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PLEASE tell me I dont have to put up with X controlling me and dc's and making our lives hell for another 8 years?!

(25 Posts)
terrier141 Thu 10-Sep-09 10:40:10

Divorced ex h over 6 years ago - it was a very emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. Yet even now he is still controlling our lives. I have always believed that kids should have a good relationship with both parents and have actively encouraged this. However, ex refuses point blank to communicate with me (i dont even have a phone number for him!), yet he calls me to "discuss" issues - which just means he calls me to tell me the latest rules. One of these rules is that I am not allowed to drive in the area he lives (I never have by the way!). The divorce was caused by him - yet 6 years down the line I am still treated with contempt - yet all I want is to communicate sensibly about issues concerning our kids. The kids currently see him every other wkend - but he doesnt pay maintainence (never has and never will - his words), leaves our kids out of their family holidays, makes our kids sit on the side of the swimming pool while his stepkids go swimming etc etc. The list goes on.....
He does not attend any functions with the kids eg school parents eves, concerts, sports day, football matches etc. He has now told the kids that they cannot go to any friends birthday parties/football matches/brownie away days on his weekends. He is a total twat and I really dont think I can carry on like this for the next 6-8years!
Any advice?

mrsmortenharket Thu 10-Sep-09 10:59:48

yes. report him to csa, see a solicitor and apply for legal aid, even if you are working you may get some help. x is exactly the same as you, he is using your kids to get to you my sol used the phrase 'implacable hostility' this morning and says that 95% of the absentee parents she sees are like this.

get contact all through sols is you can, takes the stress away from you.

am sorry if i seem harsh, have just come from appointment with sols this mornign.

RealityIsNOTDetoxing Thu 10-Sep-09 11:05:51

Message withdrawn

RealityIsNOTDetoxing Thu 10-Sep-09 11:07:31

Message withdrawn

hayes Thu 10-Sep-09 11:08:35

Sorry you are having a tough time of it. Continue to encourage his involvement with the children, children are not stupid they can quickly work people out and will be wise to his ways eventually and he will lose out when they are old enough to make their own decisions.

Leaving the kids out of swimming sounds nasty, does this happen regularly or was it a one off?

Implacable hostility is often shown by parent with care also, in fact I would think more so by the parent with care as they do have the power as they have the children with them.

you should just continue to be the best mother you can be, support your kids and be there for them.

cestlavielife Thu 10-Sep-09 11:45:24

i know what you mean and sympathise - hard to eb told by CAFCASS "you need to learn to communciate with him for your children" when factual statements by me get rants of nuttiness in return...

and he keeps us all waiting on end of phone for him to turn up - saying coming at 2pm - it turns into 5 pm...ugh.

nickelbabe Thu 10-Sep-09 11:49:22

agree: CSA and solicitor.

if he's not even willing to be dad when he has them to stay, then what have they got to lose?

terrier141 Thu 10-Sep-09 15:58:40

csa have been involved for the full 6 years but he doesnt work and I cant even get the £5 taken out of his benefits cos he has other kids living with him (his step kids and new bio kids)!! aargh - feel like screamin!

Janos Thu 10-Sep-09 17:41:41

He sounds completely awful, Is there a reason why you are facilitating contact? Because from all you say it sounds likes kids would be better off not seeing him.

He stops them talking part in fun activities which his step kids are allowed to enjoy? He tells them they can't see friends or go to parties?

I'm surprised you haven't told him where to go.

Oh, and what you do and where you go is none of his damn business.

Get a decent solicitor quick sharp.

Janos Thu 10-Sep-09 17:44:41

Bottom line is, he isn't going to communicate sensibly so why distress yourself by trying to make him?

What he is doing to your children borders on emotional abuse and downright cruel.

Please don't be frightened of this horrible bully.

mamas12 Thu 10-Sep-09 19:18:51

So sorry to hear this because it is a little like my ex.
I would tell him that you are not prepared to be spoken to like that again and put the phone down when he rants, everytime he does it.
Alo echo what others have said about not running around after him, I know it's for the dcs but what exactly do they get out of this pray tell.

What do they feel about it and can you go with their wishes.
If they take a break from seeing for a while and see how it goes maybe?

GypsyMoth Thu 10-Sep-09 21:06:53

is their a court order?
you could try mediation...
how old are the kids? their wishes and feelings will go a long way with cafcass. and he should really take them to football,parties etc....

CarGirl Thu 10-Sep-09 21:09:39

I would speak to the solicitor and consider refusing to let him have contact. Would the dc be happier to see him less often because of how he treats them such as one weekend a month etc?

terrier141 Fri 11-Sep-09 18:20:43

Yes there is a court order that states contact every other weekend - and I have (well still am!) considered breaking the order and withdrawing contact - i know we'd be back in court pronto - but at least the court could hear the full story. I hate the way he treats the kids. I cant afford a solicitor and dont get legal aid (just miss the limit!) - although ex gets legal aid as he doesnt work! Have asked the kids what they want (they are nearly 8 and nearly 10) - they say they hate their dad and dont want to see him but DO want to see their baby brother and sister which I can understand.
Just seems like a no-win situation really.
Guess I just have to try not to let him get to me - ignore his calls - and stick to the court order like glue - I wont give an inch either way from now on, and if he wont let kids do their activities then I will keep them home on those weekends. No more nicey nicey!!

Janos Fri 11-Sep-09 19:32:12

What a difficult situation for you terrier141. Didn't realise you had already been through the courts.

I think you are right in sticking to the court order 'to the letter'.

One idea - are you writing down/making a note of stuff your ex is doing? Because this would count against him should things come back to court.

Soon of course your DC will be old enough for their opinions to count. Sounds like they already have the measure of their Dad!

