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My periodic self doubt. Mumsnet verdict please.

(9 Posts)
PeppermintPasty Mon 15-Jun-15 13:44:17

Ok, please can you lovely lot be my yardstick?

Every now and again I get the wobbles about the no contact thing re my dc and their father and I would like your views please.

The above thread sets out some of the background.

The up to date position is that he hasn't seen the dc for nine/ten months now. He has a new gf who has three dc herself and he has (from what I can tell) forged some sort of relationship with them. Eg been on holiday with them etc. They are a bit older than our dc (who are 8 & 5). I have not met gf, he keeps old and new world v separate (we practically have zero contact between the two of us anyway, fine by me).

Ok. Since the 'neglect' issue in the earlier thread, I have suggested a couple of times in the last six months or so that he and I sort out contact. (In other words, I have softened my 'solicitor or nothing' stance). Once he said yes, then when I said ok, let's talk, he put it off and didn't bother. (I fumed, privately, at that. Wanker).

Same with recently. Just before half term, my ds, 8, got upset and wanted to talk to him. I suggested he phone him. He was too scared to. I said all the usual supportive things, but ds refused. Half an hour later I suggested he text his father. He did. Long story short, ex rang and they had a nice chat, first time in months.

I kind of regret the text suggestion now, as it gave my ds what has turned out to be false hope. Ex said to me he would again like to sort it out, but has done nothing about it.

I think this is because I have said to him that he can't pick the dc up and put them down as and when he fancies, contact has to be all or nothing. (By all, I mean regular and steady, once/twice a week or whatever), and I think he is pissed off with me 'setting the rules' IYSWIM?

His new lifestyle is too important to him and truly, he just can't be arsed.

What I want to know is...AIBU in suggesting that the contact be 'all or nothing' as above, or should I be accepting second class contact on behalf of my dc?

I get the wobbles about this as I wonder if the day will come when my grown up dc turn to me and say, mum, we know why you drew your line in the sand, but we still wish you had let dad see us when he fancied to...etc etc but I don't tend to believe that a crap dad is better than no dad.

Your views most welcome please. Thank you.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 15-Jun-15 17:34:32

The converse is that your grown up dc may turn to you and say 'mum why did you let dad see us when he fancied when all it did was raise our hopes that he'd want to see us regularly, only for us to feel dejected/rejected/bad about ourselves when he failed to do so'.

There are certain situations in which you're damned if you and damned if you don't but, to my mind, this isn't one of them.

I suspect you'll continue to harbour some doubt about whether your 'all or nothing' approach is the right course to follow, but adopting this straightforward stance will protect your dc from feeling that it was in some way their fault that their selfish twunt of a df didn't want to see them on a regular basis and you clearly recognise that their needs trump his.

PeppermintPasty Mon 15-Jun-15 18:03:37

Thanks for that goddess, much appreciated. This is a stupid thing that happens to me every few months, I start to feel so worried that I'm just too inflexible/unreasonable. My logical self slaps me around at that point, but it still continues to get to me. I suppose it may always do so. Sigh.

PeppermintPasty Mon 15-Jun-15 21:41:10

So, just tonight my little boy has asked if his dad is going to come round or see them at all. He got teary, but I have to tell him the truth. I told him I'd talked to his father but that some grown ups aren't very good at being parents. It's ridiculous, and his upset is the bit that rips me up. He is a very sensitive child, my younger dd seems to be more robust.

I said I'd tried to speak sensibly to his dad, and that I was sorry he hadn't come to see them, and that it wasn't his or his sisters fault.

Sometimes this drives me mad. I doubt myself.

Sorry, this feels self indulgent, having a bit of a rant. I'm supposed to be the strong together one, and I am, mostly.

Needing to offload a bit. This is the only bit I just can't logic away.

Hungout2dry Tue 16-Jun-15 00:38:50

You are not being self indulgent.

The longest I have ever been apart from my children is 8 days. Horrible , and every time I drop them off, it destroys me morning and night until the next visit. I don't get how your ex can manage to go so long without seeing them!

Out of interest.. Would you ever see yourself reconciling things with your ex , even if just for the children? Or has that ship sailed?

