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How for I stop him winding me up

(11 Posts)
marryinhaste Fri 18-Jan-13 19:07:24

Stbxh comes to see the kids once a fortnight. He works shifts with no set pattern and so I can't set a day for him to come (e.g. every second Sunday)
and quite often he cancels at the last minute. This week alone he cancelled Monday night (i didnt answer his call at 5.20 as I was coming home from work and in middle of the 2 childcare pickups. He was too cold so instead of starting his journey and risking me saying don't come - which I never do - he went home). He told DD last night on the phone he would come tonight but called earlier to say he has taken some overtime instead.

He pays the CSA amount but won't pay a penny more -despite childcare costs being huge as we live just outside London.

I have no-one nearby at all - so do everything on my own with kids and never have a break. He is rarely off on a weekend, so i often don't have any time to myself until kids are in bed (and DS has been a terrible sleeper, though is improving).

Tonight when he called to say he wasn't coming he started talking about divorce again. He always does this by saying I need to get the paperwork sorted. I have told him numerous times i don't have the energy to deal with it right now, but he is more than welcome to get it started. Tbh I'm not too fussed about when it happens - I have no romance on the horizon and can't imagine that i wil marry again, so no big rush for me. He brought up divorce tonight by saying he "needs to make something of his life over here"(he was living in his home country when we met, and was only able to move here under a marriage visa through me - which i did everything for but that's another story!) I don't know why, but him saying it like this has really pissed me off.

Every time he comes around/calls I end up feeling like shit. Most of the time I am quite content wth my new life, but whenever he's been round I feel despondent about the fact I never get a break. He's never even suggested having them overnight. He won't say where he lives, I assume a bedsit though.

Oh, I don't know what the point of this thread is - I suppose because I have no-one to talk to i just want to off-load somewhere!


marryinhaste Fri 18-Jan-13 19:08:21

Ugh, title doesn't even make sense. DO, obviously!

CabbageLeaves Fri 18-Jan-13 19:10:26

I think it's very reasonable to be fed up with a parent has abdicated any responsibility for their children. It's tough doing it all on your own. He's an arse

marryinhaste Fri 18-Jan-13 19:24:17

Thanks. I am trying to be civil so the kids can have a relationship with him but it's hard when he is such an arse.

His favourite line is that he has to work lots of overtime because the amount the CSA takes leaves him skint - it's 20% of his net pay. I would LOVE to only pay that much on the children but the reality is that their childcare alone is over 30% of my pay, and that's before I pay anything to keep a roof over their heads. I will be calm and happy tomorrow, I just wish I could learn to not let him get to me!

Wereonourway Fri 18-Jan-13 20:18:22

I'm in a slightly different situation op but know too well how you are feeling when you say you can't help but let him get to you.
I feel for you having to do it alone, you sound like you have a lot on your plate, it's very tough keeping up the juggling act.
Surely he can set one night/day a fortnight??

addictedtolatte Fri 18-Jan-13 20:31:53

Sounds like he went to the same charm school as my ex. My ex dumped me cos I was the cause of his failures shock nearly 2 years on he's still a failure lol don't let him get to you op he's just a selfish Arse. Its hard going for you but you'll get there and your dcs will grow up respecting you for being there for

FannyBazaar Fri 18-Jan-13 21:16:44

I can sympathise with you there, I have no family around and an ex who has inconsistent contact. In my case, it is my ex not dealing with the divorce but like you suggested to yours, I have got on with it and am doing what I can without him. My ex also used to bring up things like divorce at times that weren't convenient to discuss it. Perhaps you could say to him that when he has the kids for a couple of days to allow you to catch up, then you will actually have some time to look into the divorce.

