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Don't understand how ex-DH can go so long between visits

(12 Posts)
whatever17 Sun 29-May-11 01:01:53

ex-DH is alright overall, pays maintenance about 75% of the time and is reasonable to deal with.

But he leaves it 4-6 weeks in between visits with DS2. I always stress that he can see him anytime he likes and just give me a text and I will pack a bag. He moved 2 hours away and says he can't afford the petrol. Then he tells me he got himself an xbox and a k-nex (sp?) for his own bday.

Whatever, but I just know that I would move into the same street if I could if I was a NRP and wouldn't be able to go a week without seeing my DS.

ex-DH bought DS a mobile phone that he is paying for so that DS can fone him for free whenever he likes. He is always happy to hear from either of us on the phone and is co-operative if I say - can we switch that w/e as DS has a party to go to.

I just don't know how he can not see him more often.

WillIEverBeASizeTen Sun 29-May-11 01:53:35

You could be describing my ex-OH. My DS has gone to his Dads this weekend having not seen him since March. Admittedly DS has had tuition/parties some of those weekends, but EX-OH has never been bereft if he hasn't seen him for a while.

I don't know whether this is a male thing and that the bond is different? However, someone (male) I knew once was regimental about seeing his kids,phoned religiously on a daily basis etc etc and never missed one of his weekends. I guess I say the above is because I know lots of women whose exes aren't bothered about their DCs.

Like you, I would be champing at the bit to see my kids. I've got used to him being the way he is, and I think my DS has too. It has been over 5 years since the split so my heart has got immune to being broken anymore. DS is happy enough as at least he knows his Dad is around if he needs him. BTW my DS is 13, so can be reasoned with. Circumstances may be different, and on reflection, I guess mine were when DS was younger.

Gster Mon 30-May-11 18:09:26

I'm a Dad who see's his dd 2 ever other w/e and a few hours on a week night. I also live 2 hours from my xp. I would love to see more of my dd. But it was hard enough getting the access i currently have without going to court.

When my dd's not here it's pretty sad. I often sit in the kitchen wishing there was a little cheaky face scampering around, or knowing she was tucked away in bed upstairs. Sometimes I look into her bedroom here, remember some silly game we were playing ( today lifelike T-rex toys were shopping for ice cream and handbags in a twee bod-kin market ).... but it's a really lonely feeling. I'm sure tgere are plenty of decent dads who feel the same.

But yr xh/s sounds like he has a bit of a issue accepting reality. I've been down 'x-box street ' it can be all absorbing and obviously a fantasy world.

It's got me thinking tho your question. My grandad's mum left him and his brother when they were small. Idon't know the details so i've never judged her, but it always sounds worse, for the kids not least, when you hear of an absent mum.

Sapphirefling Mon 30-May-11 20:56:39

I don't know either. It's nearly a month since ex has spent more than 15 or 20 minutes with the kids - weekends have all been taken up with Little Miss Awesome and I wonder if, when the novelty wears off, he may just realise what he's doing to his babies. He is under the impression that he's going to be whisking them away for nearly 3 weeks in the summer to play happy families - I am just watching and waiting and biding my time at the minute because unless he steps up with his responsibilities to them, he isn't going to be taking them anywhere for that length of time.

whatever17 Sat 04-Jun-11 00:50:00

I just don't get it really - you see these "fathers 4 justice" things - yet there are so many mums who are saying - "c'mon, the kids want to see you" - I think that's really true.

Ex-DH is an alright bloke but he has so many other things to do (social) - he loves DS2. I have asked him and he says "he's my boy (son)" I know he loves him. But he can go 4 - 6 weeks without seeing him. I would move next door if I was a NRP. I couldn't be away from my kids.

I guess I have no real life if I can't see my kids and he does. Which he had to to survive when we split up maybe?

niceguy2 Sat 04-Jun-11 09:07:30

I've actually been in this situation. Back when my daughter was 2, I split with their mum for about 18 months. Looking back I was exactly like the father you describe.

Basically what happens is because your child isn't there all the time and is with "mum", you can sort of free yourself of the guilt. Your life starts to revolve around the stuff right in front of your face. For me it was work & trying to pull. I had a regular every other weekend arrangement where I would try to swap around if it clashed with my social life. It's not to say I didn't love my daughter. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the day she was born, I would lay down my life for her in a heartbeat.

