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to expect my ex husband to interact with our DS (3) when he comes to visit him for 1 hour access

(37 Posts)
ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 20:40:45

split up 1 month ago - he walked out and is now living with another woman. It came out of the blue and I am finding it difficult to get my head around the whole situation.

However I am trying to make sure that he retains a good relationship with DS by giving access 4 times a week.

Tonight he wanted to come around at 6.30 and put him to bed at 7pm. I suggested he come around at 6pm - which he did. But within 1 minute of arriving at the house he had opened up the laptop and was on facebook and other message boards. DS was sitting having a bite to eat and watching TV.

I pointed out that this was not quality time with DS, but his arguement was he was sitting next to him. and he was engrossed in TV. I suggested he turn it off and sit in the kitchen at the table and talk.

This did not go down too well - I am fuming!

The maximum time he spends with him in any one visit is one and half hour - even though I have offered longer.

How do I handle it, and AIBU?

What would you do..... I am still fragile over this whole situation, but trying to do whats best for DS.

squeakytoy Sun 02-Oct-11 20:43:29

I think having him round to your house like this 4 times a week is too much, for you. Your child will adapt. You need more time to get your head around all this.

Is there any way you can arrange for access to be via a grandparent for the moment, so that you can avoid seeing your ex?

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 02-Oct-11 20:50:06

I think you are going to have to find a better, healthier way for ExH to spend time with DS and not you. Having your cheating git of an ExH round four times a week is not going to work. Did he open your laptop and start fiddling because he also can't treat your home as his home and your things as his things if he walked out and now has another home. If he brought his laptop, he was planning to ignore DS all along.

Could he take DS to the park on weekends? Swimming? I know winter is coming but establishing the idea that he takes DS out rather than hanging around the house ignoring DS might work better. I agree that organising an aunt or GP to help with access is a good idea.

solidgoldbrass Sun 02-Oct-11 20:54:37

Stop access being in your house, your ds is 3, not a BF baby so your XPcan look after him by himself. Tell your XP that you do not want him in your home any more so access will in future be elsewhere.

Are you allowing access to be in your home because XP is seriously dangerous or neglectful ie will leave your DS on a bus or something? If so, just stop access. Or is XP only prepared to visit DS in your house so he can use your computer and annoy you? If you are worried that expecting XP to make an effort will result in him not coming to see DS any more, better to let him go (and keep a diary of his unreliability if he has a change of heart in the future). IF your DS is used to his dad ignoring him, he won't miss him that much.

corlan Sun 02-Oct-11 21:16:09

Agree with everyone else. It would be much better if XP could take your son to his house for one day at the weekend - it would also give you some time to yourself.

My XP sometimes hangs around my house when he's 'passing' but he only stays as long as he's paying attention to our daughter - once he starts settling down to watch TV or playing on the computer, I ask him to leave.

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:16:47

Sqeaky - all grandparents have passed away and my family live out of the area, and his family are furious with him (and very supportive of me and DS).

He wanted 7 day a week access - which I said was a no no. I would actually love not to see ex H, as it hurts like mad when I do. But I am also concerned about DS emotional stability and want to ensure that he has a relationship with father.

It was his laptop, but I asked him to leave it (he took his tablet, PC (loaded with porn etc) and another laptop) and he brought this laptop back - but would like it back when I sort out a new one... so feels it is still his. He has not been able to sort out the internet access at his new pad yet - its on order.

To be fair he does take him to the park on a saturday morning or swimming, and he wants to be able to introduce him to his new love of his life and new home, but I am saying no at the moment. Want to make sure DS is coping well (and when I can cope as well). And then we will go for an overnight access as well.

One of the issues we had was that he was jealous of DS being number 1 in my life and the fact that ExH has an attention span of a knat, and couldnt / wouldnt interact with DS for more than short period of time.

He is not a danger to DS, and in fact together thought we would make good parents as we have different skills.

ExH says that I was too controlling and he did things differently

squeakytoy Sun 02-Oct-11 21:21:38

If you get on ok with his family, can you take your son there and do a handover at their house.

I think you are trying to be way too accomodating here to someone who has treated you like shit to be honest.

You are making it all very very easy for him, and I cant understand why.

Damn right it is too early to be introducing your poor child to the new woman. It has only been four bloody weeks!

