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Things are rapidly going to hell in a handbasket, any advice or help please?

(32 Posts)
youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 14:02:48

Ok I'm definitely not a newbie and am known around these parts (so to speak). Some of you will recognise me from details I post so if you do please don't out me!

Reason for namechange is I suspect my XP has been spying on me.

Anyway,on with my dilemma. Some brief background:- I recently got residence of DS after a court case. I know some folk will think how awful, trying to take my son away from his Dad but that's not the case. Believe me or not as you like. The reason for all this is that XP was (and still is) a controlling, manipulative bully. It's impossible to have a reasonable discussion with him, as his idea of a discussion is basically 'this is what I want, I'm going to do it and if you don't agree then tough shit'. Or else he agrees, says what he thinks people want to hear and does what the hell he likes anyway. No-one else's wishes or needs are taken into account. He is of course very convinving and reasonable on the surface which makes him extremely hard to deal with and makes me look unreasonable.

I realise some folk will be reading this thinking eh? What? What you on about? Get a grip! It's very hard to explain unless you have been through it.

There are now wranglings carrying on over DS' schooling. He will living with me and goign to school near me. He's had such an unsettled year and his birthday is at the end of the year. After much thought and discussion and also at the recommendation of the court reporter I thought it would be best if his schooling was deferred for a year. XP has got wind of this and is kicking off like a good'n. I'm now getting the usual thinly veiled threats and toys out the pram rants. It's unbearable. People say don't let him get to you and of course they are right but it's so, so hard.

I'm also getting conflicting advice from all quarters about what is best for DS's welfare. It's all getting a bit much and I feel like no matter what I do, I'm going to be in the wrong.

Now, I don't have masses of support up here although I do have a couple of friends. Was chatting with one last night and she said somehting which really hit home. She asked me why I was staying up here and putting up with Xp's nonsense when I had a lovely family at home who could give me so much support (which I do). I'd move there like a shot if it wasn't for XP who will naturally kick up a huge stink - my family live about 100 miles away. It's 2 hours away by car/on the train.

Then of course there is DS. After an unsettled start in life he is just starting to build up friendships here.

That's hard enough as it is as XP is so difficult about taking him to parties/activities and has him for most of the weekend. I do stand up to him and insist DS goes to see his friends but its so DRAINING.

And wouldn't it be awful for him to uproot him yet again after all he's been through? He is only 4. And he loves his Dad to bits. It feels unfair to take him away from his Dad and I know he will miss him if we go.

Please help me make some sense of this mess, sort out what is right for me and DS?

youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 14:06:23

I didn't realise what an essay that has turned into! Not like me to do huge ranty posts.

Also I can't put post very often right now as I'm working and vee busy (currently on lunch break). So if I don't reply I'm not ignoring you!

Thanks again.

LittleWonder Fri 19-Jun-09 14:08:46

Move to your family. they will support you and therefore you can support your son. He will make new friends and you will be a nicer Mummy for him to put up with. Your gut instinct is to move "like a shot". XP will put up a big stink whatever you do.

stealthsquiggle Fri 19-Jun-09 14:12:21

Go. DS will have a year to establish new friendships before starting school, it will not be as/at all apparent that you are deferring his entry, you will have the extended family support which is essential and XP will just have to make the effort to see him. It's not all that far, really.

cestlavielife Fri 19-Jun-09 14:21:19

does he see him every weekend? if you move to an alternate weekend arrangment then the travel time if you move for family support doesnt seem so bad.

my ex was extremely difficult about parties/seeing friends "why does she need to see them, she sees them at school?" "they always having parties, they can miss a few"
v annoying!

doggiesayswoof Fri 19-Jun-09 14:21:41

Yes, move. DS will make new friends quickly at his age. Better a move now, a year before he starts school, than considering this later.

You are not that far from XP - it's not as if you are taking your DS out of the country.

the support you will get is so important for your own sanity, and although DS might see less of his dad he will see much more of his extended family (grandparents?)

You can't do anything right in XP's eyes anyway. So don't stay for his sake.

Niceguy2 Fri 19-Jun-09 14:34:50

Hi YB, what sort of order do you have? A full residence order where ex is named for contact or a shared residence? If he only sees DS at weekends, I suspect he has contact only?

Assuming you have full residence, you could move easily as long as you still make DS available for contact on the specified times.

When I did this, the judge I was in front of turned to my ex and said "...its not exactly far away is it?" and the distance involved was similar to yours. Obviously each judge is different.

But I don't think 2 hours each way is too bad. Downside is that if ex persists then your son is going to have to endure 2 hour journeys between now and until he's old enough to get a train himself.

ridingjoker Fri 19-Jun-09 15:48:50

another vote for moving.

