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How do I cope with their arguing and nasty comments?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Family, The ex-factor, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 October 2015) 3 Answers - (Newest, 31 October 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I have just had a massive argument with my ex and his wife and I don't know what to do.

I split up with him nearly 5 years ago and we have two children together. We share custody and after they have been to see him I pick them up from a child minder after work, my daughter brought a packed lunch box with her from school but their father forgot to take the lunch box back up to his. His wife wasn't very happy with this as she hates my children forgetting things they bring to mine.

I took them out today and was running late dropping them to his, about an hour late, he didn't like this. When he had them back he rung me saying I was F***in him around. He did this in front of the kids, shouting and swearing at me and then hung up.

I refused to answer the phone when he kept ringing and sent a text saying I wouldn't pick up if he was going to swear at me. His wife then started ringing me and texting going on about the lunch box, that he forgot to pick up. I sent her a text saying that if he wants to speak to me then he should talk to me like an adult. She then said I'm a slag who can't keep her legs shut.

I've had the same boyfriend for 3 years and the reason I split up with my ex is because he cheated on me with her. She said she was sick of running around after me, although the only time she ever does is when I ask their father to drop them at mine as he can drive and I don't, and he ends up asking her to do it instead. Because I refused to answer the phone to them both shouting at me she got my daughter to comment on a photo I have on Instagram telling me to answer the phone.

I'm really ashamed of myself because after she said all of that I ended up saying nasty things. I said things like she was a pathetic mess, she has nothing to do with my children and they can't stand being around her. I ended up crying afterwards because I retaliated.

I don't want to argue with them and I don't want all this happening in front of my children. How can I handle all of this without retaliating and being angry? I don't want to be a doormat and let them behave that way but I hate how this has happened!

I don't think they have a good relationship any more, my oldest told me that they argue over money and they are stressed with work. Am I a horrible person for letting things blow up in to a massive slanging match? Or would anybody feel this way?

We went through court to get shared custody and it was the most stressful time ever. The only reason we ended up doing it is because she made him take me to court. I feel like I may have to again because they are talking to me like dirt but I'd like some advice on how to calm down when they start getting annoyed and angry with me.

View related questions: cheated on me, money, my ex, split up, text

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2015):

There seems to be a lot of tension in your dealings with your ex and his wife. This must be exhausting for you and very difficult for the children who will feel the atmosphere. Children do notice these things more than people realise and the most important thing is that they can grown up as well balanced individuals. If it's possible I would suggest that you talk to your ex with a mind to simplifying arrangements, so it is easier for life to run smoothly. Have two sets of things so that lunch boxes do not end up being used as weapons. Times need to be slightly flexible but none the less stuck to where possible. Between you be your ex, as the kids parents, perhaps you can smooth out arrangements that work for you all. And point out that the children's lives have to be at the heart of this, because whatever the adults feel, the kid are the most important thing here. But communication is very much the key. Good luck.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 October 2015):

Honeypie agony auntMaybe you need a neutral mediator or... to use a 3rd party for pick up/drop off until they can be civil.

I would also suggest (use your solicitor for this) that you inform your ex that you will ONLY communicate with him, that his GF is no one to you and you do NOT wish to deal with her nastiness. While she IS his partner, she is not helping she is creating drama that MAINLY the kids don't need. HE is their father.

AFTER your solicitor have passed on that message, FEEL free to block HER number.

I don't see anything "evil" in her helping him get to see his kids, so the "she got him to drag me to court" well, that is firstly in the past and secondly - MANY women would support their partners in getting more time with their kids.

So KEEP the communication with him ONLY. LET him know (again ask advice on how to word it best) that IF he starts crap with you, you will hang up. THAT if he can't talk to you with some common courtesy and manner then he doesn't NEED to talk to you at all.

I would ALSO have a conversation about visitations. If the kids come home with stories of arguments and drama at their dad's house, maybe... it's not a good place for them to be as often as they are. Again, it's something I'd talk over WITH the solicitor and your ex. I would make SURE he understood that it's not a form of punishment ( and it shouldn't be) but that you don't feel it's good for the kids.

Fighting in front of the kids, over them overhearing drama over the phone etc. is not good for them. So you NEED to make it through to your ex that this needs to stop. AND the ex's GF REALLLLLLLLLY need to keep the kids out of whatever is going on. For her to "make" your daughter tell you to "answer" your phone is USING your kid as a pawn. NOT OK.

So my advice? Talk to a solicitor. Consider having some visitation mediation done with a neutral 3rd person and your ex.

Go from there.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2015):

you did fairly well to keep it together when such a petty arguement started.

It was all to do with a lunch box and there should have been no blame attached to anyone.

I think it was correct to control the conversations when your ex started swearing at you but they persisted in trying to get under your skin.

Its wrong for them to use the children to get at you so i would suggest that if there is another episode like this you start to note down the details because on this occassion you were provoked into an all out slanging match.

I suggest you see a solicitor and explain that the current arrangement is becoming unworkable.

If I were you I would put the blame quite fairly at the dads door for phoning you and swearing at you and for her partner for harrassing you into further confontation.

None of this is good for the children.

If it was a preplanned visit then it should have ended in smiles all round so to do it in the wrong manner is not only undermining for you but also detrimental for the children.

Your solicitor may suggest remedies such as less frequent visits to dad as they are clearly prooving stressful for him and due to the animosity shown to you by his current partner you may be abke to restrict contact with her so that dad sees them at a contact centre without her being involved.

I think you should be clear to the solicitor that she pushed you over the edge so that you retaliated and broke down in tears.

All of these factors point towards it not being a good arrangement.

You were effectively minding your own business until they directed their anger and vitriol at you.

Your evening should have been a normal happy one and it was not, you were provoked into a very bad arguement.

Your best friend is now your solicitor even if you have to borrow the money to contact him/her.

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