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Should I stop my children seeing their Dad?

(44 Posts)
TDJames Tue 10-Mar-20 20:23:32

Hi all I am a single parent of 2 year old twins.
I am really struggling at the moment I want to do what is best for my children! I wish there were a book but it is not so black and white.

Please, what would you do in my situation.
Apologies if my post is not easy to read

Their dad has agreed to have the children on a Saturday but he is so inconsistent.

He quit his job to study a psychology degree and is now doing his masters he then wants to do a PHD - basically a forever student.
I don’t even think he can get a job in the above field as he has a criminal record for armed robbery! In hindsight a big red flag I obviously dismissed because I am big pathetic empath!

Basically according to child maintenance he does not need to pay child maintenance as he’s a student.
Despite this he gives me £20 a week.
He live with his mum (who is his biggest enabler)

He continually throws in our faces how he didn’t want the children (abortion) as a way to absolve himself of his responsibilities

He goes on holiday every month from Mexico to Barbados. Meanwhile he has never bought the children shoes or a coat, if I ask for help with shoes he tells me no as he only has them 1 day a week.

He is extremely selfish he wears it like a badge of honour and admits to it too

Believe me he is Narcissist he’s covertly controlling, extremely manipulative and twists everything! I often need my close friend and mum to validate what is happening because he makes me feel that crazy.

I work extremely hard sometimes to the point I feel I am going to collapse
I work, bring up the children and of a night, early morning I run a small home based business around the children.
Everyone will say what a great mum I am but never him he will always put me down. I’m drained from him on the other hand he will tell me he cares about me.

Anyhow November 2019 he text me saying bluntly he won’t have any signal and he won’t be there for the next two weeks.
It was the last straw... I just couldn’t take it and I cut contact, blocked him.

He reached out New year we discussed how he would change how he is sorry and he wants things to be different and I allowed him back in.

He went on holiday again in January 2020, February 2020 which is fine as he did it around the children.

Things turned ugly as I stepped out of line and asked him why can he go on holiday all the but I have to do everything for the children, he then text yesterday he won’t be here the next two weeks as he is going away.

I can’t live like this anymore I just was a peaceful life for the children but they love him. I don’t want to be seen as the evil one who didn’t let them have a relationship with their dad. I struggle with boundaries and I didn’t have parents growing up. I am struggling with what to do in this situation. Believe me I want them to have a relationship with their dad so much but not so much it effects my children.

Sorry for the long post thank you if you even got this far! what would you do?

OP’s posts: |
Embracelife Tue 10-Mar-20 20:28:29

They are 2
They dont need him week to week
Set consistent regular contact
If he is away dont fret.
Basically doit alone
Get other support
Let him go to court for contact so it gets set in stone when and how

TDJames Tue 10-Mar-20 20:34:58

Thanks for your advice! I know they're 2 but they still speak of him or see a random silver car and start shouting for him and it hard to see
also my concern Is if I don't do something now will this carry on til they're 7? 8, 4? There is no reasoning with him it's him just doing wha t he wants and going back on his word, thanks xxx

OP’s posts: |
Embracelife Tue 10-Mar-20 22:35:59

They see car
You say yes like daddy. See daddy soon. Now let s go to the park
He will disappoint them for ever
You need to be breezy
And chilled.
Dont stress if he doesn't see them for a month

ArthurandJessie Tue 10-Mar-20 23:57:16

If you stop your kids from seeing him you will be blamed and you will be the bad guy they need to work it out on their own in time when they are older and they will it's not your place to get in the way of their relationship ! You sound like a good mum get as much support as you can from other places best of luck

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 11-Mar-20 00:10:36

if I don't do something now will this carry on til they're 7? 8, 4?

Yes, because that’s who he is.

You have two options here.

Option 1) stop contact which will result in one of two things.
A) he will hate you telling him how it is and take you to court forcing you into a legally binding agreement where you have to make the children available according to whatever the court decides. He won’t be obligated to turn up for contact though despite the court order. A court order just tells you what you have to do- not him.

B) he’ll whinge and moan but eventually give up trying to see them. He may get in touch every year or so.

Only you know which of the above is more likely. You know him.

Option 2) let it carry on as it is, don’t encourage his contact with DC, don’t refuse it. Don’t contact him when he doesn’t turn up. Don’t complain at him. Leave it entirely in his hands how much or little he sees of them. Just like no one manages your relationship with your children. The children will get to know who he really is, that he is inconsistent and let’s them down and by the time they’re teens they’ll have a pretty good idea of whether he’s a decent father or not.

Neither option is painless for the children. Trust me.

TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 03:34:48

Thank you all so much much for your response! I feel if a court order were in place he would more likely stick to it... although it would no different to what I am asking - turn up for you children ONE day, the other days go and live your life.

He says the same as above - don't interfere with his relationship with the children. But it is very hard when we're living a inconsistent life. I would rather just get on with it alone and give my children a peaceful than all of the above.


