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AIBU to tell him he is not going to see the children again till they are older?

(75 Posts)
Creamplease Tue 09-Oct-12 09:10:17

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!)

VinegarTits Tue 09-Oct-12 12:13:58

christ dont let his thuggish man talk stop you from having another man in your life, your children deserve to see their mother in a loving relationship if that were to ever happen

olgaga Tue 09-Oct-12 12:24:15

I would forget about trying to get this man to engage in regular contact with your children. I'm not sure why you would want him involved in their lives anyway. You would be better off concentrating your energies on freezing him out of your life completely.

If he is making any threats at all about killing someone - anyone - then you need to take these at face value and wake up to the kind of man he is. How long ago was this threat issued?

He is trying to control your life. Stop letting him do that. You and your children deserve better. You have worked bloody hard to get your degree - don't let him spoil your future.

Are you tied to where you are living? What's your housing situation?

flossyfloo Tue 09-Oct-12 12:24:18

He sounds completely unhinged and someone who shouldn't be able to have a big influence on your DC's lives. The problem you've got though, is that your DC won't see it that way when they are old enough to think they are missing out by not having a dad in their lives but not old enough to know all the ins and outs.

My advice here will be based on my childhood. My father was in and out of my life and very rarely paid any kind of child maintenance to my mother, he really was a useless father. But the main thing my DM did right with it all, was to never stop my father from seeing me and my DB. Yes, he would regularly let us down, not turn up when he was supposed to, not phone us, not send presents at birthdays/xmas but my DM never stopped contact... as long as we were willing and happy to go with him. My DM never bad mouthed him to us but never hid the truth from us either. This meant as I grew up I could see my father for what he really was and was able to make my own decisions. I made the decision at 11 years old not to see him again. I did at the age of 19 decide to see him again but I met up with him once and knew instantly that I had made the right decision as a child!

And now as an adult, I have no regrets and the decision I made was my own. What made this decision easier, I believe, was that there was no pressure off my DM. I always knew she would support me whatever.

I know some people who have grown up without a father in their lives. Often it is down to the fact that the father doesn't put any effort in and the DM, who doesn't like to see her DC be upset, stops contact. The DC then grow up wanting a DF and thinking it is their DM who had stopped the DF from being involved. The DF can also tell the DC this himself - 'your mum wouldn't let me see you'. They then resent their DM and idolise their DF, before they realise for themselves why their DM took that decision. From the way my DM did it, I was always aware of the facts and able to base all my decisions on those facts. And whatever decision I made, right or wrong, my DM stood by me and supported me.

Sorry that was quite a bit longer than I wanted it to be, but what I am trying to say is - be the constant on your DC's lives, let them know that you will always be there for them no matter what, don't hide the truth from them, let them make their own choices, be guided by them and I don't think you can go far wrong. Having said all that though, I think it would be a good idea for your ex to see the DC in a contact centre. You should have nothing to do with him apart from taking about the DC, he should not be in your home but he obviously isn't stable enough to have the DC on his own. I'm sure you can utilise contact centres without going through the courts, but don't quote me on that.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 09-Oct-12 12:32:02

Dear God OP, you are 24. You can't write off all men on the basis of one utter disaster.

I'm not going to offer anything further.

ScaryBOOAlot Tue 09-Oct-12 12:37:58

You need some professional advice to sort things out.

This man is a prick. He is never going to change, you need to stop deluding yourself with that.

You and your children don't need him; look at how well you have managed.

mummytime Tue 09-Oct-12 12:52:14

Do not let him have contact at your place.
Start to keep a diary: record all times he says he will see them, and what actually happens; also record any threats he makes; and anything else of interest.
Sort your life out, get child care, get a job, use your qualifications.
Maybe try the Freedom program or try counselling.

At 24 you can't write off your life from all other relationships. But sort out yourself first.

Creamplease Tue 09-Oct-12 13:31:05

Why I want him involved, just because they deserve a dad. And when he has them he is a good dad, he is the cleverest person I know and is forever teachind DC1 things that I am not very interested in. I just want them to be like everyone else.

I'm not writing off a man every again (and I am 26, not 24), really because who would be interested in me! I have 3 dc and a crazy ex. If it did ever happen it would proabably be years down the line when ex is no longer interested in what I do.

Olgaga- I rent privately, not really tied down. But I like where I live, the school is nearby and family is around.

Flossy, that is really good advice.. DC1 already knows he isn't like the other dads, but maybe I should do like your mum did. I don't know I have a lot to think about.

mummytime- I will start a diary thanks. And yes I think I have got my life sorted out, I start working at the beginning of November and have sorted out childcare, and my job is a result of my degree, so I am happy.

Scary- Yep I need to wake up and see him for what he is!! Definately a bloody prick face. arghh!

Oh and how do I request to be moved to relationships?

ScaryBOOAlot Tue 09-Oct-12 13:33:38

Sweetheart, he's not being a dad though. A dad cares and is there whenever he is needed. That's not what this bloke is. He's a sperm donor who pops by when it suits him.

I'm a single mum, I do know how hard it is to let go of that image of a perfect family that everyone wants. But the damage to yourself and to your children by clinging on to this far outweighs any short term benefit he may provide when he turns up every now and then.

Nagoo Tue 09-Oct-12 13:42:52

report your OP with a request.

