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Fuming - need help with response to FT

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lost4now posted 9/10/2013 09:01 AM

STBXH and I are processing thru our divorce and we are NOT getting along real well. We do not speak and when we do it becomes very heated. He continues to treat me like crap and he is a bully. He has introduced his slutface girlfriend to my one daughter (the OW he has been with for 5 years behind my back). He apparently is spending Thanksgiving with OW and her family and needs to switch weekends with me with our youngest child. This is the email I get this morning.

From FT: I am just letting you know in advance so you have plenty of notice that in November; I will be switching the weekend of November 23 & 24th to the 16th & 17th because I will be out of town Nov 23 rd thru the 30th.

He isn't even ASKING me to switch.....he is telling me!!!! I am so mad right now I can't even respond. How should I best handle this?? I can switch with him but I do think he should ask me and I do not want this to continue going forward.

Sad in AZ posted 9/10/2013 09:06 AM

"No thank you; I'd prefer we stick to the agreement. Then, crickets.

ninebark posted 9/10/2013 09:16 AM

I may be in the minority on this one but I would first determine what the reprecussions would be on this one. Is it worth it to tell him no? Because a time may come when you have to switch weekends and he will not accomodate.

so you have two options:

1. Tell him you can switch and remind him how the agreement works, that giving notice does not automatically mean he gets what he wants.

2. Tell him no you can't switch. As Sad in AZ has suggested.

[This message edited by ninebark at 9:16 AM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

Pass posted 9/10/2013 10:10 AM

I regularly receive commands like this from The Princess. If I don't mind making the change, I usually respond with something like, "I would be happy to spend that time with my children. Thank you for ASKING so nicely."

I usually really am happy to have the extra time with the boys (she never asks for extra time, or even to switch time, she just wants to have more time away from them), and I know that if she has to spend time with them, she will make them sorry by being miserable with them. That's why I always say yes, if I can; I consider it to be doing a favour for the kids - not her.

But I always like to remind her that she is asking me for help. I'm sure she barely notices that, though.

newlysingle posted 9/10/2013 10:25 AM

I agree that I'm not so sure I'd say no right away in case you ever need to switch. Maybe just tell him that you're not sure if that will work for you. You need to check your calendar and get back to him.

hopeandchange posted 9/10/2013 11:17 AM

Relax, relax. You now get to spend Thanksgiving weekend with your daughter

Accept all gifts no matter how they are packaged


sparkysable posted 9/10/2013 11:20 AM

I say he doesn't get to switch, he forefits. That's his choice. You don't need to bend over backwards for his demands.

It would be one thing if he was like "hey would you mind if we switch weekends". Don't set a precedent by giving in to his demands like this.

Williesmom posted 9/10/2013 11:41 AM

You could say that you have already made plans with your daughter for the 16th and 17th, but you'd be happy to help him out by taking her for Thanksgiving.

He forfeits, and he doesn't get to dictate anything.

lost4now posted 9/10/2013 12:13 PM

This was my response to him...

To FT: I checked my calendar and I am able to switch with you. However, as a reminder, "Giving Notice" is not how the agreement is suppose to work, this does not automatically mean you get what you want. ASKING (not "giving notice") to switch is using common courtesy and we should extend that to each other going forward.

His response was something to the effect that when I took our girls on a vacation this summer (we left on his weekend with my daughter) he was not ASKED, I informed him of the vacation. Really?? I suppose I should have asked since he would be missing his weekend with her but I was taking her on a vacation. Not really the same but.....

I now feel like he won this argument and it is KILLING me! God I hate this!!! I really dislike the feeling of anger and hate! It makes me feel ugly but I just can't stop myself.

StillLivin posted 9/10/2013 12:22 PM

When it comes to the children, as hard as it is, put all animosity aside. Do what is absolutely best for your daughter. If he is abusive, then the least amount of time the better. However, if she genuinely enjoys time and needs her father in her life, be civil and cooperative when it doesn't interfere with your schedule. I.e. if you had already made plans and deposited money, then no deal, but if you had no other plans, let her go with him without animosity or pissiness....even if he so well deserves it.
Crickets for everything else.
He does this on purpose to show you he can still get the upper hand with you. And, he did.
I truly understand how you feel. But he will "win" time and time again if you let him. The least you say, the better. If you don't open mouth, you cannot insert foot. Let him do that. Plus, your newfound happiness and pleasantness will drive him crazy. Kill him with crickets and civility. You don't have to be kind. Be reasonable, but firm when he crosses the line. Don't SAY much, action speaks louder than words.
Read the 180 every single day...I know I have to too!
You can do this, you are better than him. Good luck, and God Bless.

anewday78 posted 9/10/2013 12:24 PM

If you don't already have plans, don't lie and say you do. Tell him: "Thank you for the heads-up. Switching those weekends is fine with me. Notice that I said 'that's fine with me?' For future reference, pose it as a question."

lost4now posted 9/10/2013 12:27 PM

Additionally......when I sent him the email about taking our daughter on vacation he did not reply. Nothing! He did not ask for additional time with her and he voiced no problem with me taking her away on his weekend with her.

