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Not letting him have DD for 4 nights

(43 Posts)
LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:01:44

Me and H separated in March. We were living in Cyprus and I came back to the UK 1st of May. H returns to the UK mid July. DD is 3 in October. He emailed me saying he wants DD for 4 nights the week after he returns. I feel that as she hasn't seen him for 3 months we need to reintroduce her daddy slowly. DD and I have never spent a day apart since she was born but H doesn't understand that by him taking her for 4 days straight she may become upset and wonder where Mummy is.

JumpingJackSprat Sun 16-Jun-13 11:06:34

He has just as much right to spend time with her as you do.

tingsandtings Sun 16-Jun-13 11:08:06

Was she upset and wondering where her daddy was when you took her to another country? Yabu.

TheRealFellatio Sun 16-Jun-13 11:10:04

Hmm. Difficult one. I see your point, but I think all you need to do is make sure that you spent the first of the four days doing something altogether for a few hours to sort of phase him back in, and then leave them to it. March is not that long ago - I am sure she will be absolutely fine.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 11:10:26

She hasn't seen him in person, but has she got photos, skype, telephone calls?
Are you trying to maintain the relationship between them, despite the fact that your own has fallen apart? He wants her the week after he returns, so that gives him a week to become a familiar part of her life again.
Why not try and see what happens?

TheRealFellatio Sun 16-Jun-13 11:10:32

well exactly ting these things work both ways.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:11:40

I know he does but this will be the 1st visit upon his return to the UK after not seeing her for 3 months. I had invisaged him seeing her for days 1st then after a couple of weeks having her for 1 night then after a couple of weeks increasing that to 2 then 3 nights or is this not how it works?????? Like I said I just don't want DD to be upset when she wont see me for 4 days after she has been with me everyday since she has been born. He will be staying with her at his brothers who DD hasn't seen since she was christened at 6 months old so again I keep thinking this may unsettle her.

Do you get on ok? if so say yes to the four nights, and ask him to bring her back if she is really upset, She will have to get used to being away from you now.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 16-Jun-13 11:12:54

I think if you were not yet 3 and hadn't seen someone for nearly 4 months, you'd be pretty bewildered by someone taking you away from your mum for 4 days Jumping, although I agree he has every.right.to spend time with her.

OP - what kind of contact have they had since you've been back in the UK - phone calls, skype etc? If it's been regular and frequent then the possibility of overnight visits in probably not such a long way off, but I agree that 4 days immediately is a bit extreme, unless your separation was amicable enough that he could come to stay with you.

ratbagcatbag Sun 16-Jun-13 11:13:32

I think you need to push to your dd how exciting it will be to see daddy etc, and exp,ain to your ex that if she is upset etc then it may need to be cut short, but there is no reason he shouldn't have her for four days especially when they've not seen each other in a while.

I would be pushing to get regular contact days established though so he can't demand days and you can't refuse. Much easier all round if you know what's happening.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 11:14:13

It might unsettle her, change usually does. It doesn't mean that it is to be avoided though, do you still like your ex?
Are you being honest to yourself about your reasons for not wanting this to happen?

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:17:40

He was never a "hands on" dad even when we were living together. After we separated we were a 5 minute walk from his accommodation but he chose to only see DD for a couple of hours on a Saturday as he needed his "free time" He openly admitted that one weekend when he said he couldn't see DD he was at a hotel with another woman which I found disgusting. I do not care that he is sleeping with other women as I fell out of love with him a long time ago but for him to choose to do that than spend time with his DD is shocking especially the weekend before we left Cyprus! She is not used to spending time with him so I really do have DD's best interests at heart.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:19:46

He does not want to stay with me and his brothers house is 2 hours away from mine (H is in the forces) He has Skyped her once in the 3 months and has said its "pointless" to ring her as she doesn't talk on the phone.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 11:21:53

Fair enough, he does seem to be less than keen on maintaining a relationship. The sooner you get access arrangements formalised the better then.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 16-Jun-13 11:23:05

Given your subsequent posts I would say that a staggered approach to his spending time with her in entirely reasonable. It will be the best thing for your dd.

lucertola28 Sun 16-Jun-13 11:23:14

I do not think yabu. This is not about him or you, it is about your dd and you seem to have her well being at heart here. If you get on he should come over for the day first so she is in her own environment and feels secure. Then next time he could take her out for the day, then do overnights, building them up from one night to more.

