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How do I cope with this?(19 Posts)
How can I get passed the anxiety and dread at having to "co-parent" with a selfish fuckwit?
Not so much the dread for myself, but for dc? I thought I'd tried it all, in fact I have tried it all. His shitty choices and lack of priorities have now started to have an effect on dc who now don't want to go with him.
How much should I "force" them? Normal, adult conversation isn't possible so all attempts to try to resolve falls on deaf ears.
Am worn out
It's very difficult with a 5 year old. Does your child say exactly why they don't want to see him? Is it because he's mis-treating your DC during contact, or is DC expressing anger about the fact that the family has changed?
It's lack of consistency and regular meaningful contact which has led to it. Canceling overnights especially, then not prioritizing contact following the cancellations.
History of hangovers during contact affecting quality time too. It's gone on for ever.
At that age I still sent my kids but he just used to send them home if/when they asked. Now they're older (aged 14 and 11) the elder one still goes weekly - he's allowed 24 hour access to computers there whereas he isn't at home - but the 11 year old doesn't go at all any more, she hasn't been for 12 months now and for the 12 months previous to that she went once a month and often came home after an hour or so.
I've no idea how to deal with it. Do I let him go kicking and screaming? Until the next time contact is dropped for whatever reason?
Any request to speak to ex is met with "there's no point this isn't my fault it's yours"
I've tried explaining that lack of routine and priorities has led to this but he refuses to accept it, or accept any responsibility for anything really. Then I get abuse and threats.
From outside in he's blaming me and I'm blaming him- my child is stuck in the middle and I don't know what to do for the best.
There's been no constant routine at all and now dc is confused and anxious and I can't fix it on my own.
Stop contact now, a five year old anxious and confused is enough reason.
I want to offer contact, I've asked if he would consider having day time only, building up to overnights again when consistency and regularity has been in place. To out score at the centre of the plans and make everything ok and normal for him. This is met with fuck off or that I'm trying to prevent him seeing his son., that I want control etc etc.
It's impossible to deal with without ignoring the issues at hand.
I've got an appointment with solicitor but not til next week
Why do you want contact? Why would you want your son to be anywhere near a man like that?
Stop making any arrangements whatsoever. Tell him to suggest a regular contact schedule. He won't will he? If he can't be arsed to build a good relationship with his own DS why would you put DS through the pain of spending time with a man who will only ever disappoint him and fail to give any love or care.
In view of the extra info you've given, I agree with Jan and Rabbit. Don't facilitate anything, see a solicitor to see where you stand, but basically let him take you to court for access. Record everything you can - every time he let's DC down, record DC's exact words about why he doesn't want to go. It sounds manipulative but I'd probably video DC having a tantrum because he doesn't want to go.
Contact us for the benefit of the child.
Your child is not benefitting from contact. Force him to go and he will reject it and resent you for it.
Listen to your child, give him some say in what he does.
Thank you. I know that he will get contact at court, whatever happens and ultimately don't want to be a mother who is seen to restrict their child's time with their dad.
I just keep having to tell myself I'm protecting dc don't I?
If there had been even a shed of commitment to times and days then we wouldn't be in this mess and I would like to think it's possible to correct, for dc's sake but it will take time and commitment from ex and me and then ongoing discussion between us about how to move forward. The last bit is impossible, proved time and time again because of the sheer lack of responsibility of ex. Ex said I take dc's side against him. That dc is throwing a tantrum about going cos he knows he will get what he wants. Last weekend I had dc say sorry and sob for him not wanting to go, like he was getting told off and I'm not having it. I'm not having the responsibility laid on me or our child.
I want to scream from the rooftops that I've always facilitated contact, am always positive, even in the face of abuse and still get nowhere. Thank you again for your thoughts, its really appreciated
Is he going to take you to court?
Was your abuse witnessed? Do you have any proof etc? Did you log this abuse with anyone?
Don't go out of your way to make contact easy, it's not what your child wants.
You do have to be strong, and you are the only voice your son has. For now he needs some space.
If I were you (and my ds WAS 5 when his abuaive dad left) if have an age appropriate conversation about what your son is feeling and thinking, and what he would like you to help him with, what he wants to do or not do and keep talking to him about what you can and can't do.
Not making the effort for contact is one way you can help him. Talking to your ex about how distressed your ds is and that you will do what you can to facilitate, as long as it's in da best interests.
This means that contact needs to reduced initially, and reintroduced in an appropriate manner
Or his son will suffer and you are not allowing that.
Ds best interests. Not da best interests... I am not that gangsta
Sadly I think you only offer what your dc is happy with and let ex take you to court when he rejects it.
Just keep everything in writing and ever time you make a reasonable offer and explain repeatedly that with consistent contact and tie your confident DS will be happy to go then your ex will look like the prick he is being.
How much contact does he have with your DC, and is it a set arrangement or dependant on you contacting him? Is he the type of man who would take ypu to court of would he rather just complain and blame you?
At the moment it does not sound like your DC is benefitting from contact at all so Im wondering if it would be possible for you to simply ignore him amd hope he goes away
I've just lost a massive post, thank you for replies. They help massively.
Contact was agreed at court, but not ordered. I've basically allowed us to be backed into exactly the same position as we were then(2 years ago) and am so angry with myself.
He is supposed to see ds for 24 hours each weekend and then ad hoc tea times around his work. Basically ex has dropped overnights for social occasions and just tells me when he will be seeing him. If an overnight is cancelled then I always agree to Sunday contact, this is where the hangovers/lateness and not turning up comes into it. This has gone on for last 18 months.
Ironically court granted a non mol, prohibited steps and residency order in my favour 2 years ago. They lasted 6 months and even then he would have relatives collect ds. Stupidly after the court orders lapsed I gradually started to speak with ex and have bumbled along because ds was mostly ok and I wasn't getting abuse.
I'm now back to square one. Ex has never put ds first, contact revolves around ex and ds is basically slotted in wherever it suits ex.
Have tried to stop this, tried discussion, tried persuasion, tried everything but it's now at the point where ds is struggling with it massively and although I've left it far too long I know I have to make a stand.
I will be strong, I have to be and I have to put a stop to this once and for all. Am fucking sick of both of us being dictated to and being scared to speak up, I get grief anyway so I have to stop it.
I've tried to suggest contact is built up over time and suggested activities/ways in which handovers would be easier for ds and I got a horrendous personal response back. I can't ever discuss things with him again, it's impossible. I will see solicitor next week and hope things are calm until then.
Thank you again
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