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Can I stop him from texting me?

(64 Posts)
DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:35:09

Brief background: acrimonious break up 3 years ago when XP left us for OW. Ds is now 12 and presently waiting for major surgery to remove a recently diagnosed tumour. I rebuilt my life and am back on track and doing ok. He did me a favour and I look back at those dark days with horror. He treated me badly and I still feel incredibly anxious if I have any contact with him. Although he is still with OW he doesn't seem happy with his lot and I believe he has serious money problems. I suspect he blames me for the fact that his life isn't how he hoped.

So, the last few years have been difficult but I coped and recently I came to the conclusion that it would be easier if contact was by email only. That way I can control when I read any messages from him. To have his name pop up on my screen when he texts causes me huge anxiety. People say "ignore it" or "why do you let it bother you" and "text him back the next day" but I find it incredibly intrusive and feel like he is trying to control me all over again. He usually texts me when he has ds and assumes I am with my new partner. The texts are not abusive but they can be sarcastic in tone. If you read them you would probably think I was massively over reacting. But in the context of what has gone on in the past, the fact that his name can suddenly appear on my screen at any time really distresses me. Does anyone understand that?

I have repeatedly asked him to limit contact to email only and he absolutely refuses. In fact, he dismisses my request with yet another text to tell me so. I paid for a solicitor to write to him and request the same. He told me the letter was bollocks and he had screwed it up and thrown it in the bin. He is still communicating by text. It's all about lack of respect, trying to control me, making me unhappy.

It's really getting me down. 3 years on and still the same old, same old. I have enough on my plate without XP trying to deliberately thwart me. Any advice? Or sympathy? I'm at the end of my tether.

kinkyfuckery Mon 16-Sep-13 11:39:59

Block his number, or change number and don't tell him.

At 12, does your DS have his own phone so he can be in contact with his dad?

Good luck for your DS's surgery, hope it all goes well.

Jessicarthorse Mon 16-Sep-13 11:40:12

Change your phone number? I'm not trying to be flippant, btw!

AllThatGlistens Mon 16-Sep-13 11:40:21

Get your service provider to block the number, as its harassment.

You are absolutely within your rights to do so, it's just another way for him to try to control you, you've been more than fair by stating you want email communication only.

Get on the phone and get that number blocked! wink

BerkshireMum Mon 16-Sep-13 11:40:57

I'm sure you should be able to block the number - you certainly can for calls.

MagzFarqharson Mon 16-Sep-13 11:44:53

Could you put that sim card in another phone, keep it switched off and just switch it on as and when you feel up to it?

You can then get another sim card for your everyday phone, circulating your new number only to those people you want to have it. smile

WeAreEternal Mon 16-Sep-13 11:45:38

Can you change your number and not give him the new one?

Do you have a landline? So that he still has a way to contact you in an emergency regarding DS.
If not you could always keep the current sim, but put it in a phone that doesn't not receive text messages or had the ability to turn SMS messaging off. And only have the phone turned on when DS is with him.

I would make a point of telling him that you have changed your number too.

gamerchick Mon 16-Sep-13 11:48:05

If you don't want to change your number can you not change his name to something comical.. so you never have to see his name again?..take back some of the control you feel he has over you. Or download a special warning ring tone to assign to that number that makes you chuckle?

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:48:26

I have considered blocking his number. Apparently you can't block numbers on an iPhone 5. If I ignore the texts he uses ds' phone to text me.

Also, because ds is presently unwell, if I block his number how would he contact me in the event of an emergency? He has used that argument to me and done a massive guilt trip on me.

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:49:23

I mean, if I blocked him or changed my number he would just get the info out of ds' phone.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 16-Sep-13 11:49:36

Arguably he does need a means of contacting you that is more flexible than email, in case (eg) DC has an accident while with him - but you can set things up so it doesn't feel like he's in your face. A separate phone which you only check once/week and when DS is with him? Or (less adult option) you could change the name that his number is stored under, to something mocking (I'm thinking 'ohnonotagain', or 'the plonker' or 'littlus dickus'... ).

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:54:28

I've tried the insulting name tactic - he just fills me with horror still.
I've tried the second phone - he refused to play ball.
He goes massively out of his way to intimidate me but makes sure it appears to an outsider that its very trivial.

