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Does anyone have any advice. PLEASE! I am at my wit's end...

(22 Posts)
kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 19:58:39

My dh left on April 20th. Moved straight in with another woman, though claims this relationship didn't start until after he had told me he was leaving (April 4th). We had been married for 7 years, and have a 3 year old and 2 year old.

Since leaving, he has seen the children for a total of about 6 hours. He last saw my daughter 3 weeks ago, and my son over a month ago. This is not my doing. I WANT him to see the kids, for them to continue a relationship with him, despite how I feel about him at the moment. I have tried to convince him to see them more. I phoned his mum last week, just to ask her to try and get him to see them, as my daughter was having as particularly bad day missing daddy. That was a big mistake, she was quite agressive and hostile, accusing me of stopping him from seeing the children, which is obviously what he is telling people, but NOT the truth.

He then phoned at 10pm the following day and said he would see the children this Tuesday afternoon, but would expect my son to miss his swimming lesson (at 3pm). I said he could of course see the kids, but that our son needed to go to his swimming lesson as it was part of his weekly routine and he loves it. (I have been advised by my health visitor to keep their weekly activities as normal for them as possible) He argued and argued but I stood my ground, saying he could see them before the lesson then after, or he could take him for his lesson and I would have our daughter. He wound up slamming the phone down on me, telling me he would let me know....

2 days later he texted me that he would pick the children up at midday and return them at 2:45, so I texted back that was fine, and would I need to give them lunch. He replied 2 days later that they wouldn't need lunch as he was taking them back to his house to meet his girlfriend.

I then phoned him and said I did not want them meeting her at the moment. I felt it was too soon, that they wanted to see him, not him and someone else at the moment and that I felt when the did meet her it would need to be on neutral territory not at 'their house'.

So he told me that he wouldn't see them at all if he couldn't see them with her, that I was denying him access and that he will take me to court.

Coincedentally, I had a preliminary session at mediation the following day, which I am trying to arrange so we can set out some ground rules and a contact schedule for the children.

I genuinely am not trying to stop him from seeing the children, I am actively trying to encourage him to see them. BUT, I don't feel it neccesary they meet the other woman at the moment. They need to have their relationship with their dad restablished. My daughter is very sensitive and emotional at the moment, and I have been dealing with our health visitor as I am so concerned. My 2 year old son is suffering from separation anxiety, he just screams the minute I disappear for even a second. The health visitor said this is because one minute their dad was there, the next he wasn't and they don't understand. I just want my children protected from anymore hurt, and I don't understand the rush in him wanting them to meet her. They have been together for less than 3 months, and I just feel it's too soon.

It also feels like he's playing games with me and using them. He has constantly refused to give me a schedule of dates, and just phones up with a day's notice when he has seen them. It feels like he wants me to say no so he can say I am denying him access, but I have always said yes.

I feel so down, so sad. The man I love(d) has changed beyond recognition, is making me out to be the bad person, is abusing me on the phone, emotionally blackmailing me by saying he will only see the children if his girlfriend is there, and I don't know what to do.

Sorry this is so long, just wondered if anyone knew what I could do? What would happen if he refuses to go to mediation, and then takes me to court? I am so scared.

lou33 Wed 09-Jul-08 20:37:43

i didnt want this to go unnoticed

you sound perfectly reasonable to me, but then you are reading a post from someone who has had nothing but crap from her exh for over 2 years

based on your post it does sound as though he is doing things because it knows it bothers you, and that it isnt actually anything to do with being reasonable or about the kids, but control

i dont really know what to suggest aside from to never let him see it bothers you , even if it does

always appear to stay neutral and unaffected

you then have nothing he can accuse you of

and good luck

captainmummy Wed 09-Jul-08 20:42:25

Kara - it sounds as if he know full weel what a shit he is being, and is trying to ofload some of the blame onto you. Anything will do.
Don't worry about the courts, they will establish what access he has, and it's then up to him to conform or not. It's not up to you or him.

Incidentally, I think you are quite right to refuse to let the dc to see the OW, but I would be suspicious that this relationship has been going longer than 3 months.

mistressmiggins Wed 09-Jul-08 20:52:40

I will explain my situation cos it is very similar & may help.

When my exH left (kicked out) he went str to OW. I refused to let him take the children for the first few months & he had to come here to see them. I then made him take them to his parents house for the weekend knowing they would not welcome OW.
I then made him bring OW with him for a day visit to introduce her to the DCS.
Finally they started going to exH house about 6 months after he left.

My reason was that the DCS had had enough disturbance without suddenly being forced to play happy families with OW. My exH did agree (reluctantly) as he had no choice. My DCs were DS(3.5) and DD (17 mths) when he left so I didnt feel they would understand so needed breaking in.

