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What to do about this constant badmouthing....

(7 Posts)
mirramirra Fri 07-Oct-11 10:19:22

Thisisn't strictly a step-parenting query, but it is along those lines and I know this is probably the best place to post.

I have suffered for years from verbal abuse and rude comments from my DHs ex, and I am just wondering what the best way is to deal with it.

Both my husband and I have tried talking to her, ignoring it, sending a solicitors letter, having a go at her blush, but absolutely nothing seems to work.

She seems adamant to drive a wedge between my husband and I, saying that I am manipulative, that I don't care about their daughter and that I deliberately change plans to exclude her etc. Also that I am evil, fat, unhappy and that I have a sad life. These are fairly new accusations. Up until a few weeks ago, I was being accused of buying things to win dd over, spoiling her and trying to take her away from her mum confused.

Anyway, none of these things are true (except maybe the fat bit grin), and I just wish she would give it a rest for my husbands sake, as he is the one who receives the majority of the text messages.

They are on an almost daily basis, and sometimes he gets about 10 texts in a row. He also gets a lot of verbal abuse directed towards himself.

Can anyone tell me what the best way is to deal with this? To be honest, what's being said doesn't bother me, it's just the fact that it is so continual.

I'm also very concerned for DSD as she has had a sudden change of heart towards me and despite carrying on as normal with her, she seems as if she has just switched off any feelings towards me sad, and we used to be very close.

FWIW I met my DH a few years after his ex left him, so I had nothing to do with them splitting up, and I genuinely can't think of any reason why she has these negative feelings towards me.

PegsOnTheLine Fri 07-Oct-11 11:29:00

Hi Mirra, sorry you are in this situation and very sad about it influencing your DSDs feelings about you.

I think, because I have been there, that you must try and ignore them. If your DSD mentions it just reply: she is entitled to her opinions doesn't mean that she is right - and just leave it at that.

I find its a way of controlling a situation over which she has no control, so she is poisoning your life by doing that. It is clear that she is insecure about her own life and self so she is projecting it all on you and your DH. If she gets a kick out of annoying you then just don't give her the satisfaction, ignore & detach. Focus on making your home life a happy one.

Also, maybe get another phone, keep the one the Ex is texting on for DSDs communications and turn it off at night. Never reply to abusive texts. Ignore them.

I would advise to keep/save/print any form of abusive texts, messages just incase it is needed. The woman has issues clearly but if you stop reacting to her attacks she might eventually give up.

Keep posting and hope it gets better soon.

ladydeedy Fri 07-Oct-11 12:25:25

Like Pegsontheline and you, I have been there and agree with everything that;s been said. She is trying to influence your life and exercise some control. Dont allow it to happen, however hard it is (and I know it is, especially when what they say is untrue and you really want to put them straight!!).
If you respond or react in any way though it simply fuels the fire. Often ex will follow up by saying, did you get my text about [insert latest topic of discontent here], he just ignores that too.... it drives her up the wall but gets the message across that HE DOESNT CARE WHAT SHE THINKS ABOUT ANYTHING or anyone for that matter.
I would also suggest, as a last resort, if it is of a scale that amounts to harrassment (several abusive texts in a row suggests that it could be), that the police can give her a warning and this could be very effective in getting her to finally shut up.
Good luck!!

incognitofornow Fri 07-Oct-11 13:05:36

Message withdrawn

mirramirra Sat 08-Oct-11 09:21:55

Aw thank you for your replies smile.

We have tried the "not reacting", but it doesn't seem to work either - she definitely gets 10/10 for persistance grin

I will have a think about getting the police involved, as it really is ridiculous, but it's not really a road I want to go down.

We have kept all texts and they have been sent to the solicitors, as DH is hoping to have a formal contact order put in place.

Re DSD: I feel our home is a happy one, but recently, when DSD is here, the atmosphere feels frosty. If I say "love you", I get no reply, if I try to cuddle her, it's a quick shrug, and she doesn't seem interested in chatting to me or doing anything with me, apart from a few weeks ago when I suggested going out to get a small toy. I feel as if she is only now interested in me if she is going to get something material from me sad. I don't make a habit of buying things for her though. I suppose I feel unsure whether to carry on saying and doing these things, or to just detach from it all, and let her come round in her own time?

Smum99 Sun 09-Oct-11 20:40:44

I would encourage your dh to perserve with the contact order - with any luck the judge will be firm with her (like in our case)..we found that the ex's behaviour did escalate pre and post court. I was also the target of the ex's abuse and DSS behaved like your dsd as he had been fed many lies about me.Fortunately we were able to move on from that and over the last few years our relationship has been close.

We certainly found that any immediate response seemed to continue the abuse and the best approach was to calmly respond several days later..all dh's responses have been very, very short and he doesn't look to enter into any debate. Our lives have been quieter as a result. Just be aware however that the ex is acting like this as she is very unhappy - happy, healthy, well adjusted people don't launch into these types of verbal attacks. It helps to know that you are not the cause of these rants - you are just the target for her unhappiness..if you don't engage she may find someone else to target!

Gingersnap88 Tue 11-Oct-11 10:17:10

I'm really sorry to hear that you're going through this. Until recently I was having similar problems with DPs ex where she was literally sending him hundreds of abusive texts a week and using DSS as a tool to get at him if he ever disagreed with her.

We did something fairly drastic in the end, which certainly won't work for everyone. A close friend of DP who is a policeman mentioned that this is actually harassment, it's illegal and that it was effecting our quality of life. DP spoke to the police and she was issued with a warning- they can only converse about DSS and contact.

Now, as I said, this certainly does not work for everyone. We had tried everything and she was just getting worse, particularly when she discovered that I'm pregnant. It was just awful and it was effecting DSS.

It's been 5 months now and so far so good, they are being civil and things have greatly improved. I think she needed someone from outside the situation to tell her how wrong her actions were.

I know that it hasnt been very long so I could well end up eating humble pie but thought I'd share my experience smile

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