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DD wants to live with her dad, I need moral support

(18 Posts)
passmyglassplease Wed 27-Jul-11 07:26:53

I am heart broken sadsadsadsad

Had a meeting with ex on Sunday to discuss the dcs and the results of some tests carried out on ds.

I sat quietly through his long list of my bad parenting skills which included not forcing the dcs to shower.

However I was unable to sit still when he announced that he was applying for full custody of both dcs as they would be better off with him and that he had actually asked my dd (12 years old) if she would like to live with him, his new partner, her two children and a new baby due in December, and apparently she has understood all the ramifications and has said yes!

I have not seen her since before the meeting and I feel as if I am living in limbo land. She has definitely been groomed by her dad, I have noticed she has changed over the last six months into a moody obstinate child, who looks down on me because I don't have a proper job, and she is openly rude to my partner. I had put this down to pubity but I now know what its all about.

How do I handle it, does she really understand, moving schools, leaving her friends behind, leaving her brother behind?

She has only ever lived with her dad at weekends and holidays, wont she miss the closeness she has with her mum?

I alternate between extreme anger that she has been put in this position and incredible sadness that my little girl could be leaving me.

I know things haven't been easy recently as we have just moved house, but I thought that it would get better once we had all settled in the new house.

So what do I do now?

She will know that I have been told of their plans.

I am due to pick her up on Sunday and I really don't know how to behave with her.

Sorry, I don't have any advice for you, but I didn't want to leave your thread sitting here unanswered, so I'll just sit with you until someone with some useful experience/advice comes along.

gillybean2 Wed 27-Jul-11 09:15:59

Well I think some of her behaviour could be puberty/hormones and shifting the entire blame to your ex on this one conversation is a bit unfair. But I appreciate you feel shocked and hurt and looking for a reason why she would say this.

The first thing I would say is that you have only heard this from your ex. Ok so your dd may well have said to her dad, that she wants to live with him, but that doesn't mean she actually does, or should...

Dc have a tendancy to say what they think the parent they are with wants to hear. The fact she hasn't said this to you, not even in anger, is something you need to consider.

Do you have a third party, who she trusts, who could ask her about this is a gentle way to try and get some inclinking of the reality? SHe may well be saying to dad she wants to go there but not actually wanting to go permanently. Or she may well want to go but be finding it too hard to tell you.

It is no reflection on you if she does want to go. The grass is always greener on the otherside. Especially when that otherside has less rules and more fun (more likely as she's only there at weekends and holidays).

I assume she is at her dad's right now which is why you haven't had a chance to speak to her. Speaking to her in a calm, non confrontational way, not as soon as she walks in the door, is probably the way to start.

I assume at 12 she is at secondary now?

At 12 a court may or may not listen to her on this. You have some good arguments as to why this move isn't good - His track record on helping her avoid school. His undermining you as a parent and not working together towards the best interests of your dd. The fact that this is completely out of the blue...

In so far as dealing with him you should tell him that it is never good for a parent to undermine the other and to project their wants onto their child. Ask him to consider the bigger picture - why she may feel like this (rebelling, thinking there's more freedom at his, as a way to asert her will over yours) rather than hearing dd having a moan and jumping on it as meaning why he wants it to and pressurinsing her into that direction rather than helping her deal with her feelings.

Ask him if he has thought of the practicalities - getting her to and from school for example or what a change of school at this point would mean given her poor performance so far.

Most of all try not to be upset with your dd. Your ex has calculated the best/worst possible time and way to pass this 'information' to you and you have no way of knowing if your dd genuinely feels that way or not.

Yes it must be hugely hurtful and upsetting to be told this. Even if it were true you have to keep in mind that dc don't understand the fuller implications and probably doesn't (and won't for many years yet) understand what you have done for her over the years.
Try not to be angry at your dd. If she genuinely feels this way she must be finding it very hard to tell you if she hasn't mentioned it to you at all. And if she doesn't feel this way, or made some comments which your ex has seized upon, then that is not her fault at all.

