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Should I tell him? Warning, long.

(141 Posts)
McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 09:47:49

Ok, so name changed... I need to know how I deal with an oblivious XH who thinks he is the best father in the world. Sorry for the mammoth post, don't want to drip feed anything.

XH started a new job working abroad this year. He used to live 5 hours drive away, and this job is now based 4 hours away, but with regular trips abroad (sometimes for months at a time). He used to see the dcs every other weekend. But since the new job in 5 months he has only seen them 5 times. He hasn't actually been flown out anywhere yet, he just doesn't come up to see them anymore, and cancelled the every other weekend arrangement. I now occasionally get a text midweek saying "can I see them this weekend?" and bend over backwards to accommodate this.

Technically our access arrangements are now a week at school holidays if he wants them and I have offered two weeks (one week at a time) over the summer and then sporadic weekends when he has time.

He wanted a fortnight over the summer. But dc3 is about to turn 4 and givens feel that is just too long for her.

All 3dcs have suffered various emotional issues due to his behaviour before the break up, the break up, and new home etc.

We used to live where he was (5 hours away) but when he started talking about changing jobs we moved back home to where we are now (since I had no support or family up there and we were only in the area for his work). This has of course now been rewritten as "he had to change jobs because I stole the children away". Which is not true.

He never phones the children, occasionally texts the eldest (maybe twice a month), and in all honesty their relationship was strained with him already. Dc1 (14) stated yesterday that he didn't care about seeing his dad that much since dad had clearly chosen his job over them and always would sad not even said with bitterness, just matter-of-fact. Dc2 (8) wet the bed for the first time in months on thursday night - the night after I'd told him he was seeing his dad this weekend. And dc3 (nearly 4) Who is usually so independent becomes a clingy wreck in the days after a visit.

I do not slag him off to them. I reassure them that he loves them more than his work. But they clearly hurt, whether it's from missing him, or the change in routine, or something else I don't know. They are in such a good place when he's not involved. All the stresses, nervous twitches, bed wetting, clinginess, insecurity, sadness, just disappears and they are normal happy kids. I just want them to have a normal, stable relationship with him.

So, XH is now insisting he wants them longer in the summer (has stated that if he goes for a week and a half abroad he can get cheaper flights), but I've already stated that a week is long enough. He sent me about 50 texts yesterday demanding his "rights". I've said over and over that he can have them for longer, just not all in one go. I would even stretch to him having them for half the holiday as long as that was in one week periods.

He has not said anything about being out of the country for the whole time, just that he wants from this date to this date, no others, only one visit, only one holiday and why can't I do what's best for the dcs and let them go.

I've also said that next summer with dc3 being older a longer break would be fine. I've said he can take the eldest for longer.

I don't really want to get into a discussion about whether a week is not long enough, I know my dc3 and I know it's too much right now.

I have never told him all the emotional problems his actions trigger. He was Emotionally and Sexually Abusive in our marriage, and there were times that the dcs were scared of him, but his anger was directed at me not them, so I don't believe he's abusing them. He is a careless and thoughtless man, but dc1 is always there and watches the younger two like a hawk (much as I hate the responsibility, it reassures me).

He wants to know why I'm being such a selfish bitch and denying him acces to his children who need him so. I have told him my reasons (dc3 too young, they need stability etc) offered other times, but I have a horrible feeling he's just going to take them and not bring them back.

Should I tell him what his dcs really think and how they really react to him? I never have because he'll just tell me I'm a nasty bitch trying to drive a wedge between them. I don't see the point. But he doesn't see the damage and he can't accept he's anything less than a perfect parent. He doesn't see that reduced contact is a lot when you're small.

I've gone down the route of explaining. That hasn't worked. I'm now at the point of saying "you've had my answer, stop contacting me about this", and am getting constant texts. If I don't reply he says it's because I know I'm wrong. I've started replying with a copy and paste of "this has been discussed, the answer is no". He carries on. It's like being married to him again sad I feel stressed and nervous. I'm tempted to say "sod it, take me to court", please help me keep my dcs safe and happy. I want them to see him and have a good relationship with him, but I won't see them hurt.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 07-Jul-13 09:52:21

Perhaps a court ordered agreement is best? That way, his noncompliance to it will mean something.

Chocotrekkie Sun 07-Jul-13 09:56:08

What do the older two think ?? Do they want to go with him abroad for over a week ?. That would be my starting point.

If they say no then you can tell him the kids don't want to go and suggest that the time and effort should be made by him to build a relationship.

slipperySlip000 Sun 07-Jul-13 09:57:26

Agree with Katy there is no way he should be intimidating you like this. Agree you should formalise access arrangements for the sake of your sanity and the emotio al wellbeing of your dc.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 09:58:07

Thanks Katy, I'm beginning to think that. But with the nature of his work and the fact that he could be away for random periods of time i can't see how they could set out an order.

I've been trying to get an answer to when he wanted them over the summer since march (so I could book something around it), but it is only this week that he's finally given a time (which differs from when he had suggested previously and because of this, the only thing I HAD booked for us to do clashes and I have had to cancel). And if I don't cancel? Well I'm evil and not letting him see the dcs.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 10:00:00

Sorry xpost. Choco, the older two don't really care. Dc2 will go along with whatever (he will try to please his dad no matter what), the eldest would rather be at home with his mates.

Does anyone know how access can be formalised when it's such a flexible schedule?

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 10:03:27

Slippery, I really do feel bullied and intimidated.

nenevomito Sun 07-Jul-13 10:05:50

What a nightmare.

I agree about asking the older two, not to put the responsibility onto their shoulders, just to find out how they feel. If they're happy to go away for an extra half week then let them go.

I wouldn't tell him about the effect he had on the children as he'll just use it against you.

If the older ones don't want to go then ask you can do is keep standing your ground.

I feel for you having to deal with this arse of a man.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 10:07:51

Thanks babyheave. So in that case you reckon I should just say take the older 2 (if they're happy with that) and leave dc3 with me? That would certainly be a solution I hadn't thought of.

Xales Sun 07-Jul-13 10:30:23

Don't cancel what you had booked.

You are being fair and reasonable asking him for months.

It is unfair for him to expect plans to be changed with a few weeks notice for him. It is unfair on you. It is unfair on your DC who were probably looking forward to it. Why should they suffer because he us a selfish wanker?

Get a new sim and phone number. Tell trusted friends and family it. Don't tell him. Then put in the sim for the number he knows once a week and read his messages. This way you are not stressing every time you phone beeps.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 10:46:51

Thanks Xales, it is very much the case that if I give him an inch he takes a mile. I just can't see how in his twisted head he can see himself as reasonable. I get anxious about not answering texts because he manipulates things. In the past he has bullied me into letting him see the dcs at short notice when I had old friends visiting (who the dcs love and we see maybe once a year) because "who would they rather see, the friends or their dad?" I have not answered with a no "clearly enough" (I said I didnt think it was possible but would check, he didn't ask again so is assumed he'd changed plans) when he asked me to swap contact weekends, so I got the blame when he "couldn't change his plans as they were arranged" and wouldn't have seen the dcs for 6 weeks if I hadn't then changed other plans of mine (he had a leaving do he wanted to go to with the lads and I was unreasonable not to cancel my plans for him). There are so many examples. I don't tell the dcs when he's coming until a couple of days before to protect them from disappointment.

