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ExH is manipulating and controlling ds and me and I am worn out.(14 Posts)
Please bear with me on this, and I apologise in advance if I ramble, I have name changed.
I want to say first of all that I have a ds who requires learning support but he is so wise and I am so proud of him and the way he conducted himself when I had a mother to son chat last night.
Yesterday I collected my son from his df. I could hear my exh picking at him for not being ready. He came to the door and made a point that our ds had been sitting doing nothing and he was not ready, I was actually 10 minutes early! So then he did his usual and started to pick at me, my sons trousers are too small, in fact my ds has lost weight and they are too big! Then his jumper is too small when again it is on the big side, but his next words hit home to me that he is a bully to his son..... 'you are too fat' he said.
Earlier in the week my exh changed DS's dentist to his own, the week before it was his doctors where my son has been to from birth! This was done without consulting me. I was fiery and told my exh the dentist would be changed back so he had my teenage son on the phone at 10:20pm saying don't change the doctors or dentist back, but I knew it wasn't my ds speaking, the words were his dads when my ds said 'if you change them back people will think you are mad'. My exh is a MHN!
So yesterday I collected my ds, we had a nice day and I wanted to have a mother to son chat. He told me his dad wants him to phone me and that exh tells him what to say which is hurtful things, he knows his dad is trying to hurt me, ds said 'its okay mum I have tactics to get out of it!' This is just not right!!! He told me his dad tells him things and he knows it is wrong/lies. I said do you feel that I do these things and he said no, you never try to do anything like that. I try not to make my son piggy in the middle, but exh has gone off the rails. I told ds that the shared care agreement wasn't working and he said he could probably just cope!! This is all wrong. Ds also told me that 2 years ago he was at an all time low because of arguing - the fact is I don't actually argue, its my exh constantly trying to argue with me, For example if tomorrow DS needed something accidentally left at mine, I would get a text saying I had failed as a mother because I didn't give ds the item. This happens regularly and it wears me down and upsets me. He still wants to still control me, put me down, even though I have moved on, but he won't move on. My ds actually turned to me and said df acts childish!
What can I do? I don't have the funds to fight this again, xh earned more, he was bloody difficult at every turn which made it so costly, I'm not entitled to Legal Aid. Ds is 16 in a year and he wants shared care. What can I do?
don't really have any advice for you but just wanted to give you a hand to hold. My exh also criticises kids clothes, calls me a bad mother to the kids and nags my sn son over things he struggles with. It is a nightmare but they still like going to see him so I persevere. Maybe just keep talking things over with your ds and if he changes his mind about contact then just stop it. Sorry probably not much help but wanted you to know i feel for you.
Thanks for the hand hold Hollie :-) I feel I am stuck between a rock and hard place and meantime exh gets his kicks out of being a bully :-(
I think you support your DS the way you would against any other bully. Keep talking to DS the way you have been, reassure him that you are 100% on his side and keep standing up to your ex on his behalf.... not being drawn into the petty arguments or abusive text messages but stating very clearly when he has overstepped the mark e.g. calling DS fat. If DS wants to be in contact with his father and is already wise to the fact that his father is a bully (childish), then you have to work with him on ways to cope & contain.
I know you think you can't fight him legally but I would still keep a record of all the abusive texts, 'off the rails' behaviour and so on. Whatever agreement you currently have in place, he is probably quite close to breaching it.
Your son can choose not to go. Would that be an option?
That 'man' is no father.
BL this is awful for you and DS but sadly not uncommon. My EXH was the exact same and criticised me to the DC, 16 and 14. When he took the notion he would criticise them too. They however said they wanted to see him and went to his house Wed & some Fridays. Both of them were cheeky to him following rows and he punched them which resulted in police etc. They stopped going.
Both DC told me that they only kept going before assaults because they felt sorry for him & thought they would be letting him down. They were conflicted about having feelings of disgust for him & feeling that they had to go. I told them they did not have to go anywhere they didnt want to & stressed that their father was responsible for his own behaviour. Now they don't go and are in great form, like a weight has been lifted off them.
It may be that your DS doesn't really want to go but feels obliged. He sounds like a gorgeous boy and I wish you both all the best.
I think you need to get your son support. He is going to feel conflicted with regard to his dad but ultimately the relationship he has at the moment is not healthy and he needs support to ensure as he becomes an adult he develops a healthier one. Just because your son says he can cope doesn't actually mean he can or should have to.
I just collected my DD 16 from her friends and we were chatting about this post. She said she is relieved that she doesn't have to go to her dads but says she feels awkward if he rings. Teenagers hate awkward! I reiterated that she can make decisions about what she wants to do. It's all a work in progress but I really try to encourage her not to be guilt tripped into going. He used to put on a sad voice and paint himself as victim when he wanted them to go over. If this didn't work he would get angry. I don't want my DC growing up thinking that they have to please people.
Another chat with ds this morning. I have been thinking about this constantly over the last week. I explained that I wasn't happy with the current situation, he shouldn't have to cope with anything, being a good parent means that we are there to support our children not give them more things to worry about. I told ds that I could do nothing unless he tells me what would make him happier - he said he wants to be with me because of his dads behaviour which makes him
Now I just need to think about what to do next.....
Whitesugar - yes I get the impression exh majes ds feel sorry for him, part of the manipulating.
Anomaly - he should not have to feels he has to cope, what decent father puts their child into that position, using them as a pawn. I just want this to end.
Hissy - thanks, I'm scared the police may well be knocking at the door soon, exh will no doubt say I have kidnapped him!!
Thanks all for the advice. I wonder if I can get a temp full custody order on grounds of exh behaviour?
Social services got involved with our situation because of assaults on DC. They told me that DC at 14 and 16 could make up their own minds about contact. The police won't be coming to your door! I don't know how it works but I imagine if you tell EXH that son doesn't want to come over he will get solicitor and then you will.
In early days I I decided to give DC break from seeing him without being too confrontational. I tried to appeal to EXH good side, ie patronize him without him knowing, and said DC were very upset about his behaviour & felt they needed a break. Give specific example about an incident. Then I stretched it out by saying they were staying with friends, going to grandparents, said they were not well (not proud but necessary).
No doubt others will advise you on contact because our arrangements stopped due to violence and I really don't know how it all works.
BL I have to say the same to my DC that I can't help unless they tell me what they want. They tell me what they think I want to hear. For ages they went because they didn't want me to have to stay in on a Friday night and mind them. Nowadays I probe them for the truth. I have to do this gently so they don't feel like I am interrogating them. It's a a fine balancing act but it's great when they do open up & say what they actually want. I think they are learning a valuable lesson.
Whitesugar - thanks for your replies which are really helpful. I hate to think others are going thru the same, but knowing someone has been in similar circumstances to offer bits of advice is a great help :-)
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