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Have I 'allowed' too much

(16 Posts)
Lifegoeson Tue 30-Jun-09 13:18:24

I am in need of some of the excellent advice and support distributed by wise mners please.

Synopsis of the situation... - you might wanna grab a cuppa or a long cool drink as War and Peace has nothing on me!

Met a guy, had a short relationship, moved 200 miles to be with him, became apparent wasn't going to work within days, so back to hometown within a month - did not receive a warm welcome back from anyone, very gossipy, mum didn't speak to me for 3 weeks, even though we were living in the same house?! So was very stressed and sad - I was 16 weeks pregnant at this point. I then had to find a f/t job whilst trying to conceal my pregnancy, I felt bad, but was only going for temporary roles though as didn't want to let anybody down and I needed money as mum wanted rent and I had to eat and start getting baby stuff together, so got job and supported myself whilst living in a thoroughly awful atmosphere and situation.

XP got really shirty and I was getting 'informative texts' telling me how much money he would give me me and how much he wanted access to child throughout the year, breaking it down to holidays, days etc, but also texts saying how devastated he was things hadn't worked out and there must be something wrong with me... mmm you don't say! He also at one point wanted to try again, but even talking about it made us argue, so I sacked that off quite quickly, I know it was only for the baby though so I just said we'd see when he raised it again, I knew he'd change his mind and he did. I was quite vague about the contact he wanted, he wants a lot! But generally went along with it.

He was quite affected by it, not breaking up with me, no big love affair there, but very sad he was going to live so far away from his child, I was also very sad about that too as all I ever wanted was a family and I was fully aware of how hard being a lone parents can be at times. Things mellowed a little and relations between us improved so this is what has happened so far.

I had to find a house for DS and moved in 3 weeks before he was born, I also worked f/t until 8 days before he was born as needed the money, this was a very stressful period and I never really had a chance to settle in the house or prepare it for DS arrival.

Kept XP was updated throughout pregnancy via texts/calls/emails, pictures of growing bump, every midwife visit, scan etc - I sent him a happy birthday daddy card with scan picture in it as he couldn't be there - I was attempting to forge good relations between us because we have got to be in contact for years! I should also say, he gets frequent - practically daily - texts, pictures, videos and emails of pictures of DS smiling and in bath etc, saying 'hi daddy x' and informative ones like sleep patterns, moving up ounces, general developement, poos, you know the sort of rubbishy info that only parents are interested in!

When I moved into a house he came to visit for weekend when I was about 37 weeks - he wanted to see bump and feel DS kick - I was fine with that, was really pleased about the bonding with regards to feeling him kick, and also thought it would be good to see him before the day before I gave birth iyswim.

He also kindly brought cot and baby clothes and bits and pieces from family, I should also mention he gave me deposit for house, so I was very pleased things had improved so much and also very grateful, and feeling quite positive about the future, I thought - naively! - this can work actually.

I had said to him I thought we could never be friends but we could make a good parenting team, he was the one who actually said he felt we could be good friends one day, so as he was being supportive etc I thought ok, maybe... We are able to help each other with certain work or personal things like advice.

So anyway - sorry to ramble - has been building up for months! - I have always said to him he will always be involved in DS life, he has this on text and and email and I think my actions thus far has demonstrated this...

He arrived day before DS was born - I was meant to be having a c-section, but DS decided he couldn't wait! So he was here when went into natural labour, he was quite good during ensuing madness, labour went from 0-90, a huge shock for us both - I was due to go into hospital that eve - so plan was that he would see DS born, I just didn't think it would be naturally blush but I thought this moment is so much bigger than your XP seeing your nether regions - seeing his son born, so pushed on, literally! So he obviously saw DS born, cut his cord and gave him his first feed.

He was then welcomed to stay at my house for the first month for bonding and helping me, although as DS snuck out early I didn't need as much physical help as I would have with the c-section. Things were ok between us at first, babymoon I guess, I then did a 400 mile round trip - 12 days after giving birth - so XP family could meet DS, I have also done the trip alone 3 times since so his extended family could see DS.

