Push him to be more involved with DC or just walk away?(27 Posts)
So. I'm divorcing. I've already asked for advice here about various things but my main concern now is what to do for the best for my 3 year old girl. Please give me your opinions!!
Ive now reached a point where it feels like my daughter will be better off without her father or his family in her life. But Im struggling to make that decision for her. It feels like the right thing to do, I don't know what else to do but I'm exhausted, confused and scared about making such a momentous decision.
Briefly (?!) here's the background:
When her father and I agreed to separate 6 months ago, I'd assumed he'd stay involved with her, have her on his days off work, be keen to see her lots. But no.
My concerns/my rant: He rarely sees her, he's still running and hiding from the CMA and hasn't paid anything for her. He tells me frequently that he can't see our daughter because he's seeing his new girlfriend instead. He never even phones our daughter. We've had several mediation sessions in which he's made it clear that his daughter is not a priority to him. It's been 2 months since he last saw her (he asked to have her for 2 hours, his mum and dad were visiting...) and it was 6 weeks before that when he had her for a morning... And, he lives about 2 minutes walk away from us... He didn't give her any Christmas or birthday presents. He's behaved HORRIBLY towards me since we separated to an extent that is truly jaw-droppingly shocking and incredible e.g. assaulted me then tried to have me arrested (!!!), sent the police to my elderly, retired school-teacher parents' house to check on my daughter's welfare (!!!!) and many other things that I never imagined would ever feature on my life.
I've gave up trying to talk to him about anything several months ago. He emailed today with a handful of days that he wants to see our daughter in the next few months. (Less than one day smooth...) Without discussion, he has assumed and continues to assume that I shall have have full responsibility and care for our daughter. He keeps saying, 'If you don't let me see her, I won't fight you...' Urgh!!!
More importantly, what's the effect on our daughter? How do I explain this to her?!!!!
Oh. And. When we separated, he got several credit cards and racked up circa £30k in debt (buying new clothes, going out and I have no idea what else...) . It was disclosed in mediation. He is now petitioning for bankruptcy
So. Yes, he's an idiot. And his family show no interest. But does that make it right to deny my daughter from having that minimal, ongoing contact that's been offered?
Does your daughter ever ask to see him or is she excited when she knows she is seeing him? It's hard because he may be an idiot but for the sake of my daughter and knowing that I had at least tried, I would work out days for her to see him (even if it is just one day a month) but if he messes these days around/let's her down or she becomes upset or unsettled because of them then reconsider.
She's already been let down any times over the last few months. And it's been upsetting. This is one of the reasons why I'm reluctant to continue... (Thant for your reply BTW!)
My guess is that he is wanting you to refuse contact, so that he can tell everyone that he is no longer in his DD's life because you prevented it.
Yes, your DD should still have contact with her father (no matter how badly he's behaving) unless he is an actual risk.
I suggest you write back, bite your tongue and thank him for setting out his wish to continue to see his DD, and how you agree it is in her interests to do so.
Then make a counter-proposal for frequency, say you think it'll be in DD's interests to have a set and predictable schedule, and suggest mediation if he does not like your props all.
Then see who blinks first. Have you retained a solicitor to act for you during the divorce? Probably best thing is to get their input for a reply.
What is your relationship with his parents, I wonder if you may be better off just ignoring him and trying to build/maintain a relationship between your DD and her paternal grandparents?
I think I would offer him weekly contact, on a midweek evening from say 5pm and overnight if he so wishes - he clearly doesn't want weekends.
You know 90% of the time he won't turn up but that way it can't interfere with your & DDs life.
Yes. Id love my daughter to maintain contact with his family but not sure how best to it.
Yes, I might call his bluff and thank him for his offer etc etc. But I've been doing that for 6 months already and I'm so tired, tired, tired of being messed about. I don't care if he makes me the baddy now.
"DD is available for contact every Wednesday night from 6pm after you have finished work, you may either return her at 7.30pm or keep her overnight and return on your way to work the following day" Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.
Email the in-laws "I was wondering if you wanted to arrange to see DD every few weeks? The only weekends she isn't free is x & y so let me know if you'd like to come up and visit and what you think would work from your point of view?"
Wouldn't surprise me if the dates he is asking for is when his parents are coming up!!!
Yes, yes. Conveniently for him, he can't have overnight guests where he lives now (really?!!), he works late most nights, his shifts change at short notice etc etc etc... (sigh) But thanks for the suggestions - some new things for me to try!!!
Re your daughter, maybe don't mention too far in advance (if at all) that she is supposed to be seeing her dad, until he is actually on the doorstep?
Yes. Good point. That's what I always have to do 🙄
I am just whinging now. But I worry what's best for my daughter... it really feels like I should just cut the idiot out of our lives
Does he have a fixed shift rota? Assuming he does then I suggest the following:
"Not all those dates you've requested work for DD - she is only free on x. If you send me your latest rota I'll let you know which days I can keep free for regular contact. "
Then if he bothers to reply then offer him something that would work for you without impacting your plans/life and you can be "meh" as to whether he bothers or not.
Long term it's best if your DD can have a relationship with her Dad, hopefully once he stops being a d*ck he'll offer some sort of regular contact even if it's one day per month. Hence my suggestion of building & maintaining a relationship with her Grandparents, skip for a few minutes every week (she is too young for much more than that) and try & see them ever 2/3 weeks.
Neither DD nor her GPs should miss out on their relationship because your Ex is being a complete d*ck at the minute!!!
Thank you. Might try that!! (He only gets his rota about a week in advance (apparently...) and, in the past, its always changes at short notice or, even though he has time off work, he makes it clear that his new girlfriend takes priority over his daughter "I have plans with my girlfriend then. I have a life' 😳
My point - the fact that he is CAPABLE of being such a d**k I shocking to me and is what makes me think now that she's better off without him. A decent man, a father who cared would not behave like this.
People say to me 'Expect nothing. And if anything is offered, be grateful for that'
Yep but you need to let her make her own mind up rather than her having an absent father on a pedestal.
Don't bother asking him to have her, don't rely on him ever for childcare. Just state that most weeks she is available on say Monday or Thursdays from x time (not sure what hours you work etc) but he needs to confirm by email 24/48 hours in advance, as you will him if she isn't available.
You have to hope that once he's got over trying to punishing you for splitting with him that he realises he does want a relationship with DD.
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