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"Daddy misses me so much he hardly eats..."

(48 Posts)
Noregrets78 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:29:39

This is really bugging me now. Separated from H about 3 weeks ago - DD (8) spends 3 nights a week with him, and 4 nights a week with me.

It's all games really, but he is pulling at DD's heart strings. She said that he's so sad when she's not with him, he sits on the sofa all day and hardly even eats. That maybe she should spend some more time over there to make him feel better.

Now I have nothing against her spending time with her Dad. but I want to take her out of the decision making here, as she's been caught up in the middle before, and it's been hugely painful.

I've told her that it's the grown ups job to look after children, and that it's not the child's job to look after the grown up. That Daddy is responsible for his own happiness. To top it all off I know damn well that he is fine when she's not there, he's just creating a sob story.

Soooo much other background but I won't make this too long. 'no he's never hit me' but is very abusive. This is just the latest in the attempt at manipulation. I can't do anything to stop his behaviour - I can't even say that DD has repeated this, as she worries that she'll get in trouble for talking to me. All I can do is arm her with the ability to deal with it.

How do I do that? How do I stop her being affected by his sob stories, when she cares so much?

Thank you in advance...

springytate Wed 12-Jun-13 23:33:35

You couldn't have done better than:

it's the grown ups job to look after children, and that it's not the child's job to look after the grown up. That Daddy is responsible for his own happiness.

She needs to get this early, and you've told her. She may worry, worry, but somewhere down there, she's heard what you said. You could say that daddy is sulking, and that's naughty. Then laugh, and change the subject.

She may use the word 'sulking' with him, and out that it came from you. Maybe you have to run that risk. She shouldn't be put in this position - as you know full well. Abusers stoop lower than low and anything is fair game for their manipulations angry

PurpleThing Wed 12-Jun-13 23:44:01

This book is very good. Has book recommendations for different ages, ways to build their self esteem and ability to judge other's behaviour etc.

I think that what you have told her so far is really important. She will realise that he is being inappropriate by making her worry about him, hopefully sooner rather than later.

colditz Wed 12-Jun-13 23:50:03

What he's doing is child abuse. He's trying to make her feel bad about living with you and not him.

Tell her that daddy is responsible for his own food, and isn't it silly to sit on the sofa and sulk because you're not getting your own way? What does she think a teacher would do if you did that? What do you think a teacher would say?

And then, when she is careful.y out of the way and cannot overhear, ring him up and tell him that if he doesn't stop emotionally abusing her, contact will be reduced to two hours a week in a contact centre because you will not allow him to destroy her the way he had attempted to destroy you.

Noregrets78 Wed 12-Jun-13 23:51:36

Thanks both it's so good to know I'm doing the right things. The Lundy Bancroft recommendation is also interesting - I've read his main one about angry and controlling men, and it was a real eye opener. I hadn't considered this one as I hadn't really thought of DD as witnessing anything... What a stereotypical thing to say! If I'd seen anyone else saying that line on here, I'd jump in immediately with the fact that the kids always see what's going on.

Hmm think I need to go shopping on Amazon.

springytate Thu 13-Jun-13 00:10:36

Just ordered that book! Thanks Purple !

As much as it would be satisfying to hand it to him the way you describe, Colditz , it just isn't feasible with types like this (imo). There is no low to which they wouldn't stoop, and the chances are he'd up the ante and create far more problems. imo it is better to act without involving him, or speaking to him (which is pissing in the wind, anyway. He'd enjoy the hit tbf).

i totally agree that it is child abuse. To that end, I would get some advice about whether access continues. He abused you Noregrets , please don't think he wouldn't abuse your daughter in the same way - as you have seen sad . Do you really want her spending time with him?

Divorce Poison, deals with parental alienation. I would be very careful about threatening reduced contact - the courts would look on it very unfavourably.

Noregrets78 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:27:04

I need to be careful I don't start minimising what he's done over the years! He's never really physically hurt me, but has been intimidating, and I've walked on egg shells for years. I had been thinking if I could just last another 10 years DD would be an adult... but then saw 'the light' including a few comments from DD which made me realise that she was walking on egg shells just as much as me. The only reason things weren't worse in the house were because both of us knew how to avoid winding him up. Not a good way to live.