I would cut the visits down to twice a week. Once midweek, once at weekends. Absolutely no need for overnight stays at all for the foreseeable.

Stop being so nice.

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:24:55

Squeak - can you send me some balls over please. He is trying to make out that I am stopping him access and being unreasonable. I am really only trying to do whats right for DS..... and I am so bloody confused about whats right and wrong.

troisgarcons Sun 02-Oct-11 21:25:04

I would make it clear - he left - anything in your home is yours ...ie he doesnt start touching laptops etc.

He chose to leave . He forfeits all rights.

squeakytoy Sun 02-Oct-11 21:28:34

I cant send you any, but I am sure that there will be plenty of posters on here who can help you regain your confidence and be strong. smile

All I can say is, you are being way too reasonable. You have done nothing wrong, he walked out on you and his son, and from now on, it is on your terms and you get to decide what is happening in your own home. He made his choice to leave. It also sounds to me like you are both going to be much better off without him too.

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:35:04

Ah but his argument for leaving was that I was a total cow to him for 2 years, and I should have seen it coming.

He threatens to either go for full custody (which he really knows would never happen) to walking away and never seeing him again.

He knows that I honestly think DS needs a father figure in his life - therefore he is now starting to threaten to walk away.

I feel as though I am over a barrel.

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 02-Oct-11 21:39:55

YANBU... is there anywhere local he could take DS when he comes over, rather than staying at the house?
It sounds like a difficult situation especially as it hasn't been long since the split.
You are not being impratical, the access he is trying to impose is impractical and will be hard for DS to adjust to the situation.

squeakytoy Sun 02-Oct-11 21:45:22

A good father figure in a childs life is no bad thing, but a man who walks out of one bed, straight into another and who is already keen to introduce a strange woman who has taken that childs mothers place to his boy is not what I would deem a good father or one that is putting his childs feelings first.

Have you seen a solicitor yet? If not then I urge you to go through all the proper channels regarding reasonable access, and of course maintenance for your boy.

Try not to engage in anything with your ex if you can. He sounds like he enjoys making threats and using emotional blackmail.

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:46:58

The access we have agreed is

Monday morning - come and get DS ready and drive him to nursery (6.45am - 7.30am) - I will leave for work early that day.
Tuesday and Thursday evening - collect DS from nursery, bring him home, give him tea, bath and bed. (5.00ish to 7.00pm) I will not be home until after 7pm - gym or work late.
Saturday - collect DS at 9.00am and bring back around 11am - park / swimming / breakfast
Sunday - depending upon our arrangements - but he would like to see him in the afternoon

none of the access is very long - at ExH request - not mine.

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 02-Oct-11 21:47:09

Sorry cross posted, Toddlers that is awful and it is emotional blackmail. What an absolute shit your ex is.

I think you need to think carefully about what custody arrangements you want to put in place that will establish a routine for DS and allow him to spend quality time with his deadbeat Dad. And I would seriously look at seeking legal advice as well (if you haven't done so already).

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:48:23

I have engaged a solicitor, but she has suggested we try and come to an amicable agreement rather than go through mediation or court.

squeakytoy Sun 02-Oct-11 21:50:56

That is more than many dads who still live with their children see them.

It also means he is barely out of your life too.

Was he this hands on when you were together?

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 21:56:08

Squeaky he was fine doing the getting ready for nursery in the morning - but it is short and regimented. The same with a night time routine. However on a weekend, he would basically do an activity (like swimming or a boys breakfast at Asda etc) but then DS was my responsibility for the rest of the weekend. And now he wants more contact but only for short periods of time.

He would struggle to have him a whole day for instances - unless he plonked him in front of the tv all day.

But he is already cancelling arranbgements (like this tuesday) as he has to collect his new woman from the airport. So again DS is not his main priority - even though he is pushing for access.

babyhammock Sun 02-Oct-11 22:03:05

He threatens to either go for full custody (which he really knows would never happen) to walking away and never seeing him again.

Does he need someone in his life who says things like this and who is using him to get at his mum.

solidgoldbrass Sun 02-Oct-11 22:03:48

He is pushing for access in order to jerk you around. What he wants is for your whole life to revolve around him ie he wants to keep popping round and 'see DS' in order to stop you actually doing anything apart from wait for him. Remember that a couple of times a week and once at the weekend is reasonable access, and that saying you do not want him in your home any more and access must be elsewhere is also perfectly reasonable and a court would agree.

