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To be sceptical over DP seeing estranged children?

(83 Posts)
JeremySmile Mon 07-Oct-13 13:24:38

DP hasn't seen his children from first wife for two years, they are just turned 6 and 7. His ex told him to take her to court for contact after a minor disagreement which followed months of her cancelling contact as and when she fancied. He didn't do so, which I think is downright wrong. He got a call from her solicitor on Friday offering that they call him this week and see him at the weekend. So effectively, he's still done nothing to try and see them, his ex has offered them up as she probably needs help with them and he could enter their lives again only to leave if he falls out with his ex again. I'd say it was his choice and keep out of it but I have children to consider too. AIBU to be sceptical about it all?

WaitMonkey Fri 11-Oct-13 12:13:27

Any progress op ?

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 09-Oct-13 17:53:24

Does his ex dangle the carrot of contact and then withdraw?

BeScarefulWhatYouWitchFor Wed 09-Oct-13 14:07:29

This situation sounded familiar to me too. OP your DP sounds like a deadbeat dad who only wants to see his DC when it's convenient to him/he can be bothered to. That's no good for his DC who need stability of knowing when they'll see their father.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Wed 09-Oct-13 13:01:17

OP you are right to have serious misgivings. My ex is an abusive arse and we have been through a long court process and built up to a contact agreement.
So please ignore all the second wives club members who bleat on about their 'poor' 'D' hs whose evil exs can stop contact with children on a whim. Trust me. It 's not that easy.
I don't know what you can do now if you're already pregnant though ? He's a classic deadbeat dad and your instincts are totally spot on.

JeremySmile Wed 09-Oct-13 12:47:23

Nope, am at the end of my tether now though.

tippytap Wed 09-Oct-13 12:39:50

Have you posted about this before?

JeremySmile Wed 09-Oct-13 12:12:59

He works shifts which means he's often off on school days rather than weekends. They live 40 miles away which he thinks is too far/expensive to travel just for tea hmm

PeppiNephrine Tue 08-Oct-13 16:24:50

Unless he's on an oil rig offshore the job thing is likely bullshit.
He doesn't see them because he doesn't particularly want to, thats clear enough to see.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Oct-13 16:02:38

I have people in my life who love me,they love me enough to tell me when I'm acting like a giant cock and am wrong.

That's what decent people do,they do not support and excuse piss poor behaviour

Op yanbu

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Oct-13 15:42:12

Why does his job mean he can only see his kids once a month?

TigerBabyyy Tue 08-Oct-13 15:06:36

So what happens now op?

JeremySmile Tue 08-Oct-13 14:45:11

Hi, no the swimming pool situation wasn't me. I have pushed him to try earlier but he's made excuses. Even if he does start contact again now his ex has backed down I have no doubt it'll go wrong in a few months, causing more upset for his children. She wants him to take responsibility, he won't because of his job (yet will blame her) and so when she realises its once a month full stop, not once a month minimum she won't want to know.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 08-Oct-13 14:32:53

I'd say he might be the nightmare ex. Only wants to see his DC once a month but wants holidays? Refuses 50:50. DH and I have jobs, we still look after DD. People with jobs don't give their DC away, they pay for childcare while they are working. I'd want to know why he didn't do that from the beginning. I certainly wouldn't have a child with him. Sorry OP.

WaitMonkey Tue 08-Oct-13 13:47:28

Come back op You asked for support. You will get it. Are you the poster we remember ? I think you're dp needs to sort himself out and start a relationship with his children. Hope things work out.

ImThinkingBoutMyDoorbell Tue 08-Oct-13 10:26:30

I think it is the same OP, the detail in the swimming pool one was that the ex was tired of him only having ad hoc custody and wanted to formalise it to certain days and weekends, the father worked irregular shifts that wouldn't dovetail neatly with a fixed arrangement so the exw got pissed off and said the ad hoc contact wasn't good enough, it was a permanent fixture or nothing. And the father chose nothing.

I share the OP's disapproval. There's no way I would give up seeing my child and play happy families with someone else's.

OptimisticPessimist Tue 08-Oct-13 10:23:39

Yes, that's the same one I was thinking of WaitMonkey. The situation was similar, the DP had a job that meant he only wanted a really odd and irregular contact arrangement that the ex wouldn't agree too, because she wanted him to have more frequent and regular contact - apparently this job was so special and unique that it was more important than his relationship with his children. Very sad.

