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Would you be alright with this in terms of contact?

(8 Posts)
Rooners Wed 26-Feb-14 18:24:38

Ds1's dad is a bit hit and miss, sees him on average about once every month or two - it's supposed to be every month - for roughly 2-4 hours.

In the past he has cancelled at short notice, to go to a festival, etc - or been drunk - or been late. Most times he comes on time though and seems sober.

Last time he was half an hour late with no actual reason, except it transpired during the visit that he was basically so hungover that he was still pissed.

We skipped a visit last month, I made an excuse because ds only wanted to see him if he was sober, and I didn't know how to broach this.

Spoke to him the other day and explained and he promised to be a bit more with it from now on. I know that carries very little weight but anyway, this is the background.

Also ds barely knows him as he only started seeing him 2-3 years ago, and ds is 10 and a half.

The main problem, Ok, the OTHER problem, is ex's wife. She doesn't seem too fond of ds and ds consequently isn't too fond of her. He can take her or leave her - but prefers to leave her. I'm very unhappy with some of her comments to ds.

So having discussed this with ex as well, a few months ago, he started coming to see ds here, or taking him into town etc.

I do not know how he is explaining it to his wife though I think he is being anything but honest.

Would you be Ok with your husband having his one monthly contact with his child, somewhere other than your home?

I am afraid there will be a fuss made at some point and he'll have to go back there for visits, but am hoping that 4 hours or so a month isn't too much to ask.

So would you mind, if you were the step mother?

mymiraclebubba Wed 26-Feb-14 23:30:49

I love my dsc's so couldn't imagine nit having contact time with them!! If I thought they didn't like me I would be doing everything possible to alter that mind!

But if she isn't bothered then I can't see why the arrangements should bother her tbh!!

brdgrl Thu 27-Feb-14 00:28:17

Don't take this the wrong way - I don't mean to sound critical - but are YOU ok with it? I'm not sure why you are concerned with how the stepmum feels about it. But there could be very good reasons why she seems less than welcoming; given what you say about your ex's past behaviour, maybe she feels the visits are a burden on her if her husband is unreliable or inconsistent in how he deals with the visits. If your son barely knows his dad, well, stepmum has barely had a chance to get to know your son, either. Maybe she wants to know him better, maybe she doesn't - but really it seems like that's so irrelevant at this point, because your ex is still barely keeping contact himself, let alone integrating the son into his family. (sorry, I haven't worded thsi very well, maybe)

I think I would not be too happy to have my kid's dad, who he barely knows and who has a drinking problem and seems not too concerned about his kid's well-being, to have unsupervised visits. So I would actually prefer to have him coming there, rather than sending my kid to what is really a stranger's house where he may not feel very safe - basing that on your son saying he only wants to see his father if he will be sober.

daisychain01 Thu 27-Feb-14 05:05:51

Hey Rooners, this is a sad situation for your DS, and a worry for you.

I would focus on your DSs circumstances and dont be concerned about your ex's wife. She is an adult, the only priority if you dont mind me saying is to ensure you can somehow create a conducive situation that will somehow enable DS to have a relationship with his DF. It sounds like your ex isnt particularly helping matters.

Could the contact time happen on neutral ground like at DSs grandparents? At least it would give half a chance your ex will behave himself.

theredchicken Thu 27-Feb-14 06:49:18

To be honest if the contact is only a couple of hours a month, I really wouldn't be worrying about the relationship between ds and step mum. There's not really any time to make it a "good" or "bad" relationship.

Concentrate your worries on your drunken ex and teaching your ds to deal with his useless father.

purpleroses Thu 27-Feb-14 12:50:10

If I was keen to be more of a family with my DP and his DS, then I might be supporting/pushing him to get a bit more contact and for it to be in our home.

If I didn't like the DS much, or didn't see much future in the relationship, then I'd probably leave well alone and wouldn't have a problem with the contact being outside of our home.

russianfudge Thu 27-Feb-14 14:18:02

She may actually be distancing herself because knowing what a feckless twat her partner is, she doesn't want to get attached to a child that she will only see sporadically.

But whatever the reason, I wouldn't worry about it. Considering his behaviour you would be within your rights to apply for supervised contact so I don't think (even if his partner does mind) that he could really do anything about it if you'll only allow contact at your house.

It's a hard one for me (or most of the SMs on here) to answer because in my circumstance, ex wife could get to fuck if she demanded contact in her house. But my DH is a good, available father who has always had regular and close contact with his dd and I have always welcomed her as well. I guess in the case of this woman.. no, I don't think I'd mind. But who knows, people are unpredicatable.

deelite72 Mon 03-Mar-14 09:48:14

Have you considered a contact centre? I know, I know it all sounds so 'antagonistic' and there's this stigma attached to contact centres which is a shame. But give me a chance here. Years ago, when my DS was 4 and did not know his father well at all, having seen him only twice between the ages of 1 & 3 (dad moved abroad and travelled around the globe in those years), the court ordered contact in a contact centre after contact in my home or in a 'neutral setting' like a park or other location failed. Time keeping was an issue, ex felt I was too much on the scene, I didn't trust him at all, and eventually out of anger and mistrust and fear, I withheld contact. This was becoming a pattern and really messed with our son, with us, we were in and out of court. Finally a judge ordered contact at a contact centre- where son could get to know his dad in a neutral place (also where my emotions didn't get in the way of their time together). It also allowed dad to get to know son in a setting which was play orientated. I can't fault the process at all. It established trust very quickly, it helped me to let go of anxiety, and dad- who was initially irate at the thought of being told when and where to see his son in a controlled environment (not nice, I know, but it was the right thing)- really calmed down and became positive about contact in the centre. I wasn't there. His partner at the time wasn't involved. It was just about dad and son. And it really turned dad around. My son is 12 now and we haven't looked back. We've had a couple of blips over the years, but I think blips and disagreements are part of human relationships- with exes and the rest. The contact centre visits only lasted about 3-4 months, but for us, the long term results were very positive. The only thing I would say is that you do have an issue of alcoholism and this must be brought to the forefront. I would not leave my child or any child in the hands of a boozer and this is something you need to address. The stepmother is so not an issue. Remove her out of the process. It's not really about her. Good luck!

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