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not letting me know whats happening.

(16 Posts)
BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 13:02:07

this happened throughout our relationship and is still happening now WRT dcs. i have spoken to him, i have broken down in tears out of frustration and he promised it would change and it hasn't.

EXP is forces and doesn't have regular leave. he could be home 3 weekends in a row and then not back again for 6 weeks so we have no formal arrangement and it would be pointless to try and set one up. i am happy for him to have the dcs for the entire time he is home if that's what he wants (it never is) so this isn't an issue about him having contact. i want them to see him as much as possible, i have no concerns about them while he has them etc.

this is basically what happens. he will text/ring asking to have the boys on X day. i ask what time, he says he will let me know as he doesn't know his plans. i push him for a time and he says he will ring me first thing in the morning to let me know. so the morning will come and go and no phonecall. i will text him asking what is happening and he will usually not reply. i give it an hour (by which point it is usually 2/3pm) and ring him, no answer. so i text again asking him to let me know if he is still having the boys. he will either reply saying "on my way now" or he will not reply but just turn up at the house. this is fine on a saturday/sunday if i have no plans. but the thing is, i want to be able to make plans and i cant as long as i am waiting on him to decide what he's doing. i can't just make myself unavailable for the day and take the dcs because they know he is on leave and want to see him. i wont do that to them. i got so frustrated and upset one time that i told him his behaviour had caused me to miss lunch with my friend and that her day was now messed up too, to try and make him realise that otehr people are affected by his behaviour. he promised then that he would try harder. i pointed out that he had said that before and it hadn't happend. he promised it would.

it has happened again today. yesterday evening he had ds1 and when he brought him home he said he would take both of them again today, asked how ds2 was in the cinema, i said i wouldn't recommend it. so he ummed and ahhed about whether to take both or just ds1. i asked if he would lift ds1 from school or should I. he said he would let me know that and whether he was taking both boys or just ds1. i asked when. he said "i will ring you in the morning" i made him promise saying that i had things to do today and if he was going to take both dcs then i would wait til then to do the grocery shopping as it would be easier without the dcs, but if he was only taking ds1 then i would go in the morning and then get back to my house packing in the afternoon while ds2 slept. so no phonecall came. i texted him at 11.45 asking what his plans were. no reply. i texted again at 12.35 telling him i needed an aswer so i knew whether to collect ds1 from school or not and reminded him taht he promised to ring this morning. i have still had no reply. obviously i will go and collect ds1, that isn't a problem. but i need this to stop happening. i can't put days of my life on hold just because he cant decide what he's doing for the day or cant let me know he's not taking them if that si what he has decided. i dont want to start playing games by being unavailable. it isn't fair on my dcs when they see so little of him and know when he is home on leave. how do i get trhough to him that it is so disrespectful to treat someone like this? he is in the forces, his life is ruled by order and time. he has no issue being on time at work. how can i get him to see that i deserve to be able to plan my day and god forbid arrange to do something with my rare childfree time. i would like to be able to ring a friend a few days in advance and arrange coffee, but i cant because i cant depend on him turning up at all never mind on time. and it isn't fair on my friends to expect them to come for coffe at 20 minutes notice.

HarrietJones Tue 14-Jun-11 15:13:40

Can you give him a time to come? As in 'I'm going out at 12 , if you aren't here by then we will be out'

How old are children? Is it worth ds1 asking ?

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 14-Jun-11 15:37:52

How old are your DCs? Are they old enough to explain what's happening (in an age appropriate way)?

I understand that you want him to see them but I think you need to put your foot down right now or it will get worse - he's walking all over you because you let him. He's letting your DCs down. Not only that but as you say, he's affecting other people and ruining your plans. Do you think he's doing this on purpose to exert some form of 'control' over you? It sounds to me like he is. Don't let him. Next time you arrange something and he says 'I'll phone in the morning to let you know' just say 'No, I'd like to arrange it now please'. If he still says he'll phone next day, repeat 'No, I'd like to arrange it now please.' then add, 'Please pick them up at 10am. If you're not here by 10.30am then we can't guarantee we'll be in. It's not acceptable to let your children down so please don't. See you at 10am.' then say good bye and hang up. If he doesn't turn up by the arranged time and hasn't contacted you to say he'll be a bit late (with good reason only, not 'I've only just got up' or some such nugget), then carry on with your day as YOU want, and don't feel guilty. YOU are not playing games by being unavailable - HE is playing games by not turning up when planned and not contacting you to arrange contact. Arrange a time and if he's not there, tough shit.