He is a selfish arse, who never considers their feelings or wants in what he plans (like I said, he has them this weekend at short notice, spoke to dc1 yesterday on the phone and was told he was sitting on the Xbox and dad was watching the rugby.

It's sunny and lovely and we're five minutes from the bloody beach!!!

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 17:11:19

He'll be dropping the dcs back soon. Any advice on avoiding getting caught in an argument?

If he took you to court, 14yo would get a say in what they wanted but the others wouldn't. There would be no penalty for him if he does not attend for contact, the legal responsibility is yours as the resident parent.

DP has a 4yo and he has EOW and 50% of school hols incl 3 continuous weeks this summer, as ordered by the court.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 18:29:36

Postman, that sounds reasonable with a regular contact arrangement. This wouldn't be, and depends entirely on XH's last minute wants.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 18:30:28

Sorry posted too soon. If the dcs saw him regularly then your arrangement sounds fine. This is not the case here.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 19:40:55

They've just got home sad dc2 is so badly sunburnt I could cry. They've spent all day in the garden, dc2 (very fair) was in shorts and nothing else. The other two are burnt too but not as badly. I'm so careful with their skin.

Sorry, I know it's not relevant, but my poor dcs sad

Hrrrm Sun 07-Jul-13 19:48:55

That sounds pretty bad (the sunburn an everything else). The sunburn suggests he can't look after them properly.

Just say no. If you have plans, stick to them. If DC can't see him for 6 weeks, so be it. Sounds like that would actually not e a bad thing.

How are the DC now after their time with him this weekend?

Sorry you have to deal with this. It's hard. sad

TheYoniWayIsUp Sun 07-Jul-13 19:55:49

It is relevant. There's no way in hell you can allow him to take them away. On holiday.

MadameBlavatsky Sun 07-Jul-13 19:55:51

He is still being abusive, it's just now he is using his kids to do it. You need to trust yourself here. You love them, you have their best interests at heart. What is it that makes you think he would take them and not bring them back? That alone would be enough for me. I would actually get another sim card and change your number so all his abusive shit goes onto a phone you don't look at. Tell him via email what you need to and refuse to have any other contact. If he carries on, contact the police. He is legally not allowed to harass you like that.

If you are giving him reasonable alternatives a court wouldn't be too impressed with him being so demanding, without being willing to consider his kids needs.

I would also start keeping a record of contact missed, his harassment and your kids reactions and behaviour.

Go for no contact with him at all if you can, what is your position legally have you got a solicitor?

Contact women's aid or rights of women to find out how to cover your back and protect your kids.

You are being a good mum by trying to get him away from them. This is damaging them and you need back up and support now.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 19:56:11

Thanks Hrrm. Dc3 is shattered. Was up late apparently. Dc2 is now starting to feel the effects of the burn. It's really bad. Any longer and he'd be covered in blisters. Dc1 has had to have major reassurance that he's not to blame for it.

They were delivered back in long sleeves and long trousers. So it was only when I went to bath them that I saw the full extent. Dc2 is white where his shorts were and is bright red EVERYWHERE else. They all have symptoms of heat stroke.

He wants to take them to Spain in the summer. Spain! He'll kill them.

MadameBlavatsky Sun 07-Jul-13 19:59:10

Record the sunburn in a diary, take photos and it is very relevant indeed. Trust yourself, you are reading this (and him) correctly. That is negligent and dangerous. Get him away from your kids OP.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:00:35

Sorry xpost again. Yoni, it's terrifying.

Madame the whole thing has been sorted between us. I desperately don't want to be denying access but I want a stable life for me and the dcs.

MadameBlavatsky Sun 07-Jul-13 20:01:11

He can't take them without your permission, make sure there is no way he can get passports. You are not being dramatic by even saying that. Sunstroke can be very dangerous in young kids. angry on your behalf!

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:01:42

I already have taken photos. It's awful. Think maybe I should take him to the gp tomorrow.

MadameBlavatsky Sun 07-Jul-13 20:02:40

Why don't you want to deny access? You have every right to, listen to your instincts, what are they telling you?

Take the DC to the GP so it is on record.

My post earlier was to warn you what contact your ex is likely to be granted in court. I'm not implying that you should agree that is reasonable.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 07-Jul-13 20:06:21

Your poor dc...

You need to make contact formal. This is a horrible, stressful & unhealthy situation for your dc.

Your dc will grow up& ask why you allowed their dad to treat them so badly.

He sounds like an arse of a man. Protect your dc, its all about them, f##k your exh-stand up to him.

FairPhyllis Sun 07-Jul-13 20:09:01

That's dreadful (the sunburn). You have done the right thing photographing it. Do go to the GP, and get advice from Women's Aid.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:09:35

Madame perhaps because even after years of abuse I can't believe anyone would really be so selfish and cruel; even now I'm thinking "we all make mistakes, maybe it was a mistake" and "he just is misguided" and all the other excuses I used for years to excuse his actions sad

The dcs love him and want to see him.

Postman, thank you, sorry i misunderstood earlier. Why can't he just be normal?! He says if it was the other way around I'd understand and I'd be arguing too, but there's no way it could be, because I'd give up anything to be near my dcs and see them regularly.

ncfto Sun 07-Jul-13 20:09:43

You must get the sunburn recorded. Photos and GP/nhs direct if it's as bad as you say. Sorry but you can't mess about with sunburn and potential heat stroke.

This should help long term too. And I have to ask - why not go to court? You seem to be trying to please your ex even though your children aren't bothered. The eldest will get a say, dc2 won't be asked so no need to worry about being pressurised, and you'll have a formal agreement to back you up rather than the current situation of you meeting your ex's demands with no regard to their reasonableness. Seems a clear case of it being in your and your dc's benefit.

Your ex's work schedule is not your problem.

ncfto Sun 07-Jul-13 20:11:56

Cross-posted with your last one in which you say-

The dcs love him and want to see him.

Really? Is that what the bedwetting tells you? Or did your ex tell you that?

Lweji Sun 07-Jul-13 20:11:58

Yes, go to A&E if it is that bad.

Lweji Sun 07-Jul-13 20:15:31

Even if he is misguided, he's a danger to the children if he allows that level of sunburn and doesn't even tell you about it.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 07-Jul-13 20:16:54

Hi OP.

Regarding the sunburn: take photos, see GP and inform SS both locally and his home town. XH appears to be neglectful in the criminal sense of the word; more experienced posters than I will tell you what ignoring his misbehaviour could mean for you.

Have strength.

JadeMonkey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:27:59

This is just a thought, but if you were to go through the court process would that not perhaps be a way of taking his control out of the equation -- putting in place a formal arrangement where he has to stick to set days/weeks or he doesn't see them?

(In other words, would a court not basically tell him that he has to adjust his lifestyle to accommodate what works well for the children, i.e. predictable regular contact, rather than using bullying and intimidating tactics on their mother for sporadic, last-minute contact?)

I might be being totally unrealistic with your particular circumstances here but didn't want to just lurk and say nothing (particularly after the sunburn incident, how awful sad).

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:30:03

Thanks all, just spoke to a friend who's a gp, he said to give calpol as he'll probably get a fever and make sure he drinks plenty. Have dosed him up now. There's no blistering so far so hopefully it will calm with all the after sun. Dc1 has cheered up now and has said that XH was talking to him about their holidays yesterday and telling him how he's got 2 weeks off work....

