Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

STXH pushing my buttons

(18 Posts)
torontonian Tue 03-Nov-15 01:07:34

Background: married for 5 years, toddler DS (2.5) and baby DD (3.5 months). H had an emotional affair, started at the beginning of second pregnancy. He asked for separation 2 days before my due date and tried counseling for 5/6 weeks before deciding he wanted a divorce.

Tears for a couple of weeks, followed by strength (getting legal help, telling people), now it is fricking anger. Last episode was just an hour ago. I have had guys at home since 8 am installing new doors (yes, the bastard is renovating just before the appraisal because I said that I want to keep the house). I didn't sleep (DD is teething and has fever). I couldn't take a shower in all day (no doors in the bathroom). And all the house is really dusty (door frames were removed and new ones installed).

Daycare closes at 6pm and DS has dinner at 7pm. Some days they go shopping or stay at the park playing, so today I phoned to ask him to come home early so he stays with the baby and I could clean everything before DS bed time (9pm) as the cribs have 3 fingers of dust! I must add that he didn't want to leave the house and we have not agreed on separation terms yet, so we are "nesting".

Baby was crying and I couldn't hear more than he was 10 min away from daycare, he says that he will send a message. 6.45pm and they are not home, no message, I call to ask. He tells me that he is going out for dinner with DS because he gave me an schedule and today is his day!! Just like that. HIS day. So he can do whatever he wants with DS. Every second day because he said so. Because this is not about DS, everything is about HIM.

I am so angry. I don't want him to do it a second time. AIBU? What can I do? I plan to retain a lawyer this week and to hell with agreements. I will tell her what I want and she can negotiate with his lawyer. Is this rational or just my anger talking? I was trying to agree with him, but there is no way we are going to. He wants to have the baby overnight from 9 months! So I might just start with lawyers negotiating?

I am sorry if I dont make sense, just rushing to get answers ASAP as I fear he will try to repeat the move tomorrow.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 03-Nov-15 03:25:14

I'm confused. Are you saying he's given you some schedule of days that he and DS spend time together? Sounds like a prat to me, but unfortunately there's probably not much you can do about it right now.

In a way, it's sort of preparing you for single parenting, although it's a baptism by fire! Once you officially separate you won't be able to just call him when you need help. It will be 'his days' and 'your days'. But I do agree that it's not on for him to plan work in the home for 'his days' while he swans off for dinner and playtime with DS. That's what I'd try to make a point of. That if he wants work doing in the house, it's to be on days when he's going to be home in the evening. Not on 'your days'.

See a lawyer by all means. The sooner the better!

torontonian Tue 03-Nov-15 03:57:30

Sorry, I have probably not used the nesting concept well. We are still both living in the same house. We talked about me buying him out so he has decided to do some renovations just now (I think that to increase house value just before the appraisal).
He has given me a schedule printed on a paper where he has drawn a calendar and marked he has DS every second day. This is a paper he printed, not an agreed calendar. Today I needed to get all the dust off before kids went to bed because it was really messy after the work. With the baby teething I didn't have my hands free (she has been crying all day) so I needed him to take over. I phoned and told him that. When I called an hour after (they were supossed to be home around 30 min earlier) he said that he had decided to take DS out for dinner and he didn't know when they were coming back.
Maybe I overreacted. But he is no DH, but STBXH. We are slowly making plans separately but we have notified the other part in advance so far. The worst part is that he plans to take DS out every second day. I think that he is being a twat and I am worried about the effect it can have on a 2.5 years old. Out of home half of weekdays.

torontonian Tue 03-Nov-15 04:00:24

Legally only a judge can make him leave the house. About access there is no agreement so again only court.
As parents we have the same rights so he can take DS out whenever he wants and bring him back when he pleases, just as I can. But DS needs responsible parents thinking of him not two twats in a power struggle!

AcrossthePond55 Tue 03-Nov-15 04:39:30

No, I understood. But my point is that you can't expect anything from him. Not now, not later. So don't expend any energy being angry about it, there's no point. Right or wrong, he's not going to alter what he wants to do simply because you need or want his help. So don't ask. Start now to build your own support network for the times you need help. Friends, family, babysitters. Sooner or later, you will be on your own with the children, best to start making preparation for that now.

He's making it abundantly clear that he is going to do whatever he wants whenever he wants and as long as you're living under the same roof with no legal agreement there's nothing you can do (as you yourself point out). As far as a 'power struggle' just refuse to engage. You need to understand that he is probably getting a great deal of satisfaction at refusing your requests and seeing your frustration.