IF your DCS are the most important thing to your ex, he will comply...IF you give him a reasonable timetable. If he wont see the DCS so soon after leaving without OW, then tough.

Time for you to think about what is best for you & your DCS and nuts to him.

Sounds harsh but it is the truth - I have finally after 3 yrs realised this (but still feel let down)

Always make sure he realises your choices are purely based on protecting the children & tell him you couldnt give a stuff about his "new" relationship. It is not important short term that the DCS see his OW so bad luck.

Be strong & I do believe you are trying to do the best for your DCS so stick to your guns.

CAT me if you want to talk

lou33 Wed 09-Jul-08 20:58:10

mm is 100% right

mine were older when we split ( youngest was 4), but i still agree

exh still thinks everything i do is to hurt him and ruin his life, but it is because i am thinking of our children first and foremost

he wont understand that though because he is an alcoholic, but you have to think of the kids first of all

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 21:07:47


I have spent the past 2 days convincing myself that I am the unreasonable one, that I am depriving my kids of seeing their dad, even though I know that isn't really true.

I have offered him use of my house, and I will go out, but he says he doesn't feel 'safe' in case I ask members of my family to come round????!!!!

My parents are in their late 50s and both work, my youngest brother is a student at Oxford university and my eldest brother a police officer. All very 'respectable' (!!) so I don't know what he means by that. I have always had someone with me when I have seen him recently as he intimidates me and scares me at the moment, but no-one has threatened him or caused him to feel 'unsafe'. Yet another lie I imagine he is telling everyone to make me look bad.

Am I within my rights to insist he see them in the house for the time being? If he won't see them without her, can he realistically assuse me of denying him access, even though I am seeing he can see them as often as he likes, just without her?

mistressmiggins Wed 09-Jul-08 21:34:01

Of course you are within your rights to insist he sees them in your house.
It's familiar to them and you are being very reasonable.
He cant accuse you of refusing access as the very term access is all about the children and not about you or your ex.
That is your key card.

He is just being awkward so bad luck to him if he chooses to NOT see them because of his new GF. She has no rights to see them so you are doing nothing wrong.

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 21:39:40

ah mistressmiggins, i would give you the biggest hug if we weren't coomunicating electronically!!!

you have completely set my mind at rest.

all i now want is for him to attend mediation, so we can establish some 'ground rules' and try and work together. he doesn't seem to realise that he may not be with me anymore, but we will always be co-parents to our 2 children.

Fluffybubble Wed 09-Jul-08 21:43:07

Firstly, I think you are being amazingly reasonable!!

Secondly, as far as the threat about taking you to court is concerned, from my experience a court will refer you to mediation in the first instance, as they would prefer that you decide yourselves what is best for your children.

Do you feel that seeing a solicitor would help? When I saw my solicitor after my exh left me for ow she wrote to him to state that until a new relationship was established (I think she may have even given an approximate period of 6 months) , the new gf was not to be introduced (as not in dc's best interests).

Finally, if you feel that he will potentially manipulate and bully you try to keep records of all you texts, conversations etc and, even better, email if poss, as you can then evidence everything if it comes to it.

You sound like you are being very accommodating - I imagine that there is a huge amount of guilt on his part, and this is being transferred to you through his anger. It is not your fault, he needs to take responsibilty for his actions and behave like a decent dad...

Good luck smile.

mistressmiggins Wed 09-Jul-08 21:50:49

remember also that IF she is OW, she will be very vulnerable - he has left not only you but his DCS.
She may fear that if he sees DCS alone, he will want to come back to you.
Bad luck.

Stick to your guns & know you are doing all of this for your young DCS.

mistressmiggins Wed 09-Jul-08 21:52:36

I will add that we went down the mediation route but all exH was interested in was the money side.
He got angry when I repeatedly went over the access & meeting OW.
So I stopped mediation.

It did cost me over £4K and took 2.5 yrs to get divorced BUT I felt more in control.

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 21:53:38

Thank you very much Fluffybubble. I can't tell you how much it means to be hearing from people who have been through the same thing, and have lived to tell the tale!

I have (thank goodness) kept a record of any contact we have had with eachother since April 4th (the day he said he was leaving), and a seperate record of when he has seen the children and where.

I think the solicitor's letter sounds like a very good idea, and I will try and make an appointment to see one next week. I did see a solicitor with my dad, just a few weeks after this all began. He was very helpful, but told me that I am entitled to legal aid, and that his particular firm did not deal with legal aid clients. He gave me some details of other forms, and I think that now is probably the time to start looking for a solicitor.