Are you able to arrange play dates with the kids and other families? I do this with friends, some of them also single parents, we sometimes do sleepovers which gives a welcome night off when your DC is with someone else, worth inviting another child over for.

marryinhaste Sat 19-Jan-13 08:26:03

wereonourway he tells me it's impossible for him to ask for a set time off. It is a fairly new job and he's still on his probation period, but I suspect he doesn't try very hard to sort it with work/doesn't give me the full picture as he wants some time to himself. He will rarely give me a straight answer when I ask what shifts he's on/when his day off is. It's another thing that pisses me off massively - anyone reasonable would acknowledge that his work pattern means he can't do his share and do whatever they could in the rest of the time. Not him.

addictedtolatte I get this too - apparently I have never done a thing to help/support him. No, the visa applications, paying for all his flights, setting him up in this country, downloading and completing job applications was all nothing apparently. I even paid for him to take a course privately that he could have had as part of his job but he kept failing it. This was last year, so when things weren't great but I wanted him to be able to work close enough to see the kids, and this was a job that would mean he earned enough to stay in this area. Apparently because I bring this up when he starts on the whole "you never did anything for me" shite it means it doesn't count, because I should do it with a good heart, and never mention it again.

I do hope the kids will grow up respecting me, but right now I feel they're going to hate me because I'm so bloody grumpy because I never get a break.

fannybazaar it's bloody hard isn't it? You sound like you have a good network of friends. That's what I'm hoping to do - but right now I don't really know anyone in this area. I commute into London for work 4 days a week and then on my 3 days at home I don't really find many opportunities to meet people. My kids are 4 and 2 - the 4 year old started school this year so is starting to make friends that she might do playdates with. It's not so easy when I'm not around after school for 4 days each week - so we can't start with after-school playdates which is where it probably normally starts. Also, I know they would only be for my DD so I would still have DS at all times. I just want to be able to go to the gym/get a haircut/go to a work night out once in a while sad. But you are right, I need to start making that effort and who knows where it will lead. I also think if I had more to do with the kids, I wouldn't mind having them through whole time so much - it's more the weekends with nothing to do that I dread.

Things he has done recently that wind me up (just to get them off my chest grin ):

He always has a shit while at my house. Every time. He is here 2, maximum 3 hours a fortnight. Why?!!?

He is crap at watching the kids while he has them. He took them to the park the other week and the 2 year old came back with a lump on his head. He had run into the swing his sister was pushing. Now I know there's a lot of talk on mn about how women don't let men take responsibility and that's why they're always shit at it, but even before I had kids I knew to keep an eye on little ones near swings. I also know accidents happen, but this was the first time he'd been out with them for months (his choice, not mine) and he can't even keep them safe. I just feel there's never going to be a time when I can just relax and know they're in safe hands when I don't have them.

Sorry, another essay, but I'm finding it cathartic grin

Wereonourway Sat 19-Jan-13 08:30:55

I find it helpful to get it all out too op. we should start a "my ex is a twat" support thread.
If I were you I'd set times, say a Wednesday and a Sunday and make ex available. If he can't get there cos of work he doesn't come any other night.
It's not fair for you to have your life decorated by him and his working hours. I've been in same position with ex who is self employed.
It's very important for me to know that my times are mine and that he won't be ringing or texting or turning up, this has only just started to work after a very strongly worded solicitors letter sent to him and being more firm.
Good luck. Sounds like an absolute nightmare!

Wereonourway Sat 19-Jan-13 08:31:32

Sorry that should say make dc available! Not ex

FannyBazaar Sat 19-Jan-13 20:48:24

LOL about the shit, yes, my ex does that, so infuriating I just want to say 'no, absolutely not!' if he asks to use the bathroom. Have you tried leaving the house when he turns up? Have the kids ready to go, and all walk out the door together. If he needs the toilet apologise that you are in a rush and leave.

Make the most of the one school day when you're not working, look out for families with DC the same age as yours, little one a bit young for sleepovers but you might be able to have someone else's kids for a couple of hours and they have yours. I work full time so also have very litte time to meet other parents. You can always ask the nursery or whoever you use for childcare, if they no other parents nearby with similar aged children or other single mothers. Your HV may be apply to pass your details to other mums to get in touch.

You will probably never feel he does a good enough job of looking after the kids but unless there is any obvious risk, there's not much you can do.

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