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to think this waa an awful way to behave? re: estranged DSC

(282 Posts)
alisunshine29 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:35:36

DP has two children with ex wife. When we first met he had lots of contact, his ex moved 50 miles away and contact gradually reduced because of that and starting school etc. His shift meant he could only have them for weekends every six weeks or so but then it could be several in a row plus plenty of annual leave in school holidays to have them. His ex insisted he have them alternate weekends which he couldn't do so she said he'd have to take her to court to formally sort contact. This was 16 months ago and he's done nothing to resolve contact. I have encouraged and supported but he is burying his head in the sand big time and actually believes the kids will grow up and decide to live with us.
Anyway,yesterday we were at an ice skating/swimming pool venue with my elder DD and the DD we have together when DP saw his exes dad, making it very likely his children were there with him. DP wanted to leave, despite having travelled sixty miles to get there. I didn't know what to do for the best but in the end I took my children swimming while DP pretty much hid. It just left me thinking how awful it would've been if DSC had seen DP from a distance playing happy families with our children, or wondering what he'd do if he/we did bump into them and whether his children would even recognise him. I could see him physically relax as we drove away and it makes me so sad for his children :-( his parents live between us and where DSC live so bumping into them at local events is always going to have the potential to happen. AIBU to think it's an awful situation that needs resolving for all involved sake, obviously particularly the children.

Sugarice Sat 23-Feb-13 12:38:26

Yes it was a terrible way to behave as you already know.

Why on earth wouldn't he want to see them?

chinam Sat 23-Feb-13 12:41:51

This man child needs to grow up.YANBU

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 12:42:00

That's quite bizarre, ostrich like even.

Your children are going to grow up without knowing their half siblings or having any realationship with them. Do his parents maintain contact with their grandchildren?

Indeed, are the grandparents young enough to be able to cope with the children staying with them for weekends? That could be a solution, although a poor one, to establishing family relationships between all the children.

I have to say, your DH does seem to be a bit of a poor excuse for a father. Sorry.

oldraver Sat 23-Feb-13 12:44:07

What a horrible man, lets hope he doesn't do the same to your children if you were to split up (sorry not wishing that on you)

I think it says a lot about a man how he treats his non resident children IMO

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 23-Feb-13 12:46:19

I think it says a lot about a man how he treats his non resident children IMO

This.

HWBVU to ignore his children & to generally make so little effort to see them. Poor kids. I wouldn't blame you for having no respect for him whatsoever.

Jalopeno Sat 23-Feb-13 12:46:45

50 miles is not that far away really and a poor excuse for not seeing his children. I could not condone that sort of behaviour.

Sugarice Sat 23-Feb-13 12:48:13

How do you propose to get him to resolve this, how old are the dc's?

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 23-Feb-13 12:48:53

If he wants to see his kids there's always a way. Shifts and distance is no excuse.
Ds's dad lives 60 miles away, they always manage to meet up and speak to each other on the phone nearly every day.
He hid from them? Really?
He really does sound like a poor excuse for a father.

Horrible of him I'm afraid, and more than a bit weird.
How old are the DC and when did he last see them?

50 miles is nothing, and if anything he should have jumped at the opportunity to see his DC - why on earth didn't he go over to his ex FiL and say hello are the kids with you? Can imagine the ExDW posting on here "My DF saw the DCs dad at the pool and he actually hid - WIBU to cut him out of their lives?"

Why on earth would they want to come live with him if he makes no effort to see them? Definitely well done on you for trying to get him to sort it out, but bloody hell, he's being a crap dad and it's his responsibility to resolve it.

I'm sorry to say it, but at least you have fair warning of how he'll behave if you were ever to split. sad for all concerned.

deemented Sat 23-Feb-13 12:52:49

That is disgusting. His poor kids.

He need to man up and grow a pair. How can he father one lot of children but not another?