I'm very aware that nothing he's done is bad enough in the eyes of the court to restrict access. If I try to do that, then it will be the start of a long battle which I am unlikely to win.

TBH I would love for her not to spend time with him, for her own good, not selfish reasons. There are a whole host of other issues - he has been in and out of work for the last 6 years (his own fault), has been unemployed for the last 6 months, and is therefore at home able to take her to school pick her up etc. I, on the other hand, have worked full time to make up for the unpredictable income. I've played things very carefully to enable the current arrangements to work, and to make clear that working does not render me incapable of looking after our daughter. He has, of course, threatened to move my daughter in with him, take her away etc etc.

I'm afraid I will not phone him up to tell him to stop - DD will get in trouble and I'll not put her in that situation. We have had the general conversation a few times about how best to avoid damaging DD, but he just laughs at my foolish notions, and asks what book I got it out of. It's all my fault for pushing for the separation and now divorce, any attempt to minimise the damage just results in me getting blamed yet again.

I think things will resolve themselves in time. He moved to the other end of the country from his 2 daughters from his previous marriage, shortly after the divorce. He's already talked many times about moving away (of course i'm 'pushing him away' by not continuing to financially support him...)

Anyway I've ended up waffling for ages. I really do need to concentrate on giving her the tools to deal with it, and bide my time. Sorry it's all just come out in a flood of words, well done if you've got to the end of it!

Noregrets78 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:29:08

veryconfused absolutely there are so many cases of awful abuse where the courts still grant access. I wouldn't threaten cutting contact as it would probably backfire.

springytate Thu 13-Jun-13 09:17:03

<fingers crossed he moves away>

mummytime Thu 13-Jun-13 09:33:49

Do talk to the school too. See if the teacher hears anything (and if she does ask her to record it on your DDs file). See if the school can offer your DD any counselling time, my DCs primary has a Home-School worker who is ideal for letting kids express these kids of things to someone outside the family.
It may help your DD sort out her thoughts and would provide more "evidence" if you ever need it.

babyhammock Thu 13-Jun-13 09:44:56

Another really good Lundy Bancroft book is 'The Batterer as Parent'.
It's quite expensive, around £37 on amazon, but its brilliant and well worth the money.
Don't be put off by the word batterer, he uses it to define someone who uses coercive behaviour and threats even if there's been no actual 'hitting'.

honey86 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:36:37

id report that to whatever relevant authority because thats emotional abuse. disgusting twat x

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 12:59:18

It's horrible manipulation. My ex has done similar, told DD I was trying to get him put in prison and killed.

If you're going down the court route, this should be grounds to ask for CAFCASS to do a report and potentially cut back on contact. In your shoes, I would ask whether it's in your DD's best interest to spend nearly half the week with such a manipulative person.

You are giving your dd the right message - it's not up to her to look after him.

Another thing I would say is that when you are with DD, make sure she gets carefree time just to enjoy her childhood. Don't get so caught up in your (justified) anger at your ex and your desire to protect DD that you make your time with her All About Him as well. I'm made this mistake, spending too much time earnestly questioning DD and trying to help her get perspective on her father, when really what she needed was a complete break and just to think about something fun for a while.

Noregrets78 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:13:50

I always think people will say that I have no right to want to restrict his contact, when he's at home all day and I work full time. Thank you so much for seeing that I'm worried for my daughter, not because I feel some kind of ownership of her.

Yes I frequently fall into the trap of asking her things about Daddy, but when I forget all about it, and just relax with her we have a wonderful chilled out time.

I don't want to alert authorities, or ask for a CAFCASS report because that will make him dig his heels in even more. I suspect he only wants her so many nights a week to prove a point, and if I just leave things be he'll eventually decide life would be better with a job, or in a different part of the country, and let go. He'll blame it all on me, and I couldn't care less, as I know the truth, and I'll be well rid!

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 14:21:51

I get your point about him digging his heels in - you know him best, and I think it's worth following the strategy of non-opposition in the hope he'll get bored and go away.

