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XAH: should I be concerned?

Old 03-29-2016, 08:22 AM
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XAH: should I be concerned?

Yes, you read the title right but for the reason that I am wondering if how much of what my son tells me is truth or enhanced truths: My son has told me recently that my XAH wants me dead. He said my XAH hates me, which is nothing new to me anyway.

I think my question is: how dead is dead? And, do I think my XAH would cross the line and actually do something?

We've been divorced for nearly a year now. I moved out 16 months ago. I mean, when is the man going to move on? My son has told me that XAH constantly throws me under the bus, tells my son that I'm a liar, that I'm a tramp, that I cheated on him (never did, btw, unless you count dating after the divorce docs were dropped off at the court house and I was already living on my own), etc.

I will be moving in with my bf and his two young girls soon, probably over the summer before the new school year starts and just before my son turns 18. I'm thinking of getting a PO Box so that my XAH won't have the address. I'm actually grateful that this new house will be in a gated community, as well. But, sheesh, I hate having to think this way. I hate thinking what if? What if he really does snap one day and do this? I've seen him talk about murdering other people in the past when he was in a crazy rage (note even drug or alcohol induced either) but he always admitted he was a coward and would never shoot someone or harm them that way and the worst I've ever seen him do is beat our dog many, many years ago.

Sigh......I hate thinking this way. I just want to turn it around and guess that my son might be exaggerating or maybe his own concerns about what his father shared scares him and he needed to get it off his chest? I am getting my son back to therapy, too, by the way because this was all news to me. My son also told me that they went gun shopping a few weeks ago but then followed it up with, "I don't think he'd do anything to YOU with it mom. He was just shopping...." Well, my ex has been shopping for a gun for years so I try not to focus on that fact. My bf was an expert marksman when he served in the army but does not keep guns in his house.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:30 AM
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Liz- this is scary. It doesn't matter if he is serious or not. Stable people do not talk about murdering someone to their child.

Please, PLEASE call the police and make a report, and file a protection order. Your safety is important. You can file a protection order for your son too - that kind of talk from his father is so damaging.

Yes - I think you should absolutely be concerned.

(((HUGS)))
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:40 AM
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Wtf? He told your son he wants you dead?! Um , get to the court house this morning-TODAY-and get a protection order. Liz, this is really freakimg serious....and your son may be in danger as well. Please!
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:42 AM
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Liz, my STBXAH never laid a hand on me. During that stretch of terrible, horrible months back in 2013, his best drinking buddy (who was at that time trying to stay sober and attend CR) started messaging me that he was concerned AH would try to harm me as he got more and more desperate. It scared the crap out of me, and led me to take some additional actions in terms of emergency planning. Nothing he did or said would have been enough for a protective order in my state, but you should run all of this by your lawyer to find out what remedies are available to you in your state.

Side note about your address--the laws differ from state to state, but in many states, you can't conceal a minor child's address from the other parent without some sort of protective order. That might be something else to run by your lawyer.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:42 AM
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Btw, I wonder if this talk has anything to do with you moving in with your boyfriend? The timing is suspicious and from whst I know, this is when guys like your ex can snap-please be careful. I'm sure Lexie will chime in with her legal perspective soon...
You need protection. This is NOT normal or okay.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:01 AM
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I think if this were me I’d sit my 17 year old son down for a complete and through conversation about it.

I’d explain to my son that a threat of that magnitude needs to be reported and noted on record with the police and that he (the son) would have to talk to the police regarding what his father actually said and in what context and why he felt it important enough to share it with you.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Yes, you read the title right but for the reason that I am wondering if how much of what my son tells me is truth or enhanced truths: My son has told me recently that my XAH wants me dead. He said my XAH hates me, which is nothing new to me anyway.

I think my question is: how dead is dead? And, do I think my XAH would cross the line and actually do something?

We've been divorced for nearly a year now. I moved out 16 months ago. I mean, when is the man going to move on? My son has told me that XAH constantly throws me under the bus, tells my son that I'm a liar, that I'm a tramp, that I cheated on him (never did, btw, unless you count dating after the divorce docs were dropped off at the court house and I was already living on my own), etc.

I will be moving in with my bf and his two young girls soon, probably over the summer before the new school year starts and just before my son turns 18. I'm thinking of getting a PO Box so that my XAH won't have the address. I'm actually grateful that this new house will be in a gated community, as well. But, sheesh, I hate having to think this way. I hate thinking what if? What if he really does snap one day and do this? I've seen him talk about murdering other people in the past when he was in a crazy rage (note even drug or alcohol induced either) but he always admitted he was a coward and would never shoot someone or harm them that way and the worst I've ever seen him do is beat our dog many, many years ago.