2 hrs isn't far. and if he has them for a whole wkd then its not like he's going 8 hrs in a day. the 2 hr journey is 1 dvd to a child in their timescales grin

not sure how long the wkd visit is. but if its sat/sun. could you agree he can pick ds up on fri night from school/nursery instead. giving him the whole day sat together when there's no travelling at all as a sweetner?

lostdad Fri 19-Jun-09 15:56:00

All other issues aside - would anyone here be happy for their ex unilaterally deciding to move 2 hours away? hmm

This is not intended to be a loaded question: If you moved, would it be for your DS' benefit. Or yours?

And neither is this (although I expect to be jumped on again for it!): Do you really believe that your ds' best interests and yours are exactly the same?

And finally - does he have (parental) family where you are currently living?

You're the only one who ultimately knows the full situation, but they are all questions that should be considered.

AnarchyAunt Fri 19-Jun-09 15:57:09

Move.

I moved a similar distance away from ex when DD was 3 and have never regretted it.

The support I get from my family has been amazing, far far better than what ex could offer. Your DS will make new friends, you will too, and there will be some reliable support and back-up for you. Its so hard to parent without that.

stealthsquiggle Fri 19-Jun-09 16:19:12

lostdad - whilst the OP's best interests are not, I agree, identical to her DS's they are very interlinked, and the security and support of extended family will benefit him as well as the OP. Plus, the XP in question only sees his DS at weekends. If shared residence was in place then it would be different, IMHO, since both parents would need to be close to school.

I have a friend whose XP lives this sort of distance away - transport for weekends is shared, it is not too far for him to occasionally come for parents evenings, etc, but it allows a healthy separation of the DC's two 'homes' (i.e. they don't bump into each other in the supermarket) - far less stressful for all concerned.

youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 16:21:18

Lots of food for thought here.

I am surprised tbh to find that most people are saying 'go home'.

Lostdad - It isn't something to I would do without a huge amount of thought and considering all the consequences.

It's pretty much tearing me up inside and I would think that's obvious from my post? DS is absolutely the most imporant person in all of this.

I'm very mindful of the fact that our choices have far reaching consequences for him.

TBH I've bent over backwards to be reasonable with DS' Dad and every time he has done his best to marginalise me. For example - moving him to a new nursery without telling me and then neglecting to tell said nursery that I actually existed! They didn't know about me until I phoned them up to ask how DS was and give them my contact details.

youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 16:24:01

Oh and thank you everyone as well. I really appreciate you taking the time to post on this!

As I say lots to think about.

mamas12 Fri 19-Jun-09 17:14:44

Another here to say move.
Whatever you do with regard to your ex you will be in the wrong.
So you need to do what you and your ds need and that is get the support from family.
If you stay there for at least the next 10 years you've given him the stable start in life you crave for yourselves. life

Snorbs Fri 19-Jun-09 17:29:39

If you do move, could you share the burden of the extra travelling? Eg, you take DS to see his dad then his dad brings him back?

Surfermum Fri 19-Jun-09 17:55:00

My dsd is 13 so older, but maybe our perspective will help give you more food for thought. Dh really wishes his dd were closer - she's lived away from him since she was 2. She is currently an hour and a half away and it's way too far for his liking. He's just not involved in her life in the same way he would be if she were nearer. And I think she'd like it to be different too. I'm sure she'd be round here a lot more, she'd be able to come and do her homework on our computer, when she needed specialist trainers we only had a Saturday to rush round trying to find some, when her mum had to stay in hospital longer than planned one day, we could have had her with us, but we weren't near enough and by the time we'd driven there her mum would have been home - so dsd sat at home worrying about her mum on her own sad. They're just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head.

He's just gone to get her now. With traffic and everying it's taken about a 4.5 hour round trip, and he's shattered (his mum died on Wednesday night sad). He did the round trip one night earlier in the week so dsd could see her Nan before she died, and now she's having to spend a couple of days here next week and miss school so she can attend the funeral.

I'm waffling probably grin. I think my point is that in our experience a lot of things would be easier for all of us, more "normal" for all of us if she were down the road.

Jumente Fri 19-Jun-09 18:01:50

Surfermum - would it be possible at all for your family to move nearer to his daughter? I think OP needs to be supported and if she can only find this support 100 miles away then so be it.

As long as travel arrangements are approached sensibly then I don't think there will be a problem. Far, FAR better to do it before he starts school.

SFC80 Fri 19-Jun-09 18:09:41

Have you discussed the schooling issues with your Health Visitor? Maybe if you have a medical professionals backing, your ex will be more understanding of your reasons for wanting him to defer a year before school.

Surfermum Fri 19-Jun-09 18:27:02

Oh I don't disagree about the importance of support for youngbag at all. But I don't think it's necesarily all about the immediate situation. Years down the line what sort of relationship will her son have been able to have had with his Dad if he isn't local.

And no it wouldn't be possible to move near her mum. Dh's mum has just died and he needs to be near his Dad who is in his 80's and needs lots of care. My parents are in their 80's and also need me close by, dd is in an excellent school here, has friends, activities and would be disrupted by a move. We both have jobs here and where dsd lives is very rural and there are very few jobs. Our home, friends, family and support is here and we wouldn't be in a position to be able to sell and move. It's not that straightforward unfortunately.