Things came to a head after a while and we argued, he said I was too bossy, I have been called a lot of things in my life but never bossy! He went home for a few of days to give us a break from each other, offering to take DS, who was 17 days old at the time hmm as he 'didn't want to leave him, he just wanted to get away from me'. Needless to say I did not want my newborn baby 200 miles away from me.

He came back and things were okish again, we registered DS birth together, he is named on certificate so has PR. DS also has double-barrelled surname, which I didn't really want, as name can be a bit funny if you twist it, which I'm sure some children will notice at school but I wanted him to have a link to his father and XP was also very keen on this.

So anyway he left after the month, I have said he is weclome to vist anytime, which he has since, about 9 times, he is a good dad, very loving and caring and totally smitten with DS, I know it is heartbreaking to be so far away, but he has the option of jumping in the car anytime, my door is always open to him.

Then I received a text from him - I think this is when things started to go downhill really me as alarm bells started ringing - 'I have booked time off and I would like DS for 1 week at this time and 1 week (month later), I was really shocked - DS was 7 weeks old at this point - and we had had no discussion whatsoever about any access never mind him taking baby away for a week! What on earth he thought DS would think, er, where's my mum?? DS would have been 17 weeks for first date he wanted to take him. So I replied very diplomatically again, even though I just wanted to tell him, not on your nelly sunshine! But just said I felt DS was too young to be away from me for a week at a time, and offred alternatives, including I could go with and just stay out of the way, I am quite good at that, as I do know DS is in safe hands, so I get back, no I think a week is fine - oh that's alright then?! - And it was made clear I wasn't welcome, then he said, ok 5 days then, I do hope this won't be a problem... Vague threats, I know exactly how it was meant, so texts got worse, having then spoke to a solicitor, at 9.30 on a Saturday night?? I was told I was being unreasonable and I knew it and so would a judge, can anyone show me a judge who has ordered this? No, I didn't think so. I have to point out he is the one to raise the word judge, hinting at court etc, not me. Never, ever wanted or want that. I then got told - 'You just don't get it, his age has nothing to do with it'! Er, the whole point is his age!

Relations between us are deteriorating, have been very gradually really... I think we tried to hard to be friends - I knew it wouldn't work! - and we've just annoyed each other, although (I thought he was a good bloke, we just weren't each others type of people, but after the threats and insults, I no longer think this) I loathe stereotypes, although I am starting to think there may be a reason for them, he is from place where they have a very 'stereotypical' image, quick to kick off, and he does just that!

I'm finding him more aggressive and initmidating, last week he called me the most pathetic person he had ever met and the biggest joke ever, not the worst names I know, but stil not nice to hear, he also said he would make my life hell if I stopped him seeing his son, nice. Oh and that he wanted nothing to do with me, the next 15 odd years are gonna be soo much fun then! This was when I had pointed out I am under no obligation to have him in my home or do the 400 mile round trips - blardy knackering! - but I do it all because I want DS to have strong bond with his father and also his extended family.

I have never, ever said that I would stop him seeing him, and I sincerely never would as even if I don't need him in my life DS does, I have told him this repeatedly but it just doesn't seem to be sinking in?? It's like I say something and he hears something else?? I think there maybe some controlling issues that I didn't get a chance to see as wasn't with him for long enough, almost 40, never married, and doesn't hold a very high opionion of his mother.

I've bent over backwards to accomodate him - I literally have accomodated him! - and enable him to see his son - I feel now perhaps retrospectively I may have 'given' too much and he just wants more and more, give an inch take a mile springs to mind, he doesn't seem to understand the mother/baby bond and what is best for DS, it's all about what he wants. So huge row about overnight access as he can't stand to be around me, I am happy for him to have DS overnight at some point, as I say, he is a good father, I have some issues, some pfb I know! And some that I am a bit hmm about but as I find him so intimidating it's hard to raise these issues.

I feel I have tried and tried, I have appreciated and acknowldged how difficult it is for him, I know how much he misses and loves his little boy, hence the open invite, and my trips there, but I feel I am getting nothing but contempt from him, it's hard having someone in your home for days who simply can't stand you. sad Doesn't do much for ones v low self-esteem.

