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Being cordial does not work. Please help me

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Helen of Troy posted 5/20/2013 13:49 PM

It does not work in my situation.

Drop off kids for his visit, I was there on time, exactly on time! Because there is an unusual situation one kid was not returned to school on Monday and one was. School kid arrived late (this has become habit on his once a month weekend visit she gets to school late and OWNW or him or both of them will take her out early, before school ends for the day). I said he could have leeway for Monday drop but I needed communication of the time. He said a time that wasn't convenient but thought I could manage. He arrives 45 minutes after that time and a very slow goodbye to nonschool kid, including getting cat out of carrier for her to pet and other drag ons, ownw making loud kissing sounds on non school kids cheek. I get to work very late, embarrassed and not able to explain what really happened because I like my privacy.
He emails me and says I was late to drop off Friday. I absolutely WAS NOT!
He then goes on to say that I blocked schoolkid from contacting him on Wednesday. Again this is a total lie.
Each email he sends to me is accusatory and bitter. He screams about "not being kept informed" He takes no interest in discussion about their school unless it is something to scold me about. He will not have a discussion about their issues like that only blame to me, no insight no requests, nothing! Refuses to use online calendar because "It doesn't say so in agreement so I don't have to!!"

Tries to create his own financing since I got an interest free if paid within months dental plan for the kids. Therefore his fuzzy math says he only has to pay me for that in monthly installments.

Will someone offer me some tips in dealing with him? I stay unemotional and businesslike. It doesn't work.
I try being cordial or flexible, doesn't work. He takes advantage then lies. He takes advantage knowing I will get reprimanded at work. He knows that as a single mom trying to get kids to therapy TWICE a week plus dentist, plus med management, we are always on the run, always on a schedule. In exchange for cordial and flexibility he took advantage.
All of this criticism of me from him, the one kid buys into. Yet, she will make excuses for him for any wrongdoing. This man lives his whole life making excuses and people buy it. They buy it if they're a kid or they buy into it if they don't know him.
It's fucking EXHAUSTING. I don't show my anger to him or around kids.

Please do not suggest contacting my lawyer because paying her is making me poor. I am not as fortunate as some to have a badass lawyer to help me with all of these issues, some are smallies.

cayc posted 5/20/2013 17:47 PM

not able to explain what really happened because I like my privacy.

I would recommend cluing work in on this. Tell them you have custody issues with a non-compliant spouse. Find a way to set it so when clusterfuck happens and you are 45 min late, you can stay 45 min late. And so on. On this, you need to let go of your privacy issues just a little. Think about it. Dropping the hardline on this means, suddenly when xWH fucks with you re: timing, you can let it roll off your back b/c you've got it covered. And when he sees you aren't stressing??? Then that avenue of torture will no longer be fun for him and he'll likely stop. (B/c this is about him getting your goat).

He emails me and says I was late to drop off Friday.

Don't respond. I know it's anger making, but you know you weren't so DO NOT go near trying to defend yourself.

Basically, don't respond to any of the baiting. He sends you a vitriolic email full of bile with one reference to kid's schedule. Then respond: Message received. I will pick up child at 5pm per your request. And ignore the rest.

Emotionally I know this is hard for you. But in terms of how you handle him? Your goal isn't being cordial. It's purely conveying necessary logistical information.

When he asks a question? I've updated the calendar here's the link. Or send him pdfs of the calendar with updated info.

But being flexible? Cordial? When inside you seethe? Believe me, he knows this. He sees it, feels it, and enjoys causing it. Once he can't get your goat, the fun will be gone for him and he'll put his energy into making OWNW miserable.

caregiver9000 posted 5/20/2013 18:40 PM

He doesn't have to use the online calendar but if it is a viable way to communicate schedules then YOU use it. If it is like the google calendar, then you can set it to email him reminders and daily updates and alerts.

He doesn't get to dictate HOW you communicate with him.

