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Softcentre posted 4/13/2014 10:18 AM

So....The Arse returned the boys this morning. Had a lovely day today. While we were out together, ds6 suddenly turned to me and said

"Oh, I forgot, Daddy asked me to ask you about pocket money. Can you contribute to paying me pocket money?"


OK, let's forget that I'm living on government benefits and saving as hard as I can to afford a solicitor (UK divorce lawyer), whilst he's on just under 60k.

Why is he passing on messages through my 6 yr old son? How manipulative can you get to make my young son ask me if I'll contribute to his pocket money?

I told ds6 that I didn't want him having to pass messages between The Arse and I. That if The Arse asked him to do it again, ds6 was to say "Mummy has said, please ask her yourself". My beautiful clever boy 'got' it, saying "Oh is it like Chinese whispers?" If my 6 yr old can get it, why not The Arse? (rhetorical question, I know the answer: he's an arse)

So anyway, people, I need your help writing an email asap to The Arse making it clear that this is not ok. I was thinking:

ds6 told me "Daddy asked me to ask you about pocket money. Can you contribute to paying me pocket money?"

Please do not use the boys to pass messages to me. You have my email address, and phone numbers and are able to contact me directly without using them as third parties. I'm especially disappointed that the message was about ds6 own pocket money, putting him and myself in a very awkward position, caused by your actions.

But you probably have some better ideas?

devistatedmom posted 4/13/2014 10:46 AM

Ok, my first thought is, why does a 6yo need pocket money???? I can see if there was a school trip or some special occasion at school, but otherwise, I don't think a 6yo needs to have cash in their pocket all the time!

Next is, yes, your x is an arse. He makes 60L (sorry, don't know how to make the English money sign on my keyboard) and I assume he knows you are on assistance right now, since it sounds like he isn't paying support yet. He wasn't thinking about DS needing pocket money. He wanted YOU to have to tell DS no because you don't have it. He was trying to get at you, and make you look bad to DS. Arse.

I think you should send your email. I think what you have written is good, and business like, just stating not to use the kids as third party messengers. I would leave off the last line about being disappointed, as that's a feeling, not business, but the rest of it is fine.

SBB posted 4/13/2014 10:54 AM

In my experience breaking NC in these situations just shows them a new button to press.

It doesn't stop the behaviour, it encourages it.

This behaviour is listed on all of the NOT TO DO lists in helping kids through divorce. He knows it, he knows I know he knows it. Yet he keeps doing it.

I now focus on dealing with these issues directly through my girls. I've told my girls it's his job to discuss this stuff with me - other times I've said that I'll discuss it with him if he raises it.

I've had to refuse any/all requests that come via them - even the smallest things. It caused a mantrum email of 'pretty please with sugar in top' but he finally understood I would not even acknowledge requests sent through the girls. He still does it but has lost his puff because he gets no reaction.

Unlikely but DS could have raised it and X told him to talk to you. Kids of Divorce have a way of working out the gaps and taking advantage of their situation. My 6 year old has been caught out doing it several times, I imagine there are many other times I am not even aware of.

Softcentre posted 4/13/2014 10:55 AM

Yes, The Arse knows my financial position, he was the one pushing for me to be on benefits so that he wouldn't have to support me. He is paying CS.

I think this is passive aggressive retaliation because I filed for divorce, even though he's the one who really wants the D But does he not realise that this hurts ds6? Self-centred, manipulative, lacking empathy for his own children, Arse!

devistatedmom posted 4/13/2014 10:59 AM

SBB, I hear you and agree with you in many cases. In this case, since Softcentre is still trying to write up papers to start D, I think an email stating the boundary is a good thing; she has proof if/when she goes to court to show that she is trying to do what is right for the kids. If he responds with ugliness, she will have that for court too.

Softcentre posted 4/13/2014 11:01 AM

SBB - ds6 has tried causing problems a few times, but both the language ("contribute" is not ds6) and the subject (The Arse has asked me this twice and I said no both times), tell me The Arse definitely did this. I'm sure he'll deny it, but I need to send this email once and then it'll be crickets & doing as you do.

I'll take the last sentence off. I really wanted to point out to him that this is damaging to ds6, but can't workout how to say that?

solus sto posted 4/13/2014 11:09 AM

Generally, I don't respond to info that reaches me via the kids. When I do, it's very brief. Recently, I learned Trac-fone was moving in with another woman. I don't care, but the kids do, and they were the ones he told. In turn, they held it to themselves, fearing it would hurt me, until they could no longer contain it. I did send a message about placing them in the middle because it hurt them. (Both struggle with depression and anxiety.)

I don't think I would say anything in this case. You did great with your son. It's been dealt with.

There will likely be bigger fish to fry in your future. Save your words for when they are really necessary. This is little stuff, no matter how it chafes.

PurpleRose posted 4/13/2014 11:25 AM

I am on the fence with this..

On one hand I believe not responding to these types of fishing/baiting expeditions is best. It removes the opportunity for him to hold any power over you knowing he got to you.

On the other hand, he is clearly violating the "rules". Here in my state we have a Children's Bill of Rights that both of us had to agree to abide by. I have once reminded the Doosh that he was in violation.

I think if you need help in court, the email exchange could benefit you. If not, crickets all the way. Tell your boy that "is something between your dad and me, so dad will need to talk to me directly about pocket money and you (son) do not need to worry about it."

Softcentre posted 4/13/2014 11:41 AM

Could be helpful in court/'s bad for ds6, poor thing should not be put in that position. Plus it also shows his attitude towards my financial position compared to his. I mean last time he raised it, he acted like the poor victim who's just too broke to afford pocket money for his kids...umm, no, that's my financial position, not his. He did this with the A too, acted like the victim and wanted me to bend over backwards to placate him.

Ok I will send it, but drop off that last sentence. Short, to the point. Then crickets.

Sad in AZ posted 4/13/2014 12:52 PM

Never fear communication about the kids and finances; it's always ok.

"If you need to discuss the kids or finances, please email me. Do not send messages through the kids."

Short, to the point and only about kids and finances--no emotion.

Softcentre posted 4/14/2014 12:39 PM

Thanks everyone, crickets from him so far...he's clearly better at NC than I am

SBB posted 4/14/2014 18:14 PM

You don't need a response - he read it. You just need your reasonable and civil request that he stop this poor parenting documented.

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