How do you deal with an ex who won't leave you alone?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is for my son, who does have a son with his ex. I really don't know if I gave him good advice or not. He is very high stress, but is doing a good job of acting like the calm and rationial one in this. His ex can call or text him twenty times a day, even during work, and ignores it when he tells her he can't answer her at work. She is also very combative and tries to control him even though she is with another man already. She also tries to get her son to think of the man as a father too. Grandson is signed up for basketball. He doesn't like basketball or any sports and usually just hangs back, not participating, but his mother wanted him to go and my son reluctantly agreed to take him when he had his son. Ex and her new honey will also be there of course, which makes it very uncomfortable for my son. He is truly beside himself. He wants to move on and not see or talk to her unless it is something important about his child. At the same time, he doesn't want to get her angry (which isn't hard) and make things worse.

    I have told him to ignore her calls and texts except for once a day when she wants to talk to her son (during the time my son has his child). Then I told him to give the phone to his son without talking to her. He has agreed to never text her back or answer his phone after she has called to talk to their child. Is there more he can do short of going to court and blowing it all apart? He would like to go for custody, but it is too soon. He needs to show that he is the primary parent and that will take time. Plus he'd have to take out a loan to do it.

    I'm fresh out of ideas. I listen to him, but unlike all of my other children, he wants my feedback and suggestions. It tires me out to talk to him about this all the time too. I guess I'm going to have to stop answering MY phone all the time too. I mean, I like to be there for my grown kids, especially when they are being nice and really need me, but I don't know what to add to what I've already told him and I do have a life beyond his three other kids and a husband.

    Still...I have that motherly guilt to be there..He is very shy and moved way out of town and has nobody else where he lives now and his father is useless. Of all my kids, I feel he is the neediest. I even think Sonic, the autistic son, is not as needy as him because at least Sonic has community support and is a happy person and has no mental health issues.

    I have tickets to visit him the day after Christmas and feel guilty that it doesn't feel me with joy. I know it's going to be nonstop gloom. I do want to see grandbaby, but he's a difficult child and that will make it difficult too. I feel even worse when I think about how happy and excited I get when we all climb into the truck to visit my daughter in Illinois. We always have so much fun with her.

    Sportsfan never goes to Illinois to be with us. He is phobic about driving far. I knew it would end up disasterous for him to move that far from everyone, but telling him that would not have stopped him...he was married at the time. And although I knew his ex would leave him one day, he didn't think she would. I usually keep my mouth shut when my grown kids make decisions anyway.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You told him exactly right. It's not easy to ignore her texts and calls, but he NEEDS to. He MUST concentrate on work and being the best father he can.

    Does he talk to his son nightly when he is with his mother? Just wondering.

    We ended up having to set bio's ringtone to silent. It was just too much, otherwise. And then she started calling me and demanding money, etc. I finally had husband tell her (via the website we used) that unless it was an emergency having to do with the kids, to NOT EVER call or text me... And she did anyway, but not as much - and it ALWAYS went to voice mail. I never spoke with her without a witness after that, and by leaving a voice mail she agreed to be recorded. The final straw was really when she started having the kids call and demand money or say horrible things (you could hear her in the background coaching them).

    I know the loan seems like a horrible idea but... This is his child's life. I normally would advocate for him to try to get along with his ex, because that is what is best for the child. However this brings back all the koi we dealt with and to be perfectly honest scares me to death.

    ...If it weren't for your grandson... Sigh. What she is doing is telecommunications harassment, however...
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for answering, Step. And in case you didn't see my "likes", I think your new daughter is the cutest little thing to grace the earth. The other k ids are also very cute. I appreciate your input because I know you had a similar problem.

    My son is biding his time on the custody issue because right now, so early in the divorce, even though ex has moved in with a new honey before the ink was dry on the paper and even though she is not cooperating with him at all, she would probably win custody based on their marital ways where she did most of the dragging him to the doctor and activities etc. He is doing that now and he also is being very careful not to introduce his son to any girls. After all, the divorce is only five months old and Grandson is still baffled and very sad about it and still says "I want Mommy to come home and you live together."

    What would YOU do about THIS? When son calls my Grandson to talk to him, if he is at ex's house, she puts the speaker phone on to listen and whispers in his ear to get off. She is loud and he hears her, but so far hasn't said anything. Is that legal?

    I feel as through I went through a You never stop worrying about your kids. Just wait and see.

    Again, you have a lovely family...beautiful kids and handsome hub. I wish you all the best with your newest little pum'kin.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet...honest, son would like to have a civilized divorce, but it's not going to happen. She was a problem when he was married to her and she's very contentious now. I think it's great when people can divorce and co-parent in the best interests of the child. I tried to do that with ex when we divorced and I think we managed to do it. But I don't see it happening for a long time with these two. I wish!
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    MWM... Thank you...

    Regarding the sports - Jett did not want to play football. Bio wanted him to. It was awful. BUT - we took him to practices and games, made sure he was dressed and ready even when he argued - unless something was more important, i.e. biweekly therapy or his health. I'm not much of a sports fan myself, and neither is husband, but we went. (Even though the same group's code of conduct stated that homework was not an excuse for missing practice. WTH?!) We volunteered the necessary hours and paid for what we needed to. And then - when husband got full custody and Jett said he did not want to play - we did not sign him up. Why force the kid to do something he doesn't want to and spend all kinds of money?! Bio was furious, tried to have the court hold husband in contempt but... Full custody meant she had NO say-so in that matter. Yes, the parents need to be civil at games, practices etc. - but if the kid doesn't wanna play...

