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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having a lot of problems talking about our son with my cheating STBXH. My M.O. has been to email or text because often, when we talk on the phone, we argue. Or he'll start asking me questions about my life - my job, how I'm doing, how he wants to see me socially and get together for coffee and talk. I want to avoid that.

There have been times where he hasn't realized it is his week (say, after we alter the schedule slightly to accommodate his work or mine) so I typically check in with him the day before to make sure he is planning on having our son the next day. He has begun not responding to my emails, forcing me to text and then call him. He has poor boundaries; although I have told him I'm not interested in meeting him socially he keeps steering any phone conversations back to personal stuff (he manipulates the situation to try and force his agenda of us getting back together).

I called him on keeping his responses regarding our son hostage until I call him. He has said he won't email me anymore because we're going to have to talk, and I should "realize what a big mistake i'm making" by letting him go I'm assuming?

How do you keep your conversations on-point?
 

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Why do you have to check in with him to be sure he remembers to take your son, you are not his secretary? I understand you want to make sure your son is taken care of, but he has to step up.

If there's a risk your son will be left somewhere, or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why do you have to check in with him to be sure he remembers to take your son, you are not his secretary? I understand you want to make sure your son is taken care of, but he has to step up.

If there's a risk your son will be left somewhere, or what?
He is supposed to pick our son up from daycare to go spend the night with him on his nights. In the past, he has forgotten only once, but I'd rather check in than risk my son being left there until closing time (my son gets more and more upset the closer to closing time as he sees the other parents come get their kids).

He is unreliable and chronically late, and while I don't care if he forgets things in his day to day life, I DO care if it effects my son. He declines to take him about 2 out of the 6 nights a month he requested custody for. Even when we confirm in advance, he's at least 15 minutes late for every pickup.
 

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Well, fifteen minutes late is an inconvenience and rude, but it won't get you anywhere.

So just be sure you are aware that you are choosing to be manipulated by him. I get you're concerned about your son. And of course you aren't controlling his actions, but you know what those actions are going to be, and you maintain the same level of contact. You want to change his behavior and I doubt that will happen until the divorce.


Also, sadly, you can't force a parent to exercise visitation. Mine went an entire year without visitation, and then saw the kids less than a day. You just can't force them to be parents.

Having said all that if you still feel the need to call him, and he starts on getting back together and all, tell him "I'm not talking about that, this is about our son."
Repeat as needed.
 

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Some people don't give up when they feel their cause is justified. Maybe he needs a dose of reality. Consider emailing him with:

"We are getting a divorce, period. Meanwhile I have no interest in talking with you about my life, or yours. The only communication I will have with you will be about our son, by email. If you don't agree to these conditions then I will be forced to demand that all further communication be done through our attorneys."
 

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You cannot change Mr Croc.

Accept it.

Hard as it may be to realize, you cannot always protect your son from his fathers' ignorance. That is your sons lesson to learn.

Texting or calling him when he hasn't replied to your emails has taught him not to reply.

If he calls, don't answer.

If he texts, don't reply.

If he emails you about anything other than pertinent issues about your son, ignore.

It will take time but he will learn.

I recommend looking into using Our Family Wizard. You can put in your decree that this is mandatory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You cannot change Mr Croc.

Accept it.

Hard as it may be to realize, you cannot always protect your son from his fathers' ignorance. That is your sons lesson to learn.

Texting or calling him when he hasn't replied to your emails has taught him not to reply.

If he calls, don't answer.

If he texts, don't reply.

If he emails you about anything other than pertinent issues about your son, ignore.

It will take time but he will learn.

I recommend looking into using Our Family Wizard. You can put in your decree that this is mandatory.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense actually. I'm making the problem worse. I'll look into Our Family Wizard. I guess I had hoped we would be civilized enough to communicate about our son but emails have been best so far and I need to stick to that.
 

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Could you just live your life like he doesn't exist ?.. Basically expect he isn't going to come or be there and if he does thats great..

Personally that is how I do it with my boys and its been much less stressful for me when dealing with my wife and life in general. I just act like she is dead for the most part.. Prior to this when she would throw a monkey wrench into my life I would fall apart.. Now I just roll with it because I don't expect her to help or depend on her..

