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How do I deal with this?

(15 Posts)
BreakOutTheKaraoke Sun 24-Jul-11 21:03:27

Just don't know how to deal with ex p at the minute. Posted on here before, but not for a while. Ex has always had an on/off relationship with DD, 7, normally on when he gets a new girlfriend who goes on at him to see her. He's been violent to me in the past, beat me up in front of DD when she was 2, hes been in prison for fighting, always in and out of jobs, hasnt got a stable home. Just thought I'd put a bit of background in there.

He was last seeing DD last year, managed a few weeks just before christmas, coincided with staying with new GF. First time he had seen her in months, and he took her to stay at gfs flat. He saw her maybe 3 times in the next 4 weeks. Stopped seeing her because I told him its unsafe and illegal for her to be in a car without a booster seat, he refused to spend a fiver on one, and wouldnt get the bus. So he stopped seeing her. She didn't get christmas presents or a birthday card from him in february.

He got in touch again about a month and a half ago, asking to see her. At first I said no, as I had just got her stable again after a very emotional few months, but he kept on pushing. He told me he'd grown up recently, hes rented a flat with a friend- first time hes ever been somewhere hes paid rent and bills, at 33! He recently had an accident at work, and said its 'made him realise whats important'. This accident has put him on disability while recuperating ( shattered a bone in his arm, not healing properly).

He asked if he could have DD the same time as his flatmate at his kids (18 month old twins, so not like they would play together). I told him that we would work to something that was more helpful for myself and DD, we wouldn't just fit in with him. He could do the school run once a week, and take DD back to his while I'm at work, and I would pick her up after, and we would plan weekends when mutually agreeable (I work shifts so have planned my childcare in accordingly in advance). He also asked to be part of her school life, open evenings. etc. He had her last fri night, when his flatmate had his kids ( his choice of day), and asked me to make an open evening appointment for him when picking her up from school, which I did. This was his 3rd time of seeing her, no problems.

It was my birthday this weekend. We had arranged for DD to stay at his, I made plans to be out of town for the night, but told him I would come back early today so he could go to a rugby match. He rang me Friday to tell me he had to go to hospital the next day, so wouldn't be able to have her. I'll admit I was mad, and argued with him about this- last minute notice, and surely he should be able to arrange childcare, since I do every other day? But, suppose he cant help it. Next, DDs teacher got in touch, he hadnt turned up the week before for the open evening, did he still want a copy of her report? Yesterday, supposed to be at hospital. Found out his football team was in town, got someone to check on his facebook page- surprise, surprise, pictures of him at the match. Got in touch with him, he said he'd got out of hospital at 1 so decided to go. Not to get in touch to see if he could still have his daughter though. Had a quick rummage on the internet, found out the tickets were only on sale til 12, so must have had them beforehand. Lying bastard. Hes always been a liar. Daughter is very upset at him letting her down already, dont know what to do for the best. Do I stop him from seeing her? Just let him have the odd afternoon contact when it suits us? Or let it drop?

Sorry for the length, just didnt want to miss bits out.

SkyeLiner Mon 25-Jul-11 09:40:48

Sorry to hear your having so many problems and for him to let your daughter down so often is awful! Unfortunately, it's hard to make someone be in your Childs life if they have no enthusiasum in doing so, which by the sounds of things he's not making enough effort to be a father figure.! all I can suggest is going to a solicitor and getting some advice.. Possibly a contact centre arrangement would be better as it's minimal time yet regular. Then you and your daughter will know where your at, if you know what I mean. With regards to cutting contact completely ask your daughter what she'd like to do.
I had many problems with my ex being a 'part-time' dad my daughter, 17. I went straight to the solicitors. He was very inconsistent with contact arrangements and took the p* over and over and being very irresponsible when having my daughter.
Contact centre is now the arrangement and when trust is re-established and I see that he's being reliable I will allow unsupervised contact.
Is there a possibility you will consider this?
Its difficult because your daughter is just 7 but I suppose asking what she thinks, could maybe help you make the best decision for her.
All I can say from experience is go to the solicitor, even if you don't do anything as such, just for the advice.
Hope this helps in some way and I hope things improve for both of you.
Sorry I blabbered on a bit x

SkyeLiner Mon 25-Jul-11 09:43:16

Sorry.. My Daughters 17 months not 17. X

aubergine70 Mon 25-Jul-11 09:55:48

He obviously hasn't turned over a new leaf, he's let you, the school and most importantly your DD down. You can't keep putting her through this.

brehon Mon 25-Jul-11 21:45:24

Reading this I thought - how does she know my exH. I could have written this word for word. I agree with SkyeLiner. Get some legal advice. Also you have to think is it good for your DD to be picked up and let down all the time. She might end up thinking that is all she is good for and could cause more problems in the future emotionally for her. If he will agree to a contact centre this might be best for the time being. You have to think of what is best for your child not your exP.