I made tentative steps to find out some information about mediation as the stress was really getting me down - I suffer from depression, which he is aware of - he works in mental health too - but is happy to insult and threaten a person with depression and anxiety now too - great! - who is also raising his child, he doesn't consider the effects on DS when I'm crying my eyes out and feel exhausted, stressed and depressed, he also knows I have no support in r/l, rubbish family relations. I admit I am a very sensitive person, pita at times, he is not and can't stand this.

The solicitor I spoke to actually said she astonished at what I'd done so far, she said she had never heard of such a story, how much I involved him etc. It calmed down a bit after the 'holiday' texts and he said he had realised how much babies needed their mums and that he wasn't sure he would have been able to cope on his own for that long. He also admitted that he was going on his sisters contact arrangemets for her DS and his father, I had to point out that I am not his sister and DS is not his DN and he is not her XP, every situation is unique and I also pointed out that DN was older (3)and he had lived with his father for first 2 years of his life. DS did not recognise his father when he arrived this week, it had been over 2 weeks since he last saw him.

I have alway tried to be diplomatic and compromise and invlolve him in everything in DS life, including plans to be present for fist feed, first swim - which he said he wouldn't miss for the world, but this weekend, he was 'not that bothered about it'. As I say, things are getting more and more difficult, it centres round overnight access for DS, he reallys wants it, I don't have a problem with it in the long term, but DS is only 5 months, it really centres around the fact that DS would be 200 miles away I guess, that is a long way away from my baby. Also I just feel, and I do know I am being unreasonable here though, but his attitude is making me think fark off too, I was kind of getting ready for it, trying to be brave and sensible, and think about DS. If he was nicer and more respectful it would probably be a bit easier, but because of all the aggro it's making me more anxious about being separated by hundreds of miles from my little baby boy. I don't want a brown noser, can't stand them, but just more appreciation of what I do/have done. I've told him to ask around about access with colleagues and friends and see what other arrangements fathers have, or talk to his sisters, he has 7, 6 with kids, oh and one who has DS 3 months older than our DS and he doesn't see his dad at all! Apparently they 'can see where I'm coming from', oh really, you think any of them would have sent their 5 month old baby 200 miles away with their insulting and threatening XP. If he lived locally it would be different again, as I could hop in car and be with him within minutes if need be.

I feel so down and quite frankly really, really pissed off that I have put myself out so much for him, DS obviously will have no memory, there so many awkward mothers out there who won't allow children access to their fathers, or use them as tools in emotional battles, I do not want this for DS, which is why I have done all of the above, I thought he would really appreciate it and we could be a good and mum dad, together, but apart. I just wanted us to enjoy our lovely little boy, as only parents can.

He can't seem to grasp that in working with me instead of against me will benefit him in the long run, I would allow far more than the courts would allow and be much more flexible. It's really affecting me quite badly, I'm feeling worse and worse, which obviously has an effect on DS, I'm struggling more with him as I have no support, he's mostly a very good baby but has become more whiney in last few weeks and I think that's the stress he can feel from me.

Sorry this is soo long guys - round of applause and a big thank you if you got this far! - but after 5 months it all had to come out!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 01-Jul-09 04:07:26

I read this much earlier in the day, and am surprised that you've had no responses so far.

I'm sorry that your parents have been less than helpful, and that your xDP is being a bit of an arse. I think he probably doesn't know much about young babies, but the only way for him to learn more is to spend more time with his son. It's such a shame he's 200 miles away, but I wonder if that's the reason he wants overnight visits straight away - it's such a distance for just a few hours.

Could you arrange to meet him somewhere midway for a couple of hours? Maybe once he's seen your DS and understands how essential you are/how much work is involved, he'll back off a bit?

You do seem to be very reasonable, and bending over to help him have access, but if he doesn't want it, you can't force it.

Ryn Wed 01-Jul-09 08:45:56

Do whats right for you and your DS first.......this screams similarities to my situation where you do everything you think is right for DS and Exp and its still not enough.

My situation is so messy you might not want my advice, but you have been far more than reasonable and it is unreasonable for him to expect to have him overnight so far away and so young. If he had DS interests at heart and not his own then i think he would know that it might be too confusing and stressful to expect so much so soon.

Dont let yourself to be emotionally blackmailed into doing something youre not happy with. You know your DS better than anyone and you will be his world.

