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Am I being unreasonable?

(23 Posts)
hopey Thu 03-Jul-03 09:11:06

Ex-dp came to me yesterday to say he and the new girlfriend are having serious money problems. He then proceeded to say he's worked out from what I earn, how much I am left with after I pay my bills. He says that as I have enough to go out and buy luxuries, I should buy him nappies etc for when dd goes to stay. He says I can take this out of my child benefit. I feel this is a b****y cheek! I may have a good job and can go out with my mates, which I find essential in getting over the way he's treated me recently, and obviously he's a bit jealous cause he can't, but its not my fault he doesn't earn much. Am I being unreasonable?

musica Thu 03-Jul-03 09:17:02

Does he pay any maintenance towards the upkeep of the child? (I'm presuming you're the main carer) - if not, then he ought to be anyway. Even if you don't feel like pursuing that, you could just say 'Child Support Agency'.

On the other hand, you could always send him some washable nappies - I'm sure he'd go out and buy some disposables then!

That's probably no help at all - for what it's worth, I think he probably is being unreasonable, and it's none of his business how you spend your money.

spikeycat Thu 03-Jul-03 09:17:21

I would tell him where to go!!! If he can't even afford a pack of nappies what the hell is he feeding her!
No way would I accept that - Your gut instinct is right - Bloody cheek!
Other than that you can say, no problem, when she's with you I will buy the nappies, when shes with me (ie 99% of the time!) you can buy them - bet he soon changes his tune...

Boe Thu 03-Jul-03 09:32:49

Have been through this - and when she is with him he is legally responsible for her care - this includes provisions such as food, clothes, nappies etc...

Tell him to shove it - You have every right to spend your money as you see fit - and we all need a few luxuries and down time especially after what you have been through.

Although I believe that every man should have a right to see their child - I do feel that lots of them do not take the financial responsibility seriously.

Good on you though for surviving through all of this and being financially independant.

aloha Thu 03-Jul-03 10:15:37

I think if he really was suffering financially and he asked you to help out of the goodness of your heart, and seemed as if he would be genuinely grateful, that's one thing. But to tell you to do it, well, that's quite another,and that's really not on. How often does he see her anyway? What's the real cost of her care? I can't imagine her nappies cost that much over a weekend.

Marina Thu 03-Jul-03 10:35:45

Agree with all the others here who say he is being unreasonable, Hopey - not you. So sorry you are having this additional hassle on top of everything else.

WideWebWitch Thu 03-Jul-03 11:38:10

No, you're not being unreasonable. Let him buy nappies when he has *his* son to stay who is *his* reponsibility too. It's none of his business how you spend your money. Presumably he works? So his budget is his affair. If you were feeling really kind you could send a few as a compromise I suppose. but make it clear to him that the rest are his responsibility.

Bumblelion Thu 03-Jul-03 12:01:36

My (separated) ex-h has my children one night a week at my house (cooking them dinner out of my freezer which I have bought with my money) and also has them overnight one night a week at his house. When this arrangement first started in September last year, I sent the children to his house with their overnight bag containing night clothes, clothes for the next day, toothbrushes, toothpaste, nappies, wipes, etc.

After about a month I told him that although he pays me maintenance for the three children it seemed daft me putting in a toothbrush each, toothpaste each (they like different ones), nappies, etc. and just told him that when he did his next weekly shop he should buy a pack of nappies, a toothbrush, etc.

Now I don't include toiletries, nor bed clothes for the elder two, but I do still include bed wear for the youngest.

Of course you are not being unreasonable, whether you are better off than he is or not.

Ex-h is taking the children on holiday on 10th August with his girlfriend and her 15 year old daughter to an all inclusive holiday in Zakynthos. I wondered how he could afford it - but then I realised he is not paying a mortgage as he is living in his girlfriend's house and it is rented (cheap rent too as it was her nan's house).

I don't envy him his holiday thinking that he is better off than me - I am off with my mum for two weeks kids-free although I am going to miss them like mad (start another threat, feel a bit worried).

aloha Thu 03-Jul-03 12:23:57

We buy all of my dh's daughter's clothes, food, bedlinen, nightclothes, food, activities, holiday stuff etc etc when she is with us and have never thought twice about it. I do slightly resent the fact that most of her clothes disappear at her mother's house to be handed down to her younger child. Her mother is married to a millionaire, BTW. Mind you, I think she'd like to see us living in the gutter and we couldn't expect anything from her at all except a lifetime of unpleasantness. Hey ho!

hopey Thu 03-Jul-03 16:30:01

Ex-dp has been round. Says the £100 a month he gives me I don't really need as DD doesn't need that much. Doesn't think the money should go towards rent and bills as well as material items as he says I'd have to pay them anyway if DD wasn't around. Says he hates me because I'm making life difficult for him and the girlfriend. I have money and they don't. But thats not my problem. I work hard for it, often working overtime.

spikeycat Thu 03-Jul-03 16:32:29

is the £100 an arrangement through CSA?

M2T Thu 03-Jul-03 16:37:23

Hopey - he's being a sh*t about it coz you are not pining after him. You have held your head high and said a big F*CK YOU to both of them! And he doesn't like it. Well done.

There is absolutely NO reason why you should help him out. He has been, and still is being, a total prat. You owe him nothing and have no loyalty to him.

Tell him you wanted to do this amicably, but if he wants to be like this you'll just get the CSA to MAKE him pay up and perhaps more than £100 per month too.

You deserve the money you earn and you deserve to spend it on you and dd as you see fit.

Boe Thu 03-Jul-03 16:42:49

ooohhhh - go on to CSA website - find out how much he would really have to pay you - do you know how much he earns - then just tell him that he has a responsibility for his daughter and if he will not abide by what you have decided you will make the CSA decide and it should be more than £100 a month.

And jolly well go to the CSA and make him pay - cannot believe (well he is a man (sorry nice men)) how he is acting, what a complete slimeball.

£25 a week would not feed a child and keep her in nappies and you are being xtra nice not asking for maintenance which you could be entitled to as I presume that you are not divorced - is his girlfriend a wally who cannot work or something (no slight on those who cannot work!!)

spacemonkey Thu 03-Jul-03 19:07:22

My ex husband (sorry - can't call him dh, he doesn't merit it!) has never paid any child support, and I've never chased him through the CSA because I've been too scared to rock the boat. Last time I challenged him over it, he said that the 2 nights a week when he has the children would equate to £x in babysitting costs, so as far as he was concerned that was his contribution! It's been my choice not to chase him, but I have to say it does make my blood boil. Hopey, your ex is the one who's being unreasonable, not you!

aloha Thu 03-Jul-03 20:14:13

spacemonkey, what do you think would happen if you went to the CSA?

SofiaAmes Thu 03-Jul-03 22:08:26

hopey, sounds to me like the new girlfriend talking....

Frogling Thu 03-Jul-03 22:43:10

Hopey - if they're having money problems, that doesn't mean you should have to suffer. Sounds more like a case of sour grapes to me, and if his girlfriend can't cope with you being financially sound, then that's not your problem.
Tell your ex that his finances aren't your concern, and that it took two of you to make your dd - he can't just expect to have only the fun part without the responsibility that goes with it.
You sound like you're forging ahead and making a good life for yourself and your dd - don't let him spoil it because he's having a hard time. You should be able to go out and have fun with your friends. I say Up His Bum!

Kazbaz Fri 04-Jul-03 10:34:18

Hopey, I really sympathise - after three years and many threats of the CSA and threats to tell my ex's parents how little he contributes (he has some shame), we now have an agreement and he sticks to it.

I also earn more than him and have pointed out many times that if I didn't work and was a SAHM then the CSA would want him to cough up lots more money - so in fact I'm doing him a favour by continuing to work in my better paid job (weird logic?!) I have also worked out how much I spend on clothes etc for ds and the extra money my house costs because I need a two-bed place rather than one. Quite honestly, because he had never looked after our joint finances he really had no idea how much ds actually costs. It might be worth trying this with your ex.

I don't mention my social life anymore - I think my ex expected me to be a miserable single mum rather than a happy one and is a bit peeved I haven't begged to be taken back. You have obviously moved on and your ex may not like it for more than financial reasons. I would avoid mentioning your social life - after all it's none of his business is it? And when I buy something expensive for ds like a new coat I make a point of mentioning it - otherwise my ex wouldn't even notice.

The bottom line is that your ex is being completely unreasonable - was your £100 pm based on a CSA assessment? It doesn't seem like that much so if not it might be worth finding out what the CSA amount would be and using that a bargaining starting point.

Anyway - good luck

Boe Fri 04-Jul-03 12:27:31

Hopey - Why is he calling him looking after his own child babysitting???

I really think he needs to realise that he is not being put out by the time he spends with his daughter - you are being reasonable so that they can continue to have a relationship.

aloha Fri 04-Jul-03 13:53:29

I completely agree with Boe. One of my pet hates is men calling looking after their own children babysitting! Mind you, I once worked for a very high-powered editor with a fulltime nanny who used exactly the same phrase if forced to stay at home alone in the evening!

bossykate Fri 04-Jul-03 13:59:21

i use that phrase in the same situation, so what? that's exactly what it is when you're at home and ds is upstairs asleep...

tigermoth Sat 05-Jul-03 10:24:04

hopey, I agree your dh is being unreasonable.
I like the giving him some washable nappies suggestion. Or just give him a few nappies for emergencies. Or say you'll provide nappies for three months till he's had a chance to sort out his financeis, but that's it.

You say he has worked out exactly what money you have left over after you pay your bills. Obviously he will have a close knowledge of your financies because you lived together. But it seems really intrusive that he is keeping financial tabs on you still. You don't have the same knowledge of his and his girlfriend's financies, naturally. How do you know they are as hard up as he says? If he really can't afford nappies, is he willing to prove this to you?

If you feel he is so skint your dd could suffer when she stays with him you need to know this. Can he feed her properly, take her out etc? But I really doubt this is what's happening. Sounds more like sour grapes (and as SofiaAmes said, the girlfriend talking) to me.

tigermoth Sat 05-Jul-03 10:27:30

re babysitting - I don't like this phrase also and my dh knows this, yet still continues to say it. The times other women have picked him up on this as well. He now says it out of sheer b*****mindedness. He knows it's not PC. However as long as he actually does the 'babysitting' I can get over the unfortunate choice of word. And it's catching. I find myself saying it too from time to time, like bossykate.

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