She helps me out by bringing my youngest to school every day, but if she didn't I would just ask my oldest to do it on his way to school or ask my brother to do it if he can..

Next option.. Sounds childish but it's to make a point... Bring a male friend he has no clue about.. Give him the impression your socializing with him and would rather spend time with him getting coffee than your STBXH...

Sometimes people need a dose of reality..
 

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I agree and disagree with HardtoHandle. If I may, he's had a really difficult time with his ex and the kids, so his advice about going forward on you own is wonderful. When you have an ex who is not willing to work together for the kids this is the best you can do.

I will disagree about bringing any third-party into the mix for the purposes of changing how your STBX interacts with you. I think that will just complicate matters. But that's me.
 

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If he's only been late to pick up your son once, it's once.

Edited told add : noted OP said he's chronically late, but missed pickup once. So, missing once is still once.

A pattern of very careless behavior might warrant checking in to "confirm" his plans. 15 minutes isn't bad. I often was at daycare until a half hour after closing time, due to traffic, parents in meetings, etc.... I learned to adapt.

Otherwise my advice would be to leave well enough alone. It might not be pleasant for your son to have to wait, but if your ex is consistent in picking him up, even if late, the anxiety will fade. Kids need consistency, reliance, and structure for sure, but also need to learn to adapt to unplanned events.

(Edited to amend comments based on a part of OPs post I missed.)
 
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Another benefit of the OFW is the calendar.

It keeps track of whose days are whose. You can even setup alerts so it will notify him when he needs to pick up your son so you don't have to.

The two of you are separate now. He needs to keep track of his own responsibilites, as do you, and it is not your responsibility to ensure that he does what he's supposed to.

Things come up, sure. You'll still need to notify him of things but the normal day-to-day, repetitive things he needs to take care of himself. This is for your growth as much as it is for his.
 

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This is a screenshot of my calendar. Blue days are mine and green days are hers.

The question marks are unanswered trade requests. She wanted to trade me her 5/6 - 5/12 for my 4/30 - 5/4. Yes, she wanted to give me Mothers Day. I asked her to verify this then she recanted.

The Family Wizard is good but it doesn't fix stupid.
 

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There's also cozi.com and googlecalendar. Talk to son's daycare about the issue and ask them to help him in the event XH doesn't show up; son will figure out eventually not to trust his dad and then it will stop bothering him. btw, is son in therapy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There's also cozi.com and googlecalendar. Talk to son's daycare about the issue and ask them to help him in the event XH doesn't show up; son will figure out eventually not to trust his dad and then it will stop bothering him. btw, is son in therapy?
I hesitate put in too many details about my son really, but let's just say he's below the age at which therapy would be appropriate.
 

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If he's 2 or older, therapy is appropriate to help him understand. Children's therapy. You say he already has anxiety issues. Get him help with a play doctor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, things just became a little trickier. After no response from him for a week on this upcoming weekends arrangements and other insurance stuff I needed a response on, I sent an email saying I get he is busy, but this is not stuff you can put off until later. Memorial Day is this weekend. Kindly respond. He basically said he will discuss things face to face or over the phone or not at all. We can never be civil face to face and he will try and bring up getting back together so I said if we can't remain civil, I thought except in cases of emergency, email was sufficient unless one of us wants to talk to our son directly. My lawyer confirmed this was fine legally and that he can't dictate to me that we meet. He still refuses to use an online schedule. He won't respond to my emails. How do I talk some sense into him?
 

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He clearly still things he has a way to play with you. I made my xW just write letters and if she missed getting the kids well then she didn't get them that weekend. The only way I would take a call is if it was a emergency. Your just going to have to stick to your guns. If its things that have to be signed send them to him in a certified letter and if he doesn't deal with them then you sadly will probably have to go back to court. I took my xW back twice so far.

I know its hard but you have to learn how to deal with his just as if he was a stranger and not your xH.

Clay
 

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Joanna,

This is really relatively easy. Envision he is the stockman at the grocery store or the postman. You are not legally required to meet him any more than you would be legally required to meet with the postman. If the postman tried to intimidate you into "having to meet with him" then you'd laugh in his face and not take it very seriously, right?

