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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....

Downunderdolly Mon 11-Feb-13 11:47:43

Nickname. Love your work. Am already playing buzz word bingo for 'our family' with a good friend and stand to get a bottle of champagne if we reach 50 counts by end of month.

Non-sequitously, despite currently paying less than 3% of his gross income for child support he can no longer go 50/50 on swimming lessons for DS (and I earn about 15% of his salary) as he has a pool in his new house so he will teach DS there. If I wish DS to do swimming and football club I can pay myself....

SolomanDaisy Mon 11-Feb-13 12:01:00

He sounds awful. Is there no way you can return to the UK with your DS?

slambang Mon 11-Feb-13 12:07:55

What about innocuously using the words 'home', 'visiting' and 'your family' in your replies to clarify ?

'When you bring ds back home to me ... when ds visits your family ...on his next visit to you'

'At home ds is learning to brush his teeth/ wipe his own bottom (or whatever) ... when he visits your family perhaps you could ...'

Would that help to subtly draw the line in the sand without appearing to have noticed XH's tactics/

Walkacrossthesand Mon 11-Feb-13 12:10:33

So he'll be able to put DS forward for ASA certificates, and assess his performance & suitability for development, as he's a qualified swimming instructor ? < innocent expression>

LtEveDallas Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:24

Oh God, how on earth do you restrain yourself? I'd be sending an email back

"Oh my love, I am so very sorry that you are in financial distress. It must be devastating for you to not be able to provide for your firstborn. Don't worry, I will explain it to him, you don't need to feel emasculated that you are unable to provide for him as well as someone else's child.

Honestly my dear, don't worry about it. Even though I only earn a fraction of your wage I have been sensible and shrewd enough to be able to give our son all he deserves and more. I'm sure once your salary returns to $xxxxx you will again be able to support your obligations without having to rely on my assistance.

Again I am really, really sorry that you have hit hard times so quickly into your new relationship. You must be mortified. Please let me know when you are back on your feet so I can update DS"

Thinking of you

Dolly x


NicknameTaken Mon 11-Feb-13 12:18:13

Ooh, champagne! Funny if you end up actively looking forward to him talking about "our family"!

KumquatMae Mon 11-Feb-13 12:22:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereMyMilk Mon 11-Feb-13 12:48:09

Loving that response LtEve grin

tippytap Mon 11-Feb-13 13:19:53

Oh God, Dolly -

I understand exactly how you feel.

My XP does exactly the same MY family, home, brother, stepmother (in reference to his g/f and her son, about 5 seconds after meeting her) too.

I hate, hate, hate it. But, I ignore, ignore, ignore. I think it's done to get a rise out of you/wind you up. Don't give him the pleasure.


frustratedashell Mon 11-Feb-13 13:45:40

I would ignore the emails but I would insist on meeting OW. She is spending time with YOUR son. If they dont like it tough!

Spero Mon 11-Feb-13 13:51:45

O god. What a massive bellend. You can drive yourself mad speculating about WHY he does it but one thing I am confident about, he is NOT happy and secure in a wonderful new life - and why would he be, because everywhere he goes, there he is.

If he can treat you with such callous disdain, OW will also be at the receiving end of similar.

My ex was keen on telling me that such and such was OUR decision - referring to him and gf - which made me very sad as I didn't have an 'our' anymore. Month after that email they split up.

Agree that Knob Bingo is brilliant idea.

Whocansay Mon 11-Feb-13 14:00:14

A poster on another thread (can't remember who, sorry!) had a problem with abusive emails from an exh. She used to pass them to a friend to read first, who would then just tell her the parts if the email that were actually relevant. Apparently, once fw got wind of this, he dropped the abuse. Maybe you could use a similar tactic?

FWIW I think your ex really is a prize bastard. I don't understand why he's being so nasty when he was the one that left. Who does that? He must be some kind of psychopath. Hope you're OK, OP.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 11-Feb-13 16:12:12

Not necessarily a psychopath, who - i think this is part of the territory when a man deserts wife & DCs for OW. Mine was certainly very nasty to me, it's as if they need to obliterate all the shared history so it doesn't count, and they make a fresh start and expect to be accommodated - exW is a reminder of the previous life so must be vilified. Dolly, ignoring is fine, but keep an eye on the boundaries - he may try to push beyond what is reasonable to accept/ accommodate. I used to find it very hard to tell.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 11-Feb-13 16:22:01

Unfortunately you can't insist on meeting an XPs new partner. Because otherwise all these abusive dickheaded XPs would be able to insist on meeting anyone new that you might date.

You've had some great advice here Dolly and I hope it helps. Best of luck with laughing at this ridiculous man.

mathanxiety Tue 12-Feb-13 08:34:34

There is absolutely nothing to stop you from creating your own paper trail and taking polite issue with him every time he puts something in a way that raises your hackles, if the paper trail element of it worries you. Don't come across as a harpy but you can create something for the benefit of a judge just as much as he can.

Downunderdolly Tue 12-Feb-13 09:12:47

Some really good advise thanks everyone. I am going to try and ignore (for now) and try and just find it amusing (try)....latest is that ex-DH won't take DS to soccer training every other week for an hour (he is in our town anyway to pick him up from school - as he has him every other week on the day training is because he would rather not spend his time with DS on the sidelines of a soccer field. He will however 'try' to take him to the every other w/end Saturday matches if it fits in with 'his family'. Most of DS new school friends will be playing for local soccer club - having been told that they had to go to 'most' matches and games and it won't work if we go every other week by male honcho (its a large scale but voluntary type club that does all ages) found more sympathetic female registrar who has said it will be OK if other members of the team he is in are aware and don't 'mind'. So f'ing furious though that he won't do what 'most' parents do and take his son to a team sport and stand around a bit bored. I thought it would be a great way to be involved in his life but then I'm not a selfish prick....

...again, thanks everyone for your help. Helps to know that people understand x

Nevergrowingup Tue 12-Feb-13 09:21:02

Wow Dolly,

I remember reading your story last year and being outraged for you then. His guilt must be overwhelming in that he needs to keep asserting that its all about his family.

Of course you must ignore it, he has framed you as a fruit loop to others anyway and needs to keep baiting you so he can keep saying that he had to leave you because... <make up whatever story fits>.

Its also funny how he still values your opinion... if he didn't feel any guilt, he wouldn't care. He wouldn't feel the need to share how wonderful his new life is. He protests too much.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 12-Feb-13 09:27:03

I don't have much helpful advice to give but just wanted to ask you dolly - aren't you glad you aren't married to this prize tosser any more?

isithometime Tue 12-Feb-13 09:33:10

OP, if you were in the UK he wouldnt be able to get away with this I dont think

NicknameTaken Tue 12-Feb-13 09:38:19

isithome, oh yes he would be able to do this in the UK. There are very many exes in the UK who behave like this, and there's not a lot you can do about it. Family courts are not some kind of referee that swoops in with a red card every time somebody is a pain to deal with. There is actually not much you can do to force somebody to behave themselves (outside of obviously criminal acts - and sometimes not much is done even then....)

pictish Tue 12-Feb-13 09:41:19

He is undoubtedly a massive throbbing lump of gristle....BUT....can I just bring everyone bak down to earth and say that the OP should leave the sniding, the jabbing, and the game play to her nasty ex.

OP, don't react at ALL. He is pathetic. He is laughable. He is trying really hard.

Be the parent that is clever and decent enough to concern themselves soley with the care of your son....because that's what it needs to be about.

Tit for tat is the game of a fool. Never ague with a fool, he'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience...or so the saying goes.

Ignore his shit. Just be a good parent and turn your nose up at your ex and his attempts to derail you. xxx

NicknameTaken Tue 12-Feb-13 09:41:40

I do sympathize, Dolly. I asked my ex nicely if he'd mind bringing DD to ballet every second weekend, at my expense. He said no, which I accept was his perogative, but then he also wrote a long ranty email to the ballet school telling them I had no right to enrol her. Embarassing and unnecessary.

NicknameTaken Tue 12-Feb-13 09:43:13

pictish, I agree, but I think that's what she's doing. She's playing some mental games to make it easier to bear, but I haven't seen anywhere where she's said anything to him about it (and I know some posters have suggested that, and I agree with you that it's not the right approach).

ScarletWomanoftheVillage Tue 12-Feb-13 10:10:33

Hi Dolly, I would be tempted to email him:

'I am aghast that you should put your firstborn's needs below the activities of your new "family" and not allow him to go to his soccer training. No amount of you trying to persuade our son that his "family" supports him will work if you continue to put their needs in front of his in this way. If ds's activities don't fit in with your new "family's" weekend plans then please just let me know and I will take him myself. I do not see why he should miss out because you are trying to impress your new girlfriend and her child. I find it pathetic and contemptible that you are so blatantly and desperately trying to brainwash our ds into thinking that your gf and her child are related to him in any way, perhaps you need to to do this in order to minimise what you did to our ds's actual family.'

Sorry, I know this is probably not the best way to tackle things, but i am just so angry on your behalf.

pictish Tue 12-Feb-13 10:30:42

Oh no - I didn't think the OP was going to do anything inflammatory herself! I think I just got to thinking how these sorts of issues are often thrown up in the event of a split.
It's a pity he can't behave himelf. What an arsehole.

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