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Advice on how to deal with ExH please

(16 Posts)
Lillyludge Tue 12-May-15 18:55:49

First of all I need to point out a few things I have realised about myself, and how I deal with things:

I don't like confrontations. At all. Never had.

I'm not at all good at just ignoring things. It just gets to me.

I feel quite vulnerable. I get anxious.

So how the hell do I deal with ExH regular criticisms and accusations? Happens every time I need to let him know something about DC (and other times).

I think he is/was EA and might be projecting his own insecurities onto me. That doesn't make it any easier to deal with on a day to day basis though. I am still struggling years on...hmm

Wherestherealme Tue 12-May-15 19:41:59

Hi im in the same boat as you sad only my ex was just a dp. He is a prick and will use any chance he can to have a go, name call critisise, accuse, torment me.

I cant ignore him or not let it get to me as this makes him worse. Its awful then he tells me hes changing his number so i cant pester him hmm

tribpot Tue 12-May-15 19:49:43

Can someone else monitor the email address you use for communication with him? Filter out all the snarky crap and pass on any relevant actual bits of information to you?

You say it's not easy to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but I assume you are not having daily contact with this man? Are you contacting him any more than the bare minimum?

Lillyludge Tue 12-May-15 20:29:44

Hi Where. I'm sorry you're having trouble too hmm

I do ignore most of the time but it still gets to me. I guess I should be tougher.

Hi Trib. He's very involved in our DCs lives so there are (almost) daily texts or emails about homework/after school/plans etc.

I don't feel I could ask anyone else to take that role.

I've insisted on no contact, unless its about DC. But now the criticisms and accusations are embedded in messages about the DC rather than directed straight at me.

Lillyludge Tue 12-May-15 20:32:38

I mean he'll contact me about our DC (or reply to me about them) and embed a criticism or accusation about me in there somewhere.

He's good to our DC. Doesn't criticise or accuse them.

pocketsaviour Tue 12-May-15 20:42:04

That's sneaky of him hmm

Confronting him would be pointless because it would be a reward for his behaviour. I wouldn't respond at all to any criticism in his message.

Would it help if when you got one of these, you could do some (hippy alert) visualisation about the message? So when you see his text come in, before reading it, picture a bubble of blue (or pink or your favourite colour) of light around you. The information will filter through the light shield, but the criticisms will bounce right off.

If that sounds a bit too "woo-woo", how about writing down the texts in a journal, writing the "translation", and then writing a succinct reply (that you won't ever send) - e.g. "God you're such a cock and I'm so glad I left you."

Also bear in mind that he only does this because you escaped him. He doesn't get to control and boss you around any more, he's reduced to sending bitchy, passive-aggressive texts instead. Pretty pathetic.

flowers

tribpot Tue 12-May-15 21:41:34

Does there really need to be daily communication? I'm guessing a lot of this is quite routine - Wednesday is trampolining or whatever. If there is a timetable (including which homework is due when) you don't need to communicate with him.

Ignoring the stupid shit is the best plan but you say you find it hard to ignore. Could you get a separate SIM/cheapy phone for him to use so at least you can prepare yourself before reading this bile, instead of it just popping up in the middle of your everyday life?

Lillyludge Wed 13-May-15 07:44:10

Pocket you've got it in a nutshell. He's still very angry and bitter, even years later, that I divorced him. It feels like it will never stop. I used to respond to his criticisms and try and defend myself, but I don't reply now. I only ever answer questions about the DC that need answering. Or let him know things about the DC that he needs to know.

I've been advised by professionals to keep a record of his messages with a view to getting the police involved if it ever turns really nasty...but he's an intelligent man and the comments are very subtle. Designed to hurt.

I know that I can't change his behaviour. I realise that the only thing I can do it change the way I deal with it. The visualisation sounds like a good idea. I do try and leave 24 hours before I respond to any message I need to, so maybe I could keep the message in the blue bubble wink

Trib yes in theory there isn't any need for so many messages, but the DCs school is rubbish at passing on information to both of us (and believe me there is a LOT of information that comes from that school!). So we've got into the habit of exchanging information regularly to make sure the other parent knows what is happening. I want the DC to know him as an 'equal parent' even though they spend slightly more of their time with me.

