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Can't cope with ex being at my house with the kids all weekend..

(51 Posts)
BelleBoyd Mon 09-Nov-15 12:59:37

My soon to be ex husband ( separated for over a year now ) and I don't have a formal contact agreement. He refuses to. He never has the kids at his house or overnight. He sees the kids every weekend and takes them out for a couple of hours max under duress on Saturday and Sunday. He arrives when he likes. We always agree a time but every single time he's late and I have to chase him. He always wants me to come with him and the kids wherever he takes them. There are always rows about absolutely everything but mainly as he is here in the house for hours often watching tv with them whilst they get bored or on his phone or sometimes he even falls asleep! This weekend he didn't turn up on Sunday morning at all to take my daughter swimming as he'd been up late the night before. He said that was my fault for upsetting him the day before. We had a row about toddler beds..!
I've asked him, written to him even countless times to try and sort out an arrangement but he just won't even consider sticking to one and demands to see the kids here in the house. He says it's better for them.
I am considering trying to ask/tell him I want a weekend without him to try and have one weekend without the arguing. I can't remember enjoying a weekend and I'm sick of it. Not to mention I'm also upset and feel terrible about the children having to put up with the chaos and tension.
I'd go down a legal route if I thought it would work but that would be costly and there is no way he'd keep to any arrangement made legally. I can't go to court every week when he doesn't adhere..
Feel desperate about it all.

Flowerpower41 Mon 09-Nov-15 15:15:43

Why not just let him have them a full day e.g. 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. or something rather than expect him to suddenly manage a whole weekend? It does nto sound like he is remotely up to it. Wean him onto responsibilities slowly.

purpledasies Mon 09-Nov-15 15:19:58

You don't have to put up with that. You don't have to let him set foot in your house. You can just tell him what time the children are available for him to take to his, or out and about, and he either turns up or doens't turn up. The rest of your time is your own.

You could try telling him that having it pre-arranged is non-negotiable. But that he can choose which hours, and how much he wants them in total.

Sadly, though, you can't make him turn up at all. You're right that no court order can do that either. It's possible he'll step up when forced and start getting his act together. Or he may be looking for an excuse to give up and just stop coming. That's his choice really.

iwantgin Mon 09-Nov-15 15:23:03

I wouldn't have him in my house in the first instance.

I can understand that you want to facilitate contact and to make it as easy as possible for the DC up but he needs to step up.

If he can't do a full weekend or even a day, then suggest he takes them out for one afternoon each weekend. perhaps to some activity place followed by an early tea, then return them to you.

Less of a commitment for him, and you don't have to have him snoozing on your sofa

starlight2007 Mon 09-Nov-15 21:15:13

I think you need to inform him contact no longer takes place in your house..

He is way too involved in your life if you are arguing over toddler beds..This is not healthy for anyone including your children.. Take the children to the door.. Tell him you want regular consistent contact with the children and what hours would he like ..

BelleBoyd Mon 09-Nov-15 21:37:31

Yes I tried all those things..not for long though. Getting them ready for him to take them at the door. Which he doesn't like and mouths off at me. The kids don't like it either.,plus they are waiting all ready and he's usually late. I know I have to be more firm but it's difficult when you're so tired.
Flower power he wouldn't do a whole day let alone a weekend. Sometimes not always does one or two hours with one or both of them depending how he feels.

BelleBoyd Mon 09-Nov-15 21:39:15

Iwantgin yes I've suggested that to him but he says that's not enough contact for them to have with him and I'm breaking their hearts..

Dungandbother Mon 09-Nov-15 21:47:49

Belle
Please kick his stinking attitude into touch. You may need to be enough for your DC for a little while during the adjustment. Be brave, consistent and calm, don't bad mouth him ever. It's gut wrenching I know.

He is so out of order and you know it but you're allowing it to continue.

Next time he is late, tell the children oh never mind, you'll see him Nxt time and go out, to the swings etc. If he calls, then only answer if you have the time or inclination.

starlight2007 Mon 09-Nov-15 21:48:41

I think yes you need to get tough... It will get easier when you do..

but he says that's not enough contact for them to have with him and I'm breaking their hearts..
Ignore all the crap... You are not breaking their hearts he can see them when he wants.

