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What is a good enough reason for the NRP to cancel contact?

(18 Posts)
summermovedon Sat 22-Feb-14 08:51:54

If the NRP sees his children 4 times a year (his choice), spends an inordinate number of emails arguing about what days he wants them, being very PA, controlling, difficult, downright refusing to provide information about what times they are picking and dropping the DC off, ranting about his legal rights (i.e. I have to let him know details of all my movements with the DC) - - - and then he decides to cancel a week before he is meant to pick them up - because his mum (who he lives with) if not feeling 100% (although she is well enough to post around on FB). Is that really good enough? (I suspect that the real reason is a six nations rugby weekend and beer, that and when the DC are with him she does all of the work, looks after the DC in the morning so he can have a lie in, and she does half the driving because he is a delicate little flower).

Mostly venting because I really really hate the wanker. He is all about his (badly researched and cherry picked) legal rights, but has just landed me in it with work, as I now have to sort out childcare last minute as it is school holidays, I have to drop all my plans for the weekend (sounds indulgent, but I almost never get time off without children, and I had plans to go to the theatre and shopping with my Christmas money as I haven't had a chance to yet, and was really super excited to be doing adult things), and I haven't had a day off from looking after children since 2 nights at Christmas then it was 2 night in August before that, and only 12 days all last year. How do I respond, without wanting to tear him limb from limb.

The RP has to be seen to facilitate contact, but this is not fair? I feel like a very badly paid nanny for him. When he wants to see the DC he expects them to be available on a working day as and when he decides to arrive (it is a fairly long drive), with no arrangement (he will not give me an eta before he leaves), and I have to rely on the good will of family to sit around as I have to earn money. He then messes me about with times to drop them off again, so again I have to sit around waiting all day. It is almost as if he deliberately wants to prevent me having a life.

Rant rant rant rant.

IDontDoIroning Sat 22-Feb-14 09:02:14

Sorry no real knowledge based advice but he is a wanker

needaholidaynow Sat 22-Feb-14 09:04:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Morgause Sat 22-Feb-14 09:06:05

Could you not message his mother to say you are sorry she's feeling unwell and hope she's better soon?

He may not even have told her what's going on. Could drop him in it.

<hopeful>

JabberJabberJay Sat 22-Feb-14 09:18:55

Personally, I wouldn't cancel contact unless I had concerns over the safety of my DCs for whatever reason. And in your case, if he knows his 'rights' withholding contact would probably bring a ton of hassle down on your head.

Having said that I really feel for you. Your ex sounds like a wanker. Have you considered mediation to thrash out a regular contact schedule? Twice a month regular contact for example would surely be better for the kids than him turning up whenever he fancies?

Why are these selfish men incapable of thinking of anyone but themselves?

JabberJabberJay Sat 22-Feb-14 09:21:31

OR, could you play him at his own game, not check your emails and just drop the kids off at his as per the original agreement? Presumably he'd just have to get on with it once they were there.

Him doing the collecting seems to be a source of some of the problems.

summermovedon Sat 22-Feb-14 09:37:58

needahol it is not a question of swapping to help out. He barely sees his DC, only on the very occasional bank holiday (this is all his choice and last year he saw them over 3 weekends all year). I do 100% of the child-raising and he swoops in when he feels like it to play happy Disney-dad. Apparently this is his "right". The last time he did me a "favour", was when I had to fly out to my grandmothers funeral and he turned up over 3 hours late.

Jabber I have never withheld contact. But I feel trodden on and used because of it as it is a weapon he can use. My solicitors strongly advised against mediation, because of his behaviour. He would not agree to twice monthly, as he feels his independence is too important (his words). I would drop the DC off with him, but it is a working day and I cannot take a day leave to drive across counties to get to him, as I need that in the summer as childcare during the long holidays.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 09:42:00

Hmmm

Think I'd refuse future contact and let him take you to court for fixed arrangement. Yes you'd have to go through mediation to get there.

