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Letters from Mother to Ex-Husband

I found thes email letters by chance one day when I was searching this term "hold them while they cry." I am posting them as an example of an emotionally abusive or emotionally needy mother. You could also say it is an example of the dark side of emotional intelligence.

I am not sure how I would classify this mother. I suppose she is emotionally needy with her children and abusive to her ex-husband. But she obviously has the potential to be abusive to her children too. And if they don't turn out how she wants them to, I am afraid she will be.

The letter also shows how hurtful people are taught to be in the USA, among other countries. In spite of all their "education," many Americans, like the British, and Australians, and Kiwis, are have not learned how to use English to communicate their feelings in a less toxic way. I actually started to cry when I read the emails that these two people are sending each other back and forth. I think of what they are doing, quite unintentionally I am sure, to their daughters they both say they love and care about so much.

Here are some excerpts

Your “best” is not good enough. You’ve spent the last 8 years making excuses about everything in regards to our daughters —-. You can stop now. The only person who believes them is you.


Don’t EVER email me again spouting crap. You have absolutely no fucking idea what kind of mess you’ve created mentally for these children. If you want to pursue this through the court system let me know…otherwise WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ME.”


The Emails

My comments


Mar 2012 - These words still affect me. It is like watching someone get raped or tortured. This mother is in a lot of pain but simply does not know how to express it in a healthy, constructive way. She is a very bad role model for her children. She claims she doesn't say anything negative about her ex, but there is no way they won't absorb some of the venom she obviously has inside her.

This reminds me of my writing on pain management, since many people would say she is very angry, but I would say she is in a lot of pain.

S. Hein

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Ok, it is completely possible that I made an error sending this email to my ex husband Saturday night. That said, I was so totally ANGRY with his behavior that I responded in a way I usually do not. Ordinarily, I listen to my children and hold them while they cry. I acknowledge their feelings and sometimes we talk about it until I’m totally sick of talking about it and then we talk about it some more. It is a rare moment when I communicate anything with the father of my children that isn’t simply information I feel he is entitled to. Read on:

“geez —-, —— came home crying because you guys didn’t wait for her after the show. she hurried out of her costume and looked all over for you. on the way home she said ‘i feel like his throw away child’. i hope you guys are happy dammit.”

Uhhhhh, yeah, that was the email I sent in a moment of pure anger. Today while I was at work, I received this email in reply:

“appreciate your jumping my ass before you found out all the facts-1- we got call from baby sitter telling us —–’s son was running a high fever and we had to leave- 2 not acknowledging the fact that i even showed up and was able to see the whole play. 3- getting tired of you jumping my ass over every little thing wrong i do towards the girls-you spend more time downing for things then you do realizing im doin my best at this time. but i guess that dont matter to you! —— did awesome job with the play and i was proud of her-but you ruined that for me now thank you soo much for that!- hope you have a great-f–king day too!!!!!”

Well, anyone who knows me knows that this email completely pissed me off. The man I was once married to is a master at blaming everyone else for his problems/issues/whatever. I know it is important for my children to have a relationship with their father. I’ve bitten my tongue, gone out of my way and soothed tender hearts, all in an attempt to make sure the lights of my life have whatever relationship they can with their dad. I’ve told them (and I still believe it) that it is important to treasure that relationship in whatever form it takes because there will be a day when it’s no longer available and that will be painful in a different way.

I thought about his email for a few hours and then figured what the hell. I almost never say anything and this time it was too much. I don’t know if I will end up regretting my reply to him or not. I do know that it felt pretty good to write it and a bit better than that to send it. Now, though, I feel sad. He would have taken awhile to contact the girls again after writing his email. It may be even longer once he reads my reply. Onward:

“1. You, my friend, have for all intents and purposes fucked up your relationship with our daughters.

2. I don’t jump your ass over anything. If I did, your ass would be in court, you’d be in jail and I wouldn’t cut you so much slack for being a deadbeat…and ummmm, Yea, I have talked with the Prosecuting Attorney for —– County as well as the Child Support Office regarding this. I have no desire to deal with the situation this way however. It would devastate the girls and I would never do that to them.