At the same time, I think it's worth trying to get your concerns documented by a third party, so if it does involve courts later on, it won't be just your word against his. Can you log your concerns with someone, whether teacher, GP, counsellor or whoever? He doesn't have to know at this point, and you may never need it, but it's worth having.

My ex has fought hard to be the residential parent, and I think part of it is that he fancies tax credits, child benefit etc. I've been grateful for every scrap of third party evidence that has documented previous concerns about my ex.

Noregrets78 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:46:53

Have picked up DD tonight and had the usual Thursday night being difficult... We had a bit of a heart to heart, and she confessed that she's so sad about never having a family meal again, jealous of everyone else's lives, and that she was cross with me because it was my fault, because I was the one that said I wanted a divorce, and daddy thinks so too.

How to deal with this?! I've said rather cryptically that I had very good reasons, that I didn't want to tell them to her, as it would upset her to hear bad things about Daddy. I've said that someone can't treat you wrongly, and then blame you when you say you're not putting up with it any more...

She says that if it's not my fault then whose fault is it? Am I saying it's Daddy's fault? Or hers? I've reassured her it's absolutely not hers. that it's nobody's 'fault' but that it's both Daddy and Mummy that need to do this. Etc etc etc.

She seems a bit better for getting it all out, but I'm so upset. There's me continuing to give the neutral message, and there's him saying he's so so sad and it's Mummy's fault. How on earth do I convince her that i'm not to blame, without bad mouthing her Dad? It's making my head hurt confused

colditz Thu 13-Jun-13 22:02:05

You cannot give her a neutral message whilst her father is shit talking about you. You are going to have to give her a well clipped version of the absolute truth.

I told my children that I split up with their father because he wasn't able to be nice to me, or even able to stop being horrible. That the reason he went to live somewhere else was as a result of his own behavior. I reassured them that this can only happen with adults, so they weren't concerned abut being sent away, and told them that their love is theirs, to give to whoever they want, and they will never make me angry by loving someone that I don't love, but that I cannot let them live with their father because if he cannot make himself happy, and cannot feed himself properly, or clean his house so it is safe enough because he is so sad, he cannot look after children. Children must live with someone who can look after them properly,it is the law. And again, it's fine to love him, but children are NEVER in charge of making grown ups happy. Grown ups HAVE to make themselves happy without making children do it.

Can you tell that my ex pulled similar shit? And left my kids thinking I was an evil bitch who mistreated their beloved daddy until he was nearly dead!

Fucking tosser!

Anyway, it took a while for the message to sink in, but it did, and he stopped doing it after a while.

Optimist1 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:02:16

Not a great deal to add, Noregrets, except I think you're doing a great job and I really hope he gets tired of these manipulative games sooner rather than later.

Your daughter sounds a dear, sensitive girl. With regard to Mummy being to blame for the divorce could you tell her that Mummy was very sad for a lot of the time and that this was the only way out?

Feeling for you, and wishing you and your little girl lots more fun together in your future.

SummerSun19 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:48:01

Its a shame these men dont have a child filter, that way they would know not to speak to his daughter like that. Ive been in the exact same situation with a similar loser and ultimately its very hard not to say anything directly to the child about their father but phrases such as :Daddy says the wrong thing, thats not true and im not sure why he would say that.??... : what you need to do is to point out that he has said the wrong thing and made the wrong choice of words... and let your daughter reach her own conclusions by reassuring her with positive words and building her self esteem..your day will come when your daughter will get the measure of this man. Children are not stupid and pick up on comments, body language and atmospheres and she will realise very soon that he talks bullshit.. My daughter is 7 and has just realising now what her dad is like and ive had to button my lip for 4 years while she idolised him. These dickhead men are not even smart enough to realise children will soon work out who is the honest person. In fact go have a nice glass of wine and let him keep babbling away ruining things for himself. theres more than one way to skin a cat and hes doing a really good job himself smile

ImperialBlether Thu 13-Jun-13 23:39:20

You could say something like, "Oh he does exaggerate, doesn't he? One of my friends saw him in town laughing and chatting with his friends."

Noregrets78 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:46:23

Thanks everyone, you've given me some lovely fresh ideas on how to approach the subject with her. I know Thursday nights are always the worst, as she really acts up. Once she gets her anger out of her system things always improve.

