Abusive Men – Power and Control

Dealing with a Controlling Ex

It is so difficult at times to not feel stressed when situations arise where I have to deal with my abusive ex-husband.  When you have to co-parent a child with an abusive man you do have to deal with them to some extent while you raise the child.  If fact just the idea of dealing with my abusive ex for any reason can get me very stressed out.

Giving my Ex my Power

The frustrating thing about that is how much power that gives him over my thoughts and my reactions.  There is no way I can get into his mind to even remotely understand why he behaves like he does.  I truly think the only way I could understand why he does what he does, is if i was abusive like he is.  There is some level of desire for chaos, arguments, disagreements and  stress that he seems to thrive in.

Abusive Men – Power and Control

When I send him a very short one sentence email that  really just requires a Yes or No answer he will turn it into a dramatic series of emails where he won’t give an answer.  Like he is working really hard to maintain control of the situation by not allowing closure.

For example, we booked a flight for our two daughters to fly out to visit their grandma.  They are almost teenagers and we felt it would be a great experience for them to fly without parents to visit their grandma.  It would be a great adventure and grandma would be their to take them on tourist trips and spoil them.

We scheduled this flight about two weeks ago and during conversation yesterday we realized it was scheduled a day too early and would be on a day my ex-husband would have custody of my daughter.  My husband and I were suddenly very stressed in the thought of dealing with my abusive ex-husband or if we could change the flight.  My husband realized he had waived the insurance when he bought the tickets.

Playing the Manipulative Abuse Game

When we arrived home I called the airlines to see about moving the flight date forward one day.  Turns out it will cost us $300 as a ‘change fee’ for two tickets.  So I made the mistake of thinking we could actually reason with my ex-husband (history has proven this to be a rare occasion) and that my husband might be able to do it.  So my husband called my ex-husband and explained what happened.  My ex-husband asked if the girls were flying alone (he will give her a sip of beer but he is worried about her flying alone?), my husband told him they would have a companion flight attendant.  My ex-husband said he would would have to check his schedule and would let us know.  This really meant he just didn’t want to give an answer and wanted to maintain his power and control of the situation.

So this morning we received an email where my ex-husband says he gave me notice three months ago for his summer vacation and he didn’t understand why this flight was scheduled during his weekend.  Not sure what his summer had to do with anything because this is a week and a half after that is over.  However we did schedule it on that Sunday by mistake.  Now it is three weeks before their trip and we are asking him to switch weekends.  This seems like such an easy request that any normal situation wouldn’t be a big deal unless major plans were already made (in this case there are no plans).  He sort of mentions he might be willing to drop her off early that Sunday.

So my husband writes back and apologizes and says it was his mistake and he is sorry that it interferes with his visitation with our daughter.  He says if my ex-husband could arrange to drop her off around 9:30am that Sunday morning that would give us plenty of time to make it to the airport.  Several hours later my husband sends me a text message mentioning how we have not heard back from my ex yet.  I told my husband we would not hear back because this was a way for my abusive ex-husband to stay in control of the situation.

My ex-husband’s email implies we purposely scheduled this on ‘his’ day and he doesn’t understand why we would do this.  He knows us well enough to know we  were not being malicious just to mess up his time.  His non-question/accusation is a smokescreen.  He implies he wants to go by the decree but goes on to no really commit to bringing her home early.  That he would not really give an answer helps him stay in power.  The fact that he makes us wait is just another method of his staying in control of the situation.

So I told my husband we truly need to just eat the $300 and send my ex-husband a reply that simply says, “We have it handled.”  Nothing more than that.  It seems we need to remove the power from his hands.  To be honest I wouldn’t be comfortable with him promising to bring her back that morning because he might not and we would be out two plane tickets.  Honestly it seems $300 is a small price to pay to not continue the conversation with my ex-husband.

The History of Abuse and how it Repeats Itself

I remember four years ago my church offered me a free week trip to Disneyland and it just happened to be during the first week of my ex-husbands’ two week visitation.    I asked him if he could swap a week with me so we could go.  He refused (after several long drawn out emails) because he said his mother was coming to visit and she lived in the same town.  So I even offered to give my spot to his mother so our daughter could go and he said no to that too.  So she did not get to go to Disneyland and I wasn’t strong enough to just not send her.  We missed out on that opportunity.  All we would have been responsible to pay was food.