Janos Fri 11-Sep-09 19:32:42

By count, I mean have more weight in law (should it come to that).

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 20:15:36

Your poor dc sad I hope that you make some progress with it.

mmrred Sun 13-Sep-09 21:01:01

If there is a defined court order then actually he is (legally)correct, you aren't supposed to organise/enrol the kids in any activities in his parenting time. Of course things are going to come up like invites to parties, but what about asking to swap weekends or replace the time?

That way you'd look far more reasonable if it came to court. Witholding contact under a defined order so the kids can go to a party won't look good in court. If contact has already been judged to be in the childrens interests the court might not accept 'the full story'.

Be careful how much faith you put in solicitors, too. The more time you spend in court, the more money they get, so stirring things up and making things worse is the way they generate fees. The term 'implacable hostility' as far as I know is used in court to describe a resident parent who refuses contact despite everything the court does and has been cited in several cases as reason to stop trying to get contact for the NRP, but also as a reason to transfer Residence.

Definitely stop taking his calls, though.

GypsyMoth Mon 14-Sep-09 09:39:27

if it went back to court then you request cafcass interview the kids. they can have a 'wishes and feelings' interview. they will be listened to,and probably,allowing for as bit more time to pass,they will be able to gain the contact that THEY want.

have my own cafcass officer visiting this afternoon because 2 of my children,ages 10 and 12,are asking for contact to be stopped as he lets them down constantly. their elder sister stopped her contact years ago. the officer just needs to hear them say it to her,without me present,then she assures me it will not be forced no longer. this doesn't apply to my 7 year old. nothing can or will be done to force them to have contact now....

terrier141 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:23:56

Thanks for all your advice - some very interesting points!
I always ask to swap weekends when there is something on for my kids - or offer any alternative contact arrangements - whatever suits their dad. I have always been really flexible when it comes to contact - and he frequently re-arranges his contact time - at short notice sometimes (and wont budge!) - even when he knows I have to work - and dont have anyone to watch the kids. So what im saying is that the flexibility needs to work both ways.
Until now I have always agreed to any extra time he wants the kids eg when his new babies were born, parties, xmas, etc.
We used to contact via a message book sent with the kids - so there is lots of documented evidence of my flexibility.
My son has done the football for 3 years now - and its the only activity he does (and loves!), its building his confidence (which is a huge issue for him!), excerise, team building, relationships etc etc. Would the courts really think that contact with his dad (which in my opinion is the cause of his low self-esteem and lack of confidence - as the contact is bordering on emotional abuse) - is more beneficial to him than his football?
I have asked his dad to suggest alternative contact time to suit him - but this has been refused - even though he doesnt work - so you would think he could have contact anytime.
Just feel like he is still trying to control me through the kids - and in a way is controlling them too. If he was a great and involved, loving dad and that was the only contact time he could do - then I would have no problems.
Think the flexibility will have to come to an end if its not mutual.
My ex's step-kids do lots of activities - they go to swimming lessons, scouts, Taikwondo (twice a week) and football (yes they do all this on benefits - despite saying they cant afford to take my kids on holiday with them!!) - so I will not deny my son the one activity he loves!

CarGirl Mon 14-Sep-09 22:24:21

TBH I think I really would stop contact or give your dcs the option ie

"do you want to see Dad on Sat or stay with me so you can do football"

if they chose to be with you then you can tell him that they don't want to go.

Let him take you to court to get contact arranged again.

My ex and I successfully co-parent and I would never ever ever suggest stopping contact usually but your ex is completely nasty in the way he treats your dc.

mmrred Tue 15-Sep-09 21:27:18

It sounds like you've tried really hard to be reasonable so it's not surprising you've got to the end of your tether, but really, stopping contact or witholding it can backfire. Particularly if your ex is likely to go straight back to court.

Why not apply for a variation to the order? The court has already judged that time with dad is more important than football, or parties, or whatever, so unless you ask them to look into it again, you may find the emphasis is on forcing you to stick to the order.

Also, I think asking a kid to make a choice between seeing a parent and doing an activity is deeply unfair. It should be sorted out by the adults, and failing that, the courts.

terrier141 Wed 16-Sep-09 11:23:44

Wont I have to pay to go back to court though? I agree fwiw that time with dad should be more important than football etc and thats why I have always offered alternatives - which shouldnt be a problem for their dad as he doesnt work - I just fail to see why my children should miss out on opportunities that other children get - especially when their dad isnt willing to do anything for them ie attend parents eves, concerts, sport days etc and just genrally take an interest. Thats aside from the fact that he has never in 6 years paid a penny maintainence so doesnt appear to be too bothered about how they get clothed and fed etc either. Its also me that pays for the acitivities - so i think ultimately its mine and the kids choice over his. He wants fathers rights (and righly so!) just doesnt want any of the responsibilities that go with that! I believe that you shouldnt be able to have one without the other.
I would like nothing more than for him to be a equal and loving parent - its him that doesnt want to fulfil that role - outside my control! I have just got some books from the library about emotional abuse in separated family situaltions. They talk about levels of emotional abuse ranging from subtle - through to extreme and give examples of each level - Im afraid my ex's behaviour ticks boxes on all levels,

FioFioFio Wed 16-Sep-09 11:25:59

gosh it sound absolutely girm terrier sad I am really sorry you have had the misfortune to meet such a man

CarGirl Wed 16-Sep-09 17:02:17

this is why I would have a frank discussion with your dc about how often they want to see their father and if they still want to if it means missing x y z.

I'm sure your dc of an age where their opinion counts to the courts.

I also think it's your responsibility to protect them from is abusiveness - I can't imagine how it feels for them to have to sit there and watch their step sibs do stuff whilst they are only permitted to watch.

If your dc don't want to go I would have no hesitation in telling him so and why.

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