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Sick of this - therapy after custody battle

(5 Posts)
rosieposies Fri 23-Mar-18 22:11:11

A very long story short - my OH and his EW went through a custody battle. OH did not get the outcome he wanted.

I have never seen two people hate each other so much. During their marriage they both made some pretty terrible decisions. They were both pretty awful to each other. They divorced 5 years ago when DSS was 6 months old.

After the custody battle I naively thought that we could, after some time, put some water under the bridge. My DSS5 is just so gorgeous and has been such a huge part of my life for 4 years that it seems bizarre that I do not know or have not even met his mother.

I am determined that we will sort this out, specifically for DSS. I have googled and googled but I can't find any kind of therapy/mediation to help us deal with this.

I am at my wits end. They are still mud slinging and mine and OH lives seem to revolve around what email EW will send next. There is even talk of going to court just to sort bloody Easter Holidays out.

Me and OH have spoken and we think it would be best if he went to some kind of therapy to deal with the outcome of the court case, and also with his relationship with EW. Can anyone please suggest a type of therapy that would cover this? Even better is there a kind of crisis mediation that involves both parties that could help?

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Sat 24-Mar-18 06:44:29

This is an excellent decision and good on your DH to recognise that therapy might help. The problem when anger takes over any sort of relationship is that doing anything to hurt the other party (as they are hurting you) becomes the forfront of any decision made.

I wouldn't expect the ex to want to be involved into crisis mediation. Custody battle are rarely about the children but about winning a battle for the parents. She will see it that she won the battle, deduct from it that she was right in all the decision she's made and therefore has nothing to resolve with your OH.

Therapy with your OH should be about moving away from his anger and accepting that although stepping down will hurt is pride, it is often what is best for the children.

I've been there, with an ex so self-centered that everything he did was evolve around him and what suited him. I have relented to so many things, even though it was grossly unfair and impacted on me for his benefits.

My kids are now 15 and 18 and I am so glad that I took that approach however painful it was at the time. of course the kids' judgement was clouded then, but they are now older, they're able to make their own mind up and they know what I did to make things better for them before making them better for me.

Hopefully, therapy will make your husband see that he doesn't need to 'win' against his ex and that it is actually my pulling out of the fight that she might, maybe, possibly, mellow herself.

Good on you for staying away from it all and just be kind to your SS. Things do change. When my DD was 5, no way would have wanted to have any to do with my ex's partner. Nowadays, I wouldn't mind at all meeting her and I do look forward to her being there at my kids wedding one day.

NorthernSpirit Sat 24-Mar-18 08:07:55

This is a terrible situation and I have also lived through similar with my OH. I’ve been with my OH 3.5 years and I haven’t met the EW, nor do I want to.

OH has been divorced for 5.5 years and the EW is still vitriolic and bitter. There’s a regular barrage of abuse.

My OH went through 2 years of hell in trying to see his own children (EW told him if he dared leave her he wouldn’t see the children again and for 2 years she used the kids as pawns and weapons). My OH took her to court and got contact which she is still angry about. Whenever she contacts my OH he says he feels sick.

As @Swingifthjngs says - these ‘battles’ aren’t about what is best for the children but about one partying ‘winning’. My OH ‘won’ the battle (not that he sees it as winning, he just wants to see his kids) in that he gets to see his children EOW without fear that the EW won’t ‘let’ them see him.

My OH was battered and bruised at the end of the process. And I would also say almost afraid of the EW (I think there was some emotional abuse from her during the marriage and through the split).

My OH attended a SIPP course (separated parents information programme) and the course changed his view on how he deals with the EW. It taught him that you can’t control these people but you can control how you react and how you feel. I would recommend your OH try’s that. It really helped my OH. A judge ordered (4 x) that she attend - but she refuses as apparently no one can teach her how to parent as she’s a wounderful mother. I actually think the women is so emotionally damaged she has no idea how her actions come across.

Good luck OP - I know how awful this is.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 24-Mar-18 08:22:48

Why do you feel the need to meet the ex? How do you think it would improve things for dss?

My ex keeps his new partners away from me. He does it on the pretext that I am violent and mentally unstable but it’s really because he knows the lies would come back on him if we met and his oh-so carefully constructed house of cards would fall around his ears.

All that said, over the years, I have come to realise that I have no interest whatsoever in his life, his new partners, and no desire to meet anyone or make some kind of pretence of friendliness. What would be the point? I can’t change a partner I don’t like anymore than I can make him keep one I do like. It’s up to him how he manages his relationship with his children, not me.

The distance helps keep me sane. His utter bollox no longer affects me - and believe me, bollox is not the half of it! He wants me where he can see and control me but as I realise that, I am always just out of his spotlight. He upped the anti for a while but did give up in the end. Counselling helped enormously. Relate can be helpful as they are trained specifically to deal with these issues.

Hermonie2016 Sat 24-Mar-18 22:43:48

Rosie, good for you for trying to resolve the underlying issues with your OH.

Can I ask what he hoped from court and if he had listened to solicitors advice re pursuing the case? Will determine if he is able to take on board outside advice.

Also my ex had a horrendous divorce with 1st wife, I met him 2 years post separation and he seemed to behave ok.

I have now separated from him and his behaviour is awful, he is a complete bully and doesn't put dc first. He doesn't yet have another partner but I suspect when one appears he will behave better.
Just a word of caution..how he acts to his ex is a warning to you, unless he really embraces change.

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