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Am I being unreasonable?

(20 Posts)
sapphire Mon 18-Jul-05 21:11:55

I could really do with some advice here ... hope someone can help! I'll try and be brief!!

I left my kids' father four years ago, the relationship was abusive and controlling. We now live about ten minutes drive from him, he sees the kids every Saturday and they stay over every other week. I drop them off with him and collect them, he has only brought them back to me on a handful of occasions. We manage to get on reasonably well now, almost friendly, for the children's sake.

I met a wonderful man two years ago, we are engaged and we are moving to his house in three weeks time. He lives about sixty miles away.

Once we move the children will probably only see their dad every weekend, for the whole weekend. It takes 1.25 hours to get to/from our new house so I suggested to my ex that we meet at a cafe which is about halfway between us - in fact, it's closer to him, about 30 mins drive. It made more sense to me that we each had an hour-ish round trip to drop off/collect the kids rather than me have two 2.5 hour round trips to do all the running around.

He has said today that he doesn't think he'll be able to see the kids anymore because he won't be able to afford the petrol and that as I am the one moving away, he thinks I am responsible for doing all the driving. I've said that it will only cost about £10 in petrol - equal to two packets of cigarettes blah blah, and it's just a question of priorities (he smokes quite heavily, also smokes a lot of weed and buys loads of PS2 games but contributes nothing for the kids) but apparently that's just me seeing things in black and white and the world isn't really that easy to work out - and now I have to go round to have a "chat" ...

Am I being unreasonable? Should I be the one who drives them all the way there and back? Am I expecting too much to want him to meet us halfway? Please advise!!!

starlover Mon 18-Jul-05 21:29:44

hmm i personally don't think you're being unreasonable at all! he's their father... he should WANT to see them, and be prepared to take some responsibility etc for them...

i don't really have any experience of this though, so bumping in case anyone has any more thoughts!

pindy Mon 18-Jul-05 21:31:12

When my dh ex w moved away - we ALWAYS had to collect dsd, we would go and collect her and take home again. About 60 miles, every other weekend. I would ask him to do at least one of the journeys or as you suggest meet half way, but to suit you. Good luck, if he really wants to see the children he will make the effort.

saadia Mon 18-Jul-05 21:38:09

I think he's being really unreasonable but can't suggest any good alternatives so if the kids want to maintain contact it looks like you might have to do the trip.

Could you cut meetings down to every other weekend so that at least there will be an ongoing relationship but without too much strain on you having to drive every week?

HappyMumof2 Mon 18-Jul-05 21:39:06

Message withdrawn

Bozza Mon 18-Jul-05 21:42:27

Either meet half way like you say or one do the drop off and one do the pick up. Thats what we do with DS when he goes to his grandparents which takes the same amount of time.

starlover Mon 18-Jul-05 21:45:33

tell him that if he doesn't sort himself out and pick them up or meet you half way then you WILL bring them down to see him... but that you will also be going to the CSA and taking him to court to make him pay maintenance so that you can afford it!

sapphire Mon 18-Jul-05 21:45:40

I don't think it's that he wants to get out of seeing the kids, he loves them to bits, he's jsut a lazy bugger who wants everything delivered to him on a plate! DD is 11, DS is 7 and they are actually starting to wonder whether they want to see him at all, there's lots of stuff going on. i've always said that I would never stop him seeing them, that only they can decide that, but I've already had to let him know that once a fortnight is going to be more reasonable than every week, I jsut can't seem to get him to realise that he has to put some effort into seeing them.

I can see me giving in and driving them there and back every fortnight, but apart from anything I can't afford to do two 120 mile trips every other weekend!

liandme Mon 18-Jul-05 21:49:08

me and dd have moved bout 80 miles from my ex and he used to make a point of coming here on train to get her then take her straight back to his then bring her back on train to drop her off it was costing him about £70 a weekend but he wouldnt wait to have her when we were driving up to see the rest of my family but funnily enough this has stopped and it is all my fault for moving and taking his daughter away.
we do make the effort to take her to her dads but it aint good enough.
i think your ex should be happy with th arrange ment

madrush Mon 18-Jul-05 21:52:40

Like everyone else, I don't think this is unreasonable at all.

I wonder whether, because you're the one moving, he feels that you're the one in control. Maybe he'd feel he had more of a choice if you said say you'll take them and collect them once a month and if he wants them the other fortnightly trip he'll have to do the driving? Tell him you don't mind whether he wants to or not but you need to know in advance to tell the children?

sapphire Mon 18-Jul-05 21:52:55

Starlover, i wish i had the guts to do that! Ex threatened that he would make life very difficult if I ever went to the CSA about him - he had the house, the furniture, everything ..... I've been on benfit a few times since w left and each time I've gone through the "good cause" interview and they've decided not to go after him for maintenance. I feel really bad that my new wonderful man will be supporting my kids, but life is good right now and i really don't want to risk our happiness by demanding money from the ex ...

sapphire Mon 25-Jul-05 17:52:20

Well, we're having "the talk" tomorrow - I'm going to try and hold firm and insist that he must either meet me halfway or take turns bringing the kids the whole way. I know I'm the one moving away but he does nothing to support the kids financially, my fiancé is going to be supporting my children, so their dad can at least share the travel. Wish me luck please!

WideWebWitch Mon 25-Jul-05 17:54:03

Cheeky sod, what a rubbish excuse. You're not being unreasonable, he is. What a tosser. Ask him to tell the kids then if he really is going to insist on using this pathetic excuse.

Caligula Mon 25-Jul-05 18:15:18

Um, he's responsible for maintaining his relationship with his children. You're not. You're responsible for your relationship with your children.

He sounds like an arse.

sapphire Mon 25-Jul-05 18:24:33

he already has .... he has been telling DD for months that he won't be able to afford to see them any more once we move. Git!

Caligula Mon 25-Jul-05 18:30:29

Do you need him to see them?

TBH, if he can't be arsed, why should you? He really is responsible for his relationship with his children and he's shunting that responsibility on to you. It's very magnanimous of you to offer to go to the trouble of transporting them to halfway to his place. I think the compromise of once every other weekend with you doing the transport, is really good of you, tbh. If it were me, it would be once a month - and I'd be pissed off that it were me having to put myself out because he can't be arsed to arrange something himself. He has no business not to be able to afford to see his kids, if he can afford fags and playstation games. Since when does buying fags and games take priority over seeing your kids? Arse, arse, arse!

sapphire Mon 25-Jul-05 18:36:58

As far as he is concerned, it is my responsibility because I am the one moving his children away from him. As far as he is concerned, I see the world in black and white but it's not that straightforward. he's one of these people who talks complete BS but is totally convinved that he is right and everyone else is wrong. it's not going to be an easy conversation, and in many ways I do think that he should come and get them if he wants to see them, but I'm prepared to do half the driving in the intrestes iof the kids seeing him. If he can't accept that and do the other half himself, then I'm not giving in, he'll ahve to stop seeing them. i don't think they'd miss him that much, TBH.

Caligula Mon 25-Jul-05 18:38:56

You could call his bluff and suggest they go and live with him? Bet he'd be horrified and agree to drive 300 miles to avoid that one!

sapphire Mon 25-Jul-05 18:41:46

LOL!!! But I think he'd prpbably go for it .... he wouldn't be able to keep them financially and would be dreadful at bringing them up but i can't run the risk of him saying yes!

Caligula Mon 25-Jul-05 18:43:27

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