To ask for some help with this?

(17 Posts)
cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 13:10:13

I have three children with my ex - been separated over 8 years now. They go to him on a Saturday and come back to me after school on a Monday. Consequently, they go in 'normal' clothes and I send school uniform for them. Only school uniform comes back.

I am finding myself increasingly unable to deal with this with good humour. I have sent the children in their school uniforms for a good few months but they have gotten really upset about it and begged me to stop. So I have. I have spent a small fortune on trousers since the beginning of December - I literally am buying 3 pairs a fortnight (I buy in supermarkets or Primark but I just don't have time to be jiggling around charity shops or car boots for cheap stuff, although I do when I can). Eldest (11) says their drawers are over-flowing at dad's house but that he wont' let them bring anything back. I obviously can't stop contact over trousers (or lack of).

I have been nice, good humoured and sometimes I get the odd pair back (usually a good pair that's knackered). He does send t-shirts back (not hoodies so I stopped sending those 'cos they're not essential) sometimes. Not always. I have sent nice/nasty/begging e-mails and texts. All ignored.

He pays no maintenance. I can't keep affording this....even at £8 a time in Asda that's over £50 a month on once worn trousers.

He has a partner. Where is she in all of this?!

Any ideas of what I could do to solve this?!!!

ChampagneTastes Tue 16-Feb-16 13:14:15

It's got nothing to do with his DP. Does he normally drop the children back to your home? I would suggest that next time you insist on picking them up and forewarn him that you will also be picking up at least some of their clothes.

Alternatively keep dropping them in their uniform and tell them to change at their Dad's house as he clearly has plenty of clothes for them.

LizKeen Tue 16-Feb-16 13:15:13

Why doesn't he pay maintenance?

I have the same issue, and then when I sent her one time in leggings that were on the too small side (it was actually because he was taking her after horse riding which I put her in old clothes for, I wasn't making a point) he criticised me for not buying her new clothes. I went nuclear and the next week there was a bin liner of clothes sent back.

Have you asked him out right for the clothes back? What is his response?

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Tue 16-Feb-16 13:15:50

It's nothing to do with his partner hmm

What does he say when you ask for the clothes back?

At 11 why can't your child pack their clothes into their over night bag and bring them home?

LIZS Tue 16-Feb-16 13:23:56

Agree, his p has no role in this. Ask dc to pack the outfits they have worn so you can wash them. If they have clothes there they can change out of uniform on arrival.

cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 13:32:14

well, yeah, she does have a role as she's quite happy to be telling my children all about my piss poor parenting...she is also in receipt of all his money through his business so he doesn't have to pay maintenance. She's complicit in the whole thing. You would just think a house full of clothes she doesn't need would be...annoying?

He won't engage in any conversation about clothes. I avoid doorstep confrontation because it upsets the children. I don't drop off, he picks up. He won't have me near his house in case his girlfriend gets wind of my being a normal person and not the bonkers crazy woman he portrays me as I also wouldn't feel safe going into his house. He's abusive and not beyond lashing out.

There is no overnight bag and my eldest child has some emotional issues in relation to dad. I have tried to get him to deal with bringing clothes back but it doesn't happen - and he gets upset. I suspect dad is saying all sorts but he doesn't want to tell me.

So...I just send in uniform? Against their wishes (it makes them cry - I suspect again 'cos dad says all sorts when it happens)?

Bah! It is the only thing he is able to control. I manage perfectly well on all levels without him. It's just this one thing...

VerySlovenly Tue 16-Feb-16 13:38:53

Bah! It is the only thing he is able to control.

Yep, that's the name of his game! Manipulation of you, the kids and his partner.
And "he won't have you near his house".... what?! Couldn't you try dropping them off and picking them up, and asking firmly but politely for the clothes.... hard to see what reason he could give for holding on to them.

PalcumTowder Tue 16-Feb-16 13:39:02

Do you think he's being emotionally abusive to your children?

cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 13:46:00

Do I think he emotionally abuses the children? Possibly. But they are happy to go to him/with him generally which is about all I can have any control over.