WaitMonkey Tue 08-Oct-13 10:17:02

I thought this was familiar, optimistic, but I don't know. I was reminded of the thread where the op's dp spotted his estranged dc in a swimming pool and hid from them. Anyone remember that thread ? The op in that thread also hated her husbands actions towards his dc yet remained in a relationship with him. It's probably not the same op, situations like this probably aren't that rate.sad

OptimisticPessimist Tue 08-Oct-13 10:00:14

Have you posted about this before? It sounds familiar.

YANBU to be sceptical - a parent who has made no effort in two years to see his children is unlikely to keep up contact when it is no longer being managed by the other parent (or new partner).

I suspect his ex thought that by holding out, he would agree to increased contact and when he hasn't she's backed down in the hope of any contact at all. I did similar, with the difference being that I wouldn't re-instigate contact because my kids are perfectly fine with the situation as it stands. Your DP is very lucky that his ex has changed her tack - he should grab this opportunity with both hands. Sadly I doubt he will, especially if you are the same poster I remember.

shewhowines Tue 08-Oct-13 09:57:13

I think mumsy speaks a lot of sense.

I am a bit concerned that you haven't pushed dp to fight for them before. They need their father to step up to the plate, but they need it more than once a month. I would be concerned about the reasons he only wants once a month.

Mumsyblouse Tue 08-Oct-13 09:47:20

Boney and Fishfingers- the whole point is that the OP's husband hasn't fought with every fibre of his being for his kids. He hasn't exhausted every avenue, he just gave up when the ex got a bit shitty. Sorry, but nothing would prevent me seeing my children (and I would abduct them back if someone took them from me).

And Boney only some of your examples tug at my heart. The one about the person whose present marriage was so damaged he had to cut the old children, sorry, no sympathy there, again, there isn't a man or a marriage on the planet that could lead me to stop seeing my own bloody children. FGS!

Mumsyblouse Tue 08-Oct-13 09:43:17

I completely agree with the OP's line of argument on this thread and can't believe anyone is excusing the father in this situation. I have a female friend who lost custody (long story, different country) and she travelled every weekend of that missing time period to be with her children, it took hours, but she did it and eventually got back custody as well. Most mothers or indeed fathers don't just drop their children because the fight has gone out of them- I cannot imagine what this even means for me personally.

Op, I don't know what you should do but I share your reservations. I would lay it on the line for your partner that he steps up and steps up permanently. I would encourage contact and then encourage legal contact arrangements as a minimum before proceeding to build a life with this person.

PeppiNephrine Tue 08-Oct-13 09:36:20

Married, living together, why would that make a difference? She knows better than you anyway. hmm

FishfingersAreOK Mon 07-Oct-13 20:29:14

Same as Boney I have a friend who has been through hell with his Ex. Spent a fortune on solicitors. Granted access. Ex so horrific - would turn up at the wrong place/time/day with the DCs and hang around for ages - then say "Daddy doesn't care he hasn't turned up". Would photograph and video it. Send DCs on holiday with their father with nothing. No clothes, not their favourite bedtime toy. Nothing. Hide presents/letters. Refuse phonecalls. Even the family councillor/psychologist warned that the Ex could and probably was trying to poison her DCs against their father she was still given majority custody.

He tried so, so much. But Ex's manipulation made it impossible and was hurting his DCs. He has stopped trying to protect his children. He is heartbroken. He writes monthly emails. They are never answered but he hopes it may show in the future how he tried and why he stopped.

He never discusses them anymore. It hurts too much.

Not all non-contact fathers are lacking moral fibre or do not care.

AmberLeaf Mon 07-Oct-13 20:27:59

After two years of a brutally nasty split, my xh1 lost his shit completely and didn't see the kids for two years. Two blissfully peaceful years

Then, he sorted his head out and requested contact

The man in the OP hasn't requested contact though, he also only wanted to see them once a month in the first place.

I agree that things/people can change, but this man is not the one instigating contact.

Mama1980 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:15:29

I'm with lunar. Nothing on earth could stop me fighting for my children no matter what physically, emotionally or otherwise it cost me. They are his children!
Op I have to say this would be untenable for me, I couldn't live with or respect someone who acted in this way.

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