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To stop contact between my DD and her dad because he is a miserable bastard..

(70 Posts)
TheCourier Thu 16-Jul-15 14:00:26

Such a long story, but essentially been separated from DD's (9) dad for 2.5 years. He is emotionally abusive and an alcoholic.

He generally sees her a couple of times a week and they speak most evenings on the phone.

He is a grumpy, sweary, miserable bastard most of the time. I will pull him on it, then there'll be a few good contact sessions, then he'll revert.

Up until now DD has always seemed mostly happy to be going out with him (although sad post-contact if it goes badly). Last night, though, she was in a state because they had a very 'difficult' (as she put it) phone call and she was worried today would be rubbish. I said we should she how it went, and if it was bad I would speak to him, but she was still nervous and worried about what to do if he was. Apparently when he picked her up (I was at work) he was in a massive grump and complaining about lots of things.

I've tried for 2.5 years to get him to behave decently towards her. There is no formal contact order. Frankly I just want to tell him to get fucked (won't use those words obvs) for a while and that if he doesn't sort his head out he can go whistle.

I've been so fucking patient, but I see no benefit to my DD seeing someone so negative and grouchy and manipulative and mind-fucking as her dad.

Last night he was grumpy because we got a hamster and he told her that it was 'stupid and not to get too attached to it because it will die soon'

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:04:59

YANBU, I don't know if others agree with me but 9 years old is a time when she can start deciding for herself if she wants to see him or not. Sounds like she is already starting to become worried before contact sessions. I would let DD lead on this one. I was 10 when I wanted to stop contact with my dad- no formal contact order either, my mum insisted I went along 'do it for him- he is your dad, cant be that bad, you only have to stay an hour' she now regrets not listening to me.

ImNotCrazy Thu 16-Jul-15 14:08:43

I agree with ollie she's coming to an age where she should have a say in the contact arrangements especially if she isn't enjoying them and they are making her feel anxious. Maybe try having a calm chat with him telling him how she is feeling and unless he bucks up then you will not be forcing her to have contact with him.

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:19:09

Would you be willing to let your DD decide if she wants to see him or not OP?

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:21:09

Being grumpy is not a reason to cut contact and wouldn't hold up in court if it went that far.
If being a grumpy negative fucker was a reason to keep dads away, half of us would never know us.

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 16-Jul-15 14:21:26

*ours, not us.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:22:26

Courts usually recommend from around age 11, that's when they listen

Also, what 'benefits' do you actually expect to see from her contact?

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:24:34

I'm guessing you've sold us the negative picture of him so we would all say 'yanbu' and confirm your decision to cut contact

It's not your call to do that..... You know that right?

TheCourier Thu 16-Jul-15 14:25:49

Ollie - yes I would. She's smart, kind and very emotionally intelligent for her age. I'd happily trust and support her whichever decision she made.

Anyone - I guess I don't expect benefits as such. Just for it to not make her sad, fearful and timid and emotionally distraught.

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:31:26

She sounds like she doesn't mind doing sometimes, its just when she suspects it will be upsetting she doesn't want to go- on those occasions I would allow her not to have contact.

I would also call her father and ask him what he did/ said to upset her because now she doesn't want to come and is upset and in a state, so he is under no illusion why she isn't turning up.

Last night he was grumpy because we got a hamster and he told her that it was 'stupid and not to get too attached to it because it will die soon

This sounds a bit like a diss towards her life at home with you, my dad was the same when we got a dog. I take it that the break up was not amicable?

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:32:00

doing = going

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:34:38

She's 9. You don't get to make decisions like that at 9

Does she decide she doesn't want to go to school/dentist/live with you?

WayneRooneysHair Thu 16-Jul-15 14:39:18

Sorry OP but she's 9.

If most mums thought the same as you then there'd be a lot of children not seeing their dads.

wannaBe Thu 16-Jul-15 14:39:33

She is nine. She is far too young to decide whether or not to see her dad, because she is too young to realise the implications of cutting contact with him. People really need to think about what it is they are letting their very young children agree to when giving them these kinds of choices. This isn't a random person she doesn't get on with, it is her father.

And the courts would take an extremely dim view of a parent who stopped access because their ex was a grumpy bastard.

It sounds as if your ex is a straight talking to the point kind of person, and that your dd finds that kind of attitude difficult to deal with. but having said that, it also sounds as if you are allowing your dd to vent as much as she likes and possibly allowing your own feelings towards your ex to creep into the situation?

It might be worth focusing on the positive aspects of your dd and xh's relationship and the time that they spend together, rather than allowing your dd to dwell on the negative.

As she gets older she may decide on her own to see him less, but it is IMO inappropriate to put those kinds of ideas into a child's head.

