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to say to ex 'if you can't be arsed than stop pretending'

(6 Posts)
mrskeithlemon Thu 20-Oct-11 09:25:30

Exp and I split when ds was a baby. Since then his efforts have been sporadic and we have had major ups and downs.

About 12 months ago he started to get his act in to gear and said he would have ds 2x per week. Maintenance was calculated using the CSA calculator, but we stuck to our own private agreement. The calculations were based on him having ds 2x nights per week (i.e Saturday after tea time until Monday morning school time)

He has started to have ds only 1 night per week, and this is normally Saturday evening until Sunday early afternoon. This is because he says he struggles to get ds to school. He also brings him back filthy, and has normally palmed him off with family members (his excuse being ‘well they need to see him too’)

My issue is this: he has more than halved the time he sees ds. It is not a money issue for me – I want him to make more effort with ds, not to pay me more (before anyone starts) I have treied my best to get him to spend more time with ds and it hasn’t worked. His excuse was that he works all the hours god sends and physically can’t have him more than he does. Ok, so my next response is ‘we need to recalculate the maintenance then, you should be giving me more money for ds as you are having him less now’ To which he responded ‘I can’t give you more money,m I have been cut down to 4 days per week at work’

I mean WTF…..he just can’t be arsed, can he? I feel like telling him not to bother at all

fourkids Thu 20-Oct-11 10:14:55

It's really hard when you feel like your DC's DF can't be bothered with them isn't it? And I feel for you. And DS.

But the reality MIGHT not be exactly as you are seeing it from your point of view. Your ex's POV mught be different...

One night every week is pretty much the equivelent of what many, many NRP do isn't it? (two nights a fortnight - every other weekend). So he isn't totally different from the norm. Would that work better for him? Friday night to Sunday evening...that way you'd both get a full weekend with DS alternate weekends.

TBH I think his point about school on Monday morning could be valid. Many NRP do drop at school on Mondays, but that can cause extra complications for both the NRP and the child. As the RP, one will normally have sorted working hours that facilitate the school run, or made other arrangements. But the NRP might not be able to start work late every Monday or every other Monday, or to make other arrangements for just one day a week/ a fortnight. And it often causes difficulties for the child because they find they don't have their PE kit/homework/particular book 'because it is at DM's house.'

If he only has him for one day a week, I don't suppose it's the biggest issue in the world if he hasn't made him wash/bathed him (not sure how old DS is), though I do know how irritating that can be. And ex might feel that he and DS only have one day a week together so he doesn't want to have to do the routine stuff too much. That might be annoying, and I'm sure some MNers would think I am wrong to condone it. But I (particularly when DCs were smaller) always made sure they'd done their homework, for example, before they went to ex's so they didn't have to spend their more limited time with him doing stuff like that. So I don't mind if they come back unwashed, as long as they come back in time to wash here before bed.

And, while this is obviously making you upset, do you REALLY want to NOT have your DS for the whole of every weekend??

Regarding taking DS to family members. I think you need to be clear about whether he is actually 'palming DS off' or is actually, as he claims, facilitating DS's relationships with his wider family (it might be either - I don't know and am not making a judgement). My DCs see their paternal family when they are with ex. Sometimes I feel like you do about it, but on the other hand, DCs enjoy that time, and I'm certainly not taking them to see ex's family when they are with me, so if they are going to have a relationship with them it has to be in 'his time.'

I guess WRT maintenance, if it isn't about the money, I wouldn't bring it into it. If it is about the money, why don't you start off by popping the figures back into the CSA calculator and seeing what it spits out? Because the days with the NRP are in quite wide bands, when you take into account the time ex hs DS in the holidays etc (if he does), it might not change the calculation a great deal or at all.

Finally, please don't feel that I am belittling your feelings, or siding with your ex, because I'm not. I think I'm trying to say that we each (all of us) have our own reality (in this case RP and NRP), and the ACTUAL reality is often somewhere between the two. And if we can see both sides it sometimes makes it easier to deal with situation that we find difficult.

I do rather think that "telling him not to bother at all" because he "can’t be arsed" when he is seeing DS every week is a bit hmm, unless there is much more to this than meets the eye...

OTOH, maybe your ex is a plonker of the highest order who doesn't give a toss...

moonshineandspellbooks Thu 20-Oct-11 10:30:46

How old is your DS and how does he feel about the time he spends with his father?

Ultimately, unless your X is abusive/neglectful towards your DS, then there isn't really any justification for doing anything. He may be a crap parent, but he's your DS's father and there may be rejection/abandonment issues for your DS if your X disappears completely.

I sympathise hugely though. I have little patience with the 'it's too difficult for me to bathe him/get him to school etc' arguments. Does he think you have a special gene that makes it easier for you or is it simply that you prioritise it more because you understand the notion of responsibility? He needs to step up.

If you think he/you are capable of discussing it without it erupting into a row, why not schedule a meet-up to discuss this properly. It's important not to be aggressive and put him on the defensive, but at the same time there's no need to pussy foot around as unless you're firm, nothing will change. One of the angles you can take is that if you feel like saying, "if you can't be arsed then stop pretending" what does he think his son will think of him when he gets older? Sadly, though, unless he does improve there's little you can do except learn to live with it.

Hope things improve. smile

mrskeithlemon Thu 20-Oct-11 11:06:20

DS is 5. I understand what the 'norm' is regarding NRP's, but that said I feel that if it were the other way around, I would want to see ds as much as possible! Yes I do mioss him at the weekends, but i also think the time spent with his dad is precious to him too. He has stopped asking when he is going to his dads because he often lets him down.

If i was to try and arrnge alternate full weekend contact, it would end up that ds saw his dad 1 night a fortnight because he is guaranteed to mess us around and cancel days/nights

mumsamilitant Thu 20-Oct-11 11:23:47

Bloody frustrating isn't it.

I split up with Ex when DS was about 1.

Ex professes to Love his son more than anything exept himself

Ex moved away and was supposed to see him 3 times a year and can't even manage that! - he's got to work you know blah blah blah.

All you can do is take a step back and say to yourself at least he's in his life. Very very difficult but for me it was a must as you can't MAKE anyone do what is right.

DS now nearly 14 and whilst he loves his dad he doesnt really give a monkeys whether he sees him once or 3 times a year. Its us that care too much.

ShirleyKnot Thu 20-Oct-11 11:30:56

I totally agree with mumsamilitant.

It makes my scalp tingle when I think about just how much my ex DOESN'T give a shit. He shows it in his every action, even while his mouth is professing how much he ADORES his children.


Try not to cut your nose off to spite your face though OP.

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