    With the speakerphone - let her listen in. As long as your son isn't saying anything he shouldn't, it won't get her anywhere. However, he needs to be the bigger person and allow his son to speak with his mother without being on speakerphone (unless there is a serious issue) - your grandson will eventually figure out who is controlling and who is loving. My kids figured it out. There were (and are) a few blips, but honestly, they know down deep who loves them. And that is us.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Step. My son doesn't even want to hear what ex is saying to Grandson so he doesn't do it. His biggest issue is that ex is always whispering to Grandson to get off the phone with daddy. He has a lawyer appointment. tomorrow, but probably is not going to really go for anything at this time. Sadly, this is political and he is more capable of getting custody from the judge if he jumps through certain hoops first.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    In that case... Tell him to do backflips through those hoops...
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Haha. I will do that :)
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Has neither one of them filed for divorce yet? He really needs to get on the ball and file for divorce and primary custody. I'm glad he is seeing an attorney tomorrow.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They are divorced and have joint custody.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If your son is NOT already? I would HIGHLY suggest that the time he has his son schedule an hour or two for FAMILY therapy meaning HE AND SON together counseling and then SON alone therapy. He does not need the ex's permission to do this and it would benefit your son in learning how to deal with a manipulative ex ie: whispers to son "get off the phone with daddy, get involved with football when son doesn't want to, gets a boyfriend when he's not ready to deal with moving on yet, wanting to have an amicable divorce after lifestyle when she is wanting to make life difficult either on her own or through the child." The tools he will learn from a therapist AND the anger management skills his son will gain from going to a therapist will help him cope when he has to deal with the junk he's feeling from BOTH parents. Sorry - but right now? That kid is angry at both of them no matter HOW good one parent may be, or he may be blaming himself - and don't waste your breath asking -he'll never tell you. He may not even know he feels what he feels.

    Also? When he DOES go for custody? It will go a LONG way to say to a judge.......Well your honor.......I go to therapy, I take me and my son to therapy and I make sure my SON gets to therapy. And I know this's what I said when I went. And no one can argue with the fact that you're all "therapied" up......and trying to be the best you can be for yourself, for your family and get your kid back on track. And they will ask -----"and what is SHE doing?" ------well she has a boyfriend, and is manipulating. Understand?

    It's the best advice I can offer. Because in order to "BATTLE" things that you don't know HOW to fight? You have to go to a COACH that can ADVISE you HOW to fight SMART......and that is what a therapist does. Teaches you how to fight fair, fight smart.......and how to level the playing field and deal with things you haven't dealt with before. Instead of making mistakes based on emotion and guess work.

  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...What Star said...
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    His lawyer should be telling him this stuff.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Star and Janet and everyone, thank you for answering. He has no money for a lawyer or therapist. And I'm not sure why he doesn't, but he says he doesn't. You know what? There is nothing I can do to help. We barely make it paycheck to paycheck as it is and have nothing extra (Sonic and Jumper are still living at home). The dynamics just changed...ex is engaged to man who cheated with her and is pregnant and she IS going to go for custody. Chances are good that she will succeed, at least by the time Grandson is in kindergarten, to getting more custody so that my son will only see his son every other weekend and Wednesday nights. There is nothing on earth I can do about it. I feel terrible for him, but all I can offer is empathy. He refuses to join a divorce support group in his area because all of them are religious and he is agnostic (I think this is very foolish of him because support is support). So I am his entire support group and I can't do it anymore. I get off the phone with him, and he can yell and be abusive, and I am shaking. He says that if he loses his son, and in his mind minimal custody is losing son, he will kill himself. I don't want to hear it. There is nothing I can do for him. If he threatens to actually kill himself while talking to me, I can call 911, but that's it and will only make him angry (but, tough).

    Having decided to limit my time listening to him, because I am unable to help anyway, I do want to spout off about how unfair the system is to fathers. When I went through a divorce, I was really glad that the system was so biased toward women, but now I see how the system screws with the fathers, even good ones who do pay child support and do all they can for their children. But, hey, can't do anything about THAT either, can I?
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    From personal experience... Way back when I was with my ex... I found FREE counseling. Yes, it was through a church, but it was FREE. If he wants it - he will do it. If not - he will say he can't. And that's pretty much all... HE has to do it...
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Then they follow the court order. No drama, just follow the order.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, it appears she is going back to court...with her lawyer.
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    What is the major change in circumstances??? Judge is not going to be happy to see her back so soon.

    Since they will be back in court anyway, tell Sportsfan to ask that the judge order all communication take place through Our Family Wizard. This will give him a court admissible record of everything they both say.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Major change is she is getting married and having a baby (a stable home supposedly). My son's address will not be the main one so when he goes to school next year he is afraid she will be able to have her lawyer convince judge to give her custody most of the time because my son is not in the child's school district. Right now they share 50/50. My son is terrified (this word is no exaggeration) that he will only get to see his son every other weekend and maybe Wednesday evenings. He is going to try to put in a stay to keep his ex from moving because then his son will be further from the babysitter than he both trusts and has had for years and whom he wants to keep his son having even before and after school next year...she is close to his home. In short, he doesn't care if she moves, but he wants physical custody going to HIS address. His father has now agreed to pay for THAT, but he isn't going to pay for a further custody battle and ex has both financial support from her now fiance AND from her mother, who is quite wealthy (at least he thinks she is pitching in).

    I'm so tired of this mess that he partly made himself and that is also largely beyond his control that I just want to throw up my hands. Tell me again...why do we want kids so much? LOL :)