As long as she's able to tell me how she feels, even if that means telling me she's cross with me... he'll never break our relationship.

springytate Fri 14-Jun-13 08:23:30

I hope you've taken on board to get this documented somewhere. It is so important to let someone official know what is going on.

It is just so appalling that your little girl is being used as a pawn like this. Poor girl, pulled back and forth sad sad . I appreciate that you expect him to gradually lose interest and drift off, but I just hate to hear of your girl being used in the meantime.

If you told someone official what you have told here, they would immediately recognise (as we have) that he is emotionally abusing her.

I don't know what I'm saying here, really. Suffering is part of life and maybe this is the price she has to pay for a finite period ??

Tuckshop Fri 14-Jun-13 08:42:25

Is there a pastoral care worker at school? My dd talks to them when she is finding it difficult at her Dads. She has a tendency to hold back with me, as she doesn't want me getting upset or angry - not that I would with her.

It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Fri 14-Jun-13 08:43:17

Noregrets - DD saw enough, heard enough and absobed enough when you were together. She's 10, not 4 - I think you need to be more on the level with her - explain to her that his behaviour wasn't good enough, explain that walking on eggshells wasn't good for your or her mental health. You don't have to say he's a twat - but I actually think it's wrong not to discuss things properly when they are her age as it just confirms that his manipulative, abusive behaviour is OK - when it's anything but. Also, it completely destroys her ability to trust her own judgement about things - she knew he wasn't behaving nicely - don't make out he was/is - for her own good.

I'm not sure I've explained that very well though.

NicknameTaken Fri 14-Jun-13 10:13:29

I agree with ex. It's possible to avoid directly bad-mouthing your ex while making the point that if someone makes us feel awful (as he is doing to her), we can make the choice not to be around them. We can't fix other people.

NicknameTaken Fri 14-Jun-13 10:15:03

I don't agree with ex. That was meant to be "I agree with Chipping and the other posters". Yikes.

Noregrets78 Fri 14-Jun-13 10:44:21

Had another lovely talk to her this morning, which covered a lot of the things you've suggested chipping colditz nickname, although she's 8, not 10. Some things I have told her before but I think you have to tell them more than once so it sinks in. I told her that Daddy scares me when he shouts (me too, she replied), that there's lots of things I can't talk to him about for fear he'll get angry. That I run out of things to say because everything in my head will make him mad, and then he gets cross for me not speaking. I told her he has a 'death stare' which really scares me, and means I know not to mess (she says she knows that look...). I told her about the saying 'walking on egg shells' and she totally understood. There is so much more I could tell her, but she already knows, deep down inside. I asked her if she sees this as my fault, and she said no, she doesn't. Phew.

So hard. He keeps telling her to keep secrets from me, which she also finds very stressful. Stupid things like don't tell Mummy I bought the lottery, beer and cigarettes... I have suggested that she says 'I don't really like keeping secrets from Mummy' but she says she daren't say that to Daddy. I've told her that every time she's scared to say something - take a step back and ask yourself if you're saying something out of order, or unreasonable. If it's something perfectly reasonable, then it's Daddy who's in the wrong, not you. It's such a change from trying to present a united front... but as you say - it's vital that she knows what is OK behaviour, and what is not.

tuckshop I find school very good - they also have a pastoral care person who she goes to speak to, which I've encouraged. But they're always so careful not to take sides - whenever I go into detail I feel like they withdraw and stay as neutral as possible.

springytate I haven't really told anyone, other than friends, and MN! I have considered a child counsellor for her.

i try my best, but I also feel like a pathetic wimp not standing up to him more on her behalf. But she begs me not to, she knows she would get told off for telling me so much. I don't want to betray her confidence, or she won't feel able to talk to me either. I need to go about it in a generic way, without letting slip that she's been talking. God this is so hard! Thanks all.

NicknameTaken Fri 14-Jun-13 10:54:55

You're doing a great job, Noregrets. I think that is such a positive discussion to have with your dd. You can't fix the sadness, but you can address the confusion. It's not a happy situation to be in, but you are approaching it with a lot of emotional intelligence and you're putting your dd's well-being first.

