To wish for once it could just be about dc(21 Posts)
Ex was a nasty, emotionally draining (abusive), manipulative, self-centred and controlling dick (he of course denies this). After health professional intervention I was put in touch with women's aid and finally LTB when dc was a baby but in many ways, no surprise, the behaviour continued.
Regarding education: dc's first nursery - gave him details and told him to arrange a visit. He didn't and never had contact with them in the year dc was there. Next nursery - gave him details and suggested he visit. No contact with them until dc had been there over a year and a half, and coincidentally at time he was talking to solicitors.
I have never done anything to limit (reasonable) contact but got dragged to court (costing me a lot of money I couldn't spare) where he got no more than proposed outside court in many letters he ensured his solicitors did not answer, and thanks to a cafcass recommendation even had contact limited in one respect by the court.
Dc starts school this year. To allow him a say in school selection I provided a load of information on potential schools, ofsted reports, league tables etc. Spent 6 months with myself and solicitor chasing for a response on this. He finally responded the week admissions closed and clearly had not visited any of the schools in that time.
Usual preparations for dc starting at school - visits to school, teachers doing home visit to find out more about dc etc - all sorted. Now I find out he has organised a visit by the teacher to his home. I'm not stopping him being involved but this is missing the point. It's about the teacher meeting dc one to one in his home (I am RP of course), not about finding out about dc's dad. Everything in the fucking world has to be about him. He must be centre stage. Even in bloody antenatal class and scans it was about him but in reality when I was pregnant he didn't want dc. He didn't want anything do to with dc as a baby. He is incapable of putting dc first. He has done things to manipulate dc which make me so sad. He expects me to involve him in everything but sees no reason for that communication to be two way.
I would just love dc to have a life free of this crap.
I step away for a while and find this post has already dropped to the bottom of the page!
You have done all the right things. Let him have his visit. Just make it clear to the school that you are rp and the time dc spends at your home.
This doesn't reflect badly on you at all.
You've done all the right things. Im quite sure his interest will lessen. However, if it doesn't then maybe this is a good thing.
Make sure the school know you're resident parent
Why are you so keen to involve him? I get that it would be lovely if you could co parent happily but he isn't going to do that, is he? In some ways I'm surprised he hasn't been more obstructive and tried to interfere with your choices. I see it's a bit shit but really, I'd be dropping all this and letting him get on with it.
Contact the school and explain the meeting isn't in ds's home so can he please have it with you? Then explain you are separated and all information needs to be relayed separately, please. If he chooses to read his emails, coordinate his holidays and attend parents evenings that's good for ds. If he doesn't well, he doesn't.
Sorry, I'm not unsympathetic but I would stop trying so hard. Ds has you and that's the main thing.
Yes QOD, he does have contact, as long as it fits around his availability.
Matilda, you are not the first person to ask these questions. I have frustrated family and lawyers by being so pathetic. It's because I've had so many years of him making out I'm an evil bitch so I don't want to give him ammo and therefore he gets his way. It's difficult to describe quite how unreasonable he is. He clearly ignored legal advice when we went to court. He listens to no one. I didn't tell him my choice of school exactly because he would have tried to obstruct me but the info I gave him showed it was the best one so he chose it himself.
Stop trying to involve him, just leave him to get on with it and if he's anything like what I imagine he is, he probably won't bother with DC once he notices that he isn't getting to you.
It's better for your DC to have NC with dad if he's just going to be toxic.
Schools will be used to dealing with families in this situation. You've been accommodating enough. You need to take control and let him follow. You are RP so school should be using you as first contact.
Assuming there is regular contact so emails for making arrangements and so on but otherwise, now school is sorted I really advise you leave him to it.
An update: called the school to explain why dc will appear twice on their home visit schedule. They said a second visits to ex's is unnecessary and difficult to fit in and when he gets in touch with me I should let him know that and if he contacts them they will attempt to politely decline.
That's a good update. And at least he wants the same school - it would be trickier if he was set on a different one.
I think you should taper off your attempts to involve him. No need to make a big deal of it or tell him that you're doing it. He's enjoying the power kick of keeping you waiting for a decision. In fact, if he starts getting restive, you could always try a little misdirection - pester him to agree that your child should start classes in x activity that you don't care about at all, so he doesn't start trying to interfere with decisions that you do care about.
Dragging this back with another update.
Received the email from ex I had been expecting about the home visit saying he felt it was required. Replied saying the visit is about meeting the child face to face in a setting where they feel at ease, which is why it happens at home rather than at school and it's not about ex. Explained the school had said it wasn't practical or necessary to carry out a second visit and... he tells me they told him to book it! This isn't the case. He put the teacher in an uncomfortable situation and asked for it and she said ok. I actually saw this taking place.
This man always has to get his way. I am so tired of it. He won't ever change, and that is bad news for dc.
If you're thinking it's great he wants to be involved, you have his motives wrong (also see OP for some detail on his limited involvement in education to date). This is a man who has chosen to go and get off his face on drugs rather than seeing dc, and who threatened to make my life difficult if I left and is doing his best to make that the case.
So in answer to my original question - why can't it ever just be about dc - he's simply not willing or capable to make it so.
I will calm down shortly.
Can you just ignore his email? It's between him and school, you've explained, he won't listen nothing to do with you.
With any luck the school will immediately recognise the kind of person he is and handle him accordingly.
Also I would not be communicating anything further with him, he knows where your DC is attending school he can speak school directly for any info.
I wouldn't care if he was trying to make you out to be a bitch. I'd ignore him completely and only let him know absolutely important things. Everything else he can obtain for himself. He has PR and access to teachers etc.
Take your solicitors advice disengage.
Why did you reply? You didn't need to, you could've kept him waiting. He playing a game and had his rules. You just need to work those out.
Only arrange drop offs etc via email -
Keep it short. X will be available at 4pm as usual.
That's it. He's messing with your head because you let him.
Ok..Other than high school not really much involved in PR now so don't involve him..
You have informed school... I have never known a school bow over to demanding parents..
Have you done the freedom program...It may well be worth looking it up.. He has contact deal with everything else himself..He is probably going to paint himself as the victim..He can communicate with school re DC.. You don't have to pander to him and follow the legal advice you have been given.
Agree with the others above. There is no point bending over backwards to prove to him you aren't an evil cow. He is unreasonable and will take every chance he can to be so and brand you as one. Accept that. Actually expect it and move on with your life. He is never going to be reasonable no matter what YOU do. I hope this doesn't sound mean because I honestly have been through all this for myself.
When ds was due to start nursery/school I let my ex know where I had in mind with good notice. Told him he could arrange to visit them if he wanted, let him know about parents open evening etc. And ofsted etc he can use google for himself. Then forget about him.
Let him have a visit at his place. The less you are bothered, the less he will need to bother throwing his weight around. If the school tell you tell him XYZ, politely ask them to communicate with him themselves.
And yes it is shit that he isn't putting dc first. But sometimes life is shit.
Thanks for the support. Sometimes just a rant and the acknowledgement he is a shit helps.
And I get the message. I will leave him to it and not give him the pleasure of winding me up.
Now, time for some chocolate
All this might be quite useful - the school have seen him in his true colours while you've come across as reasonable. I'm not saying they'll take sides as such, but in the case of any future dramas, it can be useful that school understands that it's not a case of two unreasonable parents duking it out, but one parent who's easier to work with, and one who is not.
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