To only allow ex midweek contact with the kids with prior notice?(43 Posts)
So background exH and I split up last July. We moved back in together for short time this September and then I made him leave late October due to his irrational nasty behaviour towards me which involved him storming off most nights down to his cocaine and alcohol addiction. He is not paying me maintenance for our three children and won't commit to a schedule to see the children. I am happy for him to see them Saturday and Sunday on week and Sunday the following on a two-week rota, which was the routine prior to briefly getting back together. No overnight stays. He currently doesn't have a vehicle that will sit all 3 children so only sees two at a time. He isn't currently working but living off of the money from the house sale of the home we lived in together for 6 years, which he has sole access to. He still has the keys to the property that I'm now souly renting despite me requesting them back several times and him leaving 6 weeks ago.
So receive this message from MIL who I DO get on with.
Hi Raisin hope your ok. Feel I need to say what I'm thinking....... John (not real name) tells me he can't see the children during the week unless you have a months notice. This is a very difficult time for them and Sam (not real name) is showing definite signs of upset which I am concerned about. I understand if you have plans that's fine but I don't think it's fair on them to prevent them seeing him if he is able to. xx
to which I replied.
Hi MIL I just want my life back if i'm honest. Which involves John contacting me as little as possible. I don't want to have contact midweek, weekly. I find it extremely stressful. A set plan which we stick to is the best option all around.
Him seeing all 3 children on a weekly basis at set times and set days (weekends) works well. As it sets up stability and routine for us all.
I can enjoy my week time with the children. As I also work and do all the nursery runs school drop offs etc. I really actually want my "none stressful time" with the children to be my time. In the way that John gets his time at the weekends, with none of the daily stress. I want a nice time I can look forward to without someone I dislike and don't get on with getting involved.
I want my own routine with the children. and my time with them to be enjoyable.
John is free to have them both days over the weekend every weekend if wants to see them more?
Yes Sam is upset and John and I really don't get on at all. I actually become agitated and unhappy when I have contact with him. So eliminating (weekly) contact between myself and John will actually benefit Sam. As I am his main carer. I'm going to be much more tolerent of his outburst if i'm not upset by John.
Also a steady routine with a drop off and pick up which involves little to no interaction between myself and John would be massively helpful to us all.
John can see the children more over holidays. There are 14 weeks a year of which the children are off school. He is more than welcome to pre-plan some blocks of week days in these weeks to see the children. Then they know what's going on and I can plan my time away from the children how I wish.
I see nothing unreasonable about the above. I'm not stopping him from doing anything. I'm setting boundaries and rules so that we all know where we stand.
I hope that clears things up x
Am I being unreasonable not letting exH See the children midweek at short notice?
Bits to add I have contacted CSA to collect maintece on my behalf. Sam is starting ELSA workshops at school next term to help him deal with his emtions, he's 9.
Just to add. I initially gave exH two blank sheets of calendar paper for December and January and asked him to outline when he'd like to see the children, with no restrictions. He didn't fill these in, I did ask several times, instead booked a holiday to Costa Rica which he recently returned from.... and I am now at the point of trying to arrange a standing contact rountine with children as there is nothing in place past boxing day.
One thing that stands out in your reply is that you use I a lot, and it reads like you're primary concern is what's best for you. I don't really think it's a bad thing (if this is the case), but could read badly to MIL and Ex (if he sees it).
E.g. 'I want my own routine with the children.' would sound a lot more neutral when phrased 'the children need a stable routine and this one is working for us now'
and 'I really actually want my "none stressful time" with the children to be my time.' could be 'during this very tough time, we keep as little stress around the children as possible, so I want to minimise opportunities for conflict to help all of us'.
I'm not sure if that's helpful, but it might help ease relations for the next few weeks
i would get the money bit started and take it from there, yo seem to be reasonable about trying to get things organised but he doesn't seem to be bothered, why does he need so much notice for visits ? he doesn't seem to be that bothered about the dc tbh.
i'm surprised by the key thing though and would not be happy about that at all. would it be possible to speak to you ll about changing the lock even if it means you pay for it ?
"Deal MIL. Thanks for your input. When John is off the cocaine and alcohol, and can commit to and stick to a regular schedule with regards the children then I will take your comments on board. Cheers, Raisin".
Sonders I do realise I use the word I a lot but it's tricky not to when you are talking about a situation that you are in and directly involves you.
I do have the children's best interests at heart but I had a very tricky time with exH when we initially split last year. He carried a lot of vindictive and nasty acts (cutting phone lines, poured honey over my laptop took the second set of keys for my car and hid it, damaged my passport etc. etc) that put me on edge quite a lot.
So I am trying to put my needs up there this time and minimise contact between us both as it really affected my mental health last time.
You are being totally R - but your email is absolutely terrible, sorry.
Just keep it short, factual and simple.
Sonders reworded parts well.
I do like Pickanameanyoldname's response!
Of course it's better for the children to have regular, set contact.
My ex refused set contact too.
Drove me up the wAll. I think it's a control thing and think you are being very civil .
