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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.

Xales Wed 29-Aug-12 20:04:19

Skye I know a lot of that seems important to you however it really isn't.

It does sound like you are going to use the mediation to beat him about how he has behaved.

He can say that DD can't stay over because it upsets them over their still birth and then spend all weekend every weekend with OW & DD. There is no point bringing that up, there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Simply that is in the past, you are not interested, you now have your own place, please can we arrange set times/dates when DD can come and stay with you.

It is his job to contact the school and know what is going on not yours.

Being late to collect her may be a PITA and it may inconveniece (spelling?) the staff however she was in no way at any time in danger. You are going to sound hysterical if you say that.

Again the past is now unimportant on collection however please can he be there on time for her when she is seeing him and if he can't he needs to make alternative arrangements in plenty of time and have a back up contact that is not you.

You won't win complaining about him bringing her back late during the holidays. An hour doesn't make a difference.

All you can do is once holidays are over and she starts school and to return her in time for her to be bathed, wound down and put to bed and so that she will not be totally knackered the next day.

You can't force him to have her at all. If he brings up lack of contact by all means you can say you offered him days during the holiday but he chose to work and go on holiday instead.

You need to stop saying 'you' to him. Ironic from the looks of this post.

You need to say. DD is unsettled, confused and upset when she doesn't know when she will be seeing you. We need to set specific dates that she can see you.

Also agree that dates and times will not be changed by either of you apart from emergencies (niot taking his mother to have her bunions done) or by x weeks prior notice.

izzyizin Wed 29-Aug-12 20:13:11

It is mediation with a view to conciliation, skye. It is not punitive and he will not be taken to task for what may be in your view his misdemeanours in respect of contact.

IMO you'd be far better off sending him a message tonight saying 'In view of the cost to yourself, I'm willing to cancel the mediation session in respect of contact tomorrow as I'm sure we're capable of sorting it out between ourselves '.

This magnanimous gesture on your part will save him £40 which he can split with you towards dd's uniform or other items she may need for school or whatever.

It will also keep control of contact in your hands and prevent you from falling into the trap of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 20:37:17

izzy - I think that could be difficult to pull off as the ex has asked for the mediation not to happen, in favour of skye's mum acting as a mediator. Postponing it until she's in a better frame of mind will probably bring another round of recriminations about lost earnings.

skye, I think maybe you should tell the mediator how difficult you are finding it to switch off your feelings relating to the end of the marriage, so at least you've put that out there in a calm way and hopefully the mediator can keep things on track.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 20:40:20

I'm not putting myself across very well here, I am not going to sit and state all the things that I have said above but they are relevant. I intend to sit and let him say what he wants snd defend it explain myself as necessary.

I know it's about DD but I also have a life too and I won't have him continue to ruin it. I dont think its too much to ask. Hopefully some of the issues will resolve by him having her overnight.

My friends all say that he should be spending quality time with her. I suppose I should not listen to anybody and just give up and sit here with no life of my own while I rearrange my life around whether or not he can be bothered to turn up on time.

There would be no point in mediation if we can't talk about what has already happened. He will sit there and say you won't tell me this and you havent let me do that and I'm supposed to sit there and not say a word. He wants me to take DD to him? Well fuck that, he walked out, he has to come and collect her. Or am I supposed to just agree to everything that he says?

Friends who have been through mediation tell me that it does get angry and tearful at times. And that they did sort out grievances and misunderstandings . Mediation cost £95 per person per hour. Mine is on legal aid. I have asked my twat of an ex repeatedly exactly what he wants and he won't tell me, that is why we have gone to mediation. He tried to get out of it when he realised the cost. I said no as we can't agree on anything.

Now I'm crying and DD is crying. I've had enough. I wish I never asked for support because now I feel even worse and everybody misunderstands everything that I say.

izzyizin Wed 29-Aug-12 20:43:02

Who's going to be recriminating with whom about lost earnings, trib?

Seems to me that it will be a very long time, if ever, before skye'[s going to be in a better frame of mind with regard to her stbxh and she's best advised to refrain from mediation re contact until the financial matters are resolved.

izzyizin Wed 29-Aug-12 20:46:19

If you're like this before you get there, skye, you are best advised to call it off because although you won't be expected to agree with everything he says, the onus will be on you to meet him halfway in the interests of dd.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 20:50:06

I'm sorry you feel put upon. That is truly not the intention of anyone who posts on this thread. We all think he should be spending quality time with her too, and we all think you should have your own life and you should not be constantly there as his understudy to take over the moment it becomes even slightly inconvenient to be a dad first and a man second. We are all outraged at how he has behaved and how he has hurt you.

But that is not the subject for tomorrow. We are trying to prepare you for what that meeting is, because you're in danger of shooting yourself in the foot if your (perfectly understandable) bitterness gets the better of you. If he makes accusations, of course you must defend yourself but the primary purpose is to reach an agreement. It is quite right and proper that you should state that the current arrangements are unsatisfactory - let's be honest, if they were, you wouldn't be in mediation in the first place. But 'fuck that, he walked out, he has to come and collect her' is the kind of attitude plays right into his hands. (I'm not saying you would actually say that but if it's in your mind there's a reasonable chance you'll say something similar!)

Put simply - the reason the marriage ended is not relevant tomorrow. It ended, that is all. This has all come about so fast, skye. It's not surprising you're shellshocked.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 20:51:14

izzy - I'm assuming the ex is taking time off work for the mediation.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 20:54:47

I intend to sort access with him, that's the whole point of going. He didn't want to sort finances but again is refusing to tell me what he wants. He won't sort the finances until we have sorted access as he is threatening to withhold money as I don't tell him stuff about her but he won't tell me what it is that he wants to know (bangs head against wall).

I broke down at my first session and told her that he walked out on me which was a huge shock and that I can't believe it's come to this and that he has a huge problem with communication which is why we are there. She said a problem like communication is only going to get worse with divorce not better.

I want it all over and done with. I could have divorced him last week.

nkf Wed 29-Aug-12 21:02:33

I agree with the posters. Take your feeligns out of it and concentrate on trying to create a stable, manageable arrangemetn that will allow your daughter to have regular contact with her father. It says a lot about him that he has chosen to live in a place where she can't stay but keep that to yourself. Always make it her needs.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 21:13:56

He is moving into a three bedroom house on 14 September so should be able to start to have her overnight from then on. So renting far bigger than he needs and costing £625 a month instead of £450 for the flat he originally said he would move into. but of course I can't say anything about that either. I just hope he's happy when he cuts his maintenance and I lose this house.

Proudnscary Wed 29-Aug-12 21:29:45

Skye, we have all agreed that your ex is a useless shit.

We agree with your friends he should be spending quality time with her.

But even the fact you are saying that - and saying you're misunderstood - means you're misunderstanding us! We know you are angry and hurt and disappointed that he has let dd down but that's not what tomorrow is about.

It NOT a couple's therapy session tomorrow or a space for you to vent at him. So much of what you said upthread is irrelevant to sorting out proper access for your dd - a lot of it is about what you see (and we see) as his shortcomings. Some of those things such as who he chooses to be with and what he chooses to do with dd is absolutely none of your business, I'm afraid. You are no longer together.

No-one is misunderstanding you, love, we are all trying to advise you and to manage your expectations about tomorrow.

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 22:01:58

Sorry but nowhere above do I say who he can or can't spend his time with? others have mentioned OW etc but I haven't. And regarding his mother, he texted to say he would be late collecting DD as he had to take his mum somewhere. My point was that he should be there and back here in time to get DD at usual time.

Like you say it's all about DD so he should arrange his day around her times not the other way round, and if we can't discuss that in mediation then there is no point in it. My friends have told me that they discussed all sorts if issues including food , bedtimes, discipline etc.

I was told it was a controlled environment in which to discuss issues that you can't agree on to find a way forward. In fact the leaflet says " to resolve differences " improve communications and to help you see it from the other persons point of view. So in My mind those views need to be expressed so you can reach an agreement.

lemonstartree Wed 29-Aug-12 22:03:11

skye, you do need to drop the bitterness. Get the consent order sorted and the finances agree by a court. Then he will 'have' to pay what he is ordered to pay by the Court....

get the contact arrangements agreed formally too. Focus on what DD needs, not how pissed off you are....

MajorB Wed 29-Aug-12 22:38:11

Skye - long time lurker here, I think you're doing really well, and I can see why you're feeling attacked here, though all of these comments are made with the best intentions.

I think what everyone is saying is that if you phrase things slightly differently, you will probably have a much more positive experience tomorrow.