Big hugs

passmyglassplease Wed 27-Jul-11 09:53:39

yes i had already thought about how to speak to her without showing to much emotion, and have decided on neutral ground with someone who she listens too.

and yes the ex's timing is perfect re his presentation of the situation.

if this was to go to court, (which i dont think it will as i would not stand in her way if she genuinely feels that her life will be better) would the fact that there would be potentially 5 children in the house have any bearing?

i have left ds out of the scenario thus far for two reasons, one he dislikes the new partner and two he suffers serious asthma attacks, which incidentally have recently gotten much worse. Could the court also force him to go? His dad has never been able to deal with him during an asthma attack, so potentially he would be at risk if he lived with his dad.

We have already been through the courts once and at that time the ex was happy with the outcome, I have never denied access and have maintained my silence re my opinion on the ex, however he does not seem to have afforded me the same courtesy. Can it be right that he has groomed her, is it allowed?

niceguy2 Wed 27-Jul-11 09:58:02

Just bear in mind that at her age, she thinks the grass is greener but it usually wont be.

Make sure she realises that the door is always open if she changes her mind.

She may find that once she's there, one of 5 kids and one's a baby then the lack of attention, the lack of sleep, the whole moving schools etc. etc. it may soon dawn on her it's not the romantic dream of living happily ever after with dad she thought.

cestlavielife Wed 27-Jul-11 10:53:43

does he earn a lot of money and have a big house?
full time care of four or five children is a lot surely -espec for his new partner!?
but overcrowding doesnt apply in a private house - only if council. tho of coruse if she not getting herown room then she may be back very soon...

i think gillybean and niceguy gave good advice - ride it out, support her and make sure she knows your door is open. and dont take it personally against you - she is young and just "thinks" it will be "better".

"grooming" i dont think is right word -yes he may have influenced her but unless there welfare issues then going to llive with other parent/having your child live with you is not a crime ....

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Jul-11 10:58:55

I have 5 dc in a 3 bed house and had no bearing on court. Not at all

Judges don't like to split siblings. But at 12 she would have a say, and soon would be able to vote with her feet so to speak. S

She maybe only said 'yes' as she was under pressure. She may tell you she doesn't really want to go. Good luck!

Sapphirefling Wed 27-Jul-11 12:24:24

There is no way that I would be as accepting of this as you appear to be. How DARE he discuss this with her without talking to you first. How DARE he list all your faults as a parent. I suppose that i have been fortunate in that Exs attempts to 'buy' the kids with huge presents and gestures is viewed with cynicism by my eldest (aged 9) Occasionally, she announces that she wants to live with her dad but when she realises what it would actually involve she soon changes her mind! You actually sound as if this man has beaten you into submission emotionally - there is no way that a little girl should be able to change schools etc without proper consideration of all the implications. Do you still have a solicitor involved? I would definately be seeking advice - my little ones would be devastated if they were separated from their sister.

blackeyedsusan Wed 27-Jul-11 12:43:40

<offers hand>

I would be cross too, but you have to not show that to dd when she comes home.

gillybean speaks a lot of sense

passmyglassplease Wed 27-Jul-11 13:19:45

I am not accepting it, however if she has made the decision herself and wants to give it a go, in my opinion it would be much better in the long run if I support her rather than fighting it in the courts and causing her and her db a lot more stress.

I am extremely angry at the ex and find what he has done unforgivable, I don't see how I am going to cope with him and his comments in the future. He on many an occasion has stated that ds 'has ruined his life'. Ultimately I think he would settle for my dd, not thinking of the consequences of splitting the siblings up.

passmyglassplease Tue 09-Aug-11 16:31:38

An update on the situation with dd

dd was given the opportunity to speak to a neutral third person and confirmed that she did actually want to live at her dads sad

I have spoken to many friends and family and all have advised me to let her go. This morning I sent an email to her dad and explained that I would not be standing in her way, however my ds would not be going (he was asked as well and he didn't want to).

As yet he hasn't replied to my email, I am inclined to think he is in shock and may have to step up to the plate sooner than he had thought!!!!!!