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:40:48

Going to school/ dentist is a personal responsibility and at 9 you know that,

She doesnt have a responsibility to see her dad, he has a responsibility to make sure he behaves in a suitable way when he has contact with her so she doesn't get in a state when he is supposed to spend time with her.

And the OP said her DD mostly enjoys spending time with her dad, its just sometimes she would rather not go.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:45:33

Personal responsibility or not, at 9 it's a parents job to ensure she goes!

Op.... If he took you to court please be aware he could actually come away with more contact than he has currently. He could have eow, half of holidays etc. So think carefully before rocking the boat

8angle Thu 16-Jul-15 14:47:23

OP I think you should definitely involve your daughter in the decision and it is a very different decision to going to "School / dentist"!
If it makes her "sad, fearful and emotionally distraught" in your opinion and she doesn't want to go, then you should tell your Ex this and see how he responds, and what he is going to do about it.

I think the courts would certainly take into consideration the views of an emotionally mature 9 year old on whether she should stay with and "emotionally abusive alcoholic"!

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 14:50:08

Granted I didn't experience any of the court stuff because i doubt my dad could be bothered, and my mum always insisted we went.

Would court be something he would threaten if she missed the odd contact day OP?

Does DD see anyone else from his side of the family; Grandparents, aunts/uncles?

EstaRive Thu 16-Jul-15 14:54:09

I would definitely listen to your DD, whatever others say.

I was 10 when I made that decision myself. We didn't cut all contact, but I decided I did not want to stay at his house overnight again and didn't want to see him as often as every other weekend. He just spent the whole time in a foul mood and insulting my mum, and it was very damaging - . I knew it in my own little 10 yr old way at the time (would get stomach aches and cry a lot before and after going to see him), and I know it very well now as an adult.

Instead, I saw him once a month for a short period (an afternoon in the park or meal out) and it reduced my anxiety massively. My dad also eventually fixed himself up a bit and made our shorter contact periods count. I think the fact I didn't want to see him so often shook him into shaping up a bit.

We are good friends now, me and my Dad. He is a great grandad to my DC, but was an immature, grumpy arsehole of a father to me. I'm so glad I didn't have to grow up with that negativity constantly in my life. Contact should be about what is best for the child, not the absent parent.

If there is no contact arrangement, he is at liberty to see a solicitor and sort one out, of course.

Good luck.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:56:25

Well no, seeing a solicitor won't sort contact out. Only a court will

You could get a section 7..... If the judge deems it necessary... And have cafcass involved

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 14:57:12

But you would need to attend mediation first. Can you both afford mediation/court?

ollieplimsoles Thu 16-Jul-15 15:01:32

EstaRive

Your childhood sounds exactly mine but I was forced/ guilted into contact at ten and you were not.

As a result, I had awful teenage years around my dad and he was even more horrible to me. Our relationship was damaged irreparably and now I actively don't speak to him.

Surely the courts care about the welfare of a child in the company of both her parents? They surely don't just force a 9 year old to spend time with a parent when she doesn't want to just because 'he is her father'

EstaRive Thu 16-Jul-15 15:04:04

I agree, ollieplimsoles.

wannaBe Thu 16-Jul-15 15:06:08

"And the OP said her DD mostly enjoys spending time with her dad, its just sometimes she would rather not go." so, let's turn that one around then, imagine that the dd on the odd occasion would rather not come back to the op, would that be ok as well?

It is very easy to make decisions over whether to allow or not allow a child's parent to have contact with their child when you are the one making the decisions. Equally though that decision should be able to go the other way and if e.g. the op and her dd have had an argument before she went to her dad's and she decided she didn't want to come back, then that should be ok for him, as the other parent, to decide that the op shouldn't have contact for now based on her treatment of her dd, iyswim. n

It is one thing to decide she doesn't want to stay overnight for instance as a PP did when she was a child. It would be quite another to let a nine year old decide to cut contact or to decide for her that that was what was going to happen.

And every child has times when their parents upset them, it is a part of growing up and it can be part of being a parent. But enabling that resentment to build by allowing the child to not see their other parent when they say something they don't like will just inflame the situation more.

I agree that mediation should be the way forward, so you can both talk this through with someone impartial. it is very easy for personal feelings towards an ex to cloud one's judgement when it comes to the children. In fact I would say that it's almost inevitable sometimes that if you see your ex as a complete bastard, you would quite like your children to as well. (by you I mean one in general not the op personally).

AnyoneForTennis Thu 16-Jul-15 15:12:44

Yes. They can and do force contact. If it's felt it should be. We are on this planet a long time,relationships change over the course of our lives. A 'constant' is important.

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