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How the hell can I keep 'amicable' for the sake of my son? - bit of a rant

(48 Posts)
SpiderManMum Fri 04-Jan-13 16:29:35

Hello, does anyone have advice on how I can keep things with my STBXH 'amicable' for the sake of my DS when he is screwing us over?

In a nutshell he left us March last year following the trusty MLC script. I am divorcing him and he is making life hell. We were lucky enough to enjoy a very good standard of living, 4 bed house, DS in independent school. I am self employed and made a good wage working flexibly around DS.

This wonderful man is doing his very best to break us (DS and I). I have to leave my home as it is too big for our needs, I have been told that I no longer can enjoy the benefits of being self employed and need to find a regular 9-5 job and now he is arguing that he cannot afford to support DS in independent school anymore. (Just some context, this man earns a london salary with good bonus each year).

He and his solicitor have agreed that renting a 2 bed flat for DS and I is more than adequate for our needs and that I can afford this without any support.

I am doing my best not to scream at him in front of our DS but I am really struggling. I read an interview with Dawn French in a mag over xmas and she writes that if you REALLY have your children's best interests at heart during divorce, then you will put aside your own issues and be on friendly terms with your ex no matter what. That made me feel like shit.

I honestly want to be the bigger person here and it goes without saying i do not want to cause any further distress for my son but I'm struggling to contain my anger even at handover time.

How am I ever going to manage this? I don't want to be angry forever and I don't want DS to feel like he couldn't have us both at his birthday/graduation/wedding etc but I don't think this is something I'm going to be able to forgive.

He texts me during the day with pathetic requests such as ' tell me what to give DS for dinner tonight' and if I ignore him I get threats of being reported to his solicitor for not passing on important info regarding DS! My blood pressure is off the scale as you can tell!

Skyebluesapphire Thu 17-Jan-13 14:21:30

My XH is not particularly good looking, but he has a lovely smile and is was a lovely person....

Sadly, there always seems to be somebody else and they think that they can deny it and hide it, but the truth will always out.

Just make sure that you have good legal advice, that you know what you are entitled to and whatever is suggested in mediation, you say I will need to discuss that with my solicitor and get back to you. The mediators advise that anyway, they cannot encourage you to accept anything without advice.

If your son doesn't want to go to his flat, then he will have to deal with that. You should not have to put up with your STBXH coming into your home. I know that you don't want your son upset, but your ex will just have to take him out or something.

SpiderManMum Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:51

I feel such a bloody fool sad. For the past 10 months ive been listening to this man categorically deny that there was not anyone else involved and despite every sign in the book being there, i always found it impossible to believe that there really was as he's got all the charm of Saddam Hussein

What a stupid cow ive been and now im wondering why he needs to tell me this right now and if there is any link with DS sudden refusal to go to his flat hmm

I'm going to struggle to contain myself at mediation, I can't even bare to look at the weasel.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 16-Jan-13 23:32:50

In mediation I didnt look at Twunt, I referred to him as Mr Skye to make it all as impersonal as possible. I directed all comments at the mediators and they made him answer questions.

Jiddle Wed 16-Jan-13 22:48:50

Our divorce was a few years ago now. I used a regional firm and he used a more expensive one. I instructed my solicitor it to fight over the small stuff, he instructed his to raise every tiny point possible and argue the toss. My legal costs were £13k and his were £25k sad. The whole thing took a year start to finish.

I found out about the OW when he arrived at court with her angry. Even his solicitor was surprised!

Mine is still a prize twunt and still makes my life as miserable as he can, but every day I wake up and remember how lucky I am not to be married to him any more. One day Ihope to wake up and not think about it at all! You'll get there.

You do not have to mediate by the way. You just have to consider mediation and if you decide not to, the mediator will make a note of the reasons why not. One party being very overbearing and unreasonable in approach is an acceptable reason not to mediate. You are only obliged to show that you've given it proper consideration.

SpiderManMum Wed 16-Jan-13 22:43:09

Thanks Jiddle, that's i all need a few years to get back into a full time job and to have a home for DS and I.

I've just had one solicitors bill and it isn't pretty. I'm dreading to think how much all this is going to cost.

SpiderManMum Wed 16-Jan-13 22:40:24

The thought of sitting with him now in mediation fills me with disgust knowing that he's wanting to save his pennies for a new life with ow rather than supporting his son. I'm not sure i can actually do it.

