Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How do I help my ex?

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  • #1098051 Reply

    My partner split with me in June this year after 8 years, this is the longest both of us had been in a relationship and during that time we had a beautiful girl and we were engaged too.

    She moved out in August and we share residency of our daughter but since moving out she has suffered more with her mental health (she has diagnosed BPD) and as a result this has also affected her work and they’ve given her leave without pay while she gets herself sorted.

    I saw her today and she told me all of the above and I said (probably wrongfully) that she needs to make some lifestyle changes like stop having these 2 “friends” over at weekends for overnight stays and visits (they’re homeless so basically use her flat as a place to crash) and start focusing on herself but she accused me of being dictating and controlling – I can see where she’s coming from but I’ve known her 10 years and can see what she doesn’t see.

    She’s been relying on me for the past couple of weeks to lend her money and buy her things (not just for our daughter’s benefit) and it gets to me that I’m propping her up (I know I shouldn’t) and these so called friends of hers don’t seem to put their hands in their pockets.

    Do I give up trying to help her or is there a way of helping her without it making me look a) jealous b) sound controlling / dictating? I hate seeing her MH take its toll on her and send her in to this downward spiral where its affecting her work as I was the one, who a few years ago, helped her seek help for her MH and get the diagnosis of BPD.

    I’m confused more than ever right now and need some advice if anyone can shed some light on the topic please?

    #1098055 Reply

    Do what you can to keep your daughter safe. A mother going through bad enough MH crisis that she was ordered onto unpaid leave at work, combined with two homeless people crashing in her apartment isn’t necessarily a safe environment for your daughter. It’s good that your ex is considering no longer welcoming the crashers. If she isn’t already, encourage your ex to see MH professionals and stay on her meds.
    In all honesty, she is your ex, you’re only linked by co-parenting — a breakup is a breakup and a clear statement she wants less of you in her life and will likely take any advice as your being controlling, so there likely is very little that you can do.
    If things get bad enough, petition the court for (at least temporary) full custody of your daughter.

    #1098057 Reply

    “It’s good that your ex is considering no longer welcoming the crashers.”

    – I think you may have mis-read my post slightly, I suggested she stops having them over but she still insists that she will. Her other ex (Father of her Son) has also told her that he (Son) will not be going there while they’re there and has said all she cares about is those two men.

    I will always keep my daughter safe, and if I do feel that she could be unsafe I will follow your advice and go to court.

    I know that my ex won’t listen to me properly, unfortunately that’s a fact of life right now and I understand that – I just wish I could. She has told me she’s seeking help with her MH but I know how reluctant she can be to accept help sometimes.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I would love to be able to get her to open her eyes at the situation she’s in right now.

    #1098062 Reply

    You can’t make her see or think any differently. What you can do is fight for full custody of your daughter since your ex isn’t putting the kids’ needs first.

    Talk to a lawyer asap and take the necessary steps. Talk to the other ex if that’s to your benefit.

    I understand you want to help, but you’re not a knight riding to help the damsel in distress. She’s causing this distress. She’s not dealing with it. If she’s not going to do anything to help herself, what makes you think she’ll magically listen to you?

    #1098069 Reply
    Dear Wendy

    You’re asking the wrong question. Forget about helping your ex; focus on taking care of your daughter. I agree with others advising you to lawyer up and fight for full custody. Your ex doesn’t sound like she’s providing a safe environment for your daughter at the moment.

    #1098073 Reply

    I think you’re under reacting to the homeless dudes spending the night in your daughter’s house. If she’s telling you they are only there when your daughter is with you don’t believe her. You’ve been told that “all she cares about is these men” Believe it. Get your daughter out of that house till Mom is stable & showing good judgment. She isn’t currently

    #1098075 Reply

    If you do feel “she is unsafe”… what about two strange/homeless men being more important to your ex than your own kid makes you think this is a safe place for her to be, let alone sleep at night?

    Please, as a child who suffered abuse while my parents were not paying attention, protect your daughter. You’re literally the only one in her life who might possibly have her best interests in mind but considering how casually you state all this, I have my doubts.

    #1098076 Reply

    Don’t help your ex, help your daughter with your lawyer!

    #1098079 Reply

    I too find it very concerning that your daughter is living in a house with random transient men. How do you not “feel that she could be unsafe?” Are you aware of how common it is for kids to get abused in these situations? When random guys have the opportunity… yeah. I personally was touched inappropriately by a babysitter’s brother who subbed for her. The other kid’s dad gets it, why don’t you? Even if no sexual abuse ever happened, is it a good situation for a kid to be in with homeless people crashing in the house every weekend? Is there drinking? Drugs? Irresponsible behavior?

    Please wake up, stop worrying about your ex, you can’t fix her, and start worrying about your child, whose life you can actually influence. Do what the other dad is doing.

    #1098080 Reply

    Get. a. lawyer.
    As everyone has said, your daughter is likely not in the best environment. Look at what the other father has already done. You also should look at WHY you want to help your ex so badly, and what that has cost you so far. Someone told me a long time ago — they can drag you down a lot quicker than you can pull them up. What about your own life? your own happiness? your own well-being — physical and emotional? What about making that a priority?

    #1098099 Reply

    I agree with everybody else. Screw helping your Ex.

    You need to focus on your kids.

    Or they will literally get raped. Molested. Or worse.

    #1098100 Reply

    I also wonder… is your ex partying a lot? Is she addicted to anything? That might be the real reason she got let go from work… no-shows or poor performance related to substance abuse. I’m not super familiar with BPD, but how does that affect your work performance?

    Nvmnd, googled it. These are concerning:

    antisocial behavior, compulsive behavior, hostility, impulsivity, irritability, risk taking behaviors, self-destructive behavior, self-harm, social isolation, or lack of restraint

    The risk taking, self-destructive stuff could involve substance abuse, no?

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