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Limiting contact with the STBXAH

Old 05-17-2015, 06:22 PM
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Limiting contact with the STBXAH

Ok, so STBXAH laid into me in front of our son today. I had come to his house to pick up our son and to sit down with our summer schedule. He and I had agreed that our son could be there because this was about his tennis travel and math tutoring, etc.

So, as soon as I got there I saw that the X was agitated. He kept cutting me off, being a passive aggressive a-hole, and I was getting frustrated but I stuck to the conversation and kept taking it back to the schedule, etc. He finally got mad enough to say that I was selfish and that I was basically abandoning our kid because I'll be leaving him home alone for 10 hours a day and then a few evenings when I go to meetings, etc. He felt that a 16 year old shouldn't be left home alone because they'll get into trouble. I said, "I trust our son. I'm going to give him a list of things to do every day: from house work, to catching up on schoolwork, to a workout suggestion list, etc. It's not like he's going to be sitting in front of the TV all day."

UGH, so then the X yelled at our son about getting his stuff together and told him that his mother is abandoning him and that after 20 years this is all my fault that we have to live apart and that our lives suck, blah blah blah.

Son just sat there and kept his cool. I kept my cool, too. I was just about to walk out when X said, "You know what? I can't even look at you anymore, so this conversation is over!" Well, thank God and hallelujah for that reprieve!

What worries me is that just one week ago he and I had a great conversation about how we were going to handle my going back to work. He was willing to pitch in and willing to help me with the tennis stuff and even willing to help our son with schoolwork. Now, all of a sudden, he's back to crazy mode and I have no idea if he will be able to help. Honestly, once my son starts driving (hopefully in a year) we can alleviate a lot of this issue. Also, my son 16.5 now so we only have 1.5 years left of this shared parenting stuff. I think my X was pushing for my son to stay with him during the day while I worked and I was like, "OK, I'll drop him off on my way to work then." And, my son later said to me, "yeah, mom, but dad doesn't wake up until 10 anyway most days, LOL, so it's not like he'll be helping me."

I talked to my son afterwards and told him that his dad is grieving and that he is hurting and that is how he is choosing to handle it and that's it OK. I told him that I loved him, that he is and always will be a priority to me, and that we can always change plans in the future if the job thing doesn't work out. I told him that there is always a way to make things work and that God's got us right where we need to be. I reminded him that yes things are changing and that my life is on a new course but that so is his and that sometimes these changes can be scary and exciting.

Anyway, I am thinking of cutting phone and in person conversation with the X right now. I want to limit our conversations to text and email at this point but I really do need his cooperation for a lot of the scheduling. Why does he have to be such an.......need I say it....alcoholic? Sigh...it's been a long day!
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:36 PM
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liz, I personally think he is threatened and in shock that you were able to find work so quickly and that you are so rapidly moving towards independence from him--think about it--
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:38 PM
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Sounds like you and the kiddo both handled his stupidity pretty well. He is what he is. As you said, thank goodness you have a well-grounded kid and that there is an end in sight to this nuttiness.

I think your idea of limiting contact to text/email for a while is a good one. Hopefully he will settle down a bit once this becomes the new normal. Not that I'd expect mature, responsible behavior from him, but you can definitely do without the outbursts.

Whattamaroon.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye13 View Post
liz, I personally think he is threatened and in shock that you were able to find work so quickly and that you are so rapidly moving towards independence from him--think about it--
Yeah, I think this is a big part of it. Also, he knows about the guy I'm dating because my son saw a text(just a happy birthday text last week from the guy), X cornered son into giving him information because he grills our son weekly about my whereabouts and who I'm spending time with. Anyway, I think that's the biggest part of it. He says I'm just like my mom because my mom cheated on my dad....quack quack quack....

Funny, how when he rants and raves, he sounds just like my dad after my parents split up. One big pity party and a whole lot of martyrdom. Oh, and let's blame the x spouse for everything else that's wrong with your world. No wonder why it bothers me so much because I see my son walking the same path that I did so many years ago. UGH
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:48 AM
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"You know what? I can't even look at you anymore, so this conversation is over!"
Liz,
I have had similar conversations with my XAH including the exact comments above. I imagine that some of the flip flops in his attitude may have had something to do with my dating, but mostly it had to do with the AH. I came to the conclusion that I would never be able to predict when he would be lucid and sane, or over the top; with yelling and accusations. I finally composed an email that spelled out my boundaries. That I would not speak to him by phone or in person if he acted in a way that made me uncomfortable. I even had to demonstrate that one time, by leaving in the middle of a conversation. He got the idea very quickly, and has been easier to deal with ever since then. Of course, I make sure that my conversations with him are before 6pm, as his brain is usually pickled after that point and he is often antagonistic.
This is graduation week for my DD and I expect to spend a fair amount of time with both DD and AH. I am hoping that he keeps it together until she walks. He did very well last week during several award assemblies, so we will both put on our smiling faces for her sake.
Keep putting your best foot forward. You have done a fine job modeling what adult behavior is supposed to look like to your DS. Hopefully, your STBXAH will notice and follow suit. If not, then he will be left behind.

