My chronically cheating EX husband is unfortunately stuck in my life until one of us keels over because I had a baby with him during our marriage. Now, I love our child to death, but had I known my ex was posing as a photographer and taking lingerie pictures of 18-19 year old girls and boning groupies and prostitutes for the whole 6 years we were together, I would have NEVER procreated with a man like him. He is a barely sentient piece of shit in my opinion (pardon my French).
Anyway, even though he is engaged, (He is 45, she is 24. He loves to accuse me of being jealous, but I’m not. I feel awful for the poor woman, who I know that he is also cheating on with a 22-year-old. YIKES he is sick.) Anyway, even though he is engaged, he still LOVES to stir the pot with me. He LOVES poking the bear and trying to get a reaction out of me. I used to GO OFF, but within the past 6 months I’ve just grey rock-ing him. I thought this would help keep the peace, but rather, it seems to have set him off even MORE! It’s like he cannot stand that I don’t react to his rants and insults. He feeds off of my anger, and I refuse to give it to him.
Here is where the funny part comes in…
Since I have NOT been reacting (Well, 90% of the time — I am still human after all), he has no “leverage” over me. No rants of me cussing him out, no anger, no yelling, I quit drinking, I quit smoking, I quit social media. He literally has NOTHING “on me” and he can’t stand it. He can’t stand that I don’t have social media (because that means he can’t see what I’m doing). It’s like he just can’t stand that he isn’t getting to me any more.
Since he has nothing on me, he decided that he would just make some dirt up instead.
Did he come up with some believable, juicy, embarrassing gossip? Nope!…
His genius ass decided he would tell everyone (starting with my parents) that I had joined ISIS.
Yes… ISIS, the terrorist organization.
Now, I was born and raised Southern Baptist, and now no longer participate in ANY religion (let alone violent extremism!) My parents thought it was a ridiculous over-the-top reach and we all had a good laugh. What kind of middle-aged moron tattles to their ex’s parents about anything, let alone an INSANE, blatantly made up story about how I joined ISIS. WTF?
These people seriously are sick. He can tell everyone in town that I’m crazy (and even that I’m a terrorist, I guess), but I know the truth. These people “believe” in their delusions (that THEY are the victims), because if they actually face the truth — they will realize what they all have in common — that they all SUCK.
An Unaware Terrorist
Dear Unaware Terrorist,
You win the internet today. I get a lot of character assassination stories at CN, but ISIS? Wow, he really is desperate for kibbles. Your grey rock game is good.
So how exactly does this terrorist thing work? You’re there, raising his child, while secretly beheading people as infidels? (What gave you away? Your Pinterest board?)
God, I’m sorry. He really and truly sucks.
My first thought, however, is that you could have some fun with this.
Fuckwit: I need to reschedule, and swap out visitation for next Friday.
Unaware: I’m sorry, that’s the evening of our Domestic Terrorist Potluck. How’s next week?
It’s probably unwise to antagonize him, however. Especially given that he delights in centrality.
Decisions, decisions… What would the Caliphate do?
You seem to have a pretty good handle on the situation. It will drive him mad if you don’t rise to his provocation. I can’t really imagine what he’ll accuse you of next. White slavery? That’s not your real hair? Once you’ve jumped the Taliban shark, there’s not a lot of places for crazy to go.
He’s probably been boring everyone with your villainy, trying to explain this divorce, and needed a new plot device. “She got wind of my cheating” is not nearly as riveting (and as self-pitying) as I DISCOVERED MY EX WAS AN ISLAMIST JIHADIST. Poor boo, a victim of your double life!
Of course, it’s total projection of his double life. While not a suicide bomber exactly, he does have an evil side hustle blowing up lives. (Hello Mrs. Chump #2 and OW #417…)
I’m not saying this is rational, but in his syphilitic brain he’s probably thinking what better way to win the narrative than to sow the seeds of doubt about Who You Really Are.
Well, she looks like a mild-mannered Southern Baptist, but beneath that Aw Shucks persona is a cold-blooded killer. I may have fucked around, but she is plotting the destruction of thousands!
It just seems like a very desperate distraction from his crimes. Well, SHE IS WORSE!
And to think you have to try and co-parent with this. Might be worth talking to your lawyer. Especially if you have one of those non-disparagement clauses in your custody order. Nice thing he provided you with a couple of witnesses — your parents.
I’ve just grey rock-ing him. I thought this would help keep the peace, but rather, it seems to have set him off even MORE! It’s like he cannot stand that I don’t react to his rants and insults. He feeds off of my anger, and I refuse to give it to him.
The peace of grey rock is for you. Not him. Crazy is gonna do crazy. Your job is not to engage with it. (I know, it’s really hard. Especially when there’s a minor’s welfare at stake.)
When you want to go off on him, ask yourself — is there something I can do here to resolve this, that doesn’t involve him? Like, say, the kid needs a ride — you could ask someone else — instead of exploding at him for being an unreliable asshole.
Does his bullshit even deserve a reply at all? Rants and insults? Click. Delete. Walk away.
Does his bullshit in any way endanger your child? Again, go around him. Instead of engaging, appeal to a higher authority — your lawyer, the cops, the school. Whatever responsible adult would be appropriate.
I know it’s exhausting, but if you can look dispassionately at his crazy-making, you’ll find that nearly all of it (minus any actual child endangerment) can be ignored or worked around.
As you’ve realized, denying his drama will enrage him. But you’ve only recently changed the dynamic — he’s still getting used to the new, improved Grey Rock you.
Unfortunately, 10 percent of the time, you’ve been giving him intermittent kibble rewards by reacting. Which is incentive for him to up the ante (you’re ISIS.) So harden your resolve!
With any luck, his head will explode like an improvised device.
Rock on with your badass Mujahideen self.