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Feeling undermined all the time(10 Posts)
Hi, I have ongoing issues with my ex, with whom I share a 20 month DD. Ex comes round to mine several times a week to help put DD to bed. There have been several occasions where I feel he undermines me in my own home. For example last night we were in the kitchen he had DD stand on a wet work top with him in front of her so she would'nt fall on the floor near where I was trying to make her her bottle. I did'nt really have a lot of space so I asked him to move himself and DD out of the way. I also had concerns that there was a full kettle of boiling water nearby as well. He would'nt move. There has also been issues with regard to leaving DD alone in the bath and him berating me about the tidiness of my home. I am currently studying towards a qualification at college and have exams looming, last night he was saying that I need to make sure that I pass all of them because doing retakes would be a "disaster".
I always feel invalidated and not respected. I was brought up be toxic parents, have had a string of crappy relationships so struggle a lot with assertiveness and self esteem. I'm getting counselling and am trying to work through these problems. I try and use a lot of "I" statements as per every assertiveness book but my feelings just fall on deaf ears. I feel so hopeless, frustrated and angry all the time. How can I get him to listen and respect me a bit more? Also would like to know if I am being unreasonable with my examples above to say that I feel undermined. I do have difficulty trusting my own thoughts and feelings.
I think you need to rethink the contact arrangements. Having an ex in your house multiple times a week only works if the x is willing to respect boundaries. Yours isn't.
The safety issues are worrying too, do you feel your daughter is safe in his care?
If you ask him to do something in your own home and he ignores you, say, "I"ve asked you to do something. Do it. I will not tolerate being ignored and undermined in my own home. If you do it again I will have to consider how feasible it is to allow you to come here."
For the exam situation, "Thanks for the vote of confidence <heavy sarcasm>, but I think I've already proven that I can handle adversity and come out still standing" (reference to getting him out of your life).
Well done for making him an X. Sounds like you had good reason. Just keep believing in your thoughts and feelings, and remember that if it's HIM making you doubt yourself, that's probably a damn good sign that you should carry on regardless.
You could fail the exams 3 times in a bloody row and it STILL wouldn't be any of his damn business!!! He is an EX, he doesn't have the right to dictate what you should or shouldn't be doing!
You need to create some space. Why is he coming around to yours to put DD to bed? Isn't your DD old enough to spend one or two nights with her dad in HIS home? You shouldn't have to put up with him at all.
Stop him coming into your home immediately because his behaviour is completely unacceptable. If he wants to co-parent he needs to make arrangements how he's going to see his DD in a way that is more convenient to you. If you struggle with self-esteem and assertiveness, talk to a solicitor about setting up contact arrangements and then let him deal with a solicitor. He'll find a solicitor far more difficult to bully.
If he makes you feel like this, why is he allowed into YOUR home?
You need to try to be strong and tell him that week day contact must stop because of his comments and the fact he won't listen to you.
I really wish you all the best but don't let him in your house anymore.
He can see DD during daylight hours outside your home and when old enough she can stay at his place. Under your roof your rules apply. Ex means just that, not lording it over you.
I do not want to sound like I am putting words in your mouth, or over dramatising but have to ask.
By 'undermined' do you mean you have felt intimidated, frightened for your personal safety? Is he goading you? Are you worried he might take things out on DD?
OP - I am sorry to read this. I do it have much good advice, but as an aside, or not so aside, my DH sees our DCs less than your EX does (due to work) in the week, and yet has a very good relationship with them.
It looks like you are trying to do everything to keep "normality" for your little one. Maybe it would be worth imagining what your new normal would be if you could. And the working at getting this into place.
Having an ex over every evening is not viable anyway. What happens to your evening, love life, social life?
He does'nt make me feel physically threatened. I just feel powerless because my thoughts and opinions either fall on deaf ears or they get shot down.
I feel like banning him from my home is an option but an element of me not wanting to do this is that him coming round on an evening gives me a little bit of time off and even though we don't have great conversation, he is often the only adult person I have spoken to all day.
I'm so unhappy though. I am trying to change my passive habits but it is so soul destroying when I try and say how I feel only for it to not be listened to.
Are there any ways you can look for more adult friends or acquaintances in the daytime? It's not a good position to be relying on this man for your social interaction of the day. If you've been out with dd in the day and talked to fun, supportive friends, it will make it easier to mentally brush off his comments, to see them as a reflection of him not you, and to set boundaries against him.
" I am trying to change my passive habits but it is so soul destroying when I try and say how I feel only for it to not be listened to."
It's hard to use them on him, because he's used to treating you this way, because he doesn't seem to care about your feelings, and because despite all that you can't just cut him out of your life as he's dd's father. I think your new skills are good, and would work in a normal friendship or a new relationship which doesn't have patterns yet; you're trying to apply them to an extra difficult situation. That's not to say you shouldn't try, but don't judge your success in assertiveness based on this unusually difficult test.
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