And being so bloody threatening screams alarm bells and makes you wonder just 'how good' a father he really is. Would a great father want the mother of his child upset?????

Stick to your guns... he will see him. The child is NOT missing out on no overnight access. Your Exp is, by not getting his own way. He has a child, HE is NOT the child! He needs to learn that!

Good Luck smile

Lifegoeson Wed 01-Jul-09 08:59:49

Hi OLKN,

Thanks for responding, I'm surprised too.sad

Well that's the thing, he is great with DS, and has spent lots of quality time with him, I have no real concerns there, it's his attitude towards me, bearing in mind I have given so much. He doesn't come for a few hours, he stays in my home for days at a time, and I have been to his home for days at a time too.

It's really helped to get it all out, I've ben able to pick up the basics from other peoples situations, but everyone's is different.

He thinks I'm being totally unreasonable because I won't let him take DS 200 miles away, just because he can't stand me, er, DS can! He's so tiny, I'm just not comfortable with it yet, especially when he's being such a tool. I explained how the courts felt about overnight stays, they don't call for them til about 12-18 months generally - from what I've gathered on here - and he just kept saying, 'we'll see', so patronising. He hasn't got a clue.

It has made it clearer for me though, just offloading I'll let him go to a solicitor and explain what access he's had so far, I know a solicitor will ask; and you're getting shitty with her because...?

He's a nasty piece of work, I'm sad we won't be able to parent together as I would have liked, but his bad, he'll lose out.

Lifegoeson Wed 01-Jul-09 12:25:49

Thanks so much Ryn.

I think that's where I went wrong, being 'too nice', now I'm viewed as a twat soft touch.

On all points I feel exactly the same as you, DS comes first, but it's all about what HE wants, which is basically me out of the picture.

And yes, precisely, he knows I'm caring for DS alone with no support, why would he want to upset me further??

Thanks again guys, it means so much to know people understand and take the time to reply. Don't feel like such a stressed out sad case!

Ryn Wed 01-Jul-09 12:42:20

I thought i was one of a few til i joined this site and realised that there are loads of us going through similar shit!!!

He is taking advantage of your niceness.

Stay strong smile

macdoodle Wed 01-Jul-09 18:45:59

Well my DD2 is 18months, my XH is an arse but does spend time with his DD's and only lives 5 mins away! They both know and love him, but he hasnt had DD2 overnight yet EVER, and he has never lived with us since she was born!
5 months is far far too young IMO and am sure the courts would agree!
I'm kind of psyching up for 2 but even that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable!

yerblurt Wed 01-Jul-09 21:37:25

I think you have to be congratulated on how well you have done in a pretty tough situation and also that you have been very keen to involve dad in the child's life, despite many practical issues with the distance.

The father is being completely unrealistic in his requests and any Court would not even entertain his proposals for one minute so I wouldn't worry about that for now.

It's the distance really - 200 miles is a hell of a long way and overnight staying contact for a child of this age isn't really going to advised, maybe 1 overnight if dad was living locally and building up... but again we come back to the distance issue.

Family Mediation would be an appropriate place to discuss matters in a non-confrontational place, again the distance issue is huge.

I would suggest some resources for dad - to have a look at a very good website forum;
www.dads-uk.co.uk

and also I would suggest he joins Families Need Fathers.

At both places he will be able to discuss issues with plenty of other fathers (and mothers too!) and come to a sensible compromise for both of you and, more importantly, the child...

sparklefrog Wed 01-Jul-09 22:59:26

Hi.

I'm so sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. sad

I am having a similar situation, although I have been through court, which tbh was never ever my intention. I ended up with no choice, because XP took DD out of my house and refused to return her.

I also want XP and DD to have a close relationship, for DD's sake, and XP is also very much like yrs sounds, issues thinly veiled threats etc.
I find people behave in ways that they have either learnt works for them, or they are working now. Probably both.

I am assuming you don't have residency of yr DS?
Is this something you would consider applying for?

This is just my advice, from what I have been through.

