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<p>So, I am currently involved in a potential custody battle (read my other posts for that story) but I'm coming to the conclusion that one of the biggest problems I'm facing is that my ex is a bully. He threatens me, screams and yells all the time to (attempt) to get his way where our DD is concerned. Any advice on how to deal with this type of bullying? He was never physically abusive and never would be, but honestly the threats and bullying are wearing me down to the point where my therapist said I nearly meet the criteria for PTSD.</p>
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<p>Since he is not on the birth certificate you could cut all communication. He has no legal rights until if and when he files paternity. Document all the threats, if you can reduce communication to text and email so you can have concrete proof of his threats/bullying. If you can pull together enough concrete proof you can file for a restraining order or harrasment.</p>
 

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<p>Yes, I tried that for a while. Unfortunately, for now, we work together and me not talking to him and not letting him see DD made things a million times worse. I am trying to get along with him to keep him from going to court. I want to retain all legal rights to my daughter and this is the best way. So, I guess I did advice on those that HAVE to deal with bullying exes because, for now, I've made the choice that I have to deal with him.</p>
 

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<p>But you don't have to deal with him like that. Establish a visitation schedule and keep all other contact via text or email. If he goes outside of discussing the child, ignore it and document it.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cybercere</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281983/bullying-advice-from-ex-partner#post_16075948"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Yes, I tried that for a while. Unfortunately, for now, we work together and me not talking to him and not letting him see DD made things a million times worse. I am trying to get along with him to keep him from going to court. I want to retain all legal rights to my daughter and this is the best way. So, I guess I did advice on those that HAVE to deal with bullying exes because, for now, I've made the choice that I have to deal with him.</p>
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<br><br><p>you created boundaries, he hated them and made you suffer for it, you caved and took whatever crap he wanted to give you, to keep the peace. my three year old acts like he does. i suggest treating him like someone else's 3 year old. if he can't talk to you nicely, walk away. you don't have to take garbage from him, you really don't. let him have his tantrums, in the end you'll (ideally) end up with lots of documented verbal abuse and your child to yourself.</p>
 

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<p>also, in the custody battle- esp. in the mediation sessions if you have any- make your lawyer do all the talking.  i found that i caved to a couple issues in mediation, just because i was so used to being verbally beaten down by my ex.  in court, or in mediation- just don't look at him.  stand your ground, and don't look at him.  he will be counting on being able to intimidate you with his gaze, so you not looking at him can both strengthen you and unnerve him.  doubleplus good.</p>
 

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<p>My ex was a huge bully...... I ended the cycle thru court action but honestly it really ended because I stopped buying into the threat.  I can't say why I stopped just that I finally decided to no longer allow another person to get that sort of energy from me.  I think I was numb --- beyond over him.</p>
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<p>If I were you I would think of very clear boundaries and set them in your parenting agreement.  No so much the actual time but things like drop off and pick up locations/ times, etc.  I had a TON of boundaries in my first draft which you can see if the super long what should you put in an agreement thread.</p>
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<p>Best of luck</p>
 

