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STBXH Travel Plans

(51 Posts)
StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 22:19:57

So....should the recently separated DH inform me of his whereabouts? For example, if he goes abroad should I be told? I'm thinking that if not, then perhaps I should change the 2nd emergency contact from him to someone else....

Feeling very very cross. He lives his own life and tells me nothing. Perhaps I should do the same.

pocketsaviour Tue 12-May-15 22:23:26

Do you have DC together?

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 22:33:23

Yes pocket saviour. Three school children. That is my concern. He makes plans entirely unilaterally and then tells me nothing. He could be on the moon for all I know.

mynewpassion Tue 12-May-15 22:41:00

Where he goes should not matter unless the children go with him or affect his contact time, meaning not showing up. You would not want to account for your movements either.

pocketsaviour Tue 12-May-15 22:42:19

Yes in that case I would expect to be notified - what if you're ill and need help with the kids? And wouldn't it disrupt his normal contact arrangements?

My ex and I always notified each other if we were going to be out of the city, let alone the country. Makes it very hard to co-parent effectively if you don't know the other parent's whereabouts confused

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 22:46:03

mynewpassion if I were to drop dead, my husband is the next port of call for schools etc. If he is out of contact then I need to provide alternative back up. I also feel that my children should know where their dad is. I'm not talking about immense levels of detail, but if I handed my children to him for the day and then went abroad, I would tell them and him and make a back-up plan in case of emergency. Surely that is just normal responsible behaviour? He is their father, not an occasional visitor!

mummytime Tue 12-May-15 22:48:13

I would say - you don't need to know unless he takes the children. But he should give you some way of getting a message to him if one of the DC is seriously ill - phone he always has, email he checks regularly (even if away) or secretary you can contact him via.

You also need to have a schedule fixed quite some time in advance (3 months?), and need to negotiate changes to it.

Similarly you don't need to tell him where you are, unless it affects the children, and you need to be contactable in serious emergency only.

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 22:54:18

- mobile phone and email is not always accessible as he is often travelling internationally or on secure site. I am never given travel plans, or even told if he is overseas.
- He has quite simply not cooperated with requests to plan time in advance or to be pinned down to specific plans ref school holidays, so I will suddenly discover proposals he has put to the children that affect my plans considerably.
- Tell him where I am? He brings the children back early to suit his convenience, assuming that I shall be here waiting by the door and doesn't check even that I am in before bringing them back.

Jackw Tue 12-May-15 22:55:06

You are separated now. You neither of you have any obligation to keep the other informed of your whereabouts. Yes, I would change your emergency contact to someone else if he is unreliable.

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 23:01:15

Jackw -are you saying that his role as co-parent is irrelevant then? We are distinct as spouses, not as parents surely. Does that mean that I can swan off overseas with our children and not inform him?

Jackw Tue 12-May-15 23:05:39

Sorry, cross posted with the stuff about his general unreliability with contact arrangements.

No don't think either of you should go abroad with the children unless properly arranged but yes think it is OK to go abroad when not scheduled to have the children.

I actually think the issue is more about not having regular contact arrangements that he sticks to and the going abroad thing is a red herring. Can you get it legally formalised?

Handywoman Tue 12-May-15 23:06:34

My STBXH is a twat, he lives 5 mins up the road, sees the dc EOW for lazing about/shopping plus approx 2 weekday nights/month. This covers my work responsibilities.

He can't even be bothered to make a packed lunch, find out about school, collect from any clubs or ring the dc in between contact. I call him 'The Childminder'

I couldn't give a monkeys if he's out of the country (and oh how I wish he would feck off to the far side of feck, quite frankly). I have other options for emergency contact who are far more worthy and more of a help and who I would be more comfortable calling upon.

I look forward in 10 years time, to not inviting him to the kids' graduation ceremonies.

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 23:17:14

So, what you are saying is that if the children are not physically with him, it makes no difference where he is and he need not inform me? I find that bonkers. Surely he is not only a parent when the children are with him? What if one of the children had an accident or I needed a decision made jointly?

That means that one parent (i.e. main residence) has to have precedence on decision making.

I'd be devastated if that were me in his shoes.

StrongAsAnOx Tue 12-May-15 23:18:46

And Handywoman I agree - I'd love mine to disappear down a mineshaft and never re-emerge as it would make life far easier. However, his irritating head keeps popping up.

Handywoman Tue 12-May-15 23:27:36

Can you not just make sure he has international roaming on his mob? Surely nowadays people can be contacted quite easily??

I would say say the unpredictable timekeeping and everyday bad planning is much more pertinent than the 'what if there is an accident' type scenario.

Cabrinha Tue 12-May-15 23:53:13

I am RP. I work abroad and am away 5 nights in 14, which is when my XH has our child.
In our shared iCalendar I put "Child with XH, Cabrinha in Poland" (or wherever) And add the time and place to drop off (my house, school...)
No more detail than that.

My mobile is just as capable of working in Portugal as it is in the UK hmm

I'm still parenting.

There are small windows each week when I'm airborne when I can't be contacted. I'm sure there are times when you are away from reception.

In an emergency, school would call me first. If I don't pick up, they'd call him, then we have two grandparents they can call.

I rather resent your implication that I'm not a proper parent because I'm not contactable for short periods.

It's not your business where he is, just as it's not my XH's business where I am.

StrongAsAnOx Wed 13-May-15 07:35:33

Yes but Cabrinha - you have just explained that you have a shared calendar, make agreements on timings etc and that you do say which country you are in. That is far more information than I receive. That is where I believe the bad parenting lies, not in the fact that the XH is abroad.

