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What do I do now?

(15 Posts)
FushandChups Thu 01-Jan-15 22:13:36

My stbxh left me two years ago when my DC were 3 and 1. It has been up and down ever since with him being really vicious at times and just awful. It feels like every time we get anywhere near to a settled place, he rips the rug out from under my feet.

Last year we moved from DC being with me most of the time with every other weekend with him, to 50/50 care of one week on and one week off. He then refused to return the children saying I could see them weekends if I wanted so I took him to court and they were returned to my care with sporadic contact with him until mediation. We go through mediation and it's agreed he'll have them two nights every week but no weekends... so we've been doing that for the last couple of months or so..

Today, go to get the kids and he tells me he can't look after them at all - one night a month is what he is proposing.. One night!

I sort of get his reasoning as he's unemployed and needs to find work but how about stop fucking the kids around - they don't know if they're coming or going... I know they will now have more stability with me but they have gone from seeing him all the time when we were together, to half the time, to nothing!!

I know I can't force him to see his children but this makes me so sad.. and angry as he gets to walk away and I have to, yet again, change my working hours for the 4th time in a year, pay my solicitor to work up yet another agreement reflecting all this so we can finally get divorced and somehow keep my children believing that their dad does still love them, it's nothing they've done etc etc

They are 5 and 3 and my heart breaks for them sad

I don't actually know what I want from this thread - just a chance to get it down I suppose... but I'm so worried about money, work, my sanity and making sure I don't fuck up my children - it's just too much sad

SezaMcGregor Fri 02-Jan-15 01:56:44

Hi Fush

I'm on my way to bed but couldn't read and run.

All that you can do is go through the motions and be there for your children.

It is hard but you really have got to Keep On Carrying On.

I think that if also try to get my hours at work to be between school/nursery hours so that you don't have to keep relying on others to do pick ups and drop offs and if ExH does change his mind again you can use the time that he has them for you time rather than for work.

I would also ask your solicitor exactly what responsibility you have in connection with ensuring he sees the children - what is the minimum that he can see them? Also always try to make him communicate in writing either by email or text so that you have a record of what he says rather than running the risk of it just being hearsay. I'm pretty sure that in relation to maintenance, the more night you have them, the more he has to pay you so that's in your favour!

Just remember that he's a grown man and he's responsible for the choices that he makes. Him deciding to have the children less is not your fault not is it your job to "make it up" to the children. They know that you're not going anywhere and that you're safe - they may strop or seem to vent their frustrations at you but that's only because they know that what ever they do say or do, you're not going anywhere and you'll still love them. They strop and get frustrated because they can't control their dad, he's not a constant like you are. So just be there and let then feel that safety.

I do hope you're alright and that you manage to get this all sorted soon, I know it can't be easy. Sezam

Starlightbright1 Fri 02-Jan-15 14:08:41

It sounds sounds like it is more about upsetting your life than about the children.

I wonder if you are been a bit generous understanding he needs to get a job... Lots of other people manage around their children...

If that is such an issue in the week why not EOW...

This is one of those sad situations where you can't make it better for them just support them through it.

FushandChups Fri 02-Jan-15 21:55:33

Thank you both so much - a lot of what you've both said makes perfect sense..

I am both sad and angry for my children but he is a grown man and this is his decision... One day the children will understand that.

I also don't see why the vast majority of people with children, me included, manage to work but for some reason he cannot do both confused

Thank you for your support - am calmer today and am getting things in place to try and make it smooth for both the DC and me.. its just hard!

9Bluedolphins Fri 02-Jan-15 22:02:13

If the current agreement is that he has them twice a week, surely he can't just walk away from that? He is responsible for what he has agreed to do. How would he react if you suddenly said that you could only have them once a month? If he is unemployed, I don't get why he is so busy that he can't look after them two nights a week? I would decide what your priority is, for the children to see him regularly, or for you and the children to see less of him. If the former, then just refuse to change the current arrangement. He is as much a parent as you are.