I will be in your area for a few weeks this summer. Maybe coffee one day?

Last edited by Yurt; 05-18-2015 at 05:51 AM. Reason: Those dang commas...
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Yurt View Post
Liz,
I have had similar conversations with my XAH including the exact comments above. I imagine that some of the flip flops in his attitude may have had something to do with my dating, but mostly it had to do with the AH. I came to the conclusion that I would never be able to predict when he would be lucid and sane, or over the top; with yelling and accusations. I finally composed an email that spelled out my boundaries. That I would not speak to him by phone or in person if he acted in a way that made me uncomfortable. I even had to demonstrate that one time, by leaving in the middle of a conversation. He got the idea very quickly, and has been easier to deal with ever since then. Of course, I make sure that my conversations with him are before 6pm, as his brain is usually pickled after that point and he is often antagonistic.
This is graduation week for my DD and I expect to spend a fair amount of time with both DD and AH. I am hoping that he keeps it together until she walks. He did very well last week during several award assemblies, so we will both put on our smiling faces for her sake.
Keep putting your best foot forward. You have done a fine job modeling what adult behavior is supposed to look like to your DS. Hopefully, your STBXAH will notice and follow suit. If not, then he will be left behind.

I will be in your area for a few weeks this summer. Maybe coffee one day?
Thanks, Yurt. Yes, coffee sounds good. Just PM me when you'll be heading my way.

I know I've done a good job but it can't undo the damage that gets done by the X to our son. And, now, I'll be relying on him to help out more with our son's schedule since I'm going back to work. It's really sad to see him like this but I hope that he can turn it all around for himself in the next few months and find a new happier more fulfilling path for himself.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:16 AM
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Only time will tell if he will be reliable or not. My X does this too, acts one way once, then freaks out other times. I have limited my contact to texts and emails for the most part, and that helps a lot. I'm so sorry, I can only say it sounds like you handled the situation with grace, and that is all you can do.

Many hugs! XXX
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:03 PM
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He messaged our mediator today with this message, "Hey M, how much would my WIFE get if I were to get hit by a bus?" Ugh, for pete's sake.

I can't even begin to tell you what is going on with this poor mediator, hopefully she's seen it all before because the X is showing his true colors right now!
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:29 PM
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I think divorce mediators, like divorce lawyers and judges, have pretty much seen it all. I practiced criminal law for 22 years, and part of that time I was doing stuff in family court (violations of restraining orders), and the hardened criminals were MUCH more reasonable and pleasant than a lot of parties to ordinary divorce proceedings (i.e., where there was no physical abuse). Ugh. In law school I at one time was considering family law practice--I'm SO glad I decided on criminal law instead!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:40 AM
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Yes, Lexie, the mediator made it clear that she's OK with what was going on but she encouraged us to work out an agreement by the end of the week. Funny thing is: I was totally fine with everything and ready to sign, he's the on balking at everything! UGH! Just because he's ticked that I found a job already and a man and a new life.....
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:47 AM
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I'm so sorry. Tight hugs.

XXX
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I'm so sorry. Tight hugs.

XXX
Thanks Hopeful,but you know what? This is temporary. It's not my forever situation and I know there is an end in sight. I just have to hang in there and pray for him and for God's will to unfold as it needs to.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
He messaged our mediator today with this message, "Hey M, how much would my WIFE get if I were to get hit by a bus?" Ugh, for pete's sake.

I can't even begin to tell you what is going on with this poor mediator, hopefully she's seen it all before because the X is showing his true colors right now!
Oh QUACK. This is the same guy that said that you were like a vulture picking on his dead carcass, right? What a Drama Queen.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:01 AM
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BRAVO!!!! Your own healing is shining through right now! So proud of you!

XXX


Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Thanks Hopeful,but you know what? This is temporary. It's not my forever situation and I know there is an end in sight. I just have to hang in there and pray for him and for God's will to unfold as it needs to.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Oh QUACK. This is the same guy that said that you were like a vulture picking on his dead carcass, right? What a Drama Queen.
LOL! Yep, that's the one! Drama Queen doesn't even begin to describe him unfortunately. My biggest issues moving forward will be the schedule for my son because this is seriously going to crimp my X's style. Having to be a responsible parent may prove to be too much for him so more will be revealed as we move forward.

Now, if I could just get my kid to pass his permit test. He failed for the third time this AM and can't take it again until next Tuesday but I start the new job then so that means my X will have to do this, too. Sigh....my poor kid has horrible test anxiety and I have no idea how to help him through it except by just encouraging him to walk through it over and over again. He's definitely getting discouraged.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:50 AM
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Let him watch this, maybe it will cheer him up, lol: Rev. Jim's Driving Test.

Check the DMV site--lots of them have practice tests that might make him a little more comfortable.
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