3. Your “best” is not good enough. You’ve spent the last 8 years making excuses about everything in regards to our daughters —-. You can stop now. The only person who believes them is you.

4. Our daughters believe you were shtuping —– before ———- was even dead and they are still grieving over ———-’s suicide. They do NOT understand how you could have hooked up with someone so soon after she died.

5. They are very sad about their lack of relationship with you. They don’t trust you. They want to spend time with you but not your “new” family.

6. They don’t tell you how they feel because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and they don’t want you to disappear completely from their lives again. They KNOW you’re not the greatest example of a father and still they love you.

7. I ruined nothing for you. Your feelings are YOUR CHOICE….not mine.

8. I am the one who has been here for our children through all of the tears, anger, hurt feelings, broken hearts, questions, questions, questions and more questions about you and where you are. I have NEVER said one bad or hurtful word about you to them. NEVER. I don’t plan on starting now. I simply listen and hold them when they cry.

9. —— is the one who said she feels like your “throw away baby”, not me.

10. —- does not consider your new baby to be her sister. She believes the baby is your “new” family and she isn’t good enough for you anymore.

11. They love you even though you are a lying asshole.

12. I sent you the email right after getting home from picking —— up Saturday night and she was standing in the kitchen SOBBING because you didn’t wait for her. She figured you and —–, in her ultra conservative, uber christian way, were offended by the subject matter of the show and didn’t want to talk to her because she was in the show.

13. Don’t EVER email me again spouting crap. You have absolutely no fucking idea what kind of mess you’ve created mentally for these children. If you want to pursue this through the court system let me know…otherwise WATCH YOUR FUCKING MOUTH WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ME.”

So, there it is. My latest foray into the world of ex-spouse-dum. I loved that man so much. A part of me will always love him. I will always be grateful for my amazing daughters. How could I ever regret something that blessed me in such a way? Even after 8 years, it’s still hard to believe my marriage to him ended like it did. He is so messed up. Together we were really messed up. I know it had to end so my children could grow up in a healthy environment and feel empowered in their lives. Sometimes it still hurts. And every time one of my children cries because of that man, my heart breaks all over again.



  1. Fallen Angels said,

    May 10, 2006

    Let’s hope he actually understands what you wrote and makes changes accordingly. I have a feeling he won’t…I really hope I am wrong. :(

  2. meelo said,

    May 11, 2006

    i’m really glad you said all those things. somebody had to. you are finding your voice. don’t lose it again, okay? xoxo

from buttrrflyyz.wordpress.com/2006/05/08/sperm-donors/

My comments

I can't really write about this now. It's just too much. But I'm thinking along these lines...

- This kind of communication is legal. And quite common and accepted in the USA. But if these two people were to physically hit each other, then a) they could be charged with a crime and b) people would jump into stop it.

- Maybe one day we will educate children about communicating feelings.

- Maybe one day the majority of people will quickly see how destructive this is and try to stop it and teach new ways.

- Maybe one day parents will see that they are poisoning their children with these kinds of feelings, thoughts, beliefs and words.

- Maybe one day the university researchers who write about emotional intelligence will see how someone can use their emotional intelligence to hurt others and themselves

- Maybe one day the university researchers will see that when someone grows up in a toxic home they don't learn healthy emotional management skills, and this does not mean they have low emotional intelligence

- Maybe one day university researchers will design a more helpful and more accurate test of emotional intelligence

- The mother doesn't realize that anger is a secondary emotion. She doesn't realize she is feeling resentful, or which unmet emotional needs she has. She also doesn't realize she is feeling hurtful, and hurting her ex-husband won't improve her daughters' lives.

- Look at the comments. No one helped this woman see what she is doing. Instead, they supported her as if she is doing the "right" thing. I wonder if the first person really thinks there is any chance the ex-husband will "make changes accordingly". I'd say the wife had plenty of time to try to change the ex-husband when they were married. If it didn't work then, why would it work now?

- Maybe the saddest is that this mother is so emotionally needy that it is nearly a sure bet she will use her daughters emotionally. Notice how she says "we talk about it until I’m totally sick of talking about it and then we talk about it some more." This suggest to me she is trying very hard to be a "good mother" but is being emotionally fake at times. In other words forcing herself to keep talking, and I emphasize 'talking' vs listening, when she is tired of it. I suspect her daughters pick up on her true emotions. It is a rare child who doesn't eventually soak up the true feelings in a home. There is a lot of resentment in this woman's home. It will get transferred to her daughters no matter how hard the mother tries to be a good mother.

