WWYD? XH appealing to DD when he doesn't get what he wants

(5 Posts)
yetanotherstatistic Fri 20-Sep-13 20:53:20

XH moved 200 miles away when he left so sees dd once a month. He is not very responsible and left to his own devices wouldn't see that much of her, but his DM is scared of losing contact with her only gc and bullies him into it. He has got into the habit of suggesting things and if I object either then asking dd if she wants to do it or attempting to pick a fight with me in front of her over it.

The last time he tried to encroach on my half of the holidays (we split them 50/50) I had said no and that I was not prepared to give up part of my holiday so that he could have extra time with her. He then asked dd if she'd like to go away and spend a night in a hotel (something I can't afford) and she got excited. I was then in the position of either saying no, upsetting dd and having him and the xILs going on to her about how nasty mummy is or agree to it and lose precious holiday time with her. (I work fulltime). I felt cornered into letting her go and even then when he returned her he tried to pick a fight in front of her about how dreadful it was not seeing her everyday and burst into tears which just upset her. She doesn't know that it's all an act

This weekend he was supposed to be seeing her where we live but then phoned en route to say that he wanted to take her back with him instead. That means two long drives for her (she is 5 and suffers from travel sickness) and he would be doing a four hundred mile journey with barely any break. He normally promises to come on a Friday night then cancels at the last minute because he is too tired to do the journey one way and he says he has difficulty driving in the dark. I said I wanted him to stick to the original plan and he rang off. When he arrived he immediately asked dd if she wanted to go to his house, see a movie and various other things. She said yes and I was left in the same boat again. She went to the loo and I reiterated why I thought it wasn't a good idea and he claimed that he was perfectly fine and that he didn't have a problem with driving at night.

I do think it's right that she maintains contact with that side of her family, but in trying to achieve that I just seem to be getting steamrollered into losing my quality time with dd or allowing her to do things I'm not entirely happy about.

Do I just have to suck it up and be the bigger person all the time for dd's sake or can I assert myself without dd being subjected to being told how awful I am - something they all have no hesitation in doing. I have heard him criticising me in dd's hearing and politely asked him not to do it but to no avail.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sat 21-Sep-13 09:25:49

Is there any way you can do hand overs either in a public place or get a 3rd party to do it? Stick to communicating via email only, so as to avoid the arguments/drama behaviour and you being put on the spot? If you can do this, and they continue with the bad mouthing of you to DD then remind your ex that its EA and if it continues then you would have to consider DD's welfare and look at the way contact is arranged in order to minimise his family's EA of your DD for the sake of her welfare.

yetanotherstatistic Sat 21-Sep-13 09:56:21

Thanks Tension. He normally stays with us when he comes for access visits as he can't afford b&bs all the time and hasn't yet managed to spend an entire weekend with her without leaving her with me to go and catch up with mates (we are talking during the afternoon not in the evening. He goes to bed at the same time as her). I may try having a 3rd person present next time it looks as if he is going to try and pull that one again.

yetanotherstatistic Sat 21-Sep-13 09:59:06

I do try to restrict convos to text/email but he and his family hate having things in writing for obvious reasons.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sat 21-Sep-13 10:58:15

I hate to say it but I think you need to have more firm boundaries in place and stick to them. Your ex moved 200 miles away and is putting responsibility for his relationship with your DD on your shoulders while at the same time, having no respect for the lengths you go to, for him to have that relationship. It might seem like a hard thing to do, but in your shoes I'd have to draw a line with the ex spending his contact time in my home, staying over, and also using me to allow him to bugger off in the time he's supposed to have with DD to see his mates.

There is an awful lot of responsibility on you for this situation, with zero respect or consideration from your ex, and I don't think you can continue like that long term. At some point, you will have to be firm and clear on what is and is not acceptable because your own health and happiness will suffer if you don't. What you need to get your head around is that you are not responsible for maintaining your ex's relationship with your DD. You simply have to make sure she is available for agreed contact, and not obstruct that, and it's then up to him to make the arrangements/effort in maintaining that relationship. The manipulation/bad mouthing/dramatic nonsense from him on handovers or during his contact with your DD will not do her any good, and is not in her best interests. You need to find a way to get that message across, and also that if it continues you will have to do something about it to protect your DD's welfare.

Good luck, I hope you can sort the situation out to your satisfaction.

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