To want to kick off or shall I just forget it?

(23 Posts)
CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 18:12:24

A bit of backstory - I left ex husband ten years ago due to his drinking/drug taking/threatening to kill us all. Not pleasant, as you can imagine.

We have three children (18, 13 & 11). When the middle one was born, he didn't bond with her at all until she was 12 months, so I've always been rather extra protective of her. He bonded with the other two from birth, no problem.

He has moved overseas and married again, having another child who's about 5. In all this time, he has never given me a penny in maintenance. He has now got a good job in the Middle East - his child goes to private school etc. Great - I'm happy for him and I have always maintained a friendly relationship with him, for the sake of my children. I don't want them to think they're anything less than fab, even if their dad has been a total twat. He's seen them about 4 times and only rings at Christmas and birthdays - recently, he's joined FB so comments on their timelines every couple of months.

Since the eldest went to uni last September, he's given her a few hundred quid every month (but not this month as yet). He used to send the children presents for Christmas and birthdays but now sends money on those occasions and asks me to split it between them.

My middle girl is going on a school residential next week and she reminded me that her dad had said on the phone on Christmas Day that he would send her a few quid for spending money. So I text him last Wednesday, saying I was sorry to ask but could he do so. This is the first time I have ever asked him for money.

No reply.

So tonight, I've text again about an hour ago, thinking he won't be at work so he'd get the message but there's still no answer.

AIBU to send him a private message on FB, asking him what the fuck is going on?

Or shall I just not mention it again and try to scrape some money together for my girl. I'm not currently working so it's a struggle and I know she'd be fine if it was only £10. I just can't bear the thought of her thinking that her father thinks more of her older sister than he does her.

I'm so fucking cross with him but am I jumping to conclusions?

Could well be a little game he's playing i.e it's fine for him to send them money but sod you if you actually ask for it. So I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of asking again.

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 18:39:11

Yes, I guess that's entirely possible sad

ElliesWellies Sat 09-Feb-13 18:41:06

Perhaps give him the benefit of the doubt, e.g. the texts aren't getting through properly, he's lost his phone, etc. Remind him politely on facebook first...

Booyhoo Sat 09-Feb-13 18:45:07

why would you want to 'kick off' . kicking off just lets everyone knwo you have a temper problem.

however, i agree with bertie. it could be a game. my ex plays that one regularly. he is fine to send the maintenance same date ever month, unless i ask him for it a day early and then it never appears at all. almost as if he enjoys the powe of knowing i really need it if i'm asking for it early.

in your shoes i would forget him. he's not going to send it and you getting cross will amuse him.

Booyhoo Sat 09-Feb-13 18:46:08

sorry, not bertie, beertricks. blush

Vinomcstephens Sat 09-Feb-13 18:49:19

Could your daughter ask him directly herself? Your ex may get a kick out of annoying you, but is he so much of an arse that he'd ignore his daughter? I mean, he said he'd give her some money so I don't see anything wrong with her reminding him that the school residential is coming up?

What you could do is take a small percentage of future Christmas/birthday money and put it aside for occasions like this, so there's the extra in the pot to share out equally.

You shouldn't have to do this, I know.

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 18:52:17

Well, I suppose I feel an urge to 'kick off' because I'm (over) protective of my middle child as her father never looked at her, let alone held her, until she was a year old.

I really don't have a temper problem - most people who know me think I'm too nice to my ex - but I suppose I can see that a public FB slanging session would be crass (which is why I was going to PM him).

I'm going to have to forget this and just tell my daughter the truth, that her dad hasn't replied to me, aren't I? sad

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 18:54:46

I can suggest that my daughter asks him herself but I doubt she will. She's too proud.

SpringBulbs Sat 09-Feb-13 18:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I suspect she won't be surprised tbh. She must have an idea that he's a waste of skin as far as you are all concerned.

SpringBulbs Sat 09-Feb-13 18:57:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 19:02:30

He moved abroad after we split, so there's no court involvement as I would have had to go to the country where he was living in order to get a maintenance agreement. So yes, the money he sends to the two younger children is voluntary and replaces the presents he'd send to them at Christmas and birthdays.

It's entirely possible that he's having money problems or lost his job - but it's equally likely that he's just forgotten. He might well be punishing me for asking, I suppose, but he's always said that he'd do what he could for the children and could be horrified and ashamed that his inaction is hurting one of them. Words are cheap though, aren't they?

I daresay he made promises about things when you were together, like giving up the drugs or the threats. In light of that then, yes, I'm assuming his words are very cheap indeed.

He could have entered into a maintenance agreement before, if he was so inclined, but he'd rather appear as the munificent benefactor when it suits him.

Your DCs will know that his worth, and theirs, can't be measured in money.

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 19:20:19

Thanks to everyone who's posted.

Yes, BeerTricks, I hope they do. I'm sure they do. I preferred the days when he'd send them presents as it was more personal (even if it was his wife or mother who bought and wrapped them).

I guess I'm also sad because my mother used to say how awful my father was and it made me feel that I was shit too. I just wish I could protect my children from knowing how crap their father is but I know I can't, especially when he's breaking promises to them. It would be different if he contacted them more often but I can't be in control of that.

It just sucks.

You're not telling them he's awful, his actions are telling them what sort of person he is, so you are not making them feel shit by association. You're the most positive influence on them when it comes down to it and that's the important thing.

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 19:40:59

Yes, I guess you're right. Thank you.

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:46:46

So because he moved abroad you couldn't get maintenance? That sucks sad

Poor kids having him as a dad, aren't they better off without him?

CatelynStark Sat 09-Feb-13 19:52:52

Oh yes, they're definitely better off without seeing him on a regular basis. He's still a heavy drinker/alcoholic who is unreliable, crude and tempestuous. He can also be very warm and funny. When it suits him.

I've never regretted leaving him for a second.

CatelynStark Mon 11-Feb-13 09:48:51

Just a little update, if anyone's interested.

I cooled down, thanks to the advice given on this thread, and wrote on his FB timeline, asking if he'd changed his phone number. His wife replied, so I PMd her, just asking her to remind him about my middle girl's trip.

She said yesterday that their phone reception wasn't good at the moment because of sandstorms. Today, she said he's got flu. Uh huh, whatever - the upshot is that she's sending some money tonight via Western Union.

I'm glad that my kid isn't going to be feel left out now and thanks to everyone who told me IWBU to kick off smile

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 11-Feb-13 17:24:19

Glad that is sorted op - it is a shame he doesn't give his children regular maintenance too though. But they have a cracking mum in you x

CatelynStark Mon 11-Feb-13 20:51:27

Aww, thanks! smile

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