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Should I stop contact?

(18 Posts)
fedupwithfootball Sat 10-Nov-12 14:20:25

Poster this yesterday in chat, on advice might get some more help here from those who may have been through similar.

Left ExH 4 years ago due to his emotional and occassional mild physical abuse to me. DS's were 2 and 3 at that point.

He barely saw them for the 1st year and then only with me or his mum present and not over night.

Since then contact has evolved into every other weekend. He started at new relationship 2 year ago and they have a nearly 2 year old.

DS's have always been reluctant to go a times but other times seems happy enough.

Issues when bad have been shouting very loudly in their faces and frightening them (often for ridiculous things like knocking their cup accidently at the table), having to stay in bed until an appropriate time is declared (9am) - DS1 wakes at 6. Not being able to go for help in the night if have a nightmare.

I have discussed these things with him before and he usually denies it or comes up with excuses- his DS needed to sleep thereofre they had to stay in bed etc.
They had also told their gran (Dads mum) who also tried to speak to him.
Unfortuantly he is now not speaking to his mum.

Last weekend they came back and both said that DS2 had been told that he wasn't allowed to ever come back to his dads if his behavious continues.

It appears that on the contact weekend prior to the most recent one DS2 pushed his DS (aged 1.10) off the couch. It has only ever happened once and he was trying to get a game that he was sitting on. Clearly unacceptable but it is the punishment that I am not happy with.

So apparenly he threatened to not allow his 6 year old back due to this (Ex has confimed this -"to make it stop, will not allow this behaviour (he told me)

Today both boys have told me that he also grabbed DS2 by the hood and throw him into the hall. He was scared and his neck hurt. This has apparently happened before. He pushed DS1 as well but not as much. He shouted very loudly in DS2's face.
They rarely mention the girlfriend and she never takes part in their lifes when they are there (I have seen her at the door once or twice but never met her) - but apparently she was very angry and also make it clear she didnt want him back.

Ex had texted me later the evening they came back to say that DS2 was very quiet in the car on the way back home and thought it might be related to him telling him off. I told him what I knew re the threatening to allow him back and told him that was unaccpetable. He phoned to "apologise" to DS2 . I was sitting next to DS2 - it really was another telling off with a but I still love you at the end. DS2 was in tears.

I only found out about the pushing etc this afternoon.

DS1 commented that he always treated DS2 really badly but him and it shouldbe him because he is older. DS1 confirmed to me when I asked him that that is the only occassion that DS2 has pushed the toddler.

I do not want them to go back. He has had too many chances and when things are ok he is a barely adequate parent.

I am due to see him at parents night this week (he takes no involvment in thier school, doubt if he even knows what year they are in, but comes to parents night and doesn't open his mouth!)

I am still a little scared of him (thought this had gone but not completey) and dont want to see him this week until I have sorted what I am doing and worked out how to tell him.

He is not due to see them again till next weekend - although hasn't confirmed this yet.

Can I just say - I am not sending them, they dont want to go.
If he objects what grounds - there is no official documentation of abuse towards me.

I was going to speak to NSPCC for advice - is this any use?
What else can I do?

I am not allowing my children to be treated like this

SHine0ncrazydiamond Sat 10-Nov-12 14:40:38

You don't really need to ask do you?

He is mistreating your little boys and you have to do everything in your power to stop that. Well done for recognising this. I understand how helpless you must feel but you're not - there is plenty you can do.

Can you email him? Detail the reasons why you are immediately stopping overnight contact. It is fine for your ex to tell them off, maybe raise his voice. It is NOT fine for him to push them, intimidate them and impose stupid rules like staying in bed until 9am.

Do you have a Solicitor? You could put all of this through a court and get contact properly drawn up. Document everything you can remember and stick to the facts.

I wish you luck.

SHine0ncrazydiamond Sat 10-Nov-12 14:44:28

So - email him this week and tell him the reasons why unsupervised contact is not happening now. Re things like parent's evenings - don't arrange to go with him. Talk to the school and ask that they independently send him letters etc - then the ball is in his court as to whether he turns up or not. Start putting more distance between you and him... there is no need to talk to him or have calls or texts. Put everything to email. Disengage from him completely. Don't rise to any threats... if they are made over email you'll have a record of them.

He sounds awful and your boys are frightened. Stop it all now

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 14:51:41

Definitely stop contact and it's a good idea to have it in writing why you are stopping that contact. My feeling is that he will not challenge your decision or petition you for access. Keep your children safe and don't send them back for more ill-treatment. Consider calling SS if he has another child and you think it is in danger.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sat 10-Nov-12 15:01:20

Please get some proper legal advice as soon as possible, is the current contact court ordered?

pumpkinsweetie Sat 10-Nov-12 15:04:55

Yes you should, your dc don't need to go with someone they are scared of, even i it is their dad!

AllGoodNow Sat 10-Nov-12 15:13:30

This has made me so sad :-( cutting contact is a hideously difficult decision, but I don't see how you have a choice here. He is bullying your children, and shouldn't see them at this time.

Is this contact time court ordered? If not, I agree with Cogito that you should cease contact and put it in writing in case he takes you to court. Also its a good idea tp write down everything your boys have told you, and make sure to reassure them that this is not their fault and you think that, due to things that have happened, that it's better of they don't go to their Dad's for a while. Do you think they will be happier not to see him? Poor them and you, I really feel for you all x

fedupwithfootball Sat 10-Nov-12 15:48:52

Contact is voluntary.
Stopped overnight contact for a few weeks last year when Ds1 was very upset about going and waking at night before contact weekends. Things gradually settled again and most of the time they seem happy to go. If their dad has to cancel for whatever reason however they are never disappointed.