OP’s posts: |
TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 03:35:59

I think I will stop contact for 6 months or so (last time it was 2 months and already we're back at square one)
hopefully this will allow him and myself to reflect. It really is painful when in the midst of it when I look back I don't want any regrets x

OP’s posts: |
Peanut55 Wed 11-Mar-20 03:47:28

So sorry to read this OP.

How can he afford to travel every month as a student ? That's ridiculous. First red flag for me. drug smuggling

You need to protect your children, he obviously isn't interested in being a father. Don't give him the satisfaction of being able to pick and choose when he can be a dad to suit him.

"Seeing as though holidays, and other commitments seem to take priority of the children we both made and both are responsible for, I have taken the decision to cease contact for the sake of our children. I am sure this will only help them to feel more secure and settled and I am sure that you will tell me this is the case from what you are studying. I am relieving you of the burden of being a parent. I only hope that you never pass up such an amazing opportunity again in your life"

What does his mother say about him not seeing them?? Does she want to see them?

He sounds manipulative and controlling and the fact of the matter is, you can't pick and choose when you want to be a parent. It's not an inconvenience like a doctor's appointment you can just cancel.

If he insists you can't do this, which he will due to his nature, then court is the route you take.

Good luck to you OP.

unicornsarereal72 Wed 11-Mar-20 07:40:17

Don't be the bad guy here otherwise that will be the stick he will beat you with.

Go about your life. If he turns up. Fine. If he doesn't. Just get on with your day. The children are young enough to adapted.

My ex is the same. He has gone 8 weeks with no contact. My children are older. And we just go and do something else. He will reap what he sows.

TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 07:46:43

I know it is a big red flag
At the time I felt it was completely out of character of him and while he had an emotional break down which triggered an event from my childhood and I saw through it very naive of me.

I think he is affording it through his student loans... he told me it was running out last summer but then his dad passed away so I assume it is some sort of payment from that?

Believe me I wrote him a big email in November 19 explaining the reasons for me stoping contact last time I've tried to attach some screenshots of his texts to me and some of my email.

And I can't keep going round in circles explaining myself and teaching him how to be responsible.

His mum just always defends him she is his biggest enabler. He lives with her and doesn't ask to see the children. She says 'at least I see them when he has them'
They're very much like husband and wife.

He was so apologetic and I gave him a chance
And here we are again.

Believe me this is him spitting his dummy out because I asked him how he can afford to go on holiday every month but he can't even by his kids shoes - which escalated in a huge argumentative.

Now it effects the children because he'd rather punish me than put the children 1st. It's all about me and controlling me.

I need help I feel like he's making my experience of being a mum miserable I need advice on the right thing to do - by my children! Is there anyone I can go to for support... I think it's Also because of the horrible type of person he is!

Thank you so much for your reply xxxx

OP’s posts: |
TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 07:48:30

Messages attached. This is what I've dealt with

OP’s posts: |
Mumtoaperfectbabyboy Wed 11-Mar-20 08:00:14

Wow.. just wow what an arse!

I'm normally a firm believer in letting children make up their own minds but I'm completely with you on ceasing contact for some time for their own good and then reassessing it.

TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 08:19:27

Believe me he's a Narcissist it's like trying to reason with a 4 year old.
He has 'changed' his attitude since I stopped contact last time. So he doesn't certain things. But I can't believe he has gone away again after everything we have discussed and his delivery is just awful - This is how it is deal with it

OP’s posts: |
Poppinjay Wed 11-Mar-20 08:24:19

The first thing you need to do is emotionally disconnect from him.

Stop trying to explain what you and your children need from him. It won't change how he behaves and just gives him a way to control you.

A court will only order that you make them available for contact with him. It does not make him obliged to see them. You could end up having to make them available for quite long periods every week and he can just choose whether to turn up or not. That won't help you or the children.

Choose a day and a time when you will make them available for contact. If he turns up, great. If he doesn't just get on with your lives. Don't contact him or try to persuade him to see them. Whatever happens, don't let him know that you're upset he didn't turn up. That just gives him satisfaction and encouragement to hurt you and them more.

He thinks you should beg him to be involved with his own children and be grateful for what he chooses to give. Change your mindset about it. You have two beautiful children and you will allow him to see them, say once a week. If he chooses not to, it's his loss. He is the one missing out.

Don't allow him to manipulate you and them by changing contact. It's the day you offered him or nothing.

He is behaving like a spoilt child. You need to be the adult.

Be calm and clear. He is welcome to see his children at a regular time that you make available. It is entirely up to him to decide whether to turn up or not. If he doesn't, you just carry on as normal. It's no big deal.

This is the only way to take away his power to control and hurt you. He doesn't need to agree with you or understand your reasons. Don't explain anything. That just gives him ammunition to throw back at you.

Make your children available for contact. Be pleasant and polite when he turns up. Grey rock the rest of the time.

TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 08:39:11

@Poppinjay thank you so much for your time and your advice (it's made my eyes well) I've found this such a difficult situation to deal with. I think that is what we need to to daffodil
He has too much power over me (at least that is how it feels)
He thinks he is a master is psychology and the games drive me to insanity. I need to disconnect thanks xxx

OP’s posts: |
Poppinjay Wed 11-Mar-20 08:56:20

You’re going to take that power away from him now. His actions will still frustrate and upset you at times but you need to make sure he doesn’t know that.

He will probably bombard you at first to try to make you understand what he wants (he will say needs) and you will need to stand your ground very firmly and calmly. It’s your job to facilitate contact so that your children have the opportunity to know their father. That’s just making them available, not speaking negatively about him to them and being polite in your interactions with him around contact.

From now on, he will take responsibility for his own decisions and those include having fathered twins. Becoming a parent is a known side-effect of having sex. Whether he thought you should end the pregnancy is irrelevant.

Stand strong x

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 11-Mar-20 09:08:28

OH wow!!! @ those messages!! “I’m in control” shock what a piece of shit he is.

Ok OP- a court order will not make him see them regularly. He just isn’t that way. He won’t be ordered to do anything he doesn’t want to and the court won’t even try to make him.

But you need to ask yourself, and answer honestly, do you think that if you stop contact (permanently- none of this 6 months crap- he won’t change) that he will actually take it to court? He says he doesn’t actually want to be a parent. Do you think he might actually be glad of a reason not to see them? Or would he be pissed off you took away his control and take it to court to punish you? Think really seriously about this. You know him. It affects what the best advice is for you.

TDJames Wed 11-Mar-20 09:47:08

@JuanSheetIsPlenty I really don't know.
Last time I thought he would not even be bothered as he always says how he didn't want them. He threatened me with court but I allowed him to see the children before it got to that...

It's difficult because he uses 'I didn't want them' only when he is asked of something that he doesn't want to do, any other time he is all about control.

If I'm honest I think it is more about control than love for the children. Therefore I think he would take me to court.

I just told him if he goes on holiday this week and next I will stop the contact and he will have to go to court. He was not bothered in his expression at all and told me to F off he is going.

OP’s posts: |
JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 11-Mar-20 09:55:35

He threatened me with court but I allowed him to see the children before it got to that.

Well then that’s what he’ll do again because it worked to pull you back into line before.

So you need to take a different approach this time.

I would go with the advice to just completely disengage. Don’t send any email or text saying he needs to step up etc. The current arrangement is that he comes on a Saturday so from now on you assume he is coming, but also plan for him not to come. If he doesn’t come you don’t text him, call him, email him, nothing. You just get on with your day, if you have to work or have social plans have a back up babysitter arranged. You don’t ever acknowledge to him that he didn’t come. Likelihood is that if he isn’t interested in parenting then he’ll get bored eventually and visits will fade out. The only thing that will keep his interest is engagement from you. If you refuse access this gives him something to fight back against. Don’t give it to him. It’s also possible he enjoys you pleading with him to see the children. Don’t give him that either. Just get on with your life and expect to be doing all the parenting. It’s shit but that’s what it is. I’m doing it. So I know what I’m talking about.

Embracelife Wed 11-Mar-20 11:03:27

Going to court would be the best thing
Because you would get the contact arrangement set in stone
So let him go to court.

So dont refuse contact ...
but do say things like " saturday 2 to 6 pm works for the children please pick them up from the house. "
If he doesnt offer suitable alternative that week then offer a different week.

Dont get into discussion

Embracelife Wed 11-Mar-20 11:04:55

And he is allowed to go on holiday his choice so that not relevant .

Littlebookwormiam Wed 11-Mar-20 11:12:41

You really need to cut contact with this man OP, he is emotionally and manipulative abusive. If he wants to contact you and see his children he'll have to so do through a solicitor. I think that's more than fair.

FatherB Wed 11-Mar-20 11:37:06

You can't just stop contact with kids because he's an arse.

It worries me how candid you were with saying you'll just cut contact for six months this time as two months wasn't enough.

You don't need to encourage contact, and if he's an arse you don't need to make things easy for him but specifically blocking contact because you don't like how he's acting even though he's good with the kids and they enjoy seeing him makes you an arse. Don't make yourself the bad guy.

He's allowed to go on holiday whenever he wants. If you go on holiday he can't say shit either. It's not "fair" but nothing ever is.

Take this the right way for your children's sake and don't turn this in to a parental war where the kids will inevitably be drawn in to the middle.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 11-Mar-20 12:00:14

Going to court would be the best thing
Because you would get the contact arrangement set in stone

Yeah, set in stone for the OP! Not her ex. It will mean she has no choice but to be available whenever the court decides. And that mightn’t just be a few hours every Saturday. They may decide he should have every other weekend and midweek contact. Which means OP has to have her children ready and waiting to go at those times. With absolutely NO obligation on her ex to turn up. That is not best for the OP or her DC.

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