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legal and/or emotional advice needed
January 24, 2007
11:15 am
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thumkin
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I guess I am just stupid. I cannot figure out how to deal with my ex-h. My daughter has a few bad grades on her report card. He calls me and tells me he is ready any time to step up to the plate since I cant seem to and the girls can come live with him. Some days I just want to quit. I want to run away and hide and just wither away and die. I CANNOT DEAL with him anymore. He has called her teacher and has her teacher convinced that I am a bad mother. They are not at my house when we stay on homework until 9pm. I cant even form a full thought because all I can think is how much I hate him and how I left him to get away from him and he still has some stupid hold over me because he is thier father. I know without any more iformation no one can give me any advice but thats what he does to me. I know there is info there but all I see or hear is what he is saying. I dont know what else to do. I know that if my babies go to live with him they will not grow up very happy but my life will be over.

January 24, 2007
11:33 am
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2alone
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I am going through a divorce with a controlling narcisist and we have two children together. I am also an attorney. It should make things easier - but it doesn't. My ex refuses to take the girls last minute. He calls the school and tries to get the teachers to say I'm a bad mother or that I'm not doing what needs to be done for our girls. It hurts to know someone I used to love can treat me this way. It makes me mad that he controls me.
My suggestion to you is to write it down - get it out of your system. Realize his threats are just that - threats. Keep track in this journal the time you work on homework with your child. Keep notes on what fun things you do with your children. This will be helpful in court to show your efforts. You need to let go his approval or disapproval. You need to let go of what other people think. You'd be surprised that most people understand that he's trying to control you and often say things to appease him. Please let it go - for your own sake. He can't just take the kids away because of some bad grades. Do what you can to help your child - ask the school about tutoring programs. Good luck.

January 24, 2007
11:37 am
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thumkin
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Thank you for your words. I tell myself that but then I think. What if he is not threatening. I know that he does not want the responsibility of taking care of those girls full time. He will forgoe one of his days with them for a date. BUT I do believe he would take them if the court would award them to him just to hurt me and make my life even more miserable than he already does. I truly believe he would do that to teach me a lesson for daring to leave him in the first place.

January 24, 2007
11:45 am
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on my way
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thumkin...

THIS SOUNDS SO FAMILIAR. The same exact thing happened to me, my ex did the same thing, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker!!

Looking back 8 years ago, I can suggest to you, that you are giving him way to much power ofver your emotions. Ignore him. I met with my children's school counselor and teacher and explained to them what was going on, : a divorce, ex's behavior, etc. I didn't do it for revenge, but thought it important that the school and those associated with the boys on a daily basis should know what was going on. I remember walking in feeling like a total failure, with my ex's words lingering in the back of my mind. I allowed him to really deplete my confidence. I knew I was a good mom, but under ALL circumstances, things were just a bit tough at that time, you know? AND why wouldn't they be to a normal person?? They were very glad that I came in to talk to them. I asked them to call me if they needed to, and they encouraged me to call them as well. I left at least feeling better. And, I'll bet that the teacher does not think you are a bad mom/ I thought this too, because my ex told me this. It was a lie. Don't beleive the lies. Reach deep inside of yourself and act and respond on what you yourself KNOW to be true. This will help you to move forward.

Bottom line, don't listen to him. Keep doing what you have always done, love your children in the only special way that you know how to do, and that they have always responded to. Don't fall because of what your ex says. And your children need you to not believe him as well.

Your daughter may have a few bad grades for a little while considering you and your husband have split up. For some thier grades drop, for some they over achieve, depending on how they handle stress. Just be there for her the way that you know how to do.

I remember feeling like I could pull my hair out...3 teenage boys all at once. But they are turning out ok. And you will be ok. It is a huge transition period for all of you.

You could also write your ex and tell him to stop calling the school that he is making it worse for your daughter, not for you.