My thanks for all your support, it really helped me to be able to let her go and not to get angry with her.


Smum99 Tue 09-Aug-11 20:15:27

You seem like a caring mum - as others say, leave the door open and always have communication with her and you will end up with a good relationship.

You have handled it well and I don't agree with the poster who said you shouldn't allow it. 12 is a difficult age for a girl, I believe it's often the start of puberty so she may change but if you blocked her she would always resent you.

I know you will miss your dd, it must be heartbreaking but I'm not sure you could do anything else. I also think this will happen more and more - dads are often heavily involved in DCs lives and as more and more households have 2 workers it won't automatically be the mum who has full residency.

Good Luck - you are still her mum and always will be

ImperialBlether Wed 10-Aug-11 10:23:49

You have handled it well. I think your ex hasn't a clue what he's letting himself in for. Just make sure she knows (by you telling her every time you see her) that she has a choice and that her room is always there for her. It must be heartbreaking for you.

Contact with her is really important now, not just for your sake but for her brother's. Make sure he doesn't mess you about with this.

ladydeedy Wed 10-Aug-11 10:42:42

you have handled this very well and I hope you continue to be positive with your DD. Sadly our story is that my DSS left his mother's house and their relationship has simply disintegrated (although it wasnt great to start with, tbh). She was unable to accept the fact that he decided to live elsewhere, and has constantly (even now, more than a year later) punishing him emotionally for having, in her eyes "betrayed and deserted her". Also blaming him for the financial impact that this has had (i.e. loss of maintenance, cb and tax credits). It's completely awful for him. We had hoped that by not living in the same household their previously poor relationship (I know this is not the case in your situation btw) would be able to improve, but sadly it has not. And this has come from her side, not his - he would like to have a positive relationship with his mum but she is unable face the situation as an adult. All credit to you for handling this so very well and putting your child at the centre, I sincerely hope that things will turn out positively for all of you.

wirral Wed 10-Aug-11 19:10:18

OP- my daughter of a similar age to your own made the same decision about a year ago. I was distraught. A year on, my ex and I share contact equally and she moves between our two houses with apparent ease (for the moment)

Don't lose heart.

gillybean2 Thu 11-Aug-11 12:56:48

OP have you spoken to your dd yet?
Please do if you haven't already and ensure she knows that you love her very much and although you don't agree with the decision that you accept it is her decision and you won't stand in her way if that's what she really wants.

And make sure she knows you love her very much and that if she changes her mind at any time her room will be here for her.

Otherwise you may find her dad has told her that you're happy to see her go and she may be upset that you didn't even fight for her.

belleshell Sat 13-Aug-11 04:49:03

i am going through something very similar but for very different reasons, i have choose to move 100 miles away from where we live currently due to ill health and the need for more family support. this however means the kids moving too, so i have given them the choice, told them i love them both very much and they need to be happy so the can decide where they want to live.i never mentioned choosing me or dad, i didnt think that was fair i asked if they would like to move away or stay here. My DS choose here, for the simple reason he will miss his friends, my dd as chose to come with me....i too am devastated that ds will he here, but he told me last night that he was upset in the beginning but he knows it is all going to be ok because he has a choice!!!!!!!!! that means so much to me, i know he will be safe with his dad,and he knows he can change his mind anytime...........

i have found been completely honest with the kids as worked, and the best outta a bad situation seems to be not sure how it will be when i eventually leave, but i keep reinforcing to both kids i love them and they are my priority , but i need to move for support ( ex family have completely isolated me since divorce, and i have NO help at all here, andi have a chronic illness)

Good luck.................

gillybean2 Mon 15-Aug-11 14:05:03

Hi PassMyGlass- how are things for you now? Have you had a chance to speak with your dd?

Has your ex said any more to you about it? Ie schooling etc. She presumably will have to change school if she does go to live with him.

What about your ds? Originally you said your ex was going to persue residency for both dc. I assume now you have agree to dd moving in with him if that's what she chooses he has probably gone rather quiet re your ds...?

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