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how long does it take for the one who is left to accept relationship is over?

(4 Posts)
cestlavielife Tue 02-Jun-09 12:30:24

i guess trying to understand from his pespective - EXP still seems to think we will all be together again as a family...

long bear with me..

Current situation – I moved out of family home with dcs april 2008; ex was abusive, controlling, angry, mental health issues etc.

First I allowed ex access to see dcs in new home but he continued to state he didn’t accept the separation. He would kill himself etc if we weren’t together….He got violent and aggressive, incident august 2008, since then only supervised access at contact centre, set of sessions while report is written. sessions come to end in July – CAFCASS officer said next step would hopefully be unsupervised, if we could agree…

She stated EXP was v focussed on what a family should be –mum, dad, kids, altogether and that he implied there might be reconciliation.

I was gobsmacked, i have barely spoken to him since august - is somewhat delusional to my way of thinking. and the only things he has said to me are along lines of "you are
neurotic" "why are you doing this to me" etc.

i feel very uncomfortable....concerned what he might be planning...

I emailed a friend of his, who I know supported him in 2008 by telling him “don’t worry she will be back; you belong together”. Not very helpful of him I know…I probably shouldn’t have emailed, but just stated to him that I wanted to make it clear there would be no reconciliation, but I wanted to work with CAFCASS and supervised contact for him to see DCS…that ex needed to move on from idea of us being together again. I also stated same to EXP in a short note, in march this year, after he sent me a leaflet on “couples counselling” and a paperback book called “wedding season”.

The friend replied…. he talks about my EXP's family values? huh?
, his family - always bitter and
fighting and arguing...and his brother doesnt even talk to him..... "He grew up in a family where family values
mattered, and it's normal for him to expect the same commitment."

"I think he's ready to 'move on', as you put it, perhaps preferably with you,
as a family, or else, by
himself, but with his kids. I can truly sympathize with him."

it is all very Victorian - commitment? you are my wife and you do as i say... (even tho we never married…)

EXP made it clear many times since 2007 he would never accept “co-parenting” - I had thought now we were in court, that he had moved on. He said in court “I have accepted the end of the relationship. I was angry but now I am ok”.

I thought he accepted the idea of parenting separately, not together as a family unit. (regardless of fact I don’t feel comfortable with unsupervised but that is almost another issue…)

But he has not… telling CAFCASS officer “a family is mum dad and kids together”

Friend saying “he wants to move on, preferably with you..” meaning, together (friend has just got back with his ex and son after eight years apart…which may have bearing..) . or, “him and the kids”…so what will he do with me then? Bump me off?

I cannot change EXP’s way of thinking - but if he imagines we can be "together" -
when i have barely spoken to him since august - is somewhat delusional to my way
of thinking. Of course, he does not think he has been abusive etc.

and the only things he has said to me eg text msgs, voice mail (to which I do not respond) are along lines of "you are
neurotic" "why are you doing this to me" etc.

i feel very
uncomfortable....concerned what he might be planning...

as I said I cannot change his way of thinking;

how on earth can I make things clear?

Am I reading too much into this? Is it a problem when one ex does not accept the separation?
How long or what does it take to get over someone leaving you? I understand that as the one who left - is “easier” for me to move on…

for myseff, emotionally I have moved on for sure. Life is so much nicer apart from him…yet of course because of the dcs I need a working relationship of sorts.

mrsboogie Tue 02-Jun-09 14:04:53

I'm not sure there is anything you can do to change his mind or make him see sense. He is willfully deluding himself. He may never accept it. But that's his problem.
Your problem, to my way of thinking, is this business of unsupervised access. I would not be happy with that at all if I were you.

If he is unstable and cannot accept the end of the relationship he cannot be trusted alone with those kids. I would be doing everything in my power to prevent that until such time as he seemed to be able to face reality and accept the end of the relationship.

His friend sounds like a bit of a twat really.

OptimistS Tue 02-Jun-09 17:02:52

Hi cestlavielife. You were good enough to reply to a thread about contact issues I posted a while back with some good advice, so I hope I can return the favour a bit here. Since my own thread, I've done a lot of research into contact. I've looked at what's best for the child(ren) from a psychological/emotional point of view, and how that can be balanced against what's reasonable for both partners. Then I've tried to see how this fits into what can be done in terms of the family courts and the law. I've learned a lot, not all of it good, but it's definitely useful to know it.

As mrsboogie pointed out, your ex may never accept that the relationship is over but that's not your responsibility. I too feel that my ex harbours hope of a reconciliation, and I am pretty sure that the nice, co-operative and friendly behaviour is all part of the 'look at me, I'm so nice, if I keep this up you're bound to forgive me and want me back eventually" routine. I have made it absolutely clear that it's not on the table. If he chooses to believe something else, that's his lookout.

That said, my ex is a different kettle of fish to yours. My ex sounds a lot easier to manage than yours. If you've made it absolutely clear, you've done all you can. Don't let him make it your responsibility. It's a form of bullying in effect; he's ignoring you. Now ignore him.

One thing I have learned is to trust your instincts and go with them. I hope I don't seem to be making this case all about me, but I hope that showing you my situation will help you to think about your own.

