What's exDH's game?(6 Posts)
Ex has awful contact with DD. It is breaking her heart. I have tried and tried and tried to get them together. He just doesn't do anything. Doesn't call, doesn't see her. I have on occasions tried to get his family to help. Yet he feeds them a pack of lies, saying that I am not letting him see her and that I am ignoring his messages. They believe him. If it was down to me alone, I would end all contact but my DD is heartbroken not to see him regular or speak with him. She thinks he is wonderful. Isn't that just typical? Does there come a point where I just give up? I feel like I am failing my DD. I can see that this 'as and when' contact is having a negative effect on her behaviour and I am concerned for her well being.
I have no advice, just lots of empathy. When I went to see my divorce lawyer, she told me that the number of fathers that drop contact with their children completely after 2 years of the adult's relationship failing was phenomenal. My X is utterly crap too. Well, he calls them quite often as and when he feels like it, but is unable to have a proper conversation with them on the phone, he has no idea what they get up to and doesn't ask, and lies to them. It is as if they are there for his entertainment.
Frequently he will promise them to visit or he will promise them he will 'talk to me' about seeing them, and I never hear a word. I don't know if he is in denial or is just a total lying shit. I think he is feeding lots of lies to his parents too, as his mum texted me to ask if he could talk to the children... (he is in his 30s), obviously in their eyes I am keeping him away from his darling children.
But the children think he walks on water. The man who hasn't bothered to see his young children for over 12 weeks now.
I think as a mother, it is a lose-lose situation. You try and boundary their father's behaviour and it will come back to bite you, you let him do what he wants for the best of the children and it will come back to bite you. It is heart breaking.
But I do try and be honest with the children, as much as I can, with as positive a spin as I can put to it. Their father has issues with mental health and alcohol, so I tell them that he loves them very much but to remember that he is ill and therefore that is why he is not able to see them as much as he would want to. I am adamant that a) they will not grow up thinking it is my fault, and more importantly b) that they do absolutely not think it is their fault. Although he keeps telling him he is all well again..... uh huh, that is why he just lost another job then........
My ex is similar. I suspect he feeds his family a pack of lies and implies that I restrict contact. I have occasional contact with his family, keep them friends on facebook and make it clear that they are invited to see DS any time. DS is encouraged to call ex whenever he wants even though he usually ends up having to leave a voicemail message.
I have been drawing up a spreadsheet of DS's availability and originally printed it out and handed it to ex in front of DS inviting him to look over it and let us know when he wanted to see DS or if he wanted holiday time. I have now been emailing it, (copying in ex's sister who I have the most contact with as ex was supposed to be taking DS to see her in the summer) so she is aware that contact is offered and I have also included previous dates with the contact which actually occurred filled in. I keep my message in the email brief and factual, not accusing him of not bothering but informing that these are the dates available and I need to sort out childcare and annual leave so I request that he should let me know as soon as possible if he would like to plan contact for any dates.
My DS also has a diary so he can take it with him when he has contact and if Daddy says 'I'll take you to the seaside', DS is encouraged to ask when so he can write it in his diary. Ex has still never been able to commit to anything.
There isn't anything you can do to force contact but you can make sure that your offers are clear for everyone to see.
I'm in the same boat too. H and I seperated 14 months ago after discovery of ow. For the first year I gave him every opportunity to see dd, actively encouraged him where I could, bent over backwards and canceled plans if needed so that he could see her. Sent photos weekly, text him with milestones etc. I tried to keep in the loop as much as possible. He still wasn't openly fussed and never was the one to instigate seeing dd. told his friends and family that I'm hard work and that I make him hard for him.
A year on I sadly have given up actively encouraging him, although I don't/won't discourage him. But since I've stopped trying he has not been forthcoming at all. In the last 9 weeks he has seen dd for one morning on his birthday. I do feel like I'm letting dd down, but I can't keep wasting energy on him when I could devote that energy to her.
I actually don't know what more to do
Your job is to support her to come to terms with as and when contact,
You simply cannot get in his head or make him do things. It is entirely down to him.
Let go of trying to make him be something he is not and gradually explain to,dd that some people are not good at keeping to arrangements etc.
That he loves her but in his own way and some of this behaviour isn't good but it is not her fault.
It is not your fault or up to you either. You can easily make it clear as time goes by that you are allowing contact and he isn't taking it up.
Ask yourself why you somehow think his behaviour has anything to do with you ? realise it is beyond your control but you and dd have to find ways to come to terms with it. How to get on with your life and take as a bonus when he turns up like a faraway relative. But don't make him out to be something he isn't it does neither you nor dd any favours.
This is how he is .
Who is letting the ds Down?
Why would you take on that guilt?
You have my sympathies. It is very galling that mothers are described as blocking contact when they may be bending over backwards to facilitate it. I accept that some mothers do block contact, but in many cases it is a very very convenient excuse for fathers who can't be bothered.
If it's any consolation, I am slightly envious of the disappearing ex. I really do understand how awful it is if the dcs feel abandoned, but lordy, an ex who relishes battling for contact is no picnic either. I have never once blocked contact, but ex is determined to get sole residence or at least 50:50, and in pursuit of this, he has made false allegations to the police, social services, various solicitors and now directly to the court. This is the fourth year of it, and I'm sick to the back teeth of it.
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