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ex MIL and where do i stand

(19 Posts)
keelyboo Tue 02-Jul-13 18:01:10

this may be long so i apologise in advance

I have a number (local) pop up on my mobile today answered it politely and was confronted by my ex mil wanting to speak to me about my ex. she automatically put my back up when i said that i was on my way to school she replied "you dont need to leave till half 2 surely so you CAN find time to talk to me" i was polite and replied why i was leaving for school early was my business but i was willing to walk and talk but i didnt have long.

she then launched into a tirade against me whereby i stopped her asked her what she wanted to talk to me about my ex and she said he can not have the girls this weekend, on asking why he said its because dd1 (9) behaviour is so bad he cant cope and i said well is that just for this weekend and she said no they have no idea how long it will be until he is ready to see her again

now firstly dd1 is a typical 9 year old shes struggling with the new family hes thrust her into but has not done anything harmful or spiteful to anyway broken anything, she answers back a bit but from what i can see from the conversation the other weekend the bad behviour goes no further than that.

so i asked was i supposed to just sit around wait for him to decide hes ready and then allow contact again? and what if her behaviour there is no better just keep letting him walk in and out/

she said yes...i saw red and said "fine tell him thats fine i will pick up the pieces again and text me when hes ready for restart contact but to warn him by then the only place im interested in sorting contact will be court.

probably wrong but ffs they are the adults are they not/ he does nothing to try and sort any bad behaviour, hes emotionally abusive to her (calls her names tells her shes not perfect enough that the others misbehave because of her you get the idea) when she is good shes ignored so to be honest id rather they dont go

where do i go from here? do i just wait and see then let him restart access or can i refuse contact and demand it go through courts i worry about his ability to look after them now after all this has come to a head and more so when i told dd they wouldnt be seeing him this weekend before i could say a single other word she said "its because im so naughty isnt it thats what daddy tells me and that everyone else is naughty because of me" what sort of burden is that to put on a 9 year olds shoulders?

shes a good kid bit mardy bit hormonal, but essentially a good kid works hard at school is kind to her friends helps me around the home, its only at his that shes naughty and ive told him time and time again shes crying out for attention...or maybe im all wrong in this?

Bluepenny Tue 02-Jul-13 19:25:23

Your DD sounds like a normal 9 year old girl to me and if your ex can't engage and manage, then he's the problem, not your DD. 9+ seems to be an age of leaps and bounds in awareness and independence from experience, particularly if she's heading into puberty.

Abuse is abuse - verbal, emotional - it will have an effect on her self-esteem and I would suggest that in the not too distant future she might not want to see your ex anyway. Is your ex the controlling type?

If it were me, when ex does want to see them again, then make sure DD1 has a say in whether she wants to or not and listen carefully to her answer and support her wishes.

I mistook my DS's 'whinges' of seeing ex as that unsettled after a weekend with him feeling, but it turned out there had been verbal and emotional abuse. Suffice to say he's had some private counselling and hasn't spoken to or seen his DF for over a year because of it. That is DS's choice and I heard him loud and clear this time.

If ex wants to take you to court for contact let him - your DD is getting near the age when her wishes are taken into account by a court (if it gets that far).

In an ideal world, your ex would put some effort in and make it work.

And why did MIL phone and tell you, not your ex?

keelyboo Tue 02-Jul-13 20:38:51

Yes i put the tears and tantrums on returning home down to unsettledness but it seems not, shes had some counselling through school as she was being bullied and thats when he cut contact down to minimum i thought she was lashing out at him there because of that but more we spoke today the more i realised just how mean he is to her, i feel like i have let her down i know its him who has not me but its hard to be rational when your child thinks everything is her fault.

when i told her she wont be seeing him for a while she said "good im glad" dd2 is 7 and she said "id rather be with you anyway" so things most definatly are not great with them and him, they both seem calm and happy ive not tried to discuss it too much left it open that they can talk to me anytime they want and with dd1 who struggles with his outbursts most i will be contacting school to let them know school can keep an eye on them only two weeks and im taking them on holiday so the break away will help them i hope.

hes lazy and has no interest in putting the effort in he never has even when we lived together, his mum rang because he cant take anymore stress and is having a breakdown due to dd's behaviour which made me so cross, shes NOT a bad child i mean im still sane and able and we all rub along nicely in this house nothing major just normal childrens antics, shes getting hairs under her arms and growing boobs so shes starting puberty so its going to get harder over the next few years not easier and this is my worry he will just keep flitting in and out!

he did text me earlier (which ive not replied to) saying he will contact me about the kids when he is ready but right now cant be dealing with them!

kittycat68 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:56:16

TBH, let him walk your kids dont need this kind of crap. It will give them time to move on emotionally and have a break from it all, but having said this counselling really should happen too or they may think its thier fault when its not and could lead to further emotional problems down the line.
He may never choose to re enter thier lives. If he does make him go through court for a contact order. print off the texts you have and KEEP THEM. then he cant say you stopped contact.

keelyboo Wed 03-Jul-13 10:37:13

thanks kitty, i didnt take them to school this morning a friend did but i have a teacher ringing me back who works with the counsellor on the school site so they will help.

dd1 automatically thought it was her fault due to what he has said to her, obviously ive told her otherwise but im not 100% sure im getting through? dd2 is loudly adimant its no one but her dads fault bless her.

