So many times I meet woman who tell me awful stories about the belittling, and bully behavior displayed by there Ex’s. Divorce can turn the greatest couples against each other if either of them loses focus on what is important.
As I was talking to a single mama the other day, through tears, she told me her struggle in listening to her Ex try to bully her for custody.
She is currently homeless, and her and the kids are safely staying with friends. Her homelessness is based on a legitimate reason and she is working her butt off towards her goal of getting back up on her feet. A goal in which she soon will accomplish.
She shared the horrible things he had said to her, and while fighting back tears, she stated that he had told her she was a failure. This mama is no stranger to struggle since he left her. While he was calling her a failure and asking if she didn’t want better for their kids. She told me she was this close to yelling at him and saying, “Of course I do, just take them!” But through his berating her she was able to just cry and not say anything at all. Because she knows that they are safe, they are well taken care of, and that just because he has a house doesn’t mean they are better off with him.
Through her tears I could see the love this mama had for her kids. That she realized that 4 walls doesn’t make a safer, better home. But that love and perseverance do. I hugged this mama and told her the truth of who she was.
She isn’t a failure. You are only a failure if you give up.
She is doing good by her kids, because she is showing them love, not things.
She is showing them that to get what you want in life, it will not be handed to you, you must work for it.
These are all lessons and gifts that she is teaching them. A lesson that 4 walls never would.
I know that as a mother, there were times when I too wondered if my kids would be better off with their dad. Times when I really wondered if what I was giving them was really enough? And times where I cried myself to sleep each night as I realized I was not giving them the life I had set out to give them. Nights where I was bitter that they were being robbed, of all the things I thought they deserved.
So how do you deal with your Ex when he is belittling, berating, and bullying you?
This may be exceedingly difficult but simply not responding can sometimes be the best choice. If they are texting you, you are not obligated to respond. You don’t owe them a response, unless it’s time sensitive and about your kids.
If you must respond, be polite.
Kill them with kindness. If they are in front of you then you can politely decline to answer. You can tell them that you are not going to respond just yet, but that after you have had time to process you will give them an answer. Then tell them when they can have the answer. Never, is not a good time frame. 😉
You don’t have to be loud or cocky in order to demand that they treat you with dignity. You can, very politely respond that they are not welcome to talk to you that way, and that you’d be happy to continue the conversation when they can treat you in a respectful manner.
Keeping open communication with a bully is so hard but if you keep it fully focused on the kids it can get easier with practice.