I would stop trying to please XP straightaway. All that matters imo is yr gorgeous DS. Not what his daddy wants, nor what his daddy's family do with their children. Please don't compare yrself with them.
I definitely would not let a baby of that age sleep over at your XP's without you present.
If you are still happy to put XP up so he can come to yr house to see DS, I would make it very clear that he was to show you the utmost in respect while he was in your home, or you would be asking him to leave immediately. This will give him the chance to see his DS regularly. In fact, I'd be inclined to let him do the travelling and stay at yrs, or close by if he can, to save you and DS travelling. There will be time for that when DS is older. I wouldn't even consider DS sleeping over at XP's house until he was old enough to communicate with you, possibly 3yrs or older.

I'm sorry to hear you are not getting much support in RL. sad
Have you considered chatting to your HV about this?

In a nutshell, I think you need to stop worrying what XP thinks. I think you are doing so much more than you need to, or than I would. Do what you want. That will be what is best for yr DS.
I know you think he is a good father, but remember this. A good father never ever abuses his child's mother.
If he is being aggressive and issuing you with thinly veiled threats and trying to manipulate you as well as treating you with total disrespect, he is not being a good father.

Your XP obviously doesn't realise how good he has got it. Most women I know in RL would not be doing what you are doing.

sparklefrog Wed 01-Jul-09 23:08:35

As an afterthought, most XP who don't get their own way come out with the 'your being unreasonable' line too. Don't take any notice.

My XP has been telling me he has seen a solicitor about getting overnight access of our DD. I replied 'It's not going to happen. You are not having her overnight at the moment. She is too young'
He always says 'We'll see'

Yes, we will.

Funnily enough, I still haven't been contacted by his solicitor even though I was supposed to be getting a letter from hs solicitor 2 weeks ago now. I am not concerned at all.

I also think it is awful that he tells you he can't stand you. I do hope he refrains from blurting out crap like that as yr DS gets older. In fact, IMO he should get in the habit now.
I would hang up on him, or cut him off every time he disrespected me. Or you will possibly still be having these problems with him disrespecting you in years to come, and then it is bound to affect yr DS.

Neither you nor him should ever ever denigrate the other parent in front of, or in hearing of yr DS, and that goes for both yr friends and families too. (Not saying you do, but he sounds like he does.)

Lifegoeson Thu 02-Jul-09 10:12:21

I know Ryn, such relief to know we're not alone, I have been following your threads too, I hope you and yours are well.

I think so too MD, but obviously as his DS's mother, my opionion is the only one he is not bothered about!

YB - thank you very much, it means a lot to have acknowledgement of that. I do hope so regarding the courts, I feel confident I am able to demonstrate historically all I have done, is far from unreasonable. Yes family mediation is they way to go I think, I will feel much more comfortable having another adult present.

I left some info on mediation out for him to read and he took it with him! But hopefully as it is with him, some of the info/advice will sink in! We could co-ordinate a mediation meeting on say the last day of his visit, so we aren't going back to mine to stew.

Lifegoeson Thu 02-Jul-09 10:49:58

SP - thank you, this has really helped, thank you all so much, I can't believe how much calmer I feel... for now! I'm feeling a lot more positive.

That is my worry also, he will take him and not return him, well he will, but on his terms, e.g. I would get a text saying - we will be back tomorrow instead of today, he is fine - oh that's ok then!

Well it's totally backfired on him because I despise bullies and will not tolerate it - ooo - look at me getting all feisty! See what you've all done!

I assumed I had residency as he lives with me SP, is that something I should do? - So then he has to return him every time?

HV was supposed to come yesterday but was 50 mins late so I had to canx, I may reschedule.

I like your nutshell SP! He'll hate me even more, but so what, I've got nothing to lose, and a much more peaceful life to gain! I totally agree with regards to how he is treating me, he doesn't seem to understand my quality of life is DS quality of life. What is it with these men?? We are raising their children ffs.

I do hope when I recommend the sites kindly adivised on here, someone spell it out how lucky he has been, cos obviously I'm just lying!

