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AIBU to tell him he is not going to see the children again till they are older?(75 Posts)
OR is there never a reason to say this and I am being a twisted, bitter single mum?
I am prepared to be told I am being unreasonable, and I will take it, and any advice anyone can give.
Background (I will keep it as short as possible!)- I meet exDp when I was 18- he was 24. At age 20 I have DC1. He never had a job, borrowing money off me, I was looking after the baby alone so ended up splitting up. He didn't see us for 3 years. Though for about a year was paying CM as I had called up CSA and he was actually working.
3 years later we get back together as I fall for the 'I've changed' story. All is well, there is a few concerns with him constantly leaving his jobs, but always getting another one within a few weeks. We have DC2. By this time things are not good. During my pregnancy he is out drinking/smoking/partying/staying out for days at a time, even once DC2 is born and a newboorn. I am devastated begging him to stop. When DC2 is 3 months.. I am pregnant again. Though I am on the pill and exclusively BF, to this day I am baffed how I managed to get pregnant.
So I have a breakdown because I am in the middle of finishing uni, have already been taking care of the babies alone and now facing a third (and personally for me abortion was not an option). I beg again and again to stop.. he promises yes yes yes.. That very day he went out, got drunk and didn't return home. I kick him out and we do not see him for 4 months.
When he returns he tries to help out with the children, but then ends up in prison for 7 months. I have DC3 alone, I manage to finish uni (with a first!!!!), god knows how I did it. He rings me everyday in prison begginf for another chance. Prison has changed him, he has been sober, he goes to AA meetings, he does some courses in prison.. I eventually visit him so he can see DC3 and say he can live here when he comes out.
Although he has changed, it was not enough for me. Cue now he does not live here. BUT he is constantly saying he is coming, and doesn't turn up. I'm badgering him to see the kids, give me money for them, but he doesn't. He is working and keeps going on about how great the money is- but we don't see a penny.
NOW this is what got me raging this morning. I have left him be for the last couple of weeks. Not badgered him, I'm trying to get on with my life- look after the children properly and I start working next month.
Yesterday he amazed me, texts me a long text about how is going to stop running away from his responsibilities. He will be at my house at 7.45 in the morning and has a day off work so will take DC1 to school and then have the other 2, till whenever I want (at my house). Now I am SO excited! A few hours child free, so I can do errands and what not.
At 11pm I call just to make sure he is still coming. I get a text saying along the lines of 'oh, sorry. I can take DC1 to school, but then I got some stuff to sort out'... WHAT?! why does he keep doing this?????? I was SO mad. He never picked up his phone and i texted him loads of things because I was so angry. I realy did need that one little day to kind of be myself.. I am running on about 3 hours sleep as DC2 and DC3 do not sleep through the nightt.
Would I be unreasonable to say, look. You have messed us about for 8 years. you've proven yourself so unreliable, it is best for the children to be older and make their own decision wether to see you. OR is that terrible?
Sorry for the longness (I could have gone on more tbh, but this is the short version!)
I agree that the money side is separate from the unreliability side.
If the CSA can't get him to pay you anything, I am not sure that there is much more you can do about it.
OP, you sound the exact opposite of bitter and twisted; you just sound too soft, trusting, tolerant and hopeful. He has behaved the way he has because you have let him. Under the circumstances, what you are now thinking is more than reasonable. Don't fall for his talk anymore; the children are not his life - they are just a teeny part of his life that he can dip into now and again, a bit like an occasional hobby.
Like you, it is your DC1 who I feel sorry for and I think it would be better for your younger DCs not to have a relationship with this man when it can only lead to upset and disappointment. If he has to have contact with the children it should be on a far more formal footing. Exact day and time. If that is missed, it is missed, and he has to wait for the next approved date. I would take legal advice, (though probably not from a member of exDPs family). Maybe start with the CAB.
