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I hate my sons father. AIBU?(13 Posts)
Just as the title saids really, sorry this may be long. I just need to vent more than anything. I have two sons, eldest is 11 and youngest is 8. They have different fathers. I get on very well with DS1 (eldest) dad, we were only together briefly when we were young and split up due to having different personalities and interests. He is now with someone else and I get on very well with her, she is very good to my son. DS2’s dad is a different story. We were together for a number of years however he was extremely abusive, possessive and I’ve lost count of how many times he cheated on me when we were together.
I left him just over 5 years ago and I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me for it. I think he is/was extremely bitter and held it against me for a long time (or still does?). I have now moved on and I am happy by myself, with my kids. I have a fairly good job and a nice home. I would like to date again at some point, but it’s not at the top of my priority list and to be honest I don’t get the time anyway. I have tried to remain amicable with DS2 dad, but I feel he is hell bent on just having this awful relationship.
He is now with someone else and has just had a baby a few months ago.
Anyway, before he met his current partner, I took him to court to sort out a contact arrangement as every week he would dictate when he was going to have him/mess me around with plans. Due to working shifts in his (old) job the agreement was that he would have him every other week for 2 days (days depended on his shifts) and had to pay £200 in maintenance. In my honest opinion, he is an awful father. Yes, he has him every other week and pays maintenance but I had to fight for that by taking him to court in the first place. He does the bare minimum. He takes no interest in our son, doesn’t ring/text him when he’s with me, has never offered to have him a few extra days in the holidays, at Christmas etc. Just to be clear, it’s not about me having more time to myself (although it would be nice!) it’s about the fact he blatantly doesn’t want to spend any more time (than he has to) with our son. It makes me sad. He didn’t even offer to have him a few extra days when my mum passed away last year so DS1 dad had him instead just to give me a break as I was going through a really tough time.
The contact/maintenance agreement had been in place for the last 3-4 years up until last year (one month after my mum had died so I really didn’t need the added stress) when he decided to only put £100 in my bank account without any explanation. It was only until I contacted him to ask why, that he explained he’d lost his job and that his new one didn’t pay as much. He then offered to have him every other weekend (picking him from school on a fri and dropping him off early Sunday morning - wowza!) to make up for it. When I explained it made no difference to me because he was still only having him every other week for 2 days, he said I was being awkward and ungrateful. As I was under so much stress, I just couldn’t put up the fight and agreed to it. I’ve been struggling since having to feed, clothe and pay for holiday clubs/after school club etc on £100 a month. Luckily, DS1’s dad pays a decent amount in maintenance and as I said, I do work full time myself so bring in a wage.
Fast forward to today and I’ve noticed my son (now that he’s getting older) is starting to express how he’s feeling about his dad. I’ve always tried to keep my thoughts to myself and to not speak bad of my ex in front of our son as I know it’s not for him to worry about. My ex does say things about me though (have heard him on speaker phone). Now that my ex has his new family (baby with new partner and she has two older children from a previous relationship) I feel that my son is being pushed out. I don’t think they want him there and I believe he’s starting to notice it and has picked up on the fact that he’s not welcome in their home. I can’t be 100% sure but I don’t think ex’s new partner really takes much interest in my son. Some examples are of how they’ve made him unwelcome or just been blatant arseholes are:
1.When he stays there he has to clean his bedroom (change the bed, Hoover and sort out his clothes and toys). Normally I would be on board with this as I do agree children need to learn how to tidy up after themselves, however he is only there every other weekend so I think it is unfair to make him do chores in that time. I think their time together should be spent doing fun things/enjoying their time together etc. I could understand if he was there a lot more often or for longer.
2.He spent Father’s Day there and we had made a card/bought a box of chocolates for his dad. I asked him yesterday if his dad had had a nice day and he told me that he’d opened all his presents/cards from his partners children and the baby (all of them downstairs) whilst my son was upstairs in his bedroom. They didn’t call him down or try to include him. He had no idea what was going on until he came downstairs and found them all together in the living room.
3.I have just booked an all inclusive holiday to Spain next year just for me and the kids. It’s our first holiday in about 3 years and it’s taken me quite a while to save up for it (nothing to extravagant, I managed to grab quite a good deal). DS told his dad over the phone (on speaker) and his response was “oh your mum must have a lot of money, I guess she doesn’t need money off me then”. He saids petty crap like this all the time just to wind me up and cause trouble as he knows I can hear him!
4.Two weeks ago DS had an accident and did a number 2 in his pants as ex’s partner was in the bath and he was to afraid to ask to use the toilet. He hasn’t had an accident since he was a toddler so this (to me) shows that he doesn’t feel comfortable around them to ask these things. When he came home I told him it was fine and to forget about it but when his dad phoned him (on speaker again) he said “did you tell your mum what you did? Had a disgusting poo in your pants”. He was very upset after that.
5.They all went on holiday last year (pre baby - ex, partner and her two kids). They didn’t take my son with them.
6.Whilst the pandemic has been going on he’s not been aloud to touch his baby sister (just incase he’s caught it from my home) however his dad, dads partner and her two older children have been able to. Although they do all live in the same household my ex has still been going out everyday to work and the two older children (I’m sure) have been out and come into contact with people. DS told me he feels sad that he can’t cuddle his baby sister when everyone else is aloud to.
