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ex DH annoying emails: humour and coping responses to stop me getting irritated please

(140 Posts)
Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 03:07:57


I've posted a bit over the last few years post my marriage break-up with ex-DH (he left for OW when son was 2, I was in middle of IVF, had moved to his home-country 2 years earlier and unable to go back to the UK to resume old life, career, family, friends etc - so been tough).

Two years of low level acrinomy later (lots of lies deception re OW, spiteful behaviour etc) OW and her son have moved in with ex-DH (from another city) and they are now a family unit which my son joins every other w/end. I am not 'allowed' to meet OW ("I can't see a reason to put her through that") and my son's life there is fairly separate but I think he likes OW and her child and 'happy' that he does not have to travel 10 hours round trip in a car to her city which is what my ex was doing with him last year.

Ex is being a dick generally (currently prob having to go to court to sort out legal error in our financial agreement which sees him paying around 40% less than anticipated + some issues about him letting me travel to UK for holidays all of which are being sorted by lawyers) and we have limited communication - which at his request is always via email - but we do have some logistics to attend to which require some exchanges.

My current irritation - and I can see it is almost funny - but it is having the no doubt desired effect of annoying me - is that since OW and her son moved in 2 months ago) it is almost laughable at the amount of times ex-DH can cram into an email about logisics 'my family' or 'DS's family' as if I don't exist at all in relation to DS and the 80% of time DS spends with me is just ancillary. I know that he is doing this to be 'hurtful' and to 'get' to me as we lost a couple of babies late on when we were married and were in the middle of IVF and that my hopes for a 'big' family are now just me and DS with all other family and close friends in UK. For example today's missive about swimming lessons is

"arrange a weekday lesson which doesn't impact on DS time with me and his family as he really looks forward to getting home to his family on Fridays"

followed by "DS will be attending <sporting event> with his brother and his family at ...."

ex claims DS has called OW child 'brother' from their first meeting (unprompted for sure ; ) and whilst it was hard I'm OK with that. But for example the other day I got an email that mentioned 'DS's family', 'his family (in relation to DS) and 'our family' and 'his brother' in relation to DS/OW/OWS son EIGHT times - again about a brief logistical matter and in relation to a question about limiting DS time on a certain game the 'In his <DS's> family we....."

so lovely Mumsnetters. Of course I know I need to ignore. Of course I need to think childish twat rubbing my nose in it not going to give it headspace but everytime they land I want to throw something at my computer screen and say FUCK OFF.

Ideas, humorous or otherwise, on how I can not let this 'get' to me and not give it mental headspace. BTW know this is not huge problem in the whole scheme of things but trying not to bore RL people this year about ex so using here as a forum.

This sounds a bit 'petty' written down which is why not referencing in RL but it does hurt so looking for ways to deflect....

esselle Mon 11-Feb-13 03:21:34

Wow your ex really is a prick! Sorry I can't really think of any advice at the moment but he is a bastard!

I really don't think I could let any of my DC stay with my ex if I wasn't allowed to meet the OW. Screw her feelings or whatever, I'd want to know the kind of person my baby is spending time with. especially a home wreaking whore like her

PurplePidjin Mon 11-Feb-13 03:41:44

Wow, what a twunt shock

How about adding "and other animals" to every "my family" a la Gerald Durrell?

Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 03:48:37

Esselle - agree in principle but the law does not support this and I cannot
compel common sense and courtesy (sadly) - it sucks...

Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 06:21:01

Purple - snort at 'other animals'....OW has rather bee-stung collagen lips as it happens (saw via someone else's wedding photos....)

mathanxiety Mon 11-Feb-13 06:21:58

I would be tempted to reply:
"I would love to meet my son's family and I hope this can be arranged some day soon."
Or remind him what the going rate for nannies is if he pays less. It might take him a little time to figure out what exactly you were getting at there.

But I think the best way to deal with this is to ignore even though you would like to shove his laptop some place where the sun doesn't shine. He is having his juvenile fun. Let him. If he was in any way a happy or secure person he wouldn't be doing this.