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 11:55:13

Plus, he has ds 3 nights a week so it's actually a huge chunk of my life that this affects.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 16-Sep-13 11:58:04

When ex texts me his name pops up as cuntbadger wink As a tactic for coping with his inane drivel I find it really helpful.

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 12:01:32

If only I could look at it as inane drivel. He has really done a number on me and I am so cross with myself for still letting him get to me.
I don't wish him dead but it sure feels like I'd be better off if he vanished and that is an awful thing to say and very unlike me. I'm very live and let live.

CheeseandGherkins Mon 16-Sep-13 12:12:49

I downloaded a silent ringtone and text tone for my ex so that I don't hear it at the time. I've told him not to contact me at all and to go via my dh now as I can't take his abuse and accusations any longer. I also informed him that if he did contact me I'd be calling the police and reporting him for harassment. He's already been on a harassment warning with the police for his behaviour towards me so I know they take it seriously.

I still get that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach when his name pops up on my phone and just don't need it anymore. No wonder dd1 can't bear him and rarely sees him as he's just as much of a bully to her and my sons.

ainsleysballs Mon 16-Sep-13 12:17:13

If you have a smartphone you can download apps to block texts (and calls) from certain numbers, you shouldn't have to go through the service provider. I use 'Call Blocker' on Android which is free. I expect there's something available for iphones too. I use mine to block harrassing/spam texts. The texts are still sent and stored but I can choose whether to actually look at them (I don't bother but you might want to look when you feel strong enough, in case your ex is sending some information that's actually useful). For calls I set it up so that it automatically hangs up for certain numbers, it doesn't ring at all but I get a list of numbers which have tried to call so I could call back if necessary.

Betrayedbutsurvived Mon 16-Sep-13 12:18:50

There's a software update for iPhones later this week which includes the ability to block calls and texts. From certain numbers

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 12:24:37

Cheese - "that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach" It's exactly that. It has a physical effect on me.

I would love to block his number. But he will just use another number or more likely ds phone knowing I can't block that number.

sherbetpips Mon 16-Sep-13 12:26:47

Realistically if he needed to contact you he could the phone. Do not respond or reply to his texts ever. If he wants an answer he can call you. If you have to respond do so via email and remind him that you dont respond to texts.
As you say he is attempting to control you so dont let it. Dont respond, dont react. Just reply to messages that required a response and nothing else.

ChazzerChaser Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:10

DrNelsons I don't have any useful ideas but just wanted to say I totally understand and sympathise. It doesn't sound trivial to me at all. Just felt like it might be helpful to hear that.

When the solicitor wrote the letter did she have any idea of outcome if he ignored the letter?

ChazzerChaser Mon 16-Sep-13 12:33:49

Actually yes I agree with sherbet. Even if you see the texts never ever respond to them. Then he won't be aware of them having any impact so will get bored of it. Hopefully.

Thistledew Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:24

Can you speak to the Domestic Violence team at your local police station? Explain to them that getting texts from your ex makes you feel upset and anxious and that he has already ignored a request from your solicitor to contact you via email only. They should be able to give him a harassment warning, which if he breaches would be a criminal offence.

DrNelsonsInhaler Mon 16-Sep-13 12:44:40

Thank you.
Solicitor didn't discuss other options. I stated that I didn't want anything else other than a letter to stop the texts. I stupidly thought it would frighten him. It would have frightened me. But I'm confusing him with someone who is reasonable and I guess it reflects how unhappy he still is. But that is of no comfort or use to me.
Sorry if I sound negative. Ds recent diagnosis was such a shock and I feel like I've got the world on my shoulders. Even ds being ill hasn't made xp want to mend his ways. If he said sorry lets clear the slate I would accept with no hesitation. I have extended so many olive branches but he just beats me with them. I'm worn out.

Vivacia Mon 16-Sep-13 12:44:53

I can totally understand why you feel the way you do. Your feelings are not daft.

I would only respond to a text that was sent for a reason I thought warranted a text. Any other text I'd ignore if at all possible.

Another thought is do you have a partner who could have that old number and field the texts for you?

Finally, I think that counselling could help you deal with this anxiety and support you in formulating strategies which work for you.

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