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Ex, contact, can I just block him?

(8 Posts)
GinAndSonic Sat 22-Apr-17 08:00:30

I left my ex 3 1/2 years ago due to domestic abuse.
He saw the DC for 2 hours in February after getting in touch asking to resume contact having not seen them since August 14th 2016. The two hours was supposed to be the start to easing back into contact. Dc are 7 and 5.
Since we split he hasn't been consist with contact. He's gone through several cycles of seeing them for a few months then cancelling a contact or not turning up to the meeting place to collect them and cutting contact for months, only to then resurface and ask to see them. When told no, it's been 5/ 6/ 7/ months he invariably threatens court action.
He has caused the dc such a lot of emotional hurt from doing this and is dping it again now. The dc were getting used to not seeing him when he saw them in February, now they are upset and asking again.
His "efforts" to see them always coincide with a new girlfriend, I suspect they are more to do with making a token demonstration that he tries to see them and I won't let him which up until now isn't true. I am now just sick of seeing my dc upset by this man. He pops up, reminds them that he exists, then fucks them off again.
Most recently, last week he messaged asking to have two overnights this week. I wasn't keen tbh but agreed, he suggested dates and I said they wouldn't fit around my wprk shifts and said "what's about x till y instead" and he just didn't respond. Hasn't responded since. He's now missed both his and my suggested options.
He also missed both dcs birthdays, Christmas and easter and despite knowing both our address and my parents address hasn't sent so much as a card for any of those occasions.
Unrelated to contact, he hasn't paid any maintenance money since December.

Can I just block him? It's been 8 months since any real contact, since two hours in February barely even counts. If he wanted to see them he would make an actual effort instead of asking for a date then going silent for three weeks at a time when I say that that's isn't convenient and suggest an alternative. He always gives less that a weeks notice and I have work and I do make plans, but when he goes silent I then feel as if I'm in the wrong for planning my life like he isn't involved, when I know I'm not unreasonable because he ISN'T involved. He won't enter into any negotiation of a mutually convenient date / time, he just ghosts when I say "x would be better"

Please tell me I'm not in the wrong to just cut him out now. Please. I have mopped up so many tears from the dc. Every time he does see them it's then followed by extended periods of no contact. It's so hurtful and confusing for them. He just reopens that wound for them every time. I just want to be able to be there for them while they get used to him not being there rather than this constant cycle of them always being freshly abandoned.

Sorry it's so long. I just want to do what's best for the dc. I just want to protect them.

Ellisandra Sat 22-Apr-17 08:11:01

You poor thing, and poor kids sadangryflowers

I think I would speak to a solicitor. If it ever did go to court (and it could, if a new girlfriend becomes long term and pushes him, or he shows off for her hmm) I think it might be quite handy to have the background recorded with a solicitor. Keep records of everything. I don't know if this would work, but perhaps a letter from a solicitor offering every Wed evening for dinner, but also detailing the previous no shows or ghosting episodes and stating that it will stop if any are missed. Might take the wind out of his sales with court threats if he sees you're comfortable with going legal too!

tralaaa Sat 22-Apr-17 08:12:38

How about not blocking him but not engaging with him so when he texts wait a good while and say you will think about it and see what his response is

GinAndSonic Sat 22-Apr-17 08:22:14

I cant afford a solicitor and I don't have the proof now required to get legal aid. This is also why we are still actually married.
The contact last year had been ongoing for about a year, that was set up by me via a solicitor who volunteered with a charitable thing to resolve family disputes like this. I did that after he threatened court. I got the impression the whole time that he didn't really want the contact, he had been doing the performance for someone, and when I went "oh yeah, ok" and took it through a channel where there was an independent person involved, he found himself backed into a corner. We had a parenting contract via this service (no longer available as no funding for it any more, so I can't even go back)
I have spent three and a half years bending over backwards to try and enable a relationship between him and the dc, in the beginning I was the one chasing him up, are you seeing them? When? Etc.
Now I won't do that, I can't take on his responsibilities any more. Im tired. I have depression. I have anxiety. I can't be a parent to the dc AND spend energy trying to force him to see them. And when I don't this is how it is. He makes "token" efforts, ie, he sends a message then disappears for weeks.
He doesn't care about seeing them. If he did he would be. And Oh, the break would be lovely. It would. I use my babysitting favours from friends and family to cover my work shifts. I'd love a break. But not if the price is hurting the dc again.