BreakOutTheKaraoke Mon 25-Jul-11 22:25:38

Thanks for reading...it was rather long! I think the issue I do have is that DD wants to see him. I hid it from her when he was in prison, etc ( she was 5 at the time), told her he was working. However this week I told her he had lied to us- I'm fed up of covering for him. She was so upset though, and asking why he does it. Shes lovely but already suffers from huge self esteem issues from him sad

I don't want her to grow up thinking that this is the way men should behave and treat her. The problem I have with contact orders/ contact centres, etc, is that I work different days/shifts each week and cant stick to a set time. I also keep imagining taking her all that way, all excited to see daddy, and him not turning up sad

razors Mon 25-Jul-11 22:40:40

I would try and organise a day - once a month - once every 2 months whatever to go out to lunch - or to the park - all three of you - I wouldn't leave my children with someone selfish and violent like him. Who is this mate he is living with? do you know him? do you know anything about his past? No way would I send my dd there. Arrange to meet in public places only until your dd is old enough to make up her own mind about what kind of relationship she wants with him. Obviously avoid Saturdays if he is a football fan!

gillybean2 Tue 26-Jul-11 00:22:18

Contact is for your dd's benefit, not the benefit of his flat mate or his dc.

If your dd wants to see her dad then I'm afraid you will have to try and facilitate this as best you can. Ask his to pick a day once a week to start with and he needs to stick to it for 6 months if he wants to prove to you and to dd that he is commited.

And don't lie for him any more. When your dd asks why he does this tell her that you don't know why and that you don't understand it either. And tell her that you love her very much and will always be there for her no matter what.

BreakOutTheKaraoke Tue 26-Jul-11 08:24:41

I know his housemate quite well, he's a nice guy and a committed dad to his kids. Ex looks up to him and always wants what he has, hence the reason he wants to start again with DD I think.

I really dont want to be around during DDs contact with him, unless I think shes in danger, which I dont think is a problem at this moment. This was our way of trying once a week to start with, and its lasted all of, ooh, three weeks?

I told him not to get in touch with me when I found out about weekened, that I would get in touch with him when I calmed down and decided how to address this. He doesnt normally respect this, but actually hasnt been in touch yet for a change. This will probably be for selfish reasons though, not because hes showing some respect.

I think my real question in all this is how many chances do you give someone to prove it, before you say enough? I have no doubt he does want to see DD, but only when it suits him, fits in his life, and until he gets bored. This is about the millionth chance. How far do I go before I tell him enough, if you want to see her you're going to have to chase it legally?

gillybean2 Tue 26-Jul-11 09:01:10

Unfortunately if your dd wants to see him then you can't say enough is enough completely.
You can certainly insist on specific days and times. And you can try not telling your dd about it until he is there so she isn't let down and disappointed when he doesn't turn up.

You could try other forms of contact too rather than cut it out completely.
Perhaps ask him to try a skype call once a week? See if he can comit to that.

He may well go to court to get an order if he's trying to impress this other dad or is feeling guilty. But no court order can make him turn up sorry and it won't stop your dd being hurt sad

BertieBotts Tue 26-Jul-11 09:10:33

I found out the hard way too not to use the ex as childcare if there's something you want to do - if they have been abusive/controlling when you were together, they aren't going to change now you're apart. I expect he thought it was great to let you down on your birthday, without a thought to DD sad

I suspect we will have this problem in the future, DS is 2.9 and his dad hasn't seen him for 4 months. He sent a vague facebook message to my mum last week hinting that he wanted to see DS but unless he can be bothered to contact me directly or say directly to another family member that he's having trouble getting in contact (Have changed my phone number recently, but he can still contact me through facebook or email) I'm not going to chase him up - there's no point him seeing DS if he's going to be flaky and let him down all the time.

BertieBotts Tue 26-Jul-11 09:14:37

And I find it hard to know what to tell DS as well. I don't want to idolise his father, because, TBH, he's a shit role model. But I don't want to demonise him either so that he feels forced to choose sides or he decides when he's older that what I've said might be an unfair representation, especially if I'm being the boring sensible parent and he's being irresponsible but "fun".

BreakOutTheKaraoke Tue 26-Jul-11 10:00:17

No Skype, he has no computer- just facebook on his phone. Found it worse when he was getting in touch but not seeing DD in the past, as he was making promises, but not following through. I think that was the stage which affected DD the most, tbh. I now try not to let him speak to her on the phone, or tell her when he's seeing her, as it hurts her a lot more when he doesn't show up or cancels at the last minute.

Dont think he would go to court for access, he would just demonise me to everyone, tell them its me stopping him from seeing his daughter. He would probably enjoy that more than seeing his DD to be honest, he likes to be felt sorry for. He would tell DD it was me stopping him though, not about the times he let her down.

Bertie, think your right with the birthday thing. Probably gave him a kick thinking I would have to stay at home. Sorry to hear about your DS dad, too- I used to be the one chasing him to see DD, til I realised it just gave him a kick thinking we needed him in our lives and he was the one in control.

sazzleflip Wed 27-Jul-11 09:49:14

I'm in the same situation and am completely at a loss of what to do...the kids are really upset that he hasn't been turning up to see them. They are old enough to know the days he is supposed to come to get them. I feel devastated for them.

BreakOutTheKaraoke Wed 27-Jul-11 15:49:38

Its awful, isn't it sazzle? I just don't know how a person can say they love a child, then be the one to upset them like that.

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