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Husband's apathy towards welfare of his son (who doesn't live with us). V Upset.

(20 Posts)
BigusBumus Mon 01-Sep-08 14:19:59

My husband and i have 3 sons between us, once each from our first marriages and one together. My son and our son live with us, his son lives with his ex-wife in next village.
The ex-wife sued to cause us all sorts of problems, but i don't have anything to do with her anymore, which has solved a lot and makes life calmer. However since i have known my husband, i have been shocked at her lack of parenting skills with her son. To be brief, (he is almost 6, btw)he turns up with filthy clothes not appropriate for the weather, no underwear, not having eaten a meal in ages, filthy unkempt hair, terrible asthma (and i mean terrible) without the correct inhalers, terribe excema with no cream, and in a hopelessly miserable state as she palms him off on as many friends and neighbours as she can rather that look after him. She has not spent a single day of a single weekend with him for over 2 years. The reason being is that sh is having an affair with a married man and the only time she can see him is at the weekends. They go to Rave type things at the weekend, all nightlong things taking coke/ecstacy, which is why she gets her son looked after by other people. She works full time, but is always asleep in bed (recovering) and he just sits on the Playstation when he is at home with her. He can't read and write yet even after a year in reception as she isn't practising with him.
I am not a perfect mum by any means, but it breaks my heart to see him when he comes every other weekend to stay with us. I have bought him an entire wardrobe of clothes that he can choose from when he's here and he has freesom and fun, we wash his hair, trim his nails, read with him, feed him well etc.
My husband would love to have him full time (and it wouldn't be a problem for me), but this woman will not allow it or even consider it.
This weekend has been the worst ever. The son was so miserable and just wanted to see his mum, whom he hadn't seen for a week, so we managed to get him back early to spend a few hours with her.
I just don't understand how my husband and his family can stand idly round and watch this happen to his son. They make excuses for this woman ("it must be so hard for her being single mum") and NO ONE TAKES ANY ACTION! (Apart from a brave neighbour who once reported her to social services).
My husband buries his head in the sand, says he will take action / have a row with her / file for custody but nothing EVER happens.
I have decided to stand back and try not to care about this poor boy and just concentrate on my own kids, as i get so worked up about it and his treatment that it affects my relationship with my husband.
Please offer me some advice - do i just stand back and say nothing, or try and persaude my husband to be a bit more active in his sons welfare and DO SOMETHING! (Its not that he doesn't care, he does, a lot, but he is one of those who "doesn't want to get involved").

LittleMissNorty Mon 01-Sep-08 14:24:36

Oh you poor thing - that would break my heart to see a little boy living like that. And make me very angry with my DH.

I have no experience and really don't know what to suggest....but couldn't leave your post unanswered......sounds like you'd have no problems getting custody....

What I couldn't do, is stand back and do nothing.....and I'm not sure you can either?

LittleMissNorty Mon 01-Sep-08 14:25:25

He needs to get involved, he's his dad.

wahwah Mon 01-Sep-08 14:26:32

Hopefully enough people will come along and say he should get off his arse, protect his son from this neglectful parenting and get residence of him and you can show him the thread.

If he still won't do anything, then you should report your concerns in as much detail as you can to Social Services.

Anna8888 Mon 01-Sep-08 14:30:04

What about your DH's parents? And his ex-wife's parents? Do they have any opinions? Can you get them "on your side".

My stepsons are not always cared for by their mother as well as I care for our daughter, and I do try to compensate. But it is nothing in comparison to what you describe.

BreeVanderCampLGJ Mon 01-Sep-08 14:30:13

So he is being neglected by his mother and his father. How sad. sad

laweaselmys Mon 01-Sep-08 14:30:14

If your DH won't do anything you absolutely need to speak to social services. Not being fed/given appropriate clothes to wear is neglect and abusive. If she doesn't care enough to make sure he's fed, think what else could be happening you don't know about.

DaisySteiner Mon 01-Sep-08 14:30:19

He is involved whether he likes it or not, he's his dad! IMO that means he has a responsibility for his welfare - would he send him to a childminder who treated him like his mum does?! I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but if he sits back and does nothing he is failing his son as much as the mother is.

You sound lovely, btw, thank goodness he has you sad

wahwah Mon 01-Sep-08 14:33:44

Good point, DaisySteiner, he is lucky to have the OP looking out for him, poor lad.

Cosette Mon 01-Sep-08 14:34:11

Would the mother allow you and your DH to have his son every weekend? If she's looking to palm him off every weekend anyway, then that might be a good first step.

What's important here is the welfare of his son, and from what you say it would be in his best interests to live with you and see his mother regularly. Can you make small steps in having him with you more often - ie offer to pick up after school and have him back for tea and/or sleep over one night in the week. Do the boys attend the same school?

