Ran across a mid 30’s guy trying to get his life back under control and sorted. One of the big issues was that his visitation schedule with his kids was causing a TON of forced interaction with the kids mom as the kids go back and forth. And she is using that forced interaction time and leverage every moment to create drama and manipulation, and generally work to make him as miserable as she can make him. And even more importantly, it’s hard on the kids
Having gone through years of this myself with my BSC ex baby mama, I wanted to pass back the fruits of my labors around the things I learned along the way to pretty much remove her ability to unhinge my life.
What helped me with a drama/rage filled ex and kids? Don’t respond to it. So simple, yet brutally difficult
You show up at the court appointed place to get your kids. But, having done this for awhile now you know what is coming at you from her.
But you don’t know what the subject matter is THIS time. But you know without a doubt that there will be something. Hell hath no fury after all.
You roll up and as you are trying to focus on the kids it starts. Words as weapons
Yes, it fully pisses you off. That is exactly why she is doing it. Yes, you want to rage back at her.
But stop, and really think, have a record scratch moment of your own — how many times in responding to her with anger and logic and emotion and attention – how many times did you change anything?
I’d bet good money that the answer is close to zero. A complete waste of your time AND your emotional capital that you are just handing over to her on a silver platter. “Here, you win, have all the things you are striving for while I remain clueless about how MY behavior is hurting me and making it so that you never want to stop interacting like this.”
She gets off on doing this. Women are emotionally driven, and this is the go-to state for high conflict, unstable baby mamas, and how she gets the emotional “feeding” that she is taking 1,000% from you. High conflict baby mama is an emotional vampire.
She is a pro at it, she lives in the emotional world 24x7x365, and she knows EXACTLY how to push your buttons.
You? You know fuck-all about how to deal with emotional world, the sooner you can get rid of the problem, and get back to sane, mostly predictable logical world with logical solutions the better things are for you. We do whatever it takes to stay in logical world, amirite?
When you engage with her – which is what she MUST HAVE, which is why the verbal attack is so blood thirsty, she will play all the cards to get the response – you are immediately thrust into her frame, simply because you’ve chosen to engage with her.
You are playing from a completely defensive position – you roll up to grab the kids, and your default mindset as you get close to the spot where the interaction goes down is “fuck, I don’t want to be here. What kind of bullshit is coming at me this time? Can’t I just grab my kids and roll without all this fucking trauma every goddamn time?” I’m still traumatized 20 years later when I roll by a grocery store parking lot that we used for kid transfer. This shit stays with you. This is PTSD shit. You have no idea what you are rolling into each time your roll up. Pure 100% defense, no offense.
Can’t I just grab the kids and roll without all this fucking trauma from you every goddamn time?
The answer is “yes, yes you can. But, just like everything else in a mans life, it’s up to you to do the work – so get to work”
Let’s get to it. Here is how:
No matter what she says, DO NOT RESPOND with emotion. No anger, no rolling eyes, no snark, no arguing, no yelling – it’s this simple and this impossible at the same time – DO NOT RESPOND WITH EMOTION, this is how the beast gets fed. Do not feed the animals.
You do not respond to anything that isn’t positive, supportive, constructive interaction with you and with you about the kids. Anything else, anything else – ignore. Not even a verbal acknowledgement. No changes in physical demeanor. No visible simmering anger behind the mask – you are living the dream, you are happy, and nothing can budge you off your mountain top.
As in every part of your interaction with women – do not reward bad behavior. This is the worst of the worst bad behavior, do not reward it. She wants a huge emotional reaction out of you, that is her gold standard reward. You must not give it to her, you must show her that any sort of reward or emotional feeding is simply no longer available, that it just doesn’t exist in you to give any longer.
The opposite of love is not hate, it is ambivalence. Imagine yourself reading a news article about something really bad that happens to someone. you read through it and empathy is pouring out of you towards this person. In that moment you care a lot. You go on to the next article that catches your eye in 3 more pages…
How many seconds does it take for the impact of the first article that struck you so deeply, how long does that feeling stay with you? 30 seconds for me, at most. It lingers for a few, and then my attention is taken up by something else – my eyes are looking forward, and I’m not looking in the rear view mirror, I’m not mired in the past.
