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Does this email just sent to exH seem reasonable to you

(32 Posts)
citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 13:48:08

I have sent several like this since this in the 2 yrs since we split. He has moved on (mainly because he had the freedom to do so!!) and has new DP and new DCs. But actually he prob sees our DCs about the same as he did before he met her so that's not really the issue. (just has more excuses).

We made an agreement as part of our divorce and he has basically never stuck to it in the spirit it was intended. He always insisted that I work full time which imo meant sharing parenting duties when we were together (that didn't work). Now I am resident parent so the bulk falls to me but do expect him to have them more than 24 hours every other weekend and one early evening per week!

(some bits blanked out for obvious reasons)

'xxxxxx October 2008

We are holding our 'event' that day. Are you available to pick up xxxx that day? I won't go to the dinner but I will go to the drinks after the event if possible.

***days from ** October to * November 2008

I am required to stay late on these evenings. Can you make that the day you pick up ** during that period?

General weeekend arrangements

I am assuming that you will be having boys of weekend of *th September. We need to define (again) what is meant by a weekend. I think it should include two nights ie Friday and Saturday. This gives DCs a longer period with you, which helps them in all ways and enables me to do something meaningful rather than just piecemeal stuff as I have done so far. Because your definition of a weekend appears to be 24 hours!

What is your intention regarding football on Sunday mornings on the weekends you have the boys?
(last season he took my DS twice and that was after nagging from me - so it meant on his weekends I still got up at the crack of dawn to drive my DS1 to play football for his team)

I really think you should consider what is fair to both them and me regarding these arrangements not just what suits you.'

MamaG Tue 16-Sep-08 13:50:45

I think its fair. Send it.

citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 13:53:04

Thanks have already sent it actually but was just thinking afterwards if it was OK.

Not convinced it will make any difference though. Short of driving them over without agreement I don't know how to get him to do what I have asked.

And I think that would be distressing for the dcs. They are starting to see through him though esp DS1 who is nearly 12.

citronella Tue 16-Sep-08 13:53:37

Perfectly reasonable imo

citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 14:14:03

thanks he makes me feel that I am being unreasonable sometimes.

ClareVoiant Tue 16-Sep-08 14:30:51

hi citylover,

tell me to butt out if you like, as I dont know your background, and i am not a single parent, but your thread caught my eye.

I know you've sent it now, but just reading your email, you are giving him a few get out clauses, by way of your phrasing. and tbh it sounds a bit naggy.

'We are holding our 'event' that day. Are you available to pick up xxxx that day? I won't go to the dinner but I will go to the drinks after the event if possible.'

how about

'will you collect xxx on xxx Oct as we have our event, i shall be back at xxxpm?'

'It would be helpful if you would pick up xxx on xxx days as I am working late, please let me know by xxx if you will do this'

'When you have the boys on the weekend of xx sept, I shall drop them off at xxpm on Friday and will collect them at xxpm on Sunday. They are looking forward to spending the weekend with you. I am away for the weekend, so please remember to take ds1 to football on Sunday morning. he needs to be there by xxam. I'm sure he'll be thrilled that you'll be there to cheer him on.'

if you ask a man if he 'can' do something, he'll say yes, because he 'can', but it doesn't mean the same as he 'will' do it, iyswim.

hope you dont mind.

citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 15:21:57

Not at all that's a really interesting perspective on things esp the difference between can and will.

Yes it is naggy I agree. But he is a right PITA and I am worn down by trying to get him to agree to something he should be doing anyway. He is their father FFS and loves to give the impression that he is doting and dutiful.

I think I will try that slant for future times.

However I expect to still come up against a load of excuses esp about the football - eg he can't drive, it's too much with the babies etc.

Of course if I was to be away for the weekend he would have to do it as he did last year when I had to go to Paris for work. But he thinks this is the exception rather than the rule.

ClareVoiant Tue 16-Sep-08 15:50:52

ah... glad you didn't mind :-)

if he has moved on, then there is no reason why you shouldn't at least give him the impression that you have iyswim.

did he complain much the weekend you went to paris? i.e. did he say how hard it was for him.

can he walk the boys to football?

how old are his babies btw?

sorry, so many questions.

misi Tue 16-Sep-08 15:55:40

citylover, your ex needs a good dose of reality!!

its a shame we cannot get him to see what many fathers go through with ex wifes over the children, he would soon get to see how co-operative, good and blessed he is with a mum like you who wants him to look after the kids more/have more time with them to do 'stuff'.

if you think you are being unreasonable then that has to stop, you are not because you want your kids toi have both parents which is best for them so unreasonable is the complete opposite of what you are.

