How much do you tell your XH about your DCs?

(93 Posts)
duffybeatmetoit Thu 22-Nov-12 22:04:32

Dh left earlier this year. He speaks to DD on the phone but rarely to me. He occasionally texts but just about contact arrangements. DD has just started school and is pretty tired when he rings her so she doesn't generally say much to him. He doesn't ask me any questions about how she is getting on or what she is doing. I have given him dates for parent's evenings and other events, he told me he would try to come to parent's evening when I gave him the date but didn't mention it again or ask what the teacher had said.

I tell him some things on contact visits just to stimulate conversation between him and DD, but he doesn't initiate anything. Should I be giving him a rundown of her activities or accept that he's not sufficiently interested to ask how she's doing?

sausagesandwich34 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:09:37

my ex doesn't ask but I will always invite him to events at school/brownies etc -he never comes

I will email him a run down on what they say at parent's evening
I send him a copy of their end of year reports

if they are ill enough to be kept off school I will text him

that's pretty much it really

he rarely acknowledges this info other than to text 'tell them well done' but I do it for me rather than him as I refuse to be one of those parents that pushes the NRP out of the children's lives

karma and all that

CabbageLeaves Thu 22-Nov-12 22:18:22

I did offer dates, photos, information initially (which was generous IMO considering he was abusive) No response and so I just stopped.

Last year it became obvious he had no idea DD was back at school in Sept - still thought it was summer hols....

She's moving to secondary school. I know she has told him but he's neither discussed nor offered to visit her school. Even when married he never attended school events. I feel lucky not to have an ex who meddles for aggravation purposes rather than true interest

amarylisnightandday Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:55

I'd like to provide a lot more info but it gets twisted and I get critiqued on my parenting so I don't really. Unfair critique I hasten to add not constructive. Exp v abusive and unable to do anything without an agenda so this is a loat cause but.......ideally I would like to email him once a month with a run down of dd achievements, experiences, funny things she had said - anything really and some photos but I can't even do that sad

Flojo1979 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:24:17

My ex isn't overly interested but I usually keep him up to speed, which usually involves me shouting down the path as he's collecting DS.

nongenderbias9 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:39:58

There's one thing all you guys have in common, which may not have occurred to you, so forgive me if I sound patronising. It's very difficult for a parent that doesn't do run of the mill stuff to stay healthily linked to their child. If he was used to coming home to his children every night and now only gets to see them at weekends their relastionship will be under enormous strain.
If you really care about your children you should go to court and insist on 50:50 childcare. (If you are in California they call this shared physical custody)

It's commonsense really. In any close relationship you need to spend lengthy periods of time with the person you love. (This goes for adults as well as children)

In this country roughly 3.5 million children live without their father's. This is a national tragedy which we need to do something about.

Kind regards

MrsLHofstadter Thu 22-Nov-12 22:53:55

XP and I text each other depending who has DC that day. Not of school age yet but pass on information about how the day has gone/actives at daycare/sleep/illness. This may lessen as DC gets older but for now this works for us.

sausagesandwich34 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:57:45

I have offered EXp 50:50

he doesn't want it and I'm not going to force him to begrudgingly look after them, I don't see that as being in anyone's best interests

he is happy with the every other weekend and 2 holiday weeks, I would rather he has them more but I'm not going to force the issue

Feckbox Thu 22-Nov-12 23:03:19

nongenderbias9 that would be ideal in the case of two parents who truly cared about the best interests of their children and where there were no issues of abuse , violence or mistreatment.
Sadly , after relationship breakdown, often the departing parent is just not interested.
I do think it is terrible the way SOME fathers ( and I daresay some mothers) are not allowed to see much of their children . i know a few lovely dads in this position. It is beyond awful

XP gets a Report sent from DS's school once a year. I've told him when parent's night is, but not the Nativity play yet, but I will. He won't go to either. I have given up talking to him on the phone and just leave it up to DS who's just turned 6, so sometimes the X gets nothing at all. The X never asks about things, and anything (and I do mean anything) I tell him gets twisted around to mean something else, usually involving a very non-existant male friend of mine (and I really do have no male friends at all), so I just don't bother any more, it's not worth the hassle and the accusations. Oh well, his loss.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 23-Nov-12 00:01:58

Nongender -that's fine if the father is nearby and 50:50 is practical (particularly where schooling is concerned). My xh chose to leave and move 3hrs away so this is never going to be a realistic option.

What most of the posters have in common as far as I can see (and apologies if this is patronizing) is that they are trying to help the father stay linked to their dcs but the fathers are choosing not to maintain links.

If I was the NRP I would be making strenuous efforts to find out as much as I could about their progress, friends , activities etc. I wouldn't want my dc to become a stranger because I didn't take an interest.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 23-Nov-12 00:03:44

Nongender, 3.5m children do not "live without their fathers". 3.5m children live with only one of their biological parents - this includes children living with their father, those in shared residency arrangements and those with strong contact arrangements with their father as well as those with little or no contact.

