How to handle intrusive emails?

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Broken101

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How to handle intrusive emails?
« on: January 11, 2017, 03:36:18 PM »
My ex and I mostly communicate by email via a MyFamilyWizard-like program. (I say mostly because she sometimes will push the envelope and send a text.) She often sends intrusive emails. Stuff like "You don't take good care of our daughter and you don't feed she enough", I just respond with a "What you claim above is not true."

 I have received 36 emails from her over the past week -- all of them intrusive, hostile and abrasive. I believe her goal is to ask intrusive questions, and then will argue that I am unable to co parent because I don't respond or don't provide the level of details that she requires.

Is there a better response?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 02:56:03 PM by Latchkey »

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Stepping lightly

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 03:38:17 PM »
No response :-)

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coyote

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 03:41:04 PM »
Why are you responding? I get needing to have contact if you are co parenting but I would only respond to those tha required a response. Legitimate emails regarding schedules, etc. Otherwise you are just letting her jerk your chain.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?

Capt. Jack Sparrow

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lifeline

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 04:07:47 PM »
Agreed, in my future state, I would not reply to anything that isn't an "open action item"; keep it to Times, dates, locations.

Keep the emails for record in case she tries to do anything off the wall.

You know your level of parenting, don't let her question you like that.  And the only way to not let her question you is to not answer those kinds of questions.

Be strong, you're doing it!!!!! 
"Only I can change my life.  No one can do it for me."
-Carol Burnette

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 04:36:46 PM »
Hi, Broken. 

I used to get a lot of these from u/npd exH, although not quite as intrusive as what you've described.

I used to respond in detail but it was never enough for him. He'd misinterpret or twist what I said and throw it back at me as an accusation.

After a while I stopped responding.  What I do with and what private conversations I have with my son in my home are my business, and mine alone (and his). If I'm parenting badly it will show up in my son's health and behaviour.  And hey,  my son is a normal, happy, healthy kid. There's no evidence that I'm a poor parent.

Now I receive the "please explain..." emails.  You know. Those one's where ds10 has expressed an opinion to his dad and/NSmum that differs from their opinion?  That's my fault of course.  And any opinion that differs from their's must be wrong so how dare I teach ds stuff that is wrong?

I don't respond.  And my lack of response seems to have slowed down the emails.

BUT

Lately u/npd exH and his N wife have stopped responding to MY emails.  You know.  Those emails requesting information regarding medical appointments for ds. Appointments that u/npd exH has made for my time, that I will be taking ds to (names and addresses of doctors and other unimportant things like that.)

His reasoning is that because I don't respond to his emails that demand answers for my "behaviour" (complete with deadlines for my response), he's not going to respond to my emails requesting details for arrangements for ds.

So, in short.  I agree with the other posters. Only respond to emails that deal with arrangements for the children. Perhaps even tell your ex that, and only tell her once.  She'll probably up the ante for a while. But you'll become quite adept at scanning her emails to see if a response is needed and you-ll become more comfortable with not responding when a response is not needed.

If she starts witholding information,  her behaviour speaks for itself. Document it. It's a pill to be given the run around but always put the children first.

AOD

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Broken101

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 04:40:08 PM »
Why are you responding?

Well, I've only responded to a few of the emails and only with brief statements. I think she is going to be filing a motion to relocation and/or for custody soon, and I know that one of her arguments will be that I don't communicate with her and and therefore not a good co-parent. It is very easy for her to sprinkles lies everywhere and harder to mop up so many untrue statements.

The Decision Maker said that she would put a stop to this "nonsense", but she has been so slow in drafting this latest decision.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 04:43:45 PM by Broken101 »

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A_newlife2014

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 07:16:01 PM »
Goals with a PD: don't engage, and anything you say can be used against you. The most effective way to not engage is to ignore. But if you are forced to engage, you then want to give her as little information as possible by using a BIFF format (Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm). Ignoring her, as you pointed out, can give her ammunition. I think it's safe to ignore outright rants or emails that don't involve a question, but in this case, your ex is including a tiny nugget of "concern" in the form of a question buried in a mound of insults and pretty hard baiting. So if you answer just that tiny question, as briefly as possible, in a friendly and firm way, that takes away her ammo that you don't communicate with her, it makes you look reasonable and involved with your daughter, and the "firm" makes it clear you won't engage further.

Of course, BIFF does not soothe the savage beast. But we're not looking to do that, because it's impossible anyway. What you're looking to do is make YOURSELF look good while refusing PD's attempts to paint you and engage with you.

