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DC don't want to see STBXH

(15 Posts)
LeavesBlowingInTheWind Sat 22-Apr-17 11:04:11

I have posted previously about my STBXH and I could really do with some impartial advice about the latest 'issue'!
I left STBXH 18 months ago after I got to the end of my tether with his behaviour. He was never a 'hands on' dad and was away from home alot, both with work and pleasure. Our 3 DC live with me; they are DTD, DTS (17) and DD2 (12). He remains in the former family home.

I started legal proceedings 2 years ago but STBXH has been obstructive at every stage.

After the separation, I encouraged the DC to go and spend time with their Dad. We are only a 5min drive away so it was easy for all of us to keep contact. However, after several weeks, the DC were becoming reluctant to go. A third party raised a safeguarding concern with Social Work and it transpired he was threatening to kill himself if the DCs didn't get me to go back, promising them all sorts if they could get me back, he would get very grumpy if I didn't want to go on an outing with them.
The Social Worker spoke to him about his 'parenting' and advised me that contact should be on the DCs terms and not to force anything. Things did get a little better but contact between STBXH and DC dwindled.

In Nov 2016 I had to call the Police after he turned up at my house, banging on the doors and windows, demanding to be let in 'to talk' etc etc. He had done this before but this was the first time I had reported it. DDs were both at home when this happened. This resulted in another report to Social Work. Again, STBXH was spoken to about his parenting and I was told I was doing the right thing to keep my DC safe.

Not surprisingly, the DC now want very little to do with their dad.
The issue now is that DD2 does not want any contact with him at all and he is finding this very hard to accept. She will not speak to him on the phone, answer his texts or skype him. A family support worker had a couple of sessions with her following the police incident and her report says that DD2 is quite clear and rational in her decision not to see her dad.

He thinks she needs 'help'. I think she just needs time.
I have made gentle suggestions such as she goes with her brother and sister to meet him in a local coffee shop so that she is not on her own and can leave if she wants to. All suggestions have been met with a NO.
STBXH is getting increasingly noisey about the lack of contact and my own Solicitor has commented that children need a relationship with both parents.
I hope that one day DD2 will want a relationship with her dad but I am at a loss as to what else I can do at the moment. I wont force DD2 into anything she is not comfortable with but how do I prove that its not me witholding contact out of spite?
If he takes this to court, will her wishes be taken into account or do I need to prepare her that she may have to see him?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 22-Apr-17 11:07:21

As a teenager she will be listened to. . At 13 my ds decided to live with me full time with nc with df. . He didn't argue as he knew it would be pointless. .
And your dc have more reason to stay away which will be supported by ss anyway.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Apr-17 11:13:29

"I have made gentle suggestions such as she goes with her brother and sister to meet him in a local coffee shop so that she is not on her own and can leave if she wants to"

Why did you do that at all; that to me thinks that you are very much living in fear of him and still under his control and influence. You know all too well how manipulative he has been and still is towards you and his children. His increasing white noise at all you is an attempt to further control you all. Abusive men like this individual do not let go of their victims easily as you have seen too.

If you DD has said no to contacting her dad I can certainly see why she has done that. Her wishes need to be respected; he is still trying to control you all. His actions are based in abuse and are all about wanting and having power and control over you.

Is your Solicitor fully up to speed re this individual?. How well versed is this person in the ways of abusive men?. I think contacting Womens Aid would help you no end if you have not already done this.

LeavesBlowingInTheWind Sat 22-Apr-17 12:56:00

Thank you justmadeperfectflapjack, it's good to know that her wishes will be taken into account.

Yes AttilaThe Meerkat, you are right- it is all about control. He must have made my poor DC feel awful. He could never just be happy to see them, he had to make it all about his needs and using them to get to me. I read a phrase on here recently about the 'Controlling Victim' and that is exactly what he is.

Trouble is because we are in Scotland, we need to get financials and child contact arrangements sorted before I can get divorced. He does not want a divorce and so is being obstructive at every stage. But it's all dressed up as"caring sooo much for my wife and children"! He is delaying getting the former family home on the market for sale because " it's our home and I want the children to live in a nice house". It is a nice house but the trouble is, for me it is not a home anymore and he is in it!! The DC and I have all agreed we want a fresh start.

Think I need to get tougher with my Solicitor as things are just drifting along. We give him deadlines, they pass and so we give him another. He always has a plausible reason why he cant do X or provide Y.
I just want this over so that the DC and I can get on with our lives.

SandyY2K Sat 22-Apr-17 15:47:23

You've made the gentle suggestion and that's as much as you can do. Tell your solicitor was the social worker said and that you've been told not to force your DC to see him.

What exactly does your solicitor expect you to do?

Nestofvipers Sun 23-Apr-17 23:13:23

how do I prove that its not me witholding contact out of spite?