I don't tell XP anything, but by his own choice he has no part in our children's lives. He speaks to them on the phone but I doubt he gets very much meaningful information from them. I did tell him about DS1's diagnosis of ASD earlier this year but that was the first time I'd told him of anything in a while - I didn't tell him about DS2 starting school or DD starting nursery.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 23-Nov-12 00:11:29

Feckbox and Sausage - totally agreed.

Nongender - why would an absent father who really cared about his dcs not show any interest in them? Self preservation? Hurts too much to be reminded of what he is missing out on? Understandable perhaps but not really putting his dcs first.

CabbageLeaves Fri 23-Nov-12 07:38:51

Nongender it may not have occurred to you that many mothers recognise heir DCss desire to see their Dad. It was an issue when married because he didn't engage with them then. I tried. When he left I saw a chink of hope that absence made heart fonder and all that.... Hence my repeated attempts to bond him to his kids. When I had my DC sitting next to me crying because he hadn't seen her for 4 months and I rang and said please would you see her please. He was 'going out' that night but let me drive for 90 mins the next day to give 45mins of his time before he went out (socialising not work)

I have encouraged and encouraged I've facilitated etc It is not in best interest to get a court order forcing him to have her. You are making huge assumptions based on a very unpleasant group of parents who do obstruct access. In my experience there are as many DC who suffer because doesn't wish to engage... Not that he can't. Your assumptions are very upsetting. I am a real defender of joint parenting. To be accused of preventing it is offensive.

GetAllTheThings Fri 23-Nov-12 10:41:12

I get a text message every day. Brief and it's more to know that they're ( mum and dd ) ok. I do the same when dd is with me.

When I chat to my XP we fill in other stuff but general day to days stuff I'm not that bothered about hearing. i.e. I know dd has been to nursery or singing practice so I don't really need to know full details.

Once she gets to school I think this will change of course.

That is also partly because although I get on with XP I she does talk quite a lot and I don't feel the need to know the minature of everything that happened in dd's day because it just ends up in a 30 minute phone call. As long as I know she's ok I'm happy and just look forward to seeing her again when we can do the things we do together.

Lookingatclouds Fri 23-Nov-12 10:51:11

I used to, but I tell him nothing now. He's shown no interest in anything they've done of his own accord, and since moving his girlfriend and children in he has stopped talking to me directly and attempts to do it through the children, which I refuse to do. If he does ring or turn up he is rude and abusive, so I limit the amount of contact I have with him to the absolute bare essential.

I've bent over backwards to enable 50:50 but he's not interested. He wasn't willing to do any school runs or childcare, holiday care or give any financial support to either of his children, including the one who lives with me but isn't my biological child. If any of that was different or he was able to communicate respectfully then it would be a whole different kettle of fish.

He is welcome to ring and ask anything about anything they are doing, and I would tell him - but he doesn't. He can't even ring to make arrangements to see them, apparently it's down to me to ring him (so he can say no as I've asked), and I can only ring him after 6 or when I know he is not going to be driving and will be available to answer the phone. He refuses to communicate by text.

purpleroses Fri 23-Nov-12 12:25:56

Mainly just things that will affect the time he has them - changes to clubs or activies, parties, etc. I nag him about getting homework done, etc.

Medical things I'll tell him if they're important, but not really everyday stuff (again, unless it affects them when they're with him). Ocassionally I'll discuss any problems with either of them with him to see if we can learn from each other's experiences. But not often.

I used to send school reports, but my schools now send one to each of us. I invite to parents evenings, but he often doesn't bother.

Part of me feels it's not my job to keep him up to date on things, and he should do more himself. The other part recognises that my DCs will benefit from him knowing what goes on in their lives, and that sometimes this isn't going to happen unless I initiate it.

Fortyshadesofgreen Fri 23-Nov-12 13:11:53

As an XH, I am told as little as possible about my DCs.

Been like that pretty much since seperation. The occassional burst when copies of letters from School will be handed over at change-over time, but the bursts don't last long and then normal service is resumed. Used to have a weekly catch up call (suggested at mediation following Court) but that went by the way side, as it became a tick box exercise and nothing of any value was communicated.

FannyBazaar Fri 23-Nov-12 19:33:05

I don't bother with anything. I used to but it was rarely acknowledged and ex never turned up for things. Ex lives with another parent whose child goes to the same school, so should have no problem accessing newsletters and term dates. I inform him if I am taking DS out of the country.

DS's last two trips to A&E ex was told about, first one, when DS was sent in ambulance from nursery he wanted to know why I was asking him to go to A&E (he was off work and closest, I was about an hour away). He was mostly concerned that he was being more inconvenienced than me. Second time was Christmas Day, I sent a text to inform him but heard nothing back, he had travelled across London by taxi from his then partner that day but didn't call, text or ask to see DS. I'd probably infirm him if another such incident arose but wouldn't expect a reply.