If you have to respond to any of this, you could use the opportunity to call the menage 'your family' but that is really as far as I would go.

It's the little things that really, really hurt though. exH stopped calling our house 'home' when he was talking to the children. He called it 'the house'.

Since the OW has now moved in it will probably only be a matter of time before it all goes tits up anyway. Maybe that consoles you? How about printing out the emails and taking them out to burn them in some ceremonial way? Maybe a bit woo, and maybe you can't have a fire outdoors, but releasing stuff into the form of smoke can be cathartic.

PurplePidjin Mon 11-Feb-13 06:34:15

I was actually thinking of the scorpion wink

LtEveDallas Mon 11-Feb-13 06:40:14

Could you start referring to DS visiting "the love-nest" or "the shag-pad" ie: "I have arranged for DS to have tennis lessons every Friday before his visit to the Love-Nest" "It is important to me that DS enjoys his time at the Shag Pad" grin

Or talk about you and DS as a Family and your Ex's set up as DS's "Weekend Family"

Otherwise just accept that your ex knows that one fine day DS will realise exactly what happened to his parents marriage, will know that his father was dick lead and his step mother has no morals. He is trying to brainwash you all to accept the word 'family' to downgrade what he did to you all. It won't work, but if you grit your teeth now it will be worth it.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 06:50:05

Maddening but it is, of course, a sign of insecurity. I like the other animals joke too.

Sneakymeezer Mon 11-Feb-13 06:50:28

Oh I love the weekend family one, sadly that would probably have him breathing fire on yr doorstep though

clam Mon 11-Feb-13 07:09:56

I fully understand why this bugs you so much - it would me. The only possible thing that I can say that might make you feel slightly better about it is to console yourself that at least he is being welcomed (I presume) into this other family and not being treated as an outsider. There are some very sad tales of the latter on here.

Kione Mon 11-Feb-13 07:14:11

it sounds like he is writing those things to a judge, maybe he us printing all correspondence to show in court? thus he is making that his is the proper family unti, what q sleazy bastard

Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 07:28:14

Keep 'em coming they are making me smile.

clam. I am very pleased that he has a nice time with them as you say. I think part of what is so **ing annoying is that despite everything I am very positive with my son about ex and OW and her son - it used to kill me - but I have been very careful not to have to make him thinks one is better than the other or to hide how he feels about them. I know that is one of the surest ways to fuck your kids up and I feel like I have been (outwardly) very supportive of his unit there. Kione. You raise an interesting point. I have had to (not on this issue) point out to him that some of the messages he sends look like a very transparent paper trail as they often don't bear any resemblance to real life or real discussion.

I am a little terrified that now ex is in a family 'unit' and it no longer suits him to see his son every other w/end he may want more custody as I believe OW son is with them most of the time and then with his father on holidays (via third parties). I don't want to be paranoid but a bit worried ex is 'grooming' DS as to the fact that his McMansion w/th swimming pool etc is his 'real' home but I don't want to create worries that are not already there.

I'm not sure why we can't have the party line that I have which is how wonderful is it that so many people love DS and how lucky he is to have a mummy and daddy and an <ow name> and a 'brother' and to get to spend time at both of their houses. I would never - even though I feel like it at my lowest ebb when trying to make ends meet, build a career and sort out all childcare - suggest that his father is not his 'real' family or be excluding in any way. I think it is very low and given OW has a child (and she is I believe educated and outside of being OW 'normal' type of person with good job/intelligence associated with that) I am surprised that she goes along with it all (although not her responsibility). Certainly when and if I meet someone with kids and he moved in with me and refered to our unit as his son's sole family unit I would put him right as I think it shows no respect and is ultimately damaging to the child.

ooh that was longer than I intended....thanks!!

arthriticfingers Mon 11-Feb-13 07:39:58

Dolly Your ex is a f***ing b******d. as they say. sad
I wonder whether you should start putting these emails through a lawyer. Fight fire with fire, again, as they say.
You may even have a case for harassment - or at least threaten one.
This is evil and totally out of order.

Lueji Mon 11-Feb-13 08:16:22

Personally, I'd ask him to clarify what he means by family at every point, as DS already spends most time with his family.