But because she's not there, you just concentrate on something else. The times I did miss her, I could console myself with the fact, she's being well looked after by my ex.

Now to put this into context, the shoe is now firmly on the other foot since I've been single dad for the best part of a decade now to both my daughter and my son. My ex will swear undying love for the kids and occasionally make snide comments about how it's my fault etc she doesn't see the kids enough etc. Yet last time we tried to arrange a calendar of contact, she was the one crossing out weekends and school holidays to reduce the contact. And I'll never forget the "Having the kids for 2 weekends on the run is too stressful" comment I got a few months ago.

So it does cut both ways and my point is that it doesn't make your ex a bad person. It just means he's switched off. Often it's us as the resident parent through guilt and the need for timeout who wants more contact. Kid's tend to accept the world as it's presented.

Shodan Sat 04-Jun-11 09:41:35

I don't understand it either.

XH didn't see ds1 for 18 months until the Spring term mid-term break of this year. No explanation to me, although he told ds1 he was 'sorting himself out'. What this basically seems to have meant was moving to Scotland, embarking on a new relationship and getting a job. Now he expects ds1 to spend half term holidays and several weeks in summer up there. His new girlfriend contacts ds1 to remind him of xh's birthday and to tell him how much his father misses him/thinks of him.

It wasn't the first time, though. He's done similar before, although the maximum amount of time he opted out for was a year.

But he is the loser. Ds1 went up for two holidays but refused to go this half term. There's not much for him to do there and besides, his life, friends an family are down here. And ds1 is 15 and not stupid. He knows that a good parent doesn't just 'opt out' of parenting because he/she feels like it.

Mind you, xh has rarely paid maintenance either.

crispyseaweed Sun 05-Jun-11 20:49:19

Most fathers just dont seem to have the Bond that us mothers (or prime carers) have with our children.
My Ex plays it cool and seems totally non plused when he doesnt see DS for 3 weeks. If it were me I couldnt go over a week or 2 and not see my child.
It just doesnt bother them, they are not as close to their child as the mother who gave birth to them.
Some fathers are close and adore their kids and are completely involved with their care and activities and life,, but it seems these Exs havnt got the bond.

Riakin Mon 06-Jun-11 16:13:47

As someone has said, lots of things go on in a mans head following these splits. Having contact usually falls into 2 groups:

- PWC refuses contact or NRP no longer wishes to be part of their life
- PWC wants social life or NRP wants social life

Basically its all around a selfish impulse to the actual parent [any].

At the end of the day Dads and Mums for that matter should try and be in a position of accommodating their time for their child. For example i got offered to see my daughter this weekend, having already arranged an afternoon out i made frantic re-arrangements to be able to do so. Luckily my girlfriend and friends fully understood and re-scheduled at a time to suit me.

whatever17 Tue 07-Jun-11 01:28:45

niceguy2 - I think you have probably summed it up. I know ex-DH does love DS2 but he just seems to have entered another world when I haven't. We have been split up for 10 years and he has been with his gf (very nice to DS2) for 8 years, he has a life apart from DS2.

I don't because I am on the spot. I call him and tell him about school achievements etc and he says "great" and then chats to DS2. But I am know that he doesn't know the school name, the teacher's name, what's going on.

And not because I won't tell him, like F4J say, but because he doesn't ask.

Our formal divorce agreement said every other w/e and a week in each school holiday and more when we said.

He sees him about 12 nights a year - but I must say that DS2 is not suffering for it. He doesn't really notice the gaps as he can call him anytime he likes, as can I.

I just know that I would be going spare.

whatever17 Tue 07-Jun-11 02:33:53

Sapphire - it's tempting - but unless he is dangerous just let him do contact his way.

whatever17 Tue 07-Jun-11 02:40:11

Gster - if your ex was more accomodating would you see your DC more often? I have always said to X-DH - F* the court agreement, give me a ring and you can see him whenever you want. But he is alway "Oh, it it is my gf's Mum's bday" or " we are going on the "race for life weekend".

I could protest and make him come and get him but then I think - does DS2 want to go to an old lady's bday party? But X-DH doesn't say - sorry, seeing my son.

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