DS has some difficulties at school, has an IEP and has been supported by the SENCO. Ex is not aware of this, I chose not to tell him as I felt he was likely to give negative comments to DS and be unsupportive. This will of course have to be mentioned in the divorce paperwork so I am prepared that there may be a discussion but equally likely ex will not understand and ignore it.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 23-Nov-12 20:04:52

shadesofgreen. Why not liaise with the school directly? Many are very geared up to communicate with multiple households - and if not, then at least if you go into the school, meet the staff etc, they may well begin to change their systems.

You don't have to rely on your DCs mum - get out there and find things out for yourself!

amarylisnightandday Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:54

Nongender- it's not difficult it's called making an effort. I think it's v sad that many men find the day to day minutiae of their children's lives dull or low in their list of priorities.

chocoreturns Fri 23-Nov-12 21:07:40

I email every week with a run down of what we've done, what bugs the DC may have had, or appointments, nursery info etc. I used to say even more but it was invariably used to criticize me. I'm very sad about it, but honestly, the emails go unacknowledged, and if left to his own devices, xH wouldn't call or email or do anything between EOW visits. It's a case of out of sight, out of mind for my DC. Now I've toughened up and take the line that I will provide the telephone contact details for everyone he may wish to have info from (nursery, doctor, HV etc) and let him know if the DC have been seen by anyone or have any reports he could access. I do check with all of the above, not once has he made that call to ask for the information. What can you do when the NRP doesn't give a feck? It's a big reason why we're not together, so suggesting 50/50 shared residence would be 'ideal' is nonsense. He was barely interested when we were under the same roof! At least my DC have one parent who does want to know. And I STILL send the bloody emails, because I STILL wish he wanted to know.

CabbageLeaves Fri 23-Nov-12 21:46:40

40shades - my DP as had your experience. He has worked and worked to involve himself. Her behaviour is shocking. He visits the school for open evenings (100 mile return journey). She moved without warning or discussion and blocked his contact. It's wrong. Both attitudes of parents who ignore and block are wrong. We shouldn't stereotype one gender as being the baddie though

madam1mim Fri 23-Nov-12 22:22:02

like many of you I used to tell my ex even though he hardly ever asked. now i don't bother. he never even asks what shes been up to/how she is when drop her off to him. I don't get it. i couldn't go a day without knowing what my dd does and how she is. he literally knows nothing about her. he doesn't know what her favourite things are, he doesn't know anything about medical conditions etc. In fact, I haven't heard off him all month , he hasn't been in touch to say he wants to see dd. just spied on his twitter account n there he is chatting up some girl!!!!! angry . the best part of it is that he's taking me to court in 2 weeks time over contact but clearly does not give a shit about dd. i am shaking right now and close to tears. :'( i didnt' want this for dd. it'd be better if he just totally fucked off not just played at being 'a father' .

amarylisnightandday Fri 23-Nov-12 23:05:28

Tbf though exp was like this during the marriage too. He is subtly sexist and thinks there are tasks which simply don't apply to him. Taking an interest in the philosophy and teaching methods of dd1 Montessori is a good example. He treats it (its a fantastic nursery and I'm overjoyed with their care of dd1) like a crèche and the staff with disdainsad.
He is also a bit of a glory hunter. He doesn't want to put the hard work in with dd1's activities. But he likes to show her off now she can do x y and z at an advanced level. He would/will except I don't let him only take dd to things he enjoys - never mind her tastes. He is a man child so I treat him like one. Dd1 hA started a new sport she's trying v hard at. I'm not letting him her involved he's too unreliable. I will take her and she knows I will never let her down because I don't fancy it that day.
For me this is where co parenting starts breaking down. The RP does the donkey work and I'm starting to get ousessive about the rewards.

RedHelenB Sat 24-Nov-12 07:25:54

Sympathise with the glory hunter bit!!

IneedAgoldenNickname Sat 24-Nov-12 10:01:12

Why would I insist on 50/50 when I don't agree that that's what's best for my children?

I normally tell their Dad when ours parents evening, or anything he can come to, assembly/parents night at cubs etc. he never comes.
Obviously if the boys were hospitalised I'd tell him, but everyday coughs and colds, no. He also never asks.

pinguthepenguin Sat 24-Nov-12 10:25:11

I can't win with my dd's dad on this front. I tell him stuff and he doesn't respond or thank me for giving him the information, and if I don't bother he gives me hell.
Also- he blames me for absolutely everything under the sun. If I didn't hear about a school assembly until the night before, he says I deliberately told him late knowing he wouldn't be able to attend. According to him, I keep his copy of dd's school letters and throw them in the bin. If I tell him about an event at school, but not the finer details such as that dd was going to a 'fairy' or whatever, he says I withheld that information as well. If I order him (and PAY) for a set of school photos he says they weren't the ones he wanted and that I denied him a choice. If I tell him to keep in touch with the school himself - he says they are also obstructive. I cannot fucking win. Seriously.

