Advanced search

Now what do I do?

(16 Posts)
wirral Tue 04-Sep-07 18:37:21

Sorry, I only seem to come onto this site when I need advice and for a moan. Perhaps one day my life will settle down.

Daughters first day in year 3 today. I dropped her off at school, my ex has picked her up from school. She's due back at 6.30pm. He's just phoned to say that he will be bringing her back late as she is happily playing in the road with friends. The whole point of us going to court is to stop him doing this. He just constantly wants more contact - admirable I know but I want to see daughter as well.

It's her birthday party at weekend that I've organised. Ex is invited. Also her birthday next week - not on his contact night but obviously he is going to see her. At this rate he is going to see more of daughter than I do.

6.30pm supposed to be back - no sign of her. I really can't carry on like this. Advice anyone? Please

NAB3 Tue 04-Sep-07 18:38:55

It comes across as who is having a few extra minutes with the child more than the other parent. It shouldn't be like this but if this is set in stone by the law then it has to be enforced.

wirral Tue 04-Sep-07 19:07:09

Yes - I agree that it may seem petty but I want to see my daughter on her first day back at school. How can I possibly enforce this by law? I don't want to withdraw contact and go to court

Surfermum Tue 04-Sep-07 19:41:11

Did he state he was bringing her back late, or ask if it was OK? And did you tell him why you'd like her back? And is it a one-off or does it happen every time.

It's not really on to be ringing and telling you, but reasonable to say "look she's having a great time is it OK if she stays a little longer".

And a reasonable response is "actually, I'd really like to see her as it was her first day back at school, so I would like her back on time tonight, but maybe next time she can stay longer".

Avoid going to Court if you can possible help it. Dh had to and it was stressful for everyone involved, not least his dd, and it just polarised him and his ex even more.

wirral Tue 04-Sep-07 20:45:07

I know Surfermum. I did explain and yes he did say that he would be bringing her back late. This is the first time and I really want to avoid it happening again. I would like things to settle down, have as little contact as possible with ex and then hopefully we will not become 'polarised' and find some kind of common ground. We did go to court and all this was sorted out. I took this to court not because I wanted to restrict access or stop it but because ex would not agree to having set arrangements. As he works shifts he wanted daughter as and when he could. This just confused daughter and made her very unhappy. Court Order has given set nights and times. Daughter ( and I)are very happy with this arrangement. She knows that she sees Dad on Mon, Tues and Fri nights and I can plan the rest of my life ( such as it is) . I don't want to rush home from work for 6.30pm to find out at 6.15pm that she isn't coming home until later.I do suspect that I am being somewhat unreasonable but I just think that we need to settle into some kind of routine and then negotiate from there. Also at the end of the day daughter will make her own decisions in a few years time.

Surfermum Tue 04-Sep-07 21:01:09

I don't think you are being unreasonable. He can't just decide not to bring her back on time because he wants to. And if he asks, but you said no, then he should respect that. Was he like this when you were together?

wirral Wed 05-Sep-07 06:54:19

I don't know Surfermum, in hindsight I think he was always the one in charge, mainly because I was lazy and let him. I do think in the last 18 months it seems that he resents the fact that in a way he has lost his control over me/daughter. For example over fitting in contact with his shifts, I have always wanted him to see his daughter but initially he wanted to tell me when he would do this on a 6 weekly basis. I had no idea whether I was fitting in with his job or social arrangements and daughter didn't know if she was coming or going. I honestly had no option other than to go to court and get set days - which I hasten to add he appears to be able to do with no problem.

He appears to want all the nice stuff but none of the responsibility. For example he is going on holiday soon but hasn't made any attempt to arrange alternative childcare when he is away ( he could ask his Mum to do at least one night) so now I need to arrange to leave work early 5 nights instead of the normal 2 nights.

Sorry this is turning into a right moan. I sometimes just feel that I can't do anything right. I would love to be one of these Mum's who just smiles serenly through things but I don't think daughter will ever be able to claim that I hid my feelings about her Dad

Surfermum Wed 05-Sep-07 09:14:19

It does sound like he is used to calling the shots and thinks he can still do it. What happens if you say no?

I would normally say that if you just agree to everything and don't fight things then he will get fed up with trying to control things, and everything will settle down. That's our experience anyway, but I wonder if in your case he needs to start learning that he can't just dictate what's happening.

I would be really p'd off about his holiday. It sounds like he's pushed for weekday contact (fair enough) but hasn't thought through that he might need to make arrangements if he can't have her because of your work commitments. How selfish. Have you tried telling him that you can't leave work early and he will have to make the arrangements as they are "his" days?

wirral Wed 05-Sep-07 10:12:49

Gosh yes Surfermum. The Monday that he is away is actually my birthday. As I told him I was unhappy that he hadn't made alternative arrangements he said that I should tell explain to daughter why I didn't want to pick her up on my birthday. I DO WANT to pick her up but have an informal arrangement with work that I leave early on a Wed and Thurs so CAN'T pick her up. I am still not sure what to do about that week. Hopefully some of the Mums at school will help out.

If I stand my ground and say No , he just seems to hate me more. I don't have much chance to stop him bringing her back late as he picks up from school so I can't 'withhold' her for the amount of time that he is late back.

The other thing about last night is that I could say to him - ' daughter is playing happily with friends could you pick her up 30mins later' but never would.

Has your husband managed to find any common ground with his ex? What do they do over birthday parties etc? Special occasions?

Surfermum Thu 06-Sep-07 22:27:32

What an arse! How dare he turn it round and try to make out like you're the bad guy. The issue is that he's going on holiday and can't pick her up - not that you can't pick her up. Are you making a note of everything that happens? Because if you did end up back at court it would be useful to refer to.