[a quick squeeze of the hand]

Noregrets78 Fri 14-Jun-13 11:01:59

Thanks nickname

Biscuitsareme Fri 14-Jun-13 12:04:47

Noregretss78- I'm following your thread with interest. I am the child of an emotionally abusive mother and a father with an entitled side to him (though he can be very reasonable and fair too). Emotional blackmail was rife after my parents split up so your daughter's situation hits a nerve with me. My sense is that in you she has a real 'anchor'. Someone who's there for her without strings attached/ gameplaying/ manipulation. Even if she doesn't fully understand this now, she most probably will when she is older and will all the more appreciate you for it.
I still wish that one of my parents had managed to be emotionally mature enough not to use me as pawn. Now I despise them both for what they did.

Spiritedwolf Fri 14-Jun-13 12:47:48

Children understand what bullying behaviour is, though they might only recognise it in the context of other children because apart from 'stranger danger' children are normally expected to trust the adults around them.

Even the manipulative kind of bullying where the bully is a 'friend' who bursts into tears whenever they don't get their own way can be explained to a child though it might be tricky for them to recognise without help.

I realise saying "your dad is a bully" is perhaps too bold and onesided thing for you to say atm. But you can be clear about how friends act versus how bullies act and let her draw her own conclusions as she becomes more aware. Focus on building her up, how she deserves to be treated etc, so that she doesn't think its her job to make him happy etc. I think your comments about grown-ups looking after children was spot on.

It sounds like you are both still walking on eggshells to try and prevent her from getting into trouble with him. Could you speak to Women's Aid about the situation, see if anything can be done, or if any counselling is available for children experiencing emotional abuse? You've escaped the relationship, but she is still living with it. sad

SummerSun19 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:45:58

Best thing to do is to explain it in her language. ' Daddy and I are not together anymore because he was angry and unkind to me and happened over a long time and made Mum very sad and nervous, so mum decided it was best that we live in 2 different houses now, but its not your fault. You have to understand that he sometimes makes the wrong choice and if he asks you to keep something from me then that's not really fair as secrets should be something that makes you happy and not makes you feel sad or uncomfortable''

The problem you have now is how your daughter handles his behaviour in terms of his secrets and manipulative behaviour.

You need to provide her with the tools to do that . What about if next time he trys to talk about Mummy or his sadness or any of that , if your daughter was to say ' Dad lets not talk about mum or anything now as this is my time to spend with you and I don't want to talk about feelings'

What will happen is that she wont want to go see him and this is a situation he has created. She will get the sense you are the one to trust/believe/ be reliable and provide her with the security and love she needs. Keep going and don't loose heart , when they come back from seeing their dads, thats when the anger comes out and it takes a while to settle but its no wonder this is happening if she cant relax with him or speak freely. Keep a diary for her . document the days he was rude / horrible, the days she was upset and why she was upset - that way when she is older she can read it all for herself and it will all make sense

imademarion Fri 14-Jun-13 13:57:15

You have some great advice and you sound like a li sky thoughtful intelligent mother.

It's only been a short while, perhaps your ex thinks you'll change your mind if your daughter pressurises you and when he realises this isn't working hopefully he will shut his whiny mouth and grow up.

It's horrible for her right now, counselling sounds like an excellent plan if she's willing. She talks to you, that's amazing and a testament to your mothering.

Hope the scales fall for her soon, thinking of you both. Be brave!

TheAllNewMe Fri 14-Jun-13 15:38:51

You sound like a brilliant mum.

You probably know that even a child of 8 has the innate sense and intelligence to see what is really going on. Remember that as difficult as this is, you have a very valuable opportunity here in teaching her that as a woman she does not have to put up with abuse and ill treatment from a man (or vice versa).

When you say that daddy shouting scared you, you must say that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and have their feelings respected by the people they live with and where that does not happen a person needs to think whether they need to live a different way in order to be safe and happy. That is what you have done, for your daughter and for yourself and it is important that she carries tht message with her into adulthood.

Bertiebassett Fri 14-Jun-13 16:55:23

Watching this thread with interest...