StrongerThanIThought76 Sat 22-Apr-17 08:22:28

Oh my goodness Gin, I could have written the same post. My kids (bit older than yours) haven't seen their dad since last August and he has no plans to see them until the end of May. Missed both birthdays, christmas, easter and no cards or anything.

My kids and I have all had counselling because of the way he's treated them, yes it is very much a continuation of the emotional abuse he subjected me to whilst we were married and he refuses to accept responsibility for the hurt he's causing the kids now.

First off, get onto the CSA/ CMS. They can sort out maintenance and if he doesn't pay with cms it'll cost him an extra 20% on top if they have to deduct it from his wages.

Then stop feeling guilty about his neglect of the kids. If they ask when they're going to see him next tell them you don't know, it's up to dad. That way you can show them that it's his call.

If he threatens court, accept it. You have offered contact, he refuses to accept. What have you got to lose? You don't need a solicitor (I found one that was happy for me to do all the leg work and touch Base with her for the technicalities) and if he really means it then why wouldn't he push for contact? Especially if he wants to prove himself to a new girlfriend.

I know in my case that I've done all I can to encourage contact. Despite my ex's threats that 'the kids will work it all out in the future' (wtaf) he's never pushed for contact.

The peace we've now settled into due to them not seeing their dad after the fortnightly disappointment or highs and lows is so much better for us all

GinAndSonic Sat 22-Apr-17 08:29:37

Tralaa that has been my method in the last year or so. Even when discussing arrangements I put in just the minimum responses so I can't be accused of being obstructing or bitchy but also at the same time the onus is on HIM to take on his OWN responsibility to have a relationship with his dc.

Example last weeks convo went
H- can I have the kids for a couple of nights next week
M- we can try to arrange that, when?
H- Tues 3pm - Thurs 10am
M- that won't work with my shifts
H- when are you working? What times?
M- maybe Fri - Sunday will be easier all round?

And I've heard nothing since. I won't disclose when I'm working to him as he may either turn up there, or lurk nearby to follow me after, he has stalked me round town in the past. I feel safer if he doesnt have my schedule. He doesn't work, he quit his job last year after CMS told him the maintenance was increasing.

GinAndSonic Sat 22-Apr-17 08:34:49

Stronger our maintenance is through CMS. He just paid since December, before that payed under what he was supposed to. CMS rejected my request to go to collect and pay (where they handle the money and charge him extra 20% and deduct 4% from me) at the end of March because, and I quote "Mr Ex doesn't agree to it"

I just tired. I thought he had just decided to go away and leave us alone, and then this new girlfriend happened. Every time I think it's over, another new woman comes along and he's back messaging me and I know this inevitable bullshit is underway AGAIN.

Mum4Fergus Sat 22-Apr-17 08:56:28

I have my ex blocked on everything except one old email address that can be used for emergencies. He did same with pick up/drop off arrangements which, if I'm honest, I played along with for a bit (made for a marginally easier life) but things came to a head last year (when I was 'told' I had to pick up my son from a location 47 miles away with 30mins notice!). Anyho...stopped all contact, finances went through CMS and told him to instruct a lawyer to deal with my lawyer going forward. There is now a Family Based Agreement in place that he sticks to faithfully to be fair. He was/is not in a position to afford a lawyer but the 'threat' that I wouldn't hesitate in using one seemed to do trick. Good luck Op flowers

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