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Or is he?

(24 Posts)
user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 18:26:19

Dc's dad.
History of emotional abuse. Narcissistic imo.
Very flaky. In and out of dc's like fr. Can go 3 months with no contact at all. Based on previous accounts any time we arrange something he always alters it in some fashion.

We haven't been together for a while.
A few weeks ago he decides to FaceTime me (he never calls) and demands I look into the camera (I refused) when he tells me he has a girlfriend.
I'm baffled as to what relevance this has to me.

Anyway last week Sunday we decided to have a family day. Took dc to the park. We are shielded. This is the first time we've been out in 5 months.
No arguments. All is well.
We decide to make it a weekly thing.
He drops us home and briefly pops in. I notice him taking a picture of dc's bib. I ask what he's doing.
My girlfriend has a 1 year old son and wanted to know where to get this bib from.
He must just be playing Disney dad and showing her old pictures of dc.

After he leaves I get a bit upset and start thinking. Why is it that for the first time he has seen dc without abusing me? I realise it's because he's playing Disney dad. I tell him and we have a lengthy conversation. He says I'm not coming this weekend because you've annoyed me. This is typical behaviour from him.
I decide we will make it a monthly thing that we will make more frequent if he sticks to it. However, we will keep to this week's arrangement as we planned what to do.

He tells me during the week that he will come this Sunday around 8pm.
I ask him yesterday what time he is coming and he says around 4pm.
DC has been grizzly and unwell overnight so we've both had no sleep. (I've never had any time away from DC so when they sleep I sleep as I'm always tired)
DC falls asleep around 12 and we sleep through till 5pm. I awake to a couple of missed calls around 3.30-4pm. I immediately call back.
It then takes him 1 hour to return the call.
He says he now can't come as he arranged something else.

I'm really pissed off. Every time we arrange something I don't allow myself to think positively. I knew he would let us down.
He's blaming me, of course, for being asleep.
Whenever we have slept before he will come round anyway and knock on the door.
He's saying he can't come now and he can't come during the week.

Who is BU?

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CreditCrackers Sun 28-Jun-20 18:52:41

This is a tricky one for me.
My parents divorced when I was 9. When I was about 12 my dad met a woman who just wasn't great for our relationship. She had our own children and very much intended for him to father them. I didn't speak to him at all from the age of 17 to 22 until one day he left me a voicemail sounding very odd. I phoned him back to find our that his wife had died very suddenly of a stroke. The women he met after that really encouraged him to make contact.
I'm much happier with him in my life even if it is being driven by his partner. I know he loves me very much and would do anything for me if I needed it but that when he's with people, they're his focus. He's just bad at keeping in contact without someone to hold him to account. I know that if I were a child then my mum would respond like you have and not want to facilitate my relationship with him when it seems so false - and I do completely understand and recognise why. However, I also know that I wouldn't want that.
I think that if he's genuinely trying to change and is being nice to you, it's likely that he'll feel that you're never happy. He's done exactly what you've always wanted and you still had a problem with him. I know he'll get bashed on here because literally all men get bashed on here all the time but, for the sake of your child, I think you should just try to forget the past and be happy that this woman is encouraging him to be a better dad - that will benefit your child and that's what you want too.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 19:08:55

CreditCrackers

This is a tricky one for me.
My parents divorced when I was 9. When I was about 12 my dad met a woman who just wasn't great for our relationship. She had our own children and very much intended for him to father them. I didn't speak to him at all from the age of 17 to 22 until one day he left me a voicemail sounding very odd. I phoned him back to find our that his wife had died very suddenly of a stroke. The women he met after that really encouraged him to make contact.
I'm much happier with him in my life even if it is being driven by his partner. I know he loves me very much and would do anything for me if I needed it but that when he's with people, they're his focus. He's just bad at keeping in contact without someone to hold him to account. I know that if I were a child then my mum would respond like you have and not want to facilitate my relationship with him when it seems so false - and I do completely understand and recognise why. However, I also know that I wouldn't want that.
I think that if he's genuinely trying to change and is being nice to you, it's likely that he'll feel that you're never happy. He's done exactly what you've always wanted and you still had a problem with him. I know he'll get bashed on here because literally all men get bashed on here all the time but, for the sake of your child, I think you should just try to forget the past and be happy that this woman is encouraging him to be a better dad - that will benefit your child and that's what you want too.


Thanks for your response.

Just to confirm, this woman isn't encouraging him to be a better dad. They've been together a few weeks. She isn't seats of any arrangements we've made and he's probably told her that he consistently sees DC.

I've tried to facilitate a relationship for 2 years. I've paid for counselling, mediation, the lot. Offered to let him see dc without me, in my house, at his house, outside the house, with his family, with my family, he wasn't interested. He wants to see dc as and when he decides. He doesn't want to plan anything.
Because I don't want dc to feel like I haven't tried (even though I have, he's repeatedly said he doesn't love her or care for her and doesn't want to see her) I have repeatedly given him chance after chance.
The tipping point comes as dc gets older, do I allow them to feel constantly neglected?

What I'm wondering today, however, is AIBU to be annoyed he isn't coming or is it my fault for falling asleep?

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knittingaddict Sun 28-Jun-20 19:45:49

My only question would be why are you spending time with an emotionally abusive man and why you have any expectations of him?

It can't be healthy for you or your child and I would try to find another way to facilitate contact. How old is your child?

Sunnydayshereatlast Sun 28-Jun-20 19:54:16

Stop facilitating... It's damaging your mh. Your dc needs a happy well balanced dm much more than a flakey twat df..
Back away op.
Your dc won't blame you ever.
You can't force him to be a decent df..

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 19:54:28

knittingaddict

My only question would be why are you spending time with an emotionally abusive man and why you have any expectations of him?

It can't be healthy for you or your child and I would try to find another way to facilitate contact. How old is your child?


I don't want dc to grow up and think I refused contact.
I barely expect anything. I had a niggling feeling he'd come up with something.
How else can I facilitate it? Genuine question.
DC is 2 now. Luckily still too young to understand.

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user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 19:55:55

Sunnydayshereatlast

Stop facilitating... It's damaging your mh. Your dc needs a happy well balanced dm much more than a flakey twat df..
Back away op.
Your dc won't blame you ever.
You can't force him to be a decent df..


Thank you.
I guess I just go between saying f off and thinking that I may disappoint dc if I don't try.
Just kind of interested if in this particular situation if I am bu or am I at fault for falling asleep.

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Thingsdogetbetter Sun 28-Jun-20 20:03:02

You're not unreasonable, but you are being naive - to think family days out are a good idea; to think he will stick to some fixed weekly schedule; to think that he won't try to mess with your head (I mean the whole bib thing is so obvious!); to think he will do anything other than let you and dc down again and again.

You say you're not allowing yourself to think positively, but your actions suggest otherwise - one good afternoon and you think that will lead to weekly family days when experience should have told you that was never going to happen.

The man's a useless dick who enjoys fucking with your head. Accept he's a dick who will let your dc down. Stop running around after him trying to facilitate HIS contact. Your emotional energy should be spend making sure your dc is as unaffected as possible by dick dad, rather than hoping that dick dad will change if you just do all the work. It doesn't matter how easy you make contact, dick dad will continue to be dick dad!

knittingaddict Sun 28-Jun-20 20:08:03

My relative ended a marriage to an emotionally abusive man. She would never in a million years have a day out with him. I think she would be physically sick at the thought.

He was abusive enough to leave, so you need to protect your child as much as possible.

Depending on how things go in the future I think it's more likely that you son will wonder why you didn't protect him. Having days out together will only confuse your child and you need to be on his side.

Sunnydayshereatlast Sun 28-Jun-20 20:10:27

You aren't responsible for your ex and his relationship with the dc.
Ime cincentrating on yours with them is the best thing for them and you.
Offer up set days that suit YOU and the dc. Keep a diary. Especially if he is abusive.. Contact Cms and a solicitor about a contact agreement..
Stop allowing him to continue to walk all over you.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:19:03

Sunnydayshereatlast

You aren't responsible for your ex and his relationship with the dc.
Ime cincentrating on yours with them is the best thing for them and you.
Offer up set days that suit YOU and the dc. Keep a diary. Especially if he is abusive.. Contact Cms and a solicitor about a contact agreement..
Stop allowing him to continue to walk all over you.


He pays child maintenance.
I feared he would do this which is why I told him we will make it a monthly agreement till he proves himself.
Solicitors etc I can't do any of that because there's nothing that I am wanting to change. I asked on here before.

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user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:23:28

Thingsdogetbetter

You're not unreasonable, but you are being naive - to think family days out are a good idea; to think he will stick to some fixed weekly schedule; to think that he won't try to mess with your head (I mean the whole bib thing is so obvious!); to think he will do anything other than let you and dc down again and again.

You say you're not allowing yourself to think positively, but your actions suggest otherwise - one good afternoon and you think that will lead to weekly family days when experience should have told you that was never going to happen.

The man's a useless dick who enjoys fucking with your head. Accept he's a dick who will let your dc down. Stop running around after him trying to facilitate HIS contact. Your emotional energy should be spend making sure your dc is as unaffected as possible by dick dad, rather than hoping that dick dad will change if you just do all the work. It doesn't matter how easy you make contact, dick dad will continue to be dick dad!


I agree totally. I knew he would come up with some excuse, that's why I changed it to monthly against his wishes. Just so I could kind of prove.
I will make a note of everything.
It says a lot that apparently he can have a girlfriend with a 1 year old but hasn't as yet been able to see his own child regularly for 2 years. I suspect he's not told her the truth.
I knew he'd flake. I guess I just want to know if I'm bu about this visit as I was asleep.

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Sunnydayshereatlast Sun 28-Jun-20 20:25:19

Just because he pays Cms does not mean he gets to dictate op.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:25:26

knittingaddict

My relative ended a marriage to an emotionally abusive man. She would never in a million years have a day out with him. I think she would be physically sick at the thought.

He was abusive enough to leave, so you need to protect your child as much as possible.

Depending on how things go in the future I think it's more likely that you son will wonder why you didn't protect him. Having days out together will only confuse your child and you need to be on his side.


I highly doubt dc would question about protection.
He's never alone with dc and at any sign of emotional abuse I send him on his way.
I have brought dc up single handedly with no support from anyone.
If anything, I'm using this as a way to prove his behaviour so dc won't question me.

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user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:26:47

Sunnydayshereatlast

Just because he pays Cms does not mean he gets to dictate op.


I agree.
I'm just responding to your point telling me to contact them. I don't need to. He pays the dedicated amount down to the penny.
I can't contact a solicitor as dc is with me 24/7

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user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:27:21

And when I say down to the penny I mean down to the penny.
No rounding up.

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Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Sun 28-Jun-20 20:30:28

You can’t have days out together with an abusive narcissistic. You can’t plan your days around him and expect to be able to rely on him.

Get a fixed schedule of child contact sorted if you can - times when he has your dc without you there. You do not go too when he spends time with the dc - that time is your break and his time to bond and spend time with his child.

If he won’t agree to a schedule but wants to keep “popping over” to see his child, expecting you to be there, either take him to court to get it regulated or don’t let him come at all and let him take you to court. Or tell him he will need to go through the courts if he wants contact if he refuses to set a schedule - and keep your communications in writing so you can show that you made an effort to offer contact.

What children need from divorced parents is consistency.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 20:39:00

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches

You can’t have days out together with an abusive narcissistic. You can’t plan your days around him and expect to be able to rely on him.

Get a fixed schedule of child contact sorted if you can - times when he has your dc without you there. You do not go too when he spends time with the dc - that time is your break and his time to bond and spend time with his child.

If he won’t agree to a schedule but wants to keep “popping over” to see his child, expecting you to be there, either take him to court to get it regulated or don’t let him come at all and let him take you to court. Or tell him he will need to go through the courts if he wants contact if he refuses to set a schedule - and keep your communications in writing so you can show that you made an effort to offer contact.

What children need from divorced parents is consistency.


