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Contact gone bad

(10 Posts)
Rathen Thu 13-Sep-12 19:45:29

My DDs (11 & 10) are suppose to see their father for agreed hours once a week. I say suppose to because that's usually as far as it gets. Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

It goes in a pattern you see, he sees them and takes them places and does fun stuff with them; then he has to work more or is unwell (on an alarmingly regular basis for a perfectly healthy person); the contact drops off entirely until they become convenient for him again.

Only, I know that he is not always doing extra work or suffering in his bed as he has been seen countless times by my friends in bars or town or simply doing his shopping.

My DDs love spending time with him but they are growing tired of constantly taking second place to whatever he feels like doing instead.

Should I simply cut contact to prevent further suffering to my children?

BlackberryIce Thu 13-Sep-12 19:47:05

No. That decision is not yours to make!

avenueone Thu 13-Sep-12 20:34:27

Wouldn't you just love the luxury of being able to come and go as you please? take the good bits and be able to work when you need to and have the financial rewards that comes with that too - but you wouldn't do that as you know what is important.
keep a log of the contact/none contact you may or may not need it at some point.
It must be frustrating if you have made plans and then he cancels.
When a parent treats contact as a right rather than a responsibility is does make the ickle hairs stand up on my arms.
How do your DD's feel about things? I guess they just pray each time he will be there? for now.. as they get older they may feel differently. Whilst I would not put it so bluntly Blackberry, she is right that the contact is for the DD's to decide and as within a few years they will prob want more time with friends than either of you anyway, I would try and ride the storm. Your relationship with them will be stronger and you don't want counter allegations getting the way of reality when your DD's do make their own plans themselves if they do.

nambypambysm Thu 13-Sep-12 22:56:48

I agree, sadly they will blame you for their bad relationship with dad if you don't encourage contact now. Or worse, cut it altogther.

It's okay to say that you agree that they are right to feel angry at being let down, you don't want to teach them that it's okay to be treated as second best. But equally it is important to try to do what you can to encourage him (within reason of course, you have a busy life I'm sure) and document it to show them when they're older. If they do see him, be positive about the time they spent and show them you think it's a good thing. But be there with a cuddle when he lets them down.

mrsmcv Fri 14-Sep-12 00:08:39

No, don't cut contact because what this lazy man is doing is showing how not to be a dad. So if you have boys or girls, it's a lesson in how not to be a parent. Your children are well old enough to see how useless this behaviour is, especially in comparison with all the other 'proper' parents they see. Organise yourself some back-up if you have plans for when they are supposed to be with him, so that you can still have a life. What will be will be. My ex is terrible but I have kept my dd seeing him so that she doesn't get the impression he is either a hero or a villain. They will know for themselves what he is and as long as they've had the chance to formulate their own opinion, that's fine. If you cut contact, you are protecting them from pain in the short term, but setting them up for misery in the long term. He's making his choice, support them and love them as they see that for what it is.

Rathen Tue 16-Oct-12 17:00:16

An update. Contact between my DDs and their father has now reached the final stage of the pattern I mentioned. For the last three weeks, he hasn't even text to arrange contact. Before that, he was constantly 'unwell'. The last time they saw him was only for a couple of hours after school at the end of August. DDs have decided, for themselves, that enough is enough.

sheepsgomeeping Tue 16-Oct-12 17:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sheepsgomeeping Tue 16-Oct-12 17:56:58

Shit sorry will ask for this to be deleted. Dunno what happened there argh was meant to be a new thread sorry again

FannyBazaar Tue 16-Oct-12 21:05:39

We have the excuses of illness too which alternate with being really really busy at work and having to work flat out from early in the morning until late at night. I always want to tell him that maybe working too hard makes him ill wink. Yeah, we sometimes bump into him standing outside the pub having a fag while we are on our way home or hear from friends that they have seen him. Although, I must say, my ex is very good at giving advance notice of his illnesses which is always helpful ie texting on a Thursday to say he can't see DS at the weekend because he has flu. Often he has never even arranged to see him that weekend anyway!

Don't stop contact but do your best to rid yourself of any expectations of anything constructive from him. The less you expect from an ex, the easier it gets. I let mine contact me whenever he remembers he has a child or encourage DS to call him when he complains of not seeing Daddy for ages. I give ex a list of dates when DS is available, if I am planning a night out or time away, I make alternate arrangements for someone to have DS.

Katkin13 Sat 20-Oct-12 21:20:09

Don't stop contact. You don't want to be that person who stops 2 little boys from seeing their Dad. However something needs to be done. Is there a contact order in place?

If not I would write to him, stating your feelings and requesting that he keeps to the agreed contact schedule (whatever it is you've agreed between the two of you). Your job is to make the children available to Dad. Explain what affect his non-show has on the boys. If he keeps failing to attend contact (say if he doesn't show for three times) then you're not putting the children through this any more.

Trick: is to be seen to be reasonable. He will have nothing to fight against then and you've done the right thing.

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