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ex is driving me to tears

(60 Posts)
happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 16:42:31

apologise if this is worded all over the place, will try and make sense of the stress in my head. bear with..

split up with ex 10yrs ago we have 2ds, he has been a constant niggle. tries to control me in where he thinks its ok to need to know my business. I suffer with mental health and anxiety, so too much stress or confrontation will lead to triggers of self harm, suicidal thoughts so ive shut up and put up.

he calls me up insisting that I spend time/talk with ds2 (12) as he claims he feels alone, neglected. ds2 is hard work doesn't want to sit downstairs, happy to sit in his room. when dd (6) goes to talk to ds2 he will immediately say 'shut up and go away!' cutting her off. when I talk to him he walks past or just stares at me. not listening either way.

last night ex called to ask why dd (not his child) had taunted ds2 about our dog. ddog is being looked after due to my mental health taking a dive in oct and I wasn't coping. (will be coming back)
ds2 had called to tell ex about this then ex called me saying he wanted to get my side before he flipped?!! flipped? at a 6yrold?? felt like screaming down the phone to piss off and that id dealt with it.

I went to bed around 10.45pm. I was lying in bed (crying as with most nights) when ds2 phone rang at 11pm, he answered it then went downstairs and opened front door. it was ex giving him some money for food after school! if I didn't have tears streaming down my face and some underwear on I would come down stairs to ask what the hell ex is playing at. when ds2 came back up told him im not happy with all the going behind my back. its making me feel like a shit mum, maybe I am cos I aint got a single healthy brain cell at the moment. I don't know if im coming or going some days. sad

ex lives about 10min walk away and does this a lot. ds2 will ask for something he doesn't need, hasn't been behaving to earn it or I just don't have money for it. so will moan to ex and he will just turn up at the door. I feel like moving miles away just to get away from the arse, but he comes to have dss every fortnight so theres no escape.
I feel like im drowning and cant get away from my past and move on.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 16:57:06

sorry its long but it would have been drip fed if any shorter.

another time in November ds2 deliberately spilt water over ds1 GCSE art book and told ds1 to deal with it, clearly ds1 was fuming and it took ages to get the situation under control with ds2 throwing things at ds1 to sell to pay for a new book.
then later that night I can hear ds2 complaining to EX about ds1 and me having to tell him off. id sorted it but felt like 'whats the point?' they started arguing again whilst on the phone. I felt like running out the door.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 19:51:14

do people just see my name and think ugh misery again. next. sad

redexpat Tue 17-Jan-17 20:16:42

No, but I dont quite follow all your posts.

I think if communication is difficult then you should give ex an email address and tell him that all communication is to be to that email address. Then block his number. It takes more effort to write an arsey email than to be a goady prick on the phone.

The dc have learned that you are not on the same page and are playing it to their advantage. Im not sure how you can get back on the same page as him. Do you feel that his concerns are genuine? Does he have a point about ds being lonely? Was he EA or do you think mediation might help?

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 20:47:29

sorry I didn't think it would come out making any sense.

I cant stand ex, he has been around me since I was 18, spent 8 unhappy years putting up with his arsey behaviour and further 10 sticking his nose in my business.
I don't go out y way to contact him, the less I see and hear of him the better, ds talks to him through wassap or something? then he calls me complaining about how im bringing up ds basically.

ds is more than welcome to sit in the living room or talk to me or his siblings but chooses to be rude and don't like it when I remind him where his manners have gone, sulks off to his room.
this evening for example, dd was playing on bottom step of stairs lining up small toys (doll figures) I asked for ds in his room to put his rubbish down to the bin, as he passed dd he purposely disrupted her toys, then dd whinged, he picked one of the toys above her head and let it go. there was no need. I see it all and told him Its not on. BUT he will relay that to his dad as dd was in the way and its always him getting in trouble.

im not sure if you can class it as EA, he had control of money and always turned things around and made me feel everything is my fault? likes to think he controls me, prob does.
I ask him once to have ds while I help my friend paint said I need to leave at 11am wont be back til 7.30, said ok. but that morning he didn't turn up til midday then that evening called me told me he is dropping ds back at 6:30pm. I cant plan my day when he has the ds he just turns up when he feels fit, ive asked to have set times but he's not interested. says if he's working or busy he will get here when he does.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 20:59:56

to put it correctly, I asked my other friend if she could watch ds2 whilst I help a friend decorate, she couldn't so I told ds2 he will have to come with me.
ds2 contacted ex and told him he doesn't want to and can he have him. ex called me to insist he will have him, so I ASKED him to pick him up at 11am etc.

