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I have to sit in a room with my exP tomorrow

(33 Posts)
ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 18:35:57

It's a long back story but the gist of it is that SS advised me to stop contact between DCs and EXp before Xmas after my youngest disclosed some things. EXp has been attending the social worker roughly weekly since January to deal with the concerns that were raised. SW says it's now time to reinstate contact (supervised by her) but that she wants me and EXp to sit down together with her before that happens. My youngest has lots of issues so I am assuming the purpose of the meeting is to discuss what has been happening with him and what needs to happen going forward and how I'm dealing with things at home so Ex is on the same page.

That is all fine and to be expected but I am dreading it. EXP and I do not get on. We don't have any contact because when we do it always ends up in a row. He is an habitual liar and has a habit of saying everything you want to hear but following through with none of it. I don't trust him as far as I could throw him and I am anticipating being in that room, knowing he is lying about something but being unable to say so for fear it looks like I'm starting a row or being obstructive to the contact resuming. For the DC I want contact to resume. They want to see him again. But I am worried he is just going along with everything the social worker is saying and then will go back to his natural behaviours once her eyes are off him. That's not a problem for tomorrow though. Cross that bridge when we get to it. It's the meeting I am worrying about for now.

Does anyone have any advice on what to expect from this meeting? I know that's a tough question as every situation is different.

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 18:40:15

Presumably this SW has the measure of him if she has stopped contact and is only willing to allow supervised contact with her present.

Therefore I would be led by her and keep it civil no matter how he behaves or what he says. She will be a witness to any 'promises' that he makes.

Take it each moment at a time-don't be afraid to ask for a comfort breaknif you need one and take a drink in with you.

Best of luck flowers

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 18:41:40

Typo. Break if you need one. And I should have added do not rise to anything. Keep cool and take a moment before you respond if you feel your self getting hot under the collar.

More flowers

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 18:44:57

Thank you julia I have been so stressed by the whole situation, it has affected my work (I've had to take a lot of time off for DS) and that is adding to the stress and I am feeling very thinly stretched so that's a good point to keep my cool and take a break. I feel like I could be very easily goaded into snapping right now so I will keep that as my main aim.

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 19:27:46

It sounds horrendously stressful. Do you have any IRL support? Is there anyone that can drive with you and wait outside for you? (And take you for a coffee to debrief afterwards?)

In my professional capacity I used to advise people who were being interviewed under caution and taking a break is a great way to diffuse situations and regain composure.

Keep the purpose of the meeting at the forefront of your mind and stick to the topic. Do not over talk. There is a difference between being cool and composed and surly and you're aiming for cool and composed.

You can do this. Know that. You're there for your dc. That's what matters. Sick of the flowers maybe a wine or a brew might help!

Bananamanfan Wed 05-Apr-17 19:33:09

Sounds awful, op. I don't think you need to contradict him, lies will become clear to the SW as time goes on.

Graphista Wed 05-Apr-17 19:33:36

Take a drink to sip as a way to bite your tongue (I struggle with that in certain circumstances)

Take a notepad and a few pens to take notes during discussions - then you don't need to interrupt him but can note things you want to address, also means you're not having to remember everything that was said and has the added advantage of making you look calm, prepared and dignified (write as calmly and nonchalantly as you can). Also means at the end while your memory Is good you can summarise for your own info.

Are you allowed to take a supporter? If so do.

Good luck flowers

Graphista Wed 05-Apr-17 19:35:26

Also yes sounds like this sw has measure of him so... Give him enough rope! People can't bear a silence especially those who like to be in control so if you are being relatively quiet and sw has any nouse and acts similarly, chances are he'll drop himself in it anyway!

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 20:08:45

Is there anyone that can drive with you and wait outside for you?

I might be able to get a friend to meet me afterwards. Depends on whether her own children are with their dad or not. I'll give her a ring tonight. SW only rang today to arrange it so I haven't really had notice to organise someone to come with me.

I will bring a drink and notepad. Good suggestion!

Oh just realised I'll have to collect DCs straight after so won't have time to meet friend. Doesn't matter. I'll ring her in the evening. It'll be fine.

One thing I'm really worried about is in the past when we have had contact, (and arguments) he has always said we need to be friends and that he is just trying to be civil. Which would be fine and is what I have aimed for in the past but his interpretation of being friends means taking the piss when it comes to not turning up for contact, bullshitting me about having to work so can't have DC and then going on a night out, telling me he can't afford child support this month, and on occasion being affectionate and calling me "darling" or a pet name he used when we were together. (He is married BTW) I confront him and another row happens. So I (based on MN advice) stick to conversation only regarding pick up times. I remind him "pick up is at X time" and I don't respond to anything that is trying to draw me into conversation and he says he is just trying to be friends for the DC sake and why can't I just be civil. AFAIC it is civil to just stick to the facts. We don't need to be friends.

I am worried he will start all this "I just wish we could be decent to each other" crap tomorrow and I will look like I'm the knob when I say I don't want to be friends.

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 20:12:42

I'm sure the SW will have seen it all before.

If he says any of that just return to the previous point. Wednesdays are good for DC, Thursdays aren't.

Him: I want to be friends
You: like I was saying,
Him can't we be civil?
You: I'd like a break please. Unless you want to get back to the point?

Honestly, you've just got to not give a shit about his tactics. Stick to your guns.

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Apr-17 20:16:49

When he says that, just say (like a mantra), "Yes, you've said that lots of times before. But friends don't treat each other the way you treat me."

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 20:30:42

Ok. I'll have to practise this.

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 20:32:42

As much as I like Imperials advice, I'm a hard nosed whatsit and just wouldn't engage at all.

Why get into how he's treated you when you're there to discuss contact for dc?

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 20:35:38

Yes I think it's better not to give him anything to respond to. If I said the above he would start with everything I have ever done wrong since I was 17. It would completely derail the whole meeting.

wetpebbles Wed 05-Apr-17 20:46:18

Try not to give him eye contact, take notes and don't me drawn into issues that are not relevant to the purpose of the meeting. I would aim to be in and out of the meeting as quickly as possible with all contact arrangements made that you are comfortable with. Don't engage directly with him at all but only through the sw. My ex is very similar, good luck!

DoItTooJulia Wed 05-Apr-17 20:48:29

You could just smile and say 'we're here to discuss contact arrangements/whatever' and like I say, ask for a break if he persists. Just don't get drawn in to it.

The SW may well ask him to stick to topic. So don't get too hung up on it.

iamapixiebutnotaniceone Wed 05-Apr-17 20:54:06

Can you tell the SW your concerns? If she knows what to expect to she can try to keep the conversation to the main points only.

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 20:55:01

Thank you both. SW seems pretty tuned in but I didn't want to depend on her to keep things on track. I'm not sure what to expect at all.

ZilphasHatpin Wed 05-Apr-17 20:56:17

I think I get to speak to her alone before we are in together so I will say to her what im worried about.

balia Wed 05-Apr-17 21:32:33

How about 'Perhaps we could focus on more immediate and achievable aims right now?' and then refocus onto the DC and the arrangements.

DoItTooJulia Thu 06-Apr-17 08:06:59

Good luck for today.

ZilphasHatpin Thu 06-Apr-17 09:18:57

Thank you everyone, I'm really dreading this. Have notebook and water bottle in my bag. Meeting isn't until this afternoon.

DoItTooJulia Thu 06-Apr-17 16:04:06

Just been thinking about you. Hope the meeting was ok.

Graphista Thu 06-Apr-17 16:05:19

Good luck

Finola1step Thu 06-Apr-17 16:07:14

Hope all went well today Hatpin

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