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Ex H told me (not asked me) when to give DSs a bath!!

30 replies

citylover · 09/02/2008 15:16

... and said DS2 was smelly.

Last night I could have willlingly punched him!!

He has many issues around cleanliness bordering on OCD. When we lived together it used to drive me nuts. He is also very odd around toilets and bodily functions.

He is taking DCs on holiday with new DP over half term and when we were discussing arrangements the other day he said 'I want them both to have had a bath before you drop them off'

Then last night when I got home (he had picked them up from school and had taken them to mine) we were discussing arrangements for today when they have gone to buy clothes for holiday he said make sure they have a bath before you drop them off today. I went ballistic.

He then said DS2 was smelly (within his earshot). It's true he is a sweaty child and has long hair - sometimes this gets a bit smelly.

Just to put it in context they usually have a bath every 2-3 days btw. I bath/shower once or twice a day.

Maybe I should make allowances for his 'condition' but I find it insulting and patronising that he does this. He is still trying to control me. Plus some of this is rubbing off on the DSs.

Just wanted to vent really. Just hate his holier than thou fucking attitude and constant snidey remarks. A few weeks ago he told me he thought DS1 had been bitten by bed bugs. For the record we don't have them!!

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1066andallthat · 09/02/2008 15:45

Have you tried taking the wind out of his sails, by bursting out laughing and saying something on the lines of, "There you go again; cleanliness isn't next to godliness, in fact a little dirt, never hurt anyone."?

You aren't going to change him - thank goodness, you don't have to live with him . Try minimising his behaviour for the DSs - not putting him down, just into a more realistic context.

Then, come and vent some more and someone will pass you a nice glass of something - do you fancy some red wine - I have a lovely bottle in?

citylover · 09/02/2008 15:53

Yes I think I have to learn to humour him and not let it wind me up.

He has just phoned after their shopping trip to complain about their behaviour - he's a bit OCD about that too IYSWIM. Ie very anxious about how they will behave in public and the impression they will make on new DP.

DSs sense this anxiety of course and wind him up all the more. .

The complaint is aimed at me too - as if since we split in 06 they have deteriorated. I have also read that this is the sign of an abusive man ie stands on the sidelines and then jumps in and criticises the partner.

I used to shout at him 'lighten up bob' (which is a line from Sex and The City).

Yes no wine for me tonight but will be hitting the bottle tomorrow. A glass of red would do nicely.

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1066andallthat · 09/02/2008 16:03

Rehearse the line, "Really, they never do that with me?" so it sounds genuine and next time, he's moaning, try a little gentle undermining. Probably won't work but might make the conversation bearable.

TBH, I would probably be cutting him dead by now - and being a total ice queen (must go and see if that name is available on MN). So, I think you're doing brilliantly by tolerating him and your attitude will benefit your boys.

Enjoy your wine tomorrow.

citylover · 09/02/2008 17:35

Oh god it's just got worse. Have just stormed out of his flat with the DSs, as I was not prepared to listen to his ranting and negativity any longer.

He continually moaned in front of them about their behaviour. He acts as though I don't intervene and discipline them when in fact I am constantly setting boundaries, telling them what not to do and trying to praise them. I do my best they are not perfect but they are not that bad either.

His new DP is pg and so I made a comment to him that he would be able to do better with his new family because he keeps saying we went/have gone so wrong with our DSs.

I would find it so hard to be an ice queen. Perhaps I should keep news of the DSs to a minimum though - ie what they get up to at school including any problems because he just uses it as ammunition. ie I would let him know about these sorts of things but he just uses it against me.

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Tinkerbel6 · 10/02/2008 11:31

It was a little insensitive for him to have said that about your son, but maybe he thinks every 2-3 days isnt enough for a growing lad who sweats alot, maybe he thinks if he can smell it than maybe other people can too, I have a 6 year old dd and bathe her every other night, maybe he isnt being OCD

vInTaGeVioLeT · 10/02/2008 11:46

why can't he bathe them if he thinks it's a problem?

you are right he is trying to control you

he probably wants to make you look like a shit mum in front of new dp to make himself look better

citylover · 10/02/2008 23:52

No he is still trying to control me ( iused to call him an anally retentive control freak) and put on a good front for new dp.

You are so right he could have bathed him if he wanted - it's just the tip of a rather large iceberg. DS2 (also 6) as I said has a bath every 2 days. I am sorry but it is just so insulting that he should say that and is totally trying to undermine my parenting.