Once fixed contact arranged (and it would have to be incredibly specific) then it would be 2 fingers up to him as to what the dc were doing with you etc. because it would be none of his business at all. I think he is making up a lot of "rights" by the sound of it.

He has the right to information from school - but school have to send it to him etc. not you.

Unfortunately I learned you need to never rely on them for childcare for work purposes. It's too risky because unless you have a nice, reasonable, amicable ex they can and will mess you around at very short notice, either because they don't care about your stuff and it's not on their radar, or sometimes out of actual spite because it's fun for them to think they've caused problems for you.

And yes, he is wrong about his "rights" - you do not have to let him know jack shit about what you do. What are you worried about happening if you don't tell him?

Star8369 Sat 22-Feb-14 11:25:47

I agree with random tell him if he is that bothered about seeing them he will do it through court

Ruaha Sat 22-Feb-14 12:25:08

I completely understand your frustration. My ex loves his kids dearly, yet finds life so stressful he constantly struggles to be dependable or reliable. Yes you could go through the courts - mediators can be expensive - unless you are on low income in which case it's expensive to other and free to you - but agreements can still be broken and are no prevention for ingrained selfishness. I try to be the person I want to be that shows a good example to our kids. Teaching our kids how to be reasonable yet assertive is worth working on I think. I try to decide what is reasonable, communicate it well and make a back up plan so that if he does what he often does the effect on us is as minimal as possible. If there is a consequence to be paid, I try to plan so that if he lets the side down, he is the one who is inconvenienced. His family or pre break up mutual friends are great ones to include - ie drop kids off at his Mothers/brothers, God parent's etc, so that if he's late then it does not affect me and family/friends can work on his behaviour - or in the case of grand parents it's a win-win situation as they love to spend time with their Grand kids. If he's collecting, I organise a plan B that includes going out after a reasonable waiting time, so kids are less disappointed if he doesn't show and he bears consequences of his actions. Actions speak more than a thousand words and they're far less emotionally draining!

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 14:10:04

I suppose my harsh line is because he is still currently bullying you so although mediation and court would be stressful at least then it would be over.

Contact would have to be incredibly prescriptive. For example the first weekend in each calendar month from 4pm Friday to 4pm Sunday. If he claims he wants school holiday time then give him the last full week in August from Saturday 10am to the following Saturday 7pm or some such.

He may not have them but your only criteria is to make them available to collect and drop off at your house. You will no longer need to have any email, phone, text discussions with him. Any medical issues he needs to be aware of you could put in writing to him etc.

I really think in your current situation it would be worth pursuing. Say nothing to him until he next asks for contact and tell him no, if you want contact take me to court. Let him get a solicitor whilst you just respond to the letters yourself. Agree to mediation and see what happens.

starlight1234 Sat 22-Feb-14 14:13:59

I think you need to take back the power and ignore his nonsense....Tell him they children will be available the 1st weekend of the month ( as an example whatever works for you) that way you are making them available for contact and not the other way round..put this in writing...Email are good as you have a written record..... You do need back up childcare for these weekends if you have to work.... Tell him they need to be collected by ...( a reasonable time ) otherwise you will continue on your day and take the kids out ,

You do not have to tell him anything about what you are doing..If he asks simply ignore the question...

Can I ask do you ask him when he is going to see the kids? Do you encourage access...Do you think he is actually interested in access? I stopped trying and access dropped off but it always was going to one day...

I also think you need to address your way of thinking for your own sanity.....You are not his nanny , you are their mother who will gain all the pride of how they grow...He is simply missing out...MY DS hasn't seen his Dad in 3 years and to be honest things are mostly easily

RaspberryBeret34 Sat 22-Feb-14 15:56:22

Ugh, that sounds tough - what an idiot. And must be tough on the kids that he lets them down. I would say what you are doing goes way beyond "facilitating contact".