Use this same mental approach with your ex. Be ambivalent, stop caring what she thinks. Don’t reward her bad behavior
When it came time to be face-to-face where she’d start her drama, it helped me to think of my kids mom in those days as invisible and inaudible. I mentally replaced her in the interaction with an imaginary female who was pleasant looking, calm, rational, caring, emotionally balanced, and supportive towards my kids – the opposite of all the things my kids mom was. And, all the interactions in those moments when baby mama was in my presence but invisible and inaudible – I directed my interaction and attention towards the imaginary girl. Let’s walk through what an interaction might look like
hey, how are you? Good, I’m good, thanks
(she didn’t respond, she didn’t ask. But it was nice of you to interact with imaginary girl. But the storm is starting to rage in real world, however you are in imaginary world, ignore her and her drama)
hey kids, everybody good? so happy to see you
ok, pile in, seatbelts!
what??!? you brought (new thing)? I can’t wait to see it!
shit is really starting to fly now in real world, she’s unloading all the arrows in her quiver as you pile the kiddos into your car, trying to find your weak spot that she can get a reaction from you with, anything, things are getting desperate for her. BUT, you are smart now, you recognize the moment “ahhh, look at her, she’s pulling out the big guns, this means I’ve got control, don’t react now, do-not-react-do-not-react-my-world-is-a-happy-place
ok, say bye to mom, we’ll see her soon
ok, see you (datetime), take care
the air is filled with things designed to eviscerate you, ignore
drive off without a care in the world, all that matters to you is sitting in the car. They have your full, happy emotionally balanced attention. Your time with them is off to a great start.
It’s a transaction
If you think of male/female interactions – men want sex from women.
We trade our attention to get sex from her.
Women want attention from men, the more high value the man is, and the more they respect him, the higher the value of his attention she is receiving. Women trade sex to get ALL the attention from you. Attention from men is the female level equivalent to sex for us.
Rollo’s near famous quote should help cement this for you – “attention is the coin of realm in girl world”.
Stop giving attention to the women in your life who are behaving badly, or who you are not fucking because she is not worth it. Ex baby mama is guilty on both counts.
Sooo… her raging at you is her seeking your attention in a mad, angry way.
This is her equivalent of her hate fucking you
Read that ^ again. And then, read it one more time.
When she rages at you, showing you complete disrespect, in front of your kids, she is aggressive, filled with hate – and you respond to her, you engage with her, you lower yourself to her level, you enter HER frame? You are being hate fucked.
Imagine – how satisfying it would be to brutally hate fuck your ex – I’m not in any way encouraging you to do this — do not fuck your high conflict ex. That is the biggest of big L’s.
Instead I’m attempting to use a very impactful mental visual to draw a strong and real equivalency that hits you so deeply that it is driven into your thick skull, I’m using a powerful 2×4 upside your head to get you to wake the fuck up and see this for what it actually is – and then you just laugh and walk out the moment you nut without a care in the world, and you have no consequences.
When you engage with her when she is in this rage filled “I will say anything to hurt you” state – she is emotionally hate fucking you, and there are no consequences. She nutted all over you, laughed at you, felt amazing, and then walked out on you.
She gets all the attention from you, and it is the highest quality attention she can find on planet earth.
She is eating a massive filet steak of attention from you, with a huge side of her favorite sushi along with her favorite adult refreshment. And she gets to share the story of how good the meal was with anyone who will listen – new boyfriend, girl friends, the girl at the nail salon, her hairdresser. The taste is simply exquisite to her, there is just not a better meal she can find on the planet that what you are giving her right fucking now. She’s wearing her fat pants, and they are unbuckled. She’s got 2 rolls of fat hanging over She’s grown a gunt. She will gorge on this meal.