Also- this obsession about 50-50 is awful.. If it's right for your DC- great. The last thing I would do however is go into a parenting forum and say that is the position every separated parent should be starting from, because when you do that, you argument loses credibility and becomes about what the parent wants or think is their right to have. A child is not a possession to split right down the middle angry

amarylisnightandday Sat 24-Nov-12 10:30:35

Exp works abroad for weeks at a time - I can really see 50 50 working for us! shudders. It's all v well being idealistic but ex is simply not competent enough to manage dd for long periods and I wouldn't trust him. When she is older perhaps I would consider it.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 13:41:02

I agree about the obsession with 50/50 pingu, along with the assumption that if you happen to believe that a presumption of 50/50 is not best for children (or even if you don't believe it's right in your own case) that you're controlling and don't believe in your XP's rights to parent and therefore cannot expect anything from him, that you're sexist etc etc. The one I always find strangest is the accusation that disagreeing with 50/50 means you see your child as your possession - personally I find insisting on 50/50 with no thought to individual circumstances is far more indicative of seeing a child as a possession.

I don't think 50/50 would be the right thing for my children were their father still here, nor do I particularly agree with the "two homes" model. I would have hated it as a child, and certainly as an adult I would hate to have "two homes" and live 50% of the time in each so I've no idea why people think children are any different.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 24-Nov-12 14:21:43

I think that's the point - you would have hated it as a child, but others thrived in that situation, just as it works for some DCs and not others.

What I believe is possessive is when one parent restricts the contact that their child has with their other parent using the argument that they themselves wouldn't like to be back and forward between homes so why should the DCs. DCs do not always share their parents preferences, opinions or emotions - and may be quite comfortable with a situation that their parent would dislike, or vica-versa.

If one parent wants to take an active, equal role in their DCs life then the DC's should be given the opportunity for that to happen - not denied it purely because the other parent wouldn't like being in the DCs position.
I think it's something that should be at least attempted. The EOW model is implemented in many cases with no consideration in advance as to whether or not it will suit the DCs, so why is that used as a reason not to try a more equally shared parenting model?

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 16:01:12

That was the point I was (clearly badly!) trying to make NADM - I don't agree with people suggesting that 50/50 should be the starting point for all children (as nongender posted in this thread - that if you care for your children you would insist on 50/50) because while it works fine for some, for others it wouldn't and might actually be detrimental. Equally, as you say EOW doesn't suit all children.

I just don't see why I should be accused of not caring for my children's interests or of seeing them as possessions just because I happen to disagree with a currently popular idea of what is "best".

NotaDisneyMum Sat 24-Nov-12 16:31:04

optimist I didn't say you don't care because you wouldn't be comfortable with 50:50 - but I would question your motives if you restricted your child's access to their other parent and insisted on a contact arrangement that you would be comfortable with if you were in your DCs place rather than thinking of your DCs as independent from yourself wink

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 16:53:11

No nongender said that wink

I didn't mean that I wouldn't agree to 50/50 solely because I would have hated it, it was more of an explanation of my wariness of 50/50 being used as a stating point iyswim. I don't think 50/50 is wrong, I'm sure that it is the best thing for some children just as I'm equally sure that EOW or similar is the best for others. I don't think there should be any model prescribed as the "starting point".

As it is my DC's contact arrangements are out of my hands - they don't see their father and actually, that's the best thing for them. It took me a long time to see it because I was so angry on their behalf for him having dropped them so easily when it suited him and also for myself at being left to carry everything alone. It's not what I would have chosen when we split or what is currently thought of as "best", but it is what's best for them based on them, their father and our situation. Every child, every parent and every situation is different and I don't think that insisting on 50/50 (from either the side of the RP insisting the other parent should have 50/50 or the NRP insisting they want 50/50 - I'm using RP/NRP for brevity, I hope you understand what I mean) is any sort of reliable indicator about how much someone cares about the child (again, referring to nongender's post).

pinguthepenguin Sat 24-Nov-12 17:09:04

Agree totally with optimistic- agreeing with 50-50 parenting models should NOT be used the barometer by which we judge how selfless or selfish a parent is. And frankly, I see no harm whatsoever in pointing out that an adult would hate to have their lives split in two, so why do we think it's ok for kids. That is absolutely not a red herring or a straw man, it's a valid point to make. I think we need to be more realistic about the casualties of a break up. If you don't agree that 50 50 is right for your child, it doesn't mean you are 'restricting access to the other parentsad

NotaDisneyMum Sat 24-Nov-12 18:09:28

Is having two homes more damaging than the loss of daily contact with one parent? It may be to some DCs but not others - but parents won't know until they try it.

If a DC wants to see more of their NRP, and the NRP is willing to provide shared care (and there are no welfare issues of course) then surely it should be tried? No matter how the RP thinks they would feel themselves in that situation, if they refuse to at least try an arrangement that allows more contact then they are enforcing their own feelings onto their DCs. I can't see the difference between that and preventing a DC from attending swimming or drama lessons because it is an activity the parent would not enjoy.