MatureUniStudent Mon 11-Feb-13 08:34:06

I suspect the poster who said he is building up, on paper, that his unit is the "family" unit for court is correct. Not that it will matter a jot, as courts see right through this, mostly.

I love the weekend family idea and see no reason not to use that. And put in "my family". One child and a mother is a family, as much as two parents and 50 children are a family. My family and your family.

Worth exploring going through solicitors for a while until he eases off? Gets the hint?

But throughout it all, it screamed he is deeply insecure. Jealous probably of your relationship with your DS. You are a wonderful woman for making your DS so happy to go to his "weekend family" and putting your DS needs first.

Chin up - hes an arse and an insecure arse at that.

clam Mon 11-Feb-13 08:53:54

I had an ex-boyfrined who used to play similar games - nothing like as serious as with a child, but disputed possessions after we split. In the end I wrote back to him stating, "continued use on your part of the word "my desk" changes nothing. I bought it, and have monetary records to that effect."

You could always do something similar, if you don't feel it's giving it unnecessary importance (although I too wonder if he's got a longer game-plan here). "For the record, ds's home is here with me, his mother. You need to accept that, although I acknowledge that you enjoy having him join your new set-up every other weekend." You might even add something disparaging about it possibly being only a temporary set-up at that, hence your intention to reassure ds that his main home is with you.

Lueji Mon 11-Feb-13 09:30:46

Writing one email back asking to clarify each use of the term family might turn into too much hassle for him and might lea him to use something like my side of the family instead.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 11-Feb-13 09:50:05

He's being very nasty isn't he - repeatedly referring to 'family' when he knows perfectly well you're a LP now and have loved more children. you don't want to stoop to his level (moral high ground is always the best place to be) but nor do you want to let it go unchallenged in case of future court wrangles 'you accepted that this is DSs new family' etc etc. How about if you make a point of referring to ex's set-up as DS's 'second family' in your reply to each email that implies otherwise? Less provocative than 'weekend family' but not letting it go unchallenged.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:07

would have loved...

Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 10:02:57

Thanks again. As some of you allude to frankly I'm surprised he has the band width of energy to be so 'nasty'. Certainly (if on face value) I was living in huge house with my soul mate and 'family' seeing my son whom the other parent more or less bank rolls all at my choice I don't think I would have the energy to foster illwill and spitefullness. But then again this is from the 'lovely' DH who a week after he left (a few weeks after organising amazing 40th and telling me how DS and I were his family and it didn't matter if we had no more children we were enough) told me in recovery after IVF egg collection (we had agree to put embryos in freezer as thought at that time was mid life crisis not OW) that "you may as well shut the fuck up crying as I don't feel anything for you anymore".....happy days....

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:53

Ignore him...your son is only ever going to have one your ex is a prick and don't give him the pleasure of letting him see he's getting to you. Try to stop caring what he says...does his opinion actually matter to you now he has shown his despicable true colours?

Lovingfreedom Mon 11-Feb-13 10:54:50

Rather than respond to long emails from my own pathetic ex I sometimes print them out and pencil in a 'translation'. Often the translation includes a lot of 'I'm great' , 'it's not fair', 'dc think I'm greater than you are' and 'you need to realise how great I am'....once you do the translation they are a lot less threatening and upsetting. Only respond to essentials - Times, dates etc. Throw in the odd 'that's great thanks' to register your total disinterest in your ex's amazing new life.

NicknameTaken Mon 11-Feb-13 11:42:05

Never show him he is getting to you, but I think it's a great idea to find ways to try to amuse yourself.

Trying "Ex bingo" - before opening, make a private bet about what phrases he will use, and award yourself a small prize when he does. Play "turnitaround" - every negative thing he says about you, mentally reverse it so it applies to him. It's amazing how accurate it is.

Oh, and I totally agree with Lovingfreedom about throwing in "that's great, thanks". Will drive him crazy and there's nothing, nothing he can say about it in court.

NicknameTaken Mon 11-Feb-13 11:42:25

That's "before opening his emails", btw.

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