Sigh......I hate thinking this way. I just want to turn it around and guess that my son might be exaggerating or maybe his own concerns about what his father shared scares him and he needed to get it off his chest? I am getting my son back to therapy, too, by the way because this was all news to me. My son also told me that they went gun shopping a few weeks ago but then followed it up with, "I don't think he'd do anything to YOU with it mom. He was just shopping...." Well, my ex has been shopping for a gun for years so I try not to focus on that fact. My bf was an expert marksman when he served in the army but does not keep guns in his house.
Originally Posted by atalose View Post
I think if this were me Id sit my 17 year old son down for a complete and through conversation about it.

Id explain to my son that a threat of that magnitude needs to be reported and noted on record with the police and that he (the son) would have to talk to the police regarding what his father actually said and in what context and why he felt it important enough to share it with you.
Dead is dead... You can't be "just a little bit dead" or "it was a joke dead".

The fact alone that he's telling your son that he wants you dead isn't a sign of mental stability!

You said that your ex has been shopping for a gun for years. During these shopping trips, was he telling you or anybody else that he wanted you dead?

This is the situation today: Your ex has told your son that he wants you dead, and he's shopping for a gun.

I have often read on SR that past behaviours are a good indicator of the future. In your case, I wouldn't bet my safety on his past shopping trips.

Please forgive me if what I'm about to say seems blunt or harsh, I don't wish to hurt you or scare you, but I think the situation is very serious.

You said that the he's talked about murdering people in the past but has admitted he's too much of a coward to do so? Are you willing to be your life in this? Are you willing to bet that you moving in with your bf won't send him into a greater rage that he's ever been before? I'm sorry to say that an ex-wife moving on with here life and moving in with an new SO can be a trigger for the rageful ex.

You need to take every legal actions at your disposal to protect yourself, your son and your new family. He may only have been talking about wanting YOU dead, but you never what the situation will be like if he decides to act.

I also agree completly with what atalose said. I think you need to have a discussion with your son. Have him report the situation to the police, and also discuss the impact of his father's threat on him.

None of my business alert (feel free to tell me to mind my own business) : IMO, having a discussion with your son and going to the police might also be a good opportunity to show your son that "talking about wanting someone dead" is a very serious thing that must never be taken lightly. Something tells me that it's not with is father who makes dead threat (because that's what it is) and then goes gun shopping with him that he'll learn that these actions are UNACCEPTABLE!

Again, I appologize if I was harsh and didn't mind my own business.

I'm very sorry that you're going through something this horrible.

Hugs to you, and stay safe!
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:09 AM
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First I want to say, my initial response to reading your post this morning was abject fear for you. Take that for what you will.

Now I've had some time to process it, it seems like there are a few possibilities for what is going on:

1) Your XAH has less to lose now than ever. Things he was too cowardly to consider before may be seeming more realistic.

2) Your XAH is crying out for attention, and is clearly not well, as he is choosing to do this through the one person he should be protecting from this kind of thing. He is too sick to see your son as anything but a conduit for getting your attention (and hurting you).

3) It may be your SON is the one crying out for attention. It may be that he cannot bear being in the middle of this war (with a lonely, hurting father on one side and a blossoming mother on the other side whose actions express no regrets over her choice to leave said hurting dad) and he is escalating what he reports to you because he does not perceive you as understanding the situation, or the depth of the situation.

4) Some combination of all of these things.

Right now, you have to decide what your boundaries are here, and what your priorities are, and you must consider than #1 up there is a possibility. In which case, you must report your concerns to the police. I have no idea if there is anything they can do with that information, but you have to take it seriously. If he will hurt you, what's to stop him from hurting others in your circle, or himself.

The other thing is you must talk to your son about this, as Kata suggested. In no way should an expressed death threat, or the passing on of such things, be taken lightly. Both your XAH and your son must see that you will protect yourself and you won't ignore such brazen red flags -- it's the same as calling 911 on someone who threatens to kill themselves -- if they are serious, you may save their life; if they are not serious, you will teach them that you will not be manipulated by their threats.

I'm not saying that your son is intentionally manipulating you, but you have reported in past threads that he may not be 100% comfortable with how quickly you are moving on. It has got to be painful for any kid to see one parent moving towards health and happiness while the other is mired in sickness and despair. He may be getting older but 17 is still a kid, and he doesn't have the life experience to understand the complications of adult relationships.

Sending you strength and patience to deal with this situation head on and with the seriousness that it merits -- until such time as it is CLEAR that it doesn't.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:11 AM
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Heck yes, I'd treat it seriously. By that I mean something similar to what atalose posted - having a serious discussion with DS about it all & getting more details. I don't know that it's enough to go filing for a protective order, but it would pique my interest, certainly. (hopefully Wisconsin or Lexi can chime in with more legal knowledge)

Honestly, I think your Ex is too much of a coward to actually follow through on anything & throwing stuff like this out there makes him feel 10 Ft Tall & Bulletproof.... he's quacking louder because he is feeling more desperate. You are further from his control than ever, DS is growing up -- there may even be a little jealousy behind it all Liz.

