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Tips on co-parenting please

(21 Posts)
Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 09:41:33

To be honest with myself I am not good at this. I still feel extremely bitter hateful actually would pay an assassin if I could and obviously this isn't the best interests of my dd.

Ex was abusive in everyway just for background info. Now I have to be around him for things like dds birthday I'm struggling. We are arranging her birthday party and all I can think of when I speak to him is you fuckin prick putting your nice act on now.

How can I put things behind me and move on doing the best for my daughter. I don't want him to be able to ruin every occasion like Christmas and birthdays just by him being there. I'm NC with him mostly but some things I have to talk to him about whether I want to or not.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 10:19:34

You can't put a thing like domestic abuse behind you. It's traumatic and long-reaching. Your anger & bitterness is totally justified and will take a long time to fade. I think you probably have to step up the NC considerably. Yes you have to communicate about essentials but there's no good reason why you both have to be present for birthdays, for example. DD can have one birthday with you and one with Dad on another day like a lot of other children in the same situation. What is 'in the best interests of DD' is your peace of mind, not a continuation of pain by forcing yourself to be in the same room as your abuser.

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 10:29:52

Yesterday was the first time I have spoke to him since he turned up Christmas morning with dds presents. He was not invited but felt he could just turn up without even ringing first.

The only reason why I spoke to him yesterday was dd wants her brothers and cousin at her party. He then wouldn't shut up about what could he do, have I arranged this and that do we need drinks can he make her cake. Urgh urgh urgh he has to take over.

But dd wants him and her brothers there so I'm stuck with him around forever.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 10:35:57

Then you have to do some wing-clipping. Suggest that you don't 'talk' any more but communicate anything like birthday arrangements in writing... e-mail. That way you achieve detachment, he can't bully you, and you also have a record of the exchange. Turning up unnanounced... this is going to sound harsh but you turn him away next time. Christmas or no Christmas. It is unacceptable.

Is the contact formally/legally arranged or just something that's evolved between you? I'm guessing the latter. Abusive men don't respect boundaries unless they are enforced.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 10:37:26

Also... what DD wants is not necessarily what's best for her. You're the responsible adult. You have to decide what's best and if that means no Dad at the party, that's what happens.

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 10:54:56

It's not legally arranged. Dd used to go every other Saturday night but doesn't go anymore as she doesn't want to. She's going to be 8 so I feel she can decide how little or how much she is happy with.

I will start communicating through emails that's a good idea. Means I can reply when I want to to.

As much as I hate him (I really do) I do think it's beneficial for dd to have him around for these things. Dd won't go to his anymore so wont be around his to have her own celebration there. If it wouldn't hurt her more then I would insist eow and no blurred boundaries with birthday parties and such but it's really not what she wants or in her best interests.

Also how can I say no to her wanting to see her brothers for these sort of things? It's not just cutting him off even more.

I just find it very very difficult all of this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 11:29:10

I know it's difficult but 8yos are not emotionally equipped to make these kinds of decisions. They need us, the adults, to set the boundaries and, even if they don't like the rules at first, they will get a sense of security from knowing they are there. She can see Dad and she can see her brothers no problem but it has to be properly structured and it's really not her responsibility to do that.

I wonder if the reality is that you're still nervous of him? You're OK saying no to DD but you don't like to say no to him? 'Abusive in every way', you described him originally and people like that are very manipulative and delight in keeping people frightened and obedient.

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 11:57:43

Cog I have seen your advice on other threads and I think you speak a lot of sense so thank you for your time.

He was extremely abusive towards me, it's actually quite unbelievable everything he did. Huge backstory. For the first 6 months after we finally split he stepped it up and it was even worse. Contact handovers were horrible for dd and now if he does pick her up he beeps the horn and stays in the car.

I really wanted to stop all contact between them, dd doesn't like being with him as he shouts a lot, makes her eat food she doesn't like (doesn't sound a lot but she's had real issues with food due to enlarged tonsils and milky stuff makes her gag so he makes her eat porridge) he gets her to run around after him making him drinks and tidying up his mess. So I said to dd she doesn't have to go anymore and since I've said that she hasn't gone to stay once. He's took her out once since the end of November.

So all of that plus more but she still wants to see him just not at his house. She also adores her brothers and wouldn't see them if I stopped contact.

I really don't know what to do for the best. I did have a AIBU thread a while ago but with so many opinions on what I should do it didn't help me clear anything up or give me any ideas what to do for the best.

