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DH contact with children at my house?(21 Posts)
DH and I have started first discussions about separating - it's really tough He's just announced that he plans to get a flat in town nearby, despite he works far away, so he can still come over to give the children a bedtime story a couple of times a week and isn't just a weekend dad. I would stay in the family home with our 2 young DC for now, not sure if this will be possible long term.
I just wanted to check what others think about this arrangement - I have to say alarm bells are ringing. We've agreed we want the split to be amicable but I do want to be able to get on with a new life and really don't want him hanging around the family home still in the evenings. But he only gets back from work about the same time the DC go to sleep, with normally just enough time to see them for a couple of stories, and definitely too late to take them out to a park or for dinner or anything. So weekday night contact out of the house wouldn't be possible unless they stayed with him.
It's all early days in talking through the practicalities, but I wanted to check if contact at the family home (which we own jointly) is something he can try to insist on. Obviously he needs contact but I've no idea how others manage the practicalities. Thank you
Don't do it. It is not fair for your children. It is purely selfish on his part, to cause confusion for them.
And if you are divorcing, then you cut everything. I never understand couples who break up and still try to play happy families.
When we first separated exh wanted to do this but I wasn't comfortable with it. I didn't want him coming round into what was now my space. Plus DD wasn't quite 2 and I thought it would confuse her as to whether Daddy lived with us or not.
We compromised with him face timing at bed time and reading her a story over that. Could that work for you?
Nope. He can have them at his own place.
I can see why he might think it's a nice thing to do, keeping things as normal as possible for your kids.
But that small amount of contact, right at bedtime, is bound to be confusing for them, and won't help them adjust to the new situation.
Once he's moved out it's your house and for everyone's sake things need to change so you can all get used to the new normal.
How long would this carry on for if it started? You'd need to make the break at some point and you'd only be putting it off.
It's great he's going to be living near by and means he can have them overnight at his.
I would say no. Offer him weekend contact. And ask that he had the children for a decent amount of time during his annual leave
Thanks, it's really helpful to have confirmed what I was worrying about. Facetime/Skype does seem like a good compromise option. And maybe the DC can stay over with DH on a week night later once he's set up for it.
Do most split couples take turns having full weekends with their DC? That seems the most logical starting arrangement to allow trips away to see grandparents etc. But that would mean DH going a full 12 days without seeing the DC if he doesn't have any face-to-face contact on a weekday evening. He's not going to like that.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We initially did this after ex left. He was coming over 2 evenings a week and would sometimes be here for up to 3 hours as would put younger dcs to bed then want to hang around to chat with teenage dcs. It was really hard for me, I couldn't bear to be around him and made me feel a stranger in my own home. If he was in the kitchen I'd feel uncomfortable going in to maleness myself a drink etc. I didn't feel at all at ease with leaving the house whilst he was here, he knew the password to my PC and I couldn't change it because it needed an additional password he had set up to change it and he wouldn't give it to me. I also felt fairly certain he would go through paperwork/my personal belongings. It just wasn't working.
I managed to cut it down to one night during the week, which he didn't like, but I stood my grounds. I was still finding it very difficult and then one night he sent me abusive texts during an argument and, on my solicitors advice, I decided to stop the arrangement altogether. Kids didn't bat an eyelid, I think they could feel the tension in the house whilst he was here.
The children now go to his for an hour, on a Wednesday evening. They could go for longer but he won't leave work any earlier. He does see them every weekend though, fri-sun one weekend then sat pm-sun pm the other.
Things may be amicable between you at the moment but it doesn't always stay this way. Mine became very acrimonious almost overnight. Once you've agreed to something, it's hard to stop it and I was lucky in a way that he sent those texts as it made my case stronger not to have him coming into my home and safe space.
Bad idea. Trust your instincts. He can't have all the good bits of living at home with children and none of the rest of it. He can do what mums do: try to organise working hours to allow some time with children or suck it up and deal with it.
Once you start the arrangement it'll be difficult to stop and cause bad feeling. The shared house will become your house and you need that sense of it being yours alone.
My DF had a kind of unconscious vision that separation/divorce meant he had his own place but dipped in and out of his old family home and life at will, and dm would just keep it bottled in aspic for him. It was awful for dm.
We began like that but fizzled out.
Maybe give it a whirl and if doesn't work out, talk then
As for staying over one night mid week, for me that was an absolute no-no. So unsettling for the children when have school next day.
With me Monday - Friday
ExH every other weekend sat-sun, then on "my" weekend he has them for a morning (swimming and brunch usually).
We are flexible, so if doesn't work out that he can have a morning with them on "my" weekend, he will pop over mid week to put them to bed.
Children settled and happy.
Me and exH settled and happy.
He should get his own place nearby, if that's what he wants, with space for the DC to visit/stay with him there. If you're separating then that means he no longer lives with you and doesn't have the right to come and go from the family home as he pleases. I've seen couples try to maintain the leaving parent has a presence in the home, but it just leads to resentment. Don't do it.
My ex sometimes picks up kids (from school/childminder) and takes them back to mine . He can't really have them at his as he is a lodger. It doesn't really bother me at the moment. i don't think it causes confusion as they know he lives elsewhere.
God no! XH felt entitled to do this, popping in to say hello whenever he felt like it, picking up, dropping off - he was always fucking here.
No respect for boundaries.
One time when MIL was looking after them here he decided to stay over and slept in my bed.
Don't do it. You'll never get away from him, but more importantly, he will never have to parent his children. It will always be dependent on you accommodating him on his terms.
He needs to get a place where they can have a home and he can care for them consistently. This becomes more important as they get older so they have a sense of connection with their father, so they feel he is their parent as well.
They need to have their relationship with their father independently of you. And you need that too.
As someone who is drawing a line in the sand with this exact same issue, two years down the line, don't do it. Set your boundaries now xx
If he has a flat locally why can't they stay with him once or twice a week?
That would surely be the best option?
I agree - this would be increasingly difficult for you as time goes on. Not ideal.
I don't see any problem with him having them midweek though. I have mine 3 school nights, exH has them 2 school nights, and we do every other weekend. He's their dad, so equally their parent, and they have 2 homes. He does lunches / uniform etc (though admittedly they do feel more at home here).
It doesn't work for everyone, and often depends on working hours etc - but you have to do whatever is right for you all. Personally I wouldn't want exH putting them to bed at mine.
He should ask for flexible working to finish early one evening a week if poss, and have them overnight at his.
Definitely not at yours.
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