He is taking time in November to go away for a week with his girlfriend. He does not spend time alone with his daughter when he has her. He always has the girlfriend with him or goes out of state to visit the girlfriend and takes our daughter with him. He has no real interest in being a good dad. He never did.

Also, we have two daughters, the 18 year old wants nothing to do with him. She has not yet spent any time with him since he left our home in January.

Pass posted 9/10/2013 14:45 PM

Hey Lost,

I constantly feel that I lose arguments with The Princess, so I understand how much that sucks. I try to remind myself that I'm just not as good at it because I'm not an arsehole.

If you were curt with him about your vacation, it's probably because of some idiot thing he had recently done.

suckstobeme posted 9/10/2013 15:00 PM

It gets better. The need to tell him off and make him feel like a dick goes away as you get more used to this.

I'm in the camp of trying to be reasonable when it comes to the kids. I don't accomodate everything because, unlike your stbxh, mine has given me less than 24 hours notice for certain times that he wants to switch or cancel. In those instances, I arrange for the babysitter and he gets to pay.

However, in most cases, and with the right amount of notice, I accomodate. It not only allows me to spend more time with my kids, but it does help to bank some of the "you owe me" responses I can give if I need him to switch or step in.

It sucks more for you on this one because he's going away with the gf and that's why he needs the switch. That does suck and it hurts, especially the first few times. I used to fight it too in my own mind and really piss myself off when I realized that I helped facilitate his romp fest with that pig. I used to think, "why should he get to go on a vacation with someone while I get to wipe noses and watch kids' shows?"

I would calm myself down by remembering that, no matter what, it's more time with my kids and, at this point, I could give a fuck where those two numb nuts go or what they do. By giving up time with his kids, it's one more step closer that they get to me. It's one more time that they see where his priorities lie and which one of us really puts them first.

This is going to happen on occasion as you move through this bullshit and continue to have to parent with him. NC is hard in these matters, but I find a simple "yep" or "sorry, already have plans" will do. No more, no less.

Oh, and no one says you have to provide a quick answer.

HopeImOverIt posted 9/10/2013 15:02 PM

I believe that sometimes it is good strategy to agree with the other person when you can acknowledge they have a point.

His response was something to the effect that when I took our girls on a vacation this summer (we left on his weekend with my daughter) he was not ASKED, I informed him of the vacation. Really?? I suppose I should have asked since he would be missing his weekend with her but I was taking her on a vacation. Not really the same but.....

Would it make sense to be the "bigger person" and reply to him, "You're absolutely right, I should have asked you about that vacation rather than simply assuming it would have been ok. I will try to be more courteous from now on."

It may have seemed at the time that he wasn't bothered by you not asking if you could take his weekend for your vacation. But apparently he was nursing that grudge until he found the opportunity to play tit for tat with you over Thanksgiving. Not a very mature way to behave, but you can't control what he does.

Can you convince yourself that it's not about winning arguments, it's about what is best for your daughter? It's best for her to have two parents who cooperate on custody, right?

Ashland13 posted 9/10/2013 15:27 PM


This is what Perv does. What I'm being taught the hard way is that I have to be very, very careful in any reply. And that the more words I use, the more I can chance tripping myself up, because he looks for things to "catch" me on...double standards or things he can take to his lawyer to use against me. Then he holds anything even remotely negative against me for the next thousand interactions we have. It's a horrible game, almost a play on words in some ways because of the planning it takes to communicate in such a setting. advice would be to use as few words as possible because then there's less to be held against you and dissected and any, ANY attitude you can keep out of it, do. Even if you feel the attitude, don't hit "send" until your feelings are gone so that you can reread the words and clear out the attitude-your Ex sounds like Perv (NPD) and one of the tendencies he has is to seek out negativity and pounce on it like a cat and mouse chase.

And as the others say, it could always come up in future that you may have to switch too-I've had to swallow pride to ask him to switch when I couldn't find or pay a babysitter, for instance-I work very hard not to ever switch and don't plan things on my turns, but every so often life happens and it comes up, like divorce class or something.