Oh, and the knob has left his email open on my laptop, I'm getting a right slagging off! Which leads on to what you said about having respect for the other parent, I do jokingly say to DS in baby voice, 'daddy is twat isn't he', DS then laughs his head off! But only because I know that v soon I'm gonna have to be 'bigging him up' all the time, and I will. I am well aware of the damage that can be done, I will never do that, and I will spell out that he will damage DS - not me - if he does that. Same with family, he'll always be DS daddy so therefore has respect - shame it's not earned - XP was even invited to my bro's wedding next year, DS is pageboy, they thought it would be nice for DS to have his daddy in the photos and for XP to see DS and be all proud, he was kind of considered an extension of the family, as he is DS family iyswim, needless to say he has been uninvited. Again, his loss.

ElenorRigby Thu 02-Jul-09 19:06:23

Lifegoeson...I read your post and asked my DP yerblurt to look at it. We were both of the opinion that you have really been brilliant at wanting your DS having his dad involved in his life.
To my view you worked well together at first, then your sons dad became insecure and became demanding through that insecurity.
He really needs a reality check and talk to other dads in similar situations, who would probably give a kick up the arse! Please do give him the links to dads uk and families need fathers that my DP provided. He would recieve practical, realistic advice there from parents who would have been grateful to have an caring ex like you.

Tryharder Thu 02-Jul-09 23:00:18

"I loathe stereotypes, although I am starting to think there may be a reason for them, he is from place where they have a very 'stereotypical' image, quick to kick off, and he does just that! "

Hi OP, what did you mean by this - is your XP from abroad? If so, be really careful about giving him access without you. I don't wish to scaremonger but you hear stories of babies being wisked off to places like Saudi Arabia or Yemen and their mothers not seeing them for years....

If you XP is named on the birth cert, he could use this to obtain a passport for him from his own country.

Obviously, if your XP is British then just ignore me...

sparklefrog Mon 06-Jul-09 17:05:27

Hi again.

How are you feeling today/lately?

As far as residency goes, neither parent automatically has residency. If both parents are on the birth certificate, they will both have PR, but not residency.

This means that if you havent applied and been granted residency, then you have the same responsibilities as yr XP.

This also means that if there is nothing set in stone, and yr XP decides to pick up yr DS and have him for a few days, there's not much you can do about it. In fact, yr XP could keep yr DS for as long as he wants (to my knowledge) if there is no residency in place. You basically share care of him.

If you have concerns that yr XP will not return him when you have agreed, then personally I would apply for residency, because if yr XP takes yr DS and refuses to return him, the police will not intervene, because there in no court order, so you both have equal responsibility in care of yr DS. They will more than likely tell you to seek legal advice, but they will probably not order the return of yr DS, a court will do that, all of which takes time. I would sort it before it happens. If only to be on the safe side.

HTH

Lifegoeson Tue 07-Jul-09 12:04:29

Apologies guys, laptop playing up, I was lost without it!

ER - Yes I think you're absolutely right, but I allowed so much so he COULD feel he was in control to a degree as he was so involved. How many dads have an open door policy with their ex, even tho they dislike them. I sent him the links and it seems to have really helped, thank you and your DP. He said he was really shocked by some of the stories, so I think it has opened his eyes a little, although he did say something along the lines of 'if this doesn't work we will have to move onto the next stage', court I imagine, and what he means by doesn't work is that if I don't let him take DS overnight, tough poo, int gonna happen, not until I'm ready. But he also said he will work with me to ensure DS has best possible life, I did tell him how stressed out and down about it I was and pointed out that affects DS, that seems to have made an impact too.

TH - Not he's not from a different country, sometimes feels like it! Thanks for the heads up tho.

SP - So so... I have PND according the the online test, long history of depression anyway, but is different now, I'm very anxious and feel very overwhelmed by everything, and this certainly doesn't help. I have tried to contact my HV a few times but she is not coming back to me, I may just go straight to the Dr instead, thank you asking and re-visiting thread. And thank you for clarifying residency, it is as I thought. Funnily enough, I just googled family solicitors in my area and thought I would just check back on this thread so I will make an appointment as he has probably gathered that information himself, do the solicitors have to advise him I am applying? Can he contest it iyswim? I will make an appointment soon. I don't think he'd take him indefintely, as he knows that is disruptive for DS, but he would certainly keep him an extra x amount of time if he wanted to, with little regard to our arrangements.

Thank you all so much, I really appreciate your views and advice, and taking the time to read my epic post! It has helped so much. x

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