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Please help with an email to ex

(15 Posts)
Snorbs Mon 29-Apr-13 10:04:42

Quick background - I?m a man and my 14yo DS and 11yo DD have lived with me for six years. Their mother has long-term drink problems and she typically spends a few months drunk then a few months sober. The DCs have hardly spoken to their mother since Christmas when she hit the bottle again but she?s now popped back up and is asking to resume contact. Here's what I'm thinking of sending:

Dear ex,

DD has agreed to speak to you on the phone once a week on <day> at <time>. DS has agreed to speak to you twice a week on <days> at <times>. Neither of them is currently interested in seeing you as they do not feel sufficiently able to trust you to be sober. I hope that, in time, they will change their minds but that remains to be seen. Frankly it took some effort on my part to even get them to agree to telephone contact. Your conduct seems to have significantly damaged your relationships with them.

As for court action then you do, of course, have the right to ask a court to force DS and DD into a contact schedule of your choosing. The court might even agree but given your conduct over the last seven years that would remain to be seen. All I would ask is that you consider whose interests such a course of action would really be serving - yours or the children?s. You have repeatedly shown that all resuming contact achieves is to start the clock ticking to the time when you badly let them down all over again. The DCs aren?t stupid; they have noticed this.

Let me know if this proposal is acceptable.

What do you think? Too wordy?

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 29-Apr-13 10:12:05

Sounds fine to me.
Sorry for the situation though sad

SuperGlumFairy Mon 29-Apr-13 10:15:24

I think it's far too wordy to be honest and it sort of depends on what her message to you was. What contact is she asking for and has she threatened court action?

50shadesofvomit Mon 29-Apr-13 10:18:22

Too wordy especially the second paragraph.
So sad that your children and you are in this position hmm Your kids are lucky to have a great Dad like you.

Snorbs Mon 29-Apr-13 10:41:39

Thanks for the comments.

She's not asking for any specific contact schedule as yet but past experience suggests that she will pretty soon.

It used to be that when she was sober then she'd see them once or twice a week and phone them every day. The DCs are pretty reluctant to go back to that though and they're now old enough to be able to voice their opinions.

I think I might drop the second para entirely. It's what I want to say (and a hell of a lot more besides) but I doubt she'd listen so I don't think it will make any real difference.

Piemother Mon 29-Apr-13 11:41:05

Fine by me. Courts won't force contact as they are old enough to state their wishes.

UC Mon 29-Apr-13 11:54:49

Poor DCs. They must be tired of getting their hopes up and then having them dashed again.

I'd leave the second para. out too. It'll just lead to arguments, and you don't need that. I suspect it'll just get her back up, and it sounds as though you and your DCs just need calm.

cestlavielife Mon 29-Apr-13 12:46:32

hi snorbs, i would also just leave out everythihg except the basic facts of the schedule you proposing. as the dc now older their wishes and feelings would be taken into account at any court...

so just put "DD has agreed to speak to you on the phone once a week on <day> at <time>. DS has agreed to speak to you twice a week on <days> at <times>. Neither of them is currently interested in seeing you as they do not feel sufficiently able to trust you to be sober. I hope that, in time, they will change their minds but that remains to be seen."

that's all the rest is about your own wishes and feelings and those of dc the which very valid but she aint gonna listen is she?....

my dd 13 has decided not to have any contact with ex as she is too tired of being let down. (severe MH/personality type issues rather than alcohol but impact has been thesame....periods of almost stable then severe issues for which he has little insight and fails to acknowledge the extent of distress caused) dd has said this v clearly to family therapist - have session on my own tonight to maybe explore further? not sure what they going to suggest as it is not something i can change...

Fleecyslippers Mon 29-Apr-13 18:04:52

I would also stick simply to the facts about the telephone contact that you are proposing. She is not likely to respond well to ANY criticism of her conduct or take any responsibility for the fact that their relationship is so damaged because of her behaviour.

Give her the opportunity to step up to the plate with regards consistent and positive contact and save yourself the angst of trying to make her see sense ( 2 years down the line and have given up on ever getting him/OW to acknowledge what they have done to the kids)

RooneyMara Mon 29-Apr-13 18:10:43

Keep it brief and basic. Don't bother alerting her to any future possibilities or your reasons or the children's feelings.

It's not relevant and won't achieve anything. Write the letter but keep it for your own records, don't send her all that stuff.

You sound great and sorry you're all going through this shite x

RooneyMara Mon 29-Apr-13 18:11:20

what I mean is you don't owe her any explanations or justifications.

Snorbs Mon 29-Apr-13 18:37:39

Thanks. You're right that it's best just to stick to the facts and to be as brief as possible. As much as I want her to understand just how much damage she's caused to her relationship with the DCs, if she hasn't worked that out by now she never will.

I've dropped the second para entirely and shortened the first. Then it's just a waiting game to see if she calls.

Thanks again. It's really helpful to get other views.

RooneyMara Mon 29-Apr-13 18:38:46

You did well Snorbs. Good luck.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Tue 30-Apr-13 00:07:48

So glad there are people better informed and with more experience than me.
You do sound like a very lovely, thoughtful dad. Your kids are lucky to have you.

doubleshotespresso Tue 30-Apr-13 00:12:22

snorbs I salute you.....

Also agree that keeping it brief, business like and detached from emotion is the best method for now....

Best of luck....

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