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dh won't let me spend time with ds

(90 Posts)
Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 12:10:28

Have posted about dh before under different name but deleted as too much information on the net and could well be outed? I know this may be safer in chat but want the relationship wise advice.
Dh is a domineering personality with slight bullying tendencies but very strong on having his own way with no insight to what he does.
I work long hours and weekend shifts and cannot change this as it is part of my training and compulsory. I don't like it but have asked to alter and told not possible.
When I am home 3 sats out of 4 I like to spend time with ds say half the weekend. But now my dh is always there he just can't and won't back off at all, dominating all the weekend time and hardly even letting me chat to ds about his week at school etc without him talking me down, butting in and over riding me. Dh is alone with ds all the times I am not there, I never get time alone with him as he is part of dads plan, dad is there or he actively chooses to go with dad instead of with me.
Our [ dh and I]relationship is just about ok enough to live in the same house, in that we are cordial most of the time and organise things between us, although there are periods when I have not been happy due to his attitude and wanted him to leave which he refused.
I appreciate I may not like coming second best in ds life when previously I was the one in charge of everything prior to going back to full time plus 3 yrs ago and this is in part inevitable, but dh should back me up to join in rather than continuously taking over when \i am home, and when I sort of tag along they are the main participants and I am a sort of hanger on while they make the decisions about what to do for the day.
Today they are out again I have been told I " can go if I want in my own car" but last week did this and they moved on to other plans and I just came back home again alone after the activity while they went for lunch etc. I fought hard to get to take ds swimming which was fantastic for a while but now dh has substituted another activity on saturdays and they agreed together today ds will not do swimming anymore { I organised the swimming and enjoy taking him]. Dh has organised tennis which is great but he is the one taking him.

This is making me sad and I have no power and is wrong on every level yet I feel powerless. Ds goes along with what dad says and I am worried about him missing me as well as the utter dysfunctionality of it all.
I am very sad about this.
I have been on brink of divorce the only thing holding me back is ds may choose to spend more time with dh and I would see even less of him, ds was distraught when I said to him parents sometimes did things differently and drifted apart and wanted to live separately... he was absolutely against this and if dh portrayed me as the instigator of the family split and ruining everything I may lose ds altogether.Ds said he " doesn't want to live with me on his own "
I am a great parent and he is doing ds and me a great disservice but I can't sort this out. Also I had years of bringing up dc and am sensible, dh is ok but he has very fixed ideas about things and does not always set a good example, so I don't want him to have excessive influence. Ds is 10.
Have mammoth posted so no drip feed.
Oh yes have obv spoken to dh he says I am being ridiculous

Please help.

CiderwithBuda Sat 26-Jan-13 16:08:26

Don't give up your job. August will come around quickly. What will happen to your hours once the training is finished?

In the meantime read up on gas lighting. Talk to WA. Prepare to fight him.

And most importantly don't let him take DS off. Be ready. Go with them. Did DS enjoy the swimming? Did he want to do tennis? Keep telling DS how much you love him and want to spend time with him as you miss him.

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 16:15:25

Seriously, you do need to talk to WA. And you need a good solicitor, too. That's absolutely essential so you can get some preparatory advice - know what you need to do to protect your place in your son's life in future.

Don't give up the job. whatever you do. You need it.

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 16:16:38

PissesGlitter she can't just take her DS. He's also her H's DS and right now he could argue he has been primary carer. She needs to box clever, and have decent advice on how to ensure she gets 50/50 after a split.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 16:31:32

If I tell the lawyer my dh is manipulating the situation and that is why I am having to split then surely they will not see him as the primary carer?

I live here, do all the cleaning and cooking apart from my weekend shifts [ when I still sleep at home] when as I say I am happy for dh to go away ? do other things and leave me to it all the other weekends. The fact that he chooses to monopolise ds is the problem, and that he hasn't got many friends or hobbies.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 16:32:20

And that he is a manipulative arse , of course

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 16:34:19

My training does not finish in August. Just this chunk ofit.

HoratiaWinwood Sat 26-Jan-13 16:45:24

I'm frightened by his pretending you are mentally ill if you kick up a stink. That is a classic red flag. It is not mad to want to spend time with your child!

nospace Sat 26-Jan-13 17:25:17

He's a controlling bully - pushing you out. Do you go on family holidays?

