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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: Fiancé XW suddenly nice?  (Read 103 times)
slanie

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« on: January 10, 2019, 09:37:17 AM »

Since Christmas, things have been ok with my fiancé’s ex wife. She got engaged on Christmas (after 5 years with this guy who swore he’d never marry her), so I guess she’s distracted by her own happiness. SS11 went back home to her for a week. She texted a bunch of stuff threatening to charge us with child endangerment for allowing her son to drink energy drinks (which we never bought or gave him, so that was confusing). Neither one of us replied. I picked up SS last weekend and we all had a great time.

My wedding is next weekend. I asked fiancé to verify his son’s shirt size before I picked up his shirt for the wedding. Somehow we ended up in a conference call with his son and his ex. She was being really helpful, reading off sizes and asking if he needed a new belt or his shoes cleaned. Then she texted fiancé and me (I guess she got my number somehow) offering to take son this weekend to buy a belt, get measured for a hat and she’s buy shoe polish. Uhhh... .what? This is the woman who said a few months ago that her son wouldn’t even be attending the wedding. Now she’s offering to help?

I told her thanks, filled her in on what I planned on buying and left it there. I know any negative reaction from me would just make me look bad. But I’m really suspicious. I just never know where the next bomb will drop.
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Turkish
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 08:46:59 PM »

Excerpt
she’s distracted by her own happiness

This may be it.

My ex was likewise distracted by moving into her new,  better life with her paramour.  It made negotiating custody easier.  Two years later it blew up but the custody stipulation was filed and done. 

Excerpt
I just never know where the next bomb will drop.

It likely will,  but as my T told me at the time,  no matter who she is,  there's nothing wrong with being kind. 

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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
kells76
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 09:22:49 AM »

Hi slanie, and if I haven't said this before, welcome! Glad you could find this site.

Excerpt
Neither one of us replied. I picked up SS last weekend and we all had a great time.

Good job not engaging    You can probably imagine how it would've gone if your H had tried to Justify his actions, Argue with her, Defend himself, or Explain "what really happened". Maybe you've heard of this acronym already -- JADE -- but it describes four communication paths to avoid. In fact, here's a link to a workshop if you want to find out more: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=139972.0

Sounds like in that situation, not "taking the bait" of blame helped things to defuse.

Excerpt
Now she’s offering to help?

Yeah, I know, right? It can be disorienting when you always expect negativity, blame, passive-aggressiveness, etc from the kids' mom, and then she goes and does something "normal".

Excerpt
I told her thanks, filled her in on what I planned on buying and left it there. I know any negative reaction from me would just make me look bad.

Great job. Sometimes "decide and inform" can work better than "ask and wait". When we were coordinating paying for SD10's activity a year or so ago, I just went ahead and did the math on an almost even $ split (we paid a little more), emailed Mom with "how about DH and I pay for X, Y, and Z, and you and Stepdad pay for A & B -- let me know if that's an issue". Versus "What do you want to pay for?" which would've probably been an meandering, unclear, slightly victim-y email thread. No thanks!

Disordered moms will often have another bomb to drop. I'm right there with you as a stepmom with that feeling of "yeah, things are OK now, but what will she pull next?" Something we can try to do is to accept the peaceful, cooperative times as a nice surprise, kind of a gift, while also accepting that unpredictability is what is predictable for Mom. We can set the bar really, really low for Mom's baseline so that we can accept her poor behavior as How She Chooses To Be, while being delighted by the times when things work out. I guess I see that as an alternative to letting Mom's chaotic and unpredictable behavior be a rope that always pulls me around in surprising directions.

Anyway, congratulations on getting married    what a wonderful thing to celebrate! Hope it's a wonderful day for you, fiance, and kiddo.

Let us know how else we can help, provide feedback, or just listen.

kells76
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slanie

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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 12:30:43 AM »

Thanks Jells and a Turkish!

I have read about JADE, and wow does it make a difference. Fiancé and I take turns on handling the BS. One of if usually reminds the other that no response is the best response. Trial and error led us to this conclusion.

Fiancé said I am like her kryptonite because I don’t ever give her a platform for her theatrics. Not that I’m that great. I vent and cuss her out, but not in any way that would get back to her.

Anyway, I appthe welcome and look forward to a safe place for venting frustration. This nice act makes me hyper aware a storm is coming. She may not see that she gets to me, and for the most part, she doesn’t. But boy, when I am caught off guard, it is devastating,
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Turkish
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 01:51:29 AM »

 This is certainly nerdly, but early on I thought,  "what would Spock do?" Detached, logical. It helped me to think like that. 
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
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