Fluffybubble Wed 09-Jul-08 22:00:23

grin I am three and a bit years down the line - it does get easier, truly...Try to take one day at a time, and don't forget about you in all of this too. I ended up having some counselling, just to be able to rant and go home a happy mummy!!

I saw a legal aid solicitor, I think they have a symbol on their adverts, or you can google for a list in your area. From my understanding, it is usually the experienced solicitors that are legal aid, so you should be in good hands! It doesn't hurt to find out where you stand, and it might make your h think twice before issuing demands...

Am sure you will be fine, and you deserve a lot better (repeat to self several times a day wink!!)

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 22:03:03

Interesting point mm - hadn't thought of that. maybe she's putting on the pressure to be around when he sees our children.
HA!! she won't get anywhere near them at the moment!!!

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 22:44:42

Thanks Fluffybubble!

How did you arrange counselling? That is something I would really like to do.

My friends and family are soon going to get bored of me ranting (even though they claim not!!) I really am like a broken reord at the moment!!! I would love to be able to have someone who is just there for me to talk to.

lou33 Wed 09-Jul-08 22:49:35

can i also say, from personal experience, my father tried that crap on me when i was 9 yrs old, he said if i was going to see him i could only see him with his new gf

when i said to him that i wanted to see my dad nit his new gf he refused to see me thinking i would acquiesce

i havent seen him for over 30 yrs now, and it is his loss

i certainly dont feel i have missed out in any way by not having him about

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 22:55:04

thanks for that lou33. that is my other concern - what is this doing to my children?

the supervisor at my daughter's pre-school went through this when her children were 4 and 2 (now grown up) and she said the same. her ex-h did a very similar thing to her daughters, there was obviously pain as they were growing up, but they are now well-adjusted adults.

the one thing i take comfort in, is that at least my children have a wonderful mummy! lol!

kara0811 Wed 09-Jul-08 23:00:25

Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have added comments to my post.
For the first time in a good while, I am going to bed with a smile on my face, and without a knot of anxiety in my tummy.
You have made me realise that there ARE people out there who understand what I am going through, so thank you.
I will be back here.... xxxxx

Fluffybubble Thu 10-Jul-08 13:12:55

Kara - I think I looked up a counsellor by googling (again!!) and coming up with a list of registered (by an official body can't remember who!!) counsellors in my area. As it happened, one was only a few roads away from me and she met with me on Saturday mornings, when my mum could have my ds. I think it's really important to meet with someone you 'click' with.

Like I said, you mustn't forget about you - try to grab a coffee / swim / film / book / see friends etc etc on your own sometime, it helps to maintain your sanity levels grin.

Lots of us have been through this and have lived to tell the tale. It is not easy, and everyone has different experiences, but you WILL survive, and you will be happy again....

kara0811 Thu 10-Jul-08 20:32:36

Thanks again Fluffybubble. I will definitely try looking some up on Google.

Am trying not to forget about me. It's hard, because my ex-h is seeing so little of the children, that I am with them the vast majority of the time. My poor little boy goes mad every time I dissapear out of sight at the moment, so I am not even leaving them with my parents.

We are spending time at my parents together, which just means I get some help and a bit of a break.

I am also really lucky in that they are both in bed, asleep by 7pm so I do get the evenings to myself. Not much fun sat on my own in front of the TV, but at least it's a break!!

Fluffybubble Thu 10-Jul-08 21:29:39

Maybe you need to just go with the flow for the time being, one day at a time. You have plenty going on, just surviving the day is a huge achievement I find!!

It's good that you have your parents to help you out - am sure that if you spend some chilled time with them that your ds will one day (someday!) be happy to be left with them for an hour (you have to be happy with this too!).

My ds has always been really good at going to bed (still gets up far too early!) which means that the couple of hours in the eve that I have to myself are really valuable - although it can be boring and lonely sometimes it has, now, got to the point where I listen to my paired-up friends moan about having to watch the football / make dinner late / entertain dp generally in the eve and I think hmm, this is ok...!

kara0811 Thu 10-Jul-08 21:55:33

Yes I have found that! I feel so proud of myself for getting to the end of the dayat the moment!

My children adore my parents, so I am sure too that my son will soon be happy to be left with them. My health visitor said it's more than likely just a phase, and once he realises that mummy always comes back, he should settle again. I hope so - he starts pre-school in October, and it would be heart wrenching to go through that twice a week!

I hadn't thought about it being better to be on my own in the evening, but I think you actually are right! I get to watch what I want to watch on TV, no football or other sports.....!!! Will take some getting used to, but I think I'll manage!

Plus, I am on the pre-school committee, so those meetings will start up again after the summer hols, and am doing an Open Uni English degree, so my weekly tutorials will start in Sept too. At least it will some time out of the house in the evening!!

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