I would suggest, if you haven't done so yet, that you stop any 'domestic services' for him. No laundry, no cooking (except for you and DS), no cleaning up except for after yourself. Let him do his own shopping. Do you ever go out? See friends or family?

Isetan Tue 03-Nov-15 05:28:44

It's difficult when you're still living in the same house but you need to start disengaging and if you need support, do not expect any from him (he will only try to manipulate you).

Seriously, how long do you think he will keep up the every other day contact with his son (it's probably just a ploy to upset you), so until you start negotiating contact take advantage of the time when your not responsible for two little ones.

Speak to a lawyer and get the ball officially rolling.

TooSassy Tue 03-Nov-15 06:21:46

Morning OP

Acrossthepond has given you some excellent advice. Firstly deep breaths. I appreciate that with two so young this must be a very stressful situation.

1) yes get to a lawyer and get the ball rolling. The lawyer is going to want to know if you plan to file or whether he does.
2) your anger and frustration is a complete waste of your emotions right now. Channel that emotion into something that is going to help you move forward.
3) he's renovating the house? Excellent, view that as he's getting jobs done for you before he moves out. Nicer house for you. He wants DS every other day? Again excellent. Let him start doing the childcare 50%/ 50%. He wants the baby overnight at 9 months? Again excellent. He has every right as a parent to do this. But I take your point he can not just dictate, it has to be an agreed arrangement.

Just know that the law could not care less what he has or hasn't done (morally) when it comes to the DC's or finances.
I would also recommend that you discuss mediation for you and your STBXH given children are involved. Good luck OP. Come back here and keep posting, there is heaps of support xx

torontonian Tue 03-Nov-15 07:03:12

The thing is that HE planned the reno but I need to clean because it is MY house - he says. Of course I didn't clean the basement that is where he is installed but I couldn't let the kids sleep surrounded by debris. He is not bothered by dirt or mess so he won't move a finger.
Therapist recommended he lives in he basement, me on the 2nd floor and we share the main (kitchen/living). Now I clean my place and ask him not to come upstairs but suddenly it becomes OUR house and he has the right to use the bathroom that I have cleaned be anywhere he wants - he says. I am so pissed off!

By the way, he only takes DS, I am with DD all day and night long, so I can't "take advantage of the free time". I am also on duty for DS from midnight to 7am. He wakes up crying 95% of the nights and comes to my bed. We can't disturb STBXH because his beauty sleep is more important than mine. So basically I get the sleepless nights, the cooking (for kids) and the cleaning (for kids) and he gets to spend the time with them.
Talked with two lawyers already but hoped we could agree on some terms before putting them to work (there is a $10000 retainer and we are not rich). I think I am being stupid and just giving him more time. For instance, renovations before the appraisal, I just saw he has bought a disposable phone (!?), new credit card so I can't check transactions, trying to establish his schedule so it is the status quo, ... way ahead of me.

torontonian Tue 03-Nov-15 07:14:36

I haven't really stopped since I gave birth. I was picking DS up from daycare with a 2 days old baby... Therapy, obstetrician and pediatrician appointments, legal consultations, renovations at home, attended 3 birthday parties (kids), had people over every Sat and Sun for the first two months, in laws visits, about we meetings trying to find support...

My family is very far (6500km). I have asked bother my parents and also my sister to come for a few weeks as all this gets sorted. I said I really needed someone in the house with me as I am really scared of my in laws, but they said they can't come (my sister doesn't work or study, no kids...). So I feel abandoned by my family. I have met another woman from my country who separated a year ago and has a daughter same age as DS. She is being my biggest support right now but she also has her own problems and not lots of time with a toddler and by herself.
I don't drive, so that makes more difficult to meet with people. I don't have what I would call friends here anyway. I think I have discovered a couple of potential friends. People who I didn't expect to be there for me but have offered support. I feel very happy about that. Although from adversity, maybe something good comes out of this mess at least.

Wando Tue 03-Nov-15 10:00:20

It sounds very hard and you've had good advice above. I can see how it's hard for you to talk with family and friends but keep posting and you will get support here.

HorseyCool Tue 03-Nov-15 12:12:52

Why are you cleaning up after the renovation work that he instructed? I would get the kids and go out, ask him to clean it up!

Hillfarmer Tue 03-Nov-15 14:58:52

Insist that he takes both children out or none. Then you will have some free time. Be a bit ruthless - I know you will worry about the baby as well as your toddler, but he can't just have it nice. You need some time to sort yourself out. He can't cherry pick his own children. My XH tried this on when we first separated and I told him it was both or nothing. He caved.