I'm not suggesting that its easy to establish a DCs wishes as they often state a preference for the arrangement that they consider to be most fair - but in situations where parenting has been equally shared prior to a split, it seems just as reasonable to present a child with a similar situation, all be it in different homes, and see how well they settle - rather than giving them time to adapt to a scenario where they see significantly less of one parent. In my own case, I had to make a choice when I split with my DDs dad - do I limit her contact with him to EOW and deal with her distress, or see how she settles in a 50:50 arrangement? At the moment, the social 'norm' seems to be the former - even my solicitor was horrified when I told her I wanted to try the latter smile

Pingu Some RP do restrict access on the basis of how they themselves would feel though - my DSC were withheld from any contact with their Dad because their mum said that she didn't have any contact with her own Dad when her parents separated and she didn't want to, so her own DCs didn't need to see their Dad anymore sad. I don't see any difference between that and limiting a DCs contact to EOW for the same reason.

madam1mim Sat 24-Nov-12 18:42:24

I agree that if both parents were equal in childcare prior to split as well as no welfare issues then 50/50 may work. But i struggle to understand how this can firm a stable upbringing for a child?being shipped from one home to the other every 3.5 days must be quite unsettling abduction can surely only work if there us excellent ccommunication between parents which is unlikely as theres a reason why you broke up in the first place!

madam1mim Sat 24-Nov-12 18:43:37

*form and *and (must turn off predictive text)

pinguthepenguin Sat 24-Nov-12 18:49:06

Disney, my post wasn't directed at you personally, more of a general point within the discussion. I think though, there's a massive difference in trying to prevent contact completely ( your DP's ex sounds foul btw) and suggesting an EOW pattern. Truly, I don't see them as the same at all unless I've missed your point.
From my pov I just resent the notion that unless you concede 50-50 as the panacea of separated parenting, you are somehow guilty of obstruction or seeing yourself as the superior parent. If a child is old enough to voice their opinions about wanting a 50-50 arrangement and they are organic opinions (rather than spoon fed) then I wholeheartedly agree they should be listened to. In the cases of much younger children however, or cases where the child is clearly torn, I don't believe it should be the default position at all. As I said, I think we need to be more realistic about the casualties of break ups. We sometimes make difficult decisions on behalf of our children because we don't believe a course of action is right for them. If a parent believes that splitting a child's life right down the middle is not right for them, and therefore decides that an EOW/midweek visit pattern is better for them, I see this as one of those examples where a decision is made on behalf of our children because we believe it to be in their interests.
Notwithstanding of course, the fact that there are parents who make decisions like this for less than altruistic reasons, as in the case of your dp's ex.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 18:50:54

Personally I think yes, two homes is more damaging. That's my opinion which is equally as valid as yours and no more right or wrong. My children would have been more distressed by 50/50 in separate homes than they have been by having no contact (aside from phone calls) with their dad. Clearly the opposite is the case for your DD so it's great that you have been able to come to the best arrangement to suit her.

Arguing that 50/50 works for some children so it should be the model used where possible is like me arguing that no-contact works best for some children so that should be the first option in all cases. There is no right or wrong answer. Just because someone has a different opinion it doesn't mean that they are selfish or controlling.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 18:51:56

Pingu, you said it so much better than me grin

pinguthepenguin Sat 24-Nov-12 18:56:38


Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 18:57:52

Absolutely nothing!! I don't speak to him, I detests that abusiveman and he kinda walked out on his children and they don't like him much just now either, of course if the children say a bad word about him I stick up for him - only because I don't want them to grow up thinking 'my mum made me hate my Dad' he does an good job of that all by himself, the prat!

He phoned one of their schools the other week, we moved house, so he lost
some control poor bastard man, his words were 'is my child still at this school?'.... not 'how is my child?' angry sorry the thought of this man makes me swear lots!.... blush

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 19:00:30

ex used to often arrange to collect dc, then not turn up, arrange parents evening and not turn up, arrange Christmas day/present etc then not turn up...meh!! Leave us alone you yucky man!

NotaDisneyMum Sat 24-Nov-12 19:04:14

Ah - I agree with you both smile

My concern is that, at present, EOW is the default position and most socially accepted -as proven by my solicitors reaction and is oft quoted on MN threads as 'the norm', whereas each case should be considered on its merits and there should be no default position, regardless of the beliefs of the parents involved smile

My DP wanted to apply for 50:50 shared care of his DCs when he went to court, he knew it worked for DD and thought I'd support him - I spent a long time explaining why, imo, it would not be right for his DCs wink

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 19:14:37

Yes I agree - my concern is that often (as seen in nongender's post which this discussion stemmed from and also from the more extreme father's rights groups like F4J) the suggested solution to this is to legislate for assumed 50/50, meaning that parents like myself and Pingu with genuine, child-centred reasons for not wanting to do it would be seen as obstructive iyswim.

Peterpan101 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:32:26

All of you read what you are writing and THINK.....are you doing the best for your children??

I am an EH and I have been shutout of my daughters life by my EW from the day I left. I have had to fight for every morsel of information about DD (not from EW as this would be classed as harassment by her). There will be large areas of DD childhood that will for ever be lost to me because of EW hate.

