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Is ex he using emotional blackmail? He won't have son's dog when he stays over

(142 Posts)
LucyJSkye Mon 16-May-16 11:34:20

Hi All - I need please some independent opinions to help me reach a decision (I’ve never posted in a forum before).

My ex-husband has barely seen our son in 4 years; his choice. We had a horrid drawn out divorce and as part of the outcome I was granted full residency and a prohibited steps order (in Feb 2013) that he couldn't take DS from school or home unless agreed in writing. In December our DS said he wanted to see his dad, so I decided to give his dad another chance (for the umpteenth time). I knew it would open up a can of worms (as it has done) but did it for DS (now 13).

I wanted them seeing each other slowly so they could rebuild a relationship and so I could see consistency (on the rare occasions in the past that my ex had taken an interest he let DS down). My ex has a partner now, who seems nice enough. However it seems his interest in DS coincides with when he has a woman in his life. I have felt that it’s more about him being ‘seen’ to do the right thing? Anyone else had this problem? Anyway, I get distracted….

Our DS has been seeing his dad now on a Sat from 10.30am – 9pm. Jan & Feb he had him most Saturdays and also in March, but then the games started. Ex was pushing to see him every Saturday and for overnights. I wanted some time with DS so wouldn’t agree to every Saturday & my ex lives in a shared accommodation set up where our son wouldn’t have his own room (+ I had other concerns). I asked ex for reassurances which he wouldn’t give me.

E.g. of ‘games’ – 25 March he was trying to coax DS into staying over on the Sat through until Easter Monday (but we had a friend’s baptism on the Sunday). I was proud of DS because he said over & over, “only if it’s OK with mum”. On the Sat DS was concerned his dad wouldn’t bring him home and didn’t want to be put in that position, so although he wanted to go, he decided not to (he saw him on Easter Monday instead). I had emailed my ex asking him not to disregard my position on overnights and also stated for him not to keep DS for overnight without mutual written agreement or I’d have no choice but to involve the police to implement the prohibitive steps order. He threatened court (although with the order in place I don’t think he’d get anywhere) and on the Wed after, said to me with no provocation (when his girlfriend called me!!) “I don’t want to talk to you…I’m disgusted with you” and hung up! Since then I decided to communicate via email only!

As the arrangement to that point had been casual and was starting to ‘run away’ I suggested 2 Saturdays a month. DS wanted to see him more so I conceded to 3 Sats in a 5 weekend month and 2 in a 4 weekend month. So April he saw him 9th, 16th & 23rd (+Sunday 17th as it was a family christening so I am flexible & fair despite my ex’s words and actions and try to rise above the aggravation for DS’s sake).

7 May ex announces that he’s moving for DS so he can have his own room; great news. But before that they were considering moving to a canal boat lol! Ex says it’s for DS but it’s also so his partner is closer to her work (fair enough).

Finally… (sorry folks) to the dog; Skye. DS & I got her nearly a year ago from the RSPCA after sadly losing our family dog a year last Christmas. I didn’t rush to get another dog because it was nice after 15 years not to have the limitations that having a dog in the family brings with it in terms of going away, staying with friends, etc. (or the poop scooping!) DS had been asking for a while and as a ‘soft’ mum (stupidly with hindsight) I gave in. But only after me telling him she was his dog for him to look after (which at age 13 I felt was reasonable and to help teach him responsibility) and him agreeing. Since he’s been seeing his dad I haven’t insisted on Skye going with him because of it being shared living (in an old convent) and it only being for the day. I had always said to DS though that IF in the future he did stay with his dad, that he would need to take the dog.

I put forward to my ex yesterday that our DS could stay 1 out of the 2 Sats in a 4 w/e month (Fri to Sun) and 2 out of the 3 in a 5 w/e month (again Fri to Sun) but that Skye would need to come with him. I also said that I don’t need any more hassle from him as it's causing and will continue to cause undue stress & I don't want any more back and forth emails as they’re not proving progressive just us getting under one another’s skin (again!).

There’s more besides this post, but the crux of this message is re: the dog and trying to convey how I feel that it seems to always be me ‘giving’ and letting go of remarks and behaviour on ex’s part for DS’s sake and for progress for them. I said to my ex that because I feel he’s working against me not with me that the offer was a take it or leave it so as not to get embroiled any further.

His response: “The dog is not mine and I will and can not have it. And if you are adamant about this I can not have DS overnight (but I guess you already know that)”

I have said a few times that the dog is DS’s, not mine. I have compromised and said on the day visits I’ll continue to have her. But the bottom line is I feel as though it’s always me compromising and that (as my ex has done before) that his response is emotional blackmail and that both he and my son will therefore ‘ blame’ me for them not having overnight stays. I don’t know if where their proposing to rent doesn’t allow pets, but if this is the case I feel he should’ve thought about the bigger picture of DS staying and had he have done so DS could’ve told him I’d said back in January that Skye would need to go with him.

I love my son, but whether it’s viewed as selfish by some I feel why shouldn’t I get some freedom out of this? I looked after our previous dog (3½ years until she died) when my ex showed no interest, what if I want to take advantage of our DS staying with his dad and go away myself, stay with friends further afield, it’s a lot more difficult with Skye in tow and if I say I’ll have her some weekends that will mean further email correspondence which I so don’t want to have to do unless absolutely necessary and only to do with DS (+ once I give a bit, ex always expects me to give more). HELP, I’m tired of being a pushover!! (Sorry for the very long post….thank you if you’ve read to the end x)

Stratter5 Mon 16-May-16 11:38:59

Your ex is an arse, but no you can't expect him to have the dog. The dog may well be your son's, but you are the adult, and ultimately it is your responsibility.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 16-May-16 11:42:19

Long and protracted post there but Yabu my ex had a dog and I don't have him to stay - neither do my kids take their cats, Guinea pigs or hamster to his!

