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Old 05-10-2012, 10:53 AM
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Default Potential Harassment by fiance's ex wife

Hello all. While this is my first post, I have been reading the forum for over a year now. It has provided my fiance and I a ton of support and information and we are very grateful.

His divorce and parenting situation is very acrimonious and the support here has helped me deal with the emotional aspects of that.

This weekend is his son's first communion. At a previous event that his 8 year old son had asked me to attend (a piano recital in a church), his ex wife verbally harassed me. It was the first time I had ever even seen her, and the confrontation was unexpected and shocking.

Just to cover our butts we sent my fiance sent an email stating what/when/where everything had happened, that he considered it harassment, and for her to stop.

Sorry for the length but that is the background.

Fast forward to this weekend.....first communion. My fiance has asked me to attend his son's first communion along with several of his friends and family.

I am concerned that she (or her family) will attempt another confrontation and don't really know how to handle it.

At the piano recital I simply sat and listened to her scream and she walked away. I did not say a word as it was not the time or the place and would fall on deaf ears anyways. Her son was right there watching. We did have a conversation with him after about the situation, but that is all.

Any help/ideas/support?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:18 AM
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Personally, I'd bring some popcorn and a video camera so I could watch it again later...but that's just how I roll.

But just a question...what did your partner do while this woman was screaming in your face?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:29 AM
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I'd say you did the right thing. Be seated and remain in the middle of your fiance's family and friends and his ex will come across as a real nutbar if she tries another confrontation as before.
You don't want to make a bigger scene that will embarrass the kids even more. Hopefully her family will have told her she's behaving in an inappropriate manner...
Er--you aren't, by chance, the reason they broke up? If yes, then I can sort of understand why she might have behaved that way (doesn't make it right though). If they broke up before you met your fiance, her behaviour makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:31 AM
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You don't know what will happen at the communion, and while it's good to prepare for the worst, you also have to give people space to grow up and act like adults. It's just as possible that she knew she embarassed herself last time and will show some self control this time.

If not, you should handle it the way you handled it last time. Pretend she is screaming at someone else, ignore it, and let it go. You can't change her. You can't stop her. You can engage with her, or stay disengaged, that is your only choice.

Ignoring her makes you look classy and her look like a jackass, which is the best situation you could hope for.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:37 PM
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Thank you for the advice.

I am not the reason they broke up at all.

Last time, my fiance sat quietly with me and looked at her and said "are you done?" at which point she said "bleeping whore" and walked away.

In her rant of an email reply (from the "cease and desist" email he sent) she said she was only protecting her child and that I was the reason for her child's nervousness. I don't doubt that he was nervous I was there, but not because of my presence alone, more because he knew she'd have a wild reaction.

We actually plan on videotaping the first communion so she may not try anything once she sees the camera.

It is hard not to rise to the bait, but I try and remain disengaged from all of her rants and raves. It takes two to carry on a conflict as I'm painfully aware.

Unfortunately her family will be no help. They themselves had to be sent letters from his lawyer to stop contact with his family (that lives in Australia) because they called constantly, at all hours, to harass them.

The part that kind of eats away at me though, is that his son may not realize that I am taking the high road. I fear that his son thinks this is appropriate behaviour. He lives in fear of his mother's reactions and I don't want him to think that it is okay to be spoken to like that. Rock and a hard place I suppose.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:01 PM
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Lulu:

I think maybe your partner could have stood between you and her...but if she's physical, it might have resulted in a shoving/pushing match...and maybe he knows that. That would be even worse for the child.

I'm sorry for the nonsense but I think you did exactly the right thing.

Raising kids is something that takes a lot of years and its an investment. And you have to have faith that you raise intelligent, thoughtful children that can figure this stuff out. She provides one example...you provide another...and they get to decide who they want to emulate.

Since it sounds like she's acting like a trashy fool...I'm guessing they won't want to emulate their mother.

She doesn't own the kid...and she has no right to talk to you that way...and it must be tough...but I think you're just going to have to suck it up for the time being unfortunately. The more you don't react to it, the more you're getting to her.

Its that old saying...never argue with an idiot, they'll bring you down to their level, then beat you with experience. Enjoy the next event as much as you can. Best wishes!
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:04 PM
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Thanks again. Sometimes it's just helpful to hear that I am doing the right thing. I just hope that her son chooses the better example. Only time will tell and I can sleep at night knowing I set the right example.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
You don't know what will happen at the communion, and while it's good to prepare for the worst, you also have to give people space to grow up and act like adults. It's just as possible that she knew she embarassed herself last time and will show some self control this time.

If not, you should handle it the way you handled it last time. Pretend she is screaming at someone else, ignore it, and let it go. You can't change her. You can't stop her. You can engage with her, or stay disengaged, that is your only choice.

Ignoring her makes you look classy and her look like a jackass, which is the best situation you could hope for.
As mess said... In a situation like this... "Ignorance is bliss".

Unless the children get upset you shouldn't do anything. If the other parent is the access/resident/custodial parent the best thing you can do is not respond and remove yourself.

If you are the custodial/etc... parent at that time and the children are witnessing the conduct it may be best to ask a third party (i.e. priest) to ask the other parent to stop or leave the situation.

Only a highly conflicted individual would conduct themselves in such a manner in such a public place where members of family and the community are present. Do not engage in their conflict.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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I'm happy to report that there were no issues at all.

We weren't really able to interact with my fiance's son too much, but I was very grateful that there were no issues.

Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:45 PM
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Agree with other posters - don't engage. Keep your nose clean and out of the relationship of the two parents and you'll do just fine. Don't be tempted to write letters for him or do anything that has to do with her as she's his ex not yours.

Good luck!
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