Why is my ex always so inappropriate? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-14-2009, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 17yr old son, who lives with me. I am remarried and have been for the last seven years. I have three children with dh. You would think that my ex would have moved on by now, wouldnt you? He calls me like eight times a day and if I dont answer, he will leave messages saying its important or an emergancy or its aobut our son, and it never is. Or it seldom is. The one time he has reason to be worried, I had put my phone on silent and ignored him for two days. He was in a real panic not being able to reach anyone (ds phone got taken up at school), but how was I to know that time there really WAS a real issue? The boy who cried wolf and all that....

Anyway. Ive told him a million times I dont find his jokes with sexual innuendo funny and that they are inappropriate, to which he rolls his eyes and says Ive changed, Im a prude etc. etc.

I try and try to just ignore as much as I can, cuz I know that the best way to deal with inappropriate behaviour is to ignore it. But its hard.

So today I get a text from him asking "do you work friday?" I text back with "yes" while thinking, why, its none of his business anyway.... but maybe he is wanting to make plans with our son for the weekend, so I answered. He texted back with "take off, spend with me". Now, that already annoyed me. Why? Why would I want to do that? I can barely stand him. I am nice to him becuase I need to be for our son. But if I say to him, no I dont LIKE you, I will be dealing with about 20 calls per hour, him screaming, crying, threatening me etc etc. So I just text back "I cant". To which he replies, "cant or wont?"

Now this makes me want to call him up and say, when someone says they cant , it means they cant, if you make them have to justify it or prove it to you, they why would they want to spend time with you? I mean OMG. First of all, I dont WANT to and second of all, I have PLANS thank you, if I take off work, which I actually am taking half a day off (but thats not his business) its to meet my bestfriend and her brother who are only here for the weekend and my brother and dh for lunch and a movie. Plus I have to take and pick up our new dog to get fixed. But none of that is his business and I would feel like Im justifying, which I DONT HAVE TO DO!!! GRRRR.

So, Im really proud of myself for just putting the phone on silent and am ignoring him. No matter what I answer, we will either a, end up ina fight becuase he wont let things go and is the type of person who is always complaing about how wonderful he is to others and how nobody appreciates or cares about him and once he gets started, Im not kidding, it will be days of the messages of him alternately crying, screaming in rage, wanting to die etc, etc. I swear to God I think he's mentally ill and all of his friends are gone and his own brother wont speak to him and I realize he calls me cuz Im all he's got, but thats not appropriate, I dont WANT to be his friend, and I am NOT THe person he shoudl be leaning on, not when he still has issues from US. Trust me, every so often he'll call me up to scream at me about something that happend like 15 years ago.....and Im not saying that I didnt do my share of wrong in our marriage, but I am not the person he needs to be calling, not at this juncture.

Maybe its me, maybe Im not setting clear enough boundries, I do have a problem with being nonconfrontational and I dont like to hurt anyones feelings and he is so unstable, this may be a bit tmi, but my first husband (we married at 18 right out of highschool) turned abusive but I stayed with him for three years becuase he threatened suicide if I left. I finally couldnt take it anymroe and left and yes, he followed through. And my ex knows all aobut that history and I sometimes wonder if he plays on it. Everyone knows how unstable he is. I just cant quite come out and say, "I really dont like you, at all, once our son is grown it is my ferverent desire to never speak to you again, please leave me alone". Mostly becuase Im worried that if he did do something drastic, how that would affect our son and his mother, my ex mil, whom I still love and know that within the last five years has lost her oldest child, her own mother, her brother, her husband and her beloved mil. How much more can the woman take?

Sometimes Its worse when he's nice. Becuase I know he means well. At least I think he does. My mother thinks he is just manipulating me and she may be right.

Last week he invited me to the movies. Mind you, we live four hours apart. He pithces a whining fit every time we have to meet halfway to exchange ds, becuase its so hard on him, all that driving, yet he'll turn around and offer to drive the ENTIRE way and back in one single day just to have lunch with me. And I HAVE told him, gee, dont think dh would like that....so he wants to invite him too. Yeah. That would be fun. (sarcasm)

Dh rather hates my ex, due to the fact that he also thinks xh manipulates me and ds and that xh complains aobut having to drive to see ds, dh says, "its his SON, I would drive anywhere to get to see my son, whats his problem?"

Anyway, I have no point, just needed to vent!! Thanks for letting me!