Sadly leopards don't chance their spots so your twunt is going to be in for disappointment as will mine when he gets bored of this one or she gets bored of him and does the off.

I always thought that I wanted an actual answer to why he went, but now I've got it, it doesn't make me feel any better at all. I just feel like a total idiot for even giving him a tiny benefit of doubt over the past 9months.

Total cliche number 1000 coming up but my twunt is not an attractive man and neither is he blessed with charm or a particularly nice personality. The reason I gave him the tiny benefit of doubt is that I just couldn't see anyone jumping at opportunity, how wrong I am .........

Jiddle Wed 16-Jan-13 22:35:31

OP, I've only read the start of the thread but just wanted to say: don't be intimidated by your STBXH. I used to have a H in a well paid City job too. I was a SAHM and during our divorce I heard all the stuff you're getting. Like, "you should sell the car ( which was only worth £2k) because you don't really need a car and it can't be afforded". Meanwhile he was spending thousands on holidays with the OW.

Long story short, I got rid of my rubbish solicitor and got a better one. Not more expensive, just better. We got divorced very un-amicably, it cost a lot, we had to sell the house and I had to move to a much smaller one with the DC. I am much happier. He had to pay maintenance for the DC at CSA rates, plus spousal maintenance for me until I got back into full time work. He contested all of this but in the end if you are a highly paid man divorcing hisSAHM wife then you will have to pay for a few years, however much you whine and bitch about it.

So don't worry: it will all be ok in the end. Do not believe that everything said in his solicitor's letters will come to pass, it will not! But life will change and you will adjust to it. He will still be a knob though.

Good luck.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 16-Jan-13 22:27:56

I have more or less found evidence now that my XH is definitely up to something with his OW. not my concern now, but she is still married and her H has his head firmly in the sand.....

These twunts think that the grass is greener. They will soon find out that it isn't and that they threw away their family for nothing.

I can't believe that my twunt could fall for his best mate's wife who is on her second marriage at the age of 31 after cheating on H number 1, she is now doing the same to H number 2. Anybody sane would run a mile, not think Oh but this is different this time........

Just stay strong with the finances and everything. If you know what you are entitled to, you can discuss it in mediation and it should go more than 50/50 in your favour.

SpiderManMum Wed 16-Jan-13 22:23:28

Thanks Skye. Something is going on otherwise why tell me now and not wait until we are divorced?

Either he is moving in with her, she has kids (so he can pay less), or she is pregnant. He has fertility issues but the way my luck is going she will be expecting twins.

Of course he's been seeing her longer than one month. What idiot would share that info mid divorce with his STBXW if its someone he'd just been on a few trips to the cinema with over the past few weeks?

My poor child, he has to grow up knowing that his father chose a convenient bunk up over being a decent full time parent to him.

I hope he rots in hell.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 16-Jan-13 22:09:33

SMM <<hugs for you>>

You always had it in the back of your mind didn't you, but no way of knowing unless he tells you..... I would be he has been seeing her longer than December, thats only 1 month ago...

Stay strong, make sure that you know your legal rights. Don't take any crap from him. if he moves in with somebody else, they can take their finances into account too, so dont worry too much at the moment.

I know it is hard though. Its the uncertainty that is the killer..

Look after yourself x

SpiderManMum Wed 16-Jan-13 21:37:16

Here I am after yet another kick in the very small pair of balls I'd grown over the past couple of weeks.

Ex was behaving very strangly tonight when he came to visit DS (in my home because DS still refusing to go to dh's). When I came downstairs after putting DS to bed he was sheepishly waiting in the hallway and surprise of all surprises tells me that he is seeing someone else and thought I should know!!!!!

Apparently this only started in December and he expects me to believe it like I am a total moron. He walked out in March claiming we'd 'grown apart' and whilst every telltale sign was there why does this hurt so f*ing much?

His sudden enthusiasm for wanting to get us out of our house and him off of the mortgage all falls into place along with his reluctance to want to continue paying for DS schooling.

What scares me now is why did he feel the need to tell me at this point in time when we are just getting around to sorting finances? Surely he must know that this wasn't going to go down well and help matters? I have a horrible feeling that this isn't all the news I am about to get.

I'm not sure i can take much more to be honest sad

MushroomSoup Wed 09-Jan-13 22:01:35

Good girl!!

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 13:19:40

Good for you Spider.

