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Does this sound reasonable....?

(13 Posts)
kara0811 Wed 13-Aug-08 20:10:40

Just wondered if I could get some opinions!

My ex-h left 4 mths ago, moved straight in with OW. We have a 2 year old and 3 year old, He has seen them for 6 hrs since he left, and not for 10 weeks now. This has been his decision, I have actively tried to get him to see them (tried to arrange mediation etc..)

Is now in hands of solicitors as I am filing for divorce (did not want to do this, but he started filing on my unreasonable behaviour which I WASN'T having!!), and I received letter today asking for my proposals for his contact with them. I find this a bit strange, as I am happy for him to see them when he wishes, so long as it is mutually convenient, but I need to put my ideas together before my solic appt next Wed.

I wanted to say that I feel he needs to re-establish his own relationship with the children as priority, so am suggesting he sees them for 2 afternoons or a full day alone, every week for a couple of mths. Then he could introduce his GF to them, again for 2 afternoons or one day a week for another couple of mths while they get to know her.

Then we can look at overnights, and I was going to suggest one night a week (either Fri or Sat), or every other weekend (Fri to Sun). It will kill me, as I have never spent a night away from either of my children, but I am trying to remind myself this is for their benefit.

As for school holidays, I'm open to his proposals as my eldest only goes to pre-school.

Does this sound fair to you? Given my children's age, and the amount of time it has been since he saw them, I wanted to take things gradually, but ensuring he started to build up his own relationship with them.

I have no doubt that whatever I say he will disagree with, as he is being very difficult!!!

mistressmiggins Wed 13-Aug-08 20:19:34

my DCS were 17 mths and 3.5 when exH left

I only let him see kids at mine for first month then he took them to his parents house for weekend (once a month) for next 3 months

I then insisted that OW came up for the day to meet the DCS.

I then agreed that they could stay at exH's for the weekend without OW there

After that, I had to accept she lived with exH and so since then they have gone to their house.

6 mths in total til they stayed with both of them

I dont think it was unreasonable considering they were young and I too wanted exH to re-establish the relationship.

fortuntely he accepted my schedule and it worked for us.

your proposal sounds reasonable to me and to be honest, you can set the timetable if it is reasonable and in the interests of the children

as for missing them/not liking them being away, unfortunately that is now your life - I was in the same situation as you and it SUCKS but you need to make sure you make the change of life for you DCS as smoothe as possible.

if you are being reasonable (and you sound like you are) then no court in the land will question you

kara0811 Wed 13-Aug-08 20:26:22

MM, thank you, Good to hear from someone who was in my situation, and come out the other side!

How were your children through it all? Were they ok?

Was it horrible the first time your children stayed away? How did you cope with it? Does it get easier? How often do they stay at your ex's now?

I am hoping it won't get to court. I wanted to arrange it all through mediation, but he has now twice refused to attend, so it is all going to be done through solicitors.

As much as I want to make life hard for him (!!), I know that my children deserve a brilliant relationship with their dad, so I will do all I possibly can to make that happen.

I am trying my hardest to be reasonable, is just so hard when you're dealing with someone who isn't...!

mistressmiggins Wed 13-Aug-08 21:12:58

my DCS are fine
they stay at their dads once a month because he lives a long way from our house.
It was horrible the first time they went away but I rang a friend of mine who had been through the same situation. She was out and I spoke to her DH instead who understood and explained that I deserved time to myself to recharge etc and should make the most of it.....so I do....its still hard 3 yrs on but I plan nice things / meals out without babysitters grin and just get on with it.

You will be at peace with yourself which is important if you concentrate on what is best for your DCS and just accept they are away with their dad.

does OW have children? I should think that makes a difference. My OW has no children and finds my 2 hard because she doesnt realise that young children are messy/whiny/untidy/demanding. My exh has a "shouting" box which I find hilarous as we never needed such a box but clearly he & OW shout a lot grin

kara0811 Thu 14-Aug-08 20:31:32

BUMP!!! What does anyone else think?!!

wirral Fri 15-Aug-08 14:15:44

Perfectly reasonable. You have done well, I think in putting the need of your children first.

It is difficult when your children aren't with you. My daughter (8 yrs) sees her Dad regularly, overnights and full weekends as well as half the school holidays. I hated the time without her. Now, 2 / 3 years on it is getting easier. The hurt isn't so physical and I am finally appreciating the time to myself. So it does get easier.

I hope you resolve the contact issue and then manage to establish some sort of routine so that you can get on with your life

wheredohairbandsgo Fri 15-Aug-08 15:03:54

Definitely reasonable imo.

My exp left when my dd7 was a year old, so it's been six years now of to-ing and fro-ing. To begin with it's hard/heartbreaking, but try and enjoy the free time.

