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To just say No!

(51 Posts)
Nobullyinghere Mon 17-Feb-14 13:02:53

namechanged as this could out me.

will give back details so as not to drip feed.

I left my ex husband approx 5 yrs ago because he was bleeding me dry and the stress of his constant wants was making me ill.
I have a new partner now and we have 50/50 residency of the children i have with exh. He diesnt pay maintenance as we have them 50 50. he claims tax credit for dd and child benefit for dd. i am not entitled to tax credits or child benefit for ds.( due to earnings)

DS has come home from school with a letter about a rugby trip to South Africa costing at least £2300. This does not include insurance or meals or spending money. exh has told DS he can go if i pay half. ( should also point out i pay ds school fees) I am on a career break at present and so have no wage coming in although dp puts a generous allowance into my acc and pays all bills and clothing and food etc. I have 2 small children with dp and run my car and pay for fees etc and lessons and pocket money etc out of my allowance (house keeping) i cannot afford to commit to half this amount and im worried about ds going to South Africa..

exh has just phoned giving me dogs abuse because im saying i cant afford it. hes saying i should get DP to pay. I dont agree.
exh saying this is a chance of a lifetime and im ruining his rugby career etc etc etc.

i wint be bullied so im want to say NO. AIBU?

Hissy Mon 17-Feb-14 14:03:14

I agree with RunRabbit don't allow him to give you so much as a second of verbal. hang up every time.

when he can be civil, he will be heard. he doesn't however get to dictate your family finances.

I think the trip is a non-starter in any case, if it's that much of a struggle for you both, then it just doesn't happen.

You need to explain to DS that sadly some parents use things like this to score points and that it's just sad that he's being put in the middle like this.

He has to understand that while you'd all love to be able to say yes to everything, that sometimes it's a no.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 17-Feb-14 14:16:34

You should check with the school, there is no way the school would be taking them away and hoping/expecting you to sort our insurance

Nobullyinghere Mon 17-Feb-14 14:24:14

yes thumb I pay all the fees amd buy all uniform and pay all school costs. i was main wage earner and exh got used to the life that brought. he is major bitter now that has all stopped and is clever/ manipulative enough to use that to make him seem saintly to the kids. ridiculous.

Ds has also said a few of his close friends are not going as the cost is too much. I chise this school as it has above average academic performance and results and my Ds has blossomed here. its not a status symbol for me.

youarewinning Mon 17-Feb-14 15:21:42

I'm assuming by the type of trip it is that your DS is old enough for you to be straight with him?

Just be honest that school fees are X amount, uniform is X amount and any extras he gets at school is X amount. Say you pay this because you want to give him the best start in life. Then say you'd love to be able to fund half the trip but do not have that money ATM, as don't some of his friends parents. I'd also go as far as to tell DS your DP is currently funding his school and funded a family holiday. Then say you'd obviously not stop him going if his father wanted to pay for it!
There is the hope he'll ask his dad to fund it all on the basis of what you've already paid - and have the common sense to realise whatever crap his father then spews out is just that - crap! Teens start to realise things for themselves - they may not be vocal about them but he'll start to realise how much you and DP do the more his father tries to make you out the bad guy iyswim?

nennypops Mon 17-Feb-14 15:30:44

Tell him you'll pay half if he pays half ds' school fees, backdated.

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 15:51:40

Excellent - if there are a few of his friends also not going because it's too expensive, then there's no real reason why he has to go - it would be different if he was the only one (or one of the only ones) missing out.
In which case, he and his friends can commiserate between themselves about not being able to go.

I like nennypops' suggestion too though...

Nobullyinghere Mon 17-Feb-14 16:02:30

Youarewinning, I'm going to take your advice. I thinks that makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

BalloonSlayer Mon 17-Feb-14 16:07:18

Tell ex that if he gives you his half of DS's school fees for this year, you'll be able to afford to pay your half of the trip.

tomverlaine Mon 17-Feb-14 16:08:15

I agree with much of being said. The only question I would have is in respect of your career break- if you weren't on your career break would you pay for this? Could DS feel that you were on a career break to benefit the little children and he loses out?
its only that you do see posters where their EXp has stopped working (out of choice) and the children are losing out

MaryWestmacott Mon 17-Feb-14 16:11:54

Youarewinning's advise is very good. If your DS is old enough to go on this sort of trip, he's old enough to understand family finances. Definately say that if his dad wants to pay for it, you won't stop him going but you can't afford to contribute.

AMumInScotland Mon 17-Feb-14 16:14:51

It sounds like DS is capable of understanding that things aren't always affordable.

You just need to tell your XH to STFU about it because it's not going to be happening. End of.

And, as someone else mentioned upthread, don't stand there letting him bad-mouth you on the phone. Say "I'm not listening to you when you're like this" and put the phone down. If he can't treat you with any respect at all, then you don't need to put up with it.

Calmly explain things to DS if you have to, and avoid insulting his father, but point out what is real and what isn't here - your DP has been subsidising school fees while you aren't at work, and you have always paid for it the rest of the time. Nobody is being unfair in saying this is not realistic.

divisionbyzero Mon 17-Feb-14 16:19:10


You are responsible for half of the child's expenses, are a higher earner and if you have chosen with your DP to let him take on your financial commitments while you do other stuff fine, but your child is one of those commitments.