I have made the decision that if/when he decides he wants to restart contact he can go through court i will represent myself if need be, and will push for supervised access to start with to minimise the possibility of any emotional abuse.

Whats hurt the most is i see them change as it gets towards contact time so i have one good one "bad" hard struggling week, but this morning they were happy and just excited for the weekend, and the summer holidays because they now get to spend it all with me smile

Bluepenny Wed 03-Jul-13 15:11:34

Keep re-assuring DD1, it'll take some time for her confidence and self-belief to come up. It's a difficult age with the hormones too and I've only got DS! Add in the tiredness all kids seem to be feeling now as we head towards the hols and it's a bit of a nightmare!

You're doing all the right things and sound like a great and caring Mum and this morning their happiness spoke volumes.

I'm a fan of counselling - having that neutral person also saying it's not the child's fault can go a long way to helping the child come through it, as well as not being anxious or upset about feeling bad about her DF. The school sound supportive and hopefully that will all help too.

Ah, these men who bounce responsibility and blame their offspring make me so angry

Not long until your holiday - sounds like a much needed break and a great time to regroup and have a lovely time together.

keelyboo Wed 03-Jul-13 15:58:38

thanks bluepenny, school are amazing literally can not do enough to help they said she had a good day and seemed happy.

i dont want to nag her but did ask if she was ok when she came out of school and she said yes, im scared to push her incase she shuts down on me.

our holiday is a caravan stay but also right on my familys doorstep so shes going to have a week of positive attention which can only help to reinforce what im telling her

LouiseSmith Wed 03-Jul-13 17:45:31

I think your DD sounds like a normal nine year old. Your ex is a coward for getting mummy to do his dirty work. and you MIL should keep her over grown conk (nose) in her own business.

NExt time she calls I would say in the polietest voice you can muster "Im sorry I wont be taking any advice from you as I want my children to grow up with a sense of morals and responsibility"


keelyboo Wed 03-Jul-13 17:52:15

my ex has always been a coward hes lazy work shy and will let anyone do his dirty work if he can get away with it!

i think shes a perfectly normal 9 year old, shes not spending al day tantruming and breaking things or hurting people (god only knows what he would do if she did do any of that)

not even had a text asking how they are, feel more disgusted with him as every day passes just lately!

Bluepenny Wed 03-Jul-13 19:12:34

That's such a support with the school. Other areas to look out for might be if she has a best/close friend or confides in a teacher. I found more depth of feeling through those routes (best friend's mum phoned me out of concern for something DS had said about XP) and also comments he made to my parents.

I agree - there's a balance to be had between general asking and nagging! I used to ask how his day was, then added and how are you feeling? Sometimes he'd say things, sometimes not. I'd tell him its ok to be honest, that I'm here to support him and he's in a loving and supportive environment and family to give him that security. The opposite to what he had with his DF - where he was shouted at for the slightest thing and generally put down/teased/ignored amongst other things.

It takes time too - I would say 6-9 months from where you are, he's through the other side, but maintains a firm distrust and dislike of his DF. I retain a listening stance, in case DS decides to resume contact with him. At the moment, he has plans to wait until he is 18 so he can say exactly what he wants to DF without retribution!

Your anger towards your ex may well build - it's a bit of a rollercoaster realising what he's done to your DD and how you have to pick up the pieces.

Do you have someone close you can share it with too?

Kids love caravan holidays and near your family too - a perfect combination.

keelyboo Wed 03-Jul-13 21:14:16

sounds like youve done an amazing "job" with your son smile

i have no worries that we wont get through it its just so very hard, i do have a boyfriend and he is amazing very supportive and family at the end of the phone and my wonderful friends

i feel angry that he thinks its ok to just drop them while he has a break, ive been dealing with a very real and possible chance that my son (2) has cancer weve been through an ultrasound which has shown if he has it its not growing from any organs/bones but there is still a chance it is in the skin ive been a wreck not sleeping etc as you can imagine but never once thought oh il just toddle off and have a break till i feel up to dealing with everything again, so hes hurt the children and emotionally for me it couldnt have come at a worse time

ive a very good friend though who is keeping an eye on me and i know if i look like im heading towards not coping she will tell me (often hard to see from the inside i think) and ive promised her if shes ever worried i will see my doctor but so far so good, just very tired!

