Should I call them out?

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Should I call them out?
« on: March 04, 2019, 05:23:57 PM »
Over the years I've been 99% sure that NPD exH's uNPD wife writes some of his emails.

It has been happening a lot more lately. She writes them, signs them as him and sends them from his address. This has been confirmed by ds12 several times.

It's the same as what she does in public:  Speaks for him, answers questions that are directed to him, interrupts him when he is speaking etc..

It's infuriating.

Making arrangements for changeovers it's not so bad. She could well be his secretary.

But when it comes to discussing things like school choices for ds etc it's simply not right.

Should I call them out on it? And if so, how?

AOD

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 05:54:26 PM »
Hi AoD,

I imagine that is incredibly frustrating!  It makes sense that you want to make sure the person making the big decisions is NPDx and not his wife.  This is tricky- you can call them out on it, but that doesn't mean it will change the behavior.  You will never know for sure who is sending the email.    I think the only way you can ensure you are speaking to NPDx is to speak to him on the phone or face to face, which is likely not ideal either.  I imagine he knows she is accessing his email and replying to you, and has given her permissions to do so.  He has to live with whatever she arranges.

I guess if you want to call them out and make sure he is onboard with a decision, you can always reply to the email and say, "Thanks Mary (or whatever her name is) for your input, I would like NPDx to specifically reply with his thoughts on the matter".  But they'll likely deny it, so I am not sure that will be helpful. 

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 09:37:35 AM »
Thanks, Stepping Lightly.

It isn't safe for me to be near either of them. Mainly because my words will be twisted beyond recognition and thrown back at me as an accusation.

But I now also don't feel physically safe in his presence.

The thought of speaking over the phone gives me the   :aaauuugh: :spooked:

So everything has to be by email.

I'm wondering if impersonating someone by email is against the law. Or is it not, if the person being impersonated is aware of it and has given permission?

AOD

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 12:46:51 PM »
Hi AoD,

Totally understand your feelings about direct contact- I have the same reaction in regards to any contact with BM (even being in the same room with her makes me shake!).

I don't think using someone else's email, in general is against the law in the US.  I guess it may be circumstantial, but it would be REALLY hard to prove in any regard.  It is definitely manipulative and misleading, and would certainly be frowned upon.  You do think NPDx is aware right?

You could push the issue, again, not sure if that is going to improve anything because they will just deny it and could claim  you are "crazy making" (that's what would happen to us anyway).  You could say, "I understand that this email is being written and sent by Wife, I need confirmation that the information and decision contained within this email is that of NPDx"-  you'll have to do it every time though. :stars:

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anxiousmom

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 05:41:35 PM »
I wouldn't initiate something unprovable that will just cause conflict BUT is there any sort of mediator or a third party involved you and ex could sit down and meet with and talk about these choices face to face with a third party? He wouldn't have her to answer for him so you'd find out what his true thoughts were instead of relying on her to type something up.

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Penny Lane

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2019, 04:51:37 PM »
AOD, I don't think there's one right answer here but maybe to help you think this through...
What outcome are you hoping to get here? Is that outcome feasible? And if you think it might happen, what's the best way to get there?

Also it might help to think through your objection to this. Are you upset because they are lying and hiding things from you about the SM? (I imagine that especially wouldn't feel good given their history of how their relationship started.) Are SM-penned emails more or less productive than your ex's? And do you think she's driving the discussion, ie, if she weren't writing the emails your ex wouldn't be causing a fight about this? Or is she just writing down what would be his position whether or not he's writing the email? In other words is she the boss or the secretary?

I would say if your goal is to get SM to stop writing you emails, that's probably not feasible and even if it was it might not be worth the trade offs - as many people suggested that would probably entail talking to him on the phone, which sounds like an unacceptable option. And if the goal is to get her to butt out of the discussion because you think it'd be more productive without her - again, not sure how that would work because even if it was him saying what he wants you wouldn't know to what degree he's influenced by SM.

If those are your goals it might make sense to just skip it and focus on limiting contact as much as possible.

But if your goal is to just let them know that you know, so it's less of a "they're pulling one over on you" situation - well, I think that might be possible.

One way to do that might be to send a general email "I just want to be sure that we as parents are making decisions - when I email you I expect to get a response from you, not SM or someone else." If you don't say "I know SM is writing your emails" and just jump straight to the expectation "the parents will discuss things and not the stepparent" that doesn't leave an opening for him (or her as him) to argue "no really that's not what we're doing!" You're keeping it productive by focusing on what you want to see happen in the future, rather than an argument about whether SM is sneakily writing emails to you.

It sounds like this situation has been really bothering you and I think at least getting it out in the open could make it easier for you to stomach. If not ... radical acceptance, as you've said around here before, might be the best option. That's become DH's and my mantra recently so thank you for that concept!

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Starboard Song

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2019, 04:57:38 PM »
I'm with Penny Lane.

Calling them out won't prove or change anything. If you believe the two concur, then it hardly matters who is doing the typing -- he has the right to delegate his communications. If you believe the decisions are getting hijacked by the SM, then you need to speak on the phone or rely on other live communications so that she cannot do that.

Also, Radical Acceptance.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Re: Should I call them out?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2019, 10:34:52 PM »
Just a quick thank-you to everyone.

Great advice. And thanks for the reminder about Radical Acceptance. I think that's what I need to work on for this one.

AOD