EW is a child care professional and until the split put her career ahead of her time with her child and considered me the default parent when it suited her. Post split I am begrudgingly given 1 day a week (court action still progressing to get more).

If at the end of 5, 9, 15 years your EH is still not pulling his weight and taking interest then on your assumptions. But until then, for your children's welfare try, try and try again to be a good co-parent. Your children will thank you for the effort YOU have made.

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 19:33:54

I can safely say - I AM

mine was offered contact via a contact centre, he refused, I cannot drag him....

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 19:35:26

Did you like to hit your children and take no notice of them and suggest they were aborted - if your answer is no, I would say we are not all living the same life!

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 19:43:50

Yes Peter I am doing the very best I can for my children. Sadly, their father (who hasn't seen them for 18m after moving 400 miles to live with a woman he met online) hasn't done so and still isn't. It's not my job to try and make him be a better parent.

sausagesandwich34 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:45:04


I agree with you, I do keep trying, I want my DCs to have a relationship with their dad -this has been going on for nearly 4 years now

and for more selfish reasons I don't want them to turn round to me in future years and say 'why didn't you do more?'

it would be very easy for me to cut contact, it would certainly make my life easier as he was abusive to me but never the dcs. I keep pushing for him to have contact because I beleive it's right for them

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 19:50:19

If I am honest I wish my ex's g/friend would allow him to visit his children via a supervised visit but she doesn't so... I cannot force them, sadly, I would ideally love my children to have both parents but again sadly my life-choices were wrong!

Peterpan101 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:21:34

What many of us forget is that all long term relationships are mutually abusive to some extent. Women tend to be passive/ little more aggressive/aggressive. Its who we are as humans.

Can you all also say that you didn't give as good as you got? Or is a woman shouting not abusive but "being a strong woman" (As I was always reminded).

Not keeping your EH up to date on gym, swimming, school, nursery, their latest trick, etc, cannot hurt (he can find out all that without you).....but it could well build bridges for later in life?

You will be the better person for it.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 20:23:29

That's a pretty sad view of relationships you have Peter.

Peterpan101 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:26:10

So you and your partner don't argue now and again?....

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 20:26:34

I shall now sit on my hands, actually no I won't, I can honestly say I never felt the need to hit my x with a baseball bat, or run him over with a car, or keep him in, or kick him in the face for wearing the wrong after-shave or hit my children for speaking hence taking out an injuction and removing him from our lives.

Little bit of narrow minded ness there peterpan maybe you should take you head out from... the clouds and have an over-think on that last post.

I shall now hide this thread as I now have the joy of re-living this abuse every night when I go to sleep.

We do not all live in an 'idea world' sadly!

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 20:27:53


OptimisticPessimist Sat 24-Nov-12 20:30:46

I don't have a partner - I am single by choice. That aside, I don't think "arguing occasionally" is the same as "mutually abusive" and I think it's quite offensive to suggest that it is.

madam1mim Sat 24-Nov-12 20:31:21

Peter, your comment about abusive relationships.I'm sorry but what a load of shit .

Peterpan101 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:39:40

Arguing is abuse....raising your voice is abuse....walking away and ignoring confrontation is abuse...walking out after 4 years is abuse.......all of these makes me an "abusive man". In my EW eyes and probably now yours!?

Can all of you tell me you have not done any of the above?

That's why she tries everything in her power to cut me out of my daughter's life. I have gone from main carer to once a week dad with DD too young to understand why she doesn't see daddy that much.

Who is the real abuser?

(I'll leave it there for the night I think)

sausagesandwich34 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:49:17

peter you've obviously been on the wrong end of a woman who doesn't want to facilitate a relationship or would stand up and argue, shout etc and yes you are right then both of your behaviours could be construed as abussive

however, please don't tar us all with the same brush

I never stood up
I never fought back
I was never allowed to walk away

and more fool me for putting up with it

Me and my XH did not have a 'mutually abusive' relationship. hmm

He once swore at our ds (1yo) and raised his hand to me(did not hit me, but thought about it as i confronted him for swearibg at ds)I told him he would never do it again. He cheated on me a few weeks later and left for OW.

I tried to keep him up to date when the dcs were small but it was hard as he wasn't bothered. So I gave up. He asked for more info last summer and I try and keep him in the loop but he's not always bothered which can become quite testing. Maybe I should try harder but tbh he phones the kids once a week for 5 mins each and they tell him the stuff that's important to them. I inform him of the mundane stuff.

TheDogsRolex Sat 24-Nov-12 21:25:19

I dont really bother to tell my ex anything about ds anymore (in answer to op). He's never been the slightest bit interested. He hasn't attended one parents evening, didn't show any interest when I appealed to get ds into a better secondary school. When ds was bullied at primary school it was up to me to sort out. He came to ONE school play when ds left primary. As far as he's concerned "you had him live with you so you take care of it and you pay for it". It's been that way for 14 years. Oh sure, he'll take him at weekends and when there's an emergency he'll help out but anything other than that forget it! [shrug]

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 21:33:41

sorry I shall lose the abuse

Domestic Violence Peter!! Good idea, shut the door on your way out.....