In the End the Truth will Speak for Itself

I remember three years ago I was ten minutes late driving home because of traffic.  That night my ex-husband called the police because I didn’t do exactly what he ordered me to do.   He said to me “You will bring her to my house by 7:30pm” and something inside of me said “No! I won’t.” So I didn’t and he called the police.  The police couldn’t really do anything because that is a civil matter.  What he really managed to do is traumatize our daughter who has never forgotten that day.  The facts really spoke for herself because I had never stayed so relaxed and calm and my ex-husband looked so pissed which really spoke volumes of what the truth really was.

Standing Up to a Abusive Bully

Maybe I should have just agreed but where does it stop.  Maybe it was wrong of me to not just do what he  said, although had he just asked there would not have been an issue.  Exactly why do I keep needing to be the one who does what he orders (and I do mean orders).  It certainly seems like he decree is a weapon and the same rules do not apply to him.  It is no different today than when I lived with him, I stand up to him but always give in because I am too afraid to really piss him off.  I know I should want to be happy rather than right but at the same time I also want to stand up to a controlling bully.

This was too much rambling but I hope this helps you.

6 thoughts on “Abusive Men – Power and Control

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  1. My ex is the same. Denies rational conversations where we have sorted arrangements, waits until I have booked a flight to see my boyfriend abroad and then says he hasn’t got the time after all, or he has arrangements that don’t fit in. Also tries to turn everything on it’s head trying to blame me. It’s manipulative and abusive. This is after leaving an abusive relationship where I was threatened, grabbed, verbally abused and even had the “I want to commit suicide if you go” comments. Being woken at 3am for abuse when I was at my most vulnerable. Living hell. Eventually though our children will grow up and their control will be lost.

    Stay strong to anyone suffering emotional verbal psychological or physical abuse.



  2. My daughter is a world champion dancer. My ex husband hates that she is busy with dance and tries to put a wrench in her love for dance whenever possible. He was aware of her national competition schedule and once I booked our airline tickets and forwarded him the itinerary, he immediately texted me and said he would be taking his court ordered summer vacation over her competition. He wanted to prevent her from her competition by demanding he take her camping instead. My daughter also qualified in the Junior Olympics. Part of the competition was over his parenting weekend. Again he was aware of her Junior Olympic competition yet never even told her good luck or even good job after she won 3 gold medals. Instead he filed a contempt motion on me for taking her over his court ordered parenting time.


  3. Wow that’s like reading from my life. EXACTLY! My ex does this constantly, and we’ve been divorced 4 years.


  4. I am glad to know that I am not alone. I can finally put a name to the abusive manipulative behavior that others could see way before me. it’s called bullying. I understand it as it applies to kids in school but as an adult married to one it was hard to comprehend that my ex husband is one.
    I get it now…and now it’s time to put an end to it. Learning to stand up with integrity and learning to set boundaries. His parents are currently taking over, have paid $20,000 in attorneys fees to “punish” me for remarrying and divorcing their 50 year old son. I have no money to hire an attorney and what’s the point anyway? Money is THEIR God, it is not mine.
    The bullying continues with my 11 year old when he’s in his dads care (lack of care) and I am having to teach my 11 year old to stand up for his rights and against his dad and older brother at times. This is so sad and where is the justice system? No money, no help.
    God will prevail and revenge is his…I am learning to live again.
    Be strong!


  5. My ex is a bully with a badge and those are the words of an attorney representing the bank in our foreclosure. He bribes our teen daughter and even though he often fails to go through with his promises to her and has convinced her to give almost all that was important to her she follows his words like the bible. For years he put her down but then I lost one too many jobs taking care of her medical issues and he found a way. Now she badmouths me to everyone. Last year we were in court and the judge threw out his complaints after months but gave him half custody but I still hold the responsibility for medical and such and it has bankrupted me and cost me five jobs.
    People tell me to make him take them to the doctor but it won’t happen and then my kids just suffer. I can’t do that to them.
    I know that in less than ten years I will be dead from my own health issues. I just need a break job wise but I have the wrong skill set for this area and every time I try to move he blocks me.
    Some how the judge thinks it fair that he leave me for a married woman and then control my life because while we were married I gave up my career for his.
    We even spent a year homeless.
    My son I fear is at risk from depression because of what his father does and says.
    I just hope for a break in the job area so that I can hopefully turn things around before its too late.


  6. So many of these experiences are mine, but with different twists. There is a vicious parental alienation process happening with us. I am watching the systematic dismantling of my relationship with my three children, as their father continues to punish me through them, for leaving him and his direct control and abuse of me. People tell me to hang in there, and I’m trying.


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