Your dog your responsibility I'm afraid

MTPurse Mon 16-May-16 11:44:28

YABU, If I wanted a dog in my home I would get one, I would not allow anyones dog here, regardless of who they are.

It seems you are finding ways to make contact difficult?

crankyblob Mon 16-May-16 11:44:43

I am sorry that you are going through this.

However I do think YABU when it comes to the dog! Even though you got it for DS, he is under the age of legal responsibility and you agreed to this when you took the dog on.

I am wondering about this residency order. If you relent now with this then you may have trouble implementing it should you need to at a later date! As you are conversing via email you are effectively creating a paper trial for your DH should he wish to take it back to court! he could do this now and the court might look favourably in the dog being used as leverage.

CrazyDuchess Mon 16-May-16 11:45:28

In the nicest possible way YABU.

Your ex wasn't a party to the discussions with your son about getting the dog - it is not his problem that your son agreed "full" responsibility but you can't expect him to make provisions for the dog as well.

If you want the time off you could get dog sitters etc (I don't really know as I don't have a dog) but also we are talking 2 nights a month?? If you want to make arrangements to go out you could employ a babysitter?? Or family/friends??

wannabestressfree Mon 16-May-16 11:45:50

Am with you on some bits but it's a big no to expecting your ex to have the dog....

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Mon 16-May-16 11:46:30

Thats a long post and I'm sure you have every reason to feel aggrieved. But you got the dog, the dog lives with you. No-one, including your ex, is obliged to take your dog along with your son so that you can do things without the dog.
YABU I'm afraid.

LucyJSkye Mon 16-May-16 11:46:34

Thanks Stratter5 & ghostyslovesheep - one of my big weaknesses is my tendency to be too detailed - but thank you for your input and for taking the time to read x

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 16-May-16 11:47:07

You are being totally unreasonable with regards to the dog.

BarbarianMum Mon 16-May-16 11:47:31

YABU, of course the dog doesn't go. Imagine if your ex decided to by your ds a couple of Rottweilers, or a cat, or a tank of tropical fish - would you expect to come to you in the week?

Which is not to say I don't sympathise with the fact that he is an arse in general.

crankyblob Mon 16-May-16 11:47:34

not look favourablt

ghostyslovesheep Mon 16-May-16 11:48:47

Not disputing he's being an arse in general btw!

OrangeSplot Mon 16-May-16 11:50:29

Sorry you've had so many difficulties. I'm afraid that the dog is your responsibility. It's not fair to make your son choose between a dog or his time with his dad smile
You will have to enjoy time with the dog IMO. Seems really odd from the father's perspective to insist on a dog. Although I am sure he had been horrid and vile in other respects. In this case however I think his point is valid.

SoupDragon Mon 16-May-16 11:51:04

Your ex is an arse, but no you can't expect him to have the dog


You weren't unreasonable to suggest it but if he doesn't want a dog in his house, that is his choice. He didn't buy the dog.

LucyJSkye Mon 16-May-16 11:51:45

Thanks all - although probably not the answer I want to hear, it is/was independent opinions I need x

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 16-May-16 11:52:10

He sounds like a nightmare, but YABU with regards to the dog. If you want to get your son a dog, that's fine, but your son is 13, so the dog is ultimately your responsibility. If his dad doesn't want a dog in his home, that's his choice to make. It's not a slight at your son or you - not everyone likes dogs, or wants one in their home (along with the mess and responsibility it entails).

wolfwhistleme Mon 16-May-16 11:52:45

I agree with others that the dog is ultimately your responsibility. The important thing here is your son and ex re building their relationship. You can still check the dog into some local kennels for a weekend while you have some fun.

wolfwhistleme Mon 16-May-16 11:55:01

These are all peoples independent ideas.

wolfwhistleme Mon 16-May-16 11:56:52

* opinions rather

acasualobserver Mon 16-May-16 11:56:56

Agree with kennels if you can afford it. Alternatively, if the dog is a nicely behaved one, see if a friend or relative will take it for occasional weekends.

LucyJSkye Mon 16-May-16 11:57:12

OrangeSplot - I must've written something that you may have misunderstood as his dad hasn't insisted on a dog (confused soz). He is/was a dog lover (but referred to Skye as 'it') + I also think some of the issue, as others have said, is he wasn't in on the decision (he wasn't in DS's life). He has been very controlling in the past...x

acasualobserver Mon 16-May-16 11:58:14

I was also going to agree that your ex sounds like a hugely frustrating person.

ReginaBlitz Mon 16-May-16 11:58:44

You are the adult, he is a child HE is not responsible for the dog you are. I'm sure the rescue wouldn't have let you have her if they thought a 13 year old would be responsible. There is no reason he needs to take the dog with him unless you can't cope looking after her, in which case why the fuck did you get her especially a rescue dog it's not fair.

LucyJSkye Mon 16-May-16 11:58:50

I agree Wolfwhistleme - all opinions appreciated x

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