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Abbondad posted 10/11/2013 04:49 AM

Hi, Everyone,

I want to post this outside my usual endless thread, as it may get "lost in the shuffle" and I hopefully will get some responses today.

It's a trivial situation (to me) but it is ongoing and is becoming a nuisance. I want to end this back-and-forth with the STBXWW on this matter once and for all.

When the kids are with her, I call to say goodnight. I call my DS's phone. Usually I get him and I say my goodnights to him and DD.

Sometimes his phone is off. No big deal. I text him goodnight, love you, etc. and he gets the message when he turns his phone back on.

I do NOT call or text my wife with "Please tell DS I'm trying to reach him...Tell him to call me on your phone if his is out," etc. And I do NOT call her asking her to put him on. This is one reason I wanted him to have his own phone--so I don't have to speak to her.

Not the situation when kids are with me. Typically I will get a text: "Tell DS and DD I will call them now for goodnight."

Or she will call my phone if she can't reach him on his phone. In these cases I tell my kids to pick up my phone (I don't want to be the intermediary.)

When she can't reach them, she is furious with me. She expects me to be hanging around my phone and his, waiting for her to call and coordinating it. And sometimes she doesn't call until after they've gone to sleep, which pisses her off.

In any case, we had an altercation on the phone last night. It was stupid: she was picking a fight with me, telling me it is my responsibility to "coordinate and facilitate" her being able to say goodnight to the kids.

I replied that no, this is not my job. I am not going to hang around the phones waiting for her to call.

I receive the arrogant, snotty Email this morning, after last night's argument. Please help me respond:

"In addition again this week I have not been able to consistently say goodnight to DD as you do not answer your phone and instead have DS pick up to then have to try to handle getting DD on the phone. I call at around 7:30 to 8 pm nightly to do this before they go to bed and I can reach DS but often he is not with DD to put her on the phone. I do not think it is DS's responsibility to have to coordinate parentAl communication. You can feel free to call me at any time to talk to the children and I encourage them to call you."

wannabenormal posted 10/11/2013 04:59 AM

What's their normal bedtime? Can you plan on a 'loose/set' time?

Example, from the beginning, XH and I call the kids around 8pm (on our off nights).

Of course there are occasions where that doesn't work...but we decided 8pm was best and it's worked for 5 yrs.

How old are the kids?

Pick a reasonable time and stick to it best y'all can. There's no reason to fight over that. You say - "Let's do 8:30pm on DS' phone. He can pass phone to DD"

[This message edited by wannabenormal at 5:01 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

Bravenewgirl posted 10/11/2013 05:04 AM

Dad, it sounds like she is doing her own documenting as part of her new phoney Mom Of The Decade campaign.

I know you have had to eat a giant shitcake on a daily basis with this effed-up cow, but can you accommodate the request for now, even if only for the purpose of not giving her any ammo?

I really, really, really don't want her to win.

This is what I would suggest for a response:

"Hello Asshole (substitute actual name)

I will ensure that I am available to coordinate the goodnight calls between 7:30 - 8 pm when I have the children.

Thank you,

Awesome father (substitute actual name)"

If she calls at 7:28, fuck her. If she calls at 8:01, fuck her. You only have to keep your phone with you for half an hour, and it will prevent her from being able to say that you are messing with her ability to communicate with the kids. Don't let her set you up for some bullshit parental alienation claim.

Your WW scares me. We will all let out a collective cheer when this mess is done.


Ashland13 posted 10/11/2013 07:29 AM

Hi AD,

We have this too and it's as frustrating here as you sound.

At the beginning, I worked really hard and gave up plans to be around the phone for his calls. As time goes on, that has changed and I am more comfortable with the phone call in some ways.

He does as you say and will contact me to get to her for the phone call. Sometimes I answer and sometimes I don't. I'm not his "beck and call girl" anymore, as you're trying to do. It took a long time but I would simply not answer.

As a precaution, I mentioned this to L in a meeting so that I could cover myself and I described the situation.