There are lots of other factors involved - it isn't that simple to say that one parent can move wherever they want and the other will just have to follow if they want to stay in close contact with their child.

And in the early days, if we'd attempted to move nearer to dsd's mum she would have had a fit and accused dh of interfering hmm - and most likely would have moved again.

youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 18:51:25

Ok lots of things to think about here.

I'd like to explain that it's not going to be happening right away even if (big if)it does happen. Very much just thinking about right now.

Surfermum I really do see your point. I really do feel that I don't want to take DS away from his Dad. My feelings about XP are not important compared to how DS feels. ATM he loves seeing Dad at the weekend and has a great time.

What I would point out though is that XP certainly doesn't afford me or DS the consideration I afford him. For example, he moved 50 miles away without telling me he was going to do it and then put DS in the other nursery (mentioned this earlier) without telling me. This caused a lot of upset for DS. Of course it's not up to me where he lives at all but he is well able to live close to DS (company director with flexible working hours and earning at least 60k who owns three properties with new wife) but has actually chosen not to.

I'd be ok with him 5 minutes down the road and shared care but he's made it very clear he doesn't want that.

youngbag Fri 19-Jun-09 18:56:49

I suppose the point I am trying to make that I'd be entirely happy if we working 'together' as parents (IYSWIM) because to me that is ideal.

Children come first after all!

Every step of the way XP has obstructed this.

I'm not sure how to convey this without sounding a like a paranoid nutcase but I really think XP wants DS to be raised by his step-mum and me in the background.

Mumofagun Fri 19-Jun-09 22:58:26

Well sorry, but moving 50 miles away himself says a lot, its hardly local. I go through the same thing myself all the time even though XDP lives 200 miles away and chose to do that himself! When he resettled out of the military he could have chosen to live anywhere near us but didn't. He neither chose to live near friends or family, he may as well have picked a random spot. X years down the line I am scared of upping sticks in case it "increases" the 200 miles away that HE put himself. Even though DS doesn't see XDP at the moment, I am still in a panic about it. No it isn't easy but my gut tells me for you to do it. No help I know. But if the Judge in my case thought it was ok for HIM to be 200 miles awy and it was easily "do-able", why not in yours?

Jumente Sat 20-Jun-09 07:30:13

Exactly - if he can just do that without consideration as to how it'll affect his relationship with her then I would suggest you step back and think only in terms of what is a) legal and b) good for your daughter. Stop playing any game he is trying to make you play, and ignore him as much as possible.

I had a problem with an ex who complained that he wanted to get back together after we separated during my pregnancy, due to him not wanting the baby and being a complete arse. As soon as I'd told him not to bother coming back, he was all for reconciliation - in words at least. In behaviour nothing changed and I just ignored him - refused to answer stupid emails that were designed to control and get me into a battle of control, I told him I'd changed my address and hadn't he had the joint email about this? when in fact I hadn't changed it at all and was simply ignoring him. I remained cheerful throughout and he suspected nothing.

I invited him to see the baby once it was born but guess what, after arranging a time and date he never showed - no phone call, nothing. I have not heard from him since.

You have to kind of maintain an air of cool and be very brave, but it actually sometimes works just carrying on as usual, being unshakeable and ultra, ultra confident in your own needs and those of your child. If they see they can't bully you they sometimes just give up and find someone willing to argue/fight iyswim.

Good luck, please do put your own lives first and stuff him, in short - he can look after himself and obviously will put himself first in any situation from what you have said. xx

Jumente Sat 20-Jun-09 07:31:08

Oh and he will probably be relieved if you take the 'responsibility' off him in this way by looking after yourself - in a freaky way he probably feels he needs to control you, as his job - men like this are v strange!!

Jumente Sat 20-Jun-09 07:39:07

One more thing, which may or may not be relevant - what I found was that I needed to cut my own wish for anything from him off completely - that is I stopped wanting his involvement almost immediately, once I had given myself 'permission' to do it without him - the relief at realising I didn't have to have a relationship with him was brilliant - even though we were having a child - it was totally separate.

In retrospect he wasn't interested in the child at all, simply in having me on hand to exert his control freaky issues on and argue with. Once I mentally walked away from that, he had nothing to gain from any contact, in his mind - so it stopped being interesting to him. I was just verynice and very innocent and refused to argue about anything because I knew in my head that I really didn't have to, I owed him nothing.

I'm not sure if this makes sense in your situation, but if you are not in a relationship with him there is no obligation on you to actually think about what he wants at all or have any contact apart from essential stuff relating to your daughter, and this can be minimal and not randomly available...say make it only at a set time every week that he can ring you, or better still do it all by email.

Keep your boundaries - you owe him nothing. Really.

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