FushandChups Fri 02-Jan-15 22:13:38

Dolphins - the agreement was still a draft version from my solicitor as he was refusing to sign it.. now I know why. I need to get advice on Monday but whilst i want him to continue to see them, I don't think I can force him, can I? It will just breed resentment and I don't want my DC to get even a hint of that sad

I am in shock he can do this and surprised given the previous arrangements but don't think I can just carry on regardless?

9Bluedolphins Fri 02-Jan-15 22:24:47

It's atrocious behaviour. You are both parents. Both responsible. How would he react if you told him that you felt a bit busy so were walking away from your children?
I can see your point, obviously. He is a loser who doesn't feel a parent's responsibility. It should at least be less difficult emotionally for you if he is less involved with the children.

Starlightbright1 Fri 02-Jan-15 22:34:07

You have every right to be angry. I can say from my experience. I was more able to support my Ds once I let contact happen but didn't push it..I felt very angry for my DS but more in control of it than when I kept trying to make it better for DS to see his Dad.

You are right you can't force someone to see their children and why would you want them to.

I would ensure the paper trail is kept of how he keeps dropping contact so should it end up in court at least there s evidence this isn't down to you.

FushandChups Fri 02-Jan-15 22:34:15

I suspect he would be delighted as he could then claim benefits, get a house, continue to sponge as he has for the 12 years I have known him (the scales have well and truly fallen from my eyes smile) whilst bad mouth me as a shit parent to all and sundry..

But whilst obviously happy to co-parent, I could never walk away and 50/50 was the best he was ever going to have... and he couldn't even stick to that sad

FushandChups Fri 02-Jan-15 22:39:01

and Starlight, I hope you are right. . I constantly feel on edge that he is going to change something or do something drastic (like when he kept the children). When he asked to talk about this, I immediately thought he was going to say I couldn't have the children or that he'd decided he was going to have them on different days, or weekends or god knows! I have never felt settled in the whole 2 years we've been separated so will be good to just have everything finalised..

Just need him to finally sign an agreement so the court can rubber stamp it and it can't be messed around with. If the arrangement is one night a month, so be it - he will then have to take me to court to change that rather than the way he currently operates. . its exhausting sad

FushandChups Sat 03-Jan-15 08:36:14

So looks like I misunderstood and it's not even one night a month - I will come & get the children when he phones me today! ! Like FUCK!

I asked if he was working - of course not but wouldn't tell me why he can't have the kids... He has grudgingly agreed to keep them until tomorrow and then that's it, no more overnights - just one day a month!

I am so angry right now.. so angry! They are better off without him in their life but they are going to be so hurt sad

Starlightbright1 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:12:24

I wonder if he was hoping to save CSA by having care ...AS unemployed the amount is so small overnight have no real effect so doesn't care.

Are you doing all the taking and collecting.

Every post you right sounds more about controlling you..You will collect when he says.
Are you dropping and collecting?

mugglelady Sat 03-Jan-15 22:12:53

I agree with Starbright, this situation does sound more like trying to control you than anything else. As someone who has been in this position, rather than agree all of the arrangements via mediation or solicitors via consent (which would have saved me a fortune) I had to take it through the courts which cost a small fortune but by god it was worth it's now everything is clearly outlined and there are no more moving of the goal posts/ constantly messing the children and I around. I also agree with creating the necessary "paper trail" to prove the efforts you have gone to should you need it in the future.

FushandChups Sat 03-Jan-15 22:27:42

Thank you - since the court hearing, everything has been going through my solicitor and then mediation seemed like a bit of a light bulb moment when we actually talked and agreed on things moving forward.

He then decided he wouldn't see DS on his birthday despite it being agreed (last Sunday) and then this pile of crap.

He is supposed to drop them back to me tomorrow but as he slammed the door in my face this morning, not sure whether I am due to collect?! I am certainly not going to be summoned angry but I obviously want my babies back without a horrible scene.

I guess after tomorrow, there will be no need to see him for another month, when he has his contact day!

I am speaking with my solicitor on Monday hopefully and will get things formalised as I cannot stand this uncertainty anymore - two years and he still has the power to dick me around sad

FushandChups Sat 03-Jan-15 22:29:15

oh and Starlight - he hasn't worked since he left, so no change there.. I have had nothing from him and have never asked as I know he doesn't have it. I will be asking now though

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