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Author Topic: When you just can't get along  (Read 11887 times)

allforher

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When you just can't get along
« on: Apr 06, 2011, 12:19:50 PM »
Any body have any ideas/advice on how to get along with my daughters fathers?  I read books, go to my own therapist, heck, we even tried coparenting therapy that failed miserably.  Every time I turn around there is a new conflict and if there isn't a current conflict he will bring up old ones.  I made the decision to not engage when past things are brought up but it really gets under my skin when his memory of a conflict is distorted or just completely wrong. 
 
We communicate through email so I have proof of lots of things, I have even forwarded him things he has said but he tried to even twist those words around to place on the blame on me. 
 
I really just to get along with this guy.  We moved back to his home state after being gone for 7 years, I cancelled CS and now we are doing week on week visitation, he is involved in everything he chooses to be involved in.  School, sports, friends, everything.  I just don't know what else to do to make him feel satisfied, I don't even know that he can feel satisfied.  He's bipolar and it is making things so difficult!  I keep trying because my daughter loves him and loves spending time with him,I really wish it would come to a point that there wasn't such an "air" of stress when we have to come together on things, or be in the same room together.  He is just so angry with me and I don't even know why.  Help!
 
 


ocean

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #1 on: Apr 06, 2011, 01:25:07 PM »
Do not try to reason with him because it will not work. Answer his emails for the questions he has as SIMPLE as you can. Do not engage in the rest of the email.
Ex
Yes, soccer practice is at 4pm this week

That is it! Ignore all other junk and LAUGH it off ...we have years and years of PB emails.

Do not engage in phone calls at all, let it go to voicemail. Change all other numbers so he just has one. Then text him back an answer if he is looking for one.

Basically...ignore, ignore, ignore.

MixedBag

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #2 on: Apr 06, 2011, 03:48:05 PM »
the book "Joint Custody with a Jerk" was a good read for me.
 
and articles that talk about "high conflict" parenting -- which is like what was described, where less is actually more.
 
trying to think of the site that gets mentioned every once in a while where a dad is in your shoes, and the mom is the one at it.  Maybe someone else will remember.

bloom6372

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #3 on: Apr 07, 2011, 07:09:33 AM »

the book "Joint Custody with a Jerk" was a good read for me.

and articles that talk about "high conflict" parenting -- which is like what was described, where less is actually more.

trying to think of the site that gets mentioned every once in a while where a dad is in your shoes, and the mom is the one at it.  Maybe someone else will remember.

 
Is it The Psycho Ex-Wife website?

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #4 on: Apr 08, 2011, 07:38:19 AM »
I was wondering if a CO can be detailed enough to prevent harrassing emails such as the ones I get?  I am getting better at ignoring however it does cause me great anxiety to the point I have had to go to my dr. with a panic attack, which she offered me medication for.......


ocean

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #5 on: Apr 08, 2011, 10:37:42 AM »
Well...you need to decide how you can handle communication...you need one way and usually email is the best choice. It is written, so you have evidence if needed and you do not have to speak, argue.

You can not change him. I think you need a new therapist, one that will help you deal with it and look at it with humor...ex is nuts...move on and answer only when needed. Make certain days that you open emails from him to limit the daily crap until you can handle it better. We made an email just for our PB so we knew when we opened it, stuff would be from her. Switch everyone to another email ...

Do not let the emails get to you. It takes a lot of practice and for us YEARS....and she can still get under our skin every so often. Laugh it off as to what craziness is coming next?? Then answer if needed a one sentence reply. When child is with, you make decisions. Keep him informed of BIG events but other than that he can make contact with schools, coaches...etc..himself.

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 2011, 10:42:55 AM »
I am sure this will take some time and I like your idea of a separate email just for his stuff.

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #7 on: Apr 10, 2011, 07:06:04 AM »
ok, so I failed miserably at ignoring...uggggg.....must find a new way of communitcation, this email stuff is too easy to respond too, maybe phone would be better, that way I know with my family around I can keep my cool.

Kitty C.

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #8 on: Apr 10, 2011, 11:08:04 AM »
If your relationship with him is that volatile, I strongly do NOT recommend using the phone for communication!  It is way too easy to get caught in the moment and say things you regret later.  If he is that manipulative, the phone is his playground and you are his toy.  You will be playing right into his hand if you do.  Your family will not always be around you and, unless you actually hand the phone to someone else for him to talk to, it won't make any difference...he will still try to back you in a corner and get you to say things you don't want to say.  DO NOT give him the satisfaction!
 
In e-mails, you have the time and privacy to think through a response and keep it neutral.  Pick the e-mails from him apart, pick out ONLY what is relevant to your child and discard the rest, respond to ONLY what is relevant to your child.  It is the ONLY way you will be able to maintain some kind of control over the situation.  It is YOUR choice in how you respond to him and e-mail is the ONLY medium available that will give you the time and privacy to do so neutrally.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

ocean

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #9 on: Apr 10, 2011, 11:20:48 AM »
Use a communication book? Goes back and forth with child. Put sports and school events, ask to change days. Make copies if he starts writing crazy stuff in there. Send him an email, I am blocking you from future emails due to your constant harassment. I will send a communication book with XX. If you need to tell me something about school/events do so in book. I will do the same.  Then BLOCK him.

or

Get a grip and make a new rule in your head. NO replies for 24 hours. Write out your reply in WORD, save it. Read it again the next day and see if you still want to send it after you calmed down. You seemed to realize what you did, so give it a few hours and see if you even need to respond.

or

Many people post things right here. For the next few, copy and paste it here (take out names). Then we will help you with a response. He WANTS to get to you. By your responding harshly is making him happy...he wants you miserable. Let us help you.

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #10 on: Apr 10, 2011, 04:25:22 PM »
Thanks guys, he called me a liar and it really got to me, we have only been coparenting for the past 20 months or so, we were out of state prior to that, and he was in prison so this is all new for me to deal with.
 
It is really hurtful when he says things like our daughter is afraid to talk to you, you never listen to what she wants, you always do what you want, etc etc.  It really PO's me, cause I live for all my children and support them all in the things they want, with motherly guidance of course, but really.....i know this sort of thing will never end and I do need to get a grip. 
 
I may try to post here, if that's ok...not sure if and when there will be anything new... I think this fire is out for a while at least.
 
Thanks for the support

MixedBag

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #11 on: Apr 12, 2011, 06:47:57 AM »
e-mail is best, just print file, and ignore.
 
you gotta LEARN to control the desire to respond spontaneously and stuff.....
 
you can't fix "him" -- but you can change how you respond.
 
don't do phone stuff, you can't "print" file, and PROVE what was said.
 
Let him call you a liar......at one point, I bet we've all been called liars.
 
TIME and your good adult like behavior will shine through.

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #12 on: Apr 12, 2011, 05:05:22 PM »
Agreed....
 
Its interesting though, this time....I resent him several of his emails in response to his statements, etc.  Essentially showing him and proving to him certain things he was pointing out.  I wasn't harsh no nasty words or anything and he actually asked me to stop emailing him...... Now that we have both asked each other to stop emailing like this I hope things will level off.
 
On another note though.  Is is normal for a child who has shared parenting feel as if they need to separate the parents at all times?  Like not having both parents at sports events etc?
 
My daughter said it would be weird if I came to a practice while it was her Dads week, weird thing is, since her Dad lost his job he's been helping coach her team, so he's always there then she asked if both her Dads could go on a field trip....now how is it that's she is comfy with that and not with her and Dad and I being in the same place?
 
poor thing, I just wish I could erase the past 20 months  I wish her Dad and I could start over, things were pretty good when we first got here, then we actually had to parent together and it just fell apart

ocean

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #13 on: Apr 12, 2011, 05:16:53 PM »
Just tell her you will not bother or speak to her father that you are there for HER. That you will watch from the other side of the field and then if it is his parenting time, you will wave goodbye. If it is your time, then she comes with you.

Would it be worth a shot to either email a "seize fire" letter stating that you got along a while back and would like it to get to the point you two can be in the same room and be civil for your daughter?

or

Offer to go to counseling for a few weeks with him to co-parent. You can start with the two of you and then maybe bring in step parents so you can all get along to the extent of activities for child?

MixedBag

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #14 on: Apr 13, 2011, 06:09:59 AM »
"cease fire" -- k?  thanks for the smile this morning!
 
 

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #15 on: Apr 13, 2011, 12:06:05 PM »
I wish it were as easy as coparenting or a cease fire......We have been to coparenting therapy and even during that I got terrible emails.  The problem is he truly believes he is our childs voice, that she is afraid to talk to me about her desires and that I do not support her.  No amount of therapy for us is going to change that. 
 
My daughter and I go to therapy and that is just where we have to work at this point, He will not seek his own therapy for his own issues, much less reenter into therapy with me or step parents for that matter. 
 
I guess only time will tell.  Will be back here I am sure but I will do my best to be positive about the whole thing

allforher

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #16 on: Apr 16, 2011, 07:02:20 AM »
So the other night I get home from shopping and I have a message from my oldest daughter saying she is riding the bus home to my house and that she doesn't want to go back to her Dad's anymore.
 
I call her back to see what has happened and she is very short on the phone with me and quiet and says I can't tell you now, I want you to come get me now but I don't want you to get hurt.  I do my best to reassure her that I will be fine but I needed to know if she was hurt.  She said no, then got off the phone really quickly.
 
In the process of getting myself together, thinking of what the best thing to do is, i wait about 15 minutes and then call her back.
 
When I did she seemed more able to talk. 
 
Here's what she said.  "I was late coming home from my friends house by 10 minutes, my Dad had gone looking for me with the baby but I cut through the neighborhood so he didn't see me walking.  i got home before he did. 
 
he is making me write a 5 page essay on disrepecting your parents and asked me to pick a number.  I picked 3, then he told me to go pick a belt and that I was going to get the belt 3 times.  I really want to come home"
 
In order to try not to butt in on his parenting I told her that trying to go back and forth between houses when she is in trouble isn't the way to deal with it.  I told her I didn't think Dad would really take the belt to her and that if she wanted to see me she could ask her Dad if she could come over after school via the bus to our house and I would take her back, but that she needed to talk to him not just come over.
 
I sent him an email about what I said to our child and put in there that I assumed the belt be a scare tactic.  He did not respond, which is fine with me.
 
Now, I don't parent this way and I do not tell my ex how to parent, he only been actively doing this for a short time but none the less it's his time.  I view belts and such as abuse and I feel that if our daughter came to me with marks on her I would have to report it.  Is this somethign that I need to wait for or should I bring this up if he and I make it back to coparenting therpay to prevent it?

ocean

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #17 on: Apr 16, 2011, 09:16:52 AM »
You can have a sentence added "Neither parent or step parent will use physical punishment or the threat of physical punishment to child".

deezo1975

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #18 on: Oct 04, 2013, 03:04:04 PM »
@MixedBags, yes, what is that site? I'm a father in that exact situation, I have recently posted a message in the "Father's Issues" forum about my daughter recently cutting her own wrists. Mom is a very high conflict person and definitely shown traits of bi-polar, borderline or narcissistic (or all of the above really), so I'm seeking all the resources I can before going back to court for my time with my daughters, I'm hoping to convince the judge and just need some help. Attorneys don't do anything for you except bill you it seems...

Davy

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #19 on: Oct 04, 2013, 06:14:32 PM »
Well ... my "EX" left a VM at 5:30 am last Sat or Sun.  One of the few communications in 30 years.  One of those last communications from her way back then : "I guarantee you will never see your daughter again if you continue to EXERCISE your court ordered visitation".
 
Precious darling dau died Tues am.  She would have been 44 years old today.
 
 

MixedBag

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #20 on: Oct 05, 2013, 04:52:08 AM »
Davy -- this deserves it's own thread...
 
Sending condolences!

Krystal44

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #21 on: Mar 04, 2017, 11:32:08 AM »
There is a lot of good advice for this stuff in narcissistic and emotional abuse websites. There is a video on youtube that talks about just becoming "boring." Basically you answer all questions with the most boring thing you can think of. Like, "how was your day? what did you do?" Your reply would go into extreme detail about doing the dishes and folding laundry and so on. These types of people thrive on drama and conflict. They know they are lying and trying to gas-light you when they tell you completely incorrect versions of your fights and encounters. They know it will catch your goat every single time. Its infuriating when they lie to you about something you were there to witness and both of you know it's a lie but he says it's not. They know that it's infuriating. Dont care. If you do care, don't let them know. Ignore the lies in the emails. Agree with the lies in person where it cannot be used against you. Unfortunately you have to do a little manipulating of your own to deal with people like this. Once you've become too boring, they will find a new victim to create drama with. Usually it happens pretty quickly. Hang in there.

sunbarbie

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Re: When you just can't get along
« Reply #22 on: Mar 07, 2017, 01:47:23 PM »
I found to be as boring as possible in emails.  I often use the same response over and over again.  So far this method has worked.   I constantly ask myself is child bothered by this or that, more often the answer is no.  So I don't counter.  Last email was a doozy, and I took some time to respond to get professional advice before I responded, i thought there was some kind of abuse going on, but it was just a parenting tactic they used, nothing I would do, not abuse just different.  Glad I waited and asked. 

 

 

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