JUst cut it down to 'I've considered your input, and I'm confident that I'm acting in the children's best interests. Thanks, raisin'
You are being completely reasonable, but your email focuses on 'I want' 'I need' also referring to your fraught relationship with ex.
You should rather refer to children listens needs only, and keep it a lot shorter and to the point.
It comes across as a bit ranty and emotional (which is completely understandable, but doesn't get your point across as effectively)
You didn't send that did you?
You don't owe her that much of an explanation!
MIL, I am doing what's best for my dc. The needs of their drug addicted/alcoholic father isn't a priority.
One thing that stands out in your reply is that you use I a lot, and it reads like you're primary concern is what's best for you
this, he sounds awful BTW but you need to orient it being child centered, rather than about your (understandable) stress levels
Raisin it's not that your needs don't matter, it's just that's not what is motivating your MIL. Her message is pretty succinct and she say she wants:
1. Her son to see children during the week
2. Sam to not be upset
In response you've sent her an essay about your thoughts and feelings, which although valid, don't do you any favours.
A much more direct reply would have been: "Hi MIL, I'm good as can be thanks, hope you are too. I'd love for the children to spend more time with their father but right now it's just not in their best interests. Ex is too unstable and they need a routine that avoids stress and conflict as much as possible. I know Sam is upset now but we need to think about long-term stability for the family. Of course, I don't want this to affect their relationship with you, how about we go out for a cup of tea soon? Just you, me and children?"
I think PPs suggestions are good too!
Is he still on drugs and booze? He shouldn't be having them at all if he is. I don't think you're being unreasonable about the contact but you say that you become visibly agitated and unhappy in front of your children when you see their father and no matter how difficult it is you really need to stop that as it's not fair on your children. Ditto what you say about being able to tolerate your children better if you don't see their father. It's very, very unfair on them to get the message that you're more prepared to treat them better at times when they're not seeing their father or that they will get Mummy in a bad mood if they see Daddy.
I wonder if some sort of mediation might help? It sounds like there is a lot of justified anger in this situation. But exposing your children to it really isn't fair. I know it's hard but you need to work on ways of stopping your children from being exposed to it. And this is going to include learning to cope with brief handovers. That's for your children's sake not his.
Thank you. Yes it was a bit ranty it was actually a very long text sent at 11 or 12pm last night. I'm just fed up of ex I think and didn't articulate it well.
I know I didn't need to go into that much detail. I actually cringed re-typing it on here. I think I worry too much about justifying what i'm doing regarding the children and if I keep things too brief i'm basically just being a "bitch" to ex.
Bill I can't actually currently control how I feel around ex it's as if a wash of anxiety comes over me and I become really agitated and panicky. I've had several panic attacks as result of contact with him.
I'm sure over time this will get better.
I have no idea about drugs or booze I really try and have as little contact with ex as possible. I have requested a drug test before overnight stays come into play.
Get the locks changed. Just for peace of mind. And don't explain yourself to his mum. She is bound to be biased!
To the honey pouring laptop damaging phone line cutting passport ruining key thief? Definitely don't be a bitch to him!
Raisin please can I suggest:
Get some counselling for your own mental health
Get support for you, you need it
Get locks changed
Arrange a third party (MIL) to arrange contact with their dad via a car that can contain all necessary people of possible - unless seeing two at a time of actually good for them and you
Explain to MIL that your drug and alcohol addicted addicted ex has made life very difficult for you and is currently paying no maintenance for his kids
Keep you mental health concerns away from ex and MIL in case they use them against you (yes you get on with MIL but your ex is her son and one day her loyalty may made it necessary for her to throw you under the bus)
Why does he have soul access to the proceeds of sale of your shared home. Or did I read that wrongly?
Do not give MIL too much info
Do not send texts at 11.00 pm. Send all correspondence in the cold light of day having reflected fully on what you want her/him/whoever to know.
It sounds like you have tried hard to make it work. Well done. Now concentrate on you, and kids.
Ps the lap top honey incident makes him sound like a nasty piece of work. I'd keep photos and details of all that shot, just on case.
The email is terrible, I do think you are UR also, you want everything in your terms, however this is about the children, what do the children want in seeing their Dad.
I'd like to get councilling but the logistics are really hard. I only have childcare when I'm working. Other than that I'm with all 3 children or a child all the time.
I know what my triggers are and I am much happier and calmer when I'm not around ex.
I will no longer send texts late at night! I need to learn to be less responsive and defensive.
Re money. Because ex is very controlling and if he has it his way I won't get any money from the sale.
MIL is very aware that he isn't paying maintence, is flakey with seeing the children has substance abuse issues. She is trying her best to sort him out I feel. He has the money to acquire a car or another vehicle that sits upward of 3 people he just hasn't chosen to do this yet.
She's absolutely right to limit contact with that lowlife. The dc's safety is paramount.
OP, he has too much power over you, still.
Get the locks changed and I think you should stop discussing things with MIL. I don't think she's your friend in this.
Further, I would keep all communication to one form, email for example, and not veer from that.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.