SolidGoldBrass Sat 26-Jan-13 17:52:58

Please talk to Women's Aid and a solicitor. This man is abusive and dangerous, but they will have seen this sort of thing before and will be able to help you. He is abusing your son by alienating him from you. He's also teaching him quite deliberately that women are inferior to men, contemptible, and can be ignored and mistreated.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 17:59:21

I put him to bed every night , we read for a while and chat then I tuck him in. I don.t never see him but I can ,t choose to take him out on a Saturday for eg unless I make quite a fuss.
Dh is selfish and just wants to take him out himself it's as simple as that.

nospace Sat 26-Jan-13 18:02:25

Yes, because he's a bully.angry

bigbuttons Sat 26-Jan-13 18:07:16

Op, my ex has done this. He has managed to persuade my 13 and 14 year old boys to stay with him after we split in April. I took the younger 4 dc's with me. it has broken my heartsad.
Get to court and get reading the book "divorce Poison" straight away

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 20:07:59

That was a hilarious exercise in seeing what would happen if I " just sat down instead of making dh tea " . Every sat night I do the tea which is usually an easy type thing from m and s . I make it, then have to go and get everyone to come and eat and clear away etc. Tonight I figured since dh bought it while out on his day trip he could just as we'll empty the two shopping bags and put the food in. I usually shop, clean the kitchen and do lunch and tea every Saturday But since I wasn't party to today's events I simpler sat here doing my work.
He went ballistic and started making comments about " well if I got up off my backside it would help, itwas time for me to cook the veg and unpack the bags and make tea. When I told him I had cleaned the kitchen surely we could share the jobs he said you have never cleaned the kitchen or fridge ever ( do it every Saturday ) etc etc etc
And that I have never made sat tea ( so what's the point ) and tried to insist my childminder cleans the fridge , er no she doesn't

Very entertaining. Well worth the effort.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 20:28:31

Sorry none of that was with ds there. I wanted to think about why I am always treating myself like a skivvy while he lords it over me like some kind of God.
He acted as if nothing was wrong when they came back at 5 pm.

DamnDeDoubtance Sat 26-Jan-13 20:49:54

Maybe it would do ds some good to see him in his true guise, might undo some of the damage.

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 20:51:00

If I tell the lawyer my dh is manipulating the situation and that is why I am having to split then surely they will not see him as the primary carer?^

Love, it doesn't matter what your solicitor thinks, because they're not the one who will decide - a judge will - and your ex will also have a solicitor. The judge won't care what went on between the two of you, because it's impossible to know who is telling the truth and all they want to know is what will least disrupt the child. That is almost always seen as keeping things as close to what they were pre-split as possible, so your H is in a stronger position if he can say how much more time he spends with your son than you do. If he is doing more of the childcare than you, then you are unlikely to be seen as primary carer, and arguing that it's because your ex is an abuser is sadly very hard to prove, and may well be disregarded. Divorces are brutal, and people often lie through their teeth in pursuit of their desired outcome, so facts are given a lot more weight than the alleged underlying reasons for them. Your words on why you saw little of your son will very likely be disregarded, unless your ex is stupid enough to show himself up to a CAFCASS officer. Always possible, but hard to rely on.

Of course your own solicitor will know you are dealing with a manipulative piece of shit. The problem is, the judge sees combative parents who claim that all the time, as do CAFCASS, and your ex will almost certainly be portraying you as a career driven harpy who expected him to do all the childcare and all the housework, and nobody will know who is telling the truth, so they may well look to the hours you both work. Your ex is going to be able to get statements from people he sees at the weekend activities as well as the CM, from what you say, as well as showing your working hours as opposed to his. Saying, "but he's a bully who forced me out" isn't provable in the same way as who does the care is. So you must. MUST. alter those care patterns and ensure you spend the time. It doesn't matter what it takes - you have got to, I think. You need solid legal advice on how to protect your relationship when you leave, too - your ex could simply refuse to allow you contact at all, in the absence of a court order, and if you aren't primary carer so couldn't obtain an emergency interim order, it could take 6 months before you see him. By that point your ex's position as primary carer would be very entrenched and as long as he allowed the court-ordered contact most of the time, they'd probably award him primary residence. This is what happens to fathers all the time, I'm afraid.

You need excellent legal advice, and not all solicitors are created equal so please ask Women's Aid to recommend someone. If you could get yourself into a position where you can claim to do half the care, and convincingly so, then your ability to claim at least 50% of the time with your DS (and judges can be reluctant to allow that division in cases of high conflict, out of concern for the child) will be stronger, and you will also have a better argument for fulltime care.

