I’m newly divorced, three and a half months. He has custody of our three young sons, ages 5, 4 and 3. I am working my way through this divorce, healing from past abuse issues that have come up, trying to maintain my sobriety as well as establish boundaries around our co-parenting.
He sends me text messages every day telling me about my children and I don’t want them! I KNOW what they do is adorable, I raised them for the last 6 years!
I am alone and have not jumped into a rebound relationship. He, on the other hand, immediately jumped into an online friendship with another woman, which has now progressed to girlfriend status since he returned from a four-day visit with her and her children in another state.
He works nights so I deal mainly with his parents, my ex in-laws, because they are the primary caregivers when he is sleeping. I have already told him not to phone/text me unless it is an emergency concerning our children. But there is no telling him anything, he does what he wants to do, regardless of what anybody tells him.
Help me please, trying to move on and start my life over. Thanks.
Establishing boundaries as to what you will or will not accept is the start. If you do not want to receive text messages or phone calls or whatever then inform him that you will no longer be opening up his texts. etc. Establish that boundary and stick to it. All emergencies can be handled by his parents as they seem to be the primary caregivers right now. Most computers and phones can block certain contacts. See if yours can as well.
Boundaries must be highly specific, communicated in a business like manner and then reinforced with consequences if possible. So if you talk to him on the phone and it is upsetting to you, do not talk to him on the phone. Explain that you cannot speak to him right now while you are healing and that if he calls you will not be answering the phone. All emergency calls are to be handled via the parents.
Decide what you are willing to accept and what you are not willing to accept in your life and stick to it. You are the only one who can protect you. Your ex cannot be reasoned with according to you so do not have unenforceable expectations that he will honor your requests. Its all about you now.
Shelley Stile is an ACC certified Divorce Recovery Life Coach and author who guides her clients to let go the pain of their divorce and move on to create new and vibrant lives after divorce. Shelley has been through her own divorce so she knows first-hand about the journey of divorce recovery. Receive her free, powerful e-book, The 10 Secrets to Coping with Divorce’, and her monthly ‘Take Back Your Life After Divorce’ Newsletter by going to: http://www.freedivorcesupport.com.