Early on, I had a semi-threat from an in law that it was my job to facilitate the phone calls and make sure she was parked at the phone-nope.

And because the calls can be upsetting to DD, I made an effort and some noise to get the time earlier so that she didn't go to bed right away-there's about an hour in case she has a melt down or fit or anything because she had such a hard time at first.

X does text as you are describing you don't want to do and it gets better to not take personally-as I posted one day, it's not about me but I can understand how you'd be bothered by it.

It's a long letter I wrote without much active advice and I'm sorry. I'm thinking about how to reply to her-she sounds like she has some of the personality traits of XPervert and they're not easy, especially with the defensiveness.

Somehow there must be a way to tell her that it's not your "fault" she can't reach them and that they have lives as you do. (If XPervert can't reach her, he tries again.) She's not calling at a consistent time so that's not anyone's fault and you as the stayed parent especially have a routine to keep for your kids-that's the angle I put on it with XPervert and it helped, over time.

Have you considered sending her a message that gives their nightly schedule?

XPervert used to get really uppity about the phone calls and mad because DD watches the time and is learning boundaries, where he doesn't want any. I just keep repeating, "It's for her schedule." And I don't say one word about me (ETA that I did put the kabash on when he was actually having OW go to the phone and talk or OW junior-that was crossing lines that I couldn't handle and thought was very crude).

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 7:30 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

hummingbird8 posted 10/11/2013 07:50 AM

My DD has her own phone and when they are with their dad I try and contact that. If after a while I get no response I will send him a text asking for the kids to call me. I have called his phone also to speak to the kids. I don't have any interest in talking to him but I want to make sure I get to talk to my kids.

She says she's calling between a certain time before their bedtime which is a good normal thing. Make sure he has his phone on him and its turned on. Then also make sure your DD gets a turn talking to her. At no point do you have to talk to her.

Don't argue with her. Tell her kids will be available between this time and this time to talk to her, then make sure they are. If something comes up have them contact her beforehand. I feel you are still letting your emotions run this whole thing.

SBB posted 10/11/2013 08:18 AM

She can be as furious as she likes. You don't have to do what she says anymore, remember?

How old are your kids? What is in your agreement? If its in there do what it says.

If it is not in there, then its not your job, legally speaking.

I would work out what suits the kids routine and suggest all calls be made in that time-frame.

I have 50/50 and my parenting agreement states a goodnight call between 7.15pm-7.45pm. The parent with the kids calls the other. If he doesn't answer I used to call back. He never did so I stopped - the girls just leave a message.

If he missed the call and called back I would answer and pass the phone to the girls. He didn't reciprocate so I stopped.

I never speak to him for these phone calls nor do I communicate about them via text unless he or I request to make the phone call earlier.

When my girls are old enough to have their own phone I won't be answering any of his calls whilst they are with me.
I'll expect each of us to call them on one of their phones.

I would hope we would both stick to the agreed timeframe so each of us can remind the girls to expect a call, unprompted by the other parent. If he doesn't do that I'll stop too.

I believe in reciprocity. I do what I expect in return. If he doesn't meet those expectations then I adjust what I am doing to what he does for my calls.

Perhaps something like this:
"Lets make the goodnight calls between X and X <Abbondad, you set a 15m time frame, in my experience 30m is too big a time frame>. I will endeavour to ensure DSs phone is switched on and within earshot during this timeframe and expect you to do the same when I call when they are with you. "

Keep it short, simple and to the point. You don't need to defend yourself to her. Decide on a time-frame, stick to it and end the discussion on this.

[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 8:23 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

ThisHell posted 10/11/2013 08:42 AM

This is also somewhat of an issue for me as well...

