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using child as a messenger

(13 Posts)
gttia Wed 11-Jan-17 09:26:24

Just that really.

Ex husband texts all requests to our 13 year old.

It came to a head when he booked a holiday to go a day early. Didn't ask, didn't tell me expects the child to tell me. Has asked them over for an extra night this weekend through her.

I've lost my rag, told him it's through me or nothing.
For back ground we have a court order, he refuses to follow it, he sends me a spreadsheet every April of what he's prepared to do the next year with the words there will be no more. I never say no unless we have holidays booked and follow what he says. He texts the children every week and changes pick up time and he only actually sees them for half of what's court ordered.

So we are at a stale mate, he wants things for his upcoming holiday and he wants summer dates. I'm refusing until he contacts me directly.

Surely not fair to do through a 13 year old?
He says it will be by post then he has posted a letter, shall i accept this, which I don't want too as I don't letters from him to my home, plus he has given me a before address and even when our daughter wrote to his proper address he claims to have not got it. Shall i send everything recorded?

I'm at a complete loss how to resolve and get my daughter out of the middle of his game?

reallyanotherone Wed 11-Jan-17 09:34:31

What does your dd want?

Tbh, she's 13 and can make her own decisions. It's not really down to you any more to say yes or no to her visiting her dad.

My stepdc has been arranging her own contact since secondary, so 10 or 11. She knows she can turn up, or phone/text to check someone will be in and she can stay whenever she wants. There's no formal arrangements any more, and dh and his ex don't discuss it at all.

It's not clear what youre cross about? That he's booked himself a holiday? Why should he check with you? Do you check with him before you book?

Easiest imo is to stop the formal contact and spreadsheets, and tell your dd if she wants to see her dad she can. Tell your ex the same, if he wants to see her he can call her and arrange it.

WannaBe Wed 11-Jan-17 09:42:04

Agree that at thirteen your DD is old enough to be on top of her own contact with her dad. Me and my ex talk about holiday dates etc purely because of not wanting to double book etc but the place and the details are generally things which DS knows way before these details are communicated.

What does she think?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 11-Jan-17 09:48:00

Tbh I let DS (13) deal with his dad. His dad's an awkward bastard and DS gets a better response. Would you really refuse to get stuff for your daughter because her dad won't contact you directly? Bit petty.

gttia Wed 11-Jan-17 09:54:35

I don't refuse anything I just don't want her having to deal with the ins and outs of it.

I don't care if he's booked a holiday but as he wants them a day early to take surely out of respect he should ask me at least.

He changes pick up time weekly, I quite often have to change my plans to fit this because at 13 she still participates in our family life so things need changing to suit him.
When I say no I'm bad guy, surely he should direct all requests through me. When I ask for anything from him it's a blank no

gttia Wed 11-Jan-17 09:57:55

She doesn't want to pass on messages from him so has started to lie to him (which I don't like) and I don't need to know holiday details her her but if he wants them early he should check? I was taking them away to relatives and this is now cancelled because he wouldn't check first, I haven't stopped his holiday only my own again to suit him.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 11-Jan-17 10:43:13

I think you need to find out why she doesn't want to pass messages on.

I know DS is careful about how he words things to his dad if he's passing information on because his dad will sometimes get stroppy about it.

Be honest with yourself and think about why she doesn't pass messages to you.

useless65 Thu 12-Jan-17 00:09:19

I had to reply to this. The adult and respectful thing for the ex husband to do would be surely to check with his ex wife that the change to the agreed arrangement was ok with her. Instead he get's the DC to pass on a message that the arrangement has changed - this without consulting his ex wife. It seems to me that the DC in this case is being used to manipulate the arrangement. The DC is being used to make a change to the existing arrangement without the consent of the ex wife . That's wrong.

I don't agree with some of the contributors here - I think that the two adults should be the one making arrangements as to when holidays take place - not the DC. Just from a purely practical standpoint if anything. That's not to say that children should not have an input but the adults have to be in charge surely as they are the ones that are working / have other children and activities to consider and who have to work around that.

In your shoes Gttia I would insist that there is an agreement between you and your ex and any changes to it are agreed between you without the DC's involvement. I would say that he needs to talk to you directly and not pass messages through the DC because she seems to feel funny about it but also for practical reasons - if she is anything like my 13 year old DS messages get forgotten or mixed up and you can't guarantee that you will ever get them!

Finally - if he does want to make a change I don't think that you should feel obliged to agree to it. If you can manage it then yes - there is no need to be obstructive . But if it makes life difficult for you - why would you do that?

useless65 Thu 12-Jan-17 00:12:39

Following on from this - you do need to give him a means of communication though.

Letters are too slow and formal in my view.

Why not email or text?

You could set up a separate email account for communications with him or even have a pay as you go - if you want to maintain some separation from you daily accounts.

KarineF Thu 12-Jan-17 09:32:14

Hello ggtia,

I agree with you and useless65. It's easy for other to criticise you without knowing everything and like you, I think the child is only a child and 13 is not that old really..... You are right, he should be able to talk to you directly like any mature grown up and it is very clear from your message that you are flexible and accommodating, it's really not fair to blame yourself, you are doing nothing wrong and you are treating your child as a child, which is the right thing to do. I would be very annoyed if my ex behaved like yours, it cannot be one way traffic, where he gets what he want and you shift everything around him. I am sure you have tried to use mobiles or emails already but he seems to refuse any direct communication. I have decided to quickly send this email so that you feel better about yourself, you are doing what is right and I am sorry he doesn't respond in the right way. I don't know what to suggest if you have tried to email or text each other already....

TimesTheyAreAChanging Wed 18-Jan-17 11:40:52

Hi Gitta

I am going through exactly the same with my ex my kids are 10 and 7 and he always passes messages via them or via his brother who is overinvolved in our Seperation.

I am going to make a stand - I feel it's manipulative and unfair to the kids.

My ex hates me with a passion that is frightening but I would rather he made arrangements with me rather than the kids.

Louw12345 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:02:38

I totally understand where you are coming from my ex did the same to our eldest she ended up having panic attacks. This is because it's not just her she was answering for it was also the other children which she knew she shouldn't do. If dad's late fair enough text saying I will be late but not to arrange things like holidays he even used to ask her to walk and meet him so he could pay his CM. (Oh this was when he stopped contact when he got a girlfriend)
Child mediation said it was wrong and that he shouldn't do that especially with other kids involved.
Ask him for it in writing or by email suggest he ups his agreed contact days to as the children need it to be consistent.
Good look
I write my ex letters regarding the children. I print 3 copys and sign them. I ask him if he agrees to sign it and give me one back. Iv never had one back signed, mostly what is on it is the days and times he wanted to have them

seventhgonickname Tue 31-Jan-17 23:22:04

I've seen this from two sides.When I was 8 my parents separated,this was before mobiles so I carried letters and cheques.I hated it and felt responsible for the reactions to the envelopes being opened by both parents,they tried to be discreet but...
As a recently separated parent my OH did not make contact for a while,when I pushed to know why he said my dd could get in touch.She was 12,he had disengaged from both of us before we left and he expected a child who felt rejected to do the running for contact!Yes some of your children will be the go-betweens,they may seem old enough but ask them in their later teens how they felt about it and be prepared to feel bad about the answer.I remember .I hope my dd will not.
It takes a little time to damage your kids and ages to undo if at all.

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