Soooo...you can not force him to reply to email or use the calendar any more than he can force you to meet him face-to-face. He is an adult and can make his own choices, even if they are stupid ones, and this one is. So email him today and say something like this:

"This is the final email notification I will send regarding custody arrangements this weekend. If I do not have a reply by 6pm (your timezone) on 5/20 or have notification via (insert calendar program here), I will assume you will NOT have custody of son this weekend and make plans accordingly. I will also document the number of times you refuse your custody times and make appropriate changes to the child support calculations in our divorce order."

PERIOD.

Then let him do whatever he chooses to do. If he chooses to have his son, he will need to respond in some way (email or calendar) by 6pm tonight. If he refuses, you have proof that you attempted to notify him MANY times and proof he did not respond...and YOU make plans as if you'll have your son. Then if he just magically shows up...you can call your lawyer or call police, etc.

Finally, from this point forward, enforce the EXACT PARENTING PLAN from the court, period. No swapping. No trading. Enforce what is written down (since he wants to make things his way and thinks he's above the law). Thus you have YOUR weeks. He has the choice to have his weeks or forfeit them. If he tries to swap you say "No this week is my week, and you have next week if you choose to follow the court order."

See....the court order is ENFORCEABLE, meaning that it's not you being a meanie. The court and the judge and law enforcement do have the ability to FORCE him to do what he does not want to do. If he doesn't want custody on his weeks, he can pay you more child support for being responsible on his time. If he DOES want custody on his weeks, he can not force you to meet him face-to-face; he is a postman to you now. YOU get to decide what sort of interaction with him you are willing to accept, and YOU said you want email or calendar. He can even choose which he prefers: email or calendar. But he can not force you!! Follow the order, because the court CAN force him. Make sense?
 

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Joanna,

This is really relatively easy. Envision he is the stockman at the grocery store or the postman. You are not legally required to meet him any more than you would be legally required to meet with the postman. If the postman tried to intimidate you into "having to meet with him" then you'd laugh in his face and not take it very seriously, right?

Soooo...you can not force him to reply to email or use the calendar any more than he can force you to meet him face-to-face. He is an adult and can make his own choices, even if they are stupid ones, and this one is. So email him today and say something like this:

"This is the final email notification I will send regarding custody arrangements this weekend. If I do not have a reply by 6pm (your timezone) on 5/20 or have notification via (insert calendar program here), I will assume you will NOT have custody of son this weekend and make plans accordingly. I will also document the number of times you refuse your custody times and make appropriate changes to the child support calculations in our divorce order."

PERIOD.

Then let him do whatever he chooses to do. If he chooses to have his son, he will need to respond in some way (email or calendar) by 6pm tonight. If he refuses, you have proof that you attempted to notify him MANY times and proof he did not respond...and YOU make plans as if you'll have your son. Then if he just magically shows up...you can call your lawyer or call police, etc.

Finally, from this point forward, enforce the EXACT PARENTING PLAN from the court, period. No swapping. No trading. Enforce what is written down (since he wants to make things his way and thinks he's above the law). Thus you have YOUR weeks. He has the choice to have his weeks or forfeit them. If he tries to swap you say "No this week is my week, and you have next week if you choose to follow the court order."

See....the court order is ENFORCEABLE, meaning that it's not you being a meanie. The court and the judge and law enforcement do have the ability to FORCE him to do what he does not want to do. If he doesn't want custody on his weeks, he can pay you more child support for being responsible on his time. If he DOES want custody on his weeks, he can not force you to meet him face-to-face; he is a postman to you now. YOU get to decide what sort of interaction with him you are willing to accept, and YOU said you want email or calendar. He can even choose which he prefers: email or calendar. But he can not force you!! Follow the order, because the court CAN force him. Make sense?
excellent advice

:iagree::iagree::iagree:
 

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Whenever you send an e-mail to him, send it to both his e-mail address and the e-mail address used by his provider for SMS forwarding. For example, if he uses Verizon, the e-mail address will be [email protected] (no dashes in the number).

Sprint uses @messaging.sprintpcs.com
ATT uses @txt.att.net
T-Mobile uses @tmomail.net

Not sure about other providers. Maybe call tech support for his provider and ask them.

Anyway, if the e-mail is long enough, it should get broken down into 2 or more texts that he'll receive back to back to back. That will make it difficult for him to ignore your e-mails.

:D
 
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