For example:
"DD needs the stability of knowing when she is going to see her father, can we please fix some days and times when you can see her that you (twatface) will definitely adhere to, regardless of what else is happening that day?"

"DD deserves the familiarity of home after the upheavals of this year, can we please agree maintenance that means she won't have to lose the home she has grown up in?"

Statements like the above (though I'm sure they can be worded better) put the emphasis on your DD, and make him look like a fool for not agreeing to them sooner without you having to say "why can't you just turn up on time you arse hole?!!" which, quite frankly, is what he deserves.

tribpot Wed 29-Aug-12 22:43:50

to help you see it from the other persons point of view

I wonder if you will be able to do that tomorrow, skye? I hope so - it will help if you can.

I think we all agree that getting some ground rules laid down for contact is very important - and that requesting (because it is only a request) that he prioritise his dd over giving his mother a lift (as an example) is fair. He may take a different view - the mediator will need to consider both and look for areas of compromise.

I genuinely hope it isn't too awful tomorrow. I sympathise enormously with your burning sense of injustice about all this.

lunar1 Wed 29-Aug-12 22:45:00

Sky, I have lurked on your thread for ages but not posted. I jut wanted to say that I am completely with you, you shouldn't be arranging your life around the twat that walked out on you. I agree with everything that you have posted, bitterness and all. That is why i never posted though because I am not really offering anything constructive.

I dont know anyone who has been through mediation so cant really comment on what to expect. Everyone else is completely right in telling you to detach and keep the bitterness away, i 100% understand your feelings, they are completely justified. I guess i am really posting as i get the feeling you think nobody sees this the way you do. he is treating you like you should be there at his convenience, and his dd like she is a toy to play with when he can be bothered.

post all your bitterness on the thread, you have to say it somewhere, and try to keep tomorrow to the facts. Trust me his twattishness will be there for all to see without any need to point it out.

I will go back to lurking as you have some brilliant levelheaded advisers on here, i wish i could be more like them sometimes. Good luck for tomorrow, will be thinking of you.

lunar1 Wed 29-Aug-12 22:46:41

Major, those statements are brilliant!

skyebluesapphire Wed 29-Aug-12 23:22:42

Thanks everybody. I just had a low spot again. PMT doesn't help either. I just wish this was all over. I wish more to the point that none if it had ever happened but can't change anything there...

The mediator said last week that they help you to rephrase things do that if something comes out wrong they help you to be understood. I just can't win with him because if I don't say anything I'm being difficult and if I do I'm dictating to him. There is no easy way of dealing with a man like that.

I told the mediator that his problem with communication is so huge that he walked out with no prior discussion just so she understands why I feel the way I do. She did agree that my mortgage is huge and that he cannot withhold money over access issues.

So anyway, let's hope tomorrow goes on. I have always been able to talk rationally and reasonably about things, my friends will tell you that. And right from when he walked out it was always me who instigated any conversations about us. I think if I hadn't bothered, then he would have wAlked out that first time and that would have been it, he would never have talked about any of it. I now find it extremely difficult to talk to him, yes because of the hurt and pain, but because he wouldn't talk to me when it really could have made a difference. Instead he told OW and his brother things that he never told me. And you can't defend yourself from accusations that you are unaware of.

I made it plain to him when he ended it that he was responsible for his own life from now on, as he wanted, yet he still can't make a decision or ask me for anything.

ForeverAutumnNow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:08:15

Skye, I will be thinking of you, and hoping you get all that you want from the session. You proved how dignified you are when you went to see MM. I`m sure you will be able to be the same tomorrow. Please know that we all just want the very best for you and your lovely DD.

good luck tomorrow, skye - think of it as a good way to hash out contact for your DD, with a person there to make sure he can't wiggle away or refuse to state what he wants.

Will be thinking of you smile

Good luck today Skye.

Good luck today Skye.

Proudnscary Thu 30-Aug-12 08:12:51

Thinking of you Skye - you have done so fecking well all these months and you have, been increasingly strong and dignified and restrained (and the one keeping lines of communication open when twunt has been incapable, as you say).

Stay calm, clear minded, open minded, do actually listen to him as it might be more illuminating and helpful to the process than you think. And keep your eyes on the prize - your dd and her happiness.


<<big hugs>>

tribpot Thu 30-Aug-12 08:19:54

Wishing you all the best.

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