The other thing is that Perv catalogs somewhere each and every single negative thing anyone ever said about him, and spews it out later... but he kept that inside while he was around and that's something that I would fear your ex doing and holding against you even later, to drag out when he needs ammo-oh, not even in court or lawyerland, but if you need something like switching or to ask him anything.

Perv is very narcissistic and there are two things to remember: Never, ever will he ask-his nature does not allow it. Rather, he expects. "The world is your oyster" is rather literal to him.

And number two...never, ever will there be an apology. Once those ideas became familiar, I found myself less wrapped up in the tone of his messages and more wanting to get the communication over.

And the comments about making it about the kids and not us really does help...but is tough as nails to do. I try to remember that showing feelings of any kind to Perv is showing weakness and that helps put myself away.

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 3:34 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

SBB posted 9/10/2013 16:17 PM

Accept all gifts no matter how they are packaged


Saying you've checked your calendar and you are able to make the switch - that way you are standing firm without taking the bait. He can't make you swap so if it didn't suit you you say no.

He is being a massive fuckstick but you've come to expect that, no? This should not be a surprise.

A few months ago I had an exchange like this:
Him: "Where are DD's glasses? We are heading out and I need them".
Me: "Front pocket of her school bag"
Him: "Don't you think I checked in there you fool! They are not yours, return them to me!!".
Me: "In the small front pocket where her lip balm is. Look again."
Him: "Thank you".

This exchange was the first time I realised my give-a-fuck was broken. I didn't feel the need to tell him off nor was I angry/hurt/outraged at how he was speaking to me. As strange as this sounds my main thought at the time was "How inappropriate".

He takes whatever opportunity he can to try and engage me, stick it to me, berate me etc. - it hasn't enraged me. It is a nice feeling.

I've made some mistakes about things where he would feel he 'won' in those instances but in all honesty I don't really give-a-fuck. I don't need to win anything with him - I've won by being free of him.

This stuff used to yank my chain, big time. Reacting to it gave him power and he seemed to ramp up the yanking. I started with just NOT responding even though I was dying too. I emailed my friends funny and/or furious responses - I posted here. I made a conscious decision to refuse to engage in this idiot's dance any longer.

Fake it till you make it. One day you will realise you're not faking it. But you need to get off his crazy train first.

When we engage we feel strong for a nanosecond but in truth it shows our weakness. NOT engaging? Now that's tough and shows our strength.

gypsybird87 posted 9/10/2013 17:26 PM

My XWH and I don't have kids together, but I did spend 8 yrs in the stepmom role negotiating this kind of crap from his prior XW. We frequently got commands like that, and what generally worked best was a generic "I'm not sure that will work for me... Let me check my schedule and get back to you."

This way, if there was truly a scheduling conflict, we could have a little time to think about how best to respond to her. And even if we knew there was no conflict, we could still make her wait and then respond with something like "Okay, I was able to work my schedule to accommodate that change."

Either way this took back control of the situation and all the power out of her "command".

I see you've already responded to him on this issue but maybe this will help you in the future. ??

Best of luck... I don't envy you the situation you're in. Hang in there!

caregiver9000 posted 9/10/2013 19:59 PM

My favorite reply to this kind of thing is "Not a problem."

Really. He does not get to dictate how I feel. He does not get to wind me up today or in November.

You can't lecture him into a better parent, or find the magic insult that opens his eyes. Trust me on this...

His "lording demands" expect your leap to anger- and you gave it to him. The exchange feeds his ego.

Try to find a way to give him nothing. And, the bonus is you get the holiday with your child!! Now, to relax and enjoy it.

lost4now posted 9/11/2013 05:09 AM

I did end up sending him a response saying that he made his point and he was right. I did not exactly ask to take our daughter on vacation. Rather, informed him of our trip. I assumed he would be okay with me taking her on vacation.

I think the two incidents, while similar are a bit different since my taking our daughter on vacation was for HER and his request to swap weekends is for HIM. I do believe he should have asked since I am doing him a favor while I was GIVING our daughter a summer vacation.

I know.....he may have actually wanted to spend his weekend with her or had plans for her but really I doubt it since he never responded AT ALL to my vacation email. I wasn't even sure he received it. He did not ask for a different weekend to make up for the time lost. He saved that email and planned to use it against me at some point.

I ALWAYS want my kids and will always take them whenever he decides he can't take them and I should not have let his "NOTICE" get under my skin like it did. My answer was going to be yes but I felt the need to set him straight and it bit me in the ass. Next time.....a simple answer and then crickets.

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