SpiderManMum Sun 06-Jan-13 13:17:43

Thank you all so much for your advice and empathy, it means a lot to have the support and I will seriously take it all on board.

I am going to start by contacting my solicitor tomorrow and explaining what has happened this weekend. I am going to ask her to send a letter stating that physical threats of violence towards ds and abusive language will not tolerated and that he will not be forced to go to dh if he is obviously distressed. I know in practice this is not going to make much difference but at least it has been recorded and may make him think twice about doing it again in the future. I'm reluctant to get into letters back and forth because of the cost but at the same time, as you quite rightly say, I need to grow a pair and show him that I am no longer going to be bullied and I will certainly stand up and fight where my son is concerned.

I will take her advice on what to do regarding contact from going forward.

The sad thing is that up until a couple of months ago when we had drafted between us a fair settlement, things were as amicable as they could be and there was no tension. Then suddenly everything was on its head, he was not longer prepared to give us a penny and started with the appalling behaviour.

<<waves at Skye>>. Thanks for the kind words and support, I'll drop you an email for a chat. Pleased to see that you have got your twunt under control and that your little gem of a DD is well. x

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 11:22:50

Your poor son. He sounds in a right state. What ar*se of a father does that to their child?

MushroomSoup Sun 06-Jan-13 09:45:08

You really need to get some balls here (in the nicest possible way)!
He can't just decide to bring DS back early - your contact arrangements should be clear. You need to text and say 'sorry, I'm not in. I'll be back at *pm as per our arrangement'. Don't let him do all the leading.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 06-Jan-13 02:11:47

By the way, it's not up to him to tell you to get a job. He has no authority over you whatsoever.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 06-Jan-13 02:10:44

By the sound of it there is no court order in place regarding DS' contact with his father. If that's the case then stop contact and tell your XH to go and fuck himself and that he will be hearing from your solicitor. You do not have to obey this man. Also, keep a record of every shitty thing your XH does - for instance, that he threatened to pull DS trousers down and smack him - that could be considered abuse of a child (not going to get into a general debate on smacking...) Talk to Women's Aid and Rights Of WOmen WRT getting a solicitor who is good at putting abusive men in their place. Best of luck.

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sun 06-Jan-13 01:01:14

Hi SMM. Your ex is a total Twunt isn't he.

Your solicitor will advise you, my sols said that 50/50 is the starting point for everything, house, pensions, savings etc, and then it is argued from there. Sadly, They can make you sell up it it's too big for your needs. However, I don't think they can force you to go and get a job as you said you are earning ok.

Im self employed, low income, but I got a mortgage of £89k on my own by going through a financial advisor. This would have been enough to buy a two bed flat but luckily I can stay here. They took all income into account including maintenance and tax credits. So please go and see a financial advisor and see what you could get. You might get 70/30 split on the house equity as you have DS.

My sols said that the court see the need for accommodation for both parties as important. You would have to go to mediation before going to court. Mediation might help to sort some issues out.

Regarding shouting and swearing at DS, that is totally out of order. He is the grown up and he needs to act like one. Losing his temper shows what problems he has, not what DS has just because your X's dad hit him doesn't mean it should continue. And how on earth does threatening to best a small child stop the tantrum?!

For starters you should get your solicitor to write explaining that threats if physical violence against your DS will not be tolerated. And that if DS does not want to go then he cannot be forced.

You also need set times if access, DD is now going every other weekend from Fri night to Sunday with set times. If your DS will go with his dad then agree the time which must be kept to each week and you should also build up to overnight access too if DS will go.

Does he keep toys at his dads? It will help if he has his own things around him. DD has toys, clothes books and special bedding etc at her dads.

My XH pisses me off because he doesn't respond to anything. Bug in your case I would ignore it, surely a grown man can work out what to give a six year old for tea?!!

We've been there for each other from the start. Email me any time.

We will not let these twunts get the better of us.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 05-Jan-13 17:32:52

You have got to get this access arrangement formalised. I think your DS doesn't like going to the 'boring' flat because Dad doesn't really engage with him at the flat, drops him the minute something or someone else better comes along and the rest of the time treats him as a bargaining chip in some sick game, making off-colour remarks about you. That's not the way loving parents behave and kids may be small but they're not stupid.

SpiderManMum Sat 05-Jan-13 17:24:14

Blimey madgered I am sorry that you are going through this too. I also have beta blockers to help with anxiety attacks that I developed after he left. I probably need ad's also but I had a bad reaction and am too frightened to take them again.