I could get another phone I guess, it might make things a bit easier.

AlternativeTentacles Wed 13-May-15 08:05:05

Of course they are designed to hurt, you got out!

I'd breezily say 'all these sly digs however just reinforce my current happiness - I thank god I got out every time you make them. Loving your work. smile I do think you need to move on though - holding these thoughts can't be good for your mental health sad'

flora717 Wed 13-May-15 09:17:39

At the bottom of every email for about 2 years to my ex I put a k. It meant, "kicked your ass out because I deserve better". Very immature of me but he had no clue, he was always one to reply to a previous message. So in the midst of all his digs there were these little k's reminding me I had taken back the power for my life.

SylvaniansAtEase Wed 13-May-15 09:36:13

He's a very stupid man, isn't he?

All his childish little digs... not nice, but ultimately - constant reminders of what a gigantic steaming bellend he is. And how much nicer your life is now. Without him. When all you have to do to not hear his carping voice any more is hit 'delete'.

You could email that to him, as suggested above. It would crush him and make him utterly FURIOUS with himself, though of course, all you'd get is abuse in return - the usual cover-up for his frustration and impotency.

Or you could start pointing out the glaring fact that all his snarky comments do is reinforce his inadequacy and the reasons why you left...

Him: 'Blah blah pickup at 6 if you can manage to do that given your bad timekeeping...'

You: 'Thanks for the info smile Hope you don't mind my mentioning it, but once again, you seem very preoccupied with me and getting a dig in! I do understand that you're still angry, but not sure that showing it so clearly is the best way to go? You just look as if you can't move on. Sorry to have to mention it and I do wish you all the best smile '

And similar, to every email:

'Thanks for the info smile Sorry to see that you still feel so upset by everything, hope you feel better soon.'

'Thanks for the info smile Sorry to see you are still brooding, had you thought of counselling? As ever, I do wish you all the best'

'Thanks for the info smile Did you look into counselling? It does sadden me to see you still so bitter and I really hope you can start to move on soon. All the best as ever smile '

'Thanks for the info smile Hope you feel more secure and positive in your life soon. All the best'

etc.

etc.

etc.

I give it a month before the nonsense starts calming down. And the best bit of this? If he starts on you in return to any of those emails, he simply proves what you are saying... and your email in return to the 'How dare you' only needs to be the email equivalent of the head tilt and 'Oh dear - I do seem to have touched a nerve. Let's not mention it again and I hope you feel better soon...'

Ah ha ha.

cestlavielife Wed 13-May-15 10:31:45

i think just "Thanks for the info smile" has the best effect. dont engage.

it is hugely annoying and frustrating i agree.

Aprilday Wed 13-May-15 10:51:12

This may sound a bit off the wall, but have you heard of a "Care Calendar "?
It was designed for people to go online, see what was scheduled for someone needing support in times of illness and volunteer cover they could manage.E.g . pickup kids from school when patient has a doctor's appointment, etc.Each person has an access password.There's an ongoing blog, you can post updates.
Separated spouse could use it to communicate regular events, one -offs, post flyers from the school and so on .The whole thing there in front of you.No need for an email each time.Access when calm and in the mood!
Google "Care Calendar" but I'm sure there will be others
It's just an idea.I'm embarrased now !

SolidGoldBrass Wed 13-May-15 10:55:28

Oh I do like the idea of all the 'Sorry you're so unhappy and struggling to move on, poor little loser booboo' replies. It will drive him absolutely fucking mad and there is no comeback he can possibly make without looking even more of a knob.

However, if there has ever been any violence, it might be best avoided.

Lillyludge Thu 14-May-15 06:50:37

Thanks for the advice everyone!

To be honest, sarcastic replies are not really my thing, and would probably make matters worse (from past experience).

I like the 'thanks for the information' reply though! I might try that.

I will also have a look at the care calendar. Although I don't think he'd look at it. He'd still text me or email me hmm (again from experience)

OliviaBenson Thu 14-May-15 07:06:07

The thing is, you could just put everything on the calendar and if he does still text, just reply 'it's on the calender' and keep repeating. He will hate it, because he is still using contact with you to beat you with and you are cutting off his reason for contacting you, but not your problem.

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