Hi Martian,

I could have written your post!

My ex was horrible- both cruel and neglectful – to my kids when he was here. He stormed out saying he wasn’t a family man ( within kids’ hearing).

I was clearing away the Xmas decs today and was reading some, and realised I was reading one from my ex to my son. I have changed the words but it was along the lines of ‘every moment with you is invaluable and melts my heart.’

This is the man who hissed and whispered at me to leave this son at home alone when I booked nice days out, amongst other ( worse) things and who is trying to slyly sabotage his son’s achievements.

Someone once said to me ‘he might never give up’ and my heart went into shock- I felt horrified! But I have learned to deal with my ex better, in that what he wants is a reaction. He wants the kids to tell you, for you to react angrily and look like the bad guy.

Know what? You’re cleverer and stronger than that. You aren’t his puppet.

What he is saying is despicable. But he is digging his own hole- his kids will eventually feel reviled by his hostility and disrespect and see him for who he is.

You don’t need to utter a word. Just let him reveal who he is.

I now act like I haven’t registered his nasty actions- like they have gone over my head ( when they haven’t really). I am not giving him the reaction he craves. He must be going mad.

All you have to do is write down/ think of the kind of mum you want to be, and be it. Your actions will prove who you are. Don’t allow him to steal your peace and esteem- he did enough of that when you were with him.

My ex is doing similar to yours. I clock it, clock his intentions, act like I haven’t noticed, don’t give the kids or him a reaction- that way, I keep my own power.

It is hard, I know. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Kids go where they are loved the best. That is, where they are treated as valuable individuals, not mere extensions of their parents or as puppets. Kids know when they’re being manipulated. They might not register it as manipulation- but like us and how we were, they will have a sense of unease in his presence. With you, they will feel genuinely loved ( not used ) and your bond will be deep x

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