Also I don't understand why he'd take one of the DCs out but not the other one? Surely if he'd planned an activity, say cinema as you mention, that might not be suitable for the youngest, he should just amend his plans to suit them both, rather than leave one out. Seems very unfair to me.

BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 16:52:29

hi sorry, i had to go and collect ds1 and then get the shopping in.

boys are 2 and almost 6. he texted just as i was collecting ds1 asking what i was up to. i told him i was going to do teh shopping and did he want the dcs or not. he said he would meet me there. we couldn't really discuss it there in asda with the dcs and his GF there so all i said was that i had expeceted him to ring me in the morning and that we have talked about this before and it wasn't fair. he just looked a bit sheepish and didn't really reply. then when i asked when the dcs would be back he said "probably 5 or half 5 or 6" so no definite time again. he said he was taking them both to the cinema.

i dont think he is doing this intentionally as a way to control or hurt me. i think it is genuine selfishness as in, he just doesn't think of the fact that him not giving a definite time means me having to hang around the house until he arrives. he used to do it all the time when we were together. he would go off to his parents with teh dcs and i would ask him if he wanted dinner. he would say yes so i would say ok it will be at 6. 6 oclock woudl arrive and dinner would be ready and no sign of him, i would text and get no reply for maybe 45 minutes saying "i'm on my way now" tehn he would arrive back another 45 minutes later (his parents live 10 minutes away) and not understand why i was annoyed that he couldn't let me know he was going to be an hour and a half late.

"
'Please pick them up at 10am. If you're not here by 10.30am then we can't guarantee we'll be in. It's not acceptable to let your children down so please don't. See you at 10am.' "

i like this. i will use this the next time. i agree with you. i have been letting him do this to me. i have been so keen to prevent any conflict (and i think he knows this) but it isn't on at all so i need to speak up now and tell him so.

WRT to taking one ds and not the other. i agree with you aswell, it isn't fair and ds2 is getting to an age now where he notices so i will be telling EXP this aswell.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 14-Jun-11 20:03:48

I think you're doing the right thing by being more assertive. It will benefit everyone, as you'll all know where you stand - especially the boys. In time you might also want to set a firm return time, so you're not messed around.

Good luck.

mrscolour Tue 14-Jun-11 20:12:57

Good luck with being assertive! Hope it works. I know how hard it is being assertive when someone is used to getting their own way.

I know you're concerned that your boys don't see much of him but he will never learn to be more responsible if you keep putting up with it. Hopefully, if you follow softkitty's advice he might get the message and sort himself out a bit.

BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 20:23:42

thank you. he left them back just coming up to six and said he would be taking them again on thursday and would let me know what times. i told him no, that i wanted to know now so i could plan things. he smirked and asked why he was getting a grilling. i told him it was nothing like a grilling, (it really wasn't, i was just speaking more firmly than he is used to) that i wanted him to commit to a time so that i could plan my day. he agreed to collect ds1 from school. although i forgot to ask him about ds2, whether he will be coming for him straight after collecting ds2. i will text him and ask. i reminded him again of his promise to let me know times beforehand. again he was smirking, he knows he has been getting away with it. but at least i got him to confirm a time for thursday. i doubt this will be it sorted but i will just remain firm and get a fixed time for pick up and drop-off in future. i also think i may use harriets suggestion of telling him that i will be leaving at X time so he will have to collect before then or come and find me. thank you again.

BooyHoo Tue 14-Jun-11 20:26:12

oh yes and they didn't end up going to the cinema because by the time they got there all the children's ones had already started, so one very dissappointed boy!! angry he really needs to get his act together and realise that having children requires planning. it doesn't take much effort to check cinema listings online. he has a smartphone!

mamas12 Wed 15-Jun-11 22:46:55

why don't you let the school know that he is picking him up and give them a contact number for him if he is late then it's not just you 'on his case' so to speak.

colditz Wed 15-Jun-11 22:49:59

He already knows he is being a cunt, and he doesn't care. That's the bottom line.

