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How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time :-)

(993 Posts)
skyebluesapphire Sat 25-Aug-12 17:42:34

This is my new thread - title thanks to tribpot

Links to my previous threads for my own information.

Midwife99 Mon 27-Aug-12 07:35:10

Yeah just have fun & then if you do want to meet someone just remember, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince but in there somewhere is the odd prince!

DoingItForMyself Mon 27-Aug-12 10:20:23

Think Izzy's description of POF is possibly a little harsh! I have met a couple of quite nice blokes on there. You do have to sift through the crap to find anyone vaguely sensible, but they do exist!

LouP19 Mon 27-Aug-12 10:27:53

Hello Skye, just to offer my support. You've been so kind to me on my threads. Hope you enjoyed your bbq yesterday.

I looked at POF last week with a friend, had a bit of a laugh! I did internet dating years ago (before I met my STBXH) and although I didn't have any proper relationships from it, it was a good confidence booster and helped me gain some dating experience.

Mrsgorgeous Mon 27-Aug-12 11:26:52

Ha ha...I just had a message/s from someone on there who reckoned he had 30 racehorses and a boat.
3/4 th message was that he could take me to the races and book us into a hotel for the night.....then we could go away for a weekend on his they really believe we are so naive????
Entertaining! Plonker

izzyizin Mon 27-Aug-12 12:43:55

30 racehorses and a boat, eh, Mrsg? Is his name Aga Khan? hmm

I suspect his name's Del Boy and what you'll get if you take up his offer is a trip to a donkey derby, a night in a sleazy b&b, and a row round the local duckpond in a leaky dinghy + a cocktail with an umbella at some point in the proceedings grin

I daresay there are some genuine nuggets in amongst the pyrite but I'm not about to go prospecting on POF, even though some have reported here that they struck gold and found their dhs/dps on that site.

skyebluesapphire Mon 27-Aug-12 14:22:35

It's just a bit of fun, it's certainly taking my mind off the mediation on Thursday. I'm not a violent person but I'm not sure I can sit in the same room as him without wanting to punch him in the face.

The guy that seemed nice is now offering me a back massage and the 28 year old fireman wants to meet up. No doubt he's just after a shag which I made quite plain I was not up for, lol. But it's giving me a laugh and a smile on my face.

skyebluesapphire Tue 28-Aug-12 18:01:09

Had a lovely day at the zoo today, used Clubcard vouchers to get in free:-)

Feeling more and more nervous about the mediation. I really don't want to be in the same room as him, I hate him so much.

If i do something to annoy DD, she keeps telling me that she wont love me ever again until Daddy comes back. I just tell her that he won't be back :-(

Xales Tue 28-Aug-12 18:06:03

Children are evil buggers who really know how to hit you where it hurts.

I would just say to her with a breezy 'that's a shame I still love you' and then carry on as usual.

Leave daddy out of it from your side.

Yep, a bright "I will always love you, no matter what" and keep on with whatever you're doing is the way, I'm afraid.

If it wasn't "until Daddy comes back" it would be something else hurtful. Hang on in there!

skyebluesapphire Tue 28-Aug-12 18:37:44

I do always say to her that I love her no matter what. I don't know what else to say other than the truth that he won't be back.

He is off on holiday on Tuesday. My counsellor said that he should tell her himself that he won't be around next week as its unfair for me to have to deal with it...

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 12:25:26

I'm really really dreading the mediation tomorrow. I don't want to sit in the same room as him and I don't want to talk to him. I don't want to cry in front of him, but know that I probably will. (Although my solicitor did say that one main benefit of mediation is that you are sat in front of them and can make them feel guilty...).

I hate him so much, especially for what he has done to DD. I know that I need to sit there and be reasonable, but I simply dont want to speak to him, but know that I have to. AARRGGHH!!

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 12:56:03

Can you take anyone with you (such as your mum) or does it have to be you, him and the mediator? I guess the point is for it just to be the three of you with no outside influences.

Are you allowed to prepare a statement to read out? I just wonder if it might help calm you down if you knew you could say a few things completely calmly at the beginning.

I agree with Tribpot make do a written statement even just to keep you focused one the point being discussed.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 13:44:24

Yeah I need to put the main points down don't I, so I know what to talk about.

It is only me him and mediator. I just hate him. He will sit there and say I've stopped him seeing DD and I will say he chose not to have her in holidays and we will get nowhere without their help....

Proudnscary Wed 29-Aug-12 13:51:29

I understand how you feel but you need to stop telling yourself how much you hate him, get a grip, stay calm, be a grown up.

Hard as it is, stop telling yourself 'I hate him, I hate him' and replace with the mantra 'this is for dd, this is for dd'.

Try to be more open to this and stay as calm as you can.

The whole point of this is to have a neutral place to properly iron out details and arrangements for your daughter.

