Saturday, May 27, 2006

Help this Lady Deal with Abuser

We received an email from a woman who is being 'abused' from her ex--what are some experieces that you have used to deal with your abusers when you have to deal with them--maybe we can help! Just place your comment as a guest below if you don't have an account -- anyone can comment and we welcome your help.

The tutorial was a nice reminder that I learned these things already when I read some books and did therapy after allowing myself to be a victim in a stupid marriage. I still can't find any information on how to deal with the abuser when we have to share custody of the child though. My ex continues to abuse me from afar by threatening to take my visitation away if I don't do, say or act the way he wants me to. He just uses our son as the excuse to harrass me in this way because "he is just looking out for..." This constant harrassment is damaging to my current marriage because we have no way to completely withdraw from the situation.


  1. Hello, you know that he can't take your visitation away. It's not legal and he can't do it. Yes, he can make it difficult but there are ways to fight that too. when he "threatens you" you can say, "I do not talk to people who treaten me, so I'll call back later when you calm down." Or some such. He may scream or what ever but if you hold your ground, he will stop. You may have to go to court to enforce visitation but no one has to allow themselves to be abused so they can see their child. You are too habituated to him and think he has some power--but he doesn't and once you KNOW that, he will too.

    A mother who knows...

  2. I wonder if it is possible to use situational control as a consequence for his abuse--That is have a 3rd party make the calls and pickups for awhile until his behavior changes.

  3. What a great idea for logical consequences! The abuser's goal is to make the target feel "less than." If they can't deal with the target directly, it takes the "umph" out of their abuse AND often when dealing with outsiders, they are very reasonable because appearances are everything to them! I love it! This is what the ToughLove groups tell parents to do when their their kids are out of control, to let a third party (ie other parents) deal with them. I never thought of applying this principle to our abusers--Yeah, a truly new tactic we can use!

  4. Your situation is a tough one. As a counselor, it would help me to know
    more details. What I can offer is this question, "What do you keep telling yourself about your ex?" What, in other words, is your self-talk? Do you say spiteful, hateful things about him to yourself or current spouse? In all power struggles, and this is a classic one, we tend to demonize the other
    party. This ultimately ends up hurting our selves and the chances for the resolution we want. May I suggest three free meetings you might attend (if you're not already doing so): AL-ANON, esp. if your ex is a heavy drinker; Co-dependents Anonymous (CODA), for help accepting your difficult situation; and Emotions Anonymous (EA), for a better understanding of your own emotions. And don't hesitate to contact me through this website if you wish.
    From John Prin, an ex-secretkeeper

  5. Unfortunately, it is common for the ex to use visitation as an opportunity to abuse. It is very deterimental to the child as well - they aren't stupid they see EVERYTHING. It's not good for a child to see the custodial parent abused verbally by the ex and children are very sensitive to your anxiety and despondency as well.

    these links may help:

    Realize that you may have to go back to your lawyer and court and get the visitation modified so that the ex has SUPERVISED visitation and/or the visitation can only be in a public spot (not his home or yours) where his abuse of you would be a bit more problematic. (my ex does that and I just stand there and smile when he does it in public and don't say a word or engage him in any way - I know better than to argue with a crazy man - and it makes him look like a complete fool.) I call this BUSINESS ONLY CONTACT. I don't respond unless its business about the child. I don't respond to insults, put downs or childish comments. I just stare at him.

    Hope this helps


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