Quite often when a marriage has come to an end, the reason is that one party in the relationship has become domineering and tries to control the other. All marriages begin with the hope of an equal loving relationship, but often one spouse decides they want the upperhand. Depending on how successfully get their own way, will decide how far their bullying will go.
What often starts with white lies and making you look bad in front of friends and relatives can lead to much more. This will come to a head during the divorce. The bullying partner will fear they are losing the control they once had. This will add to the nastiness in one last attempt to regain that control. The bullying techniques you can expect:
- Lying about previous events to make you look bad.
- Threatening to, or witholding access to children.
- Threatening to withold finances.
- Attempting to isolate you from friends and family.
- Harassment with offensive communication or social media content.
Bullies habitually operate by playing on the fears of their victims. Unfortunately, there are few people who know more about you and your fears than an ex-partner. However, you will also know how they operate, and how your divorce bully may use tiny issues to create a large issue.
How to deal with a divorce bully
You might think that reasoning with your divorce bully to bring them to their senses will work. Wrong! The bully is usually unconcerned with you or the children’s well-being. All that matters is that they regain control of what they feel is an out-of-control situation – by intimidation. The following things do not work with a bully, but will only encourage their actions.
- Attempts of reasoning – a bully will attempt to twist your responses to use against you
- Trying to set the record straight – the facts do not matter to a bully
- Signs of weakness or vulnerability – bullies only prey on the weak
Bullies tend to bully those who they think are weaker than themselves. This is mainly due to their own insecurities. They will attempt to cross any personal boundary, and a divorce bully knows you better than most, they know your personal boundaries. So when going through the divorce process, it is important to set and maintain boundaries. For example, if your ex keeps coming to your home unannounced, let them know clearly that this is not acceptable. If it continues, keep a record of every occurence. This can be be used by your legal representative or even in a restraining order if it goes too far.