Livelovebehappy Tue 17-Jan-17 21:11:41

It shouldn't be like this OP this many years on from when you split up. He seems to still have a large input into your life. I just would tell him not to come to the house and only communicate with the DC. They're old enough to make arrangements to see him themselves without your involvement. You shouldn't have to be in contact with him at all, but it will need lots of strength and determination on your part to get it through to him you do not want to speak to him or see him. You've been apart 10 years now, so should have moved on. Once you have no contact with him, it will make it easier to control your son as he will see there is nothing to be gained from playing you off against each other.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 21:30:55

I have said it before not to bring stuff to the house because what ever ive said no to its from bad behaviour, he just says they're my boys sad
ive also mentioned they can walk round to his house (well mates as he rents a room) its only 10mins, he said no he will collected them cos he is not always home.

ive got no strength, im emotionally drained from mental health. any one else would of hit the roof if their ex was calling ds and turning up un-announced at 11pm.

ds asked to live with ex in the summer last year, I told ex about this and he wanted me to sign the ds's over asap. I said no cos he has no where to have them, as I say he is in a room at a mates house. still waiting for him to sort his housing out. he even told me to give him my place and me and dd move out to not disrupt their school!!

HappyJanuary Tue 17-Jan-17 21:50:40

It sounds like there's loads more to it, but from what I've read here I'm loathe to come down on the opinion of him being a dick.

He's tried to tell you that ds is feeling lonely and neglected, given ds some money for food and arranged to have ds one day so that he didn't have to spend the day watching you decorate.

On the face of it, he's a concerned father and I can't see why you'd object to any of those things. I wouldn't. Perhaps he is being very vigilant because of your mh issues. Perhaps you are over sensitive because of your mh issues. I don't know. But if you're struggling to think straight and spending a lot of time crying, is it possible ds is turning to his dad for support more than usual?

You sound like a good mum that's doing her best. I hope I don't sound unkind. You obviously need to get well, and need support too but it's hard to unpick your story because I lived with mh issues as a child and it can be miserable.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 22:23:48

this is a lonely family, its just me and 3dcs. we don't have any one else.
unless some one is a fly on the wall here they cant get the whole story.

Ive had MH issues since childhood, never was good with talking, relationships, making friends etc. was diagnosed with eupd around 6yrs ago.

im not the most talkative of people but don't send dc off to sit on their own. when I try to talk to ds he just doesn't want to know. he didn't even ask me for money after school, he just assumed I would say no sad even still ex shouldnt turn up at my house at 11pm. or be calling ds at that time of night, ive been battling to get ds to get to sleep and turn his gadgets of. ex tells me I shouldn't let him have them after bed time - yet he is calling him at 11 pm?

with the decorating day, im not ungrateful him having ds, i just didn't like to be told what im doing and what time i should be home. he was told the time, agreed to it then went against it. there is a lot more to it yes. i could write pages.

need to correct we were together 7yrs not 8 and will be 10yrs this yr separated. no one will believe me that he was hardly home, too busy living bachelor life with his friends while i bought up the ds's.

ex doesn't need to be concerned, dcs are kept clean and fed, house is immaculate. kids have gadgets and toys don't go without. yes im not good at emotions and i understand how it feels from my own mother. but dc's aren't neglected. we don't know many people so dcs do get lonely. ex don't know many people either so may be in same position when they live with him? but he does have more mental energy to deal with them. i do think that ds's will have a better life with ex, but it feels he is more interested in making my life hell.