He does have OCD type tendencies (tho won't admit it) eg

obsessed with appearance (we used to jockey for position in front of the mirror)
obsessed with ironing
gets very anxious if thinks there will be no hairdryer when he goes away so always takes one with him (most hotels have them) - but hasn't got much hair

gets anxious if no washing machine in apartment on holiday
once bought DS1 back from the start of a birthday outing as he had a tiny speck on his top (which was hard to see) - this caused upset and distress to an excited 9 year old and ruined his birthday)
did not do nappies because didn't like the smell/had issues with poo
repulsed by most bodily functions including childbirth
obsessive cleaning of the loo and so on

is just so obsessed with superficiality and appearances, in a way that I had never come across before I met him. Didn' t matter what you had in your heart as long as you look OK

And I am not sloppy when it comes to appearance either!

This weekend should have been his weekend (swapped from last weekend as he wanted to go to a dinnner party last weekend) and he has looked after them at mine on and off (ie he has not had them for the whole weekend) which I am also not happy with.

He is just such a pr*k, never ever gives any credit for the work I put in ( I do accept that the bulk falls to me as the resident parent), swans in and out when he fancies and always critical of them etc. (which is in fact veiled criticism of me). * DSs are starting to notice this independently.

And has just informed me that it will be difficult to pick them up at all this week (as per our agreement) - this impacts on the DSs and also financially as I have to pay the childminder for an extra day after school (£15).

I am getting so tired and upset by all of this. My evening out tonight has been ruined by his moaning. Although I am not really keen to get a new DP it would help with many of these issues because together we could squash him a bit. The reason I got out was because of all of this sort of thing but I naively thought that things would improve now we are divorced.

Sorry for rant. I am so wound up by it all.

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citylover · 11/02/2008 00:15

sorry getting paranoid here - just want to reinforce DS2 does not smell of BO or anything like that. sometimes his hair (which is beautiful auburn curly hair) smells a little bit sweaty. It is washed often!!

I know people who only rinse their hair. or who go for two weeks camping in france and just go in the pool!

Unfortunately living with someone like ex DH messes with your head - hence me feeling the need to emphasise that I am not a dirty person by way of explanation.

But I know that the problem is his!!

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Tinkerbel6 · 11/02/2008 11:27

your ex wouldnt like me then cause I can fart for england

citylover · 11/02/2008 11:41


we were together 15 looong years during which time I heard him fart about twice!!! Honest.

Unfortunately I could not maintain this level of control but tried to keep it to a minimum.

Never saw him in the loo either nor he me! But did see me give birth - which put him off sex bigtime. I don;t think he is alone with that actually quite a few men feel the same.

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paros · 11/02/2008 20:34

God how the hell did he cope with intercourse . I bet his face was a picture when he came . LOL

paros · 11/02/2008 20:53

Well that killed this thread then . LOL

notnowbernard · 11/02/2008 21:00

On a serious note I think your ex has some bigtime issues which you are right to be concerned about.

I would worry that he was passing on his neuroses to the kids.

He sounds MASSIVELY anxious. He sounds like he needs to talk this through with a therapist or something

citylover · 11/02/2008 21:18

LOL Paros don't think I was looking!

He does not come across as anxious, in fact very calm almost damped down though probably the anxiety manifests itself in the ways I have mentioned.

Wouldn't go near a therapist. Completely scathing of such people.

I went to Relate a few years ago and there would always be the empty chair next to me, as he wouldn't attend.

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notnowbernard · 11/02/2008 21:26

Sorry to hear that, Citylover

I think you're bang-on re the anxiety manifesting itself in an untypical way (ie through the OCD)

But he obviously has issues... if he's happy with his 'lot', fine, but as I said I would worry about him 'passing on' his shit to the kids. How old are they?

Sorry, just read that back, not trying to say he's damaging them or anything sinister!

citylover · 11/02/2008 21:45

11 and 6.

No I realise what you are saying and I am also concerned. The toilet issue has rubbed off a bit on them already ie being funny about using the toilet - they sometimes ask whether anyone has been in there before them and how long ago it was before they will use it.

But I would hope the contrast between my more laid back style and his style would be evident and as as they with me more then this style would be dominant. But of course some of it may be inherited.

DS1 is already starting to see through him a bit. I am careful not to badmouth him this has come directly from him.

I had never met anyone like him before and so all of this was quite shocking and new to me. Also suffered with depression during most of our relationship but again would not seek help.

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notnowbernard · 11/02/2008 22:33

I think it's really fortunate that you have some insight into his condition and realise it is not 'normal' behaviour.

