Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
AIBU to tell him he is not going to see the children again till they are older?(75 Posts)
OR is there never a reason to say this and I am being a twisted, bitter single mum?
I am prepared to be told I am being unreasonable, and I will take it, and any advice anyone can give.
Background (I will keep it as short as possible!)- I meet exDp when I was 18- he was 24. At age 20 I have DC1. He never had a job, borrowing money off me, I was looking after the baby alone so ended up splitting up. He didn't see us for 3 years. Though for about a year was paying CM as I had called up CSA and he was actually working.
3 years later we get back together as I fall for the 'I've changed' story. All is well, there is a few concerns with him constantly leaving his jobs, but always getting another one within a few weeks. We have DC2. By this time things are not good. During my pregnancy he is out drinking/smoking/partying/staying out for days at a time, even once DC2 is born and a newboorn. I am devastated begging him to stop. When DC2 is 3 months.. I am pregnant again. Though I am on the pill and exclusively BF, to this day I am baffed how I managed to get pregnant.
So I have a breakdown because I am in the middle of finishing uni, have already been taking care of the babies alone and now facing a third (and personally for me abortion was not an option). I beg again and again to stop.. he promises yes yes yes.. That very day he went out, got drunk and didn't return home. I kick him out and we do not see him for 4 months.
When he returns he tries to help out with the children, but then ends up in prison for 7 months. I have DC3 alone, I manage to finish uni (with a first!!!!), god knows how I did it. He rings me everyday in prison begginf for another chance. Prison has changed him, he has been sober, he goes to AA meetings, he does some courses in prison.. I eventually visit him so he can see DC3 and say he can live here when he comes out.
Although he has changed, it was not enough for me. Cue now he does not live here. BUT he is constantly saying he is coming, and doesn't turn up. I'm badgering him to see the kids, give me money for them, but he doesn't. He is working and keeps going on about how great the money is- but we don't see a penny.
NOW this is what got me raging this morning. I have left him be for the last couple of weeks. Not badgered him, I'm trying to get on with my life- look after the children properly and I start working next month.
Yesterday he amazed me, texts me a long text about how is going to stop running away from his responsibilities. He will be at my house at 7.45 in the morning and has a day off work so will take DC1 to school and then have the other 2, till whenever I want (at my house). Now I am SO excited! A few hours child free, so I can do errands and what not.
At 11pm I call just to make sure he is still coming. I get a text saying along the lines of 'oh, sorry. I can take DC1 to school, but then I got some stuff to sort out'... WHAT?! why does he keep doing this?????? I was SO mad. He never picked up his phone and i texted him loads of things because I was so angry. I realy did need that one little day to kind of be myself.. I am running on about 3 hours sleep as DC2 and DC3 do not sleep through the nightt.
Would I be unreasonable to say, look. You have messed us about for 8 years. you've proven yourself so unreliable, it is best for the children to be older and make their own decision wether to see you. OR is that terrible?
Sorry for the longness (I could have gone on more tbh, but this is the short version!)
Delete his number and change yours. If he wants access then tell him to go through the courts where it will be monitored.
Contact the csa
He can only mess you around if you let him. Does he actually WANT to see his children? Because it all sounds like it's you he is trying to see and please?
Why haven't you got the CSA onto him again?
And is he on their birth certificates? How old are they now?
DC1 - 6 years
DC2- 21 Months
DC3- 9 months
CSA won't help as he is getting paid cash in hand. He claims he does want to see them, they are his life, as am I! He loves me so much ect ect. Threatened on a number of occasions to take an OD if we are not together, that kinda 'love'.
A few months ago I said go to the courts and he said he can't as he looked into it and he would have to pay so much money that he didn't have.
No point in CSA as he is working cash in hand. He is not on DC3 BC as he was in prison when he was born.
I feel like he is driving me to the point of insanity.
his actions contradict his words, if he loved you and his children he would do anything and everything to ensure he saw them and provide financially for them
I think for your own sake and that of your children you need to stop this, he has let you down time and time again, dont let him do that to your children as well. So as whitecherry suggested do it officially and go through the courts, his lack of finance to do this is not your problem, if he really wants to see his kids he will find a way
I am very straightforward on this - no money = no access (the exception being if someone genuinely cannot work and honestly doesn't have a penny). Being a parent is about doing all the hard work as well as the nice bits. He is unreliable and has no interest in ensuring his dc are fed and clothed. The dc deserve not to be messed around, so I would cut him off in a heartbeat.
