What do I do (long)?(6 Posts)
I'm a bit of a Mumsnet newbie, but, once again, I really need your advice..and it's long (sorry!)
About a week ago I posted about my toddler having tantrums when coming back from access visits with his dad. Thanks for the replies, you were great and the general advice was to have more access, which should hopefully address the seperation anxiety.
Well, I took your advice on board, but there is a slight hiccup. I am about to move 20miles from my current town (away from XP), to a. be nearer work and b. be able to rent a house, rather than having to live in a one bed flat with a toddler & no outside space. It's great that I've got this option, finally found somewhere last week and we're moving next Friday.
XP had been pre-warned that we were moving sometime, so as soon as I found the place I eMailed him to let him know and, in light of the seperation problems with DS, tried to offer more access. Basically, my offer was to change from what we have now, which is 1/2 day Sat/1/2 day Sun, to an overnight every other weekend, with the 1/2 day arrangement for intervening weekends and a possible overnight/day every week (day to be of his choice). I figured this would help with the logistics of living 20miles away, as well as help with the "little & often".
Bit of background here: I left XP a year ago, for the first 8 months he didn't want to see DS and doesn't pay any maintenance. Current arrangements are private not court ordered. Basically I thought my access offer was really really generous given the circs.
Anyway (we are coming to an end!) XP went mad. He pretended he hadn't read the eMail so had to let him know verbally. Whole tirade of "stealing his son/he hates me/I am so selfish/manipulative etc. etc". I thought it was maybe a bit of a shock re. the move, but after he'd actually read the eMail re. proposed access he started to threaten solicitors, accusing me of being a control freak, wants 50:50 access and bsically abusing me very loudly (in the street. Fun times..)
So...this is where I need the advice. Is this a good idea: I plan to move next Friday. I won't pass on my new address until he asks for it. When he finally gets in contact (he's the sort of idiot that will turn up at the flat on the Saturday after I moved wondering where I am..) I intend to say that I am stopping access until we go to mediation. If we do go to mediation, I intend to limit access as much as possible. If he doesn't go to mediation, I intend to stop this pussyfooting around reasonable access nonsense and wait for him to land a solicitors letter at me before I let him see DS again.
Sorry, this has all turned into a bit of a diatribe, bur I just wanted to get it out & get some views. I feel like I've been about as reasonable as I can be and it all gets thrown back at me. I'm absolutely sick of it and I really don't want XP to pollute my son with his hatred of me (he has two DSs from a previous and he really slags off their mother to them. It's awful to hear). He can't seem to move on at all and every attempt at discussion re access/parenting is turned into a slagging off at me. And, yes, I know I have to think about DS, but we need to make things work for all of us.
Okay, this really is the last bit (!). Basically, I know that this type of XP is not unusual, but how the hell do you deal with them?! Does mediation actually help at all? Does anything?
Thanks loads for reading this far!
BTW I forgot to mention DS is 21months and his "seperation anxiety" turned out to be "coming in from outside into flat" anxiety. Wish I'd known that before I'd sent the eMail suggesting super-access but hey, ho..
tainee - how do you think he really feels about his son and try and be honest with yourself about this. i appreciate your angry (believe me) but you need to seperate your need for peace from your sons need for a relationship.
does he a) genuinly love his son and is gutted at the thought of not being close to him,worried that he may loose contact and is reacting massively badly.
or b) is he a controlling nightmare who has realised that by being involved in your sons life he has a direct line to yours and will use it to full advantage to make you as miserable as possible for the next fifteen years regardless of what it does to the child.
if a. let him calm down but dont go down the solicitor/ mediation making it difficult route. you will only feel bad about yourself in the end andyour son will grow to resent you for it eventually.
if b. cut all ties at least for now and send a letter checked by someone else first explaining that you are concerned that his behaviour (not a text or call a la me - big mistake and i made it) is impacting on your sons behaviour. that you are happy for him to have a relationship with your son when he understands that appropriate boundaries for his conduct around you have to be put in place which means no screaming and shouting, respecting the fact that you are the primary carer and the main provider therefore you have enough on your plate and that your move is not to hurt or antagonise him that your first concern is the child and his welfare and you are sure his is too. allow him to settle down but dont be accusatory. then if he still keeps it up call the solicitors and block all contact. your son didnt know him for the first eight months so those crucial bonds have not been formed and when he gets to an age to ask you can tell him you tried but at the time it was causing pain for him - if he wants to know him when he is older that is entirely his choice, he can make his own decisions and you will support him entirely.
good luck with the new start love. i did this myself v recently and its not easy but i hope it works out for you.
prettyfly1 - thank you, thank you, thank you. You do speak reason and it was just what I needed to hear. All my friends are either in couples or are kick-arse no-kids singles, so it was really hard to get any advice IRL rather than "why on earth are you being so reasonable with the idiot?". I needed to get the perspective of someone who has been there & can understand how hard all this is.
Thank you again, And re. the new start - can't wait . Hope yours is going well too..
no probs at all. i got treated rather harshly and when i was upset that i may have to walk away from the father of my son whom i once loved with every breath in my body that i was "obsessed" (this was four days after finding out he was betraying us in more ways then one) for being angry, talking about it for a whole two days after it happened and not just cutting ties and walking away. I swore i would never ever do that to another woman as long as i lived. You can still be a kick arse single and compassionate tho!!
Ultimately its really really hard and there is never ever going to be an easy answer but you will muddle your way thru it and if you ever just want to vent or need more advise - come back here! We are more then happy to help!!
TTT, if he didn't want the relationship to end, it may be some comfort to him to think that the things you do are specifically designed to wind him up. In a screwed-up way, when you are trying to piss someone off, you are at least thinking about them. This means you are still emotionally connected to them. He may prefer to think this about you, rather than admit to himself that he didn't even figure in your decision because he isn't the centre of your world anymore.
I know what I mean, but it's hard to explain Anyway, compassion
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