I don't want to go near his home. I have tried to over-ride him in the past with that one and I am afraid it is me who comes off worst in those situations. He is a massive wind-up merchant and I struggle to see it coming. I deal with him by not dealing with him, if that makes sense?! He will accuse me of harassment if I turn up on his doorstep anyway - he has done it before (although many years ago now) and involved the Police (although it came to nothing, I can do without the hassle).

I have done 'firm and polite' (and not so polite!). Nothing. It changes nothing at all.

PalcumTowder Tue 16-Feb-16 13:56:11

So it's not unknown for him to "lash out", there is suspected emotional abuse of your children, your eldest has some emotional issues with him, and his partner heavily criticises you to the children?

I think I'd want supervised access only if I've read all that correctly. I'd be taking him to court - I think there may be far more at stake here than just clothes.

PalcumTowder Tue 16-Feb-16 13:57:13

(As a disclaimer, I have no experience of any of this. I just think your description of the situation is rather worrying)

Mistigri Tue 16-Feb-16 13:59:29

I'd buy the eldest some very cheap leggings to go to her dad's in, as at 11 you can understand her being a bit more sensitive about what she wears, and send the younger ones in school clothes or PJs.

What about stocking up on (very) cheap second hand clothes for the little ones?

He is being manipulative but it doesn't seem that there is an obvious solution without either upsetting the children or involving the courts.

cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 14:01:34

yeah....there is already a court order (I did manage to get his time with them reduced considerably). The eldest is emotional for a whole host of reasons - clothes are the tip of that iceberg. I wouldn't get supervised access only - have tried. Lashing out has always been at me - and only something that has happened post-separation/divorce. He's not a happy man - and that's my fault, obviously. As long as the children are happy to go with him, I don't think there is anything to be done.

cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 14:04:13

they're all boys. I suspect PJs wouldn't come back either. It would also cause a scene on the doorstep - something I try really hard to avoid. Ditto the school clothes also caused scenes although I did persist for quite a while with it. I do it as cheaply as I can but it still adds up...and it's not fair. I will see what I can do with the 11 year old for bringing stuff back but I dont' want to encourage any kind of going behind dad's back or doing it on the quiet - that would be wrong and really puts them 'piggy in the middle' of it all.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 16-Feb-16 14:21:27

This sounds awful op, £50 on trousers they wear once and you don't see them again!

I would ask him for the clothes back at handover, emphasise that you need them as the boys have run out of clothes- that's why they are in school uniform even though they are unhappy.
Be totally reasonable but say that they must be returned.

When he doesn't next week tell him they must be returned. To emphasise this I would have the boys in their pj's and I wouldn't let them over the door until he returned with clothes for them to wear. You aren't refusing contact, you are just maintaining that he cannot take the children if they have no clothes to wear.

Doing this will probably lead to a conflict, but you can prepare for that, have an advocate with you, film him if he is threatening, keep the children inside while you talk about it. I know you don't want to antagonise him, but sooner or later you'll run out of money and won't be able to buy new clothes to send them in, and at that point he will take you to court and accuse you of breaching your agreement. If it gets to that point you need to be able to prove you are not being obstructive. Keep all receipts for clothes and a list of what they were wearing each weekend, so you can prove what a financial burden he is placing you under with his behaviour.

cannotlogin Tue 16-Feb-16 14:34:14

thanks. I hadn't thought about keeping receipts. That's a good idea. I won't run out of money - I manage really well (which is part of the problem, I suspect) but like most people, I can ill afford to be wasting money in this way. We could be doing other stuff with it, that's for sure!

I will give it a go. Things escalate so quickly (and it's me as much as him, I know that) that I just avoid, avoid, avoid.

SummerHouse Tue 16-Feb-16 14:37:42

I would go to a charity shop and buy piles of trousers and try not to let it get to me.

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