I'll do it for you as well.

You do sound amazing thanks

I don't think it is unreasonable to not want him to see the DC especially as the oldest one will be so conscious of being let down. However I would make arrangements for him to come to you at set times, if he defaults no re-arranging, and keep it separate to the money issue.

When your DC look back at this you want it to be clear that it was him that let them down, especially if he is good with words and twisting things than he might turn this all on you, that you made it hard for him/ only interested in money etc.

Fishwife1949 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:46:43

Op do what yu think is right i had this isssue
And i wish i stopped the contact or lack of it sooner the last straw for me when ds was 4 and ex said he was coming and was down the end of our road got ds ready coat and wellies on sat on he stairs 2 hours later no show

Not answering phone it took me two days to get ds to take his cost off and i ened up cutting it off him he was screaming and satying but daddys coming

It was awful and i bowed never again i told ex he wont be seeing ds until he gets his shot together ds is now 12 and we havent heard from him part from mublings about fathers rights but other than that fuck all

Please dont end up like me ds still remebers that day i crying typeing this it was just so sad

fedupofnamechanging Tue 09-Oct-12 13:49:30

Fishwife, that is so sad. Your poor little ds.

olgaga Tue 09-Oct-12 14:02:17

I think you are being very generous to your ex. Too generous. I think as your children get older, it will be more obvious how his unreliability destabilises and disappoints them.

And at some point you are going to want to move your life on. What then?

KatMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Oct-12 14:05:59

Hi there, we've moved this thread into Relationships now at the OP's request. Thanks.

Nagoo Tue 09-Oct-12 14:22:07

Fishwife that's so so sad sad

ScaryBOOAlot Tue 09-Oct-12 14:23:50

Fishwife that is heartbreaking sad

Fishwife1949 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:44:20

I just dont want the op to waist the best part of her childrens lives waiting for a dad fuckface that will never come

You will most likey find op that he sorts him self out or stays away

I really think my ds was really damaged by what happend and i should of put my goot down much sonner but people kept teelling me a boys needs a father well that would be true if he ever showed up ffs

Ex used to tell ds all sorts he was buying him a horse

Also i dont agree money is a seprate issue

If you didnt feed and cloth your child they would be removed by ss and quite rightly so why should the so called dads get a free pass

cestlavielife Tue 09-Oct-12 15:47:40

go visit lcoal contact centres call []]
ours was fine like a local librbary with plenty of toys and games ball pond etc.

not unpleasant at all!!

and theyw ill record if he turns up or not.

having him visit at your place is daft when he been agressive before smashing phones etc.

you gave him chance, he blew it - if he wants contact then supervised at a contact centre or not at all.

child maintenance is separate

cestlavielife Tue 09-Oct-12 15:48:01

olgaga Tue 09-Oct-12 16:10:19

I think that's a good idea to insist he maintains a routine at a Contact Centre. I doubt much will come of it, but he can't say you're preventing him from having contact that way.

It's up to him really.

How does it work c'estlavie? What happens if the parent doesn't bother to turn up?

Creamplease Tue 09-Oct-12 19:58:37

Thank you, I have had a look at the link and requested more information. My initial reaction is to text him and say what I have done and it's because of all the letdowns. But it will probably start an arguement, and it's me clinging on to hope that he has a proper explanation..

BranchingOut Wed 10-Oct-12 09:22:47

No, no - stop sharing info about what you are thinking, feeling or planning. It will lead to a row, especially over text.

Just work it out for yourself then get in touch. Start thinking of him rather as you would an unreliable and difficult colleague - not the man you once loved. Put things in writing where possible.

Best wishes and keep us posted. X

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 10:48:40

I agree with BranchingOut.

You really do need to distance yourself. You are parents, no longer emotionally involved. Think of it as a professional relationship.

As the parent with care, these are your decisions to make. The justification for your decision is that you want proper, structured contact outside your home, and this in your opinion is the best way of achieving that.

How he responds is up to him but don't get embroiled in an argument.

I recommend you read this book, it's a brilliant aid to any difficult communications:

cestlavielife Wed 10-Oct-12 10:53:56

he can offer you all teh excuses and explanations in the world.
but it is simple.

"i think it is better we have set times for contact, out of my home, i have spken to xx contact centre and visited and it's a good place with toys for kids. they can offer xxx time on xx day eevery week/fortnight. let's start with his for next few months and if it goes well then we can review"

another option is public place like a soft play or library where you can go and be near by - and then if he doesnt turn up no matter your dc and you have a nice time out .

stop sitting at home waiting or him to turn up.

offer realistic alternatives on specified days and times like soft play, library, contact centre.

the dc wil then see if he turns up or not .

solidgoldbrass Wed 10-Oct-12 13:51:40

The only way to deal with a prick like this is decide what's going to happen, inform him of what's going to happen and do not engage in any other communication. He may make threats about court action, and while a court might well support his wish to see DC, the only person who can get a court to agree that is him, and it doesn't sound like he would bother to expend the effort and cash to do so.
best of luck with getting him pretty much out of your lives.

slug Wed 10-Oct-12 14:32:25

Of course, the evil person in me would suggest that reporting him to the benefits and tax offices for the cash in hand payments would be worth contemplating. Of course, with his criminal record, this might just be devastating, but you could always threaten..

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