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:31:30

Jade I'm beginning to think that this has to be formalised one way or another.

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 20:36:07

OP it sounds like you don't feel like you have any control and that you'll allow or help your ex to always get his own way. You don't have to live like that.

It's great that you have a personal contact who gave you medical advice about the sunburn but I really think you must get it recorded officially.

You must tell your ex that all dc were burned today. You say yourself he plans to take them to Spain.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:46:25

I think I will. I have texted XH with a photo of dc2 stating his state. He replied saying that he had no idea it was that bad. He's sure it doesn't need a doctor (!) and will buy them sun suits before Spain. I said I think perhaps he should rethink the destination of the holiday. He ignored that.

YoniRanger Sun 07-Jul-13 20:48:09

OP you are letting him carry on abusing you via your babies.

Find the strength you had when you left him and email him saying he is not having any contact until it is arranged through court.

Change your phone number.

Get your dc to the GP and let SS know.

Call women's aid.

Stop worrying about his feelings and his opinion of you, it doesn't matter what he thinks.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 20:52:05

Out of control is exactly how I'm feeling.

Yoni, I just can't be sure what will hurt my dcs more in the long term. I know I must look weak. I'm not. I am tired of fighting. I don't want to overreact, and I am so very angry.

Hrrrm Sun 07-Jul-13 20:57:02

Surely he must have notice if he put them in long sleeves/trousers to bring them home. hmm

Definitely take them to the GP tomorrow.

You can't let him take them to Spain. I can understand that you're trying to avoid court (same here). But you might have to put your foot down about this.

Make sure you document everything and do everything right yourself.

YoniRanger Sun 07-Jul-13 21:06:04

I don't think your are weak but it's hard to see clearly in the middle of a situation and that is what outside opinions can help with.

To have left him in the first place must have taken amazing courage.

No one can tell you how your children will respond in the future and they may have a period of blaming you for their dads failings and lack of contact.

But he is posing an actual physical threat to them and he might escalate.

I would prioritise their safety now and maybe look into getting them someone to talk to about how they feel.

Sending all the hugs you can bear to get you through smile

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 21:06:15

Thanks Hrrm. If I called SS would they be able to give me any advice about Spain etc?

He insists they had factor 50 on. But even if they did, they must have seen him going pink. Why would anyone leave a very fair child out in the sun all day on a day like this? This is the child who (when we were together) got mild sunburn in February in the UK after being out for an hour!

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 21:09:28

Yoni, hugs are much appreciated.

Took me years to finally leave him. Funnily enough I never looked back. I even remember his "you know that if we split this time then that's it, no more going back and forth and trying to fix things". He really thought that would change my mind.

It is very hard to see what the right thing to do is. Very hard indeed.

Hrrrm Sun 07-Jul-13 21:16:01

I'm not sure of SS can give advice. Your best bet is to see a solicitor, perhaps start with one of those free 30 minute appointments if there's a firm which offers this near you. Check law society website (I think.)

He doesn't need your permission for taking the DC abroad for less than a month, so the solicitor might suggest going to court and applying for a prohibited steps order. I'm not too sure about this, but I think that's the only way you can stop him. I think the sunburn is quite a good reason to try.

When you see the GP you could ask about involving SS as GPs probably have experience of working with them. I would do this out of DCs' earshot, perhaps ask them to wait in waiting room after GP has looked at them.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 21:19:02

Thanks Hrrm. That's really helpful.

I need to stop feeling so useless and helpless, but I feel utterly trapped in the mindset of enabling and encouraging healthy contact (which is a good thing when dealing with a sane person).

Take the kids to the GP so it's on record. Send this man an email telling him that all further arrangements must be made via email and that you will not respond to texts or phone calls, then see a solicitor.
He's a dick. He doesn't have superpowers and you do not have to obey him: the court will rule on what's best for the children, which will include your older DS refusing to see him and being listened to. But it's time this man was put in his place.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 21:45:49

Thanks SGB. I just want to do right by the dcs, emotionally and physically.

I keep thinking maybe this is the wake up call he needs and now he'll do the right thing, but there's no excuse for not doing to right thing already. Dc2 is a redhead. It's not rocket science.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 22:59:41

And because I have texted asking him to reconsider his destination of holiday, and because I asked him to stop harassing me or I would call the police (when he was sending me constant messages), he has now sent me a very long winded message stating that our contact arrangements need to be agreed, written down and formalised,and that I had no right to threaten him with the police for wanting to discuss access arrangements.

So I've replied stating that his actions were harassment and will not be tolerated, his actions with the dcs all coming home burnt is neglect, and agreeing that we need a formal arrangement, suggesting mediation, and if that can't be arranged before the summer and he won't respect my judgement for the dcs then we should wait for an agreement to be put in place before access can continue.

Tomorrow I will log the sunburn and see about getting some proper legal advice.

Have I done the right thing?

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 23:13:19

Yes! He does not need to be obeyed. Anyone can see he's abusive and disinterested. Go ahead with formal, legally agreed access. It can only be for the best. Oh and keep the texts showing his harassment and the lack of concern abbot the sunburn. Anyone reasonable would be beating themselves up rather than excusing it.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 23:17:57

Thank you lae, I'm wheeling between anxiety and relief. Would it be best if I contact mediation or should I leave it to him?

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 23:18:26

Very sad that the eldest child would even question who's responsible for a younger child being burned.

OP, think of it this way, if any other caregiver behaved this way (child minder, teacher etc) would you think it's okay? He has you brainwashed.

Also I think that the children would be relieved if contact were formalised (reduced). The uncertainty and trying to fit in whenever ex deins it suits him can't be good for any of you.

Cocktailsorcakes Sun 07-Jul-13 23:19:01

You have so done the right thing for your kids!!

Formalised contact will cut down on your stress with dealing with him too.

Make sure the gp logs that they were at Ex's and under his care.

Be strong and trust yourself.

You are doing the right things, do not listen to his guilt talking.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 23:21:40

I know lae, the fact that he sees himself as more responsible than the adult in charge speaks volumes. He feels he has to look after his dad. Says he's got no social skills so needs him as a friend. It's all horribly role reversal and it sickens me.

I am brainwashed. I'm just exhausted by it.

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 23:21:55

I'd get the ball rolling yourself, take control.

Start with seeing dc2's gp, have a free session with a solicitor, a chat with women's aid or any other source of advice you can think of and take it from there. Don't let him call the shots. If he changes his mind about formalizing contact (once he's looked into the reality) go ahead yourself. You can.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 23:22:41

Thanks cocktail. Will do! smile

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 23:24:25

Thanks again lae, you're right it will be good to be the one taking the lead in all of this. I'll call everyone I can think of tomorrow. Anymore suggestions for helplines gratefully received.

laeiou Sun 07-Jul-13 23:25:00

I think that if you take control you'll feel so much better. The last shackles will fall.

Also I hope you all have a good night's sleep. Dc2 will need to drink extra water tomorrow too. I find aloe Vera gel good, and damp washcloths over the hot skin.

McNamechangey Sun 07-Jul-13 23:28:40

I'll give that a go.
I filled him full of water before bed (worst possible time), especially as he said he'd not had much to drink. I'm dreading having to take him into school in this state, poor little mite. Will have to ask the teacher to keep him out of the sun and cover him in lotion.

Dc1 has just been in saying he feels sick and has taken a bucket to bed.

