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When does it end?(26 Posts)
N/c for this, don't want it linked to my other posts.
Separated from ex around 5 years ago, aDC who was a year at the time. We were together 15 years ish.
Long story short: I was desperately unhappy and exhausted, bad at communicating and handled this badly. Had a short EA, ex suspected and did lots of snooping but didn't find anything conclusive. I then ended things with ex. Then slept with EA guy. I was a shit, basically. Ex found out and was devastated and furious.
Fast forward to now. We co parentrelatively well, but I still get - at least weekly - texts about how I should make it better, feel more shame, put it right etc. That I need to think of something to make up for what I did.
Largely, I ignore them. If I engage it just goes on and on. If I try and explain or be open it gets thrown back in my face.
I suppose my question is whether I do have a responsibility to provide him with closure? I don't know how, he seems to think I need to come up with something.
I feel guilty, anxious and it is seriously affecting my sleep as he often texts late evening.
I don't know how to make it stop.
From the way you write, the relationship is over. You come together for co-parenting duties. It works out best for children if you can work-together as parents. It sounds like he is still hurt and hoping to restart the relationship if you say 'sorry' enough times. I think you need to stop answering his texts and to set up an agreement about communication regarding the children. It is for his sake as much as yours, he shouldn't be kept hoping this can be fixed with kind words.
Don't explain yourself or offer further apologies as you are giving him further hope that your sorrow is an opportunity to rekindle the relationship. This seems to be making you very sad, and you are not going to move on with your life until you stop enabling him to make you feel bad by replying to his texts. If you give in and explain yourself, you are sending him a message that he has power over you and can hold you to account. He will be very upset if you meet another partner in the future if you carry on walking on egg-shells with him
It's been 5 years
I think he does want to hold me to account, I think he feels I have been allowed to get away "scot free". He's also desperately resentful that we have to co parent, that I have "stolen" his family.
I think you're right Scooby about not responding- I rarely do and have said I only want to communicate logistics. Which we do - but then he will slip an accusatory message in.
Bloody hell OP its been 5 years!!
To enable both of you to move on your communication via text must be only related to the kids and it should be short and concise. Do not respond to any other messages about anything else, do not engage in emotional subjects
He will soon get the message and you will get some peace.
By the way, guilt is a pointless emotion. Just forgive yourself and move forward.
You didn't sleep with the other guy until you'd split with ex, so he's no right to be angry about it, and you don't need to feel guilty about it.
Ignore any emotional shit completely. I'd be tempted to take action if he persists in sending late night guilt trippy texts - it is clearly affecting you and it is harrassment. There are laws against that.
Guilt is a big thing for him. It was when we were together. As are grudges.
Early on I suggested mediation but he refused.
Ignoring doesn't seem to work. He needs therapy, I think.
I'm sure he does need therapy but as you can't make him, and if ignoring doesn't work I would seriously investigate harassment legislation, and warn him that if he doesn't stop it you will take action against him for it.
I guess you would need to weigh up the damage that may do to your co-parenting relationship against the damage that this is doing to your mental health. Your mental health, stress levels and wellbeing are important to both you and your children.
5 years?! Why not just tell him to fuck off?
OK I get it, you need to communicate about your DS. Make your communication ONLY about your son. Don't respond to anything else.
Have you tried saying 'I was a shit. I am sorry' and not adding a 'but.. '
I wonder if you need t do some work about letting go of guilt as well? You say you were a shit. You had an emotional affair at the end of your relationship - that's not ideal but imo not something that is worthy of carrying guilt for for this long.
He isn't angry about the EA (I would hazard) but about you 'breaking up the family'. Personally I am of the view that you do children more harm than good by staying in a bad relationship (which I would categorise as one that either partner is unhappy in). So his anger does not need to equal your guilt. It's very easy as a woman to feel guilt - I think we're socialised to accept it, but we don't have to.
You are not a shit. Really.
sweets - yes, I've done that. At the start, I was completely unqualified in my apology.
Raisin I don't feel guilty for ending the relationship- not at all, I know that was right for me and my DC. I suppose I feel guilty for it ending the way I did, causing such a shitstorm. But you might be right, I could probs do with working that through a bit.
