Verbal Abuse Occurs After Divorce

May 19, 2011 Kellie Jo Holly

I know that my ex spews hogwash (and even tell him so), yet I continue to allow Will access to me because he may actually have something worthwhile to contribute in raising our sons. Or, at least, that's what the courts and "common sense" tell me.

I know that the courts are sometimes dead wrong and that I cannot use a "common sense" test for a man who is so far from "normal" that common sense doesn't apply to him.

I suspect that Will only shares information about our sons when he is forced (school, medical) or feels as if doing so will somehow benefit him. Nevertheless, seeing that he is our boys' father, the gullible side of me leaves the door open for him to maybe productively contribute to the raising of our children.

So far, that has not happened. However, his habitual shirking of responsibility and insulting conversation continues to repeat itself.

Examples of Abuse in Texts

For example: My oldest son, Marc, failed two classes. Will told me via text (report cards go to Will's address).

Before I even had a chance to think about my approach to Marc, Will texted, "I suppose with [your] do-whatever-you-want parenting practices you will decide what to do about it and I'll find out when you feel like it?" and then immediately on its heels, Will texted, "Are you gonna do anything to fix this lazy performance or not?"

Sigh. My verbal abuser likes to bombard me with questions without giving me the opportunity to think about the problem at hand. He assumes he knows the methods I'll use and that and that they will not work, and tells me that I alone must fix Marc's (assumed) "lazy" behavior - all within the space of two minutes.

In one fell swoop, Will rids himself of responsibility, becomes judge and jury over any solution I pursue, and magically forecasts failure (for me and therefore, also for our son). Will is really big right now on how I am single-handedly ruining Marc's future.

Verbal Abuse Escalates With Responses

I gotta tell you that I get REALLY REALLY TIRED of ignoring my ex's comments without replying or somehow "fighting back" or "standing up for myself." However, each and every time I reply (I replied to those latest texts), all he gives in response is more insults, more judgments, and more accusations.

war-machineToday, I'm going to remind myself of the fact that my ex is a war machine, a waste of my time and effort to reason with, respond to, or even accept as a "normal" human being. I am done making excuses for his sorry behavior to his children. I am through giving Will the "benefit of the doubt" and assuming the best.

I must remember that my thoughts and actions are what matter. I have the power over what I think and do. He will double down on his efforts to sabotage me and my strength lies in my ability to turn off his voice and tune into my own.

I look forward to the day when I no longer have to speak to him at all. Until then, I am forced into some sort of quasi-communication with Will under the direction to do what is "best" for the children.

Will wants our relationship to be a war he directs, but I don't have to give him what he wants.

I do not have to war. I don't want what he has to offer, and he cannot take from me what I do not give. I am keeping my power for myself.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2011, May 19). Verbal Abuse Occurs After Divorce, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

September, 13 2016 at 4:35 pm

This is my life, exactly, except the subjects of the judgment and accusations are different. I can't wait until the day I never have to speak to him again. His only communication skills are deflect, gaslight and steamroll. He accuses me of all the neurotic, paranoid things he's doing. He still tries to control me, to manipulate me and verbally abuse me, to the point where I will not schedule his visitation in a way that requires me to be alone with him. He swears he's changed, though. Only change I see is some missing front teeth.

July, 17 2015 at 4:00 am

I share your story too. I do not respond anymore to the texts insulting my parenting decisions, blaming all poor choices that the kids make (because they are kids) on my parenting, etc. Responding to them turns into more insults and more negativity toward me, and I left him so that I didn't have to live like this anymore.

April, 4 2013 at 4:34 pm

Yes, it is true the more I respond no matter how reasonable and polite I am--I get more and more back. The less I respond--the fewer I receive. Somehow everything is my fault, even though we have signed the papers and just have a small amount of property to separate. I really want to write him that since I have all this power I have decided the world should orbit the other way--so who knows where he will land on his return to the US.--But I don't Only 3 more months--Yeah!

July, 29 2011 at 1:47 pm

Well Well! I have the same ex. My saving grace in a minor way is that my kids are 16 & 17 and for 2 years have chose not to have anythng to do with their father. When I do have to discuss medical he will ignore a text I had sent about a concussion our daughter received in cherleading. But instead responded with accusatons about OUR relationship! OMG Begged him not to walk into courtroom a year ago, begged him not to leave in July of 09. Tells me I lie, I am manipulative, and controlling! Tells me to F'ing grow up. Tells me that I am at fault for our demise. Then asks for counseling and dinner! Really. It is a cycle I am tired of. I love him to this day as we had been togther 25 years. I am trying just today to turn it off! I can see I am addicted but growing tired. I have a niece that has her masters in psych and has been at this point a sponsor to STOP me from digging in! I want us but realize I have been abused for years verbally. I deserve better but hard to STOP the addictive of him.
Anymore wisdom words would be great!

July, 29 2011 at 1:28 pm

Wow! Your story is my story and my ex's name is Will (William) too.
I am struggling with his insane behavior because our kids are under 18 and he has custody of my youngest. Will text's me about 40-50 times a day and you are right to say if you reply to his texts it only invites more insults. Thank you for your article and RIGHT ON! We ARE worthy of love and happiness and thats what I'm striving for for my children and I.

The Writing Goddess
May, 21 2011 at 8:46 am

So sorry you're going through this. Of course, you already know the answer "However, each and every time I reply (I replied to those latest texts), all he gives in response is more insults, more judgments, and more accusations."
Dogs WILL bark, and if you don't have the ability to put a zap collar around their necks, there isn't much you can do about it, except learn not to feed and reinforce the behavior.
It's really hard to change our own behavior patterns (he baits, you respond and defend) they may have been going on for years. When upset, his reaction is to kick into verbal (or text) abuse, yours is to try to defend and explain.
Maybe it would help if you picture him as a tiny Pomeranian yapping furiously, trying to impress you with how big and tough it is.

May, 19 2011 at 9:01 am

Kellie.. Some men are sicker then others, I'm gratful that I can relate to a certain level, but I have learned to state my thoughts knowing it's mine and not hers. I can say expectations only hurts or dissapoints me and in the past I was the director and my ex at times was the actor.. Crazy!Thanks for sharing your history.

May, 19 2011 at 8:24 am

right on sister!!

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