I kind of agree about writing things down - but only so you know the main points you want to discuss...I don't think you should read out a whole list of complaints or hit him with a character assassination.

very good advice, proud - if you go in there with the intention of being so damn calm and reasonable that you are utterly above reproach, and of doing the very best you can for your daughter, you'll feel MUCH more in control than if you go in there thinking "I hate him."

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 17:21:21

Oh I intend to be very calm and let him state exactly what his problems and issues are and then explain why I feel that he is letting his DD down by not seeing her during the school holidays and not committing to a regular day in the week.

He hasnt turned up again this week or rung her. She is now asking how many sleeps til she sees him again. He needs to know what this is doing to her.

I dont intend to attack him, physically or verbally. I just dont like him, I cant stand him near me, I don't want to talk to him but I know I have to.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 17:37:06

I think as far as possible, skye, you need to present this as 'the' problems, not 'his' problems. So for example, 'the' problem is that your DD needs to have consistent and regular contact with her father and so far this has proven difficult to arrange. 'The' problem is that your dd was available to see more of a her father during the school holidays but this opportunity was not taken up.

I suspect that he is going to say things like he feels contact is made more difficult than it needs to be because you have been prescriptive about times and about who can come with him to drop her off. He may state (although I'm not sure it's true?) that you did not wish him to have overnight contact whilst he was staying with friends. I think he almost certainly will say you have texted and spoken to him in a way that could best be described as angry and at worst abusive on a number of occasions and he feels too intimidated as a result of this to challenge your 'rules' around access for fear that you will withdraw it completely. This may be the excuse offered for not phoning.

I'm not saying we believe any of these things but he is clearly extremely self-deluded and is not going to just roll over and go "it's a fair cop, I'm a shit" in front of a mediator.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 18:15:55

I have an email from him stating that he was unable to have her as he only pays them £300 a month for himself not for her to stay over and also due to their circumstances (stillborn baby in 2007) that it is difficult for them for her to stay over. I do understand that, but its taken him 5 months to find somewhere to live....

I havent said he cant bring OW with him, I just questioned why it needed to be every week, when they are denying an affair, yet spending all their time together. I did not want him to turn up at the local fair with OW admittedly, but did not say that to him and we only arranged to do the fancy dress an hour before due to the weather.

Im fairly certain he will mention the little show that they put on at the end of the holiday club, as DD asked my why daddy wasnt allowed to go... He shouldnt be saying things like that to her as its not fair on her or me. The very first time that she did the show, I filmed the whole 20 mins and put it on the computer for him to watch, but he never looked at it once, so I didnt see why I needed to tell him about the show this time. Its about the thrid time she has done it and he has never asked before.

Regarding school - he can look up the website the same as I can. He made it quite plain that he was fed up of being organised, so its up to him to find these things out for himself (my counsellor has advised that also).

But yes, it is all about how it affects DD.

for example. when you were 40 minutes late to collect DD it could have placed her in danger. It inconvenienced the staff running the holiday club. DD did not want to go with neighbour as "daddy is coming to get me" and was very upset. It also places stress on me as I am at work and then worried about DD's welfare as she has not been collected and there is nothing that I can do about it. In order to prevent DD from being let down, you need to leave home in plenty of time, to arrive on time, if not early. You admitted you were already running late that day even before getting stuck in traffic. If I am working I allow plenty of time to get home to collect her.

for example - when you are half an hour late bringing DD back, it disturbs her bedtime routine. She needs to come home and unwind and tell me about her day. This cannot be achieved if she is late home. She starts school in September and she must be in bed early each night otherwise she will get overtired.

for example - you have DD one day a week for 9 hours. Those 9 hours should be spent as quality time with her as it is the only time that you have with her. Appointments etc should be made for days other than the one day that you have her. If you have to take your mother to see your brother then they should understand that you need to be there and back here by the agreed time, otherwise it is reducing the amount of time that you spend with your daughter. I also make plans around the hours that you have DD, so if you are picking her up at 10am then I arrange to go out soon after.

We swapped two Sundays for two Saturdays and I texted you a fortnight before to check that it would be 10am to 7pm as usual and you agreed that it would be. Then the first Saturday you texted at 7 to say back by 7.30 and then said that it didnt matter that she was late because it was the summer holidays.

example - I asked if you would be able to have DD a day a week during the summer holidays, in order to give her a more stable time. Some fathers have their children for half of the holidays and quite often take them somewhere. I only asked for a day a week as I thought this would suit you better and not impact on your income too much. I did not think that you would be able to afford to take her on holiday. You declined due to work, however you are able to take a week off work to go abroad. I feel that if DD were old enough to understand then she would be very hurt by this. I feel that you are putting yourself and your friends before your DD. I have had to work at least 3 days a week during the holidays and DD has been with my mum and my neighbours. It would have been lovely for her to have been able to spend extra time with you rather than being shunted from one place to another (although she is always happy with her Nana and her friends).

example - you will not commit to a regular night in the week due to work. I have to tell DD who will be picking her up from school etc. She also asks when she is going to see you again and all I can tell her is Sunday and then if you turn up earlier I get grief because I "lied to her" that she wouldnt see you. It is too disruptive to her to not have an agreed visit during the week. I have to arrange work, childcare and some out of school clubs and I cannot do this if I don't know whether or not you are going to turn up.

