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Negative impact of ExH being in and out of DS' life

(10 Posts)
bettycat81 Wed 08-Feb-17 14:37:35

I left ExH five years ago when our DS was 2. He (ExH) had an addiction that I had helped him try to address for the previous two years but I couldn't get him to stop and it was really affecting our lives to the point where my love and trust in him completely disintegrated. I moved to be back nearer my parents, for their support, an hours commute away so nothing to major and contact would/has often happens in between.

Since then ExH has been in and out of DS' life. He will go for months at a time without contact. It's really affecting DS and his relationships at school. He becomes very sensitive during the times when his Dad isn't around. He takes the slightest hint of rejection really badly along with the little arguments that kids his age generally have. Its only been about 6 weeks this time but the behaviours and insecurities are worse than ever. He's just so sad at the moment.

His Dad is now showing signs of wanting to come back on the scene... maintenance being paid, the odd text message... and I don't know what to do. I have made him aware of how his disappearances affect his Son in the past... I can't watch DS go through this time and time again. What can I do?

Starlight2345 Thu 09-Feb-17 22:45:17

My Ex used to be like this. He would only see DS for 2 hours a fortnight and fitting that into his life seemed a huge effort..

The trust my DS diminished and he didn't want me to leave. The final point for me came when I took him to a party to meet Santa ..Was waiting outside for his dad to arrive and at 3 years old was so dispndant said lets go..He was late..

At that point I figured something had to change..He saw him once more. But I stopped contact. I actually wanted the court order. Knew he wouldn't bother then it would be over. IT took him 6 months to ask for mediation and another 6 months after that before bothering to apply to court. ..He didn't bother going to court.

I see how damaging it is the problem is so many people view some contact better than none. I don;t agree. I think let them grieve and move on with their life rather than feeling rejected over and over again.

Have you spoke to him before about how this is affecting your DS?

The other reason I wanted my ex to take me to court was to actually see if he was interested enough to fight for his DS.He wasn't. I think there comes a point when you have to start protecting the child.

bettycat81 Fri 10-Feb-17 10:54:53

I have spoken to him many times but ExH doesn't see it. He sees a child that is so excited to see him he runs and jumps into his arms.

The story has moved on since I posted. I spoke to DS and he wants to see his Dad but I think I'm going to keep it really minimal and controlled, so just a few hours at a time.

Atypical Fri 10-Feb-17 20:21:39

I had a similar case with dad and he didn't even bother with the mediation arrangements or maintenance pay etc. My DD was 3yrs then, and grieved but moved on. Don't underestimate children as they do have the ability to move on very quickly unlike us sad.
Looking back at the whole circumstance now after so many years: I trust the stability my DD had and it's more important than having her mind dithering here and there wondering if daddy will turn up or not.

As per the sch peer-group chats, your DS can do with a little script; such as 'daddy is away' or 'dad workes abroad' I suppose a bit of a 'white-lie' can't do any harm. It'll shield you both from those gloating into your affairs!

@Starlight2345 said a lot and I agree with every word: As my DD got older - she did mentioned daddy from time to time (this is normal) and I always said "no body can stop anyone from seeing their kids not even the court. If anyone didn't let me see my kids I will be in court 24-7 until I am able to see my children". I think understanding the judgment surrounding this allows her to learn where the problem is and more importantly knowing that she is not the problem!

Starlight2345 Sat 11-Feb-17 21:45:45

My DS is now 9 but knows if his dad wants to see him he has to go court. I have explained that it has to be made sure it is right for him and to make sure he would be taken care of.

bettycat81 Sun 12-Feb-17 15:15:17

Thank you. ExH visited for a couple of hours today and the damage done was plain to see. DS wouldn't let me leave the house (just to pop to the shop) and has already said he doesn't want to go to his Dads, when I work (a usual arrangement), on his own.

Starlight2345 Sun 12-Feb-17 15:21:03

You seem to feel like you have no control over this. Your DS is 7ish from dates you have given. He has no real say in court because he is too young to understand the long term consequences of his decisions.

I would make it quite clear that if he wants to do this it has to be at DS's pace. He has to be consistent and if he lets him down the only way he will be able to see him is to go to court. You need to stick to this otherwise he will just wonder in and out of DS's life.

IME NRP who float in and out of their children life don't tend to ever change and be able to commit.

bettycat81 Sun 12-Feb-17 17:51:22

That's pretty much right Starlight. I feel stuck, I doubt my judgement and I fear repercussions of a decision either way. Just need to put on my big girl pants on.

NooNooMummy Wed 22-Feb-17 21:02:38

Just wanted to say hi, I understand a little how you feel. I'm in the same boat.

My gut is telling me not to try anymore to accommodate my daughter's rubbish father. But it's difficult to bite the bullet because I'm terrified of the long term consequences for my daughter. It's so hard to know what to do for the best. Right now, I'm going with my gut and refusing to expose my daughter to any chance of disruption or hurt.

(Her dad has had the last 7 months to do the right thing and maintain contact but he was inconsistent, cancelled at the last minute, cancelled all dates eventually and was just plain cruel saying things like "I have a life now." He has now gone nearly 4 months without seeing our daughter.

Since new year, I've been offering him 3 days a week and every other weekend but he wants her for just one day a month (when he sees his parents). He's contacted me twice about this recently and both times it has been when he's going to see his parents. I really want him to go to court so that the professionals can decide what's best and make it clear to hm. So far, he's done nothing...)

NooNooMummy Wed 22-Feb-17 21:03:33

I seem to spend every evening on mumsnet these days venting about this... 😥

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