January 24, 2007
11:48 am
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taj64
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Hi. I think he is just trying to control you since now he no longer can but yet he can because you feel immobilized by his threats. He does not really want the children or the responsibility. This man does not have self esteem otherwise if he was decent man he would work with you and not against you despite the fact that you are not together anymore. I think it is threats and nothing more. Do you have actual custody or joint custody? I am wondering if those teachers can see through his act. If they are aware there is a divorce or domestic type situation, teachers I would think would not try to choose sides and if he is manipulative as you say, then he is not fooling anyone. You're going to have to gather some strength and not let this controlling man take over your life this way. Because then he really will win and he doesn't deserve this. Your kids are better off with you than him so keep your chin up and learn not to care about his feelings or his threats. Hot air is all this is about I have a feeling. My sister went through this same thing and made threats and look like dad of the year to those who he felt like he needed to convince but in reality he did not really want them. Keep hanging in there and eventually this will get better.

January 24, 2007
12:22 pm
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thumkin
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Thank you all so much. I dont know why I need to hear someone else tell me that I am not crazy when I know how he has always worked. Thats why I left him. But your words really do give me hope so thank you. I will talk to the teacher and pray. I keep avoiding that wondering how long God is going to punish me for the mistakes i have made. I know that is not fair but I swear that man makes me feel so hopeless even when I know what you guys are saying is true.

January 24, 2007
12:42 pm
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on my way
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thumkin,
This is what I know to be true about God...he does not punish. He corrects, but does not punish. Picture this if it will help:

Your path...a road that you remain on. And on each side of the road are briar bushes all the way down the road. You can choose to avoid those sharp bushes, or you can choose to brush against them and get scraped, or you can run into them and get pretty banged up and bloodied. Or sometimes you won't be looking and you will just fall or stumble into one. I understnad God to be there through it all, but that there are consequences to MY choices.

The thing to do is realize you have His help if you ask. Ask for guidance to make good choices, realizing that some of the worst scrapes can be opportunities for growth to move forward. Don't know if this helps, but I will also pray for you and your daughter, and ask that God reassure you. I know how hard it can be.

January 24, 2007
12:50 pm
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thumkin
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I guess sometimes I feel like I deserve to be punished for the stupid choices I have made. I want God back in my life but I dont know how to let him in or to find him. I greatly appreciate any prayers. My mental stability needs all the help it can get.

We do have joint legal custody and they live with me and see him every other weekend. I fought for nothing when I left him cuz I just wanted away from him, not just for my sake but for the girls too. I told him over and over I did not want them raised thinking that it was ok for a man to treat his wife that way.

January 24, 2007
1:21 pm
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on my way
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thumkin,

I have only recently realized that I thought I needed to be punished as well. I asked myself, 'Where did I learn that?' and tried to go back and figure it out, but to no avail. I don't remember how or where, but I think I have always felt that way too. So I just decided to stop feeling that way. I have made poor choices too, but you can always turn that around...you always have a second chance, and now you have yours. I used to beleive what my ex said to me and how he made me feel. Now I realize I allowed him to make me feel that way, and am making better choices as to who I date. Let me put it this way...I have beleived what others thought or said about me for a long time, my ex was only one of the many. I am learning that my value does not come from what others say or think about me. If I can do it, you certainly can. BE KIND to yourself, you have been through alot.

It all comes together. You will look back one day and wonder how in the heck you made it through...but you will..and so will your daughter.

And it helps to have AAC to talk things out on!

January 24, 2007
2:26 pm
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thumkin
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I dont think I will ever figure out why I believe what other people say about me either. But maybe thats it. Maybe I need to just stop listening to others, him inparticular, and be nicer to myself. But could someone tell me how to ignore that little voice in the back of my head that says "what if they are right". I think if I could get that little voice out of there I would have better luck at moving on with my life and making it a better life.

January 24, 2007
3:15 pm
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atalose
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I think we need to form a club for those of us who have left or are leaving or will be leaving a controlling husband, especially when children are involved.