What a mess.

Remember: He's a knob. Don't waste any more time hoping for him to be reasonable because he's a knob and he won't change. You do not need his permission or his co-operation to get the ball rolling re formalised access, and he will not just get his own way by shouting and stamping his feet.

my ex h took my kids off a friend of mine ( i had a long planned overseas trip which he had refused to take kids for,turned up and took them the day after I was out country). My kids are red heads. I came back 4 days later to a SEVERELY burnt dd and a very burnt ds. Ds was ok just needed soothing stuff but poor dd had second degree burns,poor kid had been like that for 3 days,he hadn't taken her to hospital or anything. I ended up in ER at 0230 after a 12 hour flight after I saw the weeping burst blisters on my 5 year olds back. His excuse was " well how was I to know",he was italian american and didn't believe his kids needed sunscreen so took 2 redheads to the beach for a whole day without.
He was at his mothers and she had backed him on this.

He didn't get the kids again for a long long time

PS DD is now 17,still has the scars 12 years later and NEVER goes to the beach

GeordieCherry Mon 08-Jul-13 05:11:58

Just from stuff I've read previously on MN; he doesn't have a 'right' to see them, the rights are that of a child to see his/ her parent. He has responsibilities as a parent

Hope all this gets resolved very soon. Think you're doing the right thing so far. Well done for being so strong thanks

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 07:04:08

Trout that is appalling! Thank god dc2 isn't that bad! Heartbreaking.

I do think he believes that any time he can give them is what is best for them. He doesn't see that his prolonged absence changes anything. He's even made comments about how it's clearly fine since they're still excited when they see him. He seems to completely lack empathy.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 07:48:42

Oh and his parents were present. They don't believe in burns being an issue either.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 15:15:17

Right, dc2 has been to the gp and I asked them to log that he was burnt and had been at his dad's. advice was the same as I already had. He told the doctor that they had put suntan lotion on him twice all day. And he was playing in the paddling pool so clearly wasn't reapplied. And he didn't have a hat on either.

Dc1 went into school with a splitting headache and feeling sick.

Dc3 after being shattered last night is the most awake and happy today. I got big cuddles. Her burn is only on her arms and is mild.

Next step call everyone (have been at work all day when not at gp).

laeiou Mon 08-Jul-13 15:22:19

It's good to hear that the DC haven't been seriously hurt. Keep the momentum going! Honestly, I think you'll be much better off for doing things formally. He'll be difficult in different ways but will now have to convince a mediator or solicitor to let him get everything he wants, and hopefully get some straight talking about how contact should work.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 16:28:06

Thanks lae, momentum is continuing, I've booked an appointment with a solicitor for next week to discuss my options smile

What do I need to make sure I ask?

Isetan Mon 08-Jul-13 16:54:40

What an arse, you have my sympathies.

The only thing you can do with these types is having strong boundaries and covering your arse by documenting all their arsefuckery and your saint like behaviour. These men are all about their 'rights' and nothing about their responsibilities. I know it's hard to ignore them when they try to make us out to be the bad guys but you know it's bullshit, so no more cancelling activities when you have been more than accommodating.

I have been trying to get a regular contact schedule for DD since March 2012, I have insisted that this can only happen via a contact centre which has a compulsory mediation service attached (DD witnessed hiim assaulting me and he has seen her only 3 times in 3 years) but Ex has done nothing to initiate this. Occasionally I get the threat of being taken to court but this never materialises. Court would mean he would have to put his hand in his pocket and anyway, there is no way a judge would side with him because he has avoided (contact centre) the very thing that he wanted when I successfully petitioned for sole custody. I have a folder stuffed with emails and letters from my lawyer, child psychologist and SS which prove the effort I have put in trying to secure a place at a contact centre, just in case.

In his latest demand he wants to see DD 2 days a month and 1 week in the holidays, which is rather pathetic and if this ever gets resolved I will be pushing for more. My Ex also works abroad regularly and before he assaulted me would never commit to contact beyond two months when I would create and send an Excel spreadsheet, which he would agree to, and then promptly change at the last moment (accusing me of being inflexible).

My DD is six and If she ever sees her father again I will have to support her in managing her expectations of her father (not slag him off) but reassure her that his behaviour is no reflection on her and she is not responsible for his behaviour. A very sad lesson for one so young to learn but I hope it will help and empower her as she gets older.

Jan45 Mon 08-Jul-13 17:03:36

I'm trying to be impartial here so don't shoot me down - there's always two sides to a story and if you stayed with him when he was abusive to you then you allowed your kids also to be exposed to this, it's very easy to blame the other parent when they are not there, now I am not defending this man, he sounds pretty crap all round but it does sound like your kids could be upset because they know how much you dislike him as well as probably having to listen to your arguments on the phone, maybe that's why the kids are unsettled and wetting the bed. All I can say is, for their sake, they should, if they want to be allowed to see their dad and whether you like him or not you should be doing your best to ensure this happens, sorry, probably not what you are wanting to hear but you sound so stereotypical of the couple who can't break up but still remain friends for their children's sake and instead the kids are dragged along with the negativity too.

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:16:56

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:22:23

Sorry Jan Seems you ARE the op on the other thread. So thats even worse. You seem to have internalised a bit of mysogyny which you have demonstrated by what you have posted on this thread.
You are victim blaming and i stand by that comment. Did you not see the posts about the OPS DC getting sunburnt. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Jan45 Mon 08-Jul-13 17:24:05

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Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:26:13

You dont have to defend her ex to victim blame.

Jan45 Mon 08-Jul-13 17:29:57

Whatever, I am not here to answer to you, you need to maybe go realise that not everyone has a one sided view point.

As for the sunburn, we've had record breaking temperatures this week and I would doubt very much his intention was to injur his children with suburn. Oh silly me, he did it delberately to carry on count scoring....

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:31:26

Oh thats right i forgot. Testosterone explodes on contact with suntan lotion.

LeStewpot Mon 08-Jul-13 17:36:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 17:47:37

Jan I appreciate that you are trying to give an impartial point of view, but to do that you have made some horrendous assumptions. My children have never heard me argue with XH since the day we split. I have defended him to them when they have questioned his commitment, and have bowed down to every request for contact.

So no, it's not relevant.

You are victim blaming. Unfortunately EA is less of a one odd incident and more a slowly increasing, insidious part of a relationship. The sexual abuse did not occur in front of them.

I have had the children on hotter days and they have not burnt. It is very patronising to suggest that a father cannot care for his dcs as well as a mother. Of course they can.

If you had based your suppositions on information provided you may find it more helpful. A sensible suggestion could be that he hasn't realised the affect his absence has on the dcs and his actions are born of ignorance and not selfishness. That was a route you could have taken.

Yes, I should have left my XH years before I did. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Would you also say that I should never have tried to mend my marriage? That I should have walked away at the first hint of imperfection? Or would you also argue that working on a marriage is important and worthwhile. Sadly it didn't work out in my case, but again, There's that wonderful hindsight.

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:52:24

Hi Name According to what shes posted on other threads Jan thinks that women should stay in a marriage no matter what.I think thats what lies at the root at what shes posted on here. Im absolutely appalled at what shes written on your thread.
I am truly disgusted at the neglect your x showed the DC yesterday its abuse. I hope they are feeling a bit better Sunburn is dangerous and painful.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 17:52:27

Isetan, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It doesn't sound a far cry from what I have, although XH started off with almost 50/50 contact, that he then asked to have reduced, and reduced and reduced again. He does pay maintenance though, although that was a battle and with it not being court ordered I do worry that next month will be the end of that.

Darkesteyes, thanks for the defence smile I do Loath victim blaming. Mainly because the victim is usually fighting so hard not to blame herself.

Lestew I will try to record what I can. I have all texts and emails. So hopefully that'll be something.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 17:53:49

Darkest, a very odd angle to take, blame the victim for not leaving sooner because she left at all.

Can't see the logic meself.

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 17:56:26

No probs It sounds to me like you have bent over backwards McName and all hes interested in is trying to control you and continuing his abuse of you through the DC. That is not a good father. Its not even a father.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 17:58:16

I'm still hoping that should a third party let him know that he's being unreasonable, that he'll be able to refocus on what is best for the dcs.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 18:04:51

And yes I'm aware I still have mug written on my forehead (although it has faded quite a bit)

Darkesteyes Mon 08-Jul-13 18:10:08

You are not a mug McName You are trying to manage a tough situation. Not easy with an abusive ex and a society which blames abuse victims.

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 19:02:31

Thanks darkest, I still surprise myself with how much i want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

ShoutyCrackers Mon 08-Jul-13 19:33:27

Not read the entire thread but one thing strikes me ... You are STILL engaging with this man. Why?! You need to STOP. All contact should be via email and should be solely regarding the kids. It should be sporadic, specific and none emotional. Why are you still playing text tennis with him? Making remarks that he should be re thinking his holiday destination etcetera. It's just keeping communication open with him that needs to be well and truly stopped.

This needs to go to court. They will then thrash it out and an order will be put in place that he will have to adhere to. And then there will be no more to into and fro ing and texting etc - as he will be more than clear on where he stands - as will you.

I know only too well how hard this stuff is, believe me. I'd be here all night if I was to describe what I went through. And that's why I know that the only thing you can do right now is to stop all communication bar the absolute bare minimum. To carry on like this is to give him power and control. And it's time you took that back

McNamechangey Mon 08-Jul-13 20:07:17

Shouty I couldn't agree more. In the past I have gotten drawn in time and time again because if the last word was him saying "you're being infair, do it this way", and I'd said no a hundred times already, he'd take my non reply as an admission of being wrong. He would then assume it was a yes, say nothing until very close to the date in question and then I would feel it was too late to change the plans he had made and would give in.

What I should have done was after the initial discussion (if needed) stated no and then not responded. If he made plans based on that I should have said "tough" and kept to my plans. I have disappointed friends with my cancellations, I have disappointed myself, and as understanding as everyone has been I haven't actually done what was best.

Had I put my foot down in the first place perhaps I would not now be in a place where he has such an effect.

I have now told him not to contact me except by email. I had previously told him not to phone me anymore (since he was nasty and then I'd have no record). So far nothing from him after asking for mediation. And I don't jump every time I get a text. It's already an improvement. But I know this is the calm before the storm.

NicknameTaken Tue 09-Jul-13 11:14:42

Yes to formalized contact, but if there's any chance of getting a reasonable arrangement without going to court (there may not be), then keep out of court if you can. I mightn't have said the same thing a year ago, and there are many occasions when I've been grateful for my court order, but I've now run up huge bills because ex has dragged me back into court time and time again. Abusive men can and do use court as a weapon.

My experience is of judges trying to avoid fact-finding hearings (I understand their reasons) so it's all treated as if you're slinging allegations against each other. In all honesty, I'm not sure that the court would really get your argument that a week is fine, but a week and a half is not fine.

Sorry if that sounds discouraging - I do know how agonising it is when you're just trying to protect your dcs and all you want is for your exP to behave like a normal person. You might have to take the court route - sometimes it's all you can do. I keep asking myself whether I had any choice, but I don't think I had. Just go into it with your eyes open - court is expensive and wearing and a lot of the time it feels like nobody believes you or takes your concerns seriously.

NicknameTaken Tue 09-Jul-13 11:22:39

Read that back and it's a bit offputting. Sorry. Just broke and battle-weary.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 15:18:32

That's ok nickname. I'm under no illusions that court could easily grant more access in theory and ignore my worries, but either was some certainty would be nice. I'm hoping mediation would solve things, and that it wouldn't have to go any further than that.

In further news. He has been in touch. Having completely ignored me as per usual he has emailed to "inform" me that he has now booked 8 days in Spain.

I'm thinking there's no point in replying until after I've seen my solicitor next week. Any thoughts?

He has blatantly ignored my concerns, booked the dates before I have agreed them in an attempt to say "I've booked it now, I can't change it!"

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 17:05:17

*either way

Jan45 Tue 09-Jul-13 17:17:08

McNameChangey: I can only respond to what you have written - you say when he was abusing you in the relationship the children were scared so I would reckon they must have been exposed to some of the unhealthy behaviours between you both, I'm not blaming you, I'm pointing out that the kids would know and will still know that you and him are very toxic towards each other. From what you have written he is asking to take them away for a week and a half but you are saying a week is the most he can have, sorry, but from his point of view, that does sound antagonistic. If you honestly think this man is so awful then why let him see them at all.

Sorry if I sound patronising but men will not think to put on suncream on kids every half an hour, it's been hitting 30 degrees this past week, he wouldn't have intentionally meant to burn them I'm sure, he's been feckless yes, hardly warrants a call to social services for neglect.

I'm not victim blaming, I commented on the fact that neither of you can be civil for the sake of your kids, that's what I deduced from your post.

I am sorry, I really don't mean to offend you and perhaps I did go a bit OTT but it's also because I am so tired of reading posts about point scoring, I'm sure you love your children very much but perhaps, even though to you it doesn't look that way, he loves them too. To me, this is more about trying to find a way forward so the children can see their dad and vice versa.

Jan45 Tue 09-Jul-13 17:19:51

Darkesteyes: I would love you to show me the thread where I recommend staying in an awful marriage, would love to see it?

I also would appreciate you stop slandering me like this with what are in fact lies, whose victim blaming now???

Xales Tue 09-Jul-13 17:28:15

Are these the days you already have plans for?

If so send a short email. Sorry those days are unacceptable because as previously discussed we already have plans booked. Let me know your new dates as soon as possible to avoid any further clashes.

If he replies simply repeat these days are unacceptable and I will not be responding to any further emails on this subject.

You are not being unreasonable to him in the slightest. You have been trying to sort dates for months.

That lets him know this is unacceptable now before you get to the solicitor.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 17:31:17

Jan, you're still making assumptions. I am painfully civil. I have invited him to join birthday celebrations for the dcs.

Yes they were scared of his moods this is true. But that is not my fault or my doing.

I think a man can make sure that a red headed child stays out of the midday sun. I still think your comments on that are patronising to men. Yes we all make mistakes, but he is Consistent in his unwillingness to put the children first. There was an occasion at Christmas when he'd taken the children for a walk and dc3 (3) got wet. When he dropped them back (an hour late) she was in only a tshirt in freezing temps. This was not ok either. He'd "not thought" to get a dry pair from the overnight bag I had packed for them.

You have happily leapt to conclusions about us sniping at each other in front of the dcs, even after I've set you straight. So clearly my elaborating and explaining points to you doesn't register.

I cannot stop you posting, but if you do could you please address what I am asking and not go off on a tangent based on your own prejudices?

I am looking for ways to enable good, healthy access for the dcs. Access that will restrict XH's ability to cause me pain, and that will enrich the dcs' lives. I'm not sure your all or nothing approach is helpful. All I get from you is either he's a wonderful dad and should get all he asks for no matter what, or he's an evil monster who should be denied all access. Neither are true.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 17:34:28

Sorry Xales, xpost. It's tricky because previously i had acquiesced on cancelling my own plans, I don't want to backtrack and appear indecisive. Does that make sense? I'm assuming he's panicking now his bullying tactics are failing, and he's desperately trying to regain control.

It's all so pathetic. Who cares who has the power? Can the dcs not just have it instead?!

bugsaway Tue 09-Jul-13 17:36:24

I have to say that thinking men are brainless CHILDREN who need advising and a there, there pat on the back when they so something totally dumb is saying that yes we still are in the 15th century! This man has a very young child, if he cannot take care of them adequately in any temperature then how is he going to manage them in another foreign.

Jan take a look at exactly what you have written. Are you insane? The youngest is 4 years old.

I personally don't see any of the posts as point scoring. What I see is a mother who is terrified because she has a completely useless Exh and very dependent children. I would feel exactly the same way.

Jan it doesnt matter how you interpret the exh to be, it is the OP who is asking advice of her situation - not for you to give her a character review of the man - there is a reason why they are separated. Work it out.

Xales Tue 09-Jul-13 17:39:26

OK that makes it more tricky.

No more cancelling your own plans from now on. It is not fair on your DC.

Don't bother replying until you have seen your solicitor. No point.

Formalised access with a little give and take on both sides (not complete piss take on his) is the way to go.

It is hard when you think you are doing things in the best interest of your DC to see their dad when their dad is too selfish to put them rather than himself first.

Good luck.

NeverBeenToMe Tue 09-Jul-13 17:53:23

Has he got the relevant info - ie your dcs' passport numbers - to book the holiday? Might be a bluff because he knows you're against it.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 18:13:02

That had crossed my mind, not sure if he has them or not, but it's possible.

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 18:30:33

"As discussed, I am very concerned about this holiday due to the appalling burns they suffered whilst in your care this weekend, therefore I do not give my consent to them being removed from the country for this holiday. I am happy to attend mediation/court to resolve this but I will not be discussing it directly with you again."

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 18:47:25

Thanks bogey, I'm such a bloody idiot. I've just done some maths (apparently not my strong point!) and he lied to me about the length of the holiday anyway. Bear in mind that I had previously stated (in march) that I was unhappy with it being a fortnight, but either 2 (or even 3) single weeks was ok. He wasn't happy but agreed.

Roll forwards to last week and he asks to book the flights from a Tuesday to the following Thursday (but later throws in that to catch these flights he would pick them up on the Monday, and would bring them back late on the following Thursday). That's not 9 days, that's 11 days! (I'm a bit slow apparently) and now he offers to book the flights from Tuesday to Tuesday... Which would mean picking them up on the Monday, and dropping them back god knows when... Even if he drops them on the Tuesday, there's that 9 days again. (And yes the weekend in the middle was the weekend I had plans)

I don't want to be too confrontational. I really don't. Something along the lines of "The booking you suggest still exceeds the timeframe offered. I would strongly recommend that you don't spend money that you may not be able to recover, until we have a set agreement in place. It's a shame you have decided to broach this matter with so little time to spare before the access period to sort out any disagreements."

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 18:52:33

Xales it's also only just hit me that I'm the only one who is ever flexible with access. He suggests a time, if I'm busy I offer alternatives and get a set no in reply and then a guilt trip about how I'm stopping him seeing the dcs, and hasn't we agreed to be flexible? So I give in.

His side is completely rigid and unwilling to compromise.

Remember that if he loses money (ie if he has actually booked a holiday and isn't just bullshitting again) it's his own fault and not your problem.

YoniRanger Tue 09-Jul-13 19:03:42

Keep it up OP, you seem so much more in control than you did at the start of this thread, keep the momentum going. grin

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 19:18:17

I understand that you dont want to be confrontational, but tbh I dont see that you now have any choice.

He has never given a shiny shite about being confrontational with you, because he knows that eventually you will give in.

Do you have the kids passports? If so, hide them, preferably away from the house with someone you trust, or at work which would probably be safer. Contact the passport office, explain the situation and ask if they can be flagged up so if they are reported lost, new ones will not be reissued.

Then.....see a solicitor. Get them to write to him reiterating your concerns about the neglect and injuries they suffered at the weekend and that you are formally withdrawing your consent to remove them from the country. Then offer mediation or co-operation if he wants to go to court.

You may not like standing up to him, but frankly this is not about you, this is about your children. You MUST stand up to this bully for them, if you dont then you will be letting them down just as much as he is. I am sorry to say that, but its true.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 19:18:45

SGB, I know that, I'm just to damn nice! That's what he relies on, that I will think of others first and feel guilty for issues that aren't mine.

I'm a moron.

Thanks Yoni smile don't quite feel it yet. Any views on the email response?

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 19:20:06

Do not email him. See a solicitor and get them to reply, its the only way to show dicks like this that you mean business.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 19:20:26

Bogey, I do know that only way the dcs would be safe in Spain would be not to leave the house for the entire time they are there sad

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 19:21:57

Bogey, I'm going to keep xposting damnit! I have an apt for next Monday (earliest they had). I wanted to still be fair and reasonable. If it does go to court I want to be seen to be what I am.

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 19:24:54

Right. So knowing that they cannot go for their own safety and YOU must be the one to prevent them going

You absolutely must.

Do you want to explain to your DC or anyone else that you knew it would happen but let them go anyway? Because you didnt want to confront your ex? Do you really want to look your child in the eye, when in appalling pain and having scars for the rest of their life as a PP described above, knowing you could stop it?

If you feel guilt about others, feel it about your children, not the abusive arse that allows them to be hurt.

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 19:26:40

Bollocks to fair.

You need to be fair to your children, dont give him another thought. He gave up his right to fair when he bullied you and allowed his child to badly injured.

Stop thinking in this "Oh but I must be fair to him" bullshit. At no point has he been fair to you or his children, so fuck him.

And keep all of the texts and emails, you will need them as proof of his unreasonable bullying demands.

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 19:36:16

Bogey, that is very hard to hear, but in no way untrue sad

Should I keep the text where I tell him he's not allowed to touch me during drop offs (hugged me in front of the dcs so I couldn't reject him), because the sexual abuse and rape that he put me through means I never want to be in physical contact with him ever again? His reply? "Oh, I was just so pleased you'd got your new job".

Think I still have a "sorry I raped you" letter somewhere too.

Now there's a life I never thought I'd be living

Sorry. None of that's relevant. It's just sometimes so hard and I want to run away and shut down sad

laeiou Tue 09-Jul-13 20:06:53

Just to add my voice to the others advising that you don't respond to his latest email. In fact I suggest that you don't communicate directly at all, that all communication is now through a solicitor. At least until you get to mediation or court or whatever. Also if possible, set up meetings with a few family solicitors then decide which one you want to use. Find one who is supportive and you feel you can listen to their information but make your own decisions. Avoid any who you don't feel comfortable with, or you feel they are pushing you in a particular direction.

When's the next scheduled contact date (roughly), or has he not arranged one yet?