Children need proper parents, not this half arsed attempt.
karma, your brave ive never been brave enough to actually say that
Sockreturningpixie - I feel very strongly about this. Have been on MN for so long now, that I am not affected any more by flamings from
woolly people who think that crap parents should have access, no matter what.
Ah, the old pay-per-view attitude which never benefits the dc long term....
He needs to separate his relationship with his dc, from his ( former) relationship with you. Are you giving him mixed messages?
Stop the texting
The dc don't benefit from having a 'father' who breaks promises and who repeatedly demonstrates that he doesn't really give a shit if they are housed, and have all their financial/physical/emotional needs met.
I am not giving him mixed messages, in that I constantly repeat myself that i just want him to be a dad- It is just that I fall for his talk. He does not like taalking on the phone, and say 'let me come round.' After weeks of me saying no, I end up saying ok in hope that he does something for the kids. Then I fall for it all. It's not easy- he has been my only dp in my life! And I was strong, I deleted his number, I didn't text. Then he came to me, saying he will bring me money for the children and take care of them for afew hours. Then just changes his mind and wouldn't have even told me if I had not called him!
It is DC1 i feel for the most, DC2 & 3 do not realy know him. But DC1 thinks he is the best dad in the world. (
He has a family member who is a solicitor, I was thinking about contating them, but then I don't want to be getting all other people involved with our 'relationship'.
That smiley was supposed to be a sad face...
I'm also going to say something unpopular...
The OP chose an unreliable feckless idiot to father her three children.
And lo he's still an unreliable feckless idiot.
If you start saying no money = no contact, then people start to feel justified thinking no access = no money
Don't contact the solicitor who is related to him. If you want to involve a solicitor, then you need one who will give you impartial advice and not one who may have a vested interest in doing the right thing for your ex.
Besides, it's not good to drag family into what is personal business.
He's already not paying any money. OP isn't going to lose out financially, because he doesn't contribute at the moment.
I agree with you getmorenappies. Though it has happened now and I cannot turn back time. I can only find out what I can do for my 3 DC now.
Karma, I was going to contact them for the sake of HIM! See if he could sort out things so that exDP would be able to get some court access or whatever it is.
I am really in such a dark place at the moment and it is not like me at all. Thanks for all your replies.
Creamplease I'd add that I have huge admiration for you going to Uni and getting a first with three dc. I think that's almost superhuman.
But your XP was a dick, is a dick and will most likely always be a dick.
Well I'm 8 years on. My feckless ex has turned himself around and is now stepping up. It can be done!
Thank you. I do look back and think 'how?' but I am glad I stuck with it.
See there are moments where he is not a dick, and moments of niceness, and when he is around the children he is a good, involved dad. Does homework, takes them out to the park ect. But it is not consistent. In our arguments I have described him as a con man.. because he has such a way of making things seem ok. If anyone was around him you woud think he was the best dp ever. He just has a way of leaving me thinking 'actually, that may have been my fault..'
I'm going to leave him alone, if he does contact me I'm not even going to reply, because if I do say, oh go to the courts. He will say I'm being stupid.
Really Whitecherry? Do you not feel any resentment though that it took him so long?
I agree karma but also always known I would get roasted if I said it.
I have to say I would NOT stop my children from seeing their Dad as they love him very much but it would be entirely on my terms until the dc were old enough to decide for themselves.
Even if a court gives him access, it cannot make him turn up. It cannot compel him to be a dad who cares.
So you are left with a straightforward choice - you either carry on letting him dip in and out at will, or you don't.
Personally, if anything, I would be trying to enforce a financial commitment, via the court. An informal arrangement isn't working.
If you do decide to continue letting him see the dc, then I would advise you not to tell the kids when he is due to visit - if he turns up, all well and good, but if he doesn't show, they won't be disappointed. Horrible way to live though. I would just cut my losses because I don't think you can force him to be a better parent.
X posted with you there, OP. Some people are very good at saying all the right things, but in the end you can only judge them on what they do.
Join the discussion
Please login first.