I haven't behaved in the manner your ex has , yet my ex has acted far worse about contact than you have. The frustration my ex has is my inability to put plans in place weeks in advance. I sympathise with this, but it isn't easy when you live in shared accommodation, as you can't expect housemates to tailor their time off, weeks in advance, in case you want to have small children round. I plan as best as I can around HM not being home, so I can have dc there without imposing on their time off, waking them early etc. Luckily, good friends have offered use of their places, both if they're away for weekend or just around as guests. Not sure what I'd do without these friends.

Your ex is a lucky person in at least you are still trying to arrange the contact and being flexible. My ex wouldn't even allow the kids around to my place for the first few months (a mixture of spite , stubbornness and a newly found ethos that we are involved in some sort of battle now , using the kids as pawns and blaming non existent health and safety hazards) She actually decided to conveniently bin this moral stance in a heartbeat one day when she fancied an impromptu day off work, so rang me first thing in the morning to say sanctions lifted and could I mind the kids at short notice so she could have the day off and work tomorrow. If i try to see kids at short notice? No chance. One rule for her, another for me.

What I'd say to you is that if you're little boy is asking about seeing his dad , then let his dad know. Tell him his son wants and needs to see his dad and not be let down. You may not get the schedule you desire for the time being but for the sake of your son, and daughter of course, you should try and get him to see them as often as possible. Be the better person in all this.

PeppermintPasty Tue 16-Jun-15 09:51:20

hungout2dry thanks. I'm sorry that you are having so much trouble.

I have told my ex, each time, that his children want to see him. Lately, (the last six months say), he has given lip service to sorting it, then done nothing further. In fact the last time I saw him in a face to face conversation (one sided though it was) was about five months ago when he said he wanted to sort it out. When I said well, let's talk, he said he was busy and we'd do it some other time!! As if his kids are a drain that needs unblocking or a wall that could do with a lick of paint.

You can't force someone to be a good parent, I have to keep drumming this into my head. Yet I can't seem to stop beating myself up about HIS shortcomings.

As for reconciling, there is more chance of a graveyard full of bodies coming back to life. I should have finished with him years before I actually did. He was abusive in every way, and the weekend he started on our son was the weekend I put him out of the house. Best thing I ever did, and his behaviour to the dc since has only proved I was right.

I just wish I could stop worrying.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 16-Jun-15 15:29:16

Doubt is part of the human condition and those who believe they are 100% right 100% of the time are invariably twunts such as your ex psychopaths.

Instead of trying to talk to a man who pretends to listen, I suggest you write saying you fear that not only is he missing out on seeing his two amazing dc grow, but also that his indifference towards committing to see them on a regular basis may cause them to believe that they are not worthy of his time and attention.

Say also that their childhood years won't come again and the more quality time he can invest in them during this time, the more he will be ensuring that they will grow to become well-rounded and adjusted adults who will be a joy to him in his old age - or words to that effect.

Keep a copy of the missive so that, should it be necessary, you can show it to your dc at some future date and then put your doubts to one side, PP, because you will have done everything possible to safeguard your dc from any real or perceived hurts which may be caused by their df's personal failings.

In common with so many others of is ilk he's not fit to be father but, fortunately for your dc, you are more than suited to being the loving and caring dm you are to them.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 16-Jun-15 15:32:18

his ilk - or retain the cockney spelling if you prefer smile

PeppermintPasty Tue 16-Jun-15 21:00:58

Thanks again goddess. Crikey, you have almost word for word reproduced one of my many texts (that I will print off actually as I want to show the dc in later years if they need to see/ask).

I can't write him a letter as I don't know where he lives any more. I wouldn't anyway as he would revel in it.

I don't tend to text any of this any more. I repeat myself and he never responds. Oh wait, once he responded "oh well" when I said something similar to your post re him upsetting the dc.

He really is a c**t isn't he! <statement of fact, not a question!!!

These sort of texts I have mainly stopped as they were getting nowhere. I last mentioned the dc prior to half term.

The only other text contact I have is over some money he owes me. There is a court order in place and he is paying it off every two to three weeks. When that finishes next week, I'm done.

He wants me to chase him to be a dad and I'm not going to do that. I think he likes drama, and it gives him a sense of self importance, the inadequate twat.

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