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Co-parent with a bully

(22 Posts)
JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 17:53:49

How is it possible to Co-parent with a bully?? After months of separation I thought it would get easier but it really hasn't. Today's example - my LO one is 19 months and started to get lazy with feeding himself going back to using hands. Ex tells me he uses the aeroplane method!! I ask him not too as LO is well passed that stage and if he won't feed himself properly to put the food on the fork for LO to then do the rest. Apparently I am treating him like a 16 year old and not a baby that needs to have fun! Like FFS. Another instance has refused to take LO to his dance class during his contact (the time has now increased so fits in with it) because he didn't like something I said and that I shouldn't benefit from him taking LO to the class, so he would rather him miss 2 out 4. Feel like I have to treat on eggshells all the time yet he can do, say whatever and then threaten me with court again if I don't toe the line.

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 17:58:07

You can't change their behaviour so you have to change how you react to it
- communicate as little as possible (there is really no need to debate feeding methods; just each do it how you choose)
- arrange classes etc so they aren't at times when he might have them. I know that's shit and I hate that mine miss out on some activities I would like them to do because my ex can't be bothered to take them, but accepting that rather than trying to fight it takes away his "control".

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:00:09

Also, my ex is always threatening court; but I am now realising they are empty threats by a man who wants to control. He threatens it over the most trivial things.
Keep good records; record when there are handovers. And most importantly minimise contact between each other and try and ensure all discussions (and therefore all threats) are by email/ text (and save them!).

category12 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:01:19

I think probably stop trying to get him to parent the way you do and reduce your interactions. Be boring and don't engage with him.

Sure it would be nice if you were on the same page about things, but unless he's a threat to the child in some way, it'll just have to be your way at mummy's house and dad's way at his. It's just giving fuel to ways to cause you distress otherwise. Don't get it into it. There's a technique called 'gray rock' you might want to think about using on him.

And don't be cowed by threats to go to court, as long as you're abiding by whatever agreement is in place, he doesn't have a case.

Adora10 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:01:20

Agree with above, no point in trying to educate an idiot, you will have to let him do it his way when with LO, hard I know.

Keep your distance as much as possible, do not engage apart from when necessary or else you will drive yourself demented at his inadequacies.

I was lucky, I got to raise my LO on my own so I had all the say and she turned out amazing if I say so myself.........can't imagine co parenting with an unreasonable bully.

horrayforharoldlloyd Tue 10-Jan-17 18:05:14

What @throwingpebbles says is spot on. It is exhausting otherwise. You cant co-parent with a bully; you need to parallel parent.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 18:14:07

What is gray rock? We don't speak at all unless in a book. We don't even look at each other during drop off/collection.
It's not possible for LO to do activities during the week that I can be fully involved with cause I work full time so weekends are our only chance. Get no child support so I have too. Appreciate this changes when he gets older.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 18:15:47

Whilst I'm not trying to tell him how to be a parent though he needs a lot of help, after contact it's a lot harder for me in terms of behaviour and regressing into things he can do but refuses too like he wants to be fed and not do this himself.
I need to let go and not be angry but find it so hard.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 18:17:10

I had 6 months of no contact and him not seeing my son (his choice as he rejected all contact offered) and it was bliss. Well aside from the stress of court for the following 6 months.

category12 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:19:51

Well you must be conversing to some extent to know what feeding techniques he's using? Gray rock is just being very boring and giving the other person nothing to feed on/react to. You can read about it online - it's under scary titles like dealing with a psychopath or narcissist, but the principle is the same for anyone trying to manipulate or bully you, really, imo.

You should be getting child support - go to the CSM.

Pixieb34 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:23:31

You can't coparent with someone who goes out of their way to counter parent. My ex is a bully and a narc. We've been divorced for 6 years and he still tries to control everything, me and my dc.

Went to court loads of times (he's a solicitor), in the first 3 years but I won't play his stupid games anymore now.
I ignore as much as I can, I keep records of correspondence, only contact is through his work email and I try not to rise to his threats and bully boy tactics. I have contact with boys school regularly and have contact with social services when needed, just to keep a record of his behaviour.
None of it is easy, especially when it affects my dc, but keeping that distance and not giving him any fuel is the best way to keep my sanity!!!

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 18:24:50

We communicate via a book that's handed over during contact.
Don't even get me started on CMS, been a bloody nightmare with them for a year now. He gets letter and letter and nothing changes. Even his employers get chance after chance to reply and they still don't.

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:32:13

Of course, in an ideal world, parents would discuss best ways of caring for their children. I wish beyond anything I could do this. But sometimes you have to make your
peace with the fact it's not going to work. It only takes one unreasonable person to make this impossible.

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:33:32

Classes - you might just have to accept your son will only go alternative weeks. The more you push the point the more of a kick he will get out of refusing.

My ex won't do any clubs either and I feel a bit sad for my children but all I can do is make up for it when he is with me.

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:34:25

And sorry to hear about CMS, there are a bit ineffectual ime.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 18:45:35

It's sad as it's only the kids that suffer!

DollyPS Tue 10-Jan-17 18:49:25

His work can be fined if they don't sort out the CM or they used too.

Is this supervised contact hence the book?

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:53:05

Totally agree JM

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 18:57:35

Have you done the relate course? I agreed to do it so court would order my ex to, and I think it is a good idea.

throwingpebbles Tue 10-Jan-17 19:00:59

This book is great! It has really helped me manage how I deal with trying to parent children who's dad is a controlling bully. it's helped me understand my own mind better, and his, and to understand why advice like "not feeding not the bully" is so good.

I saw a psychologist in the early stages of our split and she described my attempts to reason with him as like "prodding an angry bear". once you make peace with the fact they just aren't people you can reason with then you can change the way you deal with them.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 19:06:46

Contact was supervised at a contact centre at first but now outside in the community.
Though he lies about where and who he lives with.

JMKid Tue 10-Jan-17 19:08:28

No I havnt done any courses, maybe I need to so can learn to let go of anger and accept the situation. Goes to overnight soon and God knows what state I'll be in then.

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