I would never let him have dc alone as it stands.
Not a chance.
DC only knows me.

I have tried the legal route. He says^ I am not having a court dictate when I can see my own child^
Just to give you an insight of the way his mind works.
He won't ever go to court.
I can't go to court to force him to have contact.

The only option is contact with me being there.

I'm making notes of everything.

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PlanDeRaccordement Sun 28-Jun-20 20:48:30

I agree with PPs that it’s strange you are having family days out with an abusive ex. But anyway, in this particular situation, where you fell asleep and missed his calls, YAB a tiny bit U to expect him to have just come over and knocked on the door. He didn’t know you were at home asleep. You could have been out and ignoring his calls for all he knew. So, after an hour of trying to reach you, I don’t think it unreasonable to think you’d cancelled on him and then make other plans.

This in no way means he’s a good father and you’re a bad mum. It’s plainly obvious he is a flakey absent loser of a father and you are a great mum. But in this particular situation, I don’t think he was being unreasonable. It is just one of those things that happen by accident.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 21:01:19

PlanDeRaccordement

I agree with PPs that it’s strange you are having family days out with an abusive ex. But anyway, in this particular situation, where you fell asleep and missed his calls, YAB a tiny bit U to expect him to have just come over and knocked on the door. He didn’t know you were at home asleep. You could have been out and ignoring his calls for all he knew. So, after an hour of trying to reach you, I don’t think it unreasonable to think you’d cancelled on him and then make other plans.

This in no way means he’s a good father and you’re a bad mum. It’s plainly obvious he is a flakey absent loser of a father and you are a great mum. But in this particular situation, I don’t think he was being unreasonable. It is just one of those things that happen by accident.


OK thanks for that.

As we are shielded and have only been out once in 5 months (last Sunday with him) I thought it would be reasonable for him to come anyway as he usually would.

Maybe I should think of a different term other than family days.
It's him spending time with DC but with me there.
Supervised access? I don't know.

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Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Sun 28-Jun-20 21:11:38

You can’t go on having to spend time with him - that’s what ending the relationship means - or having him popping in and out as he likes. You can’t have your days depending on his whim.

These are absolute givens.

If he won’t be bothered to go through the courts he’ll have to not see his child. If he wants to see his child, he’ll have to go through the courts to get some regular contact sorted - if necessary supervised, but by someone other than you. In either event, at regular fixed times. If he doesn’t like it, tough, he doesn’t get to see your child.

He might say “I won’t let a court dictate” but that doesn’t mean you should role over and let him dip in and out. It just means he doesn’t get to see the dc in that case.

You need to get a lot tougher with him OP!

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Sun 28-Jun-20 21:13:05

I do agree that the thinking you no longer wanted to meet because you didn’t answer his calls is fair enough though. Sounds like you were much better off having the sleep than seeing him in any case.

user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 21:52:59

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches

I do agree that the thinking you no longer wanted to meet because you didn’t answer his calls is fair enough though. Sounds like you were much better off having the sleep than seeing him in any case.


He said I shouldn't have fallen asleep. I am so glad I did.
But also annoyed because I wanted him to fail on his own.

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user643790 Sun 28-Jun-20 21:55:24

Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches

You can’t go on having to spend time with him - that’s what ending the relationship means - or having him popping in and out as he likes. You can’t have your days depending on his whim.

These are absolute givens.

If he won’t be bothered to go through the courts he’ll have to not see his child. If he wants to see his child, he’ll have to go through the courts to get some regular contact sorted - if necessary supervised, but by someone other than you. In either event, at regular fixed times. If he doesn’t like it, tough, he doesn’t get to see your child.

He might say “I won’t let a court dictate” but that doesn’t mean you should role over and let him dip in and out. It just means he doesn’t get to see the dc in that case.

You need to get a lot tougher with him OP!


Whilst I agree with this there's another reason I choose not to actively fight with him.
I don't allow him to dip in and out. Apart from last week he's probably seen dc a handful of times in the last year and that was doing stuff like taking her to hospital etc.
Having no support means I need to sometimes keep him on side. If I'm sick for example.

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