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A bit long, contact, kids ex etc

(11 Posts)
chickennoodle Sat 20-Apr-13 16:46:11

I've never posted here before but I'm after some advice I suppose, or to see if iabu. I split with my ex late last year, for all of 2013 he has seen our children on tues & thurs evenings (not overnight) and sat & sun during the day. He chose the days & times. Now after almost 4 months of these days he wants to change an evening & has offered to have them overnight sometimes on a fri. He's discussed it with our kids already, even though I have spoken to him previously about discussing things with them before we have come to an agreement. Our kids range from 10-15, one has emotional special needs, I've spoken to social services about some previous concerns, our child with special needs is having issues at school and they are aware of how things are affecting our child. After months of counselling i've realised that he was EA to me the whole time we were together. his moods swing from missing me, to anger, jealousy (uses the kids to try to hurt me) and last about 2 weeks at a time. I've finally had enough of him trying to control me & I'm happy with the days/times he sees them. I've also made it clear he can see them more if he wants & overnight but I'm not budging on the days we already have. He's now saying he just won't see them on the day he wants to change & I've said he can take me to court & that until then he's not going to see them, I know that's unreasonable of me but I'm sick of him trying to control me even though we're not together & constantly making me out to be the unfair parent. To put it into context he sees them for 11.5 hours a week & reluctantly pays £40 a week maintenance. He's also moved in with a gf, moved out of his gf's, got engaged, cancelled the engagement, supposedly planned holidays with the kids & gf, all of which he's involved the kids in confused they're coping remarkably well considering, and I'm not in any way jealous, I'm the one who ended our relationship & I'm seeing a lovely man (who my kids haven't met yet) but I'm just sick to death of my ex. Should I just give in and swap days like he wants? I see my bf most tues, thurs & sat, evenings, and I'm happy with that, it gives me a fri night to spend with my friends if I want or chilling at home with my kids. Oh and the reason ex wants to swap days??? So he can get some exercise, but actually means he can get to the pub earlier confused

kittycat68 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:58:50

OP its not about giving in to his demands or yours. its about regular contact for the children . i would like to point out to that if he has them overnight he can reduce the amount of child support ie one night per week equal 1/7 reduction. i would have thought that alot of parents on here would think it unreasonable for ex not to have them overnight and that you are lucky he wants to have them as often as he does. Also you threatening with court action is not helpful either!
I do think though he should have discussed it with you first on any changes though. As children get older things change also sometimes contact dates and times just dont work for one parent so contact needs to be altered and i think you need to realise thins.
i would suggest sitting down with him on his own on neutral ground ie a cafe and discus the matter like grown ups with both of you being child focused.

chickennoodle Sat 20-Apr-13 17:26:09

I understand about it being about the kids, but so far I've been more than reasonable with him changing days times if he has to work etc and if he wanted to change days for a valid reason then fair enough, but is wanting to change days so he can go to the gym & pub a reasonable reason? I've said he can see them every day if he wants & overnight but he is adamant he's not seeing them now on the day he wants to swap & he'll tell the kids it's because I won't swap days. He's not even suggesting regularly having them overnight, just when he can afford the time off work, which will probably be once a month at the most. And I do think the fact that he was EA & controlling does play a big part in this, this is about him being in control & getting what he wants. I'm afraid that sitting down & talking to him (anywhere) just the two of us, isn't going to work, because a) he is still in love with me (he then gets upset around the children if he's seen me) and b) despite the EA we have a thing where we fall back into being playful & flirty if we are around each other & that doesn't help either of us. I've worked very hard with my counselling to be able to walk away from an unhealthy relationship. I've ignored the lies he's told friends & family about me to gain sympathy, I've spent 4 months keeping my head down & being there for my kids & myself, I don't really appreciate being made to feel like I'm not putting my kids first. He would not swap any days or times for me & I have asked once or twice, I just get a "no". So should I just swap days??