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 21:35:03
Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 21:36:36

I didn't fight back wither, I am 8.5 stone, he was 16 of muscle... more fool me for 15 years and bringing children into it, now they abuse me, sorry not abuse, throw trainers at my head and kick me, do I fight them NO, because I helped create their problem....sad

pinguthepenguin Sat 24-Nov-12 22:32:01

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

millie30 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:00:25

I've only recently started having direct handovers with my ExP and I only tell him things that may be relevant to his contact, such as DS feeling a bit under the weather etc. He doesn't ask about anything important and I think this is because of his own difficulties and limitations, he struggles to understand any aspects of DS' life that don't revolve around him. So he won't ask how DS is getting on at school but he wants to know when his school photos are available to show off "his boy."

50-50 would not have been possible in my case and nor would I have wanted it for DS. My closest friend has a court ordered 50-50 arrangement for her DD and it is a truly horrendous situation. There is so much animosity between them and no co-parenting at all and so the little girl lives in a warzone. They couldn't even agree on potty training techniques and so their 5 year old daughter still soils herself, and she is unhappy and withdrawn. The motivation of both the parents in this case seemed more about their right to equal time as the other parent, and they squabble over every extra hour and every little thing. This is my only real life experience of 50-50 and so I appreciate my view is coloured by this, but I seriously think someone needs to intervene for the sake of this poor child. What seems to stop this though is the worry that one of the parents will end up disenfranchised and feeling unequal, which is ironic that in a system that is supposed to put the needs of the child first the focus is on how the parents feel. The judge regularly tells them that they are ruining her childhood but doesn't step in.

Wankarella Sat 24-Nov-12 23:12:01

Peter is a f f f f f fairy-tale and lives in fairy-tail land imo! Meh.... <man hater>

Sorry I am not really, I just dislike narrow-minded people! Open your mind up, the world looks a lot different....

I wish I was narrow-minded sometimes! smile

CabbageLeaves Sun 25-Nov-12 13:06:48

Peter you were obviously accused of abuse yet feel boot is on the other foot so to speak. Your situation does not mean all 'abusive' relationships are just poor dynamics ...

I was strangled. If you think I deserved it because of passive abuse (because all women are passive abusers? hmm ) then you need your idea of normal behaviour adjusting

I'm sure my relationship was dysfunctional and remaining in it was my responsibility (mistake) and indicates culpability on my behalf for a poor decision. It doesn't mean I am an abuser.

As regards access to DC -again your experience is just that..your experience. Don't assume all women are like that. Despite lack of maintenance, support, interest anything I have gone out of my way to keep DD in contact because she wants that. I predict a time when she won't and tbh I will grieve with her. She wants a dad. He's just not filling that role despite all the help going.

I don't assume all men are like this though.

RedHelenB Sun 25-Nov-12 14:07:28

Peter - you can find out all sorts of information about your children without talking to your ex. Schools will send you copies of everything, you can go to parents evenings etc & most of all TALK to your children & they will more than happily fill you in I'm sure.

CabbageLeaves Sun 25-Nov-12 16:37:10

To be fair to my ex, he probably felt like you Peterpan...that I was abusive ...because I stood up to him...and left. How very dare I!

He only strangled me once. Wasn't his fault either. I drove him to it...I'm a strong woman you see < my fault...not his

Interestingly he followed me onto a forum I used, wrote his 'version' of events (omitting the angry behaviour and strangling because they were only one offs...not who he really was...) and I saw he really believed his version. I'm glad to say he has received psychiatric help since then. The police also became involved. At the time he still thought he was the victim!

Time has rolled on. He's still inadequate as a man but has recognised his behaviour was wrong. I think the inadequacy just meant he couldn't deal with what is a stressful situation for everyone. He just attacked me because that was what he was used to doing

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 25-Nov-12 16:48:35

I don't really tell my ex much. He never asks. Never calls. DD calls him occasionally. She sees him infrequently. But, when they do see each other they talk. They talk for hours actually, and DD comes home with the weirdest ideas at times grin but she loves the time she spends with her dad. It would be more if he asked for it, but he's happy to dip in and out. He gets invited along to parents night, shows, any signigicant events, but I don't waste my time trying to get a hold of him to fill him in on the little insignificant stuff. He's free to phone and speak to DD himself to find out about that stuff, but he doesn't bother.

