Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I need strategies to stop my ex controlling me via the kids - long sorry.

(98 Posts)
bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:27:43

DD's are 9 and 12.

Today, for example... (I know this sounds petty but if you search you'll see there's a history)

There's an agricultural show 50 miles away from us. Today is the last day. He is at it.

So, he had discussed me taking the DD's to the show, I'd said I'll see, busy week, hasn't happened.

So, DS took the girls last night on a big brother bonding session and they stayed over at exH. (DS's idea as I'd not had a proper break with exH not keeping them an evening this week due to show and also I had to take girls last weekend)

This morning got text from exH to say that he had spoken to the girls and they wanted to go to the show so he had written them both notes to get out of school early, sent the free tickets with DD1 and I should collect them at 12 from school.

Now, first off, it's my weekend with them, how dare he? Second off, DD1 has 2 birthday parties we've not got presents for yet and a fancy dress outfit to sort. Thirdly, I didn't agree to taking them out of school. fourthly, how fucking dare he and free tickets or not it's going to cost me in fuel and food and parking.

AND I texted back and said "you should have discussed with me. Assume you have sorted presents and cards for parties then as I will not have time this evening if at show"

He texted back "No I have not sorted presents and cards. This is your weekend, your responsibility"

And of course, the DD's want to go, to see the animals and see their Dad so I will have to go.

So, gimme strategies to stop this please

(and sorry it's long)

GypsyMoth Fri 13-May-11 09:30:00

make a stand now

i wouldnt go. this is the oppurtunity to nip this in the bud.

yoshiLunk Fri 13-May-11 09:48:16

Sounds like a lot of complaining about nothing, - chose your battles, there will be plenty of them ahead

You should have been clear from the start you had no intention of taking them

Why is it his problem you haven't got organised for the parties yet?

DrGruntFotter Fri 13-May-11 09:48:54

Message withdrawn

mummytime Fri 13-May-11 09:49:19

Why don't you talk to the school and get them to "forbid" you taking the kids out of school early. It isn't a doctors appointment etc. so you have no "right" to take them out. (It could be argued as educational but we'll ignore that.)

DrGruntFotter Fri 13-May-11 09:50:19

Message withdrawn

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:51:08

Yoshi - I was planning to get the stuff for the parties this evening. They finish school at 3 and 3.30 respectively, plan was pick up DD1 at 3.30 and head into town to get presents/cards. What's wrong with that?

Only found out DD1 needs fancy dress first thing this morning via text.

I didn't have "no intention" of taking them - I said I would see how the week went.

I don't understand how it's right for him to organise what I do with them on my time and put demands on me because he's already told them what is happening, and sent notes etc to school?

Dropdeadfred Fri 13-May-11 09:51:51

I wouldn't go. I would reply and say 'yes it is my weekend and therefore I will not be taking them, if you wanted them to go you could have discussed changing weekend etc long before now'

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:52:34

No they went to their Dad's house with DS last night, they didn't go to the show with him he couldn't take them and manage his work as well hmm

The schools are both expecting them to be lifted at 12 - yes I agree totally it's an attendance issue.

Show in question finishes tonight at 5 so I can't even take them this evening.

DrGruntFotter Fri 13-May-11 09:53:11

Message withdrawn

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:53:22

If you search my user name, he left them last Sunday from early (before they were up) to go and collect a piece of kit for this show.

And I had to keep DD1 to enable her to go to drama club on Saturday so that he could play cricket.

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:54:09

Yes DrGruntFotter - I will talk to the school about attendance. Thing is, I'm the one now who is pitching up to collect them, I feel responsible?

GypsyMoth Fri 13-May-11 09:54:19

and he expects you to supervise them??

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:54:58

Yep I have to go to a cow show and walk around in the pissing rain for fun. In mud. and crap.

GypsyMoth Fri 13-May-11 09:55:11

if you give in to this one,then expect him to push boundaries further and further.

would he do this for you,in his time,if things were reversed?

DrGruntFotter Fri 13-May-11 09:56:06

Message withdrawn

ShoutyHamster Fri 13-May-11 09:56:47

I have no direct experience of this so feel free to ignore.

I understand that you would feel that you are 'punishing' your DDs by refusing to play along (i.e. saying no to the show). And that you would in a sense be making them aware of conflict between you.

