Need advice quick...ex is extremely disrespectful and I'm tempted to limit his time with dd - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not usually the fight fire with fire kind of person but I truly don't know what else to do anymore. My ex who was emotionally abusive in our relationship, is now even more abusive toward me and is constantly disrespecting me and impeding on my healing. He knows I'm in therapy and uses it against me (he will call me psycho, say I need meds, comment about my mental health, etc). The disrespect has become much worse since he started dating and it's reached a point where I am hesitant to send my daughter with him. Tonight he told me that he regrets meeting me, that he thinks I'm a psycho bitch, and that I should jump off a bridge...and I'm supposed to drop our daughter of there tomorrow morning for the day. I wouldn't want to hand my daughter off to anyone who treats me that way regardless of it it's her father. He has treated me this way in front of her before and I know she senses the tensions b/n us. Moreover, when he does this to me it puts me into a low depressive state and my daughter is effected. The only reason he is in my life is bc of our daughter and he is seriously impeding my healing. I am feeling a strong need to take extreme measures and teach him a lesson. He needs to know that her well being is directly correlated to mine. I told him he can't see her until he starts showing me some respect. Am I being rash? I told him I really don't want to do this but the disrespect needs to end and he just continued on with it...I'm at a loss.
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#2 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 07:57 PM
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Never use a child as a pawn in your relationship with another person. 


As far as the way he treats you, other moms will have much more advice on how to stand up to that.  You admit that you want to "teach him a lesson" using visitation with your child.  He might be crappy to you, but unless he is putting your child in danger, you can't do anything and shouldn't try. 


Do you have a custody agreement?  Are these required visitations?  Will withholding visitation because he depresses you make you look bad in the eyes of the court if he retaliates legally? (yes)


Perhaps he may be doing this to set a pattern of behavior for you to use in court?  This situation would suck but not far fetched if you hear the stories of the moms here.  Ex: Mine took my children from me for a week (I won that fight) after I sought in patient treatment for a severe medication interaction. 

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#3 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 08:09 PM
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Don't withhold visitation.


Tape record all interactions with him. 


DO NOT REACT TO HIS COMMENTS. Don't even "talk to the tape recorder", explaining matters, saying he's lying, etc.. Just ignore what he says and immediately change the subject to something related to your daughter.


If it gets too bad you may be able to request a mediator who can handle pick ups & drop offs so you can avoid seeing him then. 

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#4 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 08:50 PM
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OP--  If your daughter is safe with him, and he treats her well, I would continue to allow visitation.  Are you even legally able to withhold visitation?


It sounds like you are saying that when he treats you so disrespectfully, your daughter is negatively impacted by *your* mood/feelings about being treated so poorly.  That is completely and totally understandable.  Assuming he is a decent father to her though, she will also be very negatively impacted if you do not allow her to spend time with her dad.  My suggestion would be for you to work on your own reaction to him and to delve into why you allow him to have such a deep impact on you.  I have a friend who does not talk to her ex at all.  All information about their child is exchanged through a notebook so there is no talking.  Maybe something like this would work as well for the two of you.


I am really sorry you're being treated this way.  I am certain you don't deserve it and it can be really hard to pull yourself back up when you're verbally abused by someone :(. 

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#5 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 10:02 PM
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My ex can also be disrespectful and when I'm feeling too raw to risk an interaction, I lean towards doing everything I can to not talk with him (we've been apart for nearly 4 years so I've had a while to heal). Luckily, he lives next door so we don't do any drop offs, though he does sometimes come over when he gets home on the nights he has the kids, but I rarely need to see him and I rarely start a conversation unless I have a question (and I'm even trying to limit those casual conversations more and more because whatever is decided always seems to change later, so I'm trying to rely more on email to have written proof of the agreements we make).


I would limit interactions with your ex any way you can. Only deal with conversations through email or text and only what is important to your child's well being. There's no reason for personal interaction; you relationship really isn't more than a legal, business-like one now and the only business you have together is your child. Is there someone who can do drop offs for you and be with you to answer the door when he drops her off after visits?  Also, is there someone you can call who will bring you back to a happy place after you've had a bad interaction with him?? I sometimes call my girlfriend to vent or just tell her whatever ridiculous thing he just came up with and it really helps me to let it go and focus on the stupidity of it and get my head back into my own life.