Yes, I do that now.. I never do tell them when he is due to come because it is hit and miss. I just feel so betrayed by him. I longed for the normal family life and I feel like he has taken it all away from me.
and suprisingly, his famous words are 'Actions speak louder than words, I will show you that I have changed.' and me being a stupid, thick mug keeps giving him chances.
Karma do you know how I could try to enforce him paying money? Will I just need to get in contact with a family solicitor or somthing like that. Even worse that he owes me thousands of pounds to because once again muggins here took out a loan for him, and a phone contract because he has bad credit and promised to pay for it back monthly. Reading this makes me cringe.. what a fucking idiot I am!
He had MH issues and lives 300 miles away, but it's been a gradual build up
He goes halves on school trips
Sends cards and presents at b'day/Xmas
Provided a laptop for schoolwork
Rings dc each weekend
Dc are older now and do need to have some contact. IRS bloody tough on kids when they see friends with their dads.
My ex was given zero contact by the courts, but I now 'allow' the above.
I still get £5 a week from csa as he is disabled. I feel I can rely on him now.
You are not an idiot - you are a woman who wanted a loving partner and good father for her dc. Do not blame yourself. Just don't ever give him any money again, no matter what he promises.
I would contact a family solicitor for initial advice regarding money. I think that what you can enforce might depend on how much money he gets as a formal wage and how much cash in hand he gets and whether he is declaring it for paying tax.
If the contract for the phone is still ongoing, perhaps you could get it cut off. If he won't return the phone to you, report it to the phone company as stolen. If it's in your name, then it's your phone, not his. And if it's in his name, then you have no obligation to pay the bill, so cancel the direct debit.
He is a lost cause, don't have any reationship with him ever, keep it open that he can see the kids at specified times and goto the CSa for CM
No never, this was from a few years ago and since then I have given him nothing. I do beleive he wasn't brought up by the best mum and dad, and have felt for him a lot. So I tried to help him out so much so that he got his driving license, got a job, got some self confidence ect.
I know he isn't declaring the money, but I will see what I can find out from a solicitor. If it is a hassle, I will just write the money off and let him live his life! What makes me sad as well is that he has another older DC and gives her mum money, said basically that she needs it more than my DC because I am a better mum!!?
Others have some great advice
i do think jumping in with stuff like 'ohh the pay per view' thing when it comes to cm is over simplifying it because if a rp didnt maintain there dc's needs that would be a cp issue. but its ok when a nrp does it because thats insisting dc's arnt pay per view.
in all fairness i didnt really pay much attention to the cm issue as there are more ways a parent can meet the needs but it does sound very much like this nrp is not meeting them at all apart from on his terms and when he can be bothered if he were a mother behaving like this all hell would break lose but its ok because hes a bloke and ohh its the op's fault anyway as he was feckless in the first place.
its not a unreasonable expectation to expect parents to grow up and start being responsable when they have children or to expect them to cater towards a childs most basic needs a parent with care who didnt would be accused quite rightly of emotional abuse
Karma, I cut the phone off and paid the £600 cancellation fee. I then asked for the phone so I could sell it. but he never gave it to me. This was before he went to prison, and he smashed up the phone anyway.
It is anoother awkward situation in that if he does see the children it needs to be at my flat. He has not place to take them. Where he stays now is somewhere not suitable for children at all. And I don't want him in my flat, relaxing playing dad. But then again I'm going to have to if I want them to see hiim!
arghh its just a huge confusing circle.
See a solicitor, see if you can get a residency order because he sounds unhinged. Maybe see if the solicitors can arrange "reasonable contact" in a contact centre under supervision.
If he's threatened suicide, I'd say he poses risk to your children. What's to stop him having them for the day unsupervised and deciding if he can't have you and them then no-one can?
Not being horrid, or trying to scare you - it happens. Too blooming often.
access and money are seperate issues,
access - you need to set some ground rules, tell him what days he can see the children, if he doesnt stick to them thats his fault, be rigorous about the the days, unless he contacts you in plenty of time to swap a day then those days are set in stone, do not let him dip in a out when it suits him, put it in writing to him so you have proof you have tried to be reasonable, and dont give him the easy option of having them at your house
money - unfortunately csa is the only option i know of and they are as useful as a hat full of arses when it comes to getting money from self employed dads
imho stopping access because of lack of money is wrong and does not benefit the dc
I have tears in my eyes reading your post because you are so amazing and he is...just pitiful.
