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How much of a presence is your DH ex in your life?(20 Posts)
For background, I have DS (15) who lives with us. DH has DD (14) and DS (8) who come to us every other weekend for 2 nights. Anyhow, DH’s ex is constantly on the phone and text and she makes such cruel and vile remarks. The texts can go on and on for hours without stopping and it’s upsetting.
Anyway, i’m Not really asking about the ins and outs of how to get her to stop (would be great) However, for anyone with older step children, 18 plus, did you find the contact changed then? Or were they still just as bad?
Most of them are aimed at DH. He’s a ‘shit dad’ and all that sort of thing. She also mocks my physical appearance which is hurtful 😥
Your partner needs to stop exchanging messages unless it is in regards to the children.
I’d block her if I were him, then tell her to email and he’ll be checking it once a week on x day.
Surely at 14 your DH can just communicate directly with his kid now?
We don’t have any communication from the EW. My OH has it written into their contact order that she can only communicate via email (previously he was subjected to pages and pages of vitriolic rants).
My SC are now 13 & 10. My OH is only ‘allowed’ by the EW to ring the children on set days and times (which is written into the contact order) as otherwise she wouldn’t allow.
When the kids are with us EOW she calls and texts all the time, it’s constant. We were in the car recently and she rang 3 times in the space of 20 mins. When it starts to affect our time (we have no problem with the kids speaking to mum) we have a ‘all phones on the side rule’ - no one is on phones when we’re doing stuff.
As far as her comments go. Ignore. You can’t control what she says. Never sink to her level. Kids make their own minds up.
The strong hate for one person rarely stops, you just have to limit the contact.
My df told me that some people just can not change or grow out of the hate and pattern of hate that's has been created.
She ll probably never stop I've been in a similar situation! She desperately tries to make contact and conversation about anything and then turn if she isn't getting attention! It only stopped for us when she got a new partner!
My DH has a separate phone just for the ex. She used to encroach on our lives too much, so he pretended he had a new number, gave her it and hey presto could turn her off as necessary! It was blissful knowing she didn’t have an automatic “in”.
She is a nutter though. She couldn’t get hold of her 14 yo DD last weekend and in 20 minutes had phoned our landline 17 times, and my DH’s “spare” mobile 10 times. We were out and about and he had genuinely not heard the phone. But she’s really important doncha know so he should have immediately been available for her
Ah I got the wrong end of the stick - had wrongly thought she was ringing the kids all the time.
It sounds like she seriously lacks boundaries. No need for her to be ringing your OH. All child matters can be done through email.
I would advise you to put the boundaries in place.
Tell your DH to let her know that’s not appropriate. My OH’s EW used to do stuff like this until he actually put boundaries in place. Now he never fans the flames and only talk to her/responds if it’s about our DSD. She got pretty bored of the vitriol once she didn’t get a response. Your husband should do the same as it’s clearly upsetting you.
Your DH needs to not respond. Do you think he will?
This is crazy. There never needs to be this level of contact.
It really is crazy and gets us both down. Their 8 year old has actually said that he thinks she does a lot of the things that she accuses him of doing. However, he’s an insightful chap. Good idea about the second phone and the ‘new’ number. We definitely need space.
What is there to discuss? Arrangements are in place so that's that. Anything else can be done via the 14yo who I assume has a mobile. She will only react if she does get a reaction.
You would think there’s nothing to discuss but she always finds something. Take our holiday abroad last year where we had 6 months of hell. Yes they can come, no they can’t come. He can come but she can’t etc etc. In the end they both did btw.
However, I said to DH that it would have been so much easier if she’d just said at the beginning ‘No they can’t come’ and stuck to it. Then DH and I could have come to terms with the disappointment and either booked to just go abroad with my DS or booked a large UK cottage and invited the step kids the week before we went. As it was we were kept dangling for 6 months and my nerves were very fraught.
He definitely needs to put boundaries in place.
How much of a presence? Let’s see. She moved workplace and now works in the same building as my husband as I, while her boyfriend later moved to the same building as us also. So when her or him have previously sent all sorts of hostile messages and then point blank blocked any contact, we still chance seeing them at any point throughout the working day! I don’t even know where you could start with healthy boundaries by now, it’s so far from it.
Ok, my oh ex is similar to your dh ex
This is how you manage bullies like her:
Ignore the bad and reward the good
NEVER EVER EVER reply or engage with any text that is even slightly snarky
In fact, block the number and get her to email only. That way you can compile evidence in case you need to use it in court at some point. Emails are also less intrusive if you switch off the notifications.