I had no idea that there are law firms that specialise in representing high net worth individuals, that makes me feel utterly sick. So we're all Heather Mills then are we? I hope you manage to be awarded what you deserve, I have no idea how these men actually sleep at night.

He rocked up mid afternoon wanting to take DS swimming. DS wanted to go but bless him was still telling him that he wasn't going to be taken to his flat. I wonder if he is rejecting the idea of his father having a different home from him and this is what is causing the problem?

I've been up all night with worry and look and feel like crap today. Ex turned up head to toe in new designer clothes and sunglasses (in winter grin) looking like the big man about town. He's just text to say he will be bringing DS back early this evening without any tea as he's made arrangements to go out angry Part of me is very tempted to go out right now and spend a couple of hours wandering around Tesco but I'm not sure i should be pushing his buttons?

Proudnscaryvirginmary Sat 05-Jan-13 12:49:47

Oh my god your poor son. Fucking fuming for you. Agree you cannot put him through that again. Your ds is either scared shitless of this man, or picking up all the stress and animosity, or suffering separation anxiety from you exacerbated by the difficult break up or just highly emotional because of what's going on. Whichever it is (could be all of the above) he needs patience and time and should not be forced to stay with dad. Ring your solicitor.

madgered Sat 05-Jan-13 10:44:49

I know exactly what you're going through. the same is happening to me. infact you could be quoting my story. passive lovely DH turns into a gremlin bunny boiler.
we've just started in the divorce road and you're right it's more stressful that the failing relationship road. my DH has been plotting what he intends to give me for a while now, before I realized the relationship was over! I will manage, just, on what he's offering me. Like your DH, he is a wealthy man and he can afford to give me the family home, mortgage free and he can afford to give me a good salary that will see me comfortably into old age. I don't work. I have 4 children and I'm in my late forties. I'm stuffed really and totally reliant on him.
I've rejected his offer and he's gone ballistic. restricting money, canceling credit cards, refusing to allow me to take my children abroad to see my parents at Easter. he shouts at me, threatens, me verbally abuses me. Even though we go to a different part of the house to have these "chats" he can still be heard. I'm proud to say I don't scream back. I try to calm him down. but if I wasn't on beta blockers and antidepressants I think I would be a screaming banshee too. it's so stressful. the children hear him. I don't know how I'm going to control the damage being done to them. the only thing to do I guess is to be calm around them and be mummy.
he's hired a London law firm that represent high net worth individuals. so he's got the heavy guys. but like so many others have said. the law is the law, so I'm not to fussed about his legal team. I have a lovely local guy, with fangs, who came recommended.
all I'm hoping for is to live in my own home, mortgage free with a good salary to give me a good life. that's what I'm fighting for.
stick to your guns. Easier said than done. I'm finding it so hard not to go down the easy road for the sake of a few months peace. but I have to remind myself that I'm fighting for my life. good luck my friend.

Viviennemary Sat 05-Jan-13 10:20:03

Well I wouldn't feel very amicable in your circumstances I'm afraid. And it does take two two people to be fair in order things remain amicable. You seem to be the one losing out massively. I think you should inform your solicitor about what happened with your son. In a matter of fact way without getting over emotional although it would be hard in the circumstances. I think I would forget amicable for the time being.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 05-Jan-13 10:08:45

Hi Spider it really is very difficult to maintain an amicable relationship with someone who is a total twat. My Ex really grinds my gears, but luckily i have good friends i can rant to about it smile

Use MN as a place to come and rant, in the hopes of not exploding.

I do believe that an amicable split is better for the children, but in a lot of cases it is much easier said than done. Especially when the man you are supposed to act nicely towards is trying to kick you out of your home.

My parents split was absolutely not amicable, and i do think it had a very negative effect on everyone involved. When my Ex and I split up, I was certain that it was going to be amicable. I would say that so far (7 months on) we are doing very well, but i have to ignore/forget the irritating things he does, and how dreadfully he treated me in the past.

I do believe it will be worth it in the long run if you can be amicable, but remember, being amicable doesn't mean being friends and chummy etc. it just means not tearing out his eyes when he is being a petulant arse.

I really hope you get some good advice on here to help you and your son through what is always going to be a difficult transition.

Is your son normally anxious about going to his dads?

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