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Should I just give up with trying to get my ex to commit to his daughter, as I'm at the end of my tether with him

(13 Posts)
mummytowillow Tue 07-May-13 22:46:10

I've posted a few times about my ex and his complete inability to stick to anything or tell the truth.

He consistently lets our daughter down, she is nearly six and absolutely adores him. I never ever bad mouth him to her and do absolutely everything I can to maintain contact between them.

We have been divorced for two years and separated for four years. For the first year he saw her on regular basis. He lives quite a way from us, and would give me dates in advance he could see her as he works shifts, so it was easier all round.

Along comes his girlfriend and for the last three years he has done some pretty cruel things to DD and I. Couple of examples, telling her he'd pick her up at lunchtime and not arriving until 9.30 that night after she had cried herself to sleep, and then expecting to take her away.

Telling her he'd collect her from school, she came out with a mask on her face to make him laugh and it was me stood there, she broke her heart crying again. He never arrived full stop that day. I could go on and on ..... but I now don't tell her any dates etc as its too distressing for both of us when he lets her down.

Anyway, he hasn't seen her for six weeks now, the last time he saw her was when I drove her to his place at my expense as he couldn't drive after surgery. He promised me petrol money which didn't materialise, but I let it go as she got to see him.

I have no contact details for him, only his mobile which he switches off every night. I don't even know his address, that is just crazy isn't it. He has paid me £50 short of agreed maintenance for the last four months, but because he gives me £80 more than the CSA say, I can't go to them as I would lose out and he knows this.

Six weeks ago he promised me future dates he would be seeing her, today he sent two text messages 'promising' again I would have them by tonight, I'm still waiting.

My life is practically on hold, I don't go out as he promises to see her, lets me down and then I'm stuck for a sitter etc. So its just not worth arranging anything. I'm 44 and sit watching TV every weekend like a 70 year old!

He lies to me, his parents and everyone close to him. His parents despair and they have both cried on the phone to me with some of the cruel things he's done to DD. They are lovely lovely people and I really feel for them.

I went to a solicitor and she virtually told me not to waste my money as no judge in the land can 'force' him to see his DD, she's right isn't she.

So WWYD, just give it up as a bad job and if and when he wants to see her say yes like I always do, or go official and get something set in stone ie court contact etc.

Sorry this is long, I just need to rant wink

cestlavielife Tue 07-May-13 23:04:30

Can you make a regular arrangement with his parents then if he turns up there great and if not she still gets contact with his family ?

xTillyx Tue 07-May-13 23:30:13

Completely agree with the meeting at his parents. Also while doing this, stop asking him for dates. It must be so annoying planning around him, in an ideal world the time he should be spending with your little girl should be benefitting her and giving you some time. You've been really good to not bad mouth him, but make sure DD knows its not your fault you've had to collect her etc if it ever happens again. Good luck

mummytowillow Wed 08-May-13 16:30:02

Unfortunately his parents live too far away to do that.

I've still not received the dates today, but I refuse to ask him angry

HerrenaHarridan Wed 08-May-13 21:37:57

First things first don't tell your poor dd when he has promised to see her (I'm sure this has occurred you smile)

Don't make any effort to chase him about contact, he won't be able to keep it up if its forced so will only set her up for disappointment.

Do any of your friends / family know him? Reason I ask is; although it is never acceptable for you to bad mouth him it is ok for a carefully regulated adult to tell her some gentle home truths.
The fathers of my best friends daughter is a junkie, you can make excuses for him based on mental illness but bottom line is he's a waste of space junkie who'd rather be off shooting up than playing with his beautiful dd.
he had sporadic contact whenever he's been clean so she knows him and used to idolise him. After much discussion with her mum I slowly and gently helped her see him for what he is.
I didn't just break it to her and pick up the pieces I spent about 3 years picking appropriate moments to give her the information she needed to understand him.

Today (age 11) she understands that because of severe mental health problems he takes a drug that makes him not be able to feel anything and that when he takes it he can't be around children and that when he doesn't take it all his mental health problems mean that I could be dangerous for him to be around children. So he stays away because he doesn't want to ever be a danger to her.
I have also helped her accept that it's ok for her to be angry with him and that doesn't mean she doesn't love him properly.

This is obviously a massive simplification of a hugely complex real life and what in trying to get at us do you have a best friend /someone who could say something like
" I know your daddy's not very reliable, I also know he doesn't mean to hurt you because he loves you very much... It makes me very mad when I see how much it hurts you when he lets you down, it must make you pretty mad too huh?... It's ok to be mad and it's ok to tell him when your mad, it doesn't mean you love each other any less, I bet you get mad at mummy all the time and you still live each other lots and lots etc etc"

Gosh I've rambled so much, I hope you can garner some kind of help from that, or at least that you feel better for ranting smile

meglet Wed 08-May-13 21:42:17

Just stop chasing him up, you've done what you can. It's his loss and his decision if he turns his back on his child.

mummytowillow Fri 10-May-13 21:45:42

So today his money went in my account, £50 short again, he 'promised' on Monday it would be right. What a complete twunt! angry

He then told me it would be in my account today, it isn't, good job I got paid to today as my daughter desperately needs a spring type coat.

Your right, I've done all I can, she has one devoted parent and we are very close smile

Ilikethebreeze Fri 10-May-13 21:58:42

I think what I would do, [and I am certainly no expert], is to keep in contact or have a list of contact details of all the people that know him.
Because at some stage he might disappear. It is not beyond the realms of possibility. And if he does that, he may only keep in contact with a few people that he knows at present.
So, in the future, if your DD, when she is older and can properly understand things, she will have a chance of keeping in contact with him.

starlight1234 Sat 11-May-13 22:19:19

I found with my Ex Once I stopped chasing him for access , I personally got hurt..It has now completely broken down but I think if is going to happen the earlier the better.
I have been there to support my son through this...

Re money....I think it sounds like he has decided he is going to pay you £50 less. as it is less than the CSA.. I think you have little chance of getting anywhere with this.

It is horrible seeing our kids hurt by the one person who should be there for them unconditionally.

LouiseSmith Sun 12-May-13 22:47:04

You need to decide what would be better for DD being constantly let down, and not knowing where she stands, or cut all contact until he proves himself.

Why does he turn his phone off. Say there is an emergency and he can not be reached. I feel for you, its difficult to know what to do.

mrswimpeydimple Mon 13-May-13 13:12:35

I would suggest stop chasing him for contact. Leave it to see if he will initiate something. I'd also get CSA sorted. Stuff keeping him happy by not going through CSA. If you get that sorted then it's one less thing for you to stress about and need to constantly chase him for too. Plus easier to budget a set amount compared to him keep changing it at his whim.

Someone very wisely made this comment on MN a long time ago that I've copies and kept for it's relevance to my own situation. It may help you too:

"Your ex's decisions on how much time he spends with your child and when, are his decisions, and no matter what you think about them, the motivation behind them, and how that might then affect your child, they are all his choices. You cannot force him to be the dad you think your child deserves. You can only be the best mum you can be, and in doing so, any fall out that comes from the decisions and choices your ex makes, will be minimised because your DS has you to make sure he is the centre of your world, and your priority."

Keep strong.

mrswimpeydimple Mon 13-May-13 13:14:02

that I've copied and kept for its relevance

mummytowillow Tue 14-May-13 20:08:39

That's so true Mrswimpey, thanks smile

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