Thinking about it, what happens is we communicate about logistics, then he will perhaps begin to be a bit more relaxed and communicate about other stuff, I'll respond (because I'd really like to get to a point where it's just ok) then he will start with the shit. Or sometimes it's just randomly.
Sounds like you're in that position where you need to invoke Einstein - 'insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting a different outcome'. How many times have you been round the loop of 'things appear better : you open up a little : ex starts up again'? If it's many times, then it's time to stop letting him do it - truly.
I love that quote. Hadn't thought of applying it here.
It is many, many times Walk.
So what - I just grit my teeth, don't respond to anything except logistics and try and get myself to a point where it doesn't bother me?
Jeez, no wonder you had an affair! Yes, don't respond to anything except for logistics and ignore everything else. It's been 5 years and you don't have to answer to him ...That's the reason why you broke up with him, isn't it?
Well, if you'very done that there isn't much more you can do.
I have sympathy, I suppose, because I have been in his situation.
I think the best thing you can do is keep contact to only about the DC (and keep that logistical) as every time you respond to anything else it'll keep him obsessing over what has happened.
Crich - you make a good point.
Thank you for your view, Sweets - I think one of the issues is that I also have a lot of sympathy for him. I guess that's why sometimes I respond to messages not about the DC.
He tends to ramp up the heat by bringing the DC into it "how will DC feel when they know what you did", "you have made DCs life worse" etc I find that hard to not respond to.
I agree with everyone else who says you have to disengage from all this guilt-tripping he's doing on you.
Next time he accuses you of anything tell him you're sorry you hurt him but you didn't sleep with anyone else until your marriage was over, and he has no right to be angry with you for this; then tell him you're not going to talk to him about this again, as it's been five years and it's time for you both to move on and this isn't helping; and that you want him to stop bringing it all up. When he then brings it up again, ignore him and ignore him and if he issues any threats at all--and I include threats to involve your child--take advice about how to legally stop his harassment of you.
He's using your child as a threat. That's a clear sign of him being a bastard. I'm so sorry you're being treated this way.
He is using "how will the children feel" as a projection. What he means is "I feel"
Ignore anything not kid logistics related. Honestly it's the only way.
He sounds really PA and not surprised you left xx
I would say:
I left because I was desperately unhappy and had come to realise that we are fundamentally compatible. Your constant badgering of me on this subject only confirms that I was right. This is my last word on the subject, it is time to move on. Please do not mention this to me again. If you want to talk about it, I suggest you talk to your friends or a counselor.
Ok. So I think that's a consensus.
How do I stop it bothering me - I can't not read them, especially if DC with him, in case it's important- particularly as he will do a version of the shit sandwich "DC related/YOu ARE A BITCH/DC related" - so how do I train myself to stop giving a shit?
try laughing at the messages - he's being ridiculous, so treat the messages as a joke - and never engage with him on the subject
He really has no right to be sending these messages and be threatening to talk to the children about your break up, telling them you did anything - factually you did not.
Would you consider harassment action? Because harassment is legally defined as repeated actions that cause alarm or distress. These messages clearly distress you. If it were me, next time he sends anything like that I would respond with something along the lines of:
'I have asked you to stop sending me messages about our break up but you continue to do so. I am asking you one last time to stop sending any message that contains anything other than organisational necessities relating to our children. Your messages cause me distress and making me feel harassed, I want to move on with my life. If you continue to ignore my wishes I will have no choice but to pursue action to prevent you from harassing me further. I would rather avoid this.'
Then if he carries on send a solicitors letter. It would send a definite message that you will no longer entertain his shit. You say you feel sorry for him, but honestly I don't think you're doing his any favours in not letting him know in no uncertain terms that you have moved on and will not ever be able to give him whatever it is he wants.
I have no idea if what he is doing even counts as harassment- my main priority is maintaining an amicable situation for DC. To give ex credit he is always polite to me at handover, in front of DC.
I suppose I'm nervous about being too bolshy in case it causes an escalation- I suppose I have thought that it would stop "eventually"
raisins - I also have no actual idea what it is he wants me to do. He won't tell me.
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