Advice please! Dealing with Hubby's Ex

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2010
Advice please! Dealing with Hubby's Ex
10
Fri, 11-19-2010 - 3:58pm

It seems like my husbands Ex-Wife goes between two extremes... wanting to be is best friend, or his bitter enemy.

He really has no good feelings toward her and doesn't want anything to do with her or to hear from her unless it is important and about the kids... they all live across the country from us, but all the kids have phones to communicate with their father. Half the time she texts him about irrelevant topics but will throw in the word "kids" so that it will be about them, and therefore it is "ok" to talk about, he usually does not respond to these messages. The other half of the time she is sending nasty messages, ranting and name calling.

I have received texts, emails and voice mails from her, the oldest daughter and even from the Ex Mother In Law... telling me what an awful man and father he is. They have a handful of insults they spew, its always the same things, and obviously things I didn't have a problem with because I married him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Fri, 11-19-2010 - 4:37pm

Don't be mad at the kids, even if they are older, they are hearing hurt from the person right there they love, they only hear one side of the story, so that is all they know.

When they come to visit concentrate on THEM, not their mother.




Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 11-19-2010 - 6:35pm

Well, the good thing is they are far away, so at least this isn't happening on your doorstep during drop offs, or at ball games, etc.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2007
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 10:10am
There are alot of words and terms we use around here when dealing with these situations. Disconnect, disengage, change the dance. The thing is YOU are the one asking for help. YOU can do these things, but you can't force him to do them. He needs to come to the conclusion that what he IS doing is not working. It is allowing it to continue. My DH did the same thing, thinking he was 'keeping the peace', all the while the war raged on. He finally grew some and explained to his ex that he no longer wanted any contact unless it was directly about his DD. Both his ex and his DD withdrew. He diligently kept reaching out to his DD through calling her directly once every week. At first he would leave VM's and she would not answer. After a while, she started picking up the phone and they would talk, then....on his therapist's advice, he stopped calling every week and asked her to call him sometimes. Eventually, when she realized he is dead serious, she began to call him. Now, 12 years later they have a very mature and healthy relationship. His ex is not a part of his relationship with his DD. During those 12 years, I stepped back. I never jumped in claiming any kind of relationship with her, but over the years, one has grown and it was not forced. But the first step was me disengaging myself from the drama of his ex-marriage. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. If they were indifferent about each other, then you could rest assure that there is no emotional ties left. It is not allowing this person to have power over me, because whatever this person does, they do not affect me at all. We are taught (hopefully) that people only bully people they can. To get a reaction. If you don't react, then there is no point. Sure they may run the gamut, but sooner or later they will tire. It does and can a long time. Pam

Pamela


The choices we make in thought word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2010
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 11:09am

Oh thank you so much for your advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 11:22am

I think if I were you I would try to withdraw myself from this situation and not be the one to have contact w/ the ex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2005
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 12:11pm

I just wanted to say hi and welcome to our board. I think you've gotten some great advice and have nothing to really add to it. Sending you some hugs and hoping you and your DH can find a healthy way to deal with his Ex to make your lives a happier one and his r'ships with his kids a better one.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 12:20pm
Oh brother! I know there is always two sides (well three) sides to a story, but counting on texting being reliable, and assuming that we have the phone right in our hand just hits a nerve with me.

However, I do understand why he won't talk to her. It is not uncommon for parents to only do e-mail or text when they can't talk without fighting.

There may be exceptions out there, but generally I would say you really, really can't talk to the xW, even with good intentions. I have tried in very small, indirect ways to be helpful in the past, and it never fails I ususally just wish I would have never offered to help, or whatever the case may be.

Very early in our R, I may have received two of three phone calls from his xW, but I figured out very quickly those conversations just never pan out.

You really just need to stay out of it, and although understandably hard to watch, your DH has his own journey with his children.

My SO has not spoken to his DD22 for two years. She is married and has 3 children. He tries to hide the pain with indifference, but how can it not hurt? They live two houses away from us, so we see all of the decorations for birthday parties, the xW's car, his other kids posting pictures of the grandkids on FB.

Point being, it is his DD and grandkids, not mine. I not once, ever, and I mean never have I gotten in the middle of it.

Hang in there and just be his DW, and be supportive and postive when his kids come to visit.
Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2010
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 2:54pm
Thank you Serenity, your comments about your SO's relationship with his DD helps alot. I need to keep that in mind in regard to my DH's kids and just worry about his and my marriage. Comments have been made about him caring more about me and my kids than his own, so sometimes I probably feel guilty... but I guess I should not concern myself with it??
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 4:39pm

I hear you.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
Mon, 11-22-2010 - 7:56pm

Hello, I was about to start a thread on dealing with the exW, too. My DF's ex is taking him back to court to modify visitation etc. She's a nitpicking control freak. And i empathize with DF that he has to deal with it. I had to deal with something very similar with my ex when my kids were little. It can be a real downer.

What i told my DF was that he has to take the high road! My encouragement to him was that judges see the truth. Keep exW out of the picture when it comes to his kids and only focus on them and what it best for them. I advised him not to engage in the back and forth, finger pointing about who is a bad parent.

I truly hope judges do see the truth. DF's kids were appointed a GAL and that is the next step for us.

I agree with the others... try to stay out of the middle and out of the drama. That's what i plan to do. I will only encourage him and not play the tit for tat. I hated this when i had to deal with it with my ex.... i don't like seeing DF have to deal with it too. DF's kids are 7 and 8.

I also told my DF that this is not a battle between you and her. And to take this to a spiritual level...pray. pray. pray.