If he doesn't make the time schedule for drop off then somehow it must inconvenience HIM and not you. Can you go to work and make the drop off all his responsibility? get the child to school that is going to school and leave him holding the bag for being late since you've gone to work?

I agree with not responding to his accusations. You cannot spend your time proving you are innocent of what he accuses you of.


tesla posted 5/20/2013 19:05 PM

Jeez, what a fuck.

I would arrange drop off and pick ups to include as little of you as possible. For example, you had to take nonschool kid somewhere, right? Why couldn't idiot of the long good-bye take kid there? Otherwise, cayc's suggestion is good...let work know and get a back up plan for when this shit does go down. Imagine his suprise as he tries to poke at you and can't get a reaction. It will feel awesome and empowering.

Don't respond to the baiting. It just gets him off. The dude needs a hobby...or another girlfriend.

Catwoman posted 5/20/2013 19:47 PM

It doesn't work because you are confusing being cordial (which, to me, means not wondering to his face how he breathes with his head so firmly entrenched up his ass) with being accommodating.

You are being accommodating and allowing him to run the show. For him to take liberties with school hours (school is like a kid's job in my regard) is not being cordial. It is giving in to him being a bully.

"I'm sorry, but school begins at 8 and if you wish to have sufficient time for transition, then you need to be there by 7:50. I will not be there past 8 a.m."

No court in this country is going to compel you to be a doormat to abusive behavior.

Why do you need to be present at him dropping her off for school? He's a big boy--let him deal on his own.

You can expect this to escalate if you don't set boundaries. Civil and cordial is not biting his head off in public. This other stuff is allowing him to invade your personal space.

Are you in IC? If not, I think it might be very helpful. Find someone competent in dealing with emotional abuse,


Helen of Troy posted 5/20/2013 20:49 PM

I am not at school drop offs w school kid. He takes her late and removes her early.
Non school kid i am there, he isate and acuses me of late plus many lies. If i dont defend i look guilty

When i say u.acceptable, more false scolding to me,

Catwoman posted 5/20/2013 21:00 PM

You need to take the case with the school and have them enforce appropriate times. What does your decree say? I cannot imagine a decree allowing him to do this.

You have to develop a thick skin with regards to his snarkiness. If you arrive at school and he is not there, send an email or text: I am here--where are you?

Or "I am here in the southwest corner of the lot by the concession stand. I do not see you--please tell me where you are so we can connect."

Take the offensive. Don't let him get you on the defensive.

Stay strong. Take no shift.


Dadtryingtocope posted 5/21/2013 08:20 AM

I go through crap weekly with the EW. When everything started to get heated months ago I informed her very simply we will stick to the agreement as written. If you need to adjust something you will need to notify me. And know that I will take the kids at any time if needed on my non-kid days if my schedule allows. So everytime she violates the agreement I make a note of it and I send a note to my attorney. Thus we have a running record. I still have a battle with her almost weekly. Something always sets her off but I just try and respond without much fanfare or I try not to respond at all. Sometimes I admit I get caught in the drama too. But my answer to you is stick to the agreements in place and let that guide you. Attorney's put those agreements into place for a reason.

ErinHa posted 5/21/2013 10:51 AM

You don't need to defend aren't guilty. period. the more you defend the more he loves it. Do not give him that satisfaction.

The reality is with kids schedules it's so hard, i have a good relationship with kid's dad and all the stuff we have to do for the family. We truly put their needs above all else and everything falls into place.

He still seems very angry and a bully. Sadly, the kids will pay for that. Be firm but not defensive. They are what matters and at least you know that...

Jayne Doe posted 5/21/2013 12:06 PM

You need a mind change when it comes to him.

He is no longer that guy you married.

He is now a business partner, a pain in the arse jerk that you have to conduct business with.
In business, you don't send emotional emails to each other, like he does to you.
Just try to keep it in that frame of mind and hopefully that will help.


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