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Dealing with the ex

How to stop the vitriol

My ex is semi schizo I believe. I'm sure many people believe that about their ex's but mine really is!

Anyway I'm just wondering how to react to the latest run in with her. Basically I get a lot of vitriol from her. She communicates with me way too much and one day she can be half reasonable and the next day really really nasty.

We have had orders in place for about 4 years now and both she and I are basically complying but there are still day to day issues with one of us thinking the other is being completely unreasonable about something.

Anyway last night I got some really nasty texts. The worst of which says "U are a f..king selfish d..khead. Move overseas stop child support, I don't want your dirty f..king money. You are scum, if you are so stupid you don't want to provide for yr own kids then f..k off".

The context of that response is not really the point of my post but to be clear, I pay her $1500 a month in child support on time every time and whilst it irks me at times that I don't get any appreciation or recognition, I gladly pay it. My texts to her last night prior and after the above were generally polite if a little sarcastic, and did not personally attack her or use foul language.

I'm just wondering how bad texts like these have to get before the police might call her up and warn her? After the attack above I got ongoing long and nasty texts for a few more hours attacking every aspect of my life - whether my partner, family, job etc etc…I'm pretty tough but really they are quite hurtful. I did not respond with any personal attacks on her but did in the end tell her I will be referring the conversation to the police.

Would the police laugh at me if I made a complaint about the above or would they give her a call and talk to her about this behaviour? Are there any consequences of this or am I better off just to grin and bear it?
I think it would probably depend on the individual officer that takes your complaint. Seems to be a big variation in what individual officers consider worthy of looking into relation to domestic violence matters. Generally if they don't feel it warrants a Dvo/Avo they will still call and have a chat to the offender.

If you live in a large area the police may have a designated officer for taking on domestic violence issues, usually you get a more understanding response from a designated officer.

Before going to the police you could try having a solicitor write to her warning that any further harnessing behavior will followed up with police action. If she ignores that then you could take a copy of the letter along with other evidence of her behavior with you to the police.
Thanks. Not really looking for an AVO. Just trying to find a way to get her to behave like a reasonable person and be polite. I have had enough of the ongoing brow beating. It's affecting my work as I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to respond or what to do next rather then what I'm supposed to be doing. I may sound like a sissy and should just swallow this rubbish but it's continuous and my kids are still young so it's not going to end soon.

I contacted an FRC and asked for mediation this morning.

A month's wait as usual and they wont contact her until they have had an initial interview with me. Ahhh welll……
It is an offence under the telecommunications act to use a phone to menace, harass or cause offence to anyone.

474.17  Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person uses a carriage service; and

                     (b)  the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 3 years.

You need to tell her to stop texting you, if she then sends any further texts after that, I believe it is three, keep a record of them, then report her to your provider, they are obliged to act, so don't take no for an answer.

Life is too short to put up with this garbage!

I am not sure of the legal ramifications and others have given you advice about that however I do know about dealing with this sort of stuff emotionally and practically.  I too have an ex that, although not diagnosed, behaves exactly the same as other ex spouses (and spouses) with a personality disorder.  So whether or not he 'has it' I still have had to learn to deal with the behaviours.

You will never ever change the other person or find a way to get her to behave as a reasonable and polite person.  You are banging your head against a brick wall if you think that - we can never make any other person change.  The only person we can change is ourselves so in order to get some peace and serenity you may need to change how you do things and how you react.

On a practical note, I got an additional mobile phone for use only by my ex.  It took him a long time to be 'trained' to use that number because he kept using my personal one but eventually when he needed a response he used the new phone.  I switch that phone on only when I choose and read his texts when I am ready to deal with it emotionally.  I am not at his beck and call 24hours a day and there is a house phone with an answerphone if ever there was an emergency.  (I have the kids most of the time so normally I would be the only one making contact in an emergency anyway).  This has given me a great deal of peace of mind.

I also have a separate email account just for him so that once again I can read the vitriol and passive aggressive nastiness at a time of my choosing.

If you don't react or respond to the nastiness she may give up eventually (eventually being a long time!).  Only respond to the facts that need a response and try and ignore the rest.

I dont think any of us deserve to be treated by another person this way, particularly the other parent of our children but even court orders and avo's don't always stop this sort of stuff.  Unfortunately we can't completely cut out communication with our exes when we share children and I don't think any court would order it as it is impossible to try and 'co-parent' with no communication.  Taking someone to court for nasty texts and difficult behaviour would be a long drawn out expensive exercise and not worth it.  So your only option if she wont stop or the police can't help you is to to learn to ignore it and put practical things in place to minimise the disruption to your life.

If you believe your ex might have a mental disorder there is much information on the web to assist you and give you support.  I belong to a group online for parents trying to coparent with a person with a personality disorder and I get great tips and advise there, and also understanding.  Just a thought.

Good luck

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Great advice. Thanks for your input. In my view I do try to be balanced, flexible and keep an open mind - but for a whole range of reasons I do seriously believe she has some sort of personality/mental disorder. Anyway there would be no hope of trying to convince anyone of that and there is no point me trying to but I would like to try and limit the vitriol. I have ignored it for a long time but this recent behaviour is just getting out of hand. I have requested mediation at FRC and am reasonably confident of her attendance. Thanks very much again for your input. 
Good luck with that.  One thing that has turned things around recently, although so much in the opposite direction that now he won't communicate with  me hardly at all and tries to pass on all messages and make all arrangements through the kids which is in fact worst than what was happening before!

