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Why shouldn't you slag of your stbxh?

(74 Posts)
deckthehallswithdesperation Thu 11-Jun-15 11:25:21

I'm too close to this to see & right now am very very upset. Can you explain to me why I mustn't say anything bad to my dds about their dad, my stbxh? I have finally broken free from a controlling, manipulative & abusive man with a severe case of narcissistic personality disorder and he is now utterly determined to break me. He's tried to make me & the dds homeless, cut off my £ for a time, emptied out our bank accounts, scared the living shit out of me & yesterday I found out he's almost certain to screw me down to an unbelievably low divorce settlement due to his clever planning 20/30 years ago. Stbxh is leaning heavily on my oldest dd & filling her head with poisonous bollocks that I'm supposed to have done, like 'rob him blind of all his property & money! & I just have to sit here & be boiled in his cauldron & say nothing negative? The kids have no idea just how badly he's behaving. Why am I not allowed to put them straight? If you can explain it it'll make it easier for me to swallow. I don't have the eyes/understanding & I need it. Thanks

ravenmum Thu 11-Jun-15 11:28:26

Because although he is happy to fuck the kids up for life, you are not.

Superexcited Thu 11-Jun-15 11:31:21

Because you are not an evil and manipulative person and don't want to upset your children. The children will grow up and figure out things for themselves and realise that their dad was a twat.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jun-15 11:32:11

Personally, I think it's okay to tell older kids the facts. I also think it is important for children to realise that certain kinds of behaviour is unacceptable. I would just try and keep the emotion out of it though.

ouryve Thu 11-Jun-15 11:32:42

There's a fine line to be trodden between being open and honest with your kids about why your relationship broke down and putting too much of the burden of the disagreement on their shoulders. There's a danger of things escalating into "well mum said..." "well dad said..." which, especially when dad is being free and easy with the distinction between fact and fiction, is a horrible strain.

I'd say that, if your kids are older teens, then open-ness is essential, but you still need to be sensitive about how you do that. Can you imagine how painful it is to find out from one parent or other that the other parent, someone you've loved forever, is a complete and utter twat?

mojo17 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:34:12

While it's advisable to slag him off you can however give then the facts.
Show them the figures that no you have not robbed him blind and his work does not bring that amount in etc.,
Tell you don't want to come between them and their dad but you are sure that they need yo know the facts.

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:34:15

Would a halfway stage be to say to dd (briskly, nannyishly) 'Nonsense, he's just cross. People say some silly things when they're cross. Now, shall we make some cakes?'

mojo17 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:34:30

Oops NOT advisable

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:35:00

Opps, realise I have no idea whether your DDs are tots or teenagers. Still, cake is generally a good thing.

FredaMayor Thu 11-Jun-15 11:35:31

Whilst there are no medals handed out to those who keep shtum, you could achieve lots without upsetting your DC by not talking to them about him at all. They'll get the message.

mrsdavidbowie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:37:37

Ex did this.
I stayed completely detached and factual...he did a good job of appearing bitter and unhinged to the kids like yours is.
Be the bigger person....give them facts and don't get emotional about him. Slag him off to friends or on here.

ouryve Thu 11-Jun-15 11:37:44

And if the kids are old enough to understand, it would be perfectly fine to point out to them that it's not money that you've been trying to get for yourself that he's objecting to, but the money that they need for clothes, food, the roof over their heads etc and that their father is wanting to pay as little towards that as he can get away with.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:39:24

You can tell them that he is not being honest with them and that they should pay no attention. But you can't tell them all your relationship details and problems and all his faults and errors. Just because he is failing in his parental duty it doesn't mean you have to as well, if anything you need to do more to protect them from it all.
Children don't need to be landed with their parents shit.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jun-15 11:40:28

Personally I think that many women seem to almost collude with their exes in normalising nasty behaviour. If your Dad is flawed, better to be aware of it, rather than grow up thinking crap behaviour from a man is okay.

Reginafalangie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:42:33

It is difficult and your ex is a knobjockey for doing what he is doing but please do not sink to his level as it will not benefit the children.

It does depend on the age of the children. If they are old enough to have some understanding then I would just explain that breakups are difficult and that your only concern is them and taking care of them. Don't get involved in the "he's done, I've done" as it will just confuse them and cause them stress.

As PP have said they will as they get older realise what kind of person he is and they will make their own judgements.
My partner is 42 and hasn't seen his father since he was 18 when he soon realised what lies his father told him and how he was the one who left their mother with nothing. He has an amazing relationship with his mum and states that not once did she pass any negative comments about his father even when she was made homeless and had to work 3 jobs. He said that made his childhood easier and happier and he has the greatest respect for her dignified silence. She has always put her children first.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jun-15 11:43:00

Actually my last comment sounds really sexist. Obviously the same applies to crap mothers.

iamadaftcoo Thu 11-Jun-15 11:43:20

I actually don't think there's anything wrong in telling your DCs the facts, as otherwise you are actually just colluding with him.

Like some PP have says, if they are old enough to handle the information it's better for them to be equipped with the facts.

I was, during my parent's divorce, and I'm glad of it. My mother never said anything gratuitously nasty, just the truth. The truth was pretty nasty, but she didn't embellish or make anything up (I know, I was there.)

00100001 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:43:22

Because - you may have stopped loving him but they haven't.

Dead Thu 11-Jun-15 11:44:25

I think that it is appropriate with older children to pre-prepare and rehearse a non emotional calm factual script of why the marriage broke down, what you believe are acceptable standards/values and how you are/were disappointed that your DH did not live up to them....this is repeated often/when needed and is not deviated from. I would not get drawn into debates etc.

You can criticise his behaviours rather than him IYSWIM. Keep it detached and in control if you want to keep you children secure and to remain credible. He will dig his own hole in time if he has not done so already.

Pass your script by MNers for a sense check...

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jun-15 11:45:21

See I really don't get the homeless martyr working three jobs thing. Sod the bloody dignified silences, I would not be teaching my kids that it's noble to put up and shut up.

00100001 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:47:23

also, if they says stuuf like "Dad says you are robbing him blind" you can tell them the truth, that you're not, but don't descend to telling them a fe w 'home truths'

You wouldn't encourage children to retaliate in such a away, for example, if their 7 year old friend said to them "Sophie says you hit her" you would (hopefully) encourage them to say something like "I didn't hit Sophie" - you wouldn't expect them to say "Is that so? She's a liar, and besides Sophie kicked Thomas the other day!"

hedgehogsdontbite Thu 11-Jun-15 11:47:28

I think it's ok to be honest but you have to be careful because you don't want your children to get caught in the crossfire. My exh was extremely abusive but I never said anything to DD unless she asked. If she asked I'd try to answer as honesty as I could and kept it brief and without bitterness. Now she's grown she can look back and see who was dignified and trying to do the right thing for her and who was the selfish, manipulative fuckwit.

iamadaftcoo Thu 11-Jun-15 11:47:41

Sod the bloody dignified silences, I would not be teaching my kids that it's noble to put up and shut up.

This. I saw my mother standing up for herself and I'm bloody glad I did.

Reginafalangie Thu 11-Jun-15 11:49:33

She had no option Tinkly she wasn't being a martyr she had to provide for her children and bitching about the ex to his sons would not have changed any of that and would have made the boys unhappy as they loved their father.

00100001 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:50:36

"This. I saw my mother standing up for herself and I'm bloody glad I did."

Yes, stand up for yourself, tell them that you didn't do anything of the sort etc, but don't go insulting anyone or slagging them off.

You don't like the fact you're being slagged off, so why is it OK to slag someone else off?

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