Mine continues to want to weasel his way into being "friends"...yeah, no. Anyway, whenever I'm caught on the phone with him he either tries to be all chatty buddies or an argument ensues. I have told him repeatedly not to linger when he drops off the kids and not to call me to chat. He just thinks if he gives me a few days to get over it, things will be back to the norm again and everyone loves him and wants him in their lives

what I have done with this: first of all, it IS important that my kids hear from him and know he loves them....BUT they go to bed at 830. If he calls after 830, I no longer let him talk to them. its his own damn fault and pushing boundaries is his nature. He can talk to my oldest until 9:30....usually he calls at 8:45 or 9, talks to oldest and than sadly (poor me) asks if the littles are still awake. Oldest says no, they are in bed.
If I or oldest doesn't answer, he may text me, and I just let the kids call him when we see the text. I do not. I may text back just for documentation and state, sorry, didn't see your call, the boys tried to call you back, or I'll have them call now.
lately he has been calling oldest on his own phone, but in the past oldest has been bad about not having it on.

suggestion: be accommodating to a point. And ask for the same consideration. give a time limit, if she calls after, f her. but if she calls before, allow DD or DS to answer and remind them to hand off the phone to sibling after their turn.

a response such as:
"yes, I agree we should address this issue as its important for both of us to talk with them before bedtime when we are not with them. How about we both agree to do our best to have DS's phone turned on and within earshot between 730 and 8 each evening. In the event the call is missed, we will have the children call said parent as soon as possible"

ThisHell posted 10/11/2013 08:47 AM

oh, I forgot to mention, depending on your kids ages, you may have to linger a bit and ensure DS hands off the phone to DD, or fetch her from the swingset while DS is chatting so she is there to take the call. Put reasonable boundaries around it, but keep in mind its important to facilitate and DOCUMENT that you believe its important, that they get to talk to their mother in the evening. This covers your tail...I document when he calls/doesn't call if its late or nonexistent as well. and if he texts and says he tried and no one answers, I ALWAYS respond, "sorry, we did not hear the phone, DS is calling you immediately." this way, it cannot be construed that you are INTENTIONALLY not answering

Gottagetthrough posted 10/11/2013 08:57 AM

ugh, we went thru this and wh documented all the times that I tried to 'alienate' the kids from him.

sounds like she is trying to do that too.

how old are the kids..

our judge didn't really care about phone contact to be honest. who do the kids live with on a regular basis... if its her, I think the judge would see thru this. Heck, if this is all shes got... AD wont facilitate phone visitation on my off days!!!

I actually did a show cause on WH because he had the OW around our kids (it was on a pendent lite that she not be around them) My lawyer said to put everything in the show cause... so I put, in addition to having the kids around OW and not paying child support, the thing about missing phone visits on their days with him (It was court ordered that I got two phone calls with the kids a day) The judge blew it off and said, "He cant make a 4 year old get in the phone..."

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 8:58 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

Abbondad posted 10/11/2013 11:41 AM

Thanks so much for your responses and advice, everyone. Very helpful to know I am not the only one going through this nonsense with the "phone goodnight" routine.

(Kids are six and nine.)

I decided to ignore her ridiculous insinuations about my failing to "coordinate parental communication." She is trying to pick a fight. I won't engage. If she wants to go there, I have a ton of documentation demonstrating that it is she who has failed in this specific area of co-parenting.

So I went with "direct and simple and cordial." My Email response:

"Here is a set schedule to avoid further confusion at what is a very busy time of the evening (I usually am putting them to bed at 8:00):

I will do my best to have DS have his phone on him from 7:30-8:00 and will tell him this is when you will call. And if DD is with him he must permit DD to speak with you either before or after he does.

I will also do my best to have my phone available between 7:30-8:00 in the event that DS does not. I have always and will always do my best to have DD say goodnight as well.

Please do the same for me, with the same time-window.


[This message edited by Abbondad at 11:42 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

NewMom0220 posted 10/11/2013 12:25 PM

Don't have advice but just wanted to say I hope when this is done you and your kids can go on a 2 week vacation somewhere where there are no phones or internet.