I think this is a case of asking him what he wants..He will either step up or not bother at all..

I used to push and push my ex for contact in the end I stopped and so did contact but it would of at some point anyway..

I am assuming your children are pre school due to an argument over toddler beds.. They do adapt easily at this age about whatever is ..

Also you need to disengage...Far too many conversations by the sounds of it

BelleBoyd Mon 09-Nov-15 21:53:19

Yes you're right I need to separate myself from him more. My kids are 1 and 5. I have tried going out anyway somewhere fun when he doesn't show up but my 5 year old is desperate to wait for him. I wouldn't tell them he's coming but he tells her what he's going to be doing with her and gets her excited about it and she gets angry with me if I try to do something else.

afreshstartplease Mon 09-Nov-15 21:53:31

There was a similar thread on here the other day

I also have a similar set up although with no issues at the moment

Until this week I hadn't known of anyone else doing 'contact' like this , is it becoming more common?

BelleBoyd Mon 09-Nov-15 22:13:12

Fresh start do you mean your ex sees the kids at yours? I'm glad it's going ok for you though whatever way.

Flowerpower41 Tue 10-Nov-15 05:02:39

It is not the done thing to faciliate access in this way unless it were supervised access owing to his incompetence in looking after his children. This is most unhealthy and toxic and needs to stop as soon as possible. It isn't in the spirit of separating and moving forward with your independent lives.

Even if he just takes them out for four hours it would be better than nothing. Just have them sit there with shoes and coats on ready on the dot at the allotted time and either he shows up or he doesn't. Good luck.

Friendlystories Tue 10-Nov-15 05:51:46

Whatever arrangement you have it needs to work for everyone, I can understand you putting your DC first but you have the right to think about your own needs too and having him mess you around and take up residence on your sofa isn't working for you. Tbh I would put the responsibility for figuring out a new arrangement firmly on him, tell him it's confusing for the DC to have him in what was the family home when they need to get used to the fact that you're separated and tell him to figure out an alternative and let you know. Your only responsibility here is the wellbeing of the DC and making them available to him for reasonable access, the rest is up to him and there's no reason his access needs to involve you or your home. I know it's you who will have to deal with the fallout if he lets the DC down but I think you have to distance yourself from your ex and stop feeling responsible for his relationship with DC, you can't control whether he lets them down, all you can do is be the strong, stable parent in their lives and let him make his own mistakes. He needs to understand that when he has the DC he's parenting alone, just as you are the rest of the time, if he's useless at it (as long as he can keep them safe) that's not something you can protect them from long term, all you can do is be the best mum you can be and that will be a damn sight easier without the stress of trying to 'manage' his relationship with them. It's hard accepting that your DC may be hurt and upset if he doesn't keep promises he's made to them but all you can do is provide cuddles and distractions when it happens and repeatedly ask him not to make promises he's not sure he can keep, hopefully he will reach a stage where he stops promising the earth as DC get older and start asking Daddy why he didn't turn up when he said he would. For your own sanity I just think you have to step back, he will either step up or he won't but you have to let him take responsibility for that on his own head.

purpledasies Tue 10-Nov-15 07:38:42

It's a bit of a drastic measure but of you were able to move house that might well help a lot. He's forgetting it's not his home any more. Having friends he doesn't know around when he calls, or rearranging the furniture might also help to send out that signal

PrincessHairyMclary Tue 10-Nov-15 07:51:09

There's no chance my ex would see DD at my house and not because we don't get on but because it will confuse her and it is our space.

As far as him turning up as and when he likes this is controlling behaviour. He is ensuring that you can not make plans or bring friends (new partner) back to your home.

Contact days should be for you to have a rest day from the constant onslaught of looking after two young children by yourself, you shoul be able to catch up on housework/sit in front of the telly or whatever you want to do and recharge.

As for him being late and turning up when he likes you need to be strong. Tell him the children will be available for him to see between 10-2 or whatever is convienent for you and that if he is more than 15 minutes later without giving you any notice you will continue with your day and he will miss out.

Why on Earth would he behave if you are letting him walk all over you? The first 6 months of being a single parent is about finding a back bone for a lot of people (myself included) yes he will be foul and kick up a fuss but stay strong. He will either pull himself together for his children or he won't which won't be a great Los to them in the long run.

