How to deal with a ridiculous ex the classy way As single mothers there’s one thing we all have in common. That’s an ex. In some cases, the split can be amicable, you rotate between christmases and birthdays and can both manage to stand in a room for one hour without killing each other. However, there are some exes out there who you would rather see on a cold slab than have to share oxygen with them. Instead of raging at them like a banshee (which will only confirm to them that you are crazy and good riddance) there’s a way to deal with these men exactly as if they were disruptive children (and believe me it’s much better to think of them in this way).
1. Don’t get into petty arguments with them (no matter how much you want to and you know you are right) ALWAYS, ALWAYS take the high ground. If there is a petty nuance you want to strangle them for write it down and put it in the freezer. If you still feel as angry the next day confront them in a calm manner. If they start to get petty ignore them.
2. If they have compromised your child’s safety in any way (improper use of car seat/ let them wander around unsupervised/let them drink beer) write a calm and almost patronising text. Something along the lines of : “It appears that you have a disregard for the safety of our children, I do not expect a repetition of this behaviour or we will have to consider different arrangements”. If they respond with abuse ignore them once again.
3. If they have a new partner, contrary to what you feel encourage your children to treat her with respect. Always smile at her even if your face is breaking. Never say a bad word about her in front of your children. This is their potential stepmother. She may be your friend and ally one day if your ex treats her badly. Have her on side.
4. If your ex’s new partner is someone he had an affair with do exactly the same as step three. No doubt he will have spun her a tale about how “insane” you are. If you prove to her you are reasonable she might start to realise he’s a bullshitter.
5. If your ex’s new partner does drugs, is an alcoholic or just an all round chavtastic monster stand your ground. Make it clear to your ex she is not a good influence on your children and while you are happy for him to take the children alone or out for the day without her, you don’t want them exposed to such an unsavoury wench.
6. If your ex’s new partner tries to play “Stepmum of the year” praise her or send her a nice message saying how fantastic she is. It will blindside her.
7. Play the long game. If your children appear to prefer your ex over you (despite the fact that you do the bulk of the childcare) let them think that. Don’t become visibly upset.
They will thank you for it in the end. They are allowed to love you AND your ex , even if he was an asshole to you. We all know a mother’s love isn’t replaceable anyway.
8. If your ex tries to sleep with you tell him to fuck off. Even if you are still in love with him. Show him that to gain access to your temple of a body he’s going to have to show some commitment. Tell him to have a wank and leave you alone.
9. If your ex was abusive and you still want him to have contact arrange it through a contact centre. Keep him on a tight leash. It’s the only way.
10. If your ex was abusive and you don’t want him to have contact stick to your guns. Get a restraining order if you need to. Encourage him to have therapy then block his number. If he wants to see his kids he will turn himself around.
11. If your ex does something irritating, like cancel on you at the last minute don’t lose your temper. Say you have plans and if he can not take them he will have to do what you do and arrange a sitter or alternative childcare. Send him a list of sitters in the area. If you are bold enough offer to ring the minder yourself and drop them at the door. If he refuses once again send a calm message stating that he needs to be more responsible and if it happens again you will make alternative arrangements. Don’t use the kids to guilt
him, he will see right through it. Instead, post on Facebook about the great weekend you had and show him what he’s missing. (If you haven’t blocked him that is)
12. If your ex is drunk around the kids/does drugs/ has a string of women around them tell him straight it is not on. If the kids are old enough and they have expressed concerns get them to write a letter explaining why “I don’t like it when Daddy does this” and have them give it to him. Sometimes it’s best straight from the horses mouth. It’s more likely to alter his perspective and smack him awake.
13. If you are having trouble getting maintenance payments your first port of call is the CMA. If this fails you can get Legal Aid to enforce payments. Itemise your spending and send it to him (without any snarky comments). Ask him if he would like to be removed from the birth certificate seeing as he doesn’t want to be a responsible father. Agree that he will pay for certain things i.e.: uniforms, school trips, haircuts and make an informal agreement. If he goes back on this make a formal agreement. Remain calm.
14. If you can be amicable agree on a list of dos and Don’ts regarding the children. If you don’t like them swearing but he doesn’t mind write it all down and stick to it. Compromise with him too and you are most likely to get a positive response back.
15. If your ex is a bonafide deadbeat there’s not a lot you can do outside of the courts. Be brave and consult the CAB (citizens advice) and see what your options are. Do the best job you can raising your kids and they will shut the door in his face in twenty years time.