I'm in a similar situation...been living apart for 2 months now. DS comes out with things that I know come from XH. He's attempted to manipulate his son to feel sorry for him...and it makes me so angry...but I'm scared to do anything about it hmm

I too find it really hard to explain to DS why his daddy had to leave and why the things he is saying now are inappropriate and should be ignored.

It took me years to figure out that I was actually being emotionally abused ....and I struggle to explain it to friends and family, let alone a 5-year-old...

OP you've given me hope that I can deal with this...

Noregrets78 Fri 14-Jun-13 23:23:32

So many going through similar things! Especially biscuits it's interesting to hear from someone who's been on the 'other side'.

We've agreed to forget about it all for the weekend and just have fun (well she says she can never forget about it, so we've compromised on 'ignore it' for the weekend...).

Now to decide if I'm protecting my daughter by avoiding mentioning it to him, or just being a wimp!

GingerJulep Sat 15-Jun-13 10:39:09

If I'd split up with someone I'd been in a meaningful relationship with only 3 weeks ago and was unemployed then, yes, I'd probably be spending a lot of miserable time on the sofa. And I might think that I should be seeing more of my child than the parent working full-time, regardless of gender.

If one person (and historically it has mostly been me) has been the one to instigate a break up then yes, they are responsible for the ensuing sadness. It doesn't mean that they aren't doing the right thing. It just IS sometimes a lot harder to dump than be dumped.

If I split with my OH, who is not currently working (our choice) then I'd expect to financially support him to some extent.

I don't want to be unsupportive to OP - this certainly isn't the post I'd be making at the start of a thread like this.

But it is a post this thread looks like it needs just to balance things out a bit.

On MN things tend to get very one-sided. Usually in the OP's favour (although occasionally they get torn to bits!). That isn't the way real-life is. We all exhibit, and live in shades of grey. (Not the book!)

Good luck with coming to an amicable co-parenting solution for your child.

springytate Sat 15-Jun-13 11:10:44

BUT you've told her you found it harder and harder to stand up to him and ended up walking on eggshells (which she understands).

yet she's having to negotiate the exact-same scenario that an adult couldn't handle, and she's only 8 sad

She begs you not to say anything... but my kids begged me not to say anything when they told me about 3 kids left on their own in a house for days (oldest 11; baby crawling through the contents of an upturned bin) and, although it caused a hell of a lot of trouble, I had no choice but to 'say something'. To SS.

sometimes you have to say/do something. It took you years to get out of the situation, imo you have to remove her from this situation. She is only 8. You have to protect her.

Ginger , yy he's upset. An adult keeps any upset away from involved kids. An adult doesn't put the full weight of it on the kids, but does all they can to keep any 'weight' off the kids. If a parent does, in fact, make a bee-line for putting the weight on the kids (in order to 'pay back' the parent who left), then that's a different story entirely. An adult is expected to carry their own weight - not put it on anyone else; certainly not CHILDREN.

Spiritedwolf Sat 15-Jun-13 17:41:10

I'm concerned about the 'ignoring it for the weekend' thing if she's upset enough to tell you she can't forget it.

I think you need to get appropriate support for her, she needs to have someone to talk to. Contact Woman's Aid, tell them that you have left an emotionally abusive relationship and that your daughter is staying with him for 3 days a week and you are concerned about the things he is telling her which are making her upset. Hopefully they can give you some advice about contact in these situations and point you in the direction of legal advice and emotional support for your DD.

You have escaped the abuse but she hasn't. You have a duty to protect her. You'd can't pretend that it isn't happening hmm. Minimising her feelings like that won't help.

Spiritedwolf Sat 15-Jun-13 18:04:43

Sorry, that might have sounded harsh. If you have just escaped an abusive relationship, the chances are you have been coached by him (or an earlier relationship/upbringing) to put his needs/wishes/feelings/whims above your emotional and physical needs and wishes - and indeed your daughter's.

You probably spent the time in that relationship ignoring you (and your daughter's) feelings, putting them aside, forgetting about them, etc - in order to survive day to day.