A judge in family court does not care what the adults did to one another unless serious, proven violence is at stake. They are interested in minimising disruption to the child. In practice, this results in a kind of "finders keepers" situation. Contrary to belief, the courts don't favour women - they favour the person who seems on paper to do most of the care. That's usually the woman. It means a lot of nice men get forced out by unpleasant women. I should add that my own father was a deadbeat arse, so I'm not biased against mums in the slightest. I used to think most women who blocked contact had excellent reasons, and of course many do. But plenty don't. Your ex does not sound like he would support or facilitate good contact between yourself and your son, and I do think you need to start planning your exit strategy, with the core objective being protecting your relationship with your son.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 20:52:34

I am smiley , calm and steely. On the outside.

Inside I now realise this is out and out WAR.

No one takes my children from me

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 20:53:54

Maybe it would do ds some good to see him in his true guise, might undo some of the damage.

He's ten. Firstly, that means that he would very likely assume his father was in the right and being reasonable, because he is too young to see him with any objectivity and his father has been undermining his mother to him for months now. Secondly, seeing his parents at one another's throats as their relationship dies is never going to do him any good at all.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 20:59:21

I am not leaving.
From perfect storms post I had better give up the day job.

Part of the reason I went back and retrained was to be able to be on my own as the need arose.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 26-Jan-13 21:04:36

Good for you. I liked what you said about standing up for yourself - you're a family member not retained as cook or bottle washer. Smart not to start anything in front of DS too. You've mentioned shared looks or conspiratorial smiles so H is already playing dirty.

I was thinking, would DH drop hostilities if you 3 entertained or went out with another family or a couple be they friends/colleagues or family members? Okay it would not mean you got DS wholly to yourself but H would surely have to include you too. Another adult male could usefully distract H while DS mucks in with peers and grown ups.

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 21:06:21

I don't think giving up your job is the answer either. Seriously, I don't. I think talking to Women's Aid and then a good solicitor is. Don't jump to any conclusions without talking through possibilities - you don't know what they may recommend in terms of moving forwards in future. Your DH is not a SAHF either, and as long as you take over dealings with the CM and INSIST on your weekend time with your son being sacred and set in stone, then you're in a stronger position.

I do think exploring compassionate leave of absence might be an option worth exploring. That way you could rebuild your relationship with your son. Your soon to be ex could be told you'd left, rather than were taking a sabbatical. Again, talk to WA and a solicitor.

Apart from anything else, legal aid is being cut to the bone and litigation is expensive. If you leave and then your ex wants to play hardball with you, you don't want to be the one who can't afford to play back.

I'm honestly not trying to scare you, but this thread is full of the presumption that a mother will always get the kids, regardless of family setup. That presumption is a mistaken one. So you need to work out how to manage this.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 21:06:31

I do not argue with dh in front of ds at all. Unfortunately this means dh can undermine me and I don ' t say anything.

I have leave for all of ds holidays . I think I still look after ds at least as much as dh. the thing / problem is I am not getting to make the choices about how I want to spend the weekends and what to do with ds. Ad am continually undermined in front of him.
I would not say even on paper dh is primary carer.

Domesticsloven Sat 26-Jan-13 21:08:11

I DO deal with my mothers help, I employed her, she is solely for my ds, I pay her and she reports to me. Dh not involved.

mrslaughan Sat 26-Jan-13 21:16:06

Divorce him and get a custody agreement where you have your access set in stone. You will be far better off.
At the moment you DH is completely manipulating your son, unfortunately this will continue BUT you can have time with you DS without your DH around.

perfectstorm Sat 26-Jan-13 21:16:28

That's really, really good news, because you could then get a statement saying as much, and it's indicative of your doing as much care as DH plus being the one to make arrangements and be the point of contact, which means the parent taking responsibility for childcare arrangements, also important - if you drop off and collect, then DH is not caring for your DS in the time he's home and you aren't. That's really, really useful. Now if you put your foot down over weekend activities, you can ensure that he can't claim you don't engage then, either.

Honestly am not trying to scare you with all this; I just think you need to nail down your position, given your H is trying to force you out when still married and sharing a roof. I mean, if he's this way now, imagine what he'd do from spite if you left?

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