With this * A family support worker had a couple of sessions with her following the police incident and her report says that DD2 is quite clear and rational in her decision not to see her dad.*

Your daughter needs your support and understanding with what she wants to do. I don't think there's anything else you can do and I don't think you should encourage her any further to meet with him if she's very clear and firm in her wish not to see him.

I was in your daughter's position once. I made the same decision at a similar age and haven't changed my decision in the almost 30 years since. I found making the decision the easy part and knew it was the only option to survive emotionally, but I found coming to terms with it and accepting my decision far more difficult. What I really needed at the time was support and understanding of the decision I'd made, particularly as I found it really difficult to verbalise why I didn't want to see my father.

Feeling misunderstood would have made a difficult time much harder and I think all you can do is be there for her and if she does change her mind and decide she wishes to see her dad again then support her in this.

Runningissimple Sun 23-Apr-17 23:23:15

I had a very similar situation with my dd at 11. I was taken to court. The Cafcass officer was very sympathetic to my dd and suggested building contact from 3hrs eow. We tried for about 3 months. She refused contact of any type after 3 months. Ex finally dropped it because you can't force someone to see someone they don't want to see. It was all about control. It cost a fortune and the damage it caused to their relationship was pretty devastating.

Being nice and happy and having fun with her would have been cheaper and more effective in achieving regular contact but heigh ho hmm

WeeMcBeastie Mon 24-Apr-17 00:29:02

I'm going through similar at the moment so I can sympathise. Neither DD is keen to see their father and I'm getting abusive text messages telling me that it's 'due to my influence' hmm They are 18 and 17, I couldn't have that amount of influence over them if I tried! grin Like you, I have tried to persuade them to see their father for coffee etc and they have agreed to go a few times but it's very awkward and strained. They have both told me that they don't think they'll bother much with him once they go to uni. I find that sad but he only has himself to blame for the state of his relationship with them. I'm not going to get involved anymore - I could do without the stress. Teenagers in particular will only resent you if you force contact.

LeavesBlowingInTheWind Tue 25-Apr-17 20:30:49

It is sad isn't it when some men don't seem to realise that you have to put in effort into relationships. I did warn STBXH years ago that he would end up a lonely old man whose DC didn't want to visit. He took all of us for grantedsad.
I'm not going to mention to DD2 again about seeing her DF but will support her any way I can, if /when she changes her mind.

Offred Tue 25-Apr-17 20:38:41

Your job as the other parent is simply to make the children available if contact is ordered. There is no guarantee that it will be if she is clear she doesn't want it and there have been safeguarding issues.

If the worst happens and it is ordered you are not under an obligation to force her against her will to go.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 25-Apr-17 20:55:01

Don't force the kids to see him. Block all direct contact with him (do everything through the solicitors). With his track record, a court will not enforce contact as the DC don't want to see him and are old enough for their views to matter.

Unfortunately it's unlikely that he will kill himself and get out of your hair: people who threaten suicide as an abuse tactic very rarely actually follow through.

Cookies2015 Tue 25-Apr-17 20:55:36

I was the child here. I knewwww I didn't want to see my Father and the social were trying to convince me otherwise. My mum was very supportive and didn't push it, please don't try and make her do something which she doesn't want to in order to please him. She may just need time but she may be terrified and that's long term damage he's done not you op. Hold in there for her she'll thank you in the end

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 25-Apr-17 21:47:49

A friend was in a similar situation and her DC, still quite young, wrote personally to their DF's solicitor saying they didn't want to see him and briefly explaining why. That did the trick. His own solicitor told him to abandon his efforts to control his DC and with no support from anyone he had to. It did the DC a power of good to finally feel heard.

neverdoingthatagain Wed 26-Apr-17 03:46:21

I'm in this predicament right now and my DD is only 10. From about the age of 8 she saw right through her father and confessed to me that he is a dud and that she doesn't like staying at his or spending time with him.

He of course now blames me for the situation and I found out today that he threatened to move back home (to Ireland, we're in Oz) if she doesn't want to see him. What kind of parent says that to their 10 year old daughter? She's OK though, a real tough cookie and doesn't blame herself.

I've messaged, I've spoken to him and texted him numerous times over the years that she can't handle (nor should she) his anger, his yelling, his smoking, his inability to DO ANYTHING with them.

I'm just in damage control with her and at a loss as to help her more. I also have a DS who's 6 and who's only interaction with his dad is being smacked, yelled at, left to his own devices on a IPad and toys.

I'm pretty sad for them but also I wish he would move to the other side of the world just to leave us in peace.

arthriticfingers Wed 26-Apr-17 07:49:33

I am very concerned about your solicitor's attitude.
You should think seriously about changing your solicitor, not about ways to force your daughter into situations that make her unhappy.

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