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Did I do the wrong thing in raising this when I did? Or is he being a dick?(82 Posts)
Hi all. Technically speaking, this should be in AIBU I guess, but not sure I'm up to posting on there today!
My eldest turns 16 later in the summer. She is a lovely girl, with a good heart, but we have been having one or two issues with her, on an emotional level. She strikes me as being a bit lonely and vulnerable at times (she can find friendships difficult at times) but we are very close and I am here for her always.
Ex husband and I split about 4 years ago, and I am the resident parent. They left at the beginning of the week for a 2 week holiday with him. He can be fairly difficult to deal with, and despite the marriage breaking down because of his infidelity, has rebuffed my attempts to make things amicable for the sake of our children. I am not a mug though, and have pretty much stopped trying.
He is a very high earner, and has the unwavering arrogance of someone in control. Anyway, the day after they left, I was clearing the rubbish out of my daughter's handbag, which she had said I could borrow in her absence.
Inside, I found a Monogram money transfer, for £40 in cash, sent to a guy in Cameroon. This was sent by my daughter, from the post office. I got worried, as apart from the foolhardiness of it, our address and phone number were on the form ... as well as her full name.
I emailed my ex on the holiday, to explain what I had just discovered. I asked him to have a gentle (he can be reactive) chat with her about the stupidity and danger of getting involved with scams like that, and asked hm to please ascertain how she came to be in touch with this man in the first place. A wee word is all it would have taken, and then they could get on with enjoying their holiday. I felt it would be best to raise it as soon as the issue came up.
Here was his response:
Not sure why this is coming through to me on holiday, with tips and advice along with confirmation you are speaking to her on her return. While I am away hopefully the legals will be finalised and then we can proceed quickly with the divorce. Thank you.
I am so angry with myself for expecting a sensible, non passive-aggressive response. I should have known by now that it was never going to happen. And for still allowing him to make me feel like shit.
I don't see why it couldn't have waited for you to deal with when she comes back. It's not an urgent matter, they're on holiday and you know he is difficult. If you don't want him to keep making you feel like shit, stop giving him easy opportunities on a plate, which is what you did in this case.
I would have waited until she was back from holiday so that you could deal with it in a sensitive way. I don't understand why you passed it to your ex, knowing he wouldn't handle it as well as you.
He's being a dick. No question about it. You did the right thing.
My XH was like this. Remember, if he upsets you, he's won.
I would message back with "Proceeding at a mutually beneficial speed would suit me too. Regards".
That is such a arsehole response! I'm angry for you!!!
I would send back something like this:
"I'm not sure why the divorce has got anything to do with this. I'm quite shocked and disappointed at your lack of concern for our daughter and your rude message to me. I was merely concerned for our daughter and I think this is a serious issue that needs addressing immediately and in person, face-to-face with our daughter, holiday or no holiday! Don't worry then, I'll just deal with it all when she gets back, hopefully she won't have spent all the money she has on some scam in the meantime. Enjoy your holiday!"
Tend to agree with herOtherhalf - leave it until she comes back, especially since he has form for being a bit reactive.
Thanks for your views. See, I'm not sure why he shouldn't be expected to step up and have a word with her, in an emotionally intelligent way, and then reply to me accordingly.
I can see that I ought to have left it, but he's the parent too, and the one who is in charge for the next 2 weeks.
But - why couldn't you have text her? Or via skype?
You know he's difficult and he's on holiday playing Disney dad - there's no way he would 'parent' a child
Your were a fool to even ask -
Don't worry they will see through him!!
OK, I belive that you think he's a dick. Maybe he is, you know best. However, really this could have waited until they were home don't you think?
He is a twat. But you knew that, hence the divorce!
I think that has pretty much been established RebornSlippy
Dieu, he's away on holiday being a Disney dad. He won't want to do any heavy lifting or emotional support. Quite probably he won't want to do that ever.
Our (teenage) DD became very angry after XH and I divorced and took it all out on me because she knew I wouldn't walk away, like he had done. He wasn't interested at all in supporting her, encouraging her to go for counselling etc. He was just pleased she was making my life hell.
What a dick.
I think it's a big deal and my parents would have handled it very differently (ie the way you did, immediately informing the other parent and taking action). They always presented a united front when it came to my sibling and I.
However, he has made it very clear that he's not interested in co-parenting with you so that's that. Nothing else you can do.
At least you know now 100% where you stand, you can do things on your own and stop giving him the chance to kick you in the teeth.
No, I wouldn't have left it either, op . You're both her parents, there was an issue (which would have really alarmed me, actually) and there should have been no reason you had to wait two weeks to approach with her if he was there on the spot.
I agree with starlighter but the best thing to do is simply not to reply. Let him have the last word. Then he won't know what you're thinking and he can believe he has 'won', whatever that means to him.
Thanks chups ... and to everyone else who sided with me .
Nah, I genuinely find all perspectives really helpful, and am grateful to everyone for replying.
Knowing he can be awkward and reactive I wouldn't have messaged him at all.
I would have waited till they got back and spoken to her myself about it to be honest but either way his response is typical arrogant bullish year man and a great reminder as to why you are divorcing.
I would reply acknowledging the quick divorce comment and say brilliant thank god itl soon be over. Enjoy your holiday
I think it's a hard one.
On the one hand he is obviously her parent as much as you are. On the other, a holiday probably wouldn't have been the best time to discuss it.
The "helpful tips" well, you obviously got his back up giving instructions on how to handle the situation.
You either want a co-parent or you don't! You shouldn't expect him to step up, but only if he takes the steps you hand him.
I'd be tempted to reply "It came through to you because you are her parent and I thought you might be able to step up to the responsibilities involved. Obviously I was mistaken, so leave it with me."
Thank you, and I know you're right.
Between us, even my own mother thought I had done the wrong thing by telling him but by then it was done, and I guess I had panicked a bit.
Had the roles been reversed, I would have said thanks for bringing it to my attention, that I would speak to her, and report back.
It can be very draining being the reasonable one. The poster who said I should accept how he is, and that I'm on my own with the heavy stuff, was bang on the money.
In the ideal world, not how it should be, and we would co-parent amicably and with a united front.
I need to stop holding out for better, as it's never going to happen. Acceptance is key.
Ignore posters saying "but you knew he was crap so why bother" blah blah blah.
Tell him that as far as you were aware he was getting divorced from you, not from being a parent!
As someone else said, he just cannot be arsed with the hard work of being a parent - especially when on "holiday". Cos yeah, he's fully entitled to check out of life for 2 weeks. Diddums.
You did absolutely the right thing & actually talking about that type of stuff on holiday can actually be best (neutral ground, away from usual everyday stresses).
And yup, it needs addressing urgently. God knows what your daughter could be getting herself into
His response was dickish however I would have waited until your daughters return to discuss it directly with her, particularly as you know he can be "reactive".
He may have felt you were essentially pushing him into a discussion with your daughter that might lead to upset and argument which he felt unfair while on hols?
No excusing his tone though - he's a tool.
Madmags I didn't give him tips on how to deal with it, just asked him to have a gentle word, as otherwise she'd clam up.
I know what he can be like, and being told what to do (or rather how to do it) would infuriate him. So that's the last thing I'd do with him!
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