But ignoring your feelings, and her ignoring hers, isn't a good long term strategy. It makes you both vulnerable to future abuse (and indeed continuing abuse from your ex partner). That's why I think that you need to seek advice on how to limit his ability to EA her, and why she needs counselling to help her process her feelings in a healthy way.

You may also benefit from the Freedom program, and/or counselling in order to help you acknowledge your own needs and wants and move on from this in a healthy way.

It's not the case that if you just pretend you are both okay that it will be true, both of your feelings matter.

[I do realise that maybe you didn't mean you would keep trying to suppress your daughter's feelings and that you just want her to have a happy weekend, but I think it is important to acknowledge that she is in a very stressful situation, that is worrying her, and it won't just go away if you don't talk about it]

Even children going through their parent's breakup when there is no abuse can need a bit of external support. Schools ought to have someone they can talk to if the WA can't help. I suggest WA particuarly because the history of abuse in your relationship and their experience in helping children in this situation and they might be able to talk to you about the access situation too.

springytate Sat 15-Jun-13 19:01:10

There is also this idea that we must bow before our children's relationship with their father, that it comes before everything, that is an absolute. Also a fear that we are seen as the mother who cuts the kids' contact with the father (out of spite, or whatever).

imo there are some fathers children don't need. He's one of them if he's pulling stunts like this - emotionally abusing your daughter.

Noregrets78 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:31:54

gingerjulep thanks for your comments, i'd agree sometimes the OP gets an easy ride on these threads and I do appreciate your honesty. To put it in perspective - H not working is not a joint decision. He has been in and out of work for 6 years, due to failing probationary periods, refusing to apply for jobs, walking out of jobs etc etc. Our debt levels shoot up and down depending on his job situation. I have supported him for all those years, while he implies that i'm a skinflint if I ask him to turn the heating down slightly, or consider switching to a different brand of coffee... I could go on about this forever, but in short he is a cocklodger. We effectively separated in January, but he refused to move out, despite the fact there was another home for him to go to, paid for by me, only 2 miles away. He instead used this as leverage - drop the solicitor and I'll move out. Sleep with me and I'll move out. Divorce on 2 year separation and I'll move out. I hope this helps explain that this is not a 3 week separation, with him as a SAHD who I am now dumping.

spiritedwolf I'm also concerned that I minimise the impact that all this has on DD. My worry is that I make it all worse by kicking up a hornet's nest. I'm not sure what to add really, except that I've heard you, and am thinking really hard.

And yes - the ignoring it for the weekend is no way an attempt to ignore her feelings, merely that when times are stressful there is no harm in getting away from it all, relaxing and continuing to have a childhood.

springytate Sun 16-Jun-13 20:46:24

Hi Noregrets

I cna't help noticing that you've spent a long time answering your detractors in your last post. There have been many encouraging and validating posts, yet you have focused on the (relatively) negative aspects of some posts, specifically the parts of those posts that call you into question.

Which leads me to think you have learned to be defensive, to defend yourself - almost as a matter of course, a way of life? And, of course, you have learned to be attacked - even, to take attacks seriously? Perhaps to feel you must defend yourself, almost as though you're in a court of law.

Just something that jumped out...

Noregrets78 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:02:17

Yep springytate I question everything that I do, and am constantly justifying myself. Part of being married to 'that kind of man' for far too long! I have really appreciated the encouraging posts, and just wanted to set the record straight before everyone thought I'd dumped a SAHD with no warning.

onefewernow Tue 18-Jun-13 13:22:20

I think that you are doing him a kindness actually by not financially supporting him any longer. It will enable him to grow up and take some responsibility for himself, if he was ever going to.

OneMoreChap Tue 18-Jun-13 16:37:28

ring him up and tell him that if he doesn't stop emotionally abusing her, contact will be reduced to two hours a week in a contact centre because you will not allow him to destroy her the way he had attempted to destroy you.

and promptly get slung into court yourself for unreasonable behaviour.
8 years old? Doesn't the court take cognizance of a child's wishes?

Noregrets78 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:41:32

onemorechap My thoughts entirely. (although I think at 8 years old it's only just below the age they take their views into account)

onefewernow also exactly what I think! I tried to sell it to him as a positive thing to force him to stand on his own two feet but strangely enough he didn't agree...

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