She is only little and a few months is a long time at that age even though it flies by for us.

Of course he has every right to see her but in her best interests it should not be a sudden separation from her primary caregiver who she spends the most time with and has done since she was born, better for her if it is built up gradually.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:23:22

I chose to end the marriage and I can assure you I am not using DD as a weapon. I want her to have a relationship with her father but he has the opinion of he can have her whenever he wants. I have tried to explain that she needs a routine. I don't know how we are going to make set contact days as he is forces and will be based 5 hours away from my house and will be training, on exercise etc .

JessKM Sun 16-Jun-13 11:24:29

Just to throw the cat among the pigeons....and risk being flamed

is he a Cypriot national, and do you trust him implicitly?

My daughters friend was on a 2 day visit with her dad and was taken back to turkey by him, mum hasn't seen her for over 2 years.

Not scaremongering, but pointing out a risk that's becoming more and more common.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 16-Jun-13 11:24:56

Is he returning full time or visiting?

Could you Skype in the mean time to make him more of a familiar face?

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 11:25:16

That's why a neutral arbitrator will be the best thing, that way you can't be accused of manipulation by him or his relatives.

JessKM Sun 16-Jun-13 11:25:47

Sorry, just realised he is in forces so probably doesn't apply.

Can't he spend one or two nights nearer to you, either in your home while you stay with a friend or in a hotel

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 11:25:51

I think you should seek legal advice as to the best way of maintaining a good relationship with your dd and her father... That is in her best interest.

And formalise it all.

Secondme Sun 16-Jun-13 11:25:53

Well, in that case, I think 4 nights is a but extreme. She should see him soon, unless you want the 3 months to become 4, 5, etc. Maybe arrange a trip out for the two of them just a day, with you taking her home, if she really doesn't see him often. Then build it up to overnight, etc. YANBU. You have your daughters best interests at heart and this is best for her.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:30:07

He is returning to the UK permenantly but will be based 5 hours drive away and he wont know what he is doing from one week to the next so I don't know what to do re access. There could be times where he is on exercise for weeks on end and physically cant see her but these things are dropped on them at the last minute most of the time. Its so difficult!

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:32:50

I have suggested that he stay in a hotel near mine but he said he shouldn't have to pay to stay somewhere to see his daughter and he wont even stay at mine if I stay with my mum as he thinks that's weird staying in my house!

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:34:45

I know he wouldn't bring her back to mine even if she got really upset as then it would look like he has failed.

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 16-Jun-13 11:35:56

Sounds like he is a squaddie to me. I don't think it is necessarily the length of time she hasn't seen her dad but more that she will struggle with being away from you for so long when it is the first time he has done it. When my Ex was seeing my DS at around the same age he did miss me and had to skype me and that was just 1 overnight and he is used to staying with other people.

So YANBU to suggest a gradual build up to overnights but I would say he can see her as much as he likes during those days but she needs to come home. Oh and keep a diary of everything, suggest all contact by email and avoid phone calls. My ex was a right arsehole in the end and the fact I had evidence helped me.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sun 16-Jun-13 11:37:43

It doesn't sound like your dd will be very happy suddenly being away from you for 4 days with someone she hasn't seen for 3 months - and at that young age, 3 months is a long time. YANBU.

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 16-Jun-13 11:40:10

Sorry just read back some more not sure how I missed your other posts OP sorry.

knittedslippersx3 Sun 16-Jun-13 11:40:36

I think your idea of a gradual build up to the 4 nights away is very sensible. She is very young to be shipped off to a 'strangers' house without any prior build up. You should be around while her dad spends time with her at first. I'm very much with you on this one op.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:43:13

I have said he can see her as much as he wants during the day for the 1st couple of weeks he is on leave from the 24th July til 18th August and if all is well him having her for a night or 2 in his last week of leave. He said he doesn't want to be driving backwards and forwards from his brothers as it will cost a bomb and he doesn't want to stay in a hotel which is why he wants her for the 4 nights in a oner!