The holiday, take the initiative and book what suits you so that you don’t get fucked about, and neither do the kids. If that means you all go away and the kids stay home, that’s on the ex. Very easy to explain. “Your mum said no, so we listened to her and made other plans. Perhaps she’ll say yes next time. You’ll have to ask her”
We had oh dc basically tormented and brainwashed by the dm to the point that the child refused to come at the last minute and it was obvious that the dc actually enjoyed every second of twisting the knife on behalf of the mother. Oh has had to submit to the perma dramas of the ex over every other holiday/plans/event since year dot. Even when they were together she was like this. She’s ruined every holiday/event possible by antagonising her dc in order to upset them and therefore upset everyone around them. It’s a lottery every single morning you wake up with the dc in your home, because if the dm has got to them, the dc will be wound up to the eyeballs and we wake up to batshit crazy in da house. It’s awful to experience and utterly excruciating to watch this manipulation done to a child. Her own child! Phone gets removed overnight, WiFi “breaks” but you can’t live like that, it’s exhausting and so pointless at the end of the day!
So we went away without the child last year and it was actually the most relaxing holiday ever.
This year the invitation won’t even be made, there have to be changes made for things to change. The dc is well old enough to see that if they blindly do the bidding of the mother, say the awful things they say, and hurt others for fun that there have to be changes made. I’m hoping that it’ll have the desired effect and the ex stops the games/the dc learns not to let the dm pull the strings any more. It’s a harsh lesson, but the sooner the dc learns independence, the sooner they will be safer from the maliciousness of the mother.
Some people really are awful. They have kids and then they use them as weapons to get what they want.
Remove all the drama from your lives and be really clear with the kids that the way you live is simple, loving, respectful and kind. If their m wants to play games at their expense, you’ll not engage at all, and if she says no, you’ll take her word for it, and seek legal advice
Your dh kids are old enough to tell a judge what they want, so you could apply to courts and get the holiday dates agreed by court order
Our issue in our household is that if oh went the court route and got it all formalised, the ex would basically torment her dc into refusing to cooperate and oh would in effect have to drag his dc through things against their will which would be utterly destructive
It would mean that that oh would become the bully... and he’s absolutely not that. In our case oh has to wait till dc eyes open...
I would also like to know there's ever an end, or at least a significant lull, in contact from the ex when the kids reach later life. I'd like to think there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
My DH's ex sends him vicious, controlling, narcissistic messages. She tells him he's doing things wrong, tells him what we should be doing and how we should be parenting and how we should spend our weekends. It's calmed down, now it's every 4-5 days instead of daily, and she's passive aggressive or calmly controlling, instead of vicious (though she still has her moments. Two weeks ago she sent him some truly nasty texts because SD was poorly and he was in a training course without access to his phone, unable to take time off work to have SD so she could stay home from school, and the ex told him he "loved his job more than he loves his kids". That's not true, but his boss had only that week told him he had run out of parental leave, and that any further leave for a sick kid would result in DH losing his job - he's on probation). She responds to things the kids have overheard and fed back to her - like how she thinks our choice of wedding venue is laughable, and how she doesn't want the kids around me because she's concerned I can't cope (I'm currently in counselling for anxiety and depression - triggered by her nasty messages and the impact that has on my mental health. Nothing to do with the kids, they're awesome and I couldn't have asked for better SKids. The ex's attitude is the biggest stress in mine and DH's life.)
We've limited contact from our end; she's permanently muted on his phone, so it's not constantly dinging at us like a death nell. Now he only checks it at certain points of the day, and anything that isn't about the children and requires his actual input he doesn't respond to. However that doesn't mean it isn't hurtful.
He can choose to not share these messages with me, but that's not how we want our relationship to work; we share everything, the good and the bad, and support each other. I want him to be able to tell me when she upsets him - the counselling is for me to develop methods to process the hurt and anger she causes better (currently I worry, which escalates, then I lose sleep, stop eating, it impacts my concentrate and ability to work effectively). I hate that she has that sort of power over me, this woman I've only ever met long enough to say Hello to.
I used to look forward to a day when we could all get along amicably, and sit at SD's or SS's wedding together when they're adults, or share in their graduation - you know, big achievements in their lives. Now I simply can't imagine that, she's said such cruel and nasty things I won't ever see her as anything but a horrible person (I get her being nasty about me if she's bitter, but I don't get how she can be so horrid to DH, he's such a lovely guy, does his best for the kids and puts everyone else before himself.) Now I look forward to the kids turning 18 and her not contacting him about how they 'should' be spending their weekends or what they 'should' be spending their pocket money on, or whether they 'should or should not' be spending time with mine or DH's extended family, or that we 'should' be spend X hundred pounds on their presents, or where we 'should' be living for her convenience. God help us when we have a baby - which we are planning for - I can just imagine the messages we'll get about that... I truly hope it ends, or that time will give me the ability to not care about her.
tchazzarwitch your dh needs to block her or he needs to show her texts to the police and get them stopped with a non molestation order
Give her an email to send her messages to, it’s less intrusive and easier to show courts/solicitors etc
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