I think I would want to get as much info about OCD and other phobic-type conditions as poss. If it feels appropriate, I think I would want to raise it with the kids, in a way that they could take on board, IYSWIM. It might be good to try and let him know (again) that you are concerned about him and his beliefs.

A tricky one!

Tinkerbel6 · 12/02/2008 10:40

Something must have happened in his childhood for him to act this way with things that are only natural, sounds like he could do with talking to someone, I think when things start to rub off on children then thats the time to act.

littlewoman · 18/02/2008 23:52

I think he's a narcissist CL, and good luck to his new dp.

citylover · 19/02/2008 11:07

Yes I do believe he is narcissist (also anally retentive control freak) - another thing I used to say was it was 'all about him'. Well they took the car seat on holiday and have had a couple of phone calls since they have been there.

She has also paid for most of it to which I said to him 'she'll learn!!' He smirked at that.

Of course he has sounded quite different/more tempered as new DP in the background. I get the impression she is a very 'nice' woman - I am a bit more down to earth and feisty.

Last night I received a text saying 'you can ring us now'. Rightly or wrongly I perceive that as controlling.

I spoke to kids, DS1 told me of a problem he had with one of the skiing machines (finds it rather scary) and DS2 said the ski instructor had shouted at him for being slow to put on his skis . They are not together which I am not that pleased about either. I know that he will dismiss any of their fears but nothing I can do about that.

I could hear him in the background telling them not to tell me what they don't like - surely they can tell me what they want (see he is trying to control them too). But I do recognise that sometimes they will tell the absent parent things they don't like. Tho I can't remember that when we were on holiday last year when they spoke to him.

When someone controls or manipulates you it really is not a nice feeling and you are aware that they are doing it.

I am enjoying the break from the endless routine with them I am making the most of this week but of course I miss them and am a bit worried about them esp DS2. he is only 6 and a young 6 at that.

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littlewoman · 22/02/2008 02:28

he smirked when you said 'she'll learn'? don't mean to be rude, CL, but he doesn't sound very nice at all.

LittleBella · 22/02/2008 06:33

Why don't you phone Parentline and ask them how to deal with this? You do need to get it across to your DS's that this behaviour isn't normal, but I don't know how you do that without making him accuse you of undermining him etc. (You do actually need to undermine him on this type of stuff as he is obviously barking.)

He sounds like a lunatic but lots of lunatics come across as normal if you don't actually live with them and know them well. The other thing is that whenever he tells you what to do parenting-wise, very calmly say: "thank you for your well-meant advice, but I don't think it's appropriate for you to advise me on how I parent my children unless you deal with the overwhelming problem of your madness are prepared to accept my well-meant advice about your parenting of them. Because given your lunacy I don't accept that you are qualified to offer me advice and no doubt you don't accept that I am qualified to give you advice. So perhaps we should resist advising each other in the interests of maintaining civil relations for the sake of our children?"

Stick to the script and a) you will disarm him and b) piss him off royally.

citylover · 22/02/2008 10:55

LW be as rude as you like. I think the smirk was out of embarassment. He comes acrooss as very plausible for the first year or so or that's how it was when we firt met. But def has loads of issues.

I have really missed the kids this week and have not been well so haven't been able to go out (to drink copious amounts of wine)and meet friends as much as I have wanted but it has been a relief to have him out of the way. LOL

I have had space to think though and I was thinking last night that I need to grow more of a backbone both in affairs of the heart and how I deal with him and not feel so apologetic for my lifestyle/parenting style.

And rather than feeling a bit ground down and vulnerable should try to focus on rebuilding my life on my own terms.

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citylover · 24/02/2008 22:07

Ok well they are back now and had a good time - I am really pleased that they did and generally everything seemed to go well. Missed them so much.

However one thing DSs mentioned that I am really not happy about - DSs had adjoining room to exH and his P and they locked the adjoining door at night and said to knock or ring (WTF) if they needed anything.

Fine for DS1 I suppose but not DS2 (6) and to me just gives out a very weird message. If I were to go on hol with a new P (imaginary P atm) I would want to make sure that he was OK with them coming in and in no uncertain terms would never lock the door.

I will be mentioning it to exH tomorrow. He did say before he went that he didn't want them running in and out of their room (they weren't really likely to do that actually).

Also DS2's speech hesitancy has returned presumably because of the unfamiliarity of the situation.

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citylover · 24/02/2008 22:08

should be would ever

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