When we leave, they lose their control and desperately attempt in any way or means to regain it. They become OUT OF CONTROL themselves.

I have been down this same road, same issues, same fears. It took me a long time to move from emotions being driven by fear and using logic to calm those fears and make my way through to having calm in my life and the life of my children.

Talking to your children’s teachers is a great idea, give the teacher an insight into what is going on with the divorce and how difficult he is making your life and how they may be affecting your children’s grades. Ask for suggestions and ways to help the kids with this difficult transition.

LOGIC: most of my kids teachers never met my ex or could remember him ever attending a back to school night or taking any kind of an interest in there grades until the divorce!

LOGIC: my ex husband didn’t have the financial means to have sole custody of the kids. My ex husband was married to his job, long hours and many weekends. How would he ever be able to continue with that and raise kids on a daily bases, he couldn’t, giving up his job would never be an option, that was his whole life and how he gained his self image and importance besides then, how would he support the kids?

LOGIC: financially he couldn’t afford to pay an attorney for all the threats he kept making against me there for, how could he ever have truly followed through on any of them. Taking the kids away, saying I was an un-fit mother, that’s a lot of time and effort and financial responsibility to prove. Even if he had the means he didn’t have the time to take away from work to put those efforts into something that wasn’t there or happening.

LOGIC: Once I said OK, go ahead, bring me into court and tell them what a bad mother I am and how horrible there lives have become and how they are failing in school and how unfit I am to raise, you win, I give up, guess I’ll see you in court. It left him with nothing unless he was willing to go down a road he was not financially and emotionally prepared to do, his threats stopped. I even had my attorney send a letter to his attorney with all the threats he was making to me and I had my attorney ask his attorney how they wished to proceed. The talk then quickly turned into reaching a settlement about assets and proceeding with the divorce.

When you reach a point of where you feel you are going to jump off the edge, take a long hot bubble bath and put LOGIC to use to calm the fears of his threats.
Keep posting, keep venting and try to told off reacting right away with emotions, promise yourself that what ever he says today, you’ll think and re-think with logic before you respond in any way to his treats. There are plenty of us here who will help you get through this with your mind in one piece!!!! lol

Atalose

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

January 24, 2007
3:29 pm
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thumkin
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What you just described to me sounds exactly like my ex-h. I really really do thank all of you. I feel so much better now. I know there will be another attack, probably before a whole month goes by. Its a cycle that is fast becoming predictable. I am still scared. I am still worried. But I am going to talk to my daughters teacher. On my lunch break today I was talking to my boyfriend and telling him you know, my daughter is in 5th grade and NOT A SINGLE ONE of her previous teachers could tell you what her father looks like or sounds like. I know that these fights and carrying ons are affecting my daughters and I have tried pointing that out to him. Okay, you say you are not doing this because of me, you are worried about your daughter, then pay attention work with me cuz you are hurting your daughter. No he says it is my fault my daughter is being hurt because I left him. HE IS WRONG. I alone do not bear all this responsibility. It has been two years, when will I start believing that and in myself enough to maybe stop this cycle and help my children?

I am going to try my hardest this time. I am not going to let him have this power any more. BUT in the back of my mind that fear that he will get my children will still be there questioning my every move.

I got off on a tangent. Sorry. I just wanted to thank all of you who have had such good advice and encouraging words to say so far. THANK YOU 🙂

January 24, 2007
3:48 pm
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taj64
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This arrangement you have joint custody, in my opinion is not really joint. What are the laws concerning the living arrangements because every other weekend seems to me to be a visitation arrangement. Because the weekday is where you get the responsiblity part of the home because of homework, routine, waking the kids, etc. And the weekend is set aside for fun. And joint would also imply that there is no child support. I have full custody of my kids and my ex used to have every other weekend but now my kids never go over there and he also does not pay his child support like he is supposed to. I have all the responsibility and overwhelmed and he does nothing. My daughter worships the ground he walks on because I do not interfere with their relationship but on the inside i sometimes really resent him. Cuz I am in debt to my ears and I pay too much and he does not have to pay rent cuz he lives with his girlfriend in a rent free house. Im peeved a bit. So I understand this issue about control. I mean I understand exactly what you go through when you just go through everything and not stand your ground just to live in peace from a man. I make no waves but I take on too much.