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 16-Jun-13 11:43:32

My ex is forces too and he no longer sees DS and he was a very hand on father. My ex used 'going on exercise' as an excuse not to see her but then would boast on facebook he was going away for the weekend with OW hmm

It is really difficult but I would suggest a contact routine and I would be prepared for him to never stick to it, use the army as an excuse to not see her when he gets a 'better' offer and then for contact to fade out. I am very bitter though grin

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:46:40

From how he was talking to me last night he was making out that I was the stupidest woman in the world for saying he couldn't just take her for 4 nights to his brothers house - a stranger to DD. Thankyou all for your replies. I knew I wasn't being inreasonable but he jumped to the conclusion that I don't want him to see her just because I don't want him taking her for 4 nights.

honeytea Sun 16-Jun-13 11:47:17

I think you should just go along with what he wants. It sounds like he was a pretty craps dad after you separated and the reality of looking after a small child 4 days a week will most probably be not very appealing to him.

RikeBider Sun 16-Jun-13 11:51:13

He doesn't have any "rights" to the child, she has a right to see him, in her best interests.

Sending her to stay with someone she hasn't seen for 3 months for 4 nights is unlikely to be in her best interests. Building up from regular daytimes to overnights to long weekends is the way to go.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 11:52:24

After our discussion last night I felt awful for thinking that no contact would be easier Iwantanafternoonnap! Just to add something else I am 28 weeks pg with DD2 so come September contact arrangements are going to become even more difficult as DD2 will not be leaving my house without me as she will be breastfed for at least the 1st 6 months and she will not be going for overnighters with him until she is at least of the age that DD is now as he has no idea what to do with a baby. When DD used to cry when she was younger he would pick her up, try to settle her for 5 seconds and then pass her to me while saying "She doesn't want me she wants you" and he used to get very agitated with her.

If hes all thats a crap dad, why are you having another with him?

babyhmummy01 Sun 16-Jun-13 12:03:51

I think ur in a no win situation. I would strongly suggest you seek legal advice just to be certain that if you do refuse, and your grounds for doing so are entirely justified imo, that you are covered so he can't try and use it against you.

If spending time with her prior to ur split was not "normal" for her then doing it now for an extended period could be damaging.

I agree with the pp about try Skype in run up so he isn't a stranger but I would be quite firm in stating that you are not refusing him access but rather trying to phase it so that it gives ur dd time to adjust. If he is a decent dad he will understand eventually I hope

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 16-Jun-13 12:04:13

Big hugs to you littledonkin but I would guess from his behaviour post split and his comments already about petrol he won't see your children much anyway. Mine was really hands on and I couldn't fault him as a father but he now has no contact at all, his choice not mine.

Apparently me telling him to put his child first, to turn up for contact when he should rather than going out on the piss and that he was out of order for not getting DS birthday card to him on time was abusive and therefore he didn't need to take that abuse so he decided to stop all contact with DS. I think he thought I would continue fighting for him to see DS but by this point I had had enough of his excuses for not turning up, the lies and my life being messed up.

I think his best excuse for not turning up for one weekend was that they were snowed in on camp and the roads were all shut. I called the guard room and asked them and it was all lies. It is easier on me because I don't have to deal with the lies but I never get a break. It is hard on DS as he misses his dad but easier as he is not repeatedly being rejected. Swings and roundabouts IYSWIM.

Sorry you are gong through this as it is shite. Do keep contact discussions by email though and a diary of every time you have offered contact even by phone and what his excuses are.

PearlyWhites Sun 16-Jun-13 12:06:51

Manalive that was uncalled for. Op you might do better posting in lone parents than aibu. I don't think you are bu though your dd's dad needs to take things slowly.

iwantanafternoonnap Sun 16-Jun-13 12:08:45

Yeah I would ask for it to be moved to 'Lone Parents' too. I have had some sound advice on there even though I may not have thought so at the time grin

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 12:10:24

I am having another baby as it is something we both wanted. We had been TTC for 11 months and thousands if not millions of people have children with men who are less than 100% perfect dads. I think a lot of men approach parenthood differently to women and while I feel he didn't do things right he probably thought he was ace! Like I said I am more than happy for him to spend time with his DDs but he must understand that contact needs to be built up gradually so eventually everyone can be very happy with the situation.

LittleDonkin Sun 16-Jun-13 12:18:23

I thought I would post in aibu as H thought I was being unreasonable lol

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