Father phoning children

(13 Posts)
Celynfour Sat 26-Apr-14 13:27:16

My h walked out sixteen months ago. He's moved to America. I've done everything I can to support his relationship with our 3 children.
He insists on phoning them every night , I've gone along with this as I want them to have good relationship. Last night he cldnt get hold of us at the precise moment he wanted, we were at neighbours, he sent a shirty email directed at me but sent to my eldest daughter and copied to me. Saying he wldnt be able to speak to them now as he was flying, I had no idea he wld be flying anywhere. Using the word 'insists' , she was upset but always tries to see best in people. The younger two don't always want to speak to him but she always does cos I know she doesn't want him to be upset or hurt his feelings.
I feel it is a huge burden for the children, an obligation.
What is ok? I think it's about his needs not there's. Other peoples experiences?

Minime85 Sat 26-Apr-14 17:57:04

wow, I don't know I have advice but that seems completely unreasonable to expect u to be available every day at a given time slot. that must be ruling your lives?

my ex does phone/face time every couple of days but if we aren't available we aren't and he tries again the next day. and its only ten mins down road not another time zone to deal with!

I think he is very unreasonable and you need to draw up a more realistic long term solution here

Littlefish Sat 26-Apr-14 17:59:52

I agree with minime. It is unrealistic of him to "insist" on speaking to them every day. Was he this controlling before you split up?

Meow75 Sat 26-Apr-14 18:07:14

I think I'd be telling him, in no uncertain terms, that he is being extremely unreasonable in expecting this PARTICULARLY considering he was the one that left.

By all means, he can try to speak to the children every say if he wants to, but if they don't want to or it's not convenient then he should wind his cheeky neck in, and wait until the following day!!

But, in reality, surely one or two calls a week is more realistic, especially given the time difference. Plus, what could they possibly have to say to him that would warrant a daily call? I know we speak to our family every day when we live with them, but this is also in e context of being in the house, and watching TV, folding laundry, having a meal or whatever else you might be doing whilst talking. While my DH has been away with work, for 4 months at a time, we wouldn't talk every day. Not enough to say, especially not when we were writing letters too.

Do you think he wants this every day business just to be an arse, and get in the way of your lives?! If so, what a prick!!!

Celynfour Sat 26-Apr-14 20:51:29

Thank you ladies, what a breath of fresh air.
He is controlling in a passive aggressive way, he loathes me at moment and is finding reasons to be mean. Partly because I won't give him keys to the house so he can come in when he's over from states. He comes to see children every day but apparently that's not good enough!
I have no privacy from him, yes we are expected to be available every day . It's very difficult when younger two aren't in mood, too tired, preoccupied, as he is so wounded.
I find it hard to say no to him and have found it hard to draw appropriate boundaries. His g/f is often to been seen hanging over his shoulder cooing at children during FaceTime calls, they don't even know about her. But I guess that's another post! So even she gets to peer at my home and children every night!

Meow75 Sun 27-Apr-14 10:08:18

Tell him he can FaceTime at x time and y time, other than that the children are busy. Let him have a tantrum - what'll he do, wreck his own house in a rage?! I very much doubt it.

And as for the fact that he hates you, that's laughable. He left, and now he's showing just how much better off you are without him. Don't let him guilt trip you - if he has a go over the face timing, don't refer to how busy you might have been, make it about the kids' lives and the friends they're allowed to see without having to wait for him calling from across the fricking Pond!!!

RyvitaSesame Sun 27-Apr-14 10:13:15

Wow.
He loathes u because he needs to demonise u to justify having left u and left his children behind as he moved to amother continent!
Cognitive dissonance in the extreme! He can leave the children to go to america but you can not take the children with you next door?!

Littlefish Sun 27-Apr-14 10:24:29

Sweet Lord woman. He walked out on you and is still insisting on speaking to/seeing his children every day and demanding keys to your house so he can come and go as he pleases. This is not passive/aggressive, this is a controlling, bulling man. Time to see a solicitor and get a formal arrangement in place. Oh, and tell him to fuck off, just for good measure!