CardyMow Sun 02-Oct-11 22:04:58

My ex-P walked out on me 4 months ago. I DO have him round my house, but ONLY because ds3 is only 8mo, and is a bf bottle refuser. Once ds3 starts drinking milk out of anything except me a bottle or beaker, ex_p will no longer be coming round twice a week after work.

Right now, the contact is a bit odd, as DS2 is almost 8yo, and ex-P has him overnight on a Saturday every other weekend, and takes him out after school one day the following week.

We have separate contact arranged for DS3, which is 4 hrs on a Tuesday afternoon / evening and 4 hrs on a Thursday afternoon / evening - but that is at most until DS3 is 12-18 months old.

NO WAY would ex-P be coming round and opening up his laptop - he tried it once, I told him to leave. He tried to fall asleep in the chair once too - he was made to leave. He is not coming to MY home and treating it like an extention of his own home when HE walked out on me and the dc. As I tell him, he is here to see the dc. Nothing else. If he isn't interacting with them - then he leaves!

Your ex-H wants to have his cake and eat it too. You are being FAAAAAAR to damn reasonable! Your DS is 3yo not 3mo. He can have access to your ds OUT OF YOUR HOME - it is YOUR home now, not his. He has NO NEED to be in your home - oh, and no court room will give 7 day-a-week access - the most would be 3 1/2 days each! AND the court would insist to him that it IS NOT in your home.

However - you legally have NO say on who your Ex-H introduces your ds to unless that person has been convicted of a schedule 2 offence (either neglect or child abuse). If not - your Ex-H is perfectly legal to introduce your ds to whoever he wants, and there's not a thing you can do about it - which makes me feel angry - but that's the way the law stands.

OP - STOP being so reasonable, make set days for access, and make it outside your home.

CardyMow Sun 02-Oct-11 22:13:17

WRT the short but frequent access visits - you DO NOT have to agree to that - courts only usually advise that for dc under 18mo max. Your Ex-H is just doing this to try to hold control over YOUR life - don't let him!

Any family law judge, with a 3yo, would be setting 'reasonable' access as being overnight one night midweek every week, every other weekend, and half of all school (or nursery / pre-school) holidays. I know this for a fact - have been through this twice, once for DS1 with Ex-H, (who was remarkably like your ex-H), and once with DS2 with Ex-P (who I now have DS3 with too).

If I were you, I would offer him Wednesday night overnight every week, and Saturday morning to Sunday evening every other weekend. All OUT of your house.

ToddlersRFab Sun 02-Oct-11 22:14:51

Thank you all for your advice.

Hunty I will take on board your comments. I need to come to terms that he will introduce DS to his new woman and home. This is a step that I am not comfortable with right now. Therefore I am feeling obliged to accept his visits to my home.

In a few weeks hopefully this will be easier for me to swallow and we can re negotiate access, with less contact between me and ExH.

CardyMow Sun 02-Oct-11 22:17:56

Do it in writing, too, and keep a copy of the letter or email, so that if he says that is not enough, tell him to go to court, and if/when he does, you have evidence that you have offered reasonable contact.

Don't let the fact that he is threatening to walk away from your DS make you feel obliged to do whatever HE wants - if he was going to walk away from his own son just because things aren't all on HIS terms - then he's not much of a bloody father, is he? Your DS will cope whatever happens - he has a loving parent there - YOU. Yes, it would be nice to have a father figure there for him - but it's not the end of the world if he doesn't - he will adapt. I PROMISE YOU.

What kind of father thinks it is OK to walk away from their own child just because he can't get what he wants? Not one that I would want around my dc, because that is NOT a good example for my dc.

TastyMuffins Sun 02-Oct-11 22:24:59

Are you able to go out when ex comes round? He may be more inclined to give DS his attention when you are not there as he probably sees that you are in control and feels he is just an observer when he visits. It isn't ideal leaving him in what is now your home, but it might work out best for your DS and his relationship with his father.

When I first split up with my ex, he used to collect DS from nursery and bring him home when I went back to work. This was sometimes awkward but as I couldn't get back home in time to pick up DS it was the best solution.

When you are ready for DS to be introduced to ex's new partner and stay over, you can move towards your ex not coming round at all except for to collect or return DS.

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