Dear ex:
Thank you for sharing your concerns about our daughter waking at night. I have noticed that she seems to do this when she watches scary movies, which I don't let her do at my house. When she wakes, I usually tuck her back in and stay with her for a minute or two, and she quickly falls asleep again. Or sometimes a quick tummy rub does the trick, as you mentioned, she does love those. Thanks again for sharing your concerns, as I am always happy to communicate with you about the well-being of our daughter.
Best wishes,
Broken



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snoflinga

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 08:37:19 PM »
Yup, no response.

It's really hard, especially when you're being slandered like that, I know. It helped me to make a file in my email system that was called A**HOLE. Any time my ex emailed me, I would skim it to make sure there wasn't something legitimate in it I needed to act on, then click and drop it into the A**HOLE file.  Gone, done, I never looked at it again. But this way I still had a record of his attacks and it was strangely satisfying.

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Steve42

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 10:51:51 PM »
Broken, honestly those emails speak for themselves. What your ex is trying to do is build a case against you, but what she is actually doing is building a case against herself.

Definitely do not reply and definitely do not delete them either. If you show up to court with a stack of those you will be in good shape.

That being said, do read each one carefully to make sure you don't let one slip through the cracks that has an important question. But I do like your response to the email about you not feeding her. Brief and to the point.

Those emails absolutely SCREAM PD!!

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sweetpea79

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 12:53:26 AM »
NO RESPONSE - IS THE BEST RESPONSE!!

Trust me on this one.. Just read my post on the NPD bm, we have to deal with..
If you are this child's parent and you have parenting time and custody, none of this is her business. PERIOD!

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HotCocoa

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 05:48:50 AM »
Broken, 36 emails?   :stars:
You could state something short like:
"Daughter does very well in my care."  Anything else is just too much unnecessary information.  You could repeat that statement when she emails you incessantly, and then, only in one email.  I have also put in emails, "please see my previous response on xx date."
She is harassing you through ofw and you don't have to play that game.  I also make it a point to never answer a question twice.  Again, "please see xx date for previous response."

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Stepping lightly

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 08:26:52 AM »
What really sucks is when they learn to bury important questions/information in the middle of their abusive emails so that you are forced to read through every single nasty word they send through.  BM does this to my DH, and because he has to respond to the important things, they know you have to read the nasty things....so it just perpetuates the abuse.  But then if he misses an important question in the middle of a PD written rage, the PC/BM look at him as though he's trying to provoke BM- they call it "crazy making".

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turtlemama

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 11:51:34 PM »
I am starting to deal with this again (it comes in waves)... and I wonder what questions do we have to answer to seem like a good co-parent? Just schedule type things?

What about questions about what are we doing to help our child learn at home? After they say all the wonderful things they do at their house.

If he's saying it because of a 5yo's report card should I feel like I need to respond?

The 36 emails in one week sounds like harassment. I guess I never considered not responding because I was worried it would look like I wasn't being a good co-parent. The ironic thing is, is that he will not respond to emails about scheduling and write long, ridiculous emails about flash cards.

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sweetpea79

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 12:37:30 AM »
I will tell you.. Our BM used to do this, and currently did do this to my H until she again filed a restraining order on him.. LOL
Anyway, she would send email after email about EVERYTHING.. He always felt like he had to "respond" to the emails, to "show" that he was trying to co parent.. That is all we were doing was responding to her emails, because we were getting them like every hour.. it was exhausting. We did take BM to court to get court orders modified and the judge placed an order that each parent only had to check Our Family Wizard once a week to non urgent emails. All urgent issues had to be a phone call.
SO, I felt like this helped some.. that if BM sent an email at the start of the week, she usually forgot about it by the end of the week, well because that's how PDs are..
The best thing to do is no response. If you feel like you need to respond, only respond to what needs a response.
Like child needs to be picked up at this time at this place.. And then PD throws in a huge paragraph and lecture about something else. Say ok, child will be at this location at this time.. the end.

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Stumbleon

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Re: How to handle intrusive emails?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 02:44:29 AM »
Oh...boy...I can relate, although not to the volume, but the unreal accusations and demands. My stbxPDh threatens that my DD wants to "change the custody" and he'll "bring her to Court" to do so on the following Monday... just to stir up my freeze/flight mechanism... if I didn't respond in the past few months (before my temp. restraining order was put in place recently... partly due to harassment...) he sent even MORE outrageous ones to my L!!!

I had already alerted her on the most critical occasions. If you still have an L, maybe forward anything in which PD makes threats.  My L responded in a very reasoned BIFF manner. I could not do so, I had to Ignore most of them for my sanity. Anyway L's responses helped quiet the ex.

Good luck...SO