If your DC don't really want to go and be overnight with the Xp.(13 Posts)
I am finding things alittle difficult at the moment. Trying to keep the peace with everyone is bloody hard.
My Ex and I have been separated for 14 months and I filed for divorce at the beginning, leaving him in the marital home as his bahaviour was appalling and was starting to affect the kids.
He has been very money hungry as long as I have known him and it is one of the reasons I am divorcing him.
Recently He has been threatening suicide because he is upset at the amount of settlement I am offering him from the marriage.
I have tried to keep much of the details of the discussions and arguments we have had from the kids - the eldest is not daft, he seems to know more than I think he does.
Anyway, my son (11) has recently been saying he doesn't want to stay overnight with his Dad (it's one night every two weeks) - part of me wants to try and keep up the arrangement, however, with his fathers past behaviour, I feel I must respect his wishes.
My4 year old DD is pretty oblivious to it all.
The Ex's behaviour has been terrible at times, but part of me wants to give it the very best shot of an ok relationship with their Dad before it's too late.
Am I banging my head against a brick wall, and is it no good right from the start.
Sorry to sound so bewildered (sp) but I am so bogged down with it all I am emotionally exhausted. x
Sorry it's so long, bit at the end of my tether.
If you ring the Parents Advice line, they are pretty good, you can even get a free chat with a child psychologist.
From a legal perspective, I think it unlikely a court would order an 11 year old to stay overnight unless there was some pretty clear evidence that you were trying to brainwash him.
Why not try to say to your ex that things are a bit fraught at the moment, so can he just back off with the 11 year old and you will see how it goes. Forcing the issue is nearly always counter productive and he might just dig his heels in even harder.
The suicide thing is really worrying. Is there any chance he is talking like this around the children? IF so, I don't think he sounds well enough to have overnight contact with either of them, it sounds like they could be at risk of harm.
It sounds like a really fraught situation and I think you all need a break at the moment. See if things can calm down and say you will restart overnights then.
But he has got to stop threatening suicide. It sounds like he needs to talk to someone. Maybe that could be a condition of overnights restarting?
Thanks for replying Spero, I was concerned about the suicide threats and wrote him a kind not saying he can see the kids anytime he wants, not overnight, but at the house where we are, to come and play and have a cuppa etc.
Then he replied saying he was back at work and he wanted to see them as normal overnight etc.
So weird and confusing. It did cross my mind he was lying.
This may not be true for you by my 11yr old ds has often said he does not want to see his dad, like your situation (but different) the relationship between my ex and me is very frought and ds cant help but pick up on this he's not stupid. I suspect sometimes that he says this to show me he supports me could your ds being doing this? However I have kept making him go to his dads despite it sometimes being against my better judgement. Things are now getting better with ds and his dad.
I am considering trying to get some councelling for ds to help him come to terms with what has happened. Perhaps it would benefit your ds?
As for the suicide threat he seems to have recovered v quickly???
Either he genuinely wants to kill himself or he is using it to manipulate you.
Either way, it is awful behaviour and if it filters down to the children it will do a lot of harm to them.
If you are in the middle of trying to sort out the finances, it will be very difficult.
Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel and I think you have just got to keep holding on to the fact that your first priority is the children, yes they need a relationship with their father, but he needs to sort himself out for you to feel ok with insisting that your son goes.
Thanks Spero and Lucie19 for the calming advice.
You are both correct, the kids wellbeing comes first of course.
Maybe counselling would help for DS.
Be frank with your 11y/o. Tell him you would prefer him to have a good relationship with his father, and that you love him and think that it's important to maintain the contact.
Treat him like a teenager, and he may surprise you by being incredibly mature. If he's guessing things but you're trying to keep it from him, the unknown might be scarier than the truth.
My 2 DSs now refuse to go to their Dad overnight and so I will not make them - I have suggested to the Ex he takes them out for the day instead but thus far he has not bothered, which makes me feel better about not making them stay -altho how you 'make' a 12 and 14 year old who are bigger than you get in a car and sit for an hour I don't know! I wuld say with the other stuff going on you will be well within your rights to keep to visits where you are around.
In the year since my xh left I have had a couple of patchs where my dd (11) hasnt wanted to go to xh.
In the spirit of their interests I have smoothed things over between her and xh and to be fair he has listened to my advice on how to handle things better.
I have talked to her several times about why she doesnt want to go and its been quite fixable really. Does your ds say why he doesnt want to go ?
I have thought if this crops up again the best thing is to say ok you dont have to go and no doubt she will regret not going especially if ds comes back full of it. As someone else sadi if you force it he will dig his heels in. Also did you tell your xh ? Mine was a bit mortified I think as he prides himself on being number one Dad etc
my ex used the suicide angle to manipulate me,even hinting at 'taking the kids with him'......it went through family courts and he has zero contact. CAFCASS took those concerns VERY seriously.....
My son told me he didn't want to go and stay overnight Sat just gone.
My ex hadn't arranged anything as asked when they saw him for a short time on Xmas day so I texted him Sat a.m. and said they didn't want to come.
He said 'Ok, thanks'
That evening my son said 'Thanks Mum for not making me go'
Methinks I have done the right thing.
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