AuntyVi Mon 01-Sep-08 14:35:51

Definitely agree with the others, that sounds so bad and the longer the little boy is left in those circumstances, the more it will scr*w up his chances of a decent future, too. He needs out of there and fast by the sound of it. So would definitely give your DH a big kick up the backside and go for custody; and probably report her to social services too.

BigusBumus Mon 01-Sep-08 15:51:11

Wow, thank you for your nice messages. I was beginning to think i was the only one who was seeing it this way. So i am reassured.
When the son started reception class i managed to get him into our vilage school with my boy and collect them both at 3.30. it worked well for a term, but then she abused me and left her son round our house until late into the evening. (Even though i had a brand new baby as well). She was usually either at the hairdressers, clothes shopping or in bed. Her neighbour told me that she would get home at 3, go to bed and set her alarm for 6.30 and then come and collect him (so after i had fed him). I took issue with this so she yanked him out of the school and he now oed to her local one, even though we are in adjoining villages).
I can't not be involved and i am going to talk to my husband again tonight about what he is going to do about it.
When she was reported to SS before, they said that they couldn't do anything as what time she chooses to send him to bed (they go at the same time in the same bed), what she feeds him and what she dresses him in is her business and unless he's in imminent danger they can't do anything. sad
Yes i think a row is brewing qith my husband. Especially as i am in a bad mood anyway, (foul weather, TOTM and kids driving me up the wall, thank god its school again tomorrow!).

BreeVanderCampLGJ Mon 01-Sep-08 15:52:48

Well done. Stick to your guns, this child needs at least one person looking out for him and I think that person is you.

nolongerchunkybutstillapudding Mon 01-Sep-08 16:36:06

you really do sound lovely. and bree's right, the poor little boy really needs someone looking out for him.

i don't think your husband has a choice about 'not getting involved' though. you only get to use that excuse with other people's kids, not your own. he's the dad, therefore he is involved. and if he really is being treated so badly and your husband knows this then to 'not get involved' is surely being neglectful to the child too?

sorry if that sounds harsh but i don't understand how he can feel that its okay to keep out of it when his son's wellbeing is at stake.

i hope you make some progress tonight, and your husband realises why you are doing this, and stands up for his little boy.

BigusBumus Tue 02-Sep-08 20:14:56

Hello, if anybody is reading this anymore... !
I had a massive chat with my husband last night and its done loads of good. I told him a few home truths, we rowed and cried a bit etc...
Basically, we are going to offer to have his son every weekend, for as long as she is still seeing this married man (and therefore going out all weekend every weekend), so his son has some more stability. We will say that we can go back to normal arrangements should she ever finish with this man/ want the old arrangements to resume. If we push harder than that she would dig her heels in and deny u access completely, so we have to play it softly softly to begin with. If things don't improve after that, or she won't agree with our offer, we will start custody proceedings, or at least get a solicitors letter sent saying our intention to do that in order to "shock" her into behaving better towards him. It was his first day back at school today in Year 1 and my hisband just called (at 7.30) and she wasn't even home yet from work and he was still at the Childminder's sad.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Fingers crossed we will make a difference with this approach and if not, all hell will break loose! Thanks for your support, it meant a lot to me. x

NoMoreOlympics Tue 02-Sep-08 20:17:59

well done bigbum ([smile}

that sounds like a good plan

and you sound fab

now make sure she keeps to her side of the agreement

if you have him every weekend you will be able to monitor the situation more closely

if you are not happy, take it further

good luck x

laweaselmys Tue 02-Sep-08 20:21:24

Excellent plan, hope it goes well.

nolongerchunkybutstillapudding Tue 02-Sep-08 22:08:33

hey well done.really hope things go well for you.some stability and consistent parental support will make the little boy's world a better place!keep us posted and we'll all do our best to support you.

And I bet your bum isn't even big!

Hugs xx

Anchovy Tue 02-Sep-08 22:15:21

I was reading the beginning of this and thinking "Please will you and your DH reach out to him" and you have. smile

I have a 6 year old DS and I know how much they need to be loved and guided.

You really do sound fab. Having him every weekend will make a huge difference to the quality of his life.

downwiththatsortofthing Wed 03-Sep-08 08:30:19

I really think you are doing a brilliant thing here and it will make a lot of difference to the little boy's emotional welfare to have someone willing to put him first.

I just can't understand why the ex would stand in your way of looking after him if she can't be bothered to do it properly herself. Surely it would be the decent thing to do to admit she can't/won't cope herself, and give him up to give him a better chance. He is the same age as my ds1, and going by how vulnerable and emotionally needy my ds is, I can't begin to imagine how lonely and scared the poor little chap must have been. (Sorry, v bad grammar there!)

Please keep us posted if anything changes, it would be great if this brings it home to her that she is not doing the right thing by her son.

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