I would no longer let him know any of your movements with the DCs, I don't think he can have any legal right to know that? Also, don't get into long email conversations re: arrangements - sounds like he just wants to be in control. If he says he'd like to see them, give him a few options (days/weekends/whatever) when it is convenient (for you) for him to see them and leave it at that.

If he tries to play games or asks to have the DCs on days when you are working and it would involve any complex family help/arrangements , just reiterate "those are the days/times that it works for me...". I think offering a range of convenient dates/times (given that you work etc) is more than enough to be considered facilitating contact.

Maybe you could contact his mum in a friendly way directly (through FB?) and basically say "Your son has said he'd like to see the children so we're just working out some arrangements. I've let him know x, y and z dates/times are convenient so thought I'd let you know also as I know you like to see them too...". Maybe she'd like to have them, even if he was being an idiot as surely, she'd like to see them more than a few times a year?

rosiesarered Sat 22-Feb-14 18:38:09

I would stop the waiting around for him. if he doesn't show at the time he says then go out. make sure that happens he will soon get the message, same for dropping them back, tell him what time you will be home, if he's not there go out and make him wait.

summermovedon Sat 22-Feb-14 19:40:48

I think it is about control. It is hard, because on one hand I want to make contact easy for the children's sake and to keep him happy, and on the other hand I can't emotionally move on with my life the way I would like while he tries to manipulate me. His mother is a difficult one, nice enough but unfortunately blinded to her son who she treats like a god. He is not really interested in the children, seeing them is a cute inconvenience that he does for her and to 'keep his family'. I think if I wasn't in the picture it would taper off completely, as somewhere in his mind he seems to think that we have a future (after I have got 'it' out of my system). I have not encouraged that. I have not organised the access for him, tbh hoping that he would lose interest, but tried to accommodate it when he has asked for it. Partly because I am so scared of him. I spent most of my marriage and all of the children's lives terrified to the bones of his moods and actions. He was not (emotionally) nice to me when I didn't play ball. Either there were threats of suicide or he just wouldn't get out of bed, or talk to me, or he would get drunk and argue with me. A lot of lies and withholding access to money. And I became so well trained to be passive that it is so hard to see that he won't destroy me and the children if I don't behave. I have over the past 2 years learnt to stand my ground more, but overall I feel too scared to be mean in case something happens. It is ridiculous, as I am a confident, educated, bright enough person who does well in her life and has a loving family and good friends, and I am scared of a pumped up overinflated drunk.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 19:47:53

Hmmm. Have you done the Freedom Programme by women's aid? I think you need to find it within yourself to detach from this issue altogether.

Why do you want to keep him happy? He can't actually "hurt" you anymore... the only way would be via the dc either by completely ignoring them or by insisting on much much more contact. Either way have it in concrete and he can't mess you around anymore.

Can you get some RL support to help you through formalising an agreement? You can literally just email him and say from now on he is only able to have them one weekend a month yadda yadda and to let you know which month he would next like them. End of discussion if he doesn't turn up at the agreed time go out.

He is a complete bully and you need to find it within yourself to stand up to him one final time. Hugs & flowers

starlight1234 Sat 22-Feb-14 22:11:21

My Ex was never interested in my child..It was about me..I did find not engaging in any conversation...Not trying to make it ok helped... Not trying to pacify him..simply stated facts...

How often is he contacting you? if he is rarely seeing them... I would simply ignore most of his messages...How do the children cope with the contact and the constant let downs...

I agree the freedom program may well help...

I think formalising an offer on your terms will give you the freedom to move on in the respect there will only be a certain amount of time he may of may not see them not constantly keeping your diary open... Also re time..I would say to him they will be ready for 9 but if your not hear by ten will be going out....and make sure you are out the house... Faciliating contact is about making the children available for contact not running round in circles at him every whim

My MIL was also like yours ..I would keep her out the picture if it is like that..

I do think the big thing for my E was once I stopped playing not only the game he wanted to play but also any game and all he got was factual he lost interest.

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