If you turned this into bullying or played the victim, you would be kind of weaseling out of a fair comment imo.

No reflection on you personally, I'm sure you're a lovely person, this is merely an honest and hopefully reasonable opinion on the situation as solicited. smile

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 16:21:40

Division - have you read the rest of the OP's posts? She pays for ALL the school fees, uniform etc. - her ex contributes NOTHING to that. I think she's more than covered her half of her son's expenses...

BlueDesmarais Mon 17-Feb-14 16:21:52

I'd never let one of my kids go to South Africa anyway. We have a relative there, and the stories he can tell about the crime and the danger. He lives behind armed guard. Good fun.

LaGuardia Mon 17-Feb-14 16:22:02

Maybe you're sending him to a school which is a bit beyond what you can afford?

^^I agree with this.

VivienStanshall Mon 17-Feb-14 16:26:32

For starters I'd do what Hissy said. Ideally block his number and all communication by text. Why allow yourself to be upset by this man?

Supercosy Mon 17-Feb-14 16:29:30

I don't think yabu to say no. We are all in different circumstances but I only have 1 friend who could afford to pay for that sort of holiday for her Dc. The vast majority can't. Please don't feel compelled to agree to this because of your exh's tactics. He was very wrong to tell your DS he could go and that you would pay half when he hadn't even asked you. I have a family member who does things like this with me and my Dd (not her dad thankfully) and it is blood y annoying. If you can't afford it you can't afford it. That's that. Your son is in no why deprived!

AMumInScotland Mon 17-Feb-14 16:33:29

Why on earth do people think that not wanting/affording an optional foreign trip means that the OP has chosen a school she 'can't afford'?

She (and new partner) pay for fees, uniform, pocket money, without any financial involvement from the XH on those things. Doubtless she is also keeping her son in rugby kit, and all the other normal 'incidental' costs of independent school life.

'A few' of the boy's close friends, and probably a great many other children at the school are not going because it is 'too expensive'.

This is one of the things which independent schools come up with from time to time, which the vast majority of parents at the school will decide is a stupid waste of money and not send their children on.

The only person who is being impractical about money is the XH who has decided he is going to look generous by borrowing money in order to give his son something 'exciting' even though he can't actually afford it either.

Very few parents who send their children to independent schools just have a spare �1,000+ (plus all the other costs) lying around to throw at random trips that are offered when someone starts pressurising them.

Nobullyinghere Mon 17-Feb-14 16:38:23

Division since DS was born I have paid for the vast majority of expenses. I was stupid enough to marry someone who saw a free meal ticket. Took me too long to realise it. I am in no way weaselling out.

I took a career break as my youngest son has a serious learning difficulty so I am his carer. I pay for some private therapy for him to try to give him the best start in life. Saying that my other 3 children do not in anyway miss out. The older two have all the clothes they want and both have a phone and ipad which we got them for Christmas and birthdays. I really feel my exh is joking on the bandwagon a little here expecting my dp to pay.

ApprenticeViper Mon 17-Feb-14 16:39:25

YADNBU. Your ExH had absolutely no right to tell your DS he could go on the trip if you paid half. As PP's have said, your DS should be made aware that you pay for his school fees, uniform, etc., etc. and there isn't enough money left to find another �1300 + insurance + meals + spends.

If your ExH is going to ask his parents for the money for half the trip, tell him he can ask them for the whole lot as you didn't agree that your DS could go.

And don't put up with any more verbal abuse from him. The "end call" button on your phone is your friend smile

3nationsfamily Mon 17-Feb-14 16:46:13

Just a wild card suggestion here- could your son get some paid employment at weekends and holidays to build up most of the balance of the cost of the trip. He would then truly see the value of money but also have an incentive to work towards what he really wants.

Nobullyinghere Mon 17-Feb-14 16:49:29

3nations he isn't 16 yet so I'm not sure he can get a job.

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 17:01:53

Nobullying - he is definitely old enough to get a part time job; he could have had a paper round from the age of 13, and been doing a milk round from the age of 14. But whether or not anyone has a job for him is another matter...

GimmeDaBoobehz Mon 17-Feb-14 17:05:56

I think you should do what youre suggested. Sit him down and tell him why he is unable to go due to finances. This works if he's over 13 I'd say, which I imagine he is if he is going on this kind of trip.

wildfig Mon 17-Feb-14 17:26:15

YANBU. It's a rugby trip. If it was a fortnight's intensive coaching school with unmissable training opportunities, etc, and he was really passionate about career in rugby/sports, then maybe. But a trip like that is what percentage rugby and what percentage holiday? What kind of effect can missing this, or not, have on a 15 year old's 'rugby career'? Is Stuart Lancaster driving the tourbus?!

This time round, unfortunately you can't afford it. Other parents won't be able to afford it either - these are tough times for lots of people. As others have said, it's not a bad lesson to be told, gently and without emotional pressure, that when the money's not available, stamping your feet isn't going to make it appear.

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