Bluepenny Wed 03-Jul-13 23:01:57

So sorry to hear about your DS - what an incredibly stressful and worrying time without this stuff with your ex. It is so unfair - everything is ending up dumped on you until your ex decides otherwise and not surprised at how angry that makes you feel.

You're taking control though with making the decision about contact/access and that's a good step.

Glad you've great friends and family supporting you, grab all the listening ears and support you can. Tiredness amplifies everything too, but understandably sleep isn't coming easy - not that a 2 year old is helpful in that department when things are good!

Everything crossed for you.

kittycat68 Thu 04-Jul-13 08:42:01

flowers and a hug

keelyboo Thu 04-Jul-13 09:44:23

thanks bluepenny and kittycat

fingers crossed ds will be ok i just keep clinging to that because the other option is too hard to even contemplate, but it has left me very angry that he could do this knowing how hard everything is right now but i was worried id project all that onto making my descisions but after everything dd has now told me i know im right, its like now she knows theres no going to her dads she doesnt need to keep up a pretence that everything is ok

Bluepenny Thu 04-Jul-13 10:06:45

I recognise your thought processes and feelings very well with DD1. She is feeling secure in the knowledge she's not going to see ex and is able to be open with you.

You might find your anger turning to upset as you process what she has been through. Friends and family with those listening ears are so important for letting it out in a safe direction (you can say exactly how you feel about ex and what he's done to you/them) and it clears your head a bit and avoids the projection you're worrying about.

You are the main support and earpiece for DD1 - what was wrong you can agree with and emphasise it is wrong, but sometimes there might be a need to be neutral or disagree (if he did anything right!). It's a tricky road to travel and baby steps all the way as you're teaching her at the same time and re-aligning what is and isn't acceptable behaviour.

You are right, there is no doubt about it and I'm really pleased she is opening up to you. Shows what a great Mum you are too.

Rant and rave about ex, they'll come a point when you know (or may already do) he's not worth your energy or time.

One day at a time on all fronts. My thoughts are with you. x

keelyboo Thu 04-Jul-13 11:21:58

she struggles to talk sometimes so i got her a notepad if she looks troubled i ask her whats wrong and if she cant/wont tell me i suggest she writes it down she then usually gives me it to read afterwards its been very helpful

i know in time i can help build her confidence again but its heartbreaking to see her so low about her self.

my ex is not worth the energy at all its hard to not get angry though but hopefully that will pass in time too.

thank you bluepenny x

Bluepenny Thu 04-Jul-13 13:14:19

"heartbreaking to see her so low about herself"

Couldn't describe it any better myself. I remember DS dragging his feet, shoulders and head all down on his way into school - his whole body language reflecting how he felt. I was comforted by another school run mum one day as it's exactly as you say and I couldn't keep it in. Makes me well up thinking about it now. Can so empathise with what you're going through.

The note pad is a great idea - we did something similar - I forgot about that. DS also wrote letters to DF that he never sent to release his anger.

Each day you and DD are making progress, is a day towards coming out of it.

I would suggest being prepared for ex blaming you for DD not wanting to see him. Your ex will probably not see further than thinking you are stopping her and that can be a truly enraging time. Would still be if I hadn't accepted he won't change. His loss and a much happier and settled DS is the result though. So yes, it was all worth it.

Anyone who could go through what you are without getting angry would be a saint (or not having any emotions!).

Hope all begins to feel a bit brighter day by day. x

keelyboo Thu 04-Jul-13 22:02:09

I will ask her if she wants to write any letters to him about how she feels and that its up to her if he sees them or not, it might help.

He already blames me for her behaviour that i "turned her against him" so im expecting more blame and thats fine he only does it to make himself feel better.

According to his mother he is not fit to look after the children and i agree and will not be allowing unsupervised access until he proves he can spend time with them without making our eldest feel so wretched, i fear it will be a long battle though.

I have contacted csa too he is a carer for his mum so doesnt get much i always let it go because he did see them reguarly and what little he did have he did use on them while there if not a lot, but not anymore so imo he needs to at least be paying to support them while im supporting them 24/7 while he "gets better" i mean it may well be a reason for his behaviour but i now feel he needs to prove he is better and i darent let her go to him until i see hes not going to upset her again, more so because it will undo all the good work im doing!

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Mon 08-Jul-13 16:37:44

Late to the party, but I'd save that text saying he doesn't want visits with the DCs as he can't cope. Will be helpful when or if he decides to go through court and starts saying you've kept them from him (because IME that's exactly the route they then go!).

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