The best thing I ever did was go No Contact except emails. I blocked my STBX on my phone. I don't even get his texts and his calls go straight to voicemail in a different section of my voicemail called blocked calls. It's the best new feature of the iphone os update. If he wants to communicate with me, it's by email and those automatically go in his special Asshat Clown email folder.

Is there any way you can block her from texting you? It sounds like she gets off on torturing you.

Faithful w/Love posted 10/11/2013 12:39 PM

Oh Good Lord.
You know what how about this:

Have the kids call her between 7:30 and 8. IF she doesn't answer have them leave a goodnight message and be done with it.

That way you are not waiting on her pathic ass and the kids won't be destrubed from what they are doing. Just nip it in the ass and be done with it. Oh she gets on my last nerve.

Nature_Girl posted 10/11/2013 13:34 PM

Oh Lord, she's a female version of the controlling aspects of my STBX. Seriously. He used the same tactic to try and ensure that me & the kids sat home every night of the week waiting for his phone calls. He would not answer the phone if the kids called him. He only called when it suited him. During dinner. During bath/shower time. During homework. After bedtime. I finally had to spend $$$ to get my lawyer to fight with his lawyer to set a time frame for phone calls. And we STILL had to deal with him crying parental alienation because he still expected we would sit home every night and never go anywhere, ever. So there was more $$$ to defend myself with my lawyer against his PA charges.

He still freaks out if he misses a nightly phone call. Still grills the kids about why the call was missed (even if I tell him in advance, even if they call & leave a message), still guilt trips them about missing a phone call.

Good grief, I bet you have to endure this legal bullshit, too. Better set aside a few more thousand dollars to pay your attorney.

Abbondad posted 10/11/2013 14:02 PM


I am trying to resign myself to the probability that this will not end until the kids are much older. She is so filled with anger that I dared divorce her and take away her cake, that I WILL pay.

(I honestly have toyed with the idea of contacting her AP and asking that he get her away from me for real--that she won't stop coming over, she wants to have a family Xmas, doing laundry at my house, etc. I.e., she is obsessed with me.)

Faithful w/Love posted 10/11/2013 14:06 PM

CAKE EATER!!! Or she is trying to be.
I am so sorry that you have to deal with her, I am just shocked that a female is like this. I mean it is embarrassing for me. YUCK!
I am sorry,you to good of a guy to have to deal with her Bullshit games.

TrustGone posted 10/11/2013 15:28 PM

The best thing I ever did was to go totally NC with XWH#1. He would literally call my DS8 right after I picked him up from him after work. (He didn't work) He had not feed him, did homework, baths, anything, then would try to keep my son on the phone for hours to run up my bill and find out what I was doing. When I stopped answering the phone, he would cry alienation of affection to the attorney's. He even went out and got DS8 his own cell phone. I took the phone to his attorney's office and told them when he could find his own shoes then he could have a cell phone, until then I was not going to be held responsible for keeping up with it and not to send it back to my house. I have a phone and my son can call his Dad whenever he wants within reason.

It was so funny that all of the sudden he wanted to talk to our son. Before I filed for D, he hardly looked at him, much less talked to him for hours, and he was hardly ever home to help put DS to bed or say good night. DS was eating it up that Dad all the sudden wanted something to do with him. It was sickening to watch him use our son for manipulation of me.

I allowed my son to call his dad whenever he wanted to, but I put a stop to him interfering in my time with my son. I also put a stop to the long phone calls and told my son he had 15min. to talk to his Dad and then we had our things to do to get ready for the next day and if he wanted to call his Dad back to say good night before bed that would be fine too.

You have to draw a line in the sand or otherwise she will continue this behavior. I agree with the other poster that the kids can call her just as easily as she calls them and this way you are not put in the middle, because this is what she is trying to do to you. As long as you provide a way for them to call their Mom and let them do it when they want within reason, she can't get you for alienation of affection. Then leave it up to the children to call her or you for that matter when they are with her. It takes a lot of stress off things when you are no longer engaging on a daily basis in their bullshit.

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