I agree that your email does give a few get out clauses as you are asking him whether he can rather than saying this is what you want, but then when my ex says that to me it gets my back up, but then she is trying to take my son away from me and reduce contact to as little as possible if any at all!!

dealing with your ex, whether male or female requires you to learn a new dance, mostly ballet stuff, you know? up on your toes tiptoeing around!!

it also requires you to go back to school and study again as you need to re master the use of the english language. its not what you write/say, it is how you say it.

most people when given a choice think too much but when told to do something, in the nicest possible way of course with a tinge of 'you are doing me a favour' to it, they often get on with it without thinking. (my example above of my ex is because she tells me what she is going to do without any thought of anyone else and is often telling me she is doing something with my son which is in my contact time so not friendly, not co-operative and actuually downright confrontational which again is the complete opposite of what you are asking)

MascaraOHara Tue 16-Sep-08 16:04:39

Hey you, sounds fine agree with Clare's points but wouldn't have really noticed them myself btw.

<hijack> how's things in general? not 'seen' you about much lately lol </hijack>

citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 16:28:41

Thanks Clare, Misi and hi MOH (have been on holiday and also really busy at work atm)

I have moved on inasmuch as I have been seeing someone on and off (who I have very strong feelings for) since July 2007 and also dabbling in a bit of online dating (just to cover all angles LOL). He knows that and that I am not interested in him at all.

No can't walk to DSs matches they are a good 20-40 mins drive away depending on where he is playing.

Babies are now abt 8 weeks old but that just gives him more excuses. I don't know how he will cope with it all quite frankly. He did go away on a 2 week business trip when they were abt 3 weeks old.

He makes all the right noises and does want to see them include them in his new family (all fine by me) to some extent but his actions don't tend to match his words.

And it tends to be on his terms which is what I object most to.

citylover Tue 16-Sep-08 16:30:50

Yes he has complained when I went to Paris and complains quite alot about looking after them.

Also agrees to one thing and if another committment comes up will try and change things around.

ClareVoiant Tue 16-Sep-08 18:36:11

hmm.... I can see it's a really difficult situation.

misi said better than me, what I was trying to get at with the wording of your email (god my grammer is awful today - i have a stinking cold).

:-) at the online dating...thats how i met dp. Is the fact that exh doesn't take them all weekend affecting your new relationship?

Just thinking about the football for the moment....

Do you and exh live far apart? would it be possible for another footballing parent to take your ds to football (collect him from your exh and return him there after the match) and then you return the favour when you have the boys, when you'd be taking your ds anyway? a car share, as it were? Thus freeing up your free weekend?

I know its not you that should be organising this stuff as its his time with them, but may be a means to an end in the current situation. Til the season is over and the babies are bigger.

how annoying that he keeps changing things and not keeping his commitments to you and the boys. he does sound a bit flakey, but then i guess if he was mr perfect, you'd still be together. I imagine he's being pulled in lots of different directions atm with trying to please everyone, however, he has made his bed,so he must lie in it (as they say).

do your boys have any views on the situation?

gillybean2 Wed 17-Sep-08 08:26:40

I think you could have worded it a little better to get your points across without giving him space to roll his eyes and ignore as usual. For example, where you put (again) in brackets, that was probably unhelpful.

And the bit about intentions regarding football. You should have simply said 'The boys are continuing with football on Saturdays and therefore will need dropping and collecting from this on your weekends.'

Problem is that you want him to have them overnight on a friday as well as a saturday. If he does this then it is his choice what he does with teh children in his time with them. So if you want the football to continue every weekend you mught have to forgo the friday night and drive them there yourself on a saturday morning. You can't dictate what he does on his weekend. But the boys can tell their dad what they would like of course...

Which is more important, seeing their dad on friday and saturday or going to football? If it's football and he won't do it then you do it for them. If they'd rather see their dad than go to football then try and get that sorted with him instead.

I know that it's important to have your own space and time. But build on what you have and always be reasonable. Then hopefully his new partner will help point him in the right direction as she is likely to see your letters and is probably the best person for helping to turn him around. Not saying you're being unreasonable. Just that to get what you want you have to talk the talk and walk the walk and that can be hard when you have all this past history to overcome.

citylover Wed 17-Sep-08 12:37:45

Thanks all. He is on holiday this week until Saturday so won't see the email until then.

The football (which is on Sunday mornings) is non negotiable - DS1 has signed up for the team (as he did last year) and is expected every Sunday come rain or shine (it is taken quite seriously). I think last season exH was almost too scared to ask new DP to take him (as she drives). Also granted some of the time she felt rough. He refused to take him by public transport or ask one of the other parents for a lift.

The lack of a full weekend doesn't really hinder my relationship such as it is (currently off it seems) but it does hinder my general well being and ability to do anything much. Anything I do arrange is squeezed in to 24hours.

I do pay for a babysitter on occasions outside of that time but for example on Sat night went out for drinks with a friend and once paid for babysitter, taxi and drinks you can kiss goodbye to £80 easily.