January 24, 2007
4:00 pm
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thumkin
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We have joint legal custody where anything involving education, health care, etc.etc. is joint. They live with me but he has visitation one day during the week, everyother weekend, 2 weeks in the summer, and a week at Christmas. He doesnt see them through the week anymore, he is too busy. Everyother weekend he usually does get them but if he has a date or something else he would rather do he often cuts thier weekends short. He only gets them a day or two over Christmas break and usually only one week in the summer. He does pay child support but it is less than the states guidelines and we are supposed to split all medical, dental, eyecare, etc bills but most the time that is too big of a fight with him so I just do the best I can with what I have. He makes twice what I make but he constantly bitches about since I left him and he has to pay childsupport he had to get a second job. When if he were honest the fact that he keeps buying new vehicles and atvs and stuff for himself that is why he needs the extra money. Then he wants to bitch at me if their clothes are getting a little snug and shoes are old. I would give anything if I had a job that would just make it so I could afford to pay all the bills and provice for them without his $3000.00 a year then I would tell him to shove it up his ass. When I really think about it I just want to hate him that much more. And I know hating people is wrong but he makes it so hard not to.

He has our home. I had a home when I met him and he had bad credit. He took everything I had, turned it in to his and I am starting all over. Ok. I could live with that but he takes all this nice stuff and waves it in front of my girls face and asks them now wouldnt you rather live with me.

January 24, 2007
4:24 pm
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atalose
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My ex and I also had joint custody with him having visitation one night a week and every other weekend. The one night a week was so he could pay less in child support, after 1 month he stopped having the time to see them. The every other weekend lasted about 2 months,then he was also too busy or used the excuse he didn't have the room at his new apartment for them.
My first big stand with him was over the one night a week and his falling short on taking them but repeating the financial benefit of it. My child support was cut by $110.00 a month because his attorney told him to offer having the kids to lower his child support payment. When he stopped taking them, my attorney offered to go after him and have him pay her fee. Paperwork began and after his 4 month history of not taking them, even on weekends, his attorney advised him to increase the child support by $110.00 in fear of us going after him for more based on the fact he was not taking the kids every other weekend as well.
His power over me began to dwindle along with all his threats, he'd proven very clearly he couldn't back up what he was threatening.
He may have taken material things from you, but he hasn't taken you, your soul or your spirit.
When he waves those things in your girls faces, suggest to him that it may be a good idea for them to spend more time him and his things, offer him a date such as "It sounds great to the girls that you have a new car, they would love to spend more time with you driving around in it, could you take them this Saturday or Sunday, even though it's not your weekend?"
My best guess would be, he's dating yet you have a boyfriend, that bothers him and bothers him alot, try fixing him up with someone!!!! lol
as soon as my ex got a girlfriend, most of my troubles from him ended and hers were just begining!!!!!!

Atalose

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

January 24, 2007
4:24 pm
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Man you got the raw deal in my opinion. But no matter, you will make it even if rough at first. You will. It is gradual process. You will learn not to let it get to you. Easier to say huh? For the most part through the years I have not let it get to me but at times I sit and think about it and I think my ex should take more intiative without me having to tell him since I do not remind him and Im not his keeper. I cannot tell him how to be a better father because underneath he just is not capable. Even when we were married I felt like a single mom, it was not much different. My husband could never hold a job down. I make ok money, not great but he has never made what I make or enough to really raise a family on. I look back and wonder why would I settle for something like this? I scratch my head.

January 24, 2007
4:55 pm
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thumkin
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Its funny isnt it. The whole time I was married to him I was always telling my mother I felt like a single mom. I graduated from college, worked, had two babies and stayed home with them, but the whole time we were married if me or the girls needed anything outside of a vehicle I had to provide it. I bought our groceries, our clothes, I did homework, supper, took care of the girls needs. God forbid if I ever didnt have enough and had to ask him for money to get groceries or gas, he would just explode. I was a super mom. I dont know how I did it for so long. Thats part of why I dont understand why Im having so much trouble now. I never had trouble before.

I have considered finding someone to fix my ex up with but I cannot think of a single person I would wish that on.

I know I got screwed in the divorce. My lawyer thought I was crazy. And I was I just wanted away from him. I often worried that I would end up the next Lacy Peterson and my body would be found by hunters on the back 80 acres.

January 24, 2007
4:59 pm
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nvr2late
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this is a great thread..these are SOOO familiar..the threats..when I finally said..'go ahead, go for full custody' he freaked out!

it sounds like they are all the same on this thread...threats, control, power...blah blah...my ex got the house, all the stuff in it..got a new car..dirt bikes, atv's and snowmobiles...

my daughter says that at least I spend time with her!
she could care LESS about the stuff!

and I have myself...and my pride
and he has a new g/f and I would like to warn her, but she will never listen!

hang in there!
it does get better!
nvr

January 24, 2007
5:50 pm
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speaking as a teacher I take everything a parent tells me about their spouse or ex spouse with a grain of salt. especially if the person is not the parent with custody. I hope your daughter has the kind of teacher who will listen to you and talk to you.

January 24, 2007
7:34 pm
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thumkin,

I agree with Tiger Trainer. I also work in a school system. Teacher's usually have a good understanding of situations and most have just about seen it all.

As far as bad grades, have you met with the teacher? That would make good legal sense too. You could request some services to help your children do better. Maybe some extra teacher time, maybe meeting with a resource teacher, something like that. It could be very well that all this emotional strain is affecting your children's ability to learn and causing distraction, and anything you do to attempt to make it better, and have is documented is a win win situation for everyone.

Have you thought of possibly a tutor to get their grades up? That would be good evidence that you are doing something proactive. Sometimes schools can pay for that service. Or maybe just someone you know could step in and help out with their homework.

Sorry to hear another n story. I've been here awhile and they are all some similar. Please, don't give him much power. He relly does not have much anyway. I'm guessing he used his form of mind control, demeaning you in your supposed weak spots to disempower you. Its his game, something he built up for himself and it is not built on a firm foundation and is most likely lacking in much reality. Most people can look at these situations and see them for what they are. N's are something like 1-2% of the population. We've all probably dealt with them in varying ways, and know who they are.

January 25, 2007
5:40 am
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nvr2late
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thumkin..I went through the school thing too with my ex..he made sure to tell everyone that I was horrible at doing homework with my daughter and she CRIED when I did it with her!
it is hilarious that no one knew this man from Adam before the divorce started...and now my kids teachers come to me when something is needed (we KNOW you will get this done!)
so, stay consistant..strong...they KNOW!!!!!
but the biggest thing is that the KIDS know, and start realizing it when you are unable to shelter them from your ex...like I had always done.

NOW they know, they know who does all the important things...all the sports, all the activities when the EX is too 'busy' (what is more important than their KIDS?????)

you know what you are doing, you are their mother! don't let him rattle you!

I gave the GAL an article at the end of the custody arrangements..about how abusers abuse their victim in court...I told her that it may not help ME, but it might help someone else in the situation that I am in.

after the divorce was over, she told my attorney that she gave me a LOT of credit for going through what I did (2.7 years of a nasty divorce).
After the settlement was reached (I gave in)...the judge pulled my attorney aside and questioned HIS lawyers ethics...
he KNEW too!

I just wish I knew how to go after his lawyer for all the stalling, all the empty threats, all the pain and suffering my kids went through!

but that is a whole OTHER topic!!

take care, you are doing great...don't let the crazymaking get to you!

nvr

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