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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My partner is going through a custody battle with his ex. She

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My partner is going through a custody battle with his ex. She is a very manipulative and controlling person who makes up lies to try and get what she wants. He finds it almost impossible to say no to her because she uses his daughter as a guinea pig and guilt to control him. How do i make him understand that she is doing all this to just control him and that he should be more assertive with her? He's afraid that if he's assertive she'll try and stop him from seeing hi daughter. I don't know how to tell him that she can't just do that and that people can see through her lies?
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Dear friend,

I understand your frustration with this situation. The ex may be continuing what she used to do as a wife, or perhaps she is being very vengeful towards him. I don't know the situation and history.

The key to protecting himself from her tyranny is to have a good lawyer, and, because men often get the short end of the stick when dealing with courts in custody cases, he is in fear that his visitation rights may be at risk. Even if his method of dealing with her is not the best one, it provides a certain level of comfort to him now.

Is he lacking in backbone, or is he just being overly cautious? That is a question for you to answer since you know him and know the situation.

It is true that the courts are not just and can reward very controlling and mean-spirited women, rights and privileges of visitation and custody over very decent, hard-working, and sober men and at this point he would do anything not to lose visitation privileges.

Once the rules are established by the courts, then they are more or less set in stone and then he can relax.

You can see through it and maybe he can too, but he wants to take a very cautious stance at first. Things will nomalise. Then you can see if he was really just be cautious, or whether he is still being bullied by his ex.

I know how much you hate to see his being controlled, but I urge you to give him some room for awhile. If you find that he is too weak-willed for your liking, then you might have to re-think your relationship.

I wish that things start to turn around as they reach a legal settlement, and I wish you continued patience and understanding.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He does have a good lawyer and it's all going well in that sense. But she tries to push herself into our lives by demanding she knows everything and does things to try and intimidate his son who is 7 yrs old, like sticking her head in the car when we pick up his daughter then not even acknowledging his son. So i have asked him to tell her politely to stop sticking her head in the car as it's not necessary. He asked her the first time and she ignored him and kept doing it, then the second time he explained to her why she had to stop, then he got in the car and blamed it on me. Then we got in an argument with him saying that i'm obssesed with her. Why is he being defensive over her when all she's doing is manipulating him? It's very hurtful and i don' know what to do?
Dear friend,

He hasn't let her go in a certain sense. He has an established relationship with her and just because they are legally divorced doesn't mean that the styles of communication have changed.

He is defensive because he IS under her control, like you said.

You are in a situation in which you will be attached to this woman until the youngest child becomes an adult.

This is not a situation that you can support very well (nor should you).

Here are your options:

  • continue to put up with it (not recommended)
  • Gently establish some guidelines that YOU want to have followed in order to give you the respect to which you are entitled.
  • Work on your relationship with the help of a competent and trusted therapist and try to establish new and more functional ways of getting along.
  • Consider ending the relationship if you cannot support it any longer. and tell him that you are finding difficult to continue if things don't change. He has some choices that he must make.

Great blessings to you. I wish you wisdom, strength and perseverance. I hope that you can choose a helpfuct opnion

Warm regards,


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