Also, I agree with other posters... I know it is hard but do NOT ask for help from him - he will take pleasure in reneging or doing half or just letting you down in some twisted way. The more you have expectations of his behaviour, the more disappointed you will be. Plus, when he lets you down you will be left flapping in the wind. Better to find reliable babysitters who you can call on and then pay. He will always let you down. The sooner you are no longer in the same house, the better. It sounds horrible - and his behaviour is appalling.

Wando Tue 03-Nov-15 16:13:02

This sounds truly awful. It will get better but you need to be as affirmative as possible. flowers

torontonian Wed 04-Nov-15 03:00:34

Thank you all for your support, there is very good advise but I am just so confused right now about the beat thing to do (and paranoid about what my in laws are plotting).

Once you officially separate you won't be able to just call him when you need help. It will be 'his days' and 'your days'.

You are right AcrossthePond55 but I won't have his mess to clean after! Right now he is pooing everywhere and the mess has no end. No matter how much I do, the progress is always negative at the end of the day.

he's renovating the house? Excellent, view that as he's getting jobs done for you before he moves out. Nicer house for you.
That is exactly what he says smile but the reality is that I have expressed an interest in keeping the house. The buyout amount will come from an appraisal and more renos mean higher market price -> the more I need to pay to him.
Toronto real estate market is crazy. We bought two years ago and our neighbors are currently selling for an average of 80k more

Why are you cleaning up after the renovation work that he instructed? I would get the kids and go out, ask him to clean it up!
That is what I said when he arrived. His answerwas that it is MY house so it is up to me to clean it and be thankful he is renovating MY house. He won't move a finger and I could not leave the kids sleep with a room like that.

torontonian Wed 04-Nov-15 03:16:49

He came home today with a new iphone and a few other "toys" for himself ??
I really need that lawyer.

torontonian Wed 04-Nov-15 03:19:55

By the way, following MNers advice on several threads I have gathered important documents and I am going to rent a safety deposit box at the bank ASAP.

AcrossthePond55 Wed 04-Nov-15 16:05:52

You DO need to see a lawyer, and right away. Just because you are residing in the same house, that doesn't mean that legalities can't be started. You are, for all intents, living 'separately'; him in the basement, you upstairs. Shoot, people get divorced whilst living in the same house. There's no reason you can't, too.

I don't know the ins and outs of him fixing up the place to drive up your buyout cost, but I'd certainly bring it up to a lawyer. And honestly, if you think that's what he's doing and if you're happy with the house the way it is, why don't you just cancel the work he's scheduling. He calls in painters, you call and cancel or refuse to let them in. Your decision as to whether or not you think it's worth trying to do that. Just remember that once you buy him out, you will be responsible for the mortgage. How are these renos being paid for? Are they being rolled into the mortgage (a HELOCK or re-fi?) or are they being put on credit cards or other debt? Who is going to assume the payments if the reno is being paid for on credit?

My cousin had a similar situation, but she agreed to sign off on her rights to her ex-husband's pension pot if he would sign off on the house, so all she had to do was get a new mortgage for the amount of the 'old' mortgage, iyswim. If her ex hadn't agreed to her offer, she would have had to come up with the cash to buy him out. For her, that would have meant taking out a whole new mortgage that included the amount of the cash for him. She wouldn't have been able to make the payment. You really need to know if you'll be able to afford to continue to live in your home. You need to sit down and calculate the costs of running your household per month. You may be better off selling and downsizing. You also need to get a good picture on support from him. My cousin only got 2 years alimony and child support was until DC turned 18. Once alimony stopped, she was lucky in that she is a trained professional and was able to get part time work to make up the difference. Even so, it became a 'squeeze' when youngest DC turned 18 and she lost that last little bit of child support. So look not only to now, but to your future.

And good on getting the safety deposit box. You should, if possible, start stashing cash away in it also. BFF and I called it the 'Fuck You Fund'. My divorce was in the 70s, so for me it was around $500, which at that time was a lot of money and was enough for two month's living expenses. If you have no income, you need to get some money saved up in case he turns shitty and stops paying bills.

You're right in that you have to get through the 'now' until he's gone. But the best way to do that is to start moving forward yourself and to stop expecting anything from him. In fact, start expecting him to be an arsehole, at least you won't be disappointed!

springydaffs Wed 04-Nov-15 23:11:23

Excellent advice above.

A little tip: ask him for the opposite of what you want. Want him back early? Ask him to come back late. Etc. Worked every single time with my abusive ex.

Not that you'll be talking to him much, mind.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: