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Ex husband and new kitchen

(239 Posts)
donotknowhownottomind Sun 17-Nov-19 07:27:39

Ex moved out 19 months ago and we have been divorced for almost a year.

It was a horrible divorce - I divorced him due to emotional abuse mainly - and he does not speak to me at all. Any logistical message which I have to send him is never responded to - ever. Though he does read them and sometimes do what is suggested.

One of the worst things about our marriage was the fact that he would regularly subject me to very long silent treatments - we are talking weeks and weeks. It’s hardly surprising that having had the temerity to divorce him I am now dead to him 🙄.

The settlement meant that I got the family home and he got smaller assets, which put together roughly equalled the value of the house. He could have sold these and got somewhere suitable for him and the kids when they were with him, but instead he has been building a new property for him to live in for the past I don’t know how long, and living in another of his assets which is not suitable for the dc (teenagers).

So he has been coming to mine when the dc are home from school and cooking for them - while I am still at work. We never cross paths. The last time we came face to face was in February.

This has been ok but I have recently told him (by unanswered email) that it has to stop when he finishes his house - because I can see a situation where he either never finishes the house, or the dc don’t want to budge and he is still coming to mine months down the line.

The issue now is that after months of saving and planning and buying units and organising it all, and emptying the old one, I am having a new kitchen installed, to replace our very old and manky one.

Aibu not to want ex, who ignores me completely, to be using it when it is finished? Not always but he sometimes leaves a mess, I know he bangs pots and pans around but now we have a fragile induction hob, and he used to sometimes cut straight on to our wooden worktop (angry) when we were together, but he better bloody not do that to the new ones being installed!

As is normal, all the effort has been made by me (am painting it as well), but he might even get to use it before I do - it will be ready to use on Tuesday afternoon.

Aibu to just want ex to go away and to claim what is now my space? Am I being petty?

Forgot to add that he very obviously got together with someone while we were forced to live in the same house for months during the divorce. It was extremely painful for me. I don’t know if they are still together, but he obviously moved on at the speed of light. Why, two years after this, is he going to be in my hard worked for kitchen which he essentially won’t give a shit about?

AnnaNimmity Fri 06-Dec-19 06:45:52

how does he get in? Does he have a key or do the children let him in?

If the former, change the locks. If the latter? stop the children doing it. Mine wouldn't dare do this. Have you actually told the children that he is not to be let in the house?

Wallywobbles Fri 06-Dec-19 04:56:05

What have you actually said to your kids?

BlackCatSleeping Thu 05-Dec-19 23:13:14

I agree that it’s better to deny him access to the house altogether. If he wants to see the kids, he needs to hurry up and sort his living space out. That’s what other divorced dads do. I know he will try and paint you as the unreasonable one, but no judge would see it that way (if it came to that). This is your home. You have every right to not have your space invaded by him.

Parker231 Thu 05-Dec-19 22:58:33

I’m amazed that your DC’s constantly ignore your wishes. Mine would be in serious trouble !

PippiDeLena Thu 05-Dec-19 22:32:11

Will your solicitor's letter forbid him from entering the house entirely? I think that's the best bet, rather than one saying he can't enter the kitchen but can come in the house on some occasions. It's better to have very clear boundaries. Also, if he can enter the house but not the kitchen, he'll find something else petty to do to get under your skin. It's all a power play to him.

FraglesRock Thu 05-Dec-19 19:44:01

Do the kids let him in?

Kitty2020 Thu 05-Dec-19 19:22:06

If you know his MO - then get ahead of his behaviour. Don’t expect him to be reasonable. Don’t give him the opportunity to frustrate you.

Decide what you want, communicate it directly with a clear deadline for action and communicate the consequence and then action it.

If you are sending a legal letter - get a big list of stuff that needs addressing so that your £70 is value for money.

When will you get it sent?
What will you do in the interim?

Are the kids on board?

donotknowhownottomind Thu 05-Dec-19 19:07:28

Thanks for the messages.

After three days of not coming here, ex has been here this evening and cooked. So it is the solicitor’s letter after all. I guess this is designed to make me look unreasonable - and take it to the point where I do have to bring out the big guns. But the whole divorce was like that so I shouldn’t be surprised.

The space being mine and not invaded in the way he is doing was something about finally trying to heal, and he is getting in the way of it. While he then swans off to whatever relationship he may or may not be in.

PippiDeLena Thu 05-Dec-19 12:55:50

If the older teenagers wont bother leaving the house to meet their dad then that's something between them and him. It's definitely not a reason for you to allow him into the house because 'otherwise he'd never see them'. If they wanted to see him they would. You don't need to force a relationship that the teenagers aren't invested in.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 04-Dec-19 22:45:44

You do have to let go of your DCs' relationship with their father. They are old enough to choose what contact they want with him. Maybe they don't like him or his abusive ways either? Maybe they're cross and disappointed that they're so low on his priority list that he hasn't finished the new house?

I would make it clear that if they let him in the house, then there will be a consequence. Get an indoor video cam or Nest doorbell. They are old enough to understand and follow instructions. If they don't like it, then tough.

FraglesRock Wed 04-Dec-19 22:32:16

Is he picking up the kids or is too much like hard work now

VeThings Wed 04-Dec-19 21:20:45

It’s so hard, isn’t it, when you want your DC to be happy (having their dad able to pop over) vs what you need to stay sane.

You can’t be responsible for his relationship with the DC. He is choosing to keep hold of assets and build a house - he is the reason the DC don’t have a second home to see him in. Your ex is choosing to keep on as if you are still his facilitator.

You’re not responsible for any of it and nor should you be. It’s perfectly fine to have boundaries in your home. The tricky thing is feeing like you are letting the DC down - wouldn’t it be so much easier for them if you could just play peacemaker and roll over to help him out. But that does none of you any favours - the DC have to build their own relationship with him, without you masking his shortcomings.

Glad to hear your setting boundaries, but don’t give yourself a hard time about how difficult it is. It’s bloody hard trying to balance a desire to see DC happy vs feeling uncomfortable in your own home.

Kitty2020 Wed 04-Dec-19 21:05:14

How do you feel about him not coming? Victorious? Relieved? Guiltily? Anxious that this is will just trigger another flashpoint?

Kitty2020 Wed 04-Dec-19 21:03:29

If you asked him why he continues to punish you - I think he might reply:

"I couldn't help it. It's in my nature."

So what have you actively done to achieve this outcome? And what else do you need to do to maintain this boundary?
Has he not been at all or has he just not cooked? What direction did you give him? Did you give an instruction, a deadline and a consequence which you were prepared to follow through immediately?

Are your DCs on board yet? Are you comfortable having a straight forward conversation with them?

donotknowhownottomind Wed 04-Dec-19 20:42:49

Don't you think it's a bit weird that you're divorced (and far from amicable), yet he comes to your house every afternoon to cook food for your teenage kids in your kitchen?

Yes, definitely.

It’s the third day (following my email) that he hasn’t come to cook in the afternoons. I think he will have realised that I am serious, but I will send a solicitor’s letter if necessary.

Can you see that he is continuing to punish you?

Yes, you’d have thought that he would be bored of it by now. Or it’s a continuation of meaning less than nothing to him.

At the weekends he would do stuff with the dc, and sometimes does with the youngest, but the older two don’t really want to go out. I am sure it is also time with his partner yes.

AnnaNimmity Wed 04-Dec-19 19:48:11

Don't you think it's a bit weird that you're divorced (and far from amicable), yet he comes to your house every afternoon to cook food for your teenage kids in your kitchen?

I do.

My teens can cook for themselves or wait for me to come home. They make their own arrangements to see their father, out of the house. I don't feel in any way responsible for their relationship with him.

Kitty2020 Wed 04-Dec-19 19:40:15

How often do your teenagers get sick?
Have they had the flu jab or do any of them have a recurring chronic illness?
If the youngest is 13 the oldest must be at least 15 - can’t they have a rota to cook for themselves? This would be a good lifeskill and team effort to bring the new family unit together.

Does he see them at the weekends or is that time ring fenced solely for his GF?

Can you see that he is continuing to punish you?

What have you achieved with the divorce?

He still dominates your physical space and preoccupies your mental space. He controls your finances, abuses, manipulates, frustrates you with his silence, sulking and antics - and you facilitate it.

You need to put a firm deadline and a firm consequence in every request and then you need to follow through. You maybe need to budget for x3 £70 solicitors letters over the next few months to bring this to a close.

What are your next steps?

BumbleBeee69 Wed 04-Dec-19 15:17:25

Christ OP, he is completely controlling your entire environment... this is awful.. flowers

RantyAnty Wed 04-Dec-19 12:41:43

is he coming by your house every day?
Does he have set visitation hours or does he just come when he feels like it?

Here's an idea.
Can your teens go to a friends house after school and their dad can pick them up from there and take them out?

Then you can pick them up when you are done with work.
That way, he'll never get to set foot in your house.

Wallywobbles Tue 03-Dec-19 11:40:33

How difficult would it be to lock your kitchen? It would really help underline the point to your kids. No one get access to my kitchen if I can't trust you to follow the rules.

What have you actually said/asked your kids to do/not do?

BlackCatSleeping Mon 02-Dec-19 23:54:02

If it’s a case that you don’t mind him in the house as long as he doesn’t cook, then that’s ok too. It’s up to you what you want to happen in your house.

BlackCatSleeping Mon 02-Dec-19 23:51:02

Did you consider getting CCTV or a Ring doorbell?

donotknowhownottomind Mon 02-Dec-19 23:17:54

I don’t know, I didn’t ask them. I was just happy to get home to a kitchen that had not been cooked in, other than by the dc who had made themselves bits and pieces, and I then made a meal. I am sure this is not the end of it however and I will have to get unpleasant (solicitor), but for today I am ok.

FraglesRock Mon 02-Dec-19 23:07:03

Did he come in though?

donotknowhownottomind Mon 02-Dec-19 22:48:48

He gave some of the dc a lift this morning but didn’t cook this afternoon, which felt like a relief. Too soon to tell if it’s just by chance that he didn’t do it today so we’ll see.

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