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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The fact that you think he is mentally ill, and the fact that you feel you might need help setting boundaries (although it sounds like you are good at that IMHO!) make me wonder if you've considered counseling. I was afraid to go but it's WONDERFUL.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ive been to couseling and it really helped. Right now, no insurance! I am getting better at setting boudries, or at least at saying NO, I guess Im wondering if my trying to be tactful is sending him the wrong message. "I cant" implies perhaps, that if I could, I would when in fact, I would not. But to say, "I dont want to spend time with you" sounds hurtful and will lead him to ask "why" then I feel like we will have to have the "breakup" convo all over again. If I tell him WHY I dont want to be his buddy, he will start throwing around all the evils that I did to him....sigh. We havent been togather in nearly ten years, why must I continue to have the same fights with him? Our relationship is suppose to be OVER!....

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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I just finished reading "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker and oh my, your story sounds like a classic stalking, something that might escalate into more, IMO. Please go read it, asap. In the meantime, I think the best advice would be to tell him once, that you do not want to speak to him at all, that he can email you if it directly involves your son and if not, to stop talking to you. Then ignore and do not respond to anything that he says or writes to you. Go, now, BUY that book TONIGHT and read it!!!

It freaks me out that he is still obsessed with you. You're married and have been for 7 years, and he's hoping you will take the day off work and spend it with him? SCARY!!

eta: Truly, I'm scared for your safety.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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Ive been to couseling and it really helped. Right now, no insurance! I am getting better at setting boudries, or at least at saying NO, I guess Im wondering if my trying to be tactful is sending him the wrong message. "I cant" implies perhaps, that if I could, I would when in fact, I would not. But to say, "I dont want to spend time with you" sounds hurtful and will lead him to ask "why" then I feel like we will have to have the "breakup" convo all over again.
I wouldn't say either. Just say, "no". If he asks why, say "because I said no". Repeat ad nauseum. Do not engage.

And, I can only imagine how the suicide thing must affect you when you've had someone do that already. Just remember, if that did happen again, it is NOT your fault...not at all. Personally, I doubt this one is sincere about wanting to die, anyway - I think he simply knows that it's a good lever to use on you. I have no idea why you split up, but this behaviour is both scary and stalkerish.

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why we split up? His behaviour was the biggest thing. His insisenst that he is the center of the universe and I could never prove I loved him. LIke this:

him: If you loved me, youd do x y z
me: I did it
him: you didnt do it right, if you loved me, you would put forth the effort blahblah...

if I did do it and do it right, it still wasnt right cuz, he had to TELL me to do it..... this man could not be pleased. He is apparently determined to believe no one cares about him. He does this now to our son.... and its stuff you would never think was upsetting, like "why didnt you call me last night? I bought you a truck, I bought you school clothes, you cant even give me a thought? Im going to stop doing anything for you....." when ds was like, at prom or something, he should have remembered to stop and MAKE his father happy.....

eta: I have read the gift of fear. But I guess Im almost afraid if I totally try to cut him out, THATs what will set him off.... and with legal rights to ds, I cant refuse contact....sigh...

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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My XH did this for a few years after we divorced. One time he even tried to kiss me in my living room!! *searching for the barf smiley* He would text innuendo, ask me on dates, one time he drove by the house and yelled out the window 'lets go roll in the hay'.

Ahem.

It took some SERIOUS boundary setting to get it to stop. First, you have to stop worrying about hurting his feelings. He has not let go. Detach him. Second, be clear, EXTREMELY clear, because CLEARLY he's dense as a lead balloon. Come up with a 'set phrase' that you're comfortable repeating ad nauseum. I did something like 'we're divorced, we aren't buddies. Stop contacting me for non-kid reasons' and 'Your text message is insinuating you want to have sex with me. I would rather have a root canal, minus the anesthesia.' and 'We're divorced. Don't contact me unless it's about our kids.'

Ignore him. Block his number. Tell him to contact you via email only.

As for the panic attacks he's having, SO WHAT. This is NOT your problem. Send him an email/letter that lets him know he must leave a DETAILED message about why he is calling or you WILL NOT RETURN HIS CALL. Especially since your shared child is almost an adult, this is ridiculous. Also, he can be contacting your teen otherwise, I can't think of much reason for him to call you at ALL.

yuck.

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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I second coming up with stock phrases, and repeat "we're divorced" as part of them frequently. He sounds like he's one of those guys who can't get past the idea that "my wife" means "my wife forever, no matter what she says or the court says or anybody else says". Hammer it home.

Hurting his feelings is irrelevant. A man who would ask you to come out with him Friday, then say "can't or won't?" is obviously very resistant to getting the idea that you have split up through his head.

His issues are his issues, not yours. Don't feel sorry for him. Don't worry about how he'll react to your actions. He has massive boundary issues.

