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STBXH always putting time constraints on visiting our children

(28 Posts)
Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 16:16:37

Hi, I would be grateful for some advice please. My ex and I are amicably separated and almost divorced. We have 3 children that he doesn't see much of because he works long hours. He lives in a flat about 10 minutes walk away. He sees them at the weekends, but if he comes to see them after work, he is always harping on about how it's 'a flying visit,' because 'Daddy has things to do,' (another annoyance-his referring to himself in the third person! Our children are at secondary school, so I find it very patronising).i haven't raised the issue with him and haven't mentioned it to the children, but the other night, he really shot himself in the foot. After being here for about half an hour, he said, ' I'd better be getting back soon, I have a baked potato waiting for me.' I was astounded by this comment. Then my 14 year old daughter put my thoughts into words. She said, 'so you're saying that your baked potato is more important than us?' He didn't really respond. But what she said absolutely hit the nail on the head. He is always thinking of himself over them. He does work late, but surely he should understand that his children need to know that they are a priority? On the evenings that he comes over , he should just get himself a takeaway and not keep going on about how he's always tight for time. How unimportant must that make them feel? I am having a talk with him tonight , to make him aware of what he's doing and it's potentially damaging affects on our children.

3littlefrogs Sun 11-Jan-15 16:19:46

I wouldn't bother OP.
Let him dig his own hole.
If he hasn't taken on board what your DD said, he certainly won't take notice of you.

balia Sun 11-Jan-15 16:23:12

Could you move towards a proper midweek contact at his flat, with him feeding them? I'd hate to have my ex 'popping in' if he had 30 minutes to kill while waiting for his baked potato. Could he make sure he finished at a reasonable time just one night a week?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 11-Jan-15 16:25:17

I always say to people who refer to themselves in the third person as 'you know only psychopaths refer to themselves in the third person, don't you?'

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 11-Jan-15 16:27:02

There will be a point where your children don't want to see him as they will have better things to do.

My ex is like this, only he doesn't live near by. He'd visit for a long weekend every 18 months and see ds for an hour or so in between seeing his family and his friends. Ds hasn't seen him for 4 and a half years, what goes around and all of that.

AnyFucker Sun 11-Jan-15 17:01:21

Why don't your children visit him at his flat so you get some child free time ?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 11-Jan-15 17:13:06

Why do you tolerate him "popping in" when he's got half an hour to spare of his very precious time? It's not his home to be popping in and out of: it's your and your children's. He needs to be told to eff off and make a proper arrangement.

I'd be wanting to have things on a proper time-table and the kids seeing him somewhere outside of their home.

Ten minutes walk away is a bit too handy for comfort, I reckon. There is nothing but disadvantages for you with this.

ivykaty44 Sun 11-Jan-15 17:16:53

I am also wondering why secondary age children aren't letting themselves in his flat and their father feeding them at night.

Every other father seems to manage this and work why is he so incompitant?

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 17:20:16

Thanks for your comments. 3Little Frogs, I think you're right, he is digging himself a hole. The thing is, he is a good dad and a highly intelligent person, who should be able to see what he's doing. Balia, I would love a proper midweek contact , where he could collect them from school, feed them and have some quality time. But his work means that can never be home before at least 7-sometimes it's much later, either because he's had to work late or the trains are running badly. I told him that I want him to come home early on a Friday every other week, so that he can have them properly and, to be fair to him, he has managed to persuade his work to allow him to do this - until March. Ladysybillikes sloe gin-I just love your name! That must be awful for you. What a thoughtless idiot. I don't think it will get that bad with my ex, but, as you say, in a few years, the children will have more important things to do too. Funky old Ribena -another great name! That's a very interesting point, but , thankfully,he doesn't have any psychopathic tendencies! I think it's just a family trait-both his parents do it too.

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 17:46:58

Any fucker, the children do visit his flat, but it's rare for them all to stay with him. My eldest just doesn't like staying there-always has an excuse ie) yesterday it was because she would miss her electric blanket! My other two are a bit better, but very often it's just one of them who stays with him. So at the weekends, it ends up with him dipping in and out, taking them to their various activities, but bringing them home in between. He tries. He does take them over for meals, but he's just not used to putting them first .
Bitter and only slightly twisted, it is difficult, because of his work. He'll often not get back until 8.30/9.00. It is very annoying, because he is slotting them in when it suits him. And the thing is, of course, our children love being at home with me. Where he lives isn't very appealing.
Ivy Katy 44, if our children did do that, it would be a revelation to him. He'd have to be rushing back for them. But my eldest is 14 and I still feel she's a bit too young to be looking after her 2 sisters. And knowing what his job is like, they'd not get fed until about 8. They'd hate it. But maybe I'll suggest it. I am going to suggest a proper schedule. He will be moving elsewhere soon, as will I, so I am hoping things will be better then.

balia Sun 11-Jan-15 18:05:36

Is it the kind of job when he has to work late unexpectedly with no notice? Does he have any warning, say a week in advance or if things are getting busy? You could agree a couple of possible evenings at the weekend, he could text/ring when he is home and the DC could walk round and all have take-out together.

If he is a good and intelligent person, would mediation help? Having a third party to give him the message that the DC need commitment and quality time with him?