Joysmum Wed 13-May-15 08:01:15

It matters that you have somebody more contactable as an emergency contact if he's away a lot but you don't need to know.

What would knowing do for you? Would you ring the school and say my ex is away for the next 2 weeks so thins will be the new contact for then.

I understand why you're annoyed but it does boil down to you not needing to know.

Cabrinha Wed 13-May-15 10:08:01

You're mixing up issues, and whilst you do that, you're not going to pick your battles. And you're going to be unreasonable in parts, which gives him ammunition to shout you down.

Yes, I add to a calendar that I'm in Poland. Sun-Thu. He didn't know whether I flew Sun night or stayed on airport for early Mon flight. And frankly whether I put Poland or nothing, if he couldn't reach me by mobile, he'd have to call my company - Poland is a big country! And the weekend before, I was in Italy. For leisure - calendar said 'away' - none of his business.

None if that makes me - or him - a bad parent. And I'd hit the roof if you removed me as a contact!!

Not his fault he's on a secure site. School have your number, leave his second, just add a third, surely?

Don't fight those things.

As to him making unilateral plans... depends on how much is work related and genuinely not his fault. I change my work travel plans at short notice sometimes. It's my job, it's not my fault. We actually don't have fixed contact - basically, he has her when I'm away, and that's variable. Not too many changes so not as bad as it sounds! But I do just expect him to fall in with my changes - it's my job. Alternative is I change role to a non travel job and have to move our daughter 3 hours from him. So I expect him to suck it up. I actually have the bad end of the deal - stunted career profession, killer commute... But it works for us.

The thing you really should put your foot down over IMO is times with kids when they have been agreed. Text him "don't bring them back til 18:00, I am out til then". You may have to be out sometimes, to give him the message.

StrongAsAnOx Wed 13-May-15 10:15:39

OK thanks Cabrinha. Useful to see things from a different perspective. I do think though that it would be useful to know if the other parent is accessible e.g. when the kids can't get hold of him they would like to know why/where as they worry. Also, if there was an accident he would not hear about it would he until maybe it was too late? I guess that is his choice. But in my eyes that makes him irresponsible.

Cabrinha Wed 13-May-15 10:44:47

But I am not irresponsible!

Every time I step on a plane, I think - something could happen to my daughter and I am half a day away from getting to her. I don't like that.

But actually, the risk is low. And this is my job. So I take the risk. And hope that the day she falls and breaks her arm, I'm in the UK. But you know, if I'm not - she has a father, just like yours have a mother.

Was he irresponsible for working away before you split?

He has a mobile, yes? What is he supposed to do? Sometimes he'll have no reception, sometimes he'll be airborne, sometimes he'll be at a secure site... hell, one day he will just be out of charge just like you could be.

If my XH couldn't get hold of me in an emergency, he would call my company. He has no idea of my boss's name. But he'd only have to call the switchboard and my company would find me.

And as I say, I pray that there's never an emergency when I'm away.
But you have to consider the risks.
In 5 years of travelling during my child's life (married and divorced) he has called me ONCE when he couldn't settle her. Which wasn't an emergency! Chances are, nothing will happen. And if it does:'
- call his mobile
- get his company to track him down

Cabrinha Wed 13-May-15 10:48:42

Tbh, it concerns me that you say your kids worry.
That's not a good thing to put on kids, you need to work on reducing that.

If my XH tried to call me with my daughter and didn't answer, she wouldn't worry. She'd think I was in a meeting, out of charge, no reception... she wouldn't worry at all.

That she doesn't know exactly where I am is not presented to her as an issue. Mummy works away, mummy always comes home. End of.

Can you work out why they're taking it on their shoulders to worry, and find some way to take the pressure off them?

adorably2014 Wed 13-May-15 11:24:02

My stbxH travels a lot. I have no idea where he is anymore. I used to know, not anymore. It's none of my business, I don't think.

If there was an absolute emergency about the children, I have his email and mobile to tell him about it. But he may not read the text if he's on a flight anyway. So really, yes it might mean it comes down to me to make an important decision about the children if there is something life threatening. I have no choice, but then neither does he. He's being truly awful about lots of parenting stuff at the moment but I don't think it would be fair for me to pin that on him or call him irresponsible just because of that.

Now if there was an emergency about me, not being able to pick up children etc, I have other people who are listed. If his whereabouts are ten hours away he couldn't help anyway, so it doesn't really matter where he is.

Maybe your kids get anxious because you are? Does it not work to say he's away/abroad?

The rest, school holiday changes and early drop offs is not the same. Seems not on at all but I won't comment as own shit going on regarding arrangements.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 13-May-15 11:30:12

pick your battles. and this really isn't one you should choose.

add a third, fourth, fifth emergency contact to school files, we've got all the grandparents down for DS. the school simply phone down the list if they can't get hold of the first ones.

other than to get up his nose I can't see what you're actually wanting to achieve by removing him from the contacts list.

StrongAsAnOx Wed 13-May-15 14:57:21

Grandparents are all hours away. 3rd and 4th contacts are locally based friends. Why do the children worry if he doesn't pick up the phone when they call in the evening? Well every night he calls to say goodnight so if he doesn't that represents change. My kids are all at secondary school - they know that he travels a great amount but they do like to be kept informed. They have had to adjust to a sudden and massive change with his departure from the family home. So any change is unsettling. If I have not idea where he is and he doesn't talk to me then all I can say to reassure the children is that he is probably out of contact somewhere. Which I do.

I'll not remove him from the contacts list and I have no wish to 'get up his nose' as that is not constructive behaviour. I just want to find a working modus operandi. So since he clearly doesn't think we need to know where he is I guess I'll just have to make sure I don't step out in front of any buses.

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