If I did cut contact dd would miss him, he does have slightly good points when it comes to dd.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 12:06:27

OK how about this? Would you agree that you want non-residential access only because of his history of abusive behaviour towards you and DD? (Making a kid gag her way through porridge sounds appalling) Ideally, he collects her at scheduled times/days, takes her out for a few hours (with the brothers possibly) and then returns her with minimal contact with you throughout. Special occasions would have to fall in with the regular schedule.

LyndaCartersBigPants Fri 03-Jan-14 12:12:54

Could she not have a seep rate celebration with her brothers and cousins, going out for pizza etc when her dad can make a fuss of her, make her a cake etc or even organise his own party for her. No reason for you to both attend a single celebration if it's making you uncomfortable.

I do share some special days with ex, it's not ideal, but we both get on with it, keep ourselves to ourselves and the kids are happy with it. However, sometimes they will be at his on their birthday and do something nice with him and the family, then do something with me and their friends at the weekend. They get 2 birthdays and we get a stress free celebration.

LyndaCartersBigPants Fri 03-Jan-14 12:13:13

Separate! Not seep rate.

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 12:19:07

Yes I would like that, that was happening to a point but dd doesn't want that. Which is my problem.

He has said he's quite happy to have her a few hours every other Sunday instead of overnights if that's what she wants. Everytime I say to dd daddy wants to see you she doesn't want to go. If I say daddy wants to see you an take you to the cinema she will go but that just makes it Disney parenting iyswim.

I can't blame her for not wanting to go and due to the way he is I can't force her. But a lot of it is she doesn't want to leave me or miss out on what I'm doing.

What is best for dd? Is it in her best interests to see him even if she doesn't want to?

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 12:20:29

She could but she wouldn't want to Lynda.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 12:23:54

I thought you originally said she missed him but now you say she doesn't want to go? This is why you have to decide - not DD. Like school or music lessons or having injections .... we tell them how it's going to be and the DCs have to go along with it. That's life. If it's a few hours Disney Dad every other Sunday, that's how it is. End of discussion. Everyone knows the schedule and there's no more messing about.

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 12:27:19

She does miss him, and yet still doesn't want to go with him.

I'm worried that either way I'm going to mess this up. Either I make dd go eo Sunday and she then feels I haven't protected her, or I go the other way and she blames me for not knowing him when she's older.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 12:30:28

Protect? Is something bad going to happen to her on these trips to the cinema? Serious question... .are you worried about her care or safety?

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 12:42:09

I don't think he would hit her, he does slap the boys but has never hit dd. He did threaten once and I said he would never see her again if he did.

He is slack with safety. He won't think twice to shove 4 dc in the back of his car without seatbelts. He will leave the kids at home or in the car. Last time 2 incidences happened 1 dd swappe seats to a seat without a seatbelt and 2 her 10 yr old brother took the hand brake off in the car sat in the drivers seat and played with the gears. He drink drives to not all the time but I have stopped dd goin with him when he picked her up in the morning drinking a bottle of beer in last nights going out clothes.

I get really worried about all of the above. I may be over worrying. He says it's because I'm a control freak. Is this jut me not liking him ring the one in control of dd confused

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 12:43:36

Was the DV recorded at the time? Any record of his neglect/abuse of the DCs?

Back2Basics Fri 03-Jan-14 12:54:25

Twice the police have been out to remove him out of my house. They said I could press charges if I wanted, they said the third time ss will be involved.

The twice they came out it was me breaking up with him and because I was adamant we were not together any more they were happy to leave it.

This was about 8/9 months ago. I haven't wanted to ring them since even with a couple of incidences that has happened as I really don't want ss and other agencies involved.

Since The end of November he really has backed off. I have had no more threats, he has listened about not coming to the door (apart from Christmas) and we have spoke twice inc last night about dds birthday. So im really not worried about him kicking off anymore it's gone past it now, I'm more worried about what's best for dd.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-Jan-14 16:40:31

It's all bound up with what's best for DD. You see, if he is on record as being violent or aggressive then you can use this (or your solicitor can use it to be accurate) when you are sorting out the contact details e.g. arguing for supervised access. This sounds like it would be best for DD. Also, if it is on record, you are better placed to get Legal Aid. If you go this route of supervised access, I think SS would be quite happy and largely leave you alone.

CailinDana Fri 03-Jan-14 18:07:39

I think you would be mad to insist on contact with an abusive man with a history of drink driving, not using car seats, hitting and neglecting his children. The most I would allow is supervised contact.

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