BertieBotts Sun 27-Apr-14 10:35:12

I think you need to sit your eldest daughter down and talk to her about this in a reasonable way so she can see that he's being unreasonable, and it's not her (or you) at fault here.

You can give her the sense that she has input into it by discussing suggestions (but make the final decision yourself) about how you could approach this, I mean, they're not going to forget who he is if they don't speak for one day! It's totally unacceptable for him to be sending emails to your DD - is she young enough that you could screen the emails first? Or even just have the first look over her inbox and anything from him you copy to yourself and then delete from her email so that you can read it first and show it to her if it's appropriate.

I think set days and times to call would be easier for everyone and if you put this to her then she should be able to see that as well, but also that if a time is missed, his reaction is still extreme!

Celynfour Sun 27-Apr-14 15:34:18

Thank you all.
I have a solicitor but little progress has been made other than a decree nisi(which I filed) everything else in abeyance until he gets round to completing his Form E.
I think his guilt is so huge he is transferring it to me by making it my fault. He also has issues with addiction which has muddied waters.
My dd is 11. A fairly innocent 11 who deserves to get lovely cheery emails from her dad not spewing directed at me saying he 'insists on speaking to them everyday'.
He reacts with emotion or anger when confronted, I find both very hard to deal with . I haven't confronted him until now but I am sick of being so passive. I'm not passive by nature.
I feel everything is about his needs and feelings and expectations and he has no idea of the devestation his behaviour has brought. He walked out in a cloud of deceit and lies, drinking heavily, told me he was going to rehab (twice) . Never gave me an address for himself. I realised he was having a relationship, she emailed me in July to tell me they were engaged!!!
He hasn't worked for nine months, my parents are paying the mortgage which is in his sole name and I've had 450 from him since Oct. Although he's managed a month in Florida and three trips to the uk in that time.
He demands keys to his 'sole house' (our marital home), I actually stand up for myself and ignore the request. He comes in every day while he is here for 3weeks , says nothing about it, then I get a letter the day after he leaves from his solicitor demanding keys again. Then I find out he had his g/f here in the garage getting stuff out while I was at work. In the 3weeks he has failed to complete his paperwork, finish clearing his things or make any suggestions about where I and children will live once he has forced sale of house.
Phew sorry what a rant!

RyvitaSesame Sun 27-Apr-14 17:53:28

He sounds delusional and entitled. You must be so stressed and worn down.

It gets better though brew hang in there. 18 months is nothing! You can bet the new gf has been told a load of shite about how he is an excellent father, and so he now has to create unnecessary conflict to support The Script he's constructed where he is a really reasonable guy & good father thwarted and obstructed every step of the way by his mad x

Celynfour Sun 27-Apr-14 18:45:09

That about sums it up sad
Been there myself with him , two previous fiancées who were bitches apparently that both tried to fleece him. And having looked after him I know what financee 4 is likely to be hearing and supporting. End of the day he's a married man who hasn't dealt with his responsibilities here yet but is crying to anyone who will listen about how unreasonable I am.
He has some lovely qualities, who doesn't? He adores the children, they love him. But fifteen minutes enforced FaceTime every day ain't parenting.
And yes I am absolutely wrung out with caring for 3 children, working managing all finances parrying endless accusatory solicitors lettersetc etc .
But I would still rather be me than him. Just need to work out how to be more upfront with him about acceptable boundaries and I'm not doing well with that.

shey02 Sun 11-May-14 01:01:55

Dear God, what do they have to say to him every night on the phone. That would be torture for my kids. Not enough happens in a day... So regimented, it's really not necessary. Also with facetime, I had to explain to my kids that when dad facetimes they are to take it into their bedrooms as I do not wish to overhear, nor do I want exh and gf looking around our home. Kids don't realise these things, but once told, they remember.

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