As for your son. He's 17 and has his own phone? Your ex doesn't need to be calling you. He should definitely have your number, in case of emergencies, but he doesn't need to be calling you all the time, unless there's a real scheduling issue with respect to your ds. If he calls, and you take the call, and it's not about your ds, then, yes - "we're divorced. Don't call me unless it's about ds." If he calls you about something that he should be talking to ds about, then, "we're divorced. You should be talking to ds" and then either hang up and he can call your ds on his phone, or call ds to the phone and stop listening.

I don't know a lot about this stuff, because I'm in a different jurisdiction (Canada), and the only legal right my ex ever had to ds1 was supervised access, at my discretion, but...what rights does your ex have at this point? Your son is 17, which seems like it would be old enough to decide for himself if he wants to continue to have contact, and what limits he wants to put on that.

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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I try and try to just ignore as much as I can, cuz I know that the best way to deal with inappropriate behaviour is to ignore it.
No. The best way to deal with inappropriate behaviour is by refusing to tolerate it. If he says something inappropriate, say "That was inappropriate, I am hanging up the phone now." And do it. Turn off the ringer on your phone for the rest of the day.

I would schedule a weekly time to talk to him about your son, and sort out ALL details for the coming week at that time. No more random calls - or even better, switch to email only.

Also, my response to the 'come with me this weekend' would be: NO. We are divorced. Get used to it. If he freaks out, too bad. It's not your responsibility to babysit him. You will be doing him a favor by making it clear that you are NOT interested in dating him or pursuing a friendship, and that he should seek out other people for those activities. Maybe then he will move on.

He does not mean well. He means to be a great big PITA.

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Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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while I agree that you need to be more firm and direct, I am surprised that your DH hasn't told your ex off. Does your DH know how much the ex contacts you and that he wants you to take off work, the movies, etc. I think your DH should speak to him "man-to-man."
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, DS has his own phone. And I do ignore his calls most of the time, knowing that they arent about ds. I turn it on silent so much, that I am missing the calls I WANT!! I cannot count how many times we've had the "no calls unless its about ds" conversation. Ugh!

No, dh doesnt know the half of it. Because I know my ex is psycho, Im afraid if dh knows, he WILL confront him and it wont end well. Im serious, I'll end up with the police and cps and everyone at my home, I just know it. so yeah, I guess Im kinda afraid of him and so that gives him some control. When you put it like that....

AFAIK, until ds is 18 the custody agreement is in effect. I cannot wait for DS to turn 18, I swear to God Im changing my number.

Oh, DS is the other reason. Ive noticed a pattern, when he wants to yell and scream at me and I refuse to take his calls, he starts calling ds and yelling and sceaming at him until he has him in tears. He did this to him on prom night, so my ds will always remember how shitty his dad was to him, rather than any good memories from that night. Ive told ds repeatedly NOT to take his calls and I will say I took ds's phone so his dad cant be mad at HIM. DS is scared of him, if he sees me check my phone and NOT answer a call, he freaks out asking if its his dad and why Im not picking it up.

For years my bestfriend, my mother and my dh have been saying that xh walks all over me, that I accomadate him way too much, that he manipulates me etc, and its all true, but I feel like Im a human shield between him and ds and that if I dont let him direct all the anger and depression at ME, he directs it at ds who is too young to understand its not about HIM!

Or do you think that at 17 its time to let him fight his own battles and know the truth about how his dad is? I know he's not six anymore. At six it seemed reasonable to lie and say his dad was working when he asked why he wasnt at his game, rather than say he woldnt get up off his butt.... I couldnt hurt my child like that, so even though it seemed to everyone else I was protecting xh, I was protecting ds, so I thought....

We went for MONTHS without this stuff happening, I thought we were past it and have no idea what brought it back up.

You know, when ds turns 18, if his dad continues his behaviours, eventually ds wont want anything to do with him. He wants total control over him. He just wants control over me too. For instance, he calls me to say that ds needs something and could I afford to pitch in on it? (clothes) I said yes, just spend whatever amount you have already set, and I will cover whatever he goes over. He had a holy a fit about that, insisting I split it with him so its less for him. My point: whats the diffrence? If you have 100 to spend, spend that and no more, if you only have 100 and he spends more, I'll cover it. If you only have 100 and we agree to split it and he spends 300, thats MORE than you were going to spend. I get that he was hoping to spend the 100 and have me cover 50 but Im sick of that. He doesnt pay child support, our agreement has always been to help when he can with what he can (his employement is sporadic) but it irks me when he calls me EVERY time he spends a dime, wanting half! I dont call him for half everytime I write a check for lunches or pay a doctors bill or have his haircut, etc etc. So fricking ridiculous. Its just an excuse to call me! He gave ds his creditcard to rent a tux for prom, which we agreed to split paying off. Then he calls me and hounds me about every little detail. I mean like six calls in four hours, becuase he NEEDS to know where and when we are going to rent it....