BUT. That setup will put you completely on the back foot on a permanent basis. If he knows that you will fall into line to avoid conflict for their sake, this will be the way he gets what he wants (or just gets to control you for the hell of it). And it won't necessarily be any better for the children, because they will still sense conflict, but will learn that mum will give in (so they will learn to play his game too, eventually) and they will also learn to play you off against each other. And you will have years of hell in which he will become an ever more hated figure to you, and that will have its effect on them too.

Much better that there are a few instances of tough old mum saying NO which has a chance of putting a stop to it. I would argue that in the long run, this is the approach that will give them more emotional stability anyway. If he is a bully, he will eventually try and control and bully them too, even if he loves them, so much better that they have the example of a non-nonsense mum that will stand up to a man being manipulative. Yes, they WILL see the manipulation eventually.

I would stop this happening. I don't know the exact plan, but I'd make sure that he didn't know that you wouldn't be taking them out of school until it was too late for him to do anything about it, such as turn up himself. I'd be explaining to the DDs that Daddy had made a mistake in saying that they could miss school and that you were all sorry but the show would not be possible.

I would then be contacting him to make it clear that - just as he had pointed out to you over the presents - that this was YOUR weekend, so yes, what you say goes. That if in future he has any intention of your resources - petrol, food, time -being used to facilitate his plans, he needs to clear them with you first or the answer would be a flat no. That if in future he made plans to take the girls out of school without consulting you then you would have no choice but to speak to the school on how to avoid the issue in future. And that most of all, that manipulation through the children will do nothing but a. make you believe that he does not have their best interests at heart, which won't do him any favours really and b. cause continued upset in which HE will eventually be seen as the poor parent. Because you believe that it is better to put your foot down for the good of the children in the long run, so that is what you will be doing.

Get tough. Trying to appease him to keep it happy looking for the children won't work if he is prepared to act like this - go behind your back. He's clearly trying to keep 'top dog' status. But you DON'T have to play along. Keep strong and he will eventually have to start according you some basic respect, or just keep getting his plans knocked back. When he kicks off, just say - I'm not up for game playing, not when it involves my children, and I won't ever be. And laugh and remind him of the presents comment, and just ask why on earth you should facilitate him if he won't facilitate you. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours!

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:56:52

No he wouldn't tilly.

He's already pushing boundaries, and because he's very clever, he does stuff like this where the girls are told before me - similar example if you search was a wedding they were at where he told me on the Wednesday, wedding was on the Saturday of MY weekend, he'd already told the kids they could go.

So he puts me in the position of being the baddie IYSWIM

Bluebell123 Fri 13-May-11 09:58:19

Oh god bustersmummy, were we married to the same man? This is exactly the kind of thing my ex-h does. I find myself doing this kind of stuff because it saves a big row and atmosphere which I dont want the children to have to suffer. He knows that, so always has the upper hand.

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 09:59:50

Hang on - I'll look for the old threads.

here is the tale of the leaving them in the house

and this is the unneccessary hospital appointment and wedding thread

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 10:00:23

Bluebell - that's it, the kids are so excited to go and I'll be the worst mother in the world if I don't toe the line.

ShoutyHamster Fri 13-May-11 10:01:49

Re. comments on school issue - I'd be phoning and cancelling the plan with a nicely ambiguous comment about a 'misunderstanding'.

I would then leave it in no doubt that the effect of this has been to make it clear to the school that he is the one with the lax attitude to attendance, and that you do not agree.

If he sees that you are prepared to make public (in an appropriate way) any underhand tactics he uses, it's a good way of blocking him from using them.

OTTMummA Fri 13-May-11 10:08:49

You need to care a little less about being seen as the baddie for a while and put your bloody foot down my dear.
He is taking the piss out of you and you are letting him do it.
You do not have to do anything he tells you or go by his plans on your weekends with the kids.
Certainly do not put yourself out of pocket by paying out for petrol and the like because it is more convienent for him.
AH, fuck him, tell him no, just no.

bustersmummy Fri 13-May-11 10:09:59

Thing is though, I feel like he's manoevering and I don't get the chance to say no - he's told the kids they're going, told the schools, I'm the bad one if I don't fit in?

Bluebell123 Fri 13-May-11 10:11:46

Shoutyhamster speaks very wise words, all makes total sense. When my children are a little older and I can explain the situation to them properly, this is the sort of thing I will be doing.

For now though, my instinct is only to give my children the happiest, most carefree childhood possible. I dont want them to be burdened with unpleasantness at this stage. It may be a cop out but Im fully aware of why I let stuff happen

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now