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 19:04:37

Balia, his work is quite full on all the time. And it is quite unpredictable . The other thing with him, of course, is his bloody mountain biking. He likes to go out mountain biking on a Wednesday night, so I know that will usually take priority. There was one day recently, when one of my children wanted to do some homework with him-maths, which I'm useless at. We asked if she could come over to do it, but he had 'plans' - something else more important, so she couldn't go. I'm about 99% positive that he doesn't have a woman, so I don't think he had a hot date! We have had mediation and I felt it was fairly useless. The mediator seemed to side with him. We've gone beyond mediation really.
I don't do paid work, but I work as a volunteer for a charity. I have arthritis, which limits what I can do. It's hard finding a job where I'm not on my feet all the time? I'm not an office person. If I did work though, he would have to step up to the plate. If I commuted like he does, he would have no choice but to pull his weight.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 11-Jan-15 22:04:42

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 11-Jan-15 22:06:18


LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 11-Jan-15 22:07:03

Sorry! I was on the coffee thread a second ago blush

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 11-Jan-15 22:17:28

"He'll often not get back until 8.30/9.00."

Quite honestly, with children 14 years old and younger that's far too late for him to be coming round anyway. 9pm is when they should be winding down and getting ready for bed, not receiving visitors. And that's if any of them are still up by that time of night.

He's a selfish arse but I suspect you know that already. Plus, I reckon all this popping in business has less to do with seeing his kids and more to do with establishing your home as his territory.

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 22:35:36

Bitter I know. This is the problem. On a good day he will be back at about 7.30. The thing is the children all have things to do after school -loads of homework or music lessons etc. I spend a lot of time ferrying them around. And they're starving when they come home from school. I have to feed them at about 5/6. So yes, if he's visiting from 8 onwards, they are winding down. They're usually in their onsiies , all ready for bed. The house is the one we used to share, so he does feel it is his territory I think. It will hopefully improve when we each have our own places. He is a selfish arse, no two ways about it. But he's a man and I think that men can never feel the absolute attachment that a mother feels for her children. Our worlds revolve around them. But with some men, I think they just treat their children like another chore on the to do list. They see them, tick that little chore off and feel smug that they have done their bit.
Funky, I will investigate your link. It does sound suspicious. Thank you all. Xx

cestlavielife Sun 11-Jan-15 22:43:00

You say he is a good dad and intelligent so just leave him to sort it out. Stop having him round at your hpuse and make it clear dc are to see him at his place or out and about.

Establish with him two set nights a week when they will go to his place and he needs to come home and sort out their dinner.

Presumably his job is paying for everything though right ?

cestlavielife Sun 11-Jan-15 22:46:57

You ve let your world revolve around them because you do the ferrying around. That he us a man is not the point. He has had weekends free right ? What has he done on those non work days ! Have you made sure he foes his share on weekends ?

Up to now he has worked and you have taken on all the taxi chauffeur feeding right ? Has he had to take them to music school on saturdaysor have you done that too ?

cestlavielife Sun 11-Jan-15 22:51:12

You say he sees them at weekends what does that involve ? Eg does he take them all out cycling with him ?

Of course men feel attachment to their children some fight to see them... That he doesn't or wouldn't is not because he is a man but because he is a selfish twat.

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 23:06:34

Yes, he is paying. He is supporting us well. But the job just will not allow him to ever be home for the children like that. He is taking Every other Friday off from next week until March, so that he can be there for them for a while. This was at my request. So he is making an effort. But his job rules everything. And I know that if he had prioritised his family over work for the 15 years that we were married, then we wouldn't be getting divorced now. I kept telling him repeatedly over the years that I could not live this life-his long working hours and him not being around for the children, but he was adamant that he could not work anywhere else other than London. I think it was the money all along. He's always been used to a high salary and big bonuses, so getting a job somewhere else that I wanted to live, like Norfolk or Wales, was never going to pay as well. He has a distorted view on money because he's been used to being paid so much. He actually complained that he'd been given a poxy £5,000 bonus in his present job, because his other jobs paid such enormous bonuses. Unbelievable. That was a pivotal moment for me. We were already separated but were still in the house. I'd been doing a carers job for £7.25 per hour when he told me that. And that particular day I had visited a poor alcoholic man with no family, who was living in squalor , and had just attempted suicide the day before. He'd discharged himself from hospital and was throwing up everywhere. I had to call an ambulance for him . And then a friend of his told me that he'd also been beaten up by some people and they were taking his benefit money. I'd had to document everything and tell my manager. It was hideous.
But my poor ex . He'd only been given £5,000 bonus. Shocking !

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 23:16:33

Yes he does do the ferrying at the weekends, but he usually dips in and out. He'll pop off to do some shopping or he'll do his mountain biking. He occasionally takes the children cycling. Today, he took two of them to the cinema, so he does try, but he always puts his needs first. I think that the bottom line is that the children are older, they have their own opinions and if they don't want to stay with him or whatever, then that's up to them. If they were little, they wouldn't have a choice, they would have to be with him.
And I did say ' some' men.

cestlavielife Sun 11-Jan-15 23:25:11

Why do you expect him to change now when he has always been like this ?

It will only be by you setting clear boundaries ands making it cLear kids will only see him outside the hpuse ie at his hpuse that things might change. Make sure dc go to his flat on Fridays after school . If he doesn't turn up til late dc will soon get bored of this... Make sure they tell him what they want expect from him.

Thing is you and dc have benefitted from his devotion to work materially .....?.?

cestlavielife Sun 11-Jan-15 23:26:57

You have it right tho , they will decide how their relationship with him goes. Leave them to it....

Doughnut123 Sun 11-Jan-15 23:30:19

Yes, we have very much benefitted from his workaholic tendencies. But. I think we would have been happier and possibly still together if he'd taken a drop in salary and a less demanding job. You're right, I need to set some boundaries and have a routine for the children.

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