15th November 2021 at 12:42 pm #134032
Currently I have very strong boundaries for my ex – contact only via email, court order in place, handover by third party etc. He still manages to find endless ways to cause issues, but at least I am a step removed.
However, my children are starting to get to the age where technology is becoming more important. I am sure my ex will be pushing for our oldest child to have a phone soon, and I cannot stand the idea of that leading to more boundary issues with my ex. He will no doubt encourage our child to be constantly messaging, taking videos etc, and then this will be used against me in any ways my ex can think of (he has already reported me to social services multiple times). My child also gets really upset after contact with their Dad, which is another issue if it is a daily thing.
Obviously I will delay the inevitable as long as possible, but I am wondering if those of you with older children can give me an idea of how to keep myself safe, and avoid my ex invading our privacy too much, once things like mobiles/online gaming etc are involved.
15th November 2021 at 1:05 pm #134036
Hi cakepops, my child has a mobile that my ex texts and calls them on. I did try to introduce boundaries of date/times to call but it didn’t really work due to extra-curricular activities and not being available at same time.
So I took a step back and just saw how it would be if there was no boundaries and no involvement from me. And luckily my child doesn’t seem that bothered about talking to my ex all the time. They probably FaceTime once or twice a week at most and then my child tells me before they’re going to speak and does it privately in the same room each time. So I’m not around and my ex is not roaming around the house seeing what’s going on via video.
They text a bit more often. I check those texts without my child knowing (sorry but they’re too young not to have their phone monitored) and there has been some horrible ones about me (not from my child but from my ex). I take photos of these (should I need them as evidence at a later stage) but don’t say anything to my child. And this has worked ok.
I dreaded my child having the mobile too as I felt my ex would be coming into our home and intruding negatively in my life. But it’s not been as bad as I thought. I too have no contact and all is arranged via 3rd party and that’s how I intend to keep it. The mobile hasn’t changed that.
17th November 2021 at 9:44 am #134150
Thanks for your reply Lifebegins. Its reassuring to know that it doesn’t impact your life as much as you expected. I thing my ex will just constantly phone, text, ask questions etc but I suppose I just have to try and ignore it. Does your child also chat with their Dad via online gaming? We recently got a Switch and my ex is now really pushing to play together. I’ve said no so far but again I think its only a matter of time before I will have to allow it.
Incidentally, if this sounds controlling, its really not. My child has self harm and anxiety issues after contact so I have to be really careful.
17th November 2021 at 5:43 pm #134164
You don’t sound controlling at all. Does your ex call you that? Mine does!
I totally appreciate having contact boundaries in place to support your child’s needs. Our ex’s are used to us dancing to their tunes and it’s all about their needs. Luckily we are supported with boundaries by the law and I don’t care what anyone thinks as long as I do the best for my child and myself.
Re: video games, this has not cropped up yet for me but it’s an interesting question. I like you would be concerned if they wanted to play together online. My first thought was that this should be done on your ex’s parenting time not yours. From my own experience it’s hard enough policing children on video games as it is ie. setting time limits, etc without adding your ex to the mix. Kids often get frustrated playing video games or don’t want to stop and you need to intervene. The last thing you need is your ex online encouraging negative behaviour from your child towards you when you are parenting in your own home.
Also, depending where your child plays you then have the intrusion of your ex in your home at any given time. I’m listening to my child talking/shouting to their friends right now on video games and the last thing I’d want to hear is them talking away to their dad for hours! And perhaps daily!
If it comes up I think I would talk to my child and explain you see your dad on x, you FaceTime x and x and you text when you want, so I think you need to keep to playing video games with them to when you see them. My child is old enough to know what’s going on so I think they would know I wouldn’t be ok with it.
If your ex has a problem with it, well I don’t think the court would support playing video games in your parenting time especially if you’re facilitating contact as agreed in all other mediums.
Your ex sounds like mine, the gift that keeps on giving. Good for you with maintaining those contact boundaries 💪 it’s does wonders for your sanity xx
18th November 2021 at 9:43 am #134202
Thanks, that’s really helpful to read.
I find that the more I put boundaries and barriers in place, the more he finds ways to evade them. Despite having ‘moved on’ with a new relationship etc, he still seems to be obsessed with invading my spaces. Its all about control. It feels like whichever way I turn he is somehow there – not in person but via all his flying monkeys. I’ll be sat quite happily working or with the kids or something and then out of the blue I’ll get a call from GP/social services/solicitor or whatever because he’s made a complaint or demanding info or some such thing. So I really hate the idea that he could also invade via games / mobile or whatever.
18th November 2021 at 12:57 pm #134214
I know the feeling. Whenever I get email from 3Rd party my stomach lurches and I think what now??? Lots of completely unnecessary contact and trouble making. I hate even looking at my emails now because in the back of mind I’m always slightly anxious.
Could you ask these flying monkeys to contact you in another way other than phone unless extremely urgent? ie email? Surely if your solicitor or SS want to talk to you, they could put it in writing unless as I said it’s very urgent? Everything I’ve been doing legally is so slow so I can’t see why not. Good to have a written record too.
I haven’t done this yet but someone suggested to me setting up a new email address. Rather than one only for him/flying monkeys which they won’t use, set up a whole new one for you and notify everyone who needs to know of your new email address. Then if you’ve got the old one on your phone, take it off your phone as an app and only log into on the website once/twice a week at times set by you. Anything that was mega urgent, would be addressed by phone call otherwise you deal with it via email at a time that is good for you.
I’ve got a lot of stuff going on at the moment but I intend to do this v soon. A new email for a new me. One I won’t be afraid to look at xx
19th November 2021 at 10:16 am #134261
I’ve considered having a third party checking my emails or a specific email address just for me ex, but I actually think it would stress me out more. I did have my ex’s emails set up to go directly into a separate folder for a while with no notifications, but it just meant I kept checking instead. Now I tend to just turn my phone off entirely at points when I’m having quality time with the kids.
I have started playing a game with myself where I try to predict what my ex’s handover emails will contain. I’m often right which is quite funny, as he uses a lot of stock phrases relating to putting the kids interests first, working together blah de blah… always followed by complaints and accusations. Many of these have come straight from fathers rights groups… which is why so many of our exes sound similar.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.