- I'd guess this woman never had someone hold her when she cried when she was young. I give her credit for realizing it is important, but I am afraid she will continue to use her daughters to try to fill her own unmet needs to be loved, obeyed, in control, respected, important, cared about, appreciated, etc.

- I'd also guess this mother tries too hard with her daughters, like the over-apologetic coach. If she were more at peace with herself she could just hold her daughters while they cried and she wouldn't feel as much need to talk about it till she was sick of talking about it. I've learned it's really not that hard to just hold someone and listen while they cry. See the story called Silent Hugs for example. What is hard is trying to "fix" things. Just holding someone and silently listening and staying with them does a lot to show you care.

It is hard for needy people to just silently listen though. We feel the need to make things better, to do something. But I am learning constantly how much we can do by just holding someone when they cry.

What this does to a person's inner feeling of security is immeasurable. A pencil and paper test of emotional intelligence such as the ones the university professors have designed won't tell us how emotionally secure a person feels, though.

- I feel encouraged though that she said she felt sad after reflecting on what she wrote and sent. I'd encourage her to apologize. I hope she is teaching her daughters the importance of apologizing and forgiving.

S. Hein
Sept 29, 2006

Teen comments:

Brooke - Brooke first told me the woman "rocks". She admires the woman for "standing up" for her kids. This scares me. It is the kind of thinking that gives power to people like George Bush. Later Brooke added

Alrighty. She's a single mother, 3 daughters. The father is remarried. I don't know the whole situation, but I know what it is like to live in a single mother home. She did say some things that she shouldn't have. I can't say that she is the best role model for her daughters, but bits and pieces of her are good. I can't say jumping on him was all that great, but sometimes things do need to be said. Maybe she is overreacting, but I honestly don't know due to lack of information about it.

The comment that "sometimes things do need to be said" scares me. This sounds like something an adult would say. An adult who is disconnected from their feelings. Who can kill people and justify it by saying "Sometimes things do have to be done." I am worried about Brooke. She is living in one of the most emotionally toxic countries in the world. I won't be surprised if one day Brooke becomes an air force pilot or something. I will feel sad, but not surprised. I hope I can continue to make a small difference in her life. She probably doesn't know many people who think like I do. I am afraid she will feel hurt and defensive by me writing this here, and I am pretty sure she wouldn't be able to tell me she feels hurt and defensive, which saddens me also, but I haven't given up on trying to get her to talk about her feelings. And I would hold her while she cried if she would let me, but I'm guessing she doesn't cry much. And I am guessing she wouldn't want someone to hold her or even see her crying if she did cry, but I will have to ask her!


She read what I wrote and we had this chat...

Brooke dice:
you don't have to worry about me becoming an air force pilot. I couldn't.
steve dice:
yay ....y not
Brooke dice:
killing people isn't my thing
steve dice:
ok thats a relief
steve dice:
ill be able to sleep tonight then
steve dice:
ha ha
Brooke dice:
steve dice:
ok what about the crying part
Brooke dice:
I haven't cried.. in 3 years
steve dice:
steve dice:
when was the last time u cried?
Brooke dice:
in... 6th grade, when my cat died.
steve dice:

Brooke has an eating disorder, by the way, and the adults around her are pressuring her to talk to them, but she doesn't want to. And I admire her for this. She knows who she can trust with her inner world and who she can't. Few people respect this about teenagers though. Most adults want to control teens, just as the wife in the story here wants to control her ex-husband. As I have said before, teens, and really all of us need to feel cared about, not controlled.

In the story above the ex-husband surely doesn't feel cared about. And the wife says she used to love him and she says a part of her will always love him, but look at the effect she is having on them and their relationship.

Anyhow, I just asked Brooke if she feels more cared about than controlled. So Brooke will probably not feel as suicidal as some of the teens I talk to. She said the balance between feeling cared about and controlled is about 80/20.



Maybe I will get more teen comments later..