Ok, ok. you guys are all right. Ignoring generally works, but for those moments I get caught speaking, I need to have my stock phrases ready.

For those in the US, is my child considered a minor and everything in the divorce decree in effect until his 18th bday OR until he leaves school? He'll be 18 in sept, but still a senior in highschool.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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while I agree that you need to be more firm and direct, I am surprised that your DH hasn't told your ex off. Does your DH know how much the ex contacts you and that he wants you to take off work, the movies, etc. I think your DH should speak to him "man-to-man."
My mother is very insistant that I should tell dh for just this reason. In fact, at one point when dd was a newborn, back when we still had a homephone and I had no cell, I would have dh always answer the phone, be the one to arrange drop off and pick ups etc, because he does not try and badger dh into driving further etc, and I was pp and coudlnt deal with his crap (I ruined his life, why shoudl he drive further now, its not HIS fault I had another child, dont I still love ds on and on.....) That worked out well. Yeah, I will seriously change my cell number and just tell him I no longer have one.....

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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For those in the US, is my child considered a minor and everything in the divorce decree in effect until his 18th bday OR until he leaves school? He'll be 18 in sept, but still a senior in highschool.
As far as I know, it depends on your state and how they define "legal majority". THEN, it further depends on exactly what your custody order says (or state standards)--whether it goes by "legal majority" or age (18) or something else.

This forum might be able to answer that question more specifically for your state: http://forum.freeadvice.com/child-cu...visitation-37/
(but be warned, they do not tend to be a "kind and supportive" bunch).
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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Ive been to couseling and it really helped. Right now, no insurance!
I get it free through a social service agency because I'm poor. Sometimes houses of worship or religious organizations help you find free or cheap counseling too (mine is through a non religious group though.)

And it rocks. :

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:08 PM
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My first thought is, why on earth are you worried about hurting his feelings?

I agree that "I can't" is a poor answer and implies that there is a world in which you *could*. The answer is No. The answer is always No. I too agree with coming up with a stock list of phrases to be used whenever he tries to infiltrate your life.

You also need to be keeping a record of these incidents somehow... just in case.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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No, dh doesnt know the half of it. Because I know my ex is psycho, Im afraid if dh knows, he WILL confront him and it wont end well. Im serious, I'll end up with the police and cps and everyone at my home, I just know it. so yeah, I guess Im kinda afraid of him and so that gives him some control. When you put it like that....
While I'm far from being pro-CPS, in general, I think having CPS involved here would be a good thing for your son.

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AFAIK, until ds is 18 the custody agreement is in effect. I cannot wait for DS to turn 18, I swear to God Im changing my number.

Oh, DS is the other reason. Ive noticed a pattern, when he wants to yell and scream at me and I refuse to take his calls, he starts calling ds and yelling and sceaming at him until he has him in tears. He did this to him on prom night, so my ds will always remember how shitty his dad was to him, rather than any good memories from that night. Ive told ds repeatedly NOT to take his calls and I will say I took ds's phone so his dad cant be mad at HIM. DS is scared of him, if he sees me check my phone and NOT answer a call, he freaks out asking if its his dad and why Im not picking it up.
I think you should talk to your ds about taking the custody agreement back to court. I don't know exactly how the courts work in the US, or in your state, but, at 17, I'd think they'd at least consider what he has to say.

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For years my bestfriend, my mother and my dh have been saying that xh walks all over me, that I accomadate him way too much, that he manipulates me etc, and its all true, but I feel like Im a human shield between him and ds and that if I dont let him direct all the anger and depression at ME, he directs it at ds who is too young to understand its not about HIM!
17? No, he's not too young to understand that.

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Or do you think that at 17 its time to let him fight his own battles and know the truth about how his dad is?
You just said he's scared of his dad, and that his dad ruined his Prom night. He knows how his dad is.

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I know he's not six anymore. At six it seemed reasonable to lie and say his dad was working when he asked why he wasnt at his game, rather than say he woldnt get up off his butt.... I couldnt hurt my child like that, so even though it seemed to everyone else I was protecting xh, I was protecting ds, so I thought....
I happen to strongly disagree with this kind of thing, but it's 11 years ago, so there's no sense in worrying about it now. What's done is done.

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You know, when ds turns 18, if his dad continues his behaviours, eventually ds wont want anything to do with him.
Does he actually want anything to do with him now? Or, does he think he's "supposed" to?

