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Dealing with people who drive you crazy
October 10, 2008
11:55 pm
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September 24, 2010
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Tonight is one of those nights when I feel like I've worked so hard at managing my co-dependency, setting and maintaining boundaries, etc, etc, and it was all for not.

Dealing with my ex is becoming more and more challenging. The stronger I get (happier, more confident, less emotional) the more he tries to push the limits. We co-parent and it is very trying to deal with him just to make a decent, fair schedule and maintain it. But he feels that because he is angry with me he is entitled to verbally abuse me on an ongoing basis.

I can put up with a certain amount of his crap because I've heard it all so many times before and what he thinks and says doesn't really affect me much, but tonight ( after an hour long debate/dispute/cut down session) he started bad mouthing my family when he saw that he wasn't getting to me any other way and I snapped.

I cursed him out and hung up on him. He crossed the line and he was completely unapologetic about it. Now I feel like I have let him invade my head with his bad mouthing plus I feel guilty and disappointed with myself for losing my temper completely.

I am at a loss as to how to deal with him. I'm thinking that I just can't talk to him at all anymore because doing so appears to give him permission to treat me like crap just because he's angry. I've tried limiting our conversations to email- which results in 1000 word essays about how horrible a person I am and then he phones me or confronts me when he drops the kids off and we have legitimate parenting issues to resolve. I'm doing this all wrong here and I honestly can't figure out what to try next!

October 11, 2008
10:57 am
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September 30, 2010
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Hi MovingOn,

I have had the same problem with my exhub trying to argue with me.

I would limit any and all contact/conversations to JUST being about tthe children and whatever concerns them.

He is probably only wanting to draw you into a fight with him because having your attention is probably all that matters to him.

Any time he ever tried to speak about anything besides the children, I would cut him off...even if I had to hang up on him and not answer the phone when he called back. Eventually, he stopped it. After all, it takes two to argue.

I hope you'll come back and keep posting with us and keep me informed on how things are going with you.


October 11, 2008
11:13 am
Forum Posts: 18
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September 24, 2010
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Angry ex-husband, boy do I remember those days. My ex was angry because he could no longer control me so he kept attempting t, by using the children and child issues.

Like you I was strong in all areas of my recovery from codependency except when dealing with him.

I needed to reevaluate my boundaries with him when it came to dealing with the children’s issues. I needed to keep it simple with him and not allow him to debate me or draw me into unnecessary conversations.

He was good at using issues regarding the children to begin a conversation so he could take several steps further. One day I simple said “stop” this has nothing to do with the children so I have nothing further to say to you, and I walked away.

Another time I received an e-mail that was so long I simple told him “I don’t have the kind of time you do to engage in such lengthily e-mails so from now on if you would just address the issues relating to the children and send them to me via regular certified mail along with a copy to my attorney, we’d be happy to address your concerns”.

I utilized my answering machine in the same manner. I set up certain times for him to call when the children were with me. I set stronger boundaries that were not un-reasonable but healthier for me.

Depending on how old your children are and I’m not really sure exactly what co-parenting is, you may want to consider a simpler system for yourself.

Keep posting because all your hard work has not been for nothing, it may just mean you need to work a little harder in that area, that’s all.


~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 11, 2008
2:45 pm
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September 27, 2010
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I think that you are doing exactly as your username suggests.....moving on.

I agree with what others are saying here.

You ARE making progress, without a doubt.

See, here's the thing that I learned, when you move on and get healthy with yourself and start to set boundaries and limitiations - it really pisses the hell out of the people that used to control you.

I personally think that you losing your temper and hanging up on him was a very good thing!

You drew a line in the sand.

I say - Good For YOU!!!!!!

Eventually, you keep being deligent about actively maintaining your boundaries and deciding beforehand what you will and will not tolerate - it will eventually subside.

He will eventually learn that you are not to be controlled or maniulated anymore.

It's just a 'non-issue.'

You will probably get to the point where what he says about you and to you - you will react with total indifference.

He can no longer push your buttons.

In the meantime, keep being strong as you already have been.

You are setting a wonderful example for your children - and what THEY should not tolerate in a relationship by example.

There is a wonderful set of images I like to use from time to time regarding boundaries - securing and maintaining.

It has to do with an evasive vine known as kudzu.

Left to its own, it will completely devour everything in its path.

I think of people who TRY to control me in this way as the vines that I keep needing to cut back.

here's the link:


So everytime I set boundaries, I see them as the vine and myself as continuing to cut it back.

chop. chop. chop.

Please keep us posted on your continuing progress!

October 11, 2008
4:27 pm
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September 24, 2010
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Thank you all for your replies. It means so much to hear from others who can relate!

I feel better today- the guilt is gone in relation to telling him off. I do recognize, however, that I have let his nastiness take residence in my head and I spent the night having nightmares featuring him and catch myself fighting with him in my head. In reality, I would love to get into the fighting and nasty mode, but I see the complete and utter mistake that would be for me and for the kids.

Overall, I've forgiven myself for what may have been a setback and has proven to be an issue that is difficult for me to manage in a healthy way. I was intending to tell him that I won't be having any communication with him until he can relate to me in an appropriate and respectful way, but that would only give him something else to mock me for and go build up into my being neurotic so that he can share it with his friends and family. Blah. Can you tell he drives me nuts? lol Anyway, I've decided to not confront him, not say anything to him, and not speak with him for the foreseeable future. It's not about him, it's about me taking care of myself.

I will keep posting here. I am somewhat sporadic and tend to turn here when I need to vent. I do very much appreciate all of you and your wisdom. Thank you!

October 11, 2008
6:45 pm
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September 27, 2010
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To quote your own words here from above:

"I was intending to tell him that I won't be having any communication with him until he can relate to me in an appropriate and respectful way."

That's spot on just like it is!

A complete thought.

Case closed.

Forget the 'but' part of your response which falls right after that.

"But" is NOT the issue.

"But" totally negates what you just stated.

No buts.

No ifs.

No ands.

No buts.

(No chit!!!!!)

You ALREADY have it going on ALREADY!

Don't sabotage that with some kind of 'but' crap already!!!!!


You know and I know - that this just ain't gonna pass mustard anymore.....NOT NO MORE - right??????

Post when you can, hun.

Vent away.

You already know your own answers already.....we are here to completely and 100% validate that that which you already know to be true.

Just keep on keepin' on.

You are on your own right track already!!!!!!!

Need a witness?

You've got it!

Not only from me - but from many others who are cyber-cheering you the whole way!!!!!!!!


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