I did reassure them that their dads behaviors wasn't their fault and not because they have done anything to deserve that. I explained that I wouldn't let me be treated like that. Ideally I think they would like me to ensure he behaved well but clearly I can't do that.

I don't know how far he would push it. I agree that he may not go to court. It was me that had to push for house sale and divorce, I don't tink he would have done anything.

He would have the finances to take it to court should he wish.

He will hassle me and guilt trip me and tell
Colleague his side ( we work in a similar field)

Do you think I should email him first and tell him I am stopping contact and see what his response is before ding anything more formal.

Should I speak to the school-as far as I am aware the school have no issues over behavior or work, would that make there life's more difficult -dont want mt children to be staff room gossip- but maybe be paranoid.
My solicitor wasn't hugely concerned about my fears before but not as bad as above. Should I only contact her if hr doesn't accept email
Should I restrict contact rather than stopping it-eg sat/sun pm ?

SHine0ncrazydiamond Sat 10-Nov-12 16:02:25

Break this down into manageable chunks.

Email him first, lay out the facts and state clearly what you intend to do. I'd be going for no more overnight visits I think. See how he responds to that and then move on to the next step.

It is a 'good' thing that he sounds like a lazy bastard who won't exactly pursue you through every court in the land.

I'd hold fire on talking to the school unless you think this is going to be detrimental to their behaviour. And I'd down play it to your boys too.

Oh and it doesn't matter what he tells his colleague. If this colleague has any ounce of sense then they'll realise that not many women withdraw contact without a bloody good reason. And he can only guilt trip you if you allow him to make contact with you.

peppapigpants Sat 10-Nov-12 16:03:23

You don't have to go with him to parents' evening, I'm a teacher and will arrange to see parents at any time in this sort of situation. It's not uncommon for separated parents to ask for meetings on different evenings.

As for contact, I agree, say that the children will not come until it is clear they are safe and properly cared for.

AllGoodNow Sat 10-Nov-12 16:06:06

Really good you've had that chat with them x Email would be a good idea if your happy with that and think it's the best way to go. Wait and see what he says. Like you've said, you can't fix him for your boys, as much as you would like to. You can only do whats best for them, and I truly believe this is best for them right now. It could shock him into changing the ways he deals with his anger - I hope so for their sake, but won't hold my breath....

I totally think you should talk to the school, they really appreciate being kept up to date with this sort of thing and would not take it as an opportunity to gossip about it. My DC's schools have been amazing when I have spoken to them, and are really happy I keep them in the loop.

I wouldn't worry about your solicitor now, just see how this goes and if he goes for a contact order, that's when you should speak to her. Like I said. I would really advise writing everything down, so you have it to hand if it does come to it.

Good luck, your a great mum and even though this may get hard, your boys will love you even more for it.

P.s you don't have to allow him contact with you to hassle/guilt trip you,F him off in that way if you have to x

fedupwithfootball Sat 10-Nov-12 16:06:16

School send a letter last week saying will not arrange separate meeting for separate parents . Either come together or one go to each meeting( autumn and spring)!

SHine0ncrazydiamond Sat 10-Nov-12 16:08:02

Fedup - then that is fine - do one each. I assume the school will tell you if there are any other issues and besides, they are primary school children so no harm done in the short term. If he is as lazy as you imply, then he won't bother going anyway.

peppapigpants Sun 11-Nov-12 15:13:48

fedup, you might find the class teachers more sympathetic than school policy suggests...especially if, like me, they would rather slice their own chest open with a blunt knife than spend any amount of time in the same room as an abusive ex smile

fedupwithfootball Sun 11-Nov-12 23:30:57

Wanted perspective so phoned Nspcc.
They are concerned and have taken his details to pass onto childrens services.
I know this is the correct think to do but am now vey scared about the consequences-he will go mental when sw contact him. He will know it is from me. They also have to assess his child who lives with him.

I have been advised to contact solicitor tomorrow.

How quickly will all this happen? I will need to be prepared age obviously know where I live etc.
my life was nearly back to normal now I feel back to square one and terrified of what is going to happen.

I have a good relationship with his mum-but I havnt told her any of this.
It is too late to phone her now and I am concerned that local sw will be efficienct and contact him tomorrow and she will feel I should have contacted her.

Should I speak to the school-will the school be contacted.

I managed the whole separation and divorce without contacting anyone and now feels my children ( who are happy and doing well at school) things will get worse for them.

Know I have probably done the correct thing but worried I will make things worse for everyone

Toomanybabies Mon 12-Nov-12 00:52:03

I can't answer any of your last questions but just wanted to say I think you did the right thing by asking advice from NSPCC.

peppapigpants Mon 12-Nov-12 06:34:12

Fedup, you have done the right thing. Ex is not going to tell his mum anything if he's not speaking to her. You can contact social services yourself to request a child in need assessment then you won't feel so much like you are waiting for others to do things while you stay home and worry. I don't know which area you are in but Hounslow council have a very good explanation of the child in need process on their website which will be helpful for you to read.

Ask the school who the designated person for child protection is and talk to that person. It will be confidential.

Stay strong, you are doing the best thing for your children and there is no shame in seeking help.

mummytime Mon 12-Nov-12 06:42:30

I'm not sure the school have any right to deny separate appointments for divorced parents, so I would challenge that.

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