You will even learn to appreciate your free weekends as you move on with your life and maybe meet someone else.

Your home will always be your kids' real home and they will appreciate that as they get older ( if that makes sense )

Lovesdogsandcats Sun 17-Aug-08 10:50:05

More than reasonable.
Why has he not seen them for 10 weeks? Does he phone them?

kara0811 Sun 17-Aug-08 21:39:43

Thank you everyone for your responses. I think it's reasonable too, but we'll just see how he responds to it.
MM - no the OW doesn't have children, though this will be her second set of step children (at the age of 28 - nice). I can't bear the thought of her being with them, but what can I do?
LDAC - I don't know why he hasn't seen the children for 10 weeks. He has just cut all ties. He doesn't see them, phone them, send presents - nothing. I feel like he is trying to make out like I am stopping him from seeing the children, but that is not the case at all. I have tried to arrange mediation twice (once independently and once through my solicitor), I have tried to get his mum involved in encouraging him to see them, I have offered him use of my house and I would go out whilst he spent time with them.... There is nothing more I can do. He did say he would only see the children if the OW was present, and I said no at the moment, that he needed to re-establish his own relationship with them first. My solicitor said that was emotional blackmail, and I was within my rights to stop them from meeting her at the moment.
Only time will tell if he can commit to a proper contact arrangement anyway.
Totally sucky situation.

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 18-Aug-08 12:27:44

Now I have heard that he has been offered plenty of opportunity to see them but has chosen not to, that would be it for me.

Can you get a solicitor to write to him, ststing here is when you cans ee them, all set out, and each time he doesn't turn up, note it down.

If it getsto court you can show them all the times he mssed hos contact and they will laugh him out of there.

It happened to me. Ex was an arse. He wanted overnight visits, kids just wanted a full day with no overnight. Cos it interfered with HIS weekend, he chose not to see them at all!Then he told his solicitor that he was being stopped from overnight contact!Wehn his solicitor found out that for the last 6 weeks he had not had them for overnight (as kids didn't want to) BUT he had also not turned up for the day contact, she was mystified! It was like, hang on, you're at court for access, yet you have chosen NOT to take the access offered by your own children!

So, ignore him,. note everything down.As then, you are protecting yourself from accusations of stopping contact.

And do not waste any more of your energy even thinking about him!

kara0811 Mon 18-Aug-08 20:09:30

LDAC thank you that!! FINALLY I feel like someone knows what the situation is!! That is exactly what he has done with me. He begs for access, but turns down everything I offer (and in my opinion, I have been reasonable - all I have said is that they will not miss pre-school or swimming lessons to see him, and that at the moment they won't be meeting OW).

I have an appt with my solicitor on Wednesday morning, and then I am going to take your advice - ignore him and not to waste any more energy worrying about him!

Can I just ask, does your ex saee your kids now? What do they think of him?

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 18-Aug-08 20:55:36

You have done more than the courts would have expected you to do do far, so dont worry if it gets to court.

My kids knew he had chosen not to take what was offered, hence 3 years on, they don't have the greatest respect for him. I think that they think he is a bit of an idiot tbh, which he is...because they knew all about him taking it to court, yet choosing not to see them!!They see him on their terms which is a full day twice a month. Once court realised I have never stopped him seeing them, we all agreed to draw up an agreement and he has pretty much stuk to it, but often cancels or postpones a visit. The kids are not bothered when he does this. He also rings them sometimes on their mobiles.

I used to make an issue of it if he ever cancelled, rang him up to remind him of his responsibilities and that he was the one who took it to court etc, and he used to put the phone down on me, or cause a scene. Since I stopped doing this, and left him to it, as in if he sees them he sees them, if he cancels he cancels etc, he has been a lot easier to manage.

In fact unless we need to, like one of the kids is ill or something important, we have no contact whatsoever and it suits me fine.

So, my advice would be
1. Always make a note of dates and times of contact offered/declined etc
2. Ignore what HE wants like the ow being there. She has sod all to do with it and courts think that too...this is about him and your kids, not her, him and your kids.
3. Do not spend any time thinking about him, what he is going to do etc, as long as you are making notes you are covering yourself should he accuse you of withholding contact.

Lovesdogsandcats Mon 18-Aug-08 21:01:38

oh one more thing, even though I had lots of times and dates noted, tbh court were not interested in the past. They got the general idea, which was that he had not been seeing them when he could.
Apparently in the family court, they like to draw lines under the past and find a way to move forward.

I felt great after court, because he agreed to abc, and if he still cancelled access after that, there would be no going back to court because it would have been obvious by then what a nob he was, refusing to see his own children.

These men are very weak and like the power games, as it makes tham feel in control when really they have none whatsoever, and they know it.
Once I stopped playing ball (by ignoring him and what he was doing/saying) he stopped too!

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