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 08:45:57

Ok, I can do that. Saying to him they will be available at certain times and have them ready to go. But in the past when Ive done this he just comes in and faffs about with them not wanting to take them anywhere and after a long debating session takes them off. Which isn't healthy at all. I don't know what I can do to make him physically take them out straight away? I have told him that is what the arrangement will be in the past and he just doesn't do it. It quite difficult pushing the kids out of the door when they know he wants to come in..But I will try this approach again. It's just very difficult as he can be very unpredictable and aggressive.

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 08:49:07

He also only takes them out for an hour or two at the maximum unless it's just my eldest. He will take her out for a bit longer on her own but that really upsets my youngest. He often says he can't manage two. Or another excuse is they want/need me and he brings them back.

Friendlystories Tue 10-Nov-15 09:35:10

Is there a friend or family member who would do handover at the door for you for a little while? You wouldn't need to be out just conveniently in the loo when he arrives. Does he collect them in the car? If so could you insist you take them out to him rather than him coming to the door or be ready when you see him pull up and take the DC straight out? As for the length of time he can 'manage' with the two kids, if 2 hours is his limit then 2 hours is all the time he gets with them, he doesn't get to use you to help him look after them for extra time just so he can spend all day dossing at your house. I just think you need to get tough with him, set your boundaries where you feel comfortable and stick to them. You don't have to accommodate him because he can't cope with looking after his own kids, he's setting his own limitations on time with them if he can't manage on his own. Frankly I think he's just making excuses because he either can't be bothered to spend time with them or he's trying to keep his feet under your table and exercise some control over your ability to move on, once you put your foot down and stop him taking liberties he may well find he can manage after all but you need to get tough with him and stop accepting his excuses to linger in your home.

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 09:52:41

Yes a handover with someone else is a good idea. My mums moving to my area next month so I should be able to ask her to try that. He doesn't drive. I've just had a short conversation about coming to see the kids and asked for a time and he said he wasn't going to give a time as it would be a noose to hang him with?!..he gave a time that would be the latest he'd be here with an hour window of possibility beforehand and of course he could be late. He's impossible to deal with.

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 09:55:23

The thing is if I say right you have 2 hours with them he could easily still be late and also bring them back early with an excuse.. I guess I will take them out if he's late but have no choice if he brings them back early..? How late would anyone leave it till they changed the plans? Half hour? Hour?

purpledasies Tue 10-Nov-15 10:04:13

Via your mum could be a good option.

In terms of bringing them back early, why don't you go out yourself, so he can't bring them back early? And if he turns up late to collect them, then take the kids out with you so turning up late (unless he's let you know) means he doesn't see them.

Or is you dropping them at his place an option?

Calling an agreed time a "noose" is absolutely not on. Would he say that if he made any other arrangmenet? - "I can't turn up for work at 9am, that's like a noose"! or "yes I'd love to meet you for a drink next week, but I don't want to fix a time as that would be like a noose" You can see how silly it sounds with other examples can't you?

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 10:07:31

Oh yes I know it's ridiculous, it's one of many insane examples of his excuses..I will try the handover with my mum idea and plan on taking them out if he's late and also go out in his time with them. All good strategies. Just need to get him to agree to it which won't be easy..

BelleBoyd Tue 10-Nov-15 10:09:42

Also how do I stop him coming in with the kids after drop off? As he often uses them to beg me to let him stay?..maybe I should use my mum for drop off too..She is going to be busy.

Friendlystories Tue 10-Nov-15 10:17:47

If he can't commit to a time he doesn't get to see them, simple! He needs reminding that you have a life and he can't expect you to hang around for him. The noose comment was ridiculous and not specifying a time is his way of exercising control, nothing more, nothing less. 15 minutes is the most leeway I would give on collection times and yy to Purple's suggestion that you go out until the time he's supposed to bring them back. I know it all seems really hard and there will be an element of inconvenience for you short term but it has to be done or he will continue to walk all over you and insist on everything on his terms. Have you started divorce proceedings yet? Might be worth looking into whether you can formalise access arrangements through the court as soon as its viable.

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