7.Now this is the worst one of them all in my opinion and in all honesty I feel disgusted and I just can’t believe that they would find this funny (if it’s true). Ex tested positive for COVID at the beginning of April and whilst he was ill, DS (rightly so) was not aloud to visit. Apparently (according to DS) his dad slept in DS’s bed whilst he was ill as he couldn’t be anywhere near his partner or the baby. When he recovered and DS visited them for the first time, he was told that they hadn’t changed the sheets that my ex was sleeping in whilst he was ill and DS had slept in them. Apparently (again, according to DS) they all found it hilarious and were laughing and joking about it.
These are just a few examples as I’d be here all day if I listed everything. I think now that DS is getting older he is starting to notice things and as he doesn’t “fit in” with their perfect little world/family. He hasn’t exactly said it but I know he doesn’t feel welcome when he goes there. I’ve asked him if he wants to carry on going there as (I strongly believe he doesn’t) but he saids he does, he saids he feels “bad” on his dad if he doesn’t go. Considering “everything” that’s happened and everything that’s been said, WIBU to tell my son he doesn’t have to go if he doesn’t want to anymore? Or should I keep my mouth shut and follow his lead?. I don’t want to put ideas in his head but I feel that he’s waiting for someone to say “it’s okay, you don’t have to go anymore”. I feel that’s it’s the typical situation in that ex has a new life now with his perfect little family and doesn’t need his son anymore. He wasn’t exactly a great dad to begin with anyway! What should I do or how can I support my son through this? I feel it will get worse as he gets older but I want him to know I will always be there for him even if it his dad isn’t.
Thank you for listening if you’ve got this far and I would appreciate any advice anyone has got to offer. Thanks!
Sorry for any spelling mistakes, my heads up my arse at the moment
He sounds really horrible. And your poor DS (rightly) doesn’t seem to feel comfortable there as they don’t seem to do much to make him feel like it’s his home. What does he think of his dad, generally?
I really feel for you - he is horrid! Just phase him out, waste of space.. your son deserves so much better
Your poor son. That sounds really horrible. I wouldn't usually suggesting saying things about the parent to a child but in this case, I would as you suggested, tell him he doesn't have to go if he doesn't want to. Give him that option and let him know it's okay, if he still says he wants to go then I guess there isn't much else you can do. I'm guessing there would be no use speaking to his dad?
Just to say though, the only thing I don't really agree with out of your list is number 1. If all the other children clean their rooms, I'd still expect step children to as well. Ours are here a lot more than your son is, granted, however they are still expected to help around the house like everyone else is whilst they are. I think that's just part of being a family personally.
But everything else is horrible, I really feel for him.
I think letting him know that he has a choice might make him feel more confident
Poor lad. What a shit father he has got.
I think he's probably old enough for you to have a fairly frank (but still appropriate) conversation with. I would probably let him know that his father's emotions are not his responsibility. That he doesn't need to "feel bad on his dad" for putting his own wellbeing first. That a parent/child relationship is not a relationship of equals, and that whilst his dad has an obligation to take responsibility for DS's happiness and wellbeing, the same obligation does not exist the other way. That if he feels unhappy at his dad's and that the relationship is affecting him in a negative way, he doesn't have to go. That you would never stand in the way of a relationship with his dad if that's what he wants (as long as it isn't damaging him) but that you will always support him.
I don't think that there's much else you can really do, unless you feel that DS is really suffering in which case you need to take control and it's probably withdrawing access and back to court etc. Obviously legal advice required in this case.
He sounds horrible. No wonder your DS is upset. I think you should try to talk to him (DS) in a neutral kind of way so you can’t be accused of putting ideas in his head. Let your son talk and get his feelings out, then respond as appropriate. If your son feels he can tell you anything and that you’re there to help him do what feels best to him, then he might gradually discuss how he would feel about not visiting his dad.
Thank you so much for all your messages and to you @AintNoMaryPoppins for your honesty, I needed that and really appreciate it.
@Sparklesocks that's a really good question. I'm not entirely sure what he thinks of his dad in all honesty though, I've never asked the question. DS is smart and I imagine he understands that he's not close to his dad really. I'm sure he can compare himself to his older brother (my other son). Eldest DS is extremely close to his dad, see each other every week or on weekends, face time each other every night, go on holidays and days out together etc. It's something that my youngest doesn't have and I've always (quietly) thought to myself how amazing would it be if they both just had the same dad!
The suggestions on here are really good. I do think I need to sit down and have a chat with DS and explain that "he doesn't need to feel bad for not wanting to go, everyone (well not his dad...) will understand". They've made him feel this way so surely it shouldn't be such a surprise that he's upset!
Depending completely how DS1 might feel about it, could you have a word with his dad if you’re on good terms and see if DS2 could maybe do something with them once in a while? I realise this asking a lot of him and may not be fair.
If he’s a dick and you have a court order, I’d be very careful before breaching it. He might well cause a fuss to piss you off, not just because he wants to see your son.
Really good idea @user1473878824 . DS has spent time and nights away with his brother and dad a few times. He loves going there. I don't like to ask too often as I feel a bit cheeky but they've been wonderful with us and have really helped me out when I've needed emergency child care because of work etc. Sometimes when I'm stuck I ask DS1 dad before I ask DS's dad, how ridiculous is that?! Even if I did ask for his help, he'd say no anyway. He's so unhelpful.
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