I sent him an article about high conflict separations and in the article it says that if one of the exes continues to communicate inappropriately and too often with the other they are the one having a problem letting go. I pointed out that I wanted minimal communication (so that he was quite clear that it wasn't me that wanted to keep emailing - he has a problem of not remembering the facts correctly to fit his own version of events - a classic personality disorder behaviour).  He seems to have taken that on board, but now gone the other direction.

I can send you a copy of that article if you are interested.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Hello, Good dad and good advice Larrisap, ignoring is possibly the best way to not escalate the problem.

Stick to valid conversation about the children and never ever sink to her level. We have found that most of the vitriol  is a projection of what the mother is doing, done or going to do.

IE she kicked him out then stated he made his choice to leave and meet some one else. They are your family now look after them leave MY children alone.

She accused him of recognisable child abuse (because the children were hungry when they were dropped off at her home at 4pm). We now know these kids get wooden spooned to point of bruising and have had chilli and soap in their mouths (5yrs and 4yrs now).

She has accused him of shoving his new partner in the childrens faces, and this was after their children called him daddy *bleep* his first name was used and her boyfriend was who they were calling daddy, onto this I add this boyfriend is no longer in the picture and she told me I would be dumped just like she was by the kids dad !!

My personal favorite and it doesn`t sound like much is, these children have missed out on so much with these visits to you !

Any way the short and long of it is they are pointing a finger at you  three point back at them, a good thing to remember .

Name calling is their way of trying to break you down. I hope your ex does not succeed Good dad, stay strong.
Thankyou larissap and Splash for your input.

The vitriol continues and no word from FRC if she has accepted to attend mediation yet.

Totally agree with you Splash - she is trying to break me down. A more sensitive person might in fact become seriously depressed and suicidal from the stuff I get. But I know the truth as to who is the weak and unstable one in this arrangement and I do not feel the need to respond to her rubbish.

Larrissap it sounds like we are dealing with the same personality. Yes she is continuing to communicate too often and inappropriately and I have already concluded that she has developed some sort of complex as to the ending of the relationship. She too has problems remembering facts correctly. I'd be very interested in that article - I guess I can message you my email address.

Right now I have determined to let her know that I will no longer be reading or responding to her texts or emails and that I am going to set up a communication book to be carried in the children's school bag between houses. I think that should solve this issue for the time being.

Thanks for all your comments.
Best of luck with the communication book GoodDad. I stick to it vigilantly, refusing to answer texts or phone calls unless directly related to the welfare, health or safety of the child. It hasn't stopped my ex texting and trying to ring me over and over and over again, but it makes me feel better to hold a strong boundary. I have a set response to the texts etc which I copy and paste over and over again in response - "Is this about the health or safety of (the child)? If it is not urgent then please use the communication book or email for all correspondence"

She hates writing things as then it is evidence of her lies and manipulation so she writes very, very little. But there's been a slowing of the phone calls/texts since I started using the set response. And it just proves that she doesn't have any genuine concerns or problems about the child because she doesn't write anything very meaningful. It has broken the cycle of anxiety for me about communication with her and therefore there's very little conflict to impact on the child. If you can't maintain a "business-like" relationship with your ex in person or conversation, then I think the communication book is an excellent idea.
In my personal opinion, I would be a little wary of the communication book. It is so easy to lose, and the pages can on occasions miraculously 'fall out of' the book. Or it can be a case of "I thought we weren't using the book anymore".

By all means, ignore texts and phone calls if that works for you. The advantage to emails is though, you don't have to answer it straight away. You can draft a response and sit on it for 24 hours if you like. Use the "reasonable person" as your guide. What would a reasonable person make of your response. Would you be happy for a Family Law Court Judge read the email?

Writing it in a communication book means that if you need to, you, in theory, can't rip the page out. Doesn't stop the other person ripping the page out though. And if you do use such a book, then my suggestion is that you photocopy each and every page of it page before you hand it back, both the pages that you have written on and the ones that she has written on. I would also, if you are going to use one, highly recommend (strongly, very strongly suggest) that each page is numbered. It makes it easier to ascertain if pages have been removed.
Good answer Boots - indeed my ex has ripped pages out of the book! But we photocopied every entry from the start and stapled them into the diary we keep of everything.
Hi GoodDad

I emailed you that article.  Can you let me know if you received it if not I will send again.  I agree with what Boots and Circe have said about the communication book and emails.  I stick to emails as much as I can and as we are in court (I spent all day there yesterday - very harrowing) I do always write my emails with the expectation they might end up in front of a Magistrate.

There is a great deal of advice and information out there on dealing with exes with some sort of personality disorder and once we connect by email I will be happy to forward the information I have.

I also posted on this site about how to deal with exes with personality disorders.  Can't remember where it is right now but when I find it (if you can't find it yourself) I will send a link.

Good luck.  It does start getting easier as the children get older, unbelievable as that might sound.  Mine are now 12 and 15 and hopefully the agreement we hashed out in CDC and by ourselves at court yesterday will be signed and my life should be a little less stressful.  But enough about me.


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
 I agree communication books that get handed over by the kids are  a direct  contradiction to the kids not being used as messengers between both parents. It so goes against the grain of not involving the children .

The book is not always available. We have experienced ripped pages a complete new book and soooo much manipulation.

Sorry Good dad I recommend email email email.
Well I really do respect all your comments. Still, I am trying to give the communication book a go. So far not very successful - she keeps sending me emails telling me she refuses to use it and it didn't come back today. She prefers the relative privacy of email and text to attack, mock and criticise me and the communication book doesn't really cut it! We shall see…

larissap…sorry I don't come on that often - no I didn't get your email. Would really love to get a copy of that article as it may be just what I need if I have to go back to allowing her to communicate using electronic means. Can you send again? Really appreciate your efforts….

Not sure how to whisper my email address -I'll give that a go.
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