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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2019, 11:59 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default Let's talk about 'Boundaries'- how to establish them?

I don't know where to post this- but it's something I am struggling with.

How do you set and enforce boundaries with your ex? What if your ex doesn't comply with what's written in the Agreement?


We have an interim access agreement that outlines exchanges with D2.

Agreement- sister facilitates picks up at mom's parents' house. mom picks up from lobby of dad's condo.

Reality- sometimes I drop her off to her dad's condo. I usually drive around to the front doors and take her into the lobby to meet dad + his sister. (because of broken ankle debacle- I'm doing the driving for the next two months).

The very first day I did this- when I drove up to the front of the condo- he came out to my car- and opened the door and started unbuckling her from the carseat. It totally threw me off. It's a personal space issue. Yes, I've been in the same space as him- but I try to just keep my personal distance. Him coming up to my car threw me off. Didn't want to make a big deal about it at the time- so I said nothing. But later that day wrote an OFW message asking that he not come up to my car- and just wait in the lobby for her. My exact wording was this:

Hi Ex,

When I dropped D2 off today for her visit you came up to my car and opened the door to unbuckle her from her car seat. Please do not do that again. It feels uncomfortable for me. I will bring her into the lobby.

Thanks for understanding.

Iona.

He replied- "Sure thing. I'll meet you in the lobby"

I thought that was the end of that. But he's done it twice since then.

Yesterday- was even weirder. I was unbuckling her and then I feel someone behind me- brushing up against me- and he's leaning over my shoulder to talk to D2. That was just WAY too close for comfort. Again I wrote him a message saying "I've asked you before- please do not come to my car. If you cannot respect that- I'll ask that your sister just meet me in the lobby". He wrote back that he's just excited to see her- and "let's discuss with Dr.Co-Parent-Counselor. I want to understand the reason for your discomfort".

This is not just an 'excited to see her' thing- I'm 75% sure it's an exercise in just trying to make me uncomfortable.

How hard do I push back on this? Just let it go?

I need to start setting some boundaries. Clearly this is going to be for the next 18+ years of dealing with him. Boundaries are good. How do I set them and enforce them?
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:15 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Setting boundaries is only going to work for you. If you have an unreasonable and controlling ex like in your case, they will not adhere to boundaries and actually go out of their way to create conflict.

In your case I would suggest the following:
1. Show up early. You unbuckle and be waiting in the lobby.
2. Arrive early, park farther away and then meet him in the lobby.

This is an unenforceable clause that is only going to make him want to piss you off more. You could also just let him unbuckle the kid and get her out a few times and he will see it doesn’t bother you. As long as he knows it bugs you, he will continue to do it.

Take a deep breath and remember you are finally “free” of him. This is only to get you going and it speaks volumes about his petty behaviour.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:56 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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I agree with the above... also this is only going to happen for a few more years and the she’ll be able to get herself out... he’s not going to be unbuckling her at 10 years old. I get the personal space thing and Rockscan gave you some good advice. The more you let him know it bugs you the more he’s going to do it. Remain calm, say your goodbyes and have that be the end of it. Don’t message him and let him know it’s bugging you.


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Old 03-11-2019, 01:16 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
1. Show up early. You unbuckle and be waiting in the lobby.
2. Arrive early, park farther away and then meet him in the lobby.

This is an unenforceable clause that is only going to make him want to piss you off more. You could also just let him unbuckle the kid and get her out a few times and he will see it doesn’t bother you. As long as he knows it bugs you, he will continue to do it.

Take a deep breath and remember you are finally “free” of him. This is only to get you going and it speaks volumes about his petty behaviour.
I've done both 1 and 2. I just get SO friggin' annoyed by having to manage my actions all the time.

I see what both you and Faith are saying about not letting him know it bothers me. What I am afraid of is that he's going to take it as an invitation to keep pushing the limit.

I guess the real issue is that I'm letting it bother me. fack. Well that solves it.

edit: this board is like the ugly mirror at the fun house that keeps showing you all the stupid shit you are doing.

Last edited by iona6656; 03-11-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:30 PM
Mom 2 Two Mom 2 Two is online now
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He definitely is doing it to push boundaries and intimidate you for sure. Try to keep cool about it...it sucks. Hugs


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Old 03-11-2019, 04:27 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Default Let's talk about 'Boundaries'- how to establish them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
edit: this board is like the ugly mirror at the fun house that keeps showing you all the stupid shit you are doing.

You’re not going to change him and if he does push further into your personal limit, you can safely say “no, stop”.

I try to be my partner’s mirror a lot. He chooses to either take it or leave it but:

1. He saw a therapist about managing the difficulties with his kids and the therapist recommended boundaries. The problem was when he asked them to respect his boundaries they chose to stop speaking to him. He struggled with having boundaries if it was going to make them terminate the relationship. His therapist told him he can only change his behaviour he can’t change them. But his boundaries are there for his own health and well being.

2. I set a rule in the house (I pretend I have power...) that he is not allowed to respond right away to any communications unless it is to clarify or ask for further details. He has 24 hours to respond which allows him to consider his response and how he wants to word it. That way it isn’t sent in anger or frustration.

Now, he doesn’t like me sometimes because I am the voice of reason but there have been moments at the lawyer where lawyer has said “she’s right” which validates me. So take that for what you will. Divorce and all the bullshit is going to feed into a lot of feelings. Sometimes having another person (or anonymous persons on a forum) telling you to breathe and consider the source is a good thing. Not an ugly mirror—voice of calm and reason!
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:42 PM
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Compromise is necessary in healthy relationships, but actually re-enforces an abusive dynamic in unhealthy ones.

Go back to the original agreement, his sister facilitates pick-up. Tell him your accommodation “is no longer possible” - don’t give a reason he can argue about, just repeat “it is no longer possible” (a la Miss Manners’ famous catch-all response) and you’ll be following the agreement and *then do so*. (I’m not sure what is the broken ankle story but if that is preventing his parenting time then that is his problem to solve, not yours).

Good luck, took me years to figure out that compromising made things much, much worse.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:43 PM
denbigh denbigh is offline
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It won’t be forever As soon enough child will go into apartment themselves. Are you going back to the regular pick ups once ankle is better. What if you each picked up child j stead of dropped off child?
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:44 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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I'm of a different opinion than some of you.

I cannot imagine how creeped out I would feel (panicky actually) if ANYONE opened the passenger door on my car without my permission (ex... father of the child... whomever). You have auto locking mechanism for you car - USE IT!

He was "rushing" you and making you feel uncomfortable. If he doesn't "get it" then inconvenience of a peace bond should be contemplated.

Yes, this is something that should be sorted out asap. Until it is "sorted out" then I would revert back to the neutral hand-off situation whatever/wherever that may be.

Your ex sounds like a sicko control freak.

NEVER compromise your personal safety... ever.

Oh and yeah.... he does know it bothers you and continues do do this. I am of the opinion if you do nothing about it then that gives him invitation to continue and push the envelope in other situations. SHUT HIM DOWN NOW

Last edited by arabian; 03-11-2019 at 11:46 PM. Reason: additional thought
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:31 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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The other option to consider... Is that the other parent in this matter isn't this calculating in their conduct. That they are simply socially stupid? That they are just clueless about their conduct?
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