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<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">I have a LOT of advice on this.  I have been through two years of therapy with an excellent psychologist/coach.  My advice follows his advice to me.   I think my situation is slightly similar to yours in that cheating was involved and also with a housekeeper  and that with cheating comes bullying but I do not know anything more about your story and haven't read your other post.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Anyway, here is a some advice on a bullying ex husband in random order -</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> When ex yells at you you can respond like this-</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">'I am sorry you feel that way.  Now let's talk about _____'  (what time you plan to pick up dd or whatever).</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">and/or 'when you are ready to talk about that you can call me back.  I have to go now.  Bye.'</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">When he threatens you you can say-</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">'<em style="font-style:italic;font-weight:normal;">I don't believe you really feel that way'</em></p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"><em style="font-style:italic;font-weight:normal;">'I know you would never do something like that.  I know you are a good man.  I never would have married you if I did not believe you were a good man.  I know you would never do anything to hurt the kids or me</em>.'  And no matter how much you hate him now and how dishonest you may feel saying this now, keep in mind this is actually true.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">I tell my kids to say to each other when they fight the following -</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"><em style="font-style:italic;font-weight:normal;">'this is all about you.  this has nothing to do with me</em>'</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">I wouldn't say it to ex but I keep it in mind when he is reeling.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Respond to anger with calm and moderation. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Your best response in ANY situation is always calm and moderation. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">The calmer you remain and the more you keep your head the more ex will wonder why he ever left you.  The more that he wishes he were still with you and the more YOU wish you were still with him, the better it is for your kids.  He will be wondering why he ever left you if you are calm, moderate, angelic.  If he sees you as a good, kind loving mother to his kids who will not try to keep his kids from him he will begin to respond more calmly to you.   The more you act like a belligerent bulldog, the happier he will be that he left.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">No cozy social situations.  No long conversations.  No personal information exchanged.  Do not have dinner with him, do not discuss your relationship with him.  Especially if he is involved in affairs.  Absolutely fundamental that the children NEVER hear you talk b/c a fight is likely to ensue.  (because he is a bully)./</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Here is an example of something my ex says and my response</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Me - 'what time would you like to see the kids tomorrow?'</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Ex - 'who the f..k do you think I am?  Do you think I have f...king all the time in the world to do what you want me to do? f... y..  etc...</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Me - I know it's hard.   'so you don't want to see them tomorrow.  OK.  What about the next day?'</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">EX - OK fine I'll take them from 5 to 7 but I'm not f...ing feeding them dinner because I pay you cs so you can provide meals and make sure you're on time picking them up because I have to f...ing work..etc..</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Me - OK.  I understand.   I'll drop them off at 5.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Ex - Oh. OK good thanks. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">This conversation cannot take place in front of the kids and cannot take place on the phone if the kids are at his house.</p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">If he is yelling and the kids are present I hang up the phone so that the conversation gets cut off as fast as possible.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">This conversation cannot take place with someone I actually WANT to have a relationship with because I will not tolerate being treated like this.  BUT our relationship is over.  I need him to be there for the kids and I need him to pay the CS.  Being calm and moderate and actually listening to some small part of what he is saying does do some good.  He screams and yells about how hard he works, so I can acknowledge that this is true and 'I understand'.  The rest of it can get ignored and cut off as quickly as possible.  My psych recommends taking something out of what he is saying - even something small, and acknowledging it so he knows he is being listened to.  (try to figure out what he wants and give him some small part of that as long as it doesn't hurt me in any way).  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Other tips.  Do not fight anger with anger. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Take a deep breath before responding. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">No response is better than the wrong response or angry outbursts.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">On custody battle - keep in mind that In a negotiation the non-belligerent party always has the upper hand!  You can use his bullying to your advantage.   I actually tested this once by trying to negotiate something with him where I was totally detatched from the outcome.  (I asked if we could use his studio apartment for an au pair rather than renting it out).  His response was the expected, 'f...you' - 'you think I'm made of money' 'you just want to use me, you're nothing but a conniving etc. etc...'  My responses were all something along the lines of 'yes, it would be great because the kids are going to need their own rooms soon and we no longer have room for the au pair in the house' his response was 'f y...' and mine was 'yes, we could hire an au pair that speaks your language so when you visit it will be easier for the kids to communicate with you'.  His response was that I am evil, etc.  and I just kept on completely 100% on track with what I want.  Never one rude or off topic comment from me and within 20 minutes he had agreed to it.  No joke.  He cannot win an argument acting like that but I can.  That is why lawyers make angry men (and women) in court shut up and why lawyers have to do the talking. </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">Anyway.  My psychologist has been giving me this advice once a week for two years and pretty much repeating it at each session.  It takes time for all this to sink in and you are still in the beginning stages of the battle.  one thing he also told me once which is sort of cheesy but works is that each day is a new day.  So don't beat yourself up if you don't get this right.  Just keep plugging at it.  People forget.  It took me a long long time to follow this advice but it does work.  </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">I'd also recommend reading the book 'crazy time' about the period of separation. </p>
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<p>no matter what he says, the ball is in your court for now. unless he decides to go change it legally.</p>
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<p>you are actually doing a favour by allowing him to see his dd.</p>
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<p>you need to draw a line very clearly.</p>
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<p>first talk to him on the porch. dont let him inside your house. if he gets rude, end the conversation RIGHT THERE. close the door on him AFTER you tell him if he cant speak respectfully you will not listen. if he is on the phone - after warning him - hang up.</p>
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<p>HE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO TREAT YOU LIKE THAT!!! </p>
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<p>and there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE IT!!</p>
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<p>even after 6 1/2 years of separation ex does get vocally abusive with me. i take it initially when his tone is not directed at me but he is just in the mood. the moment he gets beligerent i either walk away or hang up.</p>
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<p>there are a couple of times i have gotten on him myself. when i heard he was calling my dd fat. but in a cool, composed logical way - which actually makes him more angry. but he cant fight the logic. </p>
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<p>how do i personally deal with it. i had to work on my own stuff very intensely the first two years. so that his words would have no power over me. that him calling me a bad mother, or calling CPS on me was like water off the ducks back. it took a lot of me loooking into my own stuff. and the KEY that saved me was finding 'non violent communication' and doing the dance of anger and role playing. it helped me understand ex better and see him for the 12 year old he is. i dont say he is a 4 year old anymore, because a 4 year old doesnt know what he is doing, but a 12 year old does. ex IS concious of what he is doing. </p>
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<p>i wonder if you need another kind of therapy. like personal growth issues, a life coach maybe? </p>
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<p>in my case the vocal violence has come down A LOT when he found i wouldnt rise to the bait. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<p>Thank you - I printed this out and have posted it on my desk at home and at work next to my phone. I am in therapy but have primarily been dealing with my total devastation at him sleeping with our au pair and then leaving to go back to his ex wife. It recently occured to me taht I need to start focusing on the bullying and moving forward. Thank you so much.</p>
 

