Advice needed – being harrassed by my ex-wife
4 May 2020 at 1:32 pm #39613
Been separated for 6 years and divorced for 5 years. My 3 kids live predominantly with their mother but I have them one day every week and then Fri-Sun every other week. During holidays we split them equally (ie 3 weeks over Summer they are with me).
Over the last 6 months my relationship with my ex has deteriorated to such an extent that we can’t talk any more and all communication is via whatsapp / email if there is a lot to talk about.
Its the email’s that are really driving me nuts – every 3-4 days I get a long email explaining what I have done wrong, or what i need to do with the kids, or where I am not doing the right things. Topics include:
- Too much processed foods
- Posting on my own social media
- Getting off my phone instead of looking after the kids
- Telling my 12 year old that I had a girlfriend
- That I am not giving her enough money (even though I pay over and above the CMS calculations and have never missed a payment)
I live by the principle that what happens in her house or my house is acceptable so long as the Children’s safety is not compromised. She lives by the rules that the children’s welfare is her primary concern and what happens in my house is of her interest because they get upset or anxious.
Recently the emails are becoming long and often (every 3-4 days) and I just want to be left alone.
I asked a solicitor recently about what constitutes harrassment, my solicitor’s response was that while its upsetting and not right, that I just should ignore the emails. Its really hard! I love my children and want to be the best dad but I am not perfect! My ex-wife demands perfection. (as she did in our marriage – hence the divorce!).
The guilt, sadness and interference is really grating and makes me very anxious. I obviously can’t “block” my ex-wife we still have to communicate for the sake of the children but I just wanted to know if anyone else has dealt with a controlling ex who seems to think they can control what goes on in your house – as well as managing their own with the constant mantra of “I am allowed because its the children’s welfare thats my concern!”.
Anyone any thoughts? Should I just grow a thicker skin or is this just the way of the world?
Thanks in advance.4 May 2020 at 2:20 pm #39615
Sounds like a control freak . Don’t waste your money or to time life is really hard at mo so I would not even entertain her or read the stuff that she writes4 May 2020 at 7:32 pm #39624
I would go with the advice of the solicitor. Although this is difficult every time that you react it’s adding fuel to the fire. Either ignore the email or just say ok I’ve read it. If you try and argue your case she’s going to have something to say whatever you try and do. Is she lonely? It sounds very attention seeking. I hope you can get this sorted.5 May 2020 at 4:33 am #39632
I agree with the above.
If it’s stressing you out but you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong I’d just ignore it.
It won’t always be easy, but maybe if you make a joke out of it? or preoccupy yourself with something else when she messages that may help.
Good luck btw!8 May 2020 at 2:26 am #39794
I can relate to this. My ex doesn’t send me war and peace, but whenever I receive any COMMS from her I get a tight knot in my stomach and I feel incredibly anxious. Last week it stressed me out so badly that it flared up my eczema- the worst it has been for 15 years. It took several days to get it back under control.
Do you have a trusted friend or family member who would be willing to be an emergency go-between? What I am thinking is this:
Explain to her that you are taking steps to safeguard your wellbeing and self-care (which you are perfectly entitled to). Buy a cheap £10 pay-as-you-go phone and give her the number. Also give her the number of the “in an emergency” go-between. Explain that if it is a genuine emergency regarding the children she should phone the friend, who will then call you immediately. Aside from that, she is to use your “new” phone number (block her on your actual phone). Keep the cheap phone switched off and in a kitchen drawer – every few days when you’re feeling up to it, switch it on and clear the inbox. She will soon get tired of texting a switched-off phone, and will be too embarrassed to harass the emergency friend.
This is exactly what I intend to do with my ex once I have my court-appointed contact order (all being well). We will have clearly defined contact dates, so there will be no need for her to contact me unless it is an emergency.