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 17-Jan-17 22:39:28

January but thats the problem the OP has....on the face of it he is just a concerned father doing it what he can for his kids. Except that he does it in such a way that it wrong foots the OP every single time.

Picking up later than agreed, dropping off earlier than agreed, undermining the OP each time her son is cheeky or deliberately badly behaved (which incidentally is probably why the son does it as he knows that dad will always back him up), getting involved in her daily life that is nothing to do with him (the dog issue) ,....... its all about control and keeping the OP on her toes. And it works, you have fallen for it!

The end result is that the OP is still no more free of him than she was 10 years ago, the son is being taught the bad behaviour is rewarded and the ex still thinks he has the right to do as he pleases.

OP, I suggest that if the late picking up is a regular thing then you warn him that if he isnt there when he says he will be then you will continue with your day as planned, taking the boys with you. Take them out for the day, go shopping whatever and when you get the nasty phone call tell him that he can pick them up when you get back.

I would ask your sons school about help with family counselling to help deal with how DS2 is behaving.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 23:28:39

on the decorating day I didn't say what friend I was going to, ex doesn't know this friend. on the way there ex texts "what time are you back from friends name ?" he knew what time, he just wanted to let me know he KNEW who I was with and that it would piss me off.

he called a further 2 times during the day, one to asked what time ds1 was home from a party, he wasn't calling with concern for ds1 because id told him id be back before ds1 was home from the party. its purely to keep tabs on me. or am I not seeing this right? my friend I was with said its like we've never separated.

ds hit a child in the face with a plastic pellet gun in our communal garden (I had told him not to take it out there ) I have to deal with the furious mum and took the gun away from ds. the following week ds's come back from day with ex - ds has another pellet gun ex had got him.
there are many more occasion of same thing

ex doesn't set times to pick up or drop off, and I wont bow down and call him to ask where he is as he will think he is delaying my day when in fact ive got nothing to do, its the ds's who are sitting around waiting for him.

one Saturday ( was with dds dad at the time) we had planned to take dd to see her family once ds's had gone out for the day. I had to call at near 1pm to see where ex was - he said bluntly im busy with gf will pick up later, still waiting at 4pm I called to say we are going out he said don't worry its too late to pick up dss anyway!

last month ds forgot his travel card when they left around 11:30am, called me 5mins later to ask if I was going out so they could come back to collect it. I mentioned I was going to get some food shopping shortly and to send ds back to get it (10mins away) he said no they will get it when hes had a shower wash etc.
he didn't call till 2pm and i refused to call him to see how long he is gonna be because that's what he wants, right?

we had weekly meetings with my psychologist at the time, both primary and secondary support worker. they spoke to ds's about life at home and they said they don't have a problem with home life, i mentioned when i went into foster care i would have said same thing to not hurt my mothers feelings... but they decided there was nothing wrong and cancelled the meeting. adding they don't know how i managed to stay with ex for so long they found him controlling and obnoxious, to say the least.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 23:41:14

i could go on ive got yrs worth of the same shit.

he is a pro at reverse psychology - knowing my mind isn't that strong. which leaves me doubting myself in anything i do regarding parenting. i have no self confidence or self esteem as it is.

ive tried to put rules in place that would suit both of us but he doesn't want to listen.

happyfrown Tue 17-Jan-17 23:45:32

i just wanted someone to talk to. other than my 2 friends who are busy with own troubles, i have no one and needed to vent. sad

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 17-Jan-17 23:48:37

Why not start small? Dont answer the phone when he calls.

Arrange something with older DS that he texts you if there is a genuine emergency, say a code phrase like "I forgot my homework" or something, so that when ex rings you dont need to answer just in case.

When he questions you, you simply say that you were busy and had your phone on silent. If he texts with stupid questions (like the painting/party one) dont bother answering. When questioned "Did you text? I didnt realise, it doesnt matter anyway does it because you knew I would be home by then" (or whatever).

Dont try and do everything at once, just focus on that for now.

Cricrichan Tue 17-Jan-17 23:57:52

Happyfrown that sounds awful. It sounds as if he does everything to get one better on you and make your life difficult.

Next time he turns up late, leave with the kids. If he complains, then tell him to be on time. Also, if you're out and he decides he wants to drop the kids off early then don't come back early.

Don't answer his calls or nit picking about what's going on in your life. Do not open your door to him unless it's been arranged.

I'm short, don't let him rule and control you. Have set times that he has the boys and that's it.

Cricrichan Tue 17-Jan-17 23:58:37

And it might be worth talking to women's aid.

porridgestirrer Wed 18-Jan-17 00:01:04

Sorry to say it but he sounds highly controlling and emotionally abusive to me. No wonder you feel worn out. He disrespects boundaries and constantly undermines you. He clearly uses your MH as a means to further undermine you and make you doubt yourself. I would keep all contact to a minimum, about children only and via email.

happyfrown Wed 18-Jan-17 00:01:19

i used to let ds's answer the phone when he was calling before HE bought them phones because i wasn't answering.
ive ignored the phone before and ds has come to me with his phone or tablet saying dad wants to talk to you.
he calls now because i stopped replying to arsey texts messages and when that fails he just comes round sad

i will get flamed for this, but in a way im looking forward to them living with him because then i will at least be free of him controlling me through the kids sad crying just typing that cos i feel terrible but no one will understand how he makes me feel.

when ive tried to be assertive - which is hard for me, he gets angry and is quite intimidating. ive been trying to get away from him but having kids seems likes he will be in my face forever. i was even considering cutting contact completely when he sorts out his housing but i don't want that. and guilt tore me apart that it had even come to my mind.

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 18-Jan-17 00:06:27

ive ignored the phone before and ds has come to me with his phone or tablet saying dad wants to talk to you.
"Tell Dad I am busy and to text me if its important"

he calls now because i stopped replying to arsey texts messages and when that fails he just comes round
Chain on the door "What do you want? I am busy"

Is there any way that you can move?

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 18-Jan-17 00:07:28

I can understand why you feel that you just want to walk away, it must be horrendous.

I second a call to Womens Aid, they can really help you.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 18-Jan-17 00:07:31

I would be asking him the question why given you split 10years ago he hasn't moved on with his life as he must be heading towards 40 yet still has not moved out of friends bedroom.

Instead of getting overly involved with things that don't concern him why doesn't he move his own life on.

Have you tried not engaging with him. It is after all none of his business.
As for him giving your ds money I would be telling ds that you need to hand the money back as ex is obviously is in dire need of the money given he cant afford to get his own flat and has to live off the charity of his friends by bunking in friends spare bedroom

happyfrown Wed 18-Jan-17 00:08:25

sorry corss posted

cricrichan ds opens the door to him, when he has bought the phone to me and ive shook my head and hand gestured i don't want to talk, ds looked uneasy and i felt bad it made him feel awkward standing there not knowing what to say. so i take the phone and answer.

ive boiled over at times and think right this week im going to tell him straight, but i buckle when he is actually here and i just stay in another room.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 18-Jan-17 00:16:40

I would start acting really cool and business like. Keep repeating phrases like "it doesn't concern you" " everything is in hand" "no need to get involved"
He wants you to explode and tell him straight it gives him more fuel that you are losing control.

Just seen your update

He should not be in your home.

happyfrown Wed 18-Jan-17 00:24:00

pyong i want to move away so its not as easy for him to just walk round the corner and would think again about getting bus to linger.
another issue is ds1 has his exams next year and i cant move far for school distance. where i live isn't somewhere i can exchange easily.
lastly dd is bad travel sick so i don't want to move so far that she has to endure a car journey when her dd picks her up. im not making excuses im thinking of the dcs.

thankyou for the ideas of what to say regarding the calls, i will keep it in mind. i don't have a door chain but if i did open it ajar and not let him have his way he is the type to make a big thing and possibly push door open.

oliver my friends say the same thing about living in his friends house, they say why would he make life hard for himself paying bills when he has life of riley at his mates. which is probably true.
ive tried to ignore him as much as possible. the money thing and door knocking at 11pm just really done me now. ive got no fight left in me, i broke up with dds dad in oct and haven't had time to come to terms with anything.

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