You are clearly a strong woman, stronger than you know. You have had the strength to raise your children so far, to study for a degree, to work...all while being messed around by this pathetic neo-criminal individual.
However, you are still quite young and, looking back at some of the naivety I had at age 26, it is not surprising that he has been able to mess you around - so don't blame yourself.
Take a deep breath. Square up and say to yourself that it will be different from now onwards.
Do not care about him.
Do not trust him.
Don't text him.
If he makes a promise, don't count on it.
Build your support network from other people.
Give him fixed times to see the DC - generous, but the same every week. If he misses one - 'Oh, that's a shame, see you next time'.
Expect a regular financial contribution from him. A small but regular contribution (even £10 per week) is better than something larger that does not come. Don't plead for it, just say that is what the children need and that you would like a standing order to be set up.
Be polite but a bit distant, as if you are getting on with your life.
Don't get involved with his family.
Avoid letting him in your house.
he does not need to have them at your flat, he can take them to the park, take them to visit his friends/family, take them out for the day
stop giving him the easy option, he walsk all over you because you have let him
Bigsnugglebunny- I hear you, and to be honest it has crossed my mind, but it wouldn't go that far. He does it for attention- I must say that I would proably never have another relationship because he has always said he would kill them, and It does scare me! But i'm not fussed about that- relatioships are not even in my head at the moment, not until maybe 10 years or so! I'm sure he would have moved on by then.
Thanks Branchingout, I think where I always go wrong is the last point. Where can he take the DC? Especially now it is winter. Where he stays is a place with dogs and cats running about weeing everywhere, weed is smoked and left all out, the house smells of ciggeretes. It is an absolute no that my DC will go there. I've always said to him he needs to have all 3 DC, do you think this is unfair? Should I say take DC1 (the eldest) somewhere/ cinema/swimming, and then the next day take the babies somewhere, soft play ect.
Ok, I'm going to get a pen and paper down and write everything everyone has advised me and do something!!!
I can see that it is difficult if he hasn't got anywhere to take the children, especially if money is tight.
The danger is that he will just take them to where he lives anyway, which you do not want.
Or what about a contact centre?
What about if he has them at home and you go out for 2-3 hours? Set groundrules for him being there and consider putting a lock on the door of your bedroom if you don't want him in there. Make it clear that this is only happening at your discretion and any messing around whatsoever he will be out. As soon as you come home, he says goodbye and goes - no getting comfortable. Remember, you have 'plans' later.
I suppose that he is still fairly young too (30?), so there is a very slight chance he may pull his finger out and become a decent human being in time, but he needs very firm handling for this to happen.
Isn't this one of those places where if he wants contact he needs to work out how he is going to do it. I'd have thought prima facie a contact centre case?
Perfect answer from BranchingOut incidentally.
i think its fine to let him have dc1 one day and the babies the next, as long as the days are set in stone, i dont sgree you should let him use your flat even with the bedroom looked, dont give him options, tell him not at your place, if he cant find somewhere to take them tell him its not your problem, and if he takes them somewhere they maybe in danger (i.e his flat) you will call SS to come and remove them
thing is its not very easy to get a place at a contact center and lots of them are not plesant places
I must say that I would proably never have another relationship because he has always said he would kill them, and It does scare me!
This is getting worse, OP.
You need to get proper advice, pronto.
And you really should get this moved to Relationships. I'm sure that not all the posters on there read AIBU
I have missed a few posts out, but thank you, kids are up and won't be able to post really- later on i will ask for it to be moved!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
no no no! kill the other man! but it is all talk and he has a temper! he hasnt threattened to hurt me or the kids! but i will not be having another man anyway!
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