Things between dh and his x are so much better now, but it has taken quite some time. He gets to go in for a cuppa now when he drops dsd off, whereas he used to get the door slammed in his face. And she'll phone and ask if he wants a school photo and stuff like that. It's so much better for dsd, she is over the moon that they are getting on better. And so am I.

As for birthdays, dh didn't see her on her birthday for 7 years. And any parties she had were organised by me with her friends here, and we'd give her another birthday on her next weekend with us.

wirral Fri 07-Sep-07 07:28:37

Do you think exw was motivated by trying to punish your husband? I really am not but am trying to find common ground between his desperation to see daughter ( a good thing that I do acknowledge) and my need to see daughter and have a bit of a life.

I would love to be at the stage where he could come in for a cup of tea and think it would be so nice for our daughter to see that.

In a way that was why I took it to court so that there would be no arguments over when he has her or for how long. In the hope that if we could stop arguing we could reach the cup of tea stage.

Well daughter's party tomorrow. Ex is coming and I'm dreading it. I feel so sorry for my parents etc as I know that it will be awkward for them. However daughter will, I am sure, be pleased that her Dad is there.

Thanks Surfermum - as ever you have helped. Sometimes it just helps to 'sound off'

wirral Fri 07-Sep-07 15:24:43

And - 24 hours until party ex has just texted me to let me know that a parent has replied via him and he has forgotten to tell me that she is coming to party. I had assumed that child wasn't coming and have invited another! Genuine mistake I realise but being as he has not asked for any input into the party other than indicated that he wants to attend it is so so annoying

Surfermum Sun 09-Sep-07 17:22:14

Actually I think you're doing brilliantly. You're way past the "cup of tea" stage if he's coming to the party. Dh and his x have never done anything together since they split up. It's like dsd has her life with her mum and her life with her dad and the two don't meet.

His x definitely wanted to punish dh - she said so. She ended the relationship to be with someone else, so it wasn't like dh had been unfaithful or anything like that, but she was angry with dh as he had never felt the same way about her as she did about him. She later regretted it, but by that time he had met and married me, so it's a really difficult situation for her.

I'm glad I've helped. I'd imagine with someone like your xp he makes you feel like you're being unreasonable, so you start to doubt yourself. And I don't think you're being unreasonable over his holiday or bringing her back late.

I think you're quite right that if you can stop the arguments then you'll find the common ground, but it's difficult when one party always seems to want it their way isn't it?

So, how was the party?

wirral Mon 10-Sep-07 11:18:42

Oh Surfermum - party wasn't fab! Ex texted me to tell me he was bringing daughter back late on Friday night. I had made arrangements for us and had to cancel them. I went mad and banned him from coming to the party. Nightmare!!

Party itself was excellent but I just felt really guilty that ex wasn't there. Daughter didn't seem to mind though. Remarkably resillient!

Have just received a ranty email from him today. Apparently I am despicable and if daughter is playing with friends or watching 'The Simpsons' on tele he will continue to bring her home late.

It is daughter's actual birthday on Wed. I have suggested that he comes to our house for a couple of hours. I don't want him taking her to his house as I have no guarantee that he will return her at stated time.

This is just becoming a bloomin nightmare. I have absolutely no idea how to resolve this. I think that I may suggest that I pick up daughter at 6.30pm. He hopefully wouldn't leave me sitting in the car for too long.

It's sailing lessons tonight. Am supposed to 'repay' the time that he misses on Friday. This also gets on my nerves when he can just up and go on holiday without making any sort of arrangements for our daughter.

Rant, rant, rant! I wonder if my ex is a bit like your husband's ex. He left me and I suspect that things have not gone according to his plan. That's if he had a plan!

Surfermum Mon 10-Sep-07 13:48:37

Oh I am sorry to hear that sad.

You aren't despicable at all. You seem to me to be trying to do you best to sort all this out fairly. Good on you for wanting to find that common ground, but remember you can only find it if he is willing to find it too, and at the moment it seems he isn't.

Are you making a note of all the time he is late back? Print the email and keep it. Wanting to swap time that he misses on "his" days is fair enough. But never returning her on time is not on, and I'm shock at him saying if she's playing or watching TV he won't bring her back on time. We have taken dsd back late, but it's been for genuine reasons like we were at a barbecue, once we wanted to go to the carol concert at our church - and we asked, didn't just say this is how it's going to be. If the answer had been no, then fair do's.

I'm really not in favour of tit for tat type behaviour, and "you owe me seventeen minutes" type stuff, but I think I'd be inclined not to offer any additional time for the sailing, he's already taking extra when he brings her back late. The trouble is, by buying into all his behaviour would it make him worse and the situation worse. Maybe just ignore, ignore, ignore and hope it all calms down. I don't know - you know him best.

I know I always say to try to avoid court if you can help it, but he is really taking the mickey here, and isn't sticking to the Court order. I'm not sure what would happen if you went back to Court, he might just get his knuckles rapped and walk out and carry on, I really don't know what a Court can do to enforce the contact order. Maybe one of the family law bods could help.

wirral Mon 10-Sep-07 13:58:38

It's a nightmare isn't it? You are right - I have absolutely no problem with him being occasionally late. I do understand that things happen that you can't forsee. However I don't think that it is good enough to blame tele or playing for lateness.

I am really loathe to exchange periods of time etc. I always have let him have daughter for Father's Day, his birthday etc and never asked for time back etc.

I felt terrible about him not being at party. It was ace and he really missed out. I did feel sorry for him.

I will in future pick up daughter from his house. I suspect he'll just keep me waiting outside until tele finishes etc.

I have been considering solicitor's letter but as you correctly point out I am not sure how a court order would be enforced.Therefore will probably be a waste of money

Thanks again

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: