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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2016, 12:39 PM
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Oh no. They were apart for years before we met. He had moved cities and restarted his life before we met.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2016, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
He has to defend himself all the time.
No, he actually *doesn't* have to defend himself.

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Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Ive set her straight each time.
That's the thing about situations like this. He doesn't need to defend himself. And you don't need to set the record straight. The only thing you ever need to respond with is "I'm sorry that you have heard such terrible things, that must be really hard for you. Mom/Dad/I all love you very much and that will never change."

Period.

Engaging in the "setting the record straight" and "defending yourself" just continues the arguments and they get the payoff. Neither you nor your partner needs to attend every argument you're invited to, and one cannot argue with themselves. Stop arguing and you'll find...the arguments stop.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:21 PM
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Thats actually the advice I gave him and he follows it for the most part. Something was said during their call last night that caused him to not follow that advice.

As for me saying something, when someone tells me that my partner is abusive and a head case Im not going to say "oh thats a nice story". I will respond with what I did "I dont know who told you that but its not true and our relationship is not yours or your mothers business."
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:31 PM
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And that kind of response fuels the fire. The kids need to see the three of you as a unified parental front. When you engage in comments like that, it just divides all of you more and they see you lashing out at their mother. Even if it is earned, it's inappropriate. These are children and they need at least one person willing to be an adult and not engage in the garbage. Clearly their mother won't, why not make it you?

You have NO obligation to address gossip, rumours or any other fodder- whether it comes from the kids, her, or anyone else you know. When you do, it just keeps it going. That's why the Internet loves that stuff so much - people get a kick out of watching the trainwreck it becomes when people get defensive and respond.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:55 PM
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Im going to agree to disagree with you blink. Its based on my experience and discussions Ive had with a social worker who counsels alienated parents. Im firm in what I will not accept from these kids. Im not a coparent. They are old enough for that. I am their fathers partner. They don't get to comment on our relationship. They are learning they don't get to control their father. Its rough and there are plenty of bumps. Its not continuing to feed the rumour mill, its setting boundaries and sticking to them when they try different angles. "Thats simply not true and none of your business" is what our counselors have told us to say. Holidays tend to make his kid sad that things cant be like they used to. Then the poking begins. He tends to forget he has boundaries and takes two steps back.

He and his kid will eventually be able to discuss what happened and why but for now he reminds them that he loves them, that he is there for them and that there are limits on what is open for discussion.

What saddens me is the lies and the mistruths they get told and how that causes a strain on his relationship. When he sets the boundaries they get more bs from their mother about him and the divorce. Some days are harder to ignore than others.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:56 PM
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There's setting boundaries, and there's continuing the argument. Boundaries get set once. You teach people to respect them by not engaging in their attempts to push them. Ignoring it isn't allowing it, especially given the intent is to get a rise out of either of you. When you respond to their attempts, they know it's working, when you don't respond, they know it's not working. Give them nothing TO tell their mother by refusing to respond to any of it. Eventually, they will all get bored of having zero noticeable effect with their attempts. Yes...it still hurts, and you share that between the two of you privately so none of them feed off it.

It's called effective ignoring - and it works. I understand you've gotten different advice, but that doesn't seem to be working that well for you, and backfiring in many instances.

Just my two cents.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:03 PM
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My 2 cents is that both Rockscan and her spouse should set up some ground rules for the children: no discussion whatsoever will be entertained regarding parents marriage. Now or ever. Period. Kaput.

To continue to rehash things is pointless. Your spouse should sever this from his current and future discussions with his daughters. Daughters are clearly manipulating him by only communicating with him if he talks about it. I would think that the time is now here for him to take a stand on this nonsense. If he can't then sadly I think that he is equally to blame for not being able to sever his relationship with his ex.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2016, 05:21 PM
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Agree with blink - state the truth (set the boundary) once, and then don't get drawn into restating it. A couple of phrases that have been useful for me:

1. We have already had that discussion. We are not going to have it again.
2. I am not going to discuss that.
3. That is not open for discussion.

Oddly, one thing that was really useful was learning about training dogs. Some dogs interpret any reaction to their behaviour as a reward, so they will repeat the behaviour, even when the reaction is negative - for instance, if they get pushed away when they jump on people, they'll continue jumping because what they want is any kind of attention, not just positive attention. With these dogs, the only thing that changes their behaviour is completely ignoring them - they get no attention of any kind for engaging in undesirable behaviour, so they eventually stop the behaviour. Remarkably, this works for people as well.

It sounds like rockscan's husband is still providing some kind of reinforcement for his bratty kids behaviour. Things might change if he stops responding in any way at all to his kids' provocation, including not "setting the record straight".. (Note that I am not saying that he is responsible for their behaviour - they are old enough to not be brats).
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:29 PM
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His biggest problem is his inability to accept this complacency his ex has about his youngest. She feels its ok for kid 2 to ignore him and not have a relationship with him because kid has to "work through it herself". He thinks his ex should leave the divorce out of it and continue to encourage kid to have a relationship with him. Ive told him repeatedly that he needs to leave kid 1 out of it. He told me just now why there was a disagreement (I mistakenly thought something was said about me because he told her we were doing renos--something he refused to do with his ex). He misses his youngest and wants this cold shoulder to stop. I keep telling him he cant change it and dragging kid 1 in isnt going to make it better. He agreed (sheepishly) he was wrong for discussing it with her last night.

He is like the dog who is willing to take any attention rather than have none. He makes me crazy!

Those two will continue to fall back on blaming him because its easier than accepting mom did anything wrong. The sad part is it impacts their relationship negatively. Im sure now he will be ignored by kid 1 for a few weeks which is a shame because this is exactly how mom wants it. When theyre mad at him they are driven closer to her.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Thats actually the advice I gave him and he follows it for the most part. Something was said during their call last night that caused him to not follow that advice.

As for me saying something, when someone tells me that my partner is abusive and a head case Im not going to say "oh thats a nice story". I will respond with what I did "I dont know who told you that but its not true and our relationship is not yours or your mothers business."
ugh not a good response at all. I am not sure how I would of worded it but they way you did is just wrong.

Maybe its time to look at how your and your ex keep the fight going also.
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