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He wants total control over him. He just wants control over me too. For instance, he calls me to say that ds needs something and could I afford to pitch in on it? (clothes) I said yes, just spend whatever amount you have already set, and I will cover whatever he goes over. He had a holy a fit about that, insisting I split it with him so its less for him. My point: whats the diffrence? If you have 100 to spend, spend that and no more, if you only have 100 and he spends more, I'll cover it. If you only have 100 and we agree to split it and he spends 300, thats MORE than you were going to spend. I get that he was hoping to spend the 100 and have me cover 50 but Im sick of that. He doesnt pay child support, our agreement has always been to help when he can with what he can (his employement is sporadic) but it irks me when he calls me EVERY time he spends a dime, wanting half! I dont call him for half everytime I write a check for lunches or pay a doctors bill or have his haircut, etc etc. So fricking ridiculous. Its just an excuse to call me! He gave ds his creditcard to rent a tux for prom, which we agreed to split paying off. Then he calls me and hounds me about every little detail. I mean like six calls in four hours, becuase he NEEDS to know where and when we are going to rent it....
Don't engage. "I'll let you know when we have that settled." "I've told you how we'll work this, and I'm not discussing it anymore - let me know when you've bought the clothes." "This is what I'm willing to spend on that." If he tries to continue the conversation, repeat - then hang up.

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For those in the US, is my child considered a minor and everything in the divorce decree in effect until his 18th bday OR until he leaves school? He'll be 18 in sept, but still a senior in highschool.
I'm not in the US, but from what little I've picked up here, I think he's considered eligible for child support (which you're not getting, anyway) as long as he's still in high school...in some states. I don't know about custody.

Honestly, this is ridiculous. The relationship here is between your ds and your ex. You have nothing to do with it, anymore. I really think you need to talk to your ds about his dad, and how much he wants to pursue this relationship, and then consider involving the courts again.

And, tell your dh everything, including why you haven't mentioned it before now. If your ex thinks that your dh knows, then he also thinks your dh doesn't care about him hitting on you. If he suspects that your dh doesn't know, he's probably telling himself that you're leaving an out so you can hook up with him when you want to. His inappropriate behaviour has to brought out in the open. Protecting your dh or your ds or whomever by keeping things quiet only works to protect your xh from the consequences of his behaviour.

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Old 05-15-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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This may not be a very popular answer but I think this is crazy!!
You are leading your X-Dh on IMO...you don't answer a date request with the words "I can't" unless you wanted to go..I mean, that is what it sounds like...you still wish you could spend time with x-dH..HE IS SEEING THAT B/C THAT IS HOW YOU ARE ACTING!!
I think that it can be very dangerous to play with someone that way...and for such a long period of time...he absolutely COULD go crazy on you one day b/c he thinks you still secretly love him and want to be with him...
Also, I think it is unfaithful to your Dh...you have been hiding all these conversations with X-Dh...I totally think you need to get into counseling ASAP..and with X-Dh...it is so simple... be perfectly clear when he asks you to spend time with him...tell him that you are a happily married woman who is not interested in spending time with him. Tell him you are happy to be divorced from him and you are going to live your life (finally) like you are divorced from him. You must cut this out...it is crazy
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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I'm not in a blended family, but have an ex. When it became clear that he couldn't have an appropriate, friendly co-parenting relationship with me (some similarities to your case), I simply stopped engaging on any issues that were not DIRECTLY related to the children. Full and complete stop. For a bit, he ramped up his efforts, then he pouted, then he got the message. What I do:

I generally only answer my phone if the kids are with me (so he can speak to them - my kids are much younger). If he leaves a vmail, I check it. I told him if he wanted to speak with me, leave a message re: what he wanted to talk to him about and I will respond. A message that says, "Hey, it's me. Just calling to see what's up. Give me a call" does NOT get a response. I'm not his wife/buddy/girlfriend. I don't call him to relieve his boredom. A message of "I wanted to take the kids to dinner on Tuesday, would that work" will get a response - likely via email.

If when we talk, he starts to take the discussion off the kid topic, I simply get off the phone. No drama, no discussion, no emotion. Simply, "Anything else about the kids? No, ok, I'm getting off now. Bye." Done.

I created an email address that I use exclusively for him, that way I don't have to deal w/looking at stuff from him every time I log onto my regular email. I check it 1-2x/day.

Almost exclusively, if I have to initiate communication with him (kids' schedules, doctor appts, etc.), I do it via email.

I do not share any personal details of my life with him unless absolutely necessary. Things that I would share with him are things that would pretty directly impact the kids - moving/getting a new job that would change my contact info or where the kids live, a new job that would change insurance, my schedule only insofar as it is the children's schedule. For instance, as we're pretty flexible with visitation, I give him a heads-up if I'm taking the kids somewhere for a day. This weekend, we're going to a party in the afternoon. I told him "We're going to an afternoon party in New Jersey." That's it, no details about the party before or after. If he asked where the party was (b/c the kids are going), I'd answer him, with only the information he requested.