She knows she’s wounded you verbally and emotionally. You’ve shown her that by engaging, by entering her frame. She is angry, but she could not be beaming a smile any brighter inside of her. Inside her it’s sunshine, puppy dogs. unicorns, and rainbows. Her inner 5 year old little girl is beaming with pride. And when you respond, then you just got hate fucked.
Do you want to be hate fucked by her? She is salivating, drooling, waiting for that meal to hit the table so that she can feed.
And, if she wants more on her plate after you’ve started to feed her by engaging? All she has to do is keep abusing you in the interaction since you are too far gone for there to be any chance to control yourself.
When you get extra pissed then you’re going to put the next steaming platter of goodness on the table for her with your angry interaction and negative attention – because this time you’re reaaally going to show her right? Your speech is going to be so good and so logical that she’ll have no choice but to say “ohhh, you’re right”. Idiot. It’s like an all-you-can eat buffet for her, because you just keep responding every time.
When we get angry we get stupid, when we get stupid we don’t see what we are doing to self-inflict damage.
Don’t feed the animal, only reward good behavior
Don’t reward bad behavior thinking “well, she’s being a total cunt right now, but maybe if I just give a little bit here, she’ll see what a good guy I’m being. And I bet when she see’s me give a little to get a little bit back from her that then she’ll change the way she is interacting with me right now and stop being so cruel”. I tried this a few times, guess how it turned out….
Don’t be a fucking moron, don’t reward bad behavior, ever.
Have a game plan going in, steel yourself. Mission: happy, unresponsive, unemotional, happy, interacting like you are talking to a calm reasonable creature, happy – regardless of what is being thrown at you.
Create your own conversation to replace mine above, think about what her favorite meal might be, replace mine what that. Talk out the interaction failures with your baby mama, what she said that pissed you off so badly, look at your failures in a new light. Figure out your strategy. Figure out what buttons she has been hitting, have a plan for them the next time they come up because they will come up again.
This is a learned skill, and it is beyond brutal to begin working on and to get it right. You will fuck up. Accept your consequences kōhai.
When things cool off, that’s when it’s time to emotionally go over it in your head – “I know this part of the <interaction> I did was a mistake. If I had it to do over again I would <insert better behavior>. To help me remember to do this I’ll try to avoid getting angry so that I can think clearly, and I’ll recognize that when she does <action> I’m going to respond with <better behavior> so that I can remain emotionally decoupled and not feed the beast”. Come up with a process that works for you.
You are going to hear some low down shit. Remember – You learn a lot about people when they don’t get what they want from you. The more success you have maintaining frame and being happy, the worse this shit from her is going to get. The more you decouple, the more she is going to attack. Her emotional food source is being taken away from her, who wants to starve? Toxic high conflict unhappy ex baby mama is going to go to work cause a bitch gotta eat.
This is going to take probably close to a year once you stop making mistakes, every time you fail, and again, you will fail, you move the bar back a bit. You’ve given her a positive feedback dopamine hit.
Was it a Big fail? Bar goes back further.
Little Fail? Bar goes back, maybe just a bit. Being consistent, paying attention, having a game plan in your head worked out – these are your keys to success.
No military General goes in to battle without a game plan. Have a plan, and be ready to pivot as she figures you out, and she will. The more you do this, the better you’ll become at it. This is an acquired skill that will take time.
Here’s how it will traditionally play out:
1) You read this, think “yeah, sure, why not, makes sense, I can do this” and you go through your postmortem of recent failures now that you have some distance from them and you can actually look at them, see your part.
You build your mental scripts, you know what to look for now having looked back closely at the past. You have mental reminders what to do when you see it. You’ve visualized, you have your reminders of land mines that you want to avoid. You go in like a boss.
You start the next interaction with new/improved behavior, and you do pretty well. She throws the usual darts and you don’t respond at all, you are stoic, happy, emotionally disengaged from her. And you get positive feedback cycle started in your head, you get the dopamine hit. “Hey, that was really hard, but damn if it didn’t work amazing like Turk said it would! I’ll do it again next time, I got this!”
her: the fuck he think he is. She begins to build a case in her head for the next time. She didn’t get fed, and a bitch gotta eat
2) You show up for the next one, prepared just like before. The guns fired at you are bigger, shit you weren’t prepared for, you are wobbly, but you survive. More positive feedback going on, you’ve got the dopamine hit… but it’s not a great hit. Still, you didn’t feed the animal. Winning.
her: ok bitch, this is on. Shit’s about to get nuclear
3) You show up for the next one. You do good for a little while, but then she breaks out the heavy guns.