The DSs esp DS1 do notice and comment. On his desperation to get away sometimes when he has had them after school and also on the disparity between our household (although I have a ft well paid job money is very tight) and exH new household - she appears well off and spent lots of money on new stuff recently (big money). I have explained that it is not daddy's money (he is virtually bankrupt)but hers!!

gillybean2 Wed 17-Sep-08 16:04:31

I agree that your general well being is important. However as a parent who never gets a weekend ever (not even one day a month) apart from the two times a year my ds goes to scout camp for a weekend I'm afraid you just have to deal with it. You can't force your ex to be the kind of parent you think he should be. And no, i can't afford the babysitter, travel and evening to go out either. Would love to have £80 to kiss goodbye too! Last time I went out sociably was.... too many years ago to count.

Not saying your comments aren't valid. Just that actually you're a lot better off than some of us are.

If football is non negotiable to you then perhaps you'll have to just deal with the early mornings or your ds will have to come home on saturday nights as it seems it's negotiable to your ex. Different parents have different parenting styles and different priorities. You can not make this a priority for him if he is not willing to do so. So if you want to take on this commitment then it sounds very much like you have to do the early mornings i'm afraid.

Course it shouldn't be that way for reasonable people who care about thier kids and put them before everything else. I'm not saying his attitude is right and I do understand your frustration. But you do have to find ways to deal with it and just get on with it rather than letting him wind you up if it's clear he's not going to deal with this. Seems pretty clear to me that he's your ex for a reason!

more Wed 17-Sep-08 16:18:08

What do the children want?
Do you feel they are old enough for you to ask them how they wish for their relationship with their dad to continue?
If you do feel they are old enough, do your DC find it unsettling that they are only at their dad's for such a short period of time? Would they prefer to stay with him Friday evening to Sunday morning?
Would they maybe prefer another kind of arrangement?

Sorry I am not a single parent myself, and you can feel free to ignore my post.

citylover Wed 17-Sep-08 22:56:53

The oldest wants his dad to come to football and cheer him on and be more involved in that. And I think that they would like to spend more time with him. They miss him (DS1 was nearly 10 when we split).

Although actually DS1 is getting his own social life and I can see a time soon when he may not want to go over if he wants to go out with hs friends in this area.

The youngest is not as articulate or bothered (on the surface) he is just 7 so not really surprising and is more of a mummy's boy.

I realise I am better off than many of course but it isn't as if he has never been there IYSWIM. That isn't ideal either of course but I can see in that situation you might be more resigned to it, unfortunately.

citylover Thu 18-Sep-08 21:08:40

aaargh I have spoken to him tonight and rather than ask I have told him I will collect boys mid evening on Sunday - (he wants to see them as he is back from holiday).

He said 'yes but the babies will be here!!' to which I replied well they are hardly going to go away are they?'

Bet you he wil try to renegotiate this but I will tell him I have something arranged. Might be going on a date Sun afternoon. grin

I can sense the guy is getting a bit exasperated in our attempts to organise it!!

ClareVoiant Fri 19-Sep-08 14:30:56

Good for you smile. Be firm, remain strong and i hope you have a lovely date on Sunday.

citylover Fri 19-Sep-08 16:44:06

Thanks Clare will report back Monday.

Not sure seems a nice genuine guy but will be looking for that spark.

On/off man in the background doesn't really help IYSWIM, he is currently AWOL but they have a habit of coming back as if they have a sixth sense.

But actually this makes me quite detached about the online stuff which I think is good. As I'm told by one guy that I have been talking to that some women really stalk them online - I find that most bizarre I must say - I mean you can't really know them at that stage. The stalking usually comes later LOL

citylover Sat 20-Sep-08 18:40:17

Well all arrangements for tomorrow have gone tits up as the ko for son's match is in the afternoon (it's usually in the morning) and ex won't take them (he says he can't) cos of the babies. DS1 said he wouldn't want them to come to the game as they might get hurt!!!

So I will take them to the game then drop them at ex's and then pick them up three hours later.

It's not ex's fault of course. But I do get the impression from him he is required at home all the time for feeding duties, except when other help is around.

Haven't heard back yet from potential date not sure what his reaction will be.

citylover Sat 20-Sep-08 18:42:22

PS Such a shame really.

And would have appreciated a few adult only hours as I am at the end of my tether with DS's. Think they have really missed exH and were geared up to see him for longer tomorrow.

It always seems like they are visting an benevolent uncle to me!!

Dropdeadfred Sat 20-Sep-08 18:45:38

it does seem that the football is always going to be a bit of a bind...?
sorry it all went tits up

CarGirl Sat 20-Sep-08 19:05:54

Perhaps you should write him a letter stating it from your ds1's point of view.

Ds1 would like to see you more often and for a longer length of time. He has been wanting this for quite some time, x months in fact. I was hoping things would improve without me having to point it out.

How do you think you could give ds's more contact time? Every Friday after school until Sunday morning?

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