But it's worth taking seriously because you NEVER know what will flip that switch in a person one day- the right cocktail of alcohol, ego, opportunity... and this is the stuff that makes headlines while the newspapers quote your neighbors talking about how they "could never have seen this coming in such a quiet community..." Be safe, Liz.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:28 AM
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I don't know enough about the law in Liz's state to say whether this would qualify for any type of protective order. Many states have different types of protective orders, depending on what behavior has been going on. Lexie has far more experience with this stuff than me, and I'm sure she will chime in when she's able.

I do know that over the years, Liz's XAH and my STBXAH have shared a lot of qualities--one of those qualities is the ability to talk a BIG game with little to no follow-through. At the very least, however, it is worth a call to the lawyer and taking steps to document this behavior, because even if THIS doesn't warrant a protective order, it may ultimately warrant one if combined with other behavior in the future.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
I'm not saying that your son is intentionally manipulating you, but you have reported in past threads that he may not be 100% comfortable with how quickly you are moving on. It has got to be painful for any kid to see one parent moving towards health and happiness while the other is mired in sickness and despair. He may be getting older but 17 is still a kid, and he doesn't have the life experience to understand the complications of adult relationships.
This is a great point and it made me think about how DD was just as hard-wired to respond to stress/crisis as I was after growing up in it.

Our kids get just as used to thriving in chaos as we did & it has taken a LOT of conscious effort & redirection in the last year to get DD to stop indulging herself in that kind of behavior. (work in progress)

It's like when a crisis pops up, she just runs with it because her role was so clearly defined there. A lot of the time I can tell she's doing it because she thinks she's pleasing me & showing me loyalty - again- these are the roles we played during our crisis days. Even if it's not intentional, a subconscious part of your DS may think this is part of his Job - confiding in you about dad & giving you the heads up for potential problems. That was how DD helped to "protect" me, in her mind. Maybe it would help if you to verbally "release" him from this role?
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:38 AM
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Please don't take any risks my dear friend.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:13 PM
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Well, I think listening to that seed of doubt is a wise thing Liz. Get this threat recorded by the authorities. Even if it isn't enough this time for some sort of protective order, it may be useful if he escalates.

I'm glad you are pursuing the counseling too.

Stay safe.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:33 PM
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This reminds me a lot of user Santa's situation with her ex husband. Long marriage, high-functioning, high-earning alcoholic. Within a couple years of their divorce he was living out of his car and had purchased a gun and was threatening to the point where she had to obtain a protective order against him.
I agree about discussing this seriously with your son and checking to see how you can protect both of you from your husband's unraveling mental state.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:19 PM
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Wow first thought was "well, you know him better than we do" and you seem so calm and nonchalant about it. Then when I read how calmly and nonchalantly you mentioned he had "beat the dog" made my blood boil!!!! WTH are you thinking??? You make it sound like NO BIG DEAL as I'm now sure you downplay his intentions of doing harm to YOU!
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Wow first thought was "well, you know him better than we do" and you seem so calm and nonchalant about it. Then when I read how calmly and nonchalantly you mentioned he had "beat the dog" made my blood boil!!!! WTH are you thinking??? You make it sound like NO BIG DEAL as I'm now sure you downplay his intentions of doing harm to YOU!
I understand. It was 20 years ago when he beat the dog and it was the one and only time he did it. Yes, I was scared but I didn't see the point in putting a ton of emotion into something that happened so very long ago. It was just an example of his instability.

My first step is to talk to my son and try to discern whether he's telling the truth or whether there's a bit of truth stretching going on. He is used to the drama and the emotional manipulations of my XAH, but he doesn't have the program or health emotionally to handle his dad like an adult. That's why I called to make his counseling appointment today.


what Firesprite said kinda rings true to me mostly because I know my XAH and he's always been full of hot air. He has all kinds of ideas and then he's onto something else before you can blink.

On the other hand, you just never know when someone is going to snap. Hence my need to protect myself and my son and my friends even at this point in time.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:18 AM
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Wow... to say that to your son. How awful.

I'm sorry, I hope you're OK. I wouldn't take any risks either. It could be that he's just trying to scare you/trying to get attention from you maybe (?) but still I would definitely recommend going to the police. Chances are nothing will ever happen but it's best just incase I think.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:10 AM
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yes, you should be concerned. Is your son in therapy? Are you? I think its time to bring in professional 3rd parties into this scenario so that there is awareness and guidance as to what to do.

Saying this gently: I'm reading some denial and minimizing in your post which means it's hard for you to accurately assess the safety of your situation. Please talk to someone.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by vcfanatic View Post
yes, you should be concerned. Is your son in therapy? Are you? I think its time to bring in professional 3rd parties into this scenario so that there is awareness and guidance as to what to do.

Saying this gently: I'm reading some denial and minimizing in your post which means it's hard for you to accurately assess the safety of your situation. Please talk to someone.
thank you. Yes, I have a counselor and I have a sponsor in Al Anon who has known our story for the past few years. I already called to sign my son up for his therapist again soon.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:38 PM
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as long as it was 20 years ago I dont think its a big deal. He could be a changed man
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