it would have been much worse than it was. It's much much better not living in the same space. I have emotional space for my children, I'm not constantly ground down.. I can begin to rebuild my life.

I'm having trouble working out how to manage my parenting relationship with my ex. There was a lot of control / likely emotional abuse (why is that so hard to say?) in the relationship.. and I'm getting massive texts, emails, blaiming, accusations, changed stories, martyrdom from him now. I'm getting better at setting boundaries, just not reading all of it and not responding to realistically most of what he sends, but sometimes I get sucked back in. I don't want to cut him off completely as he does care about his kids but .. I need a better strategy! Help!

FabbyChic Sat 10-Sep-11 08:53:40

Just ignore anything that is not related to access to the children, delete anything else that he sends, tell him straight that you aren't together any more and the only issues you have to discuss are the children and when he is going to see them and any possible maintnance issues.

butterflybee Sat 10-Sep-11 15:04:44

I guess the issue is that he doesn't send the two topics separately. For example, he asked to see the kids extra this week and it would have been 7 days otherwise (they're 4&2 plus see his 2 sets of 2 days on the alternate week). I wanted to accommodate / compromise but it took several emails, unclear messages from him, lots of blaming for it not being sorted by 6 although he'd only emailed at 430 to say he was available (having had the offer 2 days) and then several texts both complaining about me controlling how it happened (i.e. confirming they would eat and be back in time to settle for sleep) and asking for more time with the kids 'so [I] can lie in.'

butterflybee Sat 10-Sep-11 15:17:31

To be clear as well, I've repeatedly said this is over and I would like us to use a businesslike approach to sort out whatever needs to be discussed about the kids. I've also asked for one topic at a time.. Just really basic communication skills. He keeps talking about me coming back, me causing all the problems by leaving... In the same message he talks about pick up time. I guess I'm having trouble filtering out what are the important things to respond to move things forward and what's crap I can just ignore.

MissPricklePants Sat 10-Sep-11 15:31:05

i have similar problems with my ex. My solicitor said to write down anything he needs to know about dd e.g doctors app, how nursery is etc and then during his 1 afternoon he writes down what he has done with her and do that every week. I then ignore any abusive texts etc. Fwiw i think you should keep a record of any texts/emails as proof of the abuse if you need it. Also it may be better in this early stage to have set contact days and leave it at that. X

MissPricklePants Sat 10-Sep-11 15:33:25

i have similar problems with my ex. My solicitor said to write down anything he needs to know about dd e.g doctors app, how nursery is etc and then during his 1 afternoon he writes down what he has done with her and do that every week. I then ignore any abusive texts etc. Fwiw i think you should keep a record of any texts/emails as proof of the abuse if you need it. Also it may be better in this early stage to have set contact days and leave it at that. X

Isetan Mon 12-Sep-11 10:24:17

Well done for getting out.

I have no experience of this at present but I'm sure its coming. Firstly, keep all email and abusive correspondence (you might need them later).

Disengage, disengage, disengage. He's a twat and uses contact with his children to continue his abuse of you. You can not reason with people like this, you are not responsible for his actions.

Arrange a fixed contact schedule; by accommodating his schedule changes and whims you give him the "in" to continue the abuse, if he refuses, consult a solicitor (hopefully this will not go to court).

MissPricklePants suggestion about the exchange of important info statement is a good one, keep it simple, don't let him use it as an "in" to engage further.

Any accusations he makes about you being inflexible, mean, selfish, blah, blah, blah are said to make you second guess yourself and for you to relent, be strong, theses are just more tactics to first engage your attention, and then to abuse and control you.

In the future when he learns to behave you can try being flexible but right now he needs to learn that being a dickhead is counter-productive, so ignore twatish behaviour. My ex used to, and still does to a certain extent, use my sense of fairness and my love for my child as stick to beat me with.

Good luck

butterflybee Tue 13-Sep-11 12:26:01

Thanks for the advice, and the congradulations! It did feel amazing to be out.. although I feel a bit stuck now that I realise the stupidness is not all over.

Ok, disengage disengage disengage. I should write that over my mirror. I know I need to, it's just so freaken tricky to keep doing it over and over! Grrr!

I am keeping all correspondence just in case and we have mediation happening with someone who seems very good so I'm hopeful this can avoid court.

Think the plan is to leave it at the current situation for a while and no extras / flexibility. Hopefully that means less contact and conflict. It drives me nuts to constantly get pulled into these interactions.

I absolutely understand what you mean about using my love for the children as a weapon. It's the last remaning thing I'll respond to. Just need to work out how to co-parent without engagement...

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