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 20:21:39

The next one is the holiday. In 4 weeks' time.

I do like the advice about finding one I'm happy with.

captainmummy Tue 09-Jul-13 21:45:18

Absolutely get it all done through legal channels - he cannot argue with them. All contact to go through your solicitor and his.

and NO to any physical contact you are unhappy with - he has no right to touch you without your consent.

Start making notes, taking dates, and printing off emails and texts, start building a file to support your requests.

Darkesteyes Tue 09-Jul-13 22:10:43

Jan you are still victim blaming the OP. You mention unhealthy behaviours beween them both when HE is the abuser.
Then you say "im not blaming you"

You remind of those people that start sentences with "im not racist but" or "im not sexist but"

McNamechangey Tue 09-Jul-13 22:48:42

Captain will do smile I've started a log of incidents.

Darkest, thanks again, I just don't get it.

Have just had a heart to heart with dc1. It's thrown up a lot more information. None of it good.

He came to ask me if XH was still taking his medication (was on ADs for the last few years we were together) because he "gets angry really quickly" with the little ones.

Last time they were with him they went out on a wet and windy day and dc3 got so cold she was shivering and crying. XH shouted at her and refused to go home. Dc1 stood up to him and got told to stop trying to parent "because I know what I'm doing".

Dc3 went through a phase of having to be coaxed to eat. She would, it just took a bit of persuasion and patience. She's been fine at home and nursery for a few months now, but apparently refuses to eat anything of the meals at XH's. she snacks on chocolate in between.

The dcs are allowed to run riot, but then get shouted at over the smallest thing. No wonder they're so unsettled when they come home.

XH and his mother tell dc1 off if he tries to enforce my rules whilst there. He is completely undermined by them both and belittled and laughed at for "thinking he's the parent". If XH does something that is age inappropriate for dc3 (for example trying to put a nappy on at night, even though he knows toilet training is complete), then if dc1 points out that it's no longer necessary he gets told he doesn't know as much as XH and to keep his nose out.

There was more. I didn't even have to prompt him, it all came pouring out. He said he loves his dad but he wants to be his mate, not his dad anymore. He spoke about how he's chosen his work over his dcs again too.

As one off things they all seem like minor incidents, but add them together and surely he's EAing the dcs? Is this as bad as it seems to me?!

Darkesteyes Tue 09-Jul-13 23:37:02

Namechangey yr dh and his mum are being emotionally abusive to the DC. Im so sorry youve all been put through this. And the sexual abuse hes put you through ANY evidence you have (texts e mails old letters) save them or put them to one side somewhere safe.
WTF is he putting a nappy on an already toilet trained child.
Hes that scared that the child is going to wet the bed and hes going to have to do a little bit of housework by changing the sheets.
Assuming that he would bother that is. After all he didnt bother with the suntan lotion or the dry t shirt did he?
And i bet i know why He (like some others) sees childcare as womens work He sees the actual childcare as beneath him and sees women as beneath him.
Did he actually do his fair share when you were together Name I bet not.

Bogeyface Tue 09-Jul-13 23:52:51

Stop contact NOW.

Contact your solicitor for an urgent appointment (if you tell them it is for child protection reasons then they will fit you in) and do not allow ANY contact until the court orders you to. If your solicitor recommends you contact social services (and I think they might) then please do so. This man is abusive and neglectful, and SS will support you in keeping them safe from him.

With the evidence you have then chances are he will have to go to a supervised contact centre.

Be strong. Say no. When he has decided he will come and get them, be out. Call the police if he gets aggressive, whatever it takes, do it.

This man is abusing your children.

Darkesteyes Tue 09-Jul-13 23:55:20

Agree with Bogeyface.

McNamechangey Wed 10-Jul-13 06:46:22

Darkest, funnily enough he was quite hands on. Unfortunately the man I thought I married doesn't exist. He's a compulsive liar who seems to have had a complete personality transplant since I left. Work friends of his begged me to go back to him, not for my own sake, but because he was a nicer person to be around back then and they were struggling to stay friendly. I was convinced he was a liberal (little L) person, but now spouts right wing rubbish.

I would always have to remind him about safety concerns though. It was a constant, exhausting stream of "don't sleep with the newborn on the sofa" (having promised not to, afterwards the response changed to "there's nothing wrong with it) - the first and last time he looked after them at night. Being reminded to hold hands with a toddler (or even walk beside them) when next to a road or river ("they don't want to hold hands/it's not busy/they're fine!"). Dc1 will stay up until 3am whilst there, be given beer if XH's mates are around (and yes, on more than one occasion he couldn't survive a weekend alone with them so brought a mate). Once I needed to nip round to get something and was told to let myself in as they were out (youngest was 2) and I counted 20 empty cans of beer just lying all over the place (and that was only one room). XH is hammered after 2. And can be a very aggressive drunk sad that was from one night (they'd only arrived the previous evening).

It has always terrified me letting them go with him. But I know dc1 thinks like me, I know he'd grab dc3's hand, I know he'd think of the dangers. I know he'd always put them first. But that's not his responsibility.

That's only the first things that come to mind sad

He's also ALWAYS late returning them. Usually half an hour, occasionally up to 2 hours. If he's going to be very late he gets his mum to drop them. Not that I can say anything in front of the dcs either way.

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 07:57:06

So are you going to stop contact?

You are allowing them to go with a man who is a drunk, aggressive abuser. You know this to be true.

By continuing to allow them to go you are complicit in anything he does, do you realise that?

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 07:57:54

I know you are frightened of him, but what are you more frightened of? Him having a go at you or one of your children being badly hurt or abused even more than they already have?

McNamechangey Wed 10-Jul-13 08:11:13

Bogey he's not due to see them now for 4 weeks. In that time I can find out my rights and work out a plan. The last thing I want is to end up in court unprepared and him get free reign to do what he wants. I need to make sure I can protect them. I won't let them down anymore.

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 08:37:27

Good for you smile

Does the next time he sees them coincide with this holiday he wants to take them on? Do you have their passports in your possession?

captainmummy Wed 10-Jul-13 08:44:56

He is definitely EA to them, OP. Esp your ds1. angry

I feel for the poor ds, feeling responsible for his siblings, but unable to protect them That shoudl not be his job. sad Who knows what damage the scolding, belittling, laughing at him has done/will do.

You need to get legal advice, and quick. I'd tell EX once - you are not taking them to Spain - and leave it at that. No contact thereafter. No whys, or wherefores, or accusations. Just NO.

You won't end up in court unprepared - you will have a solicitor with you who willl stand up to him. Give the solicitor Everything. Contact SS and tell them everything. HV, if you have one. WA. everyone you can think of.

In light of the sunburn, the freezing, wet dd, the alcohol when they are in his care - he should have supervised access - and his mum little-to-none.

McNamechangey Wed 10-Jul-13 08:54:45

Thanks bogey, yes it does, and yes I do, so no fear of them being taken without me knowing.

