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My children’s father(11 Posts)
Hi there. I really hope you can advise me on the best course of action. It will be quite long.
I have 4 children aged 13, 12, 10 and 5.
The 5 year old is with my husband and the other 3 are with my ex.
I was with my ex from aged 15-22. I was so young, but looking back, he was quite controlling and manipulative. I left him.
It was rough for a while but eventually we worked out child arrangements and things were civil. I met my husband and had another child. My ex met his current partner and they went on to have 5 more children.
Things were going along nicely for around 5 years. We even sometimes went to their Halloween parties. I really loved the fact that my children saw their parents- not together- but getting along. As I never had that.
The arrangement was half and half. So we saw them equally. Kids were happy with it.
Anyway, about a year ago, cracks were starting to show. The kids started saying how much my ex and his partner were arguing. Not just every week but everyday. And really visciously too. Loud, all nighters, her smashing the place up.
As time went on, things got worse.
6 months ago, my elder 2 got phones. They started txting me when they were at his. How they didn’t get any sleep, how she was making them late for school as she got them up late. No one was allowed out their bedrooms till she said so.
She started to become controlling.
My 12 year old txted saying that she’d screamed at him “mother***** sh**”! As he had wound up his little brother (her child), as siblings do!
I then had words about it. And also words about him being late for school.
She got worse. She was constantly name calling them to my ex, in front of them. She ignored them, she said her kids were special and they were not. She slagged me off to them (we always got on fine before)
By this point I’d had lots of words. Took the kids, he begged me for another chance. The kids, being the ages they are, agreed to try again.
Xmas eve, she left him briefly as she was found to be cheating on him. Which she then back tracked on. He took her back.
Then things stepped up a gear. She purposely went out or stayed upstairs when they were found. She refused to get them up in the mornings. Still called them names.
So I demanded to have them all week, and he can have them on weekends. He finally agreed once I threatened mediation.
I agreed for them to go round Thursday evenings so he could carry on with films evenings like he did before. They went round, and they went out with their other kids, leaving my 3 behind until it was time to come back mine.
He then told me that the kids were the ones causing the tension, being “arseholes” and there’s no issues at his house. Which I know is a lie as he isn’t himself at all. That is confirmed by his parents. He’s paranoid she is still cheating, she goes out all the time leaving him with the kids. Disappears for hours. He tells me “she’s gojng through a lot”
Last night, it was time for them to go back to his for the weekend. By this point, i didn’t want them to go. But I want them to have a relationship with their dad again. My 10 year old flat refused to go. He was ok with it. My 13 and 12 year old went. A couple of hours later, my 13 year old ran all the way back to my house. Nothing had happened there, he just doesn’t like being there. The tension is unbearable there. And very noisy (he’s mildly autistic and can’t cope with loud noises, and is slightly behind)
So I phone his father and told him. He rang my son, and was going mad at him. Accused him of playing “stupid games” calling him names etc.
Then he turned up. Pushed his way in to my house and terrified my 2 kids. He was trying to force my son to go with him. My son was terrified. I stood between them as I thought he was going to physically drag him.
All he kept saying was “SHE is going to go mad” he was shouting and swearing. I eventually got him out and he drove off. My 10 year had hidden from him with her hands covering her ears.
My 12 year old was still there.
Today, my 12 year old told me that they were saying awful things about my other two last night. Calling them “f**** wan****”
And selfish little and that he was disowning them.
I have to mention, it was their little sisters birthday yesterday. Which is why they are selfish. I understand that they weee annoyed but they’re failing to see the bigger picture. They are not coping being there.
Then talking up my 12 year old saying how thoughtful and amazing he was (bear in mind, they hadn’t really spoken to him much lately)
I feel ill from it all and I don’t know the best way to go about the whole thing. I don’t want to mess them up more. And I’m scared.
My 13 year old is suffering with anxiety now and calling himself a horrible person.
My 10 year olds behaviour has changed massively and she’s really clingy to me.
My 12 year old has just blocked it out and immersed himself in games.
How do I go about any of this? It’s so delicate. Please no bashing, I’m doing the best I can, this whole thing falls on me and I don’t want to do the wrong thing
Thank you x
I'm sorry this is happening. It sounds really stressful.
Is there any likliehood of you and your ex having a discussion about the situation, somewhere neutral, without the children there?
Hi, I have tried many times to talk to him.
He won’t. He is emotionless about the whole thing. He just says “she is going through a lot” and that “things will get better” 6 months he’s been saying it.
I’ve said about some sort of counselling but he says no. He’d rather not be in contact with them than admit anything
I wouldn't force them to go there whilst things are so unsettled then.
He needs to provide a safe environment for his children.
You can't sort out their relationship - just be there for your kids and protect them.
One of the other reasons they don’t like going is the rules of the house are unfair on them. They’re not allowed to do anything that the younger ones can. They often get sent to the chip shop for tea, but not allowed to eat it inside and have to eat outside in the cold and dark. Whereas the younger ones can. Same goes for any treats like sweets.
My 13 year old is really creative and not allowed to do art inside or make stuff.. as his step mum “doesn’t like it”. Yet her kids can.
They can’t even go and get a drink without her permission. They were born in to that house and they feel it isn’t their home anymore. The rules are ridiculously strict. Very strange rules for just those 3. They can’t use the bathroom in the morning without her permission as she spends 3 hours in the bathroom. My 10 year old wet the bed cos of it. They have no freedom there whatsoever and not being allowed independence to basic needs at certain times
No, I never force them. I let them decide for themselves. But now they stay here for the foreseeable.
Time to take control op. Tell ex you are keeping the dc with you until further notice. He wants them he can prove to a judge he is capable of managing their physical and mental health +education. Until then he isn't parenting them - they are pawns in his relationship and that's not appropriate.
I would stop overnights tbh stop contact with her
She sounds like she needs help but thats not your issue
You maybe need legal advice
I'm sorry OP, I understand you want to facilitate a relationship between your children and their father, but what you describe is abuse. You need to protect them from that. I would stop them visiting the house, explain to your ex why (I'd suggest an email dispassionately listing the things you've said - the use of the bathroom, chip shop, verbal abuse etc), but offer to facilitate access between just him and the kids at another location. You're not responsible for his choices and relationship, but you have to protect your kids.
This is abuse, your children are being emotionally and psychologically abused by both their father and stepmother. You should have called the police on your ex for forcing himself into your home and trying to drag your 13-year old away. I have a ten-year-old autistic ds and he would be completely traumatised by the abuse your children are receiving.
Stop contact completely NOW! Tell your ex that he needs to take you to court if he wants access. You will not allow him or his wife to continue to abuse your children. Tell him there is absolutely NO excuse for the behaviour of either his wife or himself.
Contact your DC's school and tell them about the abuse your dc have been living under, explaining that you have had no option but to cease contact. Ask that your ex not be allowed to remove any of your children from school. Ask that they keep an eye on your children, especially your 10-year-old dd and 13-year-old ds!
Talk to your dc and let them know that the way their df and sm have been behaving is NOT acceptable, it is abusive! Tell them that as their Mother it is your job to keep them safe and that continuing to allow contact with their df would be putting them in danger.
Then call social services, tell them everything. There are five other children still living in that house, they have nowhere to run to! Whether the children are removed or the family are simply given support is for social services to decide. But someone needs to intervene.
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