Tell him in words suitable for use with a Cocker Spaniel.

"YOu Will Give Me An Exact Time, By The Clock, And You Will Stick To It Or You Will Not See Them Because We Will Not Be Here."

BooyHoo Fri 17-Jun-11 13:34:10

that's teh thing mamas12, if he is collecting ds from school he is never late there, it's just actually getting the confirmation from that he is or isn't collecting ds that is so difficult. it's just me he seems comfortable messing around.

i agree colditz. i texted him on tuesday evening asking whetehr he was collecting ds1 from school on thursday and what about ds2. he didn't reply. so then on thursday morning he texted asking if ds was at school (wtf? where else would he be) so i said yes of course he is, are you collecting him and what about ds2? he said he would collect them both. when he came to collect ds2 i asked what time he would be back with them at and he said it would be 4 oclock because he had to be at the airport (to fly back to scotland) for 6 and still had to pack. so he can give a definite time and stick to it when it matters to his arrangements but not when it is affecting my plans.

mammamoomin Fri 17-Jun-11 20:19:58

DD's dad never gives me a time of arrival... last weekend he turned up in my bathroom when I was on the loo!!!

futting frustrating...

good luck with the assertiveness thing... didn't work with my num nut of a baby father....

mamas12 Fri 17-Jun-11 22:15:01

What would happen if you started to tell/inform him of the plans instead of asking him.
e.g. You will need to pick dc1 up on Thurs at 4. and dc2 at 6. etc.

circlehead Tue 21-Jun-11 11:01:22

I sympathise entirely - my X is exactly the same. I too hang around all morning/most of the afternoon, while he gets up late/finishes his work/has to have lunch now/just has to go and collect his van from outside his mates etc. By then it is mid afternoon and he will only have a couple of hours with DS so then I ask 'are you having him overnight?' and he can't commit to an answer as he doesn't know what his following days plans are... hmm . He then cries about not spending enough time with DS, but if he got his arse in gear, he could have WHOLE DAYS instead if a bit of an afternoon here/an overnight/a bit of the following morning.

I have a similar thread with some good advice on there (how to do routine with self employed X). I too am starting to toughen up on him as am fed up of not being able to make plans.

circlehead Tue 21-Jun-11 16:08:22

I have taken some of the advice on here and just text DS dad ''can you get DS back by 7 for dinner/bath please?'' He replied ''what's with the orders?'' I replied ''?? Not an order, perfectly reasonable request!'' He has just text saying ''you could have asked if that was ok'' and also that he was going to give DS dinner (He has no clue about bedtime routine). So now DS will be fed there, driven for 45 mins, during which time he will fall asleep. When he returns, depending on if he wakes up, he will either be put in bed in his clothes/dirty nappy, or will be wide awake for hours as he's had a nap. He has just text again ''Please do not ask me to return DS at a certain time, this is OUR child remember''. What a monumental prick he is.

gillybean2 Tue 21-Jun-11 16:23:55

You simply tell him that as he can't be reasonable about agreeing a time and sticking to it you have no choice but to ensure you are both aware of teh arrangements before hand. If he wants to discuss it then fine, but no more open ended arrangements. Point out that he has applogogised many times but that he hasn't actually changed his behaviour and so you have no otehr option but to be more specific on times now.

WHen he agreed to pick ds1 up from school, rather than tecting to ask what about ds2 you should simply text to say that he should pick up ds2 afterwards/before and that you expect hix at x time. If he says no y time is more likely then that's fine, but a specific time should be agreed.

you refer to him smirking and that this has been going on for years. Whatever the reason for it you should see by now that he is not going to change for you, or his dc. So your only option is to be firmer and insist plans are made specifically. And if he doesn't turn up at the agreed time you text and say that you are going out in 15 mins and if he's not there by then the dc will be unavailable. After a few times of that he will get the message hopefully.

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