The dreaded ex...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2007
The dreaded ex...
6
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 10:20am
This is not a major problem, but you all give such great advice, I though I would ask your opinion. I am living with my SO and getting married in July. We moved six hours away from where we lived so my SO could start his own business. It was just a little bonus that it was six hours away from my ex, too. My ex and I have two children together and he just used them to get to me. He would call me all of the time and finally it got to where I would ask if he wanted to talk to the kids. If he said, in a minute, or I just wanted to talk to you, I would hang up the phone. He hasn't dealt with the divorce very well. Now, he can't call because he is in jail, so he is writing me letters. He got my address from his dad and sends me a letter almost every week. He has only written his children once. I want my children to have a close relationship with their dad, but he makes it impossible, especially since he is in jail! I begged him for a long time after we seperated to have something to do with them and to get his life straightened out so they could stay with him during his visitation. He refused. My problem is, I can't stop him from writing the letters and I know that he just has a lot of time to think about us and that is why he is writing all of these letters. My SO has a real problem with it, as anyone would. I always let him read the letters so he doesn't think I am hiding things from him. He got mad at me yesterday and said that I should do something about it. What? He doesn't want me to write him and I can't talk to him and tell him to stop, so what am I expected to do? I wish my SO would understand that nothing my ex says means anything to me. I am totally in love with my SO and I don't have any desire to entertain any feelings my ex has for me. I have told my SO this repeatedly, but he just won't listen. My SO knew my situation when we dated, moved in together and when he proposed. Now, he is upset with me about it. He speaks to his ex about their daughter and I never say anything. I know he has to talk to her and I am glad they are friends. When I did talk to my ex, it was only about the kids. If he started about something else, I would get off the phone. I divorced him because he made my life miserable, and I don't want him to interfere with my life now. I can't stop him from loving me and I refuse to hate him because of my children. What should I do?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2007
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 11:20am
You can return the letters unopened, or destroy them when you receive them. Why are you and/or your SO reading them?
You may be able to get a restraining order disallowing him to send you letters.
The easiest thing to do would be to send him a postcard saying "Stop writing to me. If you don't stop, I will seek legal assistance to make you stop."
How long is he going to be in jail? What are your plans when you are out? What is he in jail for? Are you going to be comfortable letting him be alone with your children after he is released?

Cat 

Mom to 5: DS-17, DD-16, DD-11, DD-9, DS-7

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 12:11pm

I was thinking the same thing. I would send a short note saying that the ONLY contact will be concerning the children. Period. Since he is in jail, he has not reason to contact you at all. You and your SO could agree on what arrangment would be ok with both of you, for you to update your ex with "children" issues. Bi-weekly, monthly, whatever, just a note about what or how the kids are doing, and that's all.

You don't say how old the kids are. Are they too young to read? So direct contact with their dad isn't possible? Is he allowed a phone call each week? I think if the children desire it, and he desires it, then some kind of contact is necessary. Check with your local legal aid office, or social services. What sort of provisions were in place with your divorce papers?

Pam

Pam

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 12:17pm

I'm with cat on this one. If your ex doesn't ever write to the kids, and you know he's only writing to you, then I'd contact the jail and ask about protocols regarding blocking mail. Or stopping your ex from sending them. Also, I'm not sure, but I think they read everything going out.

My xb used to send me stuff too from jail. I hated it. He was an embarrassment to me, and I can't believe I was even involved with someone like that. The letters came, I dumped them. Never opened them.

I would suggest "refusing" the letters and sending them back, even if you have to pay the postage again. Or calling the jail to find out what can be done.

I can understand you reading them, in case there is something for the kids, but realistically, since he obviously has no desire to be a father, it'll most likely be aimed at you.

I also think your DH needs to help you figure out what to do, versus just getting upset at you. As we have always told the women here, when their SO/DH's allow the ex to run their lives....you are allowing it to happen.

Hugs. There are ways to stop this. I would first tell SO that you do want to stop this and you're going to look into it, but you need his support while doing it. Even if it means sending him a letter like cat suggested.




















 





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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2007
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 12:34pm
He just went to jail a couple of months ago for arson and forgery. It it very embarrasing to me because I was a police officer in the county where he got arrested. Thank God I don't live or work there anymore. I read the letters to see if there is anything for my kids and he has sent letters to our children. I don't know when he will get out, he is awaiting his court date and sentencing. When he was calling all the time, I told him to stop and set up times twice a week for him to call the kids. They are only 3 and 5 and they draw him pictures and things to send to him. They don't know he is in jail. I just tell them that we live far away and he has to work, but that he loves them. I don't want them to feel rejected or embarassed. My oldest daughter knows what being in jail means since I was an officer and I told her I only took bad people to jail. I don't want her to associate that with her father. I haven't allowed them to be alone with him since the divorce. My kids still go to his parent's house, they are really wonderful and always respect my wishes when it concerns the children. Sometimes he would go and see them when they were there, but not always. I do want him to straighten things out and be a father to them, he can be a really good dad when he wants to, I just don't see that happening. Thanks for your advice. I think I will call the jail and ask them what can be done.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 2:57pm

Since the issue (for you) isnt so much the actual letters (youre content to just dump them and not reply), the issue is really the disharmony between you and DH regarding the situation...so my recommendation is to focus on talking over possible ways to handle it with DH, and going from there.

It's one thing for him to be upset that you receive the letters, but how does he think it should be handled?....

My suggestion:

Include DH in the decision/plans as to how to handle exH, so that if/when the "plan" doesnt work, it doesnt become a deal of DH blaming you for not doing the right thing to handle exH...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2007
In reply to: aleha82
Tue, 06-12-2007 - 3:14pm
Thank you and without knowing it, I have already taken your advice. I talked with my SO about it and we decided together that I should write my ex and tell him that the letters are inappropriate and all correspondence should refer to the children. I told my SO I had three choices: I could return the letters unopened, call the facility and tell them not to mail any letters to my address (which would eliminate mail to the children), or write him and ask him not to write me anymore. We decided on the third choice, because my SO doesn't want to cut him off from the kids. He does respect that my ex is their father. Hopefully, it will work out. Thanks to everyone for your advice.