I'd be having very serious words with him.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 23-Feb-13 12:55:48

What a pisspoor excuse for a father,

I would leave someone over behaviour like that but if you do then you now know he's going to do the same to your kids.

alisunshine29 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:56:28

No his parents don't have contact. They'd be willing to help but couldn't manage every other weekend. Children are 4 and 5. He says he wants to see them but I think he thinks one day his ex will just let him without court/the children will want to live here. He gets very stressed by his ex and yes, she is hard work and not nice or easy to deal with but IMO he needs to get over his own feelings, realise he'll never have a relationship with the children without her involvement and get on with sorting it out before it's too late.

alisunshine29 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:00:09

Not defending him as I don't understand why he hasn't done anything but he isn't using distance as an excuse - he had no problem travelling but couldn't have them alternate weekends as she demanded.

chinam Sat 23-Feb-13 13:01:34

Of course the children won't want to live with him. Why would they want to live with someone who clearly never did anything for them. What kind of deluded fantasy land is he living in. Sorry but this guy is making me angry

Lafaminute Sat 23-Feb-13 13:03:09

DH lives a 2.5 hour drive from sd, her mother insisted that he could ONLY see her if he would take her every other weekend. He is self employed and weekends would be his busiest time, she would not entertain once a month and during holidays. that also ended up with him not seeing her at all - he tried doing every other w'end just to keep the peace but 5 hours minimum every other Friday and Sunday was unsustainable. He ended up similar to your dh in not seeing her at all. Her mother ran away (with dsd) whenever he called or tried to see her. Ultimately his pov was that it was so upsetting for dsd and him whenever he did call that it was best avoided and to some extent he also adopted the ostrich approach. I don't think it makes him an awful father - just someone who would rather not deal with the trickier aspects of a complicated life. He needs help and support to get a relationship established with his kids again - 50 miles is less than an hour - it should be do-able if the dsc's mother is amenable.

HollyBerryBush Sat 23-Feb-13 13:03:17

The longer he leaves it, the harder it will be. 16 months at age 4 and 5 - they won't even remember him. That's really sad sad

I presume he does financially contribute to their up keep?

oldraver Sat 23-Feb-13 13:21:01

Does he actually think his children he potentially hasnt seen/bothered about for years are going to get to 16 and want to live with him ?. If he is lucky he will have to work very hard on resurrecting any kind of relationship with him.

I understand some ex's can make things difficult, but he has to work round this.

All his children will feel at the moment is that he has abandoned them. I havn't seen my father for over 40 years (apart from at my GM's funeral where he couldn't bring himself to speak to me). I give not one jot, and would not have this person in my life... yes for many years as a child I craved his attention, by the time I was a teen I didnt give a stuff

balia Sat 23-Feb-13 13:31:24

I think it is easy to judge if you've never been in that position, though. I assume OP and her DP don't have £1000's to pursue a court case and even if they did, it doesn't sound like the ex is going to be helpful.

I'd suggest fnf for some advice. Use this incident as a catalyst to have a frank discussion about how much his children need him and work out what contact you could offer. If he can go to court with some ideas of reasonable child-centred contact he is unlikely to lose. Also, you should get him to suggest mediation to try and sort out the issues.

DontmindifIdo Sat 23-Feb-13 13:37:18

You've posted about this before.

Has he got round to asking about a shift pattern that fits with his childcare commitments? On your last thread he'd never asked.

Be careful, if your relationship breaks down, he'll put in fuck all effort with your DDs too, or do you think some how the DC he has with you are more special? The man is behaving like a bad father, this isn't his ex's fault, he's making no effort. He's not putting his DCs first. Having a chance to spend the afternoon with them, or at least talk to them today and he hid instead? What a wanker. He doesn't want to see them, he's just telling you what he thinks he should be saying.

EllaFitzgerald Sat 23-Feb-13 13:38:36

I suspect that he's going to have some difficult questions to answer if the children come looking for him in a few years time and I'm not sure they'll be satisfied with the answers.

not having 1000's for a court case is the least of their worries. dealing with the awkwardness of seeing ex in laws was too much for this 'father' to do in order to see his own children.

can you imagine not having seen your own child for ages and finding out they were in the same building as you? and his response was to want to leave?

this isn't about money or an obstinate ex - he won't even make the effort and man up when they're in the same building let alone sort things out on a bigger scale.

and can you imagine your dad turning round to you and saying i'm sorry i didn't see you through your childhood but it's not my fault, it was my shift patterns - they just didn't fit?

it's baffling how little people can prioritise their own children.

He his from his own children?!?! WTAF?! angryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangry

As the child of a father who didn't bother to contact me for a year after he ran off with his secretary (to "give me time to get over it" hmm) and hasn't bothered much since, I am incensed for his poor children. He is thinking only of himself and his feelings, and the number one rule of parenting is that when it truly comes down to it, your kids come first and you just have to suck up your own discomfort.

Sorry, he hid from his own children, not his

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