Respectfully, you say your X is being inappropriate, but given that you are well-versed in his behavior, this seems to be a two way street. He is pretty consistently getting emotion and reaction out of you, and that reinforces his behavior. Saying "I can't," or "I don't think DH would like that," can certainly be understood as leaving the door open a crack.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:37 AM
 
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You've been through counselling, but what about your son? You have a nearly-adult child who is going to have to spend the rest of his life with a mentally ill parent and you won't be able to run interference. In some ways, there are worse things than allowing the issues to come to a head this year, whilst your son still has you to help deal with the fallout- because what he's done to you, he'll do to your boy.
And yes, my boys are pretty clear on my ex's vagarities now at 10 and 8. If your son is getting worried, he KNOWS. He won't have all the information, and what he's imagining may be worse than reality, but he knows and he needs help to deal with this. It's a lot for a kid to handle, even a big boy of 17.
I'd be consistent with refusals, start documenting with a view to a restraining order and always, always, say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't make it about other people. Talk about your own feelings, wants and needs.
Oh, and I hate the idea of him spending x amount of money and you topping up the rest. You're giving him control over your money, in effect, by not stipulating a clear budget in advance. It sounds like you resent these requests anyhow, so start from that point.

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Old 05-16-2009, 04:57 AM
 
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i read this entire thread and i think that life is testing you with your ex. he is holding you hostage to the guilt feelings you have over your first husband's suicide. unfortunately, being held hostage by your ex endangers your current marriage. your husband would be (rightly) pissed if he knew what you are putting up with, and the extent of it.

as far as i can tell, the only solution to your situation is to get to the root cause of your anxieties, and work through them to the point that you let go of the guilt surrounding the suicide. for what it's worth, *it was not your fault* that the guy killed himself. seriously. lots of people piss us off in life, it happens to everybody. most people don't kill themselves over it.

the man killed himself because he was mentally unbalanced. you would have to have severe mental problems to commit suicide. the fact that you were leaving him (or whatever i don't remember the circumstances you listed exactly-- but you know what, they are not important), the fact that you had involvement in his life was merely circumstantial. if it was not *you* it would have been someone else or something else that "pushed him over the edge."

when you realize that you don't have to feel guilty about this guy's death, it will be much easier for you to cut loose (emotionally) the ex husband and put him in a more appropriate "ex husband" place. then you can get on with a singular focus on your current marriage, instead of sneaking around to hide the ex's calls and his obsession with you from your husband.

does this make sense?

please please focus on letting go of the past. then you can focus on the present, and move forward into the future. good luck!

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Old 05-16-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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Oh momma You have found yourself in a VERY rough situation. I think it's time you are HONEST with yourself! your son! and your husband!!! This xh is dangerous! There is NO REASON he needs your cell phone- have him call your DS or your home phone. This is stalking, and it's out of controll!

You need help setting boundaries and dealing with conflict. I also don't think you have dealt with the physical, emotional and mental abuse you have suffered from your ex husbands. THEIR mental illness' are THEIR problems- you are colatteral (sp) damage PLEASE seek help- via free services or through a chruch. PLEASE! For your own sanity sake, for your safety and for your DS and DH's sake!!! Talk to them and get some outside help!

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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Old 05-16-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Email or letter to XH (possibly cc DH):

XH,

I've been doing some thinking and have realized that my attempts to be civil and non-confrontational may have been interpreted by you as a desire to continue our relationship on some level. This is absolutely not the case.

We are divorced, and thus our relationship is now solely about our shared custody agreement - nothing more.

From now on, our communication will be strictly limited to what needs to be discussed regarding DS - his schedule, his appointments and the like. We can set up a weekly phone call to confirm visitation for the week - does Thursday at 6pm work for you? If something needs to communcated regarding DS's visitation that can't wait until the next weekly call, you can leave me voice mail at XXX-XXXX, or email me at [email protected] (I will check that email every night). When you leave me a message, be specific - for example, if you need to change the next pickup time, go ahead and state that. I will reply, usually via email, to confirm or answer any specific questions related to DS's custody arrangement. Any vague messages, such as just "call me back," or even "it's urgent," will not be answered; only specific messages concerning visitation or DS's welfare.

Upholding my end of our custody agreement is important to me, and I will continue to be responsive and reliable in that regard. However, I will not be entertaining any further personal relationship with you, as we are divorced.

Sincerely,

Anglyn

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:42 PM
 
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Good letter, laohaire - clear and direct. I like it.

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Old 05-16-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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I can't imagine why there would need to be weekly calls. Their son is 17 years old. If the son or the father ever have a conflict with their scheduling, can they really not work it out amongst themselves?
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post
I can't imagine why there would need to be weekly calls. Their son is 17 years old. If the son or the father ever have a conflict with their scheduling, can they really not work it out amongst themselves?

For my situation as a mom of a teen, it is a nightmare when my ex plans things without my input (teen forgets other obligations and just says yes, teen gets stressed out, feels guilty for forgetting stuff, etc.), and it is not legally allowed by our agreement. Visitation varies and legally, must be approved by me. So BRIEF emails and even briefer, occasional phone calls are necessary...but the keyword is BRIEF.

I am moving toward teaching the teenager how to manage one's own life/schedule, which will come in time.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
You've been through counselling, but what about your son? You have a nearly-adult child who is going to have to spend the rest of his life with a mentally ill parent and you won't be able to run interference. In some ways, there are worse things than allowing the issues to come to a head this year, whilst your son still has you to help deal with the fallout- because what he's done to you, he'll do to your boy.
And yes, my boys are pretty clear on my ex's vagarities now at 10 and 8. If your son is getting worried, he KNOWS. He won't have all the information, and what he's imagining may be worse than reality, but he knows and he needs help to deal with this. It's a lot for a kid to handle, even a big boy of 17.
I'd be consistent with refusals, start documenting with a view to a restraining order and always, always, say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't make it about other people. Talk about your own feelings, wants and needs.
Oh, and I hate the idea of him spending x amount of money and you topping up the rest. You're giving him control over your money, in effect, by not stipulating a clear budget in advance. It sounds like you resent these requests anyhow, so start from that point.
We went to a psychiatrist once and all they did was talk to him for about ten min and prescribe antidepressants. Turns out they dont really do counseling, so I want to find someone who does but now ds is totally turned off of the idea. I have bought the book "Toxic Parents" but so far he hasnt read it. But I agree, he needs counseling and someone thats not me. WhenI try to talk to him about his dad he feels I am putting him in the middle. I will try again.

No, I dont let him tell me how much money to give, but he certainly TRIES to control that!! I have told him that if he expects me to split something with him, he needs to ask me that IN ADVANCE, if he does not have prior aknowledgement from me that I will indeed pay part of something, then it is all on him. Then he likes to call and give me a list of what he's spent. Sometimes he gives me itemized lists he's written out on notebook paper. I'd love to itemize the money Ive spent over the years but I dont have that kind of time or pettiness and frankly its just ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
i read this entire thread and i think that life is testing you with your ex. he is holding you hostage to the guilt feelings you have over your first husband's suicide. unfortunately, being held hostage by your ex endangers your current marriage. your husband would be (rightly) pissed if he knew what you are putting up with, and the extent of it.

as far as i can tell, the only solution to your situation is to get to the root cause of your anxieties, and work through them to the point that you let go of the guilt surrounding the suicide. for what it's worth, *it was not your fault* that the guy killed himself. seriously. lots of people piss us off in life, it happens to everybody. most people don't kill themselves over it.

the man killed himself because he was mentally unbalanced. you would have to have severe mental problems to commit suicide. the fact that you were leaving him (or whatever i don't remember the circumstances you listed exactly-- but you know what, they are not important), the fact that you had involvement in his life was merely circumstantial. if it was not *you* it would have been someone else or something else that "pushed him over the edge."

when you realize that you don't have to feel guilty about this guy's death, it will be much easier for you to cut loose (emotionally) the ex husband and put him in a more appropriate "ex husband" place. then you can get on with a singular focus on your current marriage, instead of sneaking around to hide the ex's calls and his obsession with you from your husband.

does this make sense?

please please focus on letting go of the past. then you can focus on the present, and move forward into the future. good luck!
I think there is truth to that and I think he also plays on the guilt I feel over our son. I initiated the divorce (at the time ds WANTED to be around his dad)and I moved him 200 miles away from his father, his grandparents, his friends, his school etc. In effect, "ruined his life" as he says.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice View Post
For my situation as a mom of a teen, it is a nightmare when my ex plans things without my input (teen forgets other obligations and just says yes, teen gets stressed out, feels guilty for forgetting stuff, etc.), and it is not legally allowed by our agreement. Visitation varies and legally, must be approved by me. So BRIEF emails and even briefer, occasional phone calls are necessary...but the keyword is BRIEF.

I am moving toward teaching the teenager how to manage one's own life/schedule, which will come in time.
Yes, we tried the route of letting it all go through ds and it was a disaster, for all those reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Email or letter to XH (possibly cc DH):

XH,

I've been doing some thinking and have realized that my attempts to be civil and non-confrontational may have been interpreted by you as a desire to continue our relationship on some level. This is absolutely not the case.

We are divorced, and thus our relationship is now solely about our shared custody agreement - nothing more.

From now on, our communication will be strictly limited to what needs to be discussed regarding DS - his schedule, his appointments and the like. We can set up a weekly phone call to confirm visitation for the week - does Thursday at 6pm work for you? If something needs to communcated regarding DS's visitation that can't wait until the next weekly call, you can leave me voice mail at XXX-XXXX, or email me at [email protected] (I will check that email every night). When you leave me a message, be specific - for example, if you need to change the next pickup time, go ahead and state that. I will reply, usually via email, to confirm or answer any specific questions related to DS's custody arrangement. Any vague messages, such as just "call me back," or even "it's urgent," will not be answered; only specific messages concerning visitation or DS's welfare.

Upholding my end of our custody agreement is important to me, and I will continue to be responsive and reliable in that regard. However, I will not be entertaining any further personal relationship with you, as we are divorced.

Sincerely,

Anglyn
Love the letter and think I will use it. My ex JUST, like within the last few weeks, starting using email. Up until not that wasnt even an option for communication. We also dont have a home phone. With everyone having a cell phone, we were paying a good chunk of money for a phone that only telemarketers called so we got rid of it. I visit clients all day, so am not in the office to answer that phone either, so everyone gets my cell number, as a mobile, work and home number!!

I figure its not worth going back to court since ds will turn 18 in just over three months. I checked the divorce papers, the custody arrangement is in effect as long as the child is under 18 so that answered that.

DS failed the math portion of the taks. He has never failed any section of any standardized test before, though he has struggled with math this year all along. Due to this, he now has two weeks more of school. I was not aware that this would or could happen. I dont know why the shcool didnt make sure people knew this was a possibility. Anyway, you guys would be proud of me. I let x know that ds cant come this weekend, it will be at some point after june 5th. I then ignored about 12 text messages and three vm's basically trying to make this my fault somehow. The only response I sent was one text to say: "If you continue this behavior, I will disconnect both phones and you will have no way to contact ds or I. I know you are upset, but that doesnt make it ok to harrass me so no, I will not call you."

And I meant it. I will disconnect or at least change the numbers and he will never get ahold of mine again.

Now, some advice please. X called DS, I could hear ds through the wall yelling and arguing and crying. He then was so upset he coudlnt function to study and so informed me to expect him to fail all his finals tommorow.

Since ds seems incapable of just ignoring his dads calls and/or hanging up on him when he gets like that, should I cut off his phone? I hate to cut him off from his friends all summer like that, but I am tired of his dad doing this to him! What would you do?

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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I think you should get DS a new phone, and convince him not to give his dad the number.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:52 AM
 
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Oh, Anglyn That's such a very sad update to me. I am very glad that DS is going to be 18 in three months...however I do hope you can convince him to get into counseling. Maybe you should start with WHY you filed for divorce- and not the sugar coated version you've been feeding him for years. I'm not trying to be mean, however I know that most divorced moms (and often dads) don't tell their kids the real reason why...and ALL of my friends that have struggled to deal with their parents divorce, the ones that took things the hardest were the ones that HAD NO CLUE why!

Are you religious? Is there a church or clergy member of your chosen religion that your DS could talk to? That might help him see that this is VERY toxic behavior- but at the same time dealing with one's toxic parent at 18 is very unlikely. It's just not something we are prepared to do, nor is our brain (IMHO) ready to accept that.

Also, maybe you could call the phone company and block XH's number from DS's phone for the time being? Is that possible? Or give him a disposable phone for the next 6 months or so that's ONLY for friends and you and emergencies...yet keep the existing phone for his dad when he wants to deal with him? Just spit ballin here

Honestly? If this was my child- whose studying hard and is on the phone with a screaming lunatic personality I would calmly walk in there and take the phone from him and speak to XH and say "This is no acceptable for you to speak to DS this way. I'm taking his phone away until after finals, to give him time to study. DS will be allowed to CALL YOU from my phone, however right now he will not RECIEVE calls. Do not talk to him like that again." and I'm sure you are going to have to add "We are divorced, and since DS is almost 18 I'm stopping this inappropriate behavior. Please, get some help." and hang up. How very sad....

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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Old 05-20-2009, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I considered going in and taking the phone away. Im alway so torn between protecting him and letting him learn to handle it. People are always telling me I have protected him too much and for too long and once he leaves home, will have to deal with his dad on his own. I get that. But I still WANT to protect him! Anyway, I did not hear the argument til the end, and by the time I knocked on the door, he was off the phone.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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