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So worried stbx is going to ruin his /our relationship with the dc

(3 Posts)
notagainnellie Wed 12-Oct-16 06:17:52

He is always speaking negatively to me in front of them - not exactly abusive but makes it really clear that he can't stand me. Luckily we have very little contact now, but handovers are awkward - I have to go into his flat when I pick them up as he never has them ready and doesn't organise them, so if I don't help a bit they end up leaving stuff they need. At mine we manage on the doorstep.

Yesterday evening I picked them up and asked him his half term plans. We arranged everything at mediation but he didn't stick to it over the summer so I wanted to check. He said "they said they could come here this time." Now we agreed that holidays would always be shared - as a teacher the quality of time I get with them in term time can be pretty low and the holidays make up for it. They were a big part of why I went back to work f/t when they were babies. He agreed to this in mediation. I know that may change as they get older, or for special events such as if ex had the chance to take them away, but they are only 7 & 9 now.

Ds2 hurriedly said "I didn't say that, ds2 did." I feel awful for him that he felt he had to spare my feelings in this way, though ex didn't contradict him so I don't think he was lying. I really didn't want to argue about contact in front of them but said it wasn't what we'd agreed. Ex then snapped ' what did we agree? You got your way I suppose' and denied having any of the paperwork the mediator sent us with the arrangements on. I know he is lying about this as he has referred to it before. I certainly didn't get my way in mediation and he had me in tears several times - in fact I felt the mediator was biased towards him and was obsessed with 50/50 at all costs.

He didn't argue the point, which makes me think he doesn't really want them for the full week and just wanted to get at me - he saw them far less than agreed over the summer (suited me) and always brings them back on his weekend a couple of hours earlier than planned.

I am just so scared the dc are going to end up hating us. Ds should not have to feel guilty about wanting to see his dad and he clearly felt awful about the whole thing. I'm also sure ex bad mouths me to them - if he's mean to my face I can't help wondering what he says when I'm not there.

How can I minimise this without giving in every time?

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Wed 12-Oct-16 06:35:23

Ugh it's horrible isn't it. What we've found works a bit is to really focus the conversation to what you really want the answer for. For example, if I understand correctly you've agreed half half for the half terms holiday in mediation. So instead of asking him an open ended question like'what are your plans' which allows for a sulky answer.mnoerhaps try 'we agreed to have half each of this holiday in mediation, do you want the first half of the second half'. Also, can you try these conversations over email rather than at the handover so that the DC are not involved?

Joysmum Wed 12-Oct-16 09:09:59

Exactly. You need to be specific or not even ask.

Also, include a list of things the kids took with them so they can tick it all off to come home with so you don't need to be so involved with that.

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