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 11:22:06

I think my position has been slightly misunderstood.
I have not said that ‘all women are passive aggressive’ or that anyone brought on any physical violence themselves. I did say that within the domestic abuse spectrum women are more to the passive/aggressive abuse side, with the men exhibiting more on the aggressive/aggressive abuse side. Isn’t that what many of your experiences tell you? That men quite often some men resort to physical abuse when the arguing fails them??
As for what I was trying to communicate. Even in the face of some extreme and sometimes absurd Implacable Hostility I have kept focussed on what my DD would want and need from me. I realised quite early that fighting fire with fire will get me nowhere and that when the dust settles in X amount of years I want to be able to look my daughter in the eye and tell her (not from my point of view but everybody who knows us point of view) that I did what was right.
The first things out of my DD mouth when I pick her up is “mummy says you did this....and mummy says that this is what she is going to do”. From advice from the domestic abuse specialist who is counselling me on this, I then have to discuss these alleged events with my DD so that they do not linger and cause damage. To down play them with her (even if they are complete lies).
I would not dream of presenting this behaviour in court (my solicitor has informed it would do little good anyhow) and try to reduce my EW standing as a parent. My ex is a very diligent, caring and capable mother....but things seem to change in her when I am brought into the mix.
I will quietly work to maintain my relationship with my DD for however long is needed and to whatever cost I incur. I will communicate in whatever way my ex feels comfortable with and will always go that extra mile in the hope one day we might just be able to be friendly again (I doubt being actual friends will ever happen?). I just wished that everybody had a similar view no matter what the resentment they held?

Oldladypillow Mon 26-Nov-12 12:41:32

Interesting post PP. how have you accessed a Domestic Abuse Specialist? Are you a victim? Only read about Women's Aid on here. Is it private - as in do you have to pay?

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:18:31

Yes Peter I totally believe you hmm

Go read the link.........

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:21:40

You do not have to pay for Womens Aid, you need to be a victim of Domestic Abuse/Violence and have a few problems though. Mines are a stalking ex, abused me, sorry not abused.... was violent towards me, my dc are now messed up big time. Poor dc, we all have weekly counselling.

My ex used to follow me about on here, freaky person that he was, he has moved on now, to abuse, sorry not abuse, be violent to someone else, her dc are all in care now. she chose him over an abuser, sorry not an abuser a DOMINATOR!

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:22:53


We cannot all have a similar view? Which part would you like to be spelled out for you?

Me EX hit his children they are terrified of him

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:24:11

Have you ever read 'the Dominator' Peter I think you should, you said you have been abused, it can help men too....

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:31:53

Sorry Peter I did not realise you were a victim of abuse, you really should read the link,it is for men and women, or WA can point you in the right direction but you say you have a counseller, strange you still have the same narrow minded views imo!

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:38:07

Yes private through my solicitor. She is supposed to be counseling me to improve my communications with my ex, but since the ex declined to partake I have used the counselor for all aspects of post split advise now that she doesn't have to remain impartial.

The counselor's history is from Women's Aid among other agency's.

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:39:34

Correction: "She was supposed to of been counseling both me and my ex on our communications"

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:43:10

I am pleased you are getting some help peter.

I do understand violence can work both ways.

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 15:45:17

Many apologies for my earlier comments, my ex used to stalk me via here, it was very UN-nerving and just plain weird and strange, I felt like I had no privacy what so ever!

Never mind though, he has moved on now, onwards and upwards!

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:57:36

Sorry Notwanking, wasn't ignoring you. Yes I have read the dominator link and have gone through similar with the counselor. I then wrote quite a bit about the aspects of our relationship where I fitted those 'faces'......I also identified several 'faces' that my ex fitted. We didn't each fit all the faces, and some of them neither of us fitted.....

But we were both represented there, and I am honest enough to see that in me and to ask for help in dealing with my failings. My ex knew that it was all my fault so she never needed to attend the counseling.

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:01:56

Quite.....coming on here is supposed to be for me to glean an idea of how the ex might be feeling. If I ask for advise from anyone who knows my situ they give quite strong anti ex views.....I need to be as objective as I can.

The girlfriend things I am mad....

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:02:53

'thinks I am mad'

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 16:57:59

Ah so you were both in an abusive relationship?

I wasn't, mine was one-sided, my ex fits all the faces, sadly.

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 17:00:08

I'm unsure if you will get an insight into your ex via here, like I say we are all different and all been in different relationships!

Can you not go to meditation or something?

I wasn't relating to you coming here, my ex came here, made up a name and argued with me, he detested me coming here, he was jealous as there were men here...hmm

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 17:32:38

I have to admit I did think my ex was mad, I do not know, I just think he is bastard! Excuse my french!

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 17:33:13

now not know....I am dyslexic typist who cannot spell!

Peterpan101 Mon 26-Nov-12 19:38:29

Yes.....WE were in a mutually abusive relationship.....we abused in different ways. Doing the counseling has opened my eyes, even though I didn't intend to actions still had the same effect as if I had!?

Her actions likewise to me, although she cant see that yet (or ever will unfortunately).

My ex.....would think people who need counseling or to use online chat for any cathartic reasons weak!?.....

NotWankinginaWinterWonderland Mon 26-Nov-12 20:17:33

Hmm sounds like a nightmare Peter. So I am guessing she doesn't come to places like this then? Some people are just like that iykwim, how old is your dd? Thankfully you only have one as they get caught up the friction at home too, poor children...

My ex cannot come near me via an injunction, horrid man!

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