As for wanting to punish him by cutting visitation?? Take yourself out of your daughter's relationship with her father; they've got their own thing that you are not a part of and it's up to him if he wants to screw that up on his own, but you can't put yourself in between them. He might have been a crappy husband/boyfriend and he might even be a crappy father, but he's HER father and she has a right to be with him - oh, yeah, and he has a right to be with her, but don't think about that part, just focus on things from her side ;-)

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#6 of 8 Old 01-27-2011, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ladies. After I calmed down and spoke with my supports I more or less came to these same conclusions. I know I need to work on my reactions and my healing. And I definitely don't want her to lose time with him. I always trusted him that things wouldn't t "dirty" but now I wonder so I like all of the advice in regards to possible court battles. As of yet we have not gone tO court and neither of us have full legal custody but I am thinking about seeking it out. I really didn't want to deal with court but he is changing so much I feel insecure about the current status.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-28-2011, 05:12 AM
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BTDT, still there in regards to ex being an abusive UAV.


But no matter what he does to you... you can't withold visitation.  It sucks, but plain and simple the courts don't care what he does to you.  As long as he is not physically abusing your child, you have to send her.  It SUCKS!!!  Believe me.  I've been having to do it for almost 9 months now (holy crap I just counted that for this post, I didn't realize it's been that long!).. Anyway... especially since you don't have court documented visitation guidelines yet... it's MUCH more in your favor to look agreeable and that you are not keeping him from his child in anyway.  It could come back and bite you once you do go to court if you start restricting his visitation.


As for how he talks to you... if there is anyway you can start having all communication needed in some kind of writing, wether it be email or text message the better.  It's sooo much easier for me to ignore and not engage ex in his abusive drama when it's in text form. 


Read "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft ~ It really helps put into perspective what he is doing, and it better helps you to rise above it.  *hugs*


You will get there.  It's not easy, and the hard times still jump up when least expected (or expected lol)... but it will get mostly easier. 

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#8 of 8 Old 01-29-2011, 11:16 PM
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Hi Amberg-


I'm sorry to hear your situation... I was with a disrespectful man (my last boyfriend). He has narcisstic personality disorder (NPD) and was a pure nightmare. He started off charming and loving and then completely switched (never to return) to a monster who was verbally abusive and disrespectful.


I too required therapy after the relationship with my ex. Men such as my ex (the cluster B personality disorders -- narcissists, antisocials, borderlines) can damage the limbic system (the primary emotional center within the brain) and can cause symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 


IDK if that is the status of your ex..... however, IF he is a narcissist they (by nature) are disrespectul, arrogant, predatory, dominating beings. They can be really good to a child.... so long as the child is still within the stage where they are the primary focus and sees "daddy" as God. However, their behavior can really vary with children.


The only reason I would write to raise this issue of personality disorder is not to upset you, so I hope I haven't overstepped any boundary. Men like that can cause a great deal of pain and if he is a personality disordered being, that pain won't be limited to only you. So, it is a wise idea that there are some legal boundaries established now, while he is treating your child well (just in case things change in the future). Also, if there is a custody situation and your ex IS one with a personality disorder, then you are in a bit more of a difficult situation. They may not be as cooperative as a 'normal' (not psychologically disordered) man. 


To be disrespectful and callous is at their core. A long time ago, the mental health field used to refer to such people as "morally insane", bc they were essentially normal beings who were able to hold a job and be successful in life. However, they can an extremely minimal or no ability to demonstrate empathy, consistent love, guilt ... all the higher order emotions that are required of relationships. Hence- "morally insane".  


No.. they are typically not good for children. I do agree with everyone else that right now you certainly do not want to withhold your daughter from him if he has not done anything to her. However, get on top of the custody matter, as the behavior of these people are often not consistent and can change drastically (e.g., one day they hate you, the next they love you).


After my ex, I found the services of Sandra Brown, MA to be helpful (author of the books- How to Spot a Dangerous Man and Women Who Love Psychopaths). She also has info on her website that discusses when one has to co-parent with a disordered person. IDK about you... but to have to go to therapy after a relationship and the man who caused such immense pain/ trauma behave as though YOU are the crazy one was just unbelievable. Just know that what you are experiencing now is the brain's natural response to abuse. It is plain neurology and not "crazy" as your ex has labled you. It shows that you are human... you have the ability to feel emotions, be hurt, etc. Emotionally immature people simply cannot relate to that. You will feel much better with respect to symptoms, however, try to limit communications with him as much as you can, as that can interfere with your recovery.


I hope things work out for you!!!! :o)




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