kittycat68 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:43:09

Ah i get the picture a bit more now op and i am sorry if i seemed short with u. i too have an abusive ex whos controlling etc and uses the kids to get at me so i do understand where u are comming from.
Its not an easy one to be honest sometimes its jsut best to go along with things for a quiet life!!! But he probably is always ( like my ex) going to make things out to be your fault no matter what.
Can u sit down with your children and say look we need to come up with days and times that is suitable for all of us and it needs to be stuck to , agree amongst your selfs and all sign it like a family contract. then give it to your ex for his response. ask him to sit with the children and make any amendments he wants and send it back. make it clear that it will then be stuck to unless someone dies or is taken into hospital!! you could actually put that in the contract. if he fails to go along with it it would show the court that you have tried!!!
At 15 a children should be able to make his or her own arrangements with dad outside of you but a ten year old would not be expected to. Its the argument he wants because he wants you to respond so it wil the same with a court order, he can keep asking you to change dates with a court order too.
Best piece of advice i can give you is to pick which battles are worth it and which ones are not.
get him to collect the children from school and return them to school if possible it will save u from having to come into contact with him and will let u emotionally move on quicker offer from friday after school to monday return to school that way you would seem to a court to being very child focused.

kittycat68 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:43:23

oh every other weekend!

chickennoodle Sat 20-Apr-13 19:21:00

It's really hard to give too many details, I've probably given out too much info to identify me irl already. Ex earns the bulk of his money at weekends, so definitely wouldn't want them every other weekend, or even one night each weekend regularly, he's dangling the staying overnight in front of the kids to get them on his side, so I'm the only one being unreasonable confused he wouldn't be able to have them on a school night, for various reasons (don't want to say why)
As for my kids, they do love spending time with dad, and all see him every time, even the eldest smile
Its so hard, even now I want to apologise to him for saying its all 4 agreed days or nothing & court, should I just let him swap days & let the kids see for themselves how often they actually get to stay over & realise what their dad is really like?

kittycat68 Sat 20-Apr-13 19:45:07

hi its very hard for kids to belive that parents lie to them etc . they dont wan to belive it. I know its hard but yes i would be inclined to do that in this case , they will see what he is like for themselves in there own time and you will be seen by your children to have been more than reasonable. just so you know my children no longer see there dad and thats there choice but there late teens now and see thier dad for who he is but it was hard for the first few years to watch thier suffering. Remember one thing op childen are children for only a short time in thier lives and you want them in your life all through thier adult years too. if the children are happy with the new arrrangements and you can accomodate them then its probably the easier route, but i wouldnt appoligise to him!! just say after discusing it with the children you have reconsidered.
Unfortuately until they are older you have to be attached to your ex through your children , instead of getting angry at him just laugh and say to yourself same old game and eventually it wont bother you at all you actually start to feel sorry for them for missing out on their children when you have a great relationship with them.

PurpleThing Sat 20-Apr-13 20:07:04

Not really sure what you should do. I guess swop if the children want to but make it clear that is set in stone for 6 mo at least unless there is an emergency.

But just wanted to say maintenance is only reduced if they stay more than 52 times a year ie more than one night a week. Doesn't sound like he pays what he should, that's not very much.

chickennoodle Sun 21-Apr-13 09:55:40

Thanks kitty, I'm lucky that I have a great relationship with my kids, I'm the one who has always been there every day doing everything (he worked odd hours) he has since offered a compromise & the kids aren't really fussed about which day they see him, so I think I'm going to have to go with what he's offered, otherwise the kids miss out on an evening with him & see what happens, if they actually get to stay over or not. With the way he's been behaving he is going to ruin his relationship with his kids & he knows this confused & believe me I do laugh at his behaviour etc, I've got great friends who I can rant to if I need to but in this situation i needed some outside opinions smile thank you, I'll update in a month or so & let u know what's been happening, if they stay over etc

chickennoodle Sun 21-Apr-13 10:20:05

Purple, no he doesn't pay much compared to some others, due to his work, if I went through the CSA I'd get about half that a week confused he is at least paying me now, so that's something !!! And he knows I'm not fussed, I'll go to the CSA if nessecary & have less maintenance but have it regularly, so that's one more thing he can't control me with smile hopefully one day he'll grow up, move on & start thinking of our kids in all this confused

kittycat68 Mon 22-Apr-13 09:01:07

good luck chickennoodle

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