This is the kind of thing I have in mind, but in response to him, not to attack him, but to come back, or explain if he has a go at me about anything. Im going to let him speak first and state what he wants so I cannot be accused of dictating anything. I have asked him repeatedly by email what he wants and he never answers and then when I suggest things he says I am telling him what to do..... The man cannot make a decision to save his life.

izzyizin Wed 29-Aug-12 18:33:49

How you think other dfs organise their contact during school holidays, or any other times for that matter, is irrelevant.

Similarly, it's not for you to judge how he spends his time, who with, and/or whether he's putting other above his dd.

Depersonalise your statements, take out any reference to the ow, and address them to the mediator(s) and not to him.

Don't imply that dd is 'shunted' anywhere at any time and do try not to sound as bitter as you're coming across in what you've written so far.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 19:08:31

I dont mean to imply that DD is shunted from pillar to post, but trying to say that surely she would have been better off with her father than her friends..

I dont see how I can avoid coming across as bitter, when the man fucked off and left me along with a massive mortgage and everything else to worry about. If I cant say the things I have put above, then there is not much point in me going to mediation, as those are the things that I have an issue with sad

Proudnscary Wed 29-Aug-12 19:21:32

Are you joking when you say this is the kind of thing you have in mind but 'not as an attack'?! confused

Please understand that the people on this thread, including me, care about you and are on your side. We understand the above rant and the anger and hurt that it's come from.

But your post above is absolutely one long rant, one long attack on your ex. If I were him I would have stopped listening after two minutes - partly because I've heard it all before so I'm sure he has a good few times! You have gone over and over the same old things - and I have to say only about 50% of it is relevant!

For example you CANNOT tell him what he does with her in the 'nine hours' he has her!

Please take a deep breath, listen to us. Great that you vented on here and wrote that down but you need to LISTEN to him, LISTEN to the mediator, CALM DOWN and go in there with an open mind and with a view to your dd getting the best deal here. It is NOT for you to tell him what a prick he is and all the things he is doing wrong.

delilahlilah Wed 29-Aug-12 19:28:02

Maybe say the things you want to happen in future? Leave the past behind and look at what you want out of this?

ForeverAutumnNow Wed 29-Aug-12 19:43:32

Skye, the Mediator will not be interested in what`s gone before. He/She will cut to the chase right away, to find common ground for future access only. You are having the mediation because you have been unable to sort this out between you, so tomorrow will be the starting point. Your H will be asked to outline what he considers reasonable, and you will be asked if that is acceptable to you. A long dialogue about what has or hasn`t happened, or what your H does with his own time, will not be considered relevant, I`m afraid.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 19:50:29

Have you been given a leaflet or anything explaining what the purpose of the mediation is, skye? It isn't for him to be forced to sit there and listen to a (well-deserved) litany of reasons why he's a shitbag. I'm sure all of us would be happy to bring back the ducking stool so that he could be made to sit still and listen to what a prick he is, with added dunkings, but bloody human rights and all that - it's not allowed.

There's some useful information here. Good quote:

Mediation isn't about telling you what to do, it's about helping you come to an agreement that everyone's happy with. This is an important point because if the agreement comes from you and not the mediators, it's much more likely that some level of trust can be established, and most importantly, some communication.

I do feel your counsellor may have led you to expect that mediation is your chance to say all the things you've been bottling up (apart from when the bottle has regularly exploded in the form of text wars and so on!). It isn't.

I think you are right to say you are 'disappointed' that he appears to have been able to make time for a holiday and not extra contact with his dd, and whilst she is too young to connect the dots now she won't be in a few years' time. You'd like to lay some ground rules for how your dd can see by his actions that she remains number one in your ex's priorities.

Likewise the being massively late to pick her up from holiday club was extremely distressing and confusing for dd, and this type of inconsistency also makes it impossible for you to plan your time effectively since you cannot be certain you won't have to step back into the breach.

And I also think you can make the point that in the past (both during the marriage and after) he has apparently found it difficult to state his own wishes but instead remains in a passive and reactive mode that is unhepful for two independent adults trying to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. I would lead off with this and allow the mediator to try and create an environment in which he can express his own wishes (or admit that he doesn't actually have any).

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