Last year around Christmas my daughter went from zero text messages each month to over a 1,500 for about two months before we figured it out. The reason we figured it out was because she had a terrible attitude and we noticed she was texting more than normal. We decided to see who she was texting through our cell phone data. What we figured out was she was texting all her friends and her father more than normal too.
She and my abusive ex-husband were texting about 200-300 times each month between the two of them. When my daughter is texting her father she has this terrible attitude and is very difficult to deal with. Whenever she comes home from visiting her father it can take up to 3 days for her to detox and lose the attitude. When my abusive ex-husband is texting our daughter the behaviors we noticed are; she acts super entitled, argumentative, talks back more, very dramatic, asks for stuff over & over, doesn’t take no for an answer and her grades sometimes slip too.
At that time she didn’t realize she was texting as much as she was. So she and I sat down and figured out a text limit as a consequence. I knew she would pick a much lower number than I might have picked. So we decided on 500 per month and she already had used 250 at the time. So I think I basically prorated the text limit to allow her the amount we decided for the rest of the month.
Well she burned through those minutes in less than a week and ran out really fast. I guess when you are texting 1,700 times a month you are in the habit of texting a lot each day. Okay so basically she hit her limit and that shut her text messages off for the remainder of the month. This meant her dad could no longer text her either.
So we started receiving these ridiculous emails where he was accusing us of blocking him from contacting her and he should have access to his daughter via phone. First of all, there is nothing that says I have to allow him to contact her via phone or text message her. Also, we are paying for her cell phone and I think we can set up whatever rules we would like. I sent him a nice email explaining that she had been sending excessive text messages, had a restriction and already exceeded that limit. Of course he did not believe me and threatened to buy her a 2nd phone so he could talk to her whenever he wanted.
My husband had to call him, nicely explain to him that he was not blocked and that she had been restricted for texting too much. Of course my abusive ex-husband responds completely different when speaking to a man than he does with me. My husband said all the same things I had said in the email and my ex-husband acted as if that was the firs time he heard any of it. He went on to explain to my abusive ex-husband that buying a 2nd phone would only create another problem.
So since that time, based on her attitude we usually know within 48-72 hours that our daughter has been texting her father. So last month I was pretty sick of it and her grades were dropping again. So instead of just blocking her from texting him I told her we should try an experiment. I recommended she didn’t text her father for 1 month and we could see how her attitude was.
This week we noticed she was acting up again and the other day we asked her if she was texting her father. She flat out told us ‘no’ that she was not texting her father. So today after another night of drama last night looked at our cell phone records and saw she was texting him all this week. So now she has lied to us and her consequence will be losing the phone for 2 weeks and then perhaps I will follow that with a really restricted text limit.
So, we will have to see if my ex-husband starts up the drama again about having to have access to his daughter. The really sad thing is he spends more attention texting her when she is here than he spends time with her when she visits him. Knowing him, I would guess this is just a bit of manipulation, especially with all the negative comments he says to her about me. When she is visiting him he is busy going out, watching football and not spending time with her. So texting is basically ‘crumbs’ and she is desperate for them.
I also explained to our daughter how her attitude is her responsibility. That texting is a privilege and something she will lose if she takes advantage. She will be visiting her father today through the weekend. So I will not be discussing this with her until Sunday.
It is really disturbing how much of a bad influence her father is on her. The problem with my abusive ex-husband is he is not trying to do things in the best interest of our daughter. He uses our child as a pawn in his scheming games. He is the ‘disney dad’ on the weekends, buys her anything she wants, has no rules, never tells her ‘no’… all so he can try to make our household seem extremely bad in comparison. I am guessing she will eventually really get what he is doing but it really makes it difficult now. She really never tells him what she really feels.
I hate the idea that this will end when she is no longer in our house. Then I feel he will have successfully ruined our time together when she is a child. These are the moments I wish he would just go away.
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