“god, I got fucked so hard last night… <long pause> … by Steve, your best friend. I can hardly walk, I feel like such a slut but damn he was big, I haven’t had cock like that in many, many years… I wish I could have always been fucked like that. I came so much and so hard I thought I’d lose consciousness every time. My throat is sore from all the screaming and cock I sucked, he pushed that huge beast down my throat soooo deeply for what seemed like hours. He was just wonderful, I can’t wait to be his little whore again soon. I hope the kids didn’t hear it, at least I don’t think they did, it was pretty loud…. I don’t know… ” <voice trails off, contented sigh, calm, peaceful, a big soft smile, and the girl you originally fell in love has suddenly appeared in front of you, and is looking you square in the eyes the entire time as she sticks the knife in to your ribs probing for your heart> and you visibly and emotionally break frame.
You respond with anger. She gets to gorge on her meal. Such a happy girl now. She gets the dopamine hit, you take the L.
Big Frame Break? Go way backwards, plus now she knows that you will break frame if she can find juuuust where to place the dagger between your ribs, and from this point on she is *really* paying attention. This one is going to take a bit for you to get clear of, you’ve got some hard work you’ve created. You fed the fuck out of her. But whatever, it happens. Only one course of action – get to work. You go back to Go.
her: fuck, that tasted good, I want more. Now I know where to place the dagger, more of that, always
Shit tests from her will stay nuclear until you can pass her test.
Fix your shit, work like a savage on fixing this problem. Do your postmortem analysis, write copious notes, figure out why this triggered you, build your new tool and script and mindset, know in your head that this is going to be coming at you like a tsunami over and over. There is no surprise about what you are going to see going forward. Go to Step 1 and expect a shit storm until you can get past this one, and pass it 100% repeatedly.
Slight/Little Frame Break? See big break, the difference is that this one is easier for you to correct. She might not have seen your break as “enough food” for her to feed on. She wants the big meal, but she smells blood in the water. She won’t pass up a chance to dig the knife in, but it’s not the response she wants to feed on, so she won’t focus very hard on it.
Action needed is the same same. Fix your shit, work like a savage on fixing this problem, do your postmortem, identify, was there another issue you might have missed? Look at everything with a hard eye. Build your new tool and script and mindset. Go to Step 1
Over time you should begin to see less big frame breaks, and more smaller breaks. After that, big breaks are really, really rare. Most of the breaks are small breaks, and over time these become minuscule breaks.
Turk, when will all this fucking drama ever end?
That is 1,000% in your control.
When you stop caring about what she thinks, about what she says, what she says about you, what she says to you. Accepting your lack of control over what a shit mother she is being. When you build your toolbox to overflowing with every tool you can possibly need to counter her bullshit. When you can pass every shit test. When you stop rewarding her bad behavior. This is when it ends.
Just like in a tug-of-war, if the you don’t pick up the rope then there is no battle. It’s just one enraged, hungry, emotional person holding the rope on one end screaming at you to start the battle.
So, don’t pick up the rope she has tossed out there :shrug: It’s pretty simple in the end.
Don’t reward her bad behavior, ever
I hope this helps you to better understand the battle that you are in. To create a framework to help you regain control over an out of control and toxic interaction. That it helps you be a better father, and helps model healthy behavior for your kids, and helps you build a necessary life skill that you can use in other aspects of your life.
You learn this skill in the trenches fighting dirty hand to hand combat with baby mama. And then, when you go to use this skill in the rest of your life, it becomes game on easy mode.
But you will pay your dues to get there – bloody, hard earned, painful dues…
But always stand back up. Do you have a choice in the end? Nope
Go be awesome, now