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Be glad to hear from anyone how to deal with this, exhausted and fed up of it all(15 Posts)
Hello, Ive just found you today, I wish Id known about you all a long time ago, I think you all would have been a huge help over the last years for me.
Long post sorry for that but a bit complicated..
Im hoping some of you who maybe have been in a similar situation might be able to help me.
My exh and I have a long and nasty court case going on for residence of our DS aged 3.
Essentially before I left him ex conducted a long and destructive campaign of emotional abuse against me and one of his powerful threats was that if I didnt do what he said about xyz he would take our DS, disappear and I would never see DS again. Needless to say it was an pretty effective threat ex is from a wealthy well connected family with family all over the middle east and could feasibly disappear.
Ok so there is a whole bunch of history over the last 21/2 years but DS is now going abroad (by court order with me having sole residency so abduction risks are minimised as far as the courts can)
Tomorrow he goes for the third visit for a 10 day period (they have been seeing each other every other week over here in the last 2 ½ years)
DS has been begging me not to make him go because Daddy shouts but Im bound by the court order. DS has only just settled down since the last visit 3 weeks ago.
Ex has said I am not allowed to make any phone calls to DS (who has asked me if I will call him every day) but will allow DS to make a phone call if he wants to (knowing my ex I DO take this to mean DS has to pick up the phone and dial the number) Ex denies that DS shows any inclination to want to talk to me while away but DS tells a different story.
(Mind you, ex told CAFCASS that it's apparently 'obvious' DS doesnt love me.)
Now I know none of you know me from Adam, but Im basically a pretty good Mum and I love my DS to bits hes pretty fond of me.
Any suggestions of how I can deal with a passive aggressive BPD ex-husband and resolve this so I can make a 2 minute phone call to me DS to reassure him that Mummy hasnt disappeared forever?
Thanks so much for any replies and ideas.
Hi, sorry no advice. But perhaps you should post this in the Legal section on MN as well, you may get extra replies.
It sounds like a very hard situation, I REALLY hope some more knowledgeable people come along shortly. Glad you've found MN though, its great here [pulls you up a comfy chair]
That sounds awful - have no practical advice but just wanted you to know i have read it.
Would it be possible to somehow 'record' a conversation between you and DS so that you would have evidence that he does not want to go and that he wants you to phone.
Legally i suspect you will have to do what the courts have said. But i can imagine it could be very destructive.
And he's just that little too young for a secret mobile phone! Sorry, I don't have any practical solutions. Unless you can appeal to his family? exMIL perhaps who might agree that a call, at a set time every day is woth doing and can convince your ex?
You poor thing.
Could you buy a cheap MP3 player and record little 'chats' for him to listen to when he's away from you? We did that for DD, who adores her grandparents, was going on holiday with us for a month. Her Grandmother recorded bedtime stories (because, apparantly, Nanny tells stories much better than Mummy). She would curl up in bed with headphones in and chat back to the voice in her ears.
Thank you lovely posters, and for an idea I hadn't thought of.
I'll get DS used to the mp3 player idea for next time - he's never used headphones before so I need to get him into it first so he will refuse to let go of them.
He can take it as one of the 2 toys my ex allows him to take with him.
Thank you so much, it's such a relief to even have an idea of how I can help my DS feel less stressed, you have no idea and I'm really grateful to you.
PS Appealing to his family is not an option as they are funding the very expensive legal proceedings to have DS moved over to the in the other country.
Is there an actual BPD diagnosis? Does this count at all, legally? BPD is well described here. It seems to me that enforcement by the courts of any rules of play might be very difficult with someone who has this particular personality disorder.
My ex and I have clauses in our divorce agreement regarding contact with me while the DCs visit him; they can make any number of calls to me and I can also call them while they are away. I insisted on this. Likewise, exH can call the DCs while they are with me (I have residential custody) but of course, he hardly ever calls. I don't think your ex can just make up rules for you; obviously with BPD he thinks he can, but surely there is some legal recourse? Could you take your DC to a therapist who could evaluate the relationship the DS has with his father, and assess whether contact is doing any damage to him? Do post in the legal section too.
There is no formal diagnosis, as part of this he insisted I see a psychologist for an assessment (like I said, will stop at nothing..) My report was really lovely - even better after he saw the ex as well. BPD is just my sense of his behaviours through and since our spilt.
These diagnoses don't count for much because they are about the parents relationships and the court are only concerned with how the child is being cared for.
There is no legal recourse until we get to final orders and we're having to be very specific about the orders (v tiring as he follows the letter of the law rather than the spirit if you see what I mean)
I'm really in 2 minds about getting DS assessed, if this carries on much longer I might not have a choice but I would rather no have DS exposed to anything more than he strictly needs to be, this is my problem with ex after all and it's my job to protect DS from the fallout.
Sorry that all sounds so negative after you took the trouble to post. The problem with him is the more he feels 'upset' the worse he behaves (and I thought DS was the 3 yo!) I have also posted in the legal section and the mp3 idea is a great one that I'm definately going to use.
Thanks for your time
This whole thing sounds terrible.
If your ex is that well off, Idon´t see why he shouldn´t be the one travelling to see his son.
I think it´s disgusting that a young child is forced to travel abroad to see his father.
Sorry, I know that´s not helpful.
Madd Sorry I am another without advice. Your son is too young to use the instant messaging my niece uses to keep in touch with his dad. The MP3 idea is inspired though! So hope it all goes well though.
Hi Mad, again, no advice but my sympathy. I also have a non-national ex who was emotionally abusive towards me and who is attempting to maximize his access to DD aged nearly 2. Luckily mine is poor!
It does occur to me that hearing your voice is not the only way of your DS feel close to you. Something that smells like you could help too. Worth sleeping with a scarf to give to him or, if you have a perfume you usually wear, give it a quick squirt?
It might also be worth posting over on lone parents - lots of experience with custody battles there.
You know something.. I will probably get flamed for this but if that was my son begging and crying following contacts and with the ex's history.... I would move far far away and stop all contact. I just could not put my child through that and with the constant threat of him abducting him too.
Nicknametaken, pfft I wish mine was poor - although he's pleading poverty to get me to pay for the trip for DS and because he wants me to pay him spousal maintenence (luckily I think the Judge has sene through that one given he has 2 barristers on the go!)
I'll have a look on lone parents as well, thanks for the tip there.
Devendra, don't think I haven't thought it, the problem is that if I do, he will have all sorts of rights he doesn't currently have as at the moment it's HIM who moved to a different country and if I stopped contact the courts would no longer support my case as much as they are at the moment.
Spousal maintenance - cheeky bugger! I agree that you have to try to do it the right way, even when it bloody terrifies you. Is his country a party to the Hague Convention?
If your Ex comes from a culture where women and children are considered virtual property that might make him behave like a BPD individual. (He does sound as if BPD is the problem, btw)
I would definitely try to have your DS assessed by a therapist. Someone with BPD or who behaves like one can do real damage to a child -- going to a therapist who is trained and sensitive is by far the lesser of two evils here as far as limiting divorce fallout for your DS goes.
If your DS has to travel abroad, can you get some sort of injunction to permit phone contact? He is very young to have to forgo contact with his primary caregiver for such a long spell, after all. Is your DS a UK subject, and can the Foreign Office do anything to assuage your fears about your DS disappearing in the Middle East while he's with his father? Can your ex be required to check in with the Embassy with the DS or can local police be trusted to keep an eye on things?
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