Captain, I know sad ds1 has been carrying so much. He's been keeping it to himself to protect XH angry, although he did tell me he's confided some things in my mother. Some of which she's passed on as general concerns, some of which she's kept to herself. I'm quite angry at her too. Dc1 said she'd encouraged him to tell me, and he'd promised to if it happened again (particularly the trip where dc3 was freezing). I know she wanted to keep his confidence and not risk him not even telling her, but without all the info in working blind! I'm going to call her later and see if there are any more incidents I need to know about that dc1 has forgotten.

captainmummy Wed 10-Jul-13 08:59:52

McName - don't forget to contact the passport office to flag up the possiblilty that he may try to get replacement passports without you knowing, saying they were lost maybe. (Bit tight to get them back in 4 weeks tho smile

Feel a bit for your mum too, if she did encourage him to tell you himself that is really all she can do other than break a confidence (and then never be told anything ever again)

Jan45 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:44:35

McNameChangey: last time I will post I promise, I am in no way saying your ex is wondeful so don't quite get how you come to that assumption. My initial post was based on your initial post, I can now see that there's a lot more to this than first thought and of course you need to do what is best for your kids and if you feel this is it, then good, I am not disputing that. All I was trying to point out was that if at all possible kids should be able to see their father, that was it really, sorry you can't take another viewpoint, that's your choice, I wish you well and hope things settle down for everyone really soon.

Darkesteyes: I am still waiting on you showing me this thread or threads where I am constantly telling people to stay in bad marriages, funnily enough you haven't responded to that, you only appear to respond with more slandering of my personality, which actually says more about your deficiencies than mine. Akining me to someone who is sexist and racist is even funnier if not strange as my partner of 11 years is half Portuguese and half African, lol.

springytata Wed 10-Jul-13 11:58:28

I'm really sorry to dive in when I haven't read the thread (sorry blush ) but you say:

He was Emotionally and Sexually Abusive in our marriage, and there were times that the dcs were scared of him, but his anger was directed at me not them, so I don't believe he's abusing them. He is a careless and thoughtless man, but dc1 is always there and watches the younger two like a hawk

...And you want your precious children to have a relationship with this man?

Why? [conused]

ps he was abusing them when he was abusing you. To be a witness to abuse is to be a victim of abuse.

I would consider getting a restraining order to stop him bombarding you with comms. I had to do the same with my ex.

McNamechangey Wed 10-Jul-13 15:17:06

Captain, I'm not going to be angry with my mum. I know she's only done what she thinks is best. But I do feel that given what she was told involved dc3's welfare, that she had a duty of care to tell me about it since neither she not dc1 were in a position to do anything. It was only at the weekend that i last spoke to her about my fears. And she still said nothing. It's just frustrating to know that another adult knew some (or all) of this and didn't do anything to help other than listen. I know it wasn't done on purpose but I think it's time we all shared what we know and completed the picture.

Tata, because I really thought I was doing what was best for them and that with me not being there he would focus on them.

I'm feeling very low today. I feel I've let them down and I fear I won't be taken seriously if I voice my fears.

My mother worries he can't care for them, but I don't think she'd ever see it as abuse (she struggles to see EA as "proper" abuse and although she agrees that I did the right thing leaving, she and my sister have both said "if only he'd hit you..." sad )

I feel frightened that I won't be believed. That I'll be vilified. That I'll lose what control I have over the access there is.

I fear my dcs will be hurt and I'll be forced to stand by and watch.

NicknameTaken Wed 10-Jul-13 15:32:01

Having been all despair-y yesterday, I want to offer you a hug today. You haven't let your dcs down at all.

There's this middle ground where a parent hasn't quite passed over the borderline into being so horrifically abusive that all contact should be stopped, while at the same time not really being a safe and adequate parent. It's really difficult territory, and you just have to negotiate it as best you can. There isn't one right answer, so all you can do is deal with situations as they arise. Courts/ss etc don't have magic solutions either.

Your ds1 sounds absolutely wonderful, so you're clearly doing something right!

It's not the care you'd like to see for your dcs, but as a 1970s child, I regularly went out bare-legged in the snow (sounds like Little Orphan Annie but it's true) and all the skin on my back would peel off every year with sunburn, and I wasn't neglected and didn't suffer any long-term effects. Just different standards.

I'm NOT saying "Oh, give up and let him do what he wants". You have a plan and it sounds like a good one. I'm just saying not to catastrophize. It feels unbearable now but you and your dcs will come through this and you will be okay. One step at a time.

captainmummy Wed 10-Jul-13 15:49:14

I know you are frightened you won't be believed (by whom?) but if you have a file of dates, events, abuses, (of you and them) and evidence - why wouldn't people beleive you?

Why would they believe him?

If you go to court, dc1 will be asked if he wants to see his father; he is at the age where he can vote with his feet. Possibly dc2 as well - certainly his views will be taken into account. The littlest one is still very dependant on you as his mother, so your views should be taken into account - I say should be, but don't know, courts seem to vary so much.
At the end of the day, it is the childs rights that matter, not his.

What i am trying to say is - don't try to do this all alone, there are agencies and specialists and people who can help you make sense of it, tell you what is reasonable and what isn't, what to expect others to do.

captainmummy Wed 10-Jul-13 15:51:52

Nicknametaken - I was a 70s child too, my mum didnt believe in sunscreen (too expensive) so I also burned every year and peeled too (holidays in Italy) and I would not say I am unharmed. I have hundreds of moles and marks on my torso as a direct result, and I monitor these constantly for signs of skin cancer.

Sunburn in kids is not to be taken lightly.

stepmooster Wed 10-Jul-13 16:28:58

Hi OP, my DH has been to a solicior to start ball rolling with formalising a contact arrangement for his son. Court is the last resort, first you try to sort it out via your solicitor and then if that fails you to mediation. Cafcass also get invloved before court and they will go to both homes to assess and discuss with each of you and then the children, alone. I think what your DC1 might tell them may mean that your ex cannot have unsupervised contact. For instance contact could be at a contact centre and you aren't then cutting off contact between dad and kids. You wouldn't then be accused of stopping all contact.

I agree your ex sounds like a monster and your kids need protecting.

Also to the poster who thinks men are incapable of applying suncream to their kids needs to stop perpetuating the myth that men are useless and we must somehow make allowances for that.

My DH takes looking after all his children seriously and we have more medicines/suncream that most boots stores!

Darkesteyes Wed 10-Jul-13 16:31:38

Jan i didnt akin you with a racist or a sexist You are gaslighting now. Which says a lot about you and certainly explains your abuse aplologism.
I said that you remind me of a person who says "Im not a racist but" "Im not a sexist but.."

To the OP your attitude is "im not blaming you but" and then you went on about the behaviour of them both so you WERE/ARE blaming her.
You may as well have just said "im not an abusive apologist but"
And along with the fact that you have now gaslighted me. I rest my case!

Darkesteyes Wed 10-Jul-13 16:32:36

Sorry i meant "Im not an abuse apologist but"

Jan45 Wed 10-Jul-13 16:40:05

Darkesteyes: You don't give up do you? I have reported you for your personal attacks on me and been told by the Moderators that they agree that some of your posts to me are offensive and will be removed.

You really need to now leave me alone, your bullying tactics won't work on a person like myself. I am entitled to my opinion and stand by it, you on the other hand are not entitled to slander people who you feel don't agree with your views, this is not what MN is about and I am glad this kind of immature attacking of people's personal views is not tolerated here.

RabbitsarenotHares Wed 10-Jul-13 16:46:09

OP - I've just read the thread and am horrified. I feel for you all so much.

One thing that struck me - you said he'd raped you and that you have an apology on paper. Have you ever gone to the police with it? I know it's hard, but even if you just had it logged this must surely help in your favour when you take this vile creature of a man to court?

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