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When is enough, enough?

New Member Registered

Afternoon All


I’ve just signed up as I feel I have nowhere else to turn…


I have no children of my own, I have been in a relationship for a few years now with a woman with an 11 year old. We live together now and after a difficult year of custody battles the child is now at his dads about 45% of the time.


My relationship with the child is great, I think I’ve struck the balance of friend/role model well. I know he looks up to me and we have fun, I think he really likes me, I genuinely enjoy him being around!!


The issue is the ex, his communication is constant and controlling. It’s been reduced to only being allowed on a parenting app it got to intense - never specifically abusive, but the undertones are horrible.


When I was fairly new on the scene I offered on a couple of occasions to meet him, simply to explain I was a decent bloke and would only have his sons best interests at heart. He refused, since then I stay out of the way at pickups and events etc.


I presume he is jealous, but there must be some way of getting him to back off. He’s sees his son often, they communicate when he’s with us also.


I want to protect my partner from this silent abuse but have no idea how. If there was no child it the equation I’d confront him, but I don’t believe this will work or be any good for anyone.


is there some bright idea I haven’t thought of???

Topic starter Posted : 16/03/2023 12:18 pm
Reputable Member

I think the first question is - does your partner find her ex's behaviour abusive?  If so, does it bother her?  Is her son aware of this and does it affect him?  Her son is growing up and if dad is not too far away, perhaps he'll be able to make his own way there soon so contact isn't necessary.  There are civil court resolutions if he is harassing your partner but these should be the last resort.  However, if messages are abusive, reporting it to the police may be an option so they can warn him.  If no-one else is worried, then you may have to bite your tongue, however much you'd like to sort the situation.

Posted : 16/03/2023 3:03 pm
Active Member Registered

@whatsbest, I would also add that it sounds as though you are doing a great job on building a good relationship with your partner's son.  Keep on enjoying the time you have together as you can be a strong role model.  Try to avoid making any negative references to his Dad when he is with you and keep the focus on supporting your partner as she parents and on building connections with her son, as you can be a really positive influence in his life.  I wish you all well.

Fegan's parent support volunteer

Posted : 17/03/2023 9:14 am
Active Member Registered

Receiving a pattern of communication that contains underlying clandestine malice is, unfortunately, not something that you can protect your partner from.

My situation is reversed, I have to deal with the messages and try to shield my partner from the continual incoming nonsense whilst trying to hold back the emotional toll and drain on myself from the message chains. All very unpleasant. 3+ years in, no solution, just trying to build resilience and employ various management techniques to cope better - I can't change the messaging, I can change my response (emotional and written)

I'd recommend researching some communication techniques and talking them through with your partner.

I use BIFF and the 3 D's

3 D's are the most useful - just thought of a 4th!

Detach emotionally

Disengage with argument

Defend Boundaries - these are your personal boundaries, mine are basically the CAO and a reasonable parenting plan that I slowly created as situations arose (she has ignored and refused to agree anything, but, I have a management plan in place and am sticking to it)

4th D - that I just thought of, is Delay - take a breath before responding, leave it a day - most of my trips are due to a rapid response that has left windows and doors open for their abuse to enter.

BIFF - there are some great books on this and well worth the research.

Messages should be :





The 2nd F can feel rather insincere though.

After seeking similar advice as you a number of year's ago, all I've got to offer is:-

Keep the nonsense at bay, forgive yourself when mental fortifications are breached or cracks exploited, learn from them and rebuild.

rejoice the communication app!

Stay strong

Posted : 17/03/2023 10:57 am

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