Having investigated all angles for my own case, I have decided not to stop contact although it is currently supervised in my own home with me supervising. I am very concerned about emotional risk and also worried (though slightly less so) about physical risk to my DC as they get older. I would much prefer my X to disappear from our lives altogether. I feel he will act as a negative role model with his benefit fraud, recreational drug taking, poor social values, etc. However, I have to admit that there is no risk while they are preschoolers and that my X is actually extremely good with the DC. I have to accept that from my children's point of view, until there is a risk, it is better for them to grow up knowing their dad and their family heritage and not feeling rejected by him.

I know that supervised access in your own home has not worked for you. I suspect that it only works for me because I am single. My ex seems to respect all the boundaries I have put in place and is great with the kids, to give him his due. If you were a fly on the wall and didn't know our history, you would think we had the ideal post-separation co-parenting arrangement (despite the fact he pays no maintenance, but that's another issue). HOWEVER, and it's a big however, I am very much of the opinion that this is a very fragile peace, and I suspect that as soon as I become involved in another relationship (if I ever do), the gloves would come off and he would start playing up again. The courts do not recognise potential risk in the future unless there is good evidence of such behaviour in the past. In my ex's case, he only has two documented cases of assault on record, both of which he escaped with a caution, and neither instance where he has hurt a child (not mine) was ever pursued. In the eyes of social services and the family courts, I have no basis to insist on supervised contact or to stop contact. Knowing this is a case I cannot win, I have left things as they are.

However, as a mother, I am taking steps to protect my children. I keep a diary. I also plan to move slightly further away, so that DC will not have to grow up in the shadow of their father's questionable reputation until they are old enough to understand it and deal with it. If the slightly increased distance (extra 20 mins drive) results in their dad not bothering to maintain contact anymore, then better he does that then (when they will be young enough at age 4-5 to move on) than when they are 10 or young teens and the resulting rejection issues could be a lot more catastrophic. It also means that, should I get a new partner, X is less likely to resort to unpleasant behaviour or get others to 'spy' on us because it will require a lot more effort on his part and will make it easier for me to prove what he is doing to the police. I hope I'm wrong and it won't come to this. I have noticed that since we separated (just over 2 years ago), my Xs behaviour has deteriorated in terms of violence, so I have a feeling that should I ever need to go to court to ban contact in the future, my X will have hung himself with his own rope by that time.

Listen to your instincts. If you are worried, you are probably right to be worried. You split up more than a year ago, so you're not in the immediate aftermath of extreme anger and bitterness and wanting your ex to be evil etc. Enough time has passed for your instincts to be based on a genuine interpretation of what you're seeing rather than a subconscious desire to cut your ex out of your lives completely. Your other posts paint a picture of you as a very fair and sensible person, so if this situation is making you feel uncomfortable it's proabbly because something is genuinely wrong. What your ex feels is not your responsibility but it could be your problem (if that makes sense?). Record everything he says or does that makes you uncomfortable. Get in touch with the police and get a DV laison officer you can correspond with so that you can log all these events. You may also want to get in touch with social services. You can do all of this without your X knowing anything about it.

In your shoes, I would be fighting against returning to unsupervised access. Courts always try to move on to unsupervised access or lay down a no-contact order. You just need more time than the usual 6-month period to decide which is in your DC's best interests. You are not psychic and cannot tell whether your X is going to lose the plot entirely or settle down and step up to his responsibilities. Therefore, you are well within your rights to insist on being given more time. Doing so with SS backing will probably help. If you can provide evidence of your Xs erratic behaviour and present yourself as a mother who WANTS her DC to have contact with their father but just feels it should be supervised for a bit longer as X is behaving erratically, the courts will probably come down in your favour.

I believe that although the children come first, it is worth remembering that the right of the mother to be free from abuse is part of this. Your children need a mother whose own safety and emotional wellbeing are assured and who can stand up and say bad behaviour will not be tolerated, even from a DC's beloved father. In court, however, you'd be far better off phrasing this about the children's needs, as what I've just said could be overturned by someone helpfully suggesting that someone else handles handover so that you and X don't have to face each other. You need to make the case about DCs welfare while alone with your X.

Sorry I've gone on and on and on there. I hope some of what I've written is useful. I found the Children's Legal Centre very useful for clarifying what is and isn't acceptable in the eyes of the court (far more so than individual solicitors). HTH

cestlavielife Wed 03-Jun-09 10:10:17

very useful thanks both.

spoke with CAFCASS officer, she said that he maybe feels that "he had mental health issues but is better now" hence his belief that somehow this long and lengthy episode (depression since 2005, self harm began 2007 and major episode in july 2007 in which he attacked our son, then he spent time in his home country before returning and manipulating himself into family home december 2007) can be somehow erased from memory... and things will "return" to how they were before. before 2005? it wasnt good even then...i dont know..

anyway, she did say there were other options such as a voluntary run contact centre (other people around) and depending on what she sees, even keep up the current centre for more sessions...so feeling a bit more calm...also she will speak to all concerned again before writing report.

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