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<p>Your situation is so complicated, that you need to find a way, any way, to simplify it.  (please forgive me if I'm mixing you up with another poster - toddler brain has not been kind to me lately)  He's not on the BC right?  Part of what is driving you crazy is the not knowing whether he will file right?   Why not either, a) cut off contact - COMPLETELY so that he can't make you "pay for it", or b) filing for chid support and paternity so that you can start ending the uncertainty?  If you want him in your dd's life, but not any responsibility, you are going to have to put up with him, and not get any benefit from it.  If you don't want the uncertainty, you need to take steps to end it - it will not end itself.</p>
 

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<p>yes, that's me - the one with the totally f-ed up life. I do not want him on the bc. I do not want his money. I want him to fade away someday. I do not want my daughter away from me, especially overnight. She's not even one yet. My lawyer advised cut off all contact, but that will put him into a position where I think he would file just to "save face." He has said many times that if I move away, he will just "have to come see her." Sort of the out of sight, out of mind, plan. So, I'm seriously considering that. Until then, I am sort of trying to "play nice." My primary goal is to retain all legal rights to my daughter so when/if the time comes, I can easily leave without having to deal with issues. But you're right, I live in this weird sort of limbo, never knowing if it will get "worse." My therapist advised that I just sort of go with the idea that the informal agreement we've come to is bascially as good as a court order since we've all agreed and just act under the assumption that like "real" court orders, they are always subject to someone going back and demanding a change. For now, I would like to prolong the potentially inevitable. And perhaps he'll get someone else pregnant which would be a dream come true :-></p>
 

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<p>cyber - ex is two men. an ex and a father. </p>
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<p>honestly you will find the majority of single moms here including myself have been threatened. we have posted like you scared out of our minds. but in most cases its just been a bark.</p>
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<p>ultimately what helped me was ignoring everyone else - and looking at what "I" thought was fair. and going along that game plan.</p>
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<p>how do you feel about him being in your dd's life? do you want him to be there without teh violence. divide him into the two men he already is. it doesnt matter if he IS a good father. does he TRY to be a good father? even you therapist and lawyer are telling you to cut him off. </p>
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<p>my only concern is he may demand paternity later on and then show you tried to keep his dd from him. and while a one year old might struggle to do an overnight with dad, let me tell you at 3 an overnight with a stranger is absolutely DEVASTATING for a child. however i dont know the law. </p>
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<p>i would look at what's good for the first 5 years of your child's life and plan accordingly. i know you get pulled in and emotionally affected by his words....</p>
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<p>but start looking at a game plan. yup keep to the informal agreement as your therapist said. </p>
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<p>what do you want your lives to look like for the next 5 years. assess. would ex make a good dad? answer this honestly. yes they can be terrible husbands and ex's but great dads. </p>
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<p>playing nice is a great tactic. but unfortunately it is not working for you. you are doing it out of fear. the more you cower the more 'stronger' in his anger he will get. set some boundaries. and when he notices you are not falling for it, he might back off. </p>
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<p>another woman pregnant? HAH!!! i thought the same. just another serious gf for my ex. HAH!!!! he got worse. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cybercere</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281983/bullying-advice-from-ex-partner#post_16078773"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>yes, that's me - the one with the totally f-ed up life. I do not want him on the bc. I do not want his money. I want him to fade away someday. I do not want my daughter away from me, especially overnight. She's not even one yet. My lawyer advised cut off all contact, but that will put him into a position where I think he would file just to "save face." He has said many times that if I move away, he will just "have to come see her." Sort of the out of sight, out of mind, plan. So, I'm seriously considering that. Until then, I am sort of trying to "play nice." My primary goal is to retain all legal rights to my daughter so when/if the time comes, I can easily leave without having to deal with issues. But you're right, I live in this weird sort of limbo, never knowing if it will get "worse." My therapist advised that I just sort of go with the idea that the informal agreement we've come to is bascially as good as a court order since we've all agreed and just act under the assumption that like "real" court orders, they are always subject to someone going back and demanding a change. For now, I would like to prolong the potentially inevitable. And perhaps he'll get someone else pregnant which would be a dream come true :-></p>
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So, overnights are a scary thought - but they aren't the end of the world.  Really, many of us on this board have had to let our under 1yo's go away overnight, and while its hard, the reality is that they're with dad not a stranger and it usually works out fine (yes, even if they are still BF'ing).</p>
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<p>If your lawyer has advised that you cut off contact, thats what you should do.  Then, either he will file or he won't.  If he does, there will be an end in sight (and overnights might not start until she is over a year anyway).</p>
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<p>Until you find a way to get out from under being in "limbo" he will be able to use fear and threatening to keep in his control.  Have you read the book "why does he do that" by lundy bancroft?  It's a good read for people in this situation.</p>
 
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