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Managing the 'control' his ex has over our life...

(28 Posts)
Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 19:24:38

In oct half term we had our first holiday as a 'blended' family. It went really well and we want to book again for next year as all the kids enjoyed it too.

My ex has given me the thumbs up to book for next oct half term but his ex is saying she can't give thumbs up as she might want to go away then. She said she would think about it and confirm one way or the other and now a couple of weeks later she says she might want to go away that half term but isn't sure but doesn't want to commit to us being able to take the kids away as she might want to. Prior to us saying we wanted to rebook October she had said she wanted to take them ski-ing in February so this sudden desire for oct half term seems to be based around just being difficult. Between us we have 3 little kids so big family rooms in half term at nice resorts go quickly and we don't want to miss out, or have to pay over the odds when there are good deals around now.

Whenever he brings it up with her she just says she hasn't decided yet and she might want to go away then so we can't book anything.

We want to maintain a decent enough relationship for the kids sakes but equally don't see why we should have to hang around waiting for her.

Any advice?

socially Mon 17-Nov-14 19:27:04

Can't you give her until the end of the month to decide, then book something unless she can produce evidence of having done something herself?

Put it in writing in case there's comeback.

NessaYork Mon 17-Nov-14 19:29:45

Can you make the booking and have an in-law/grandparent/godparent/aunt/uncle/cousin on standby in case she pulls put?
I hope this helps.

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 19:31:09

That's a good idea. She did agree to let us know by the end of the wkend two weeks ago but nothing... I guess we can try again.
My partner thinks she's hanging out to see if she can go with her new man (who she's told the girls might buy them a pony because he might be very rich....) but I think it's fair to give her a deadline to decide to...

It just causes such tension and arguments between me and him sad

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 19:32:25

What do you mean nessa? We want to book to take a family holiday with me, him and our kids. She's saying she won't agree to it as she may want to go away then...

Phoenixfrights Mon 17-Nov-14 19:34:54

What kind of contact arrangements do you have? What does it say about holidays?

If she is limited in the time she can take off work, then maybe she can't actually commit. Some workplaces can't provide assurance of a particular week or weeks one year in advance. My workplace would be one such place.

purpleroses Mon 17-Nov-14 19:44:06

What has your DP and his ex done previously in terms of dividing the holidays up? Is there a court agreement, or was it always flexible and just kind of agreed mutually? If he's always just fitted in with her plans, or done things fairly last minute in the past, it might be causing a bit of friction if he's now suddenly wanting to book things a year in advance.

How much is the deposit you'd have to pay to secure the holiday you want? Would it be worth booking it anyway?

Or would it be worth your DP having a more general conversation about holidays over the coming year and coming to a rough agreement of who'll have the kids when, so there's a bit of give and take in both directions.

My DH's ex books all her holidays about 18 months in advance which does irritate me to some extent as it means we're always left with whatever dates are left over, which don't always suit that well. But we haven't always been in a position to book our own holidays that early so haven't felt able to complain. So it can be difficult if one family is much more organised than the other - and may be grating a bit with the ex if this is related to the fact that your relationship with your DP is more secure than her own is.

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 19:44:33

They have an agreement between themselves where girls live with mum, dad pays more than CSA. Dad has girls eow and one day in the week. Holidays are done informally and she has in the past asked him to have them more asked him to take them away. There is nothing written about holidays.
No issue with her workplace and arranging annual leave. She could easily make that decision now.

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 19:48:47

The deposit would be £250. I'm not prepared to lose that much just cause she changes her mind.

Usually he has just taken whatever she's told him to by way of holidays - this year we only booked our oct hol mid sept (and paid over the odds because of it and didn't get the type of hotel we'd have chosen first) but after enjoying it so much we want to book in advance for next year...

Phoenixfrights Mon 17-Nov-14 19:55:29

Perhaps the ex feels that if she does the lion's share of the day-to-day care then she should get first dibs on the holiday dates. I'm not saying this is right, but it might be what she feels. I agree it can be hard to just suck up the 'leftover dates' if you're not in a financial or practical position to book holidays in advance. If there is a big discrepancy between your household income and the income of the other household then I think you need to tread carefully.

The two of them need to sit down and talk about how they're going to work things out in the future, otherwise resentment is going to start building.

crazykat Mon 17-Nov-14 20:04:04

I'd give her a deadline of two weeks/end of the month and if he hasn't booked anything then I'd book it. If she then says the kids can't go then go without them. It will be hard but you'll only end up in this situation again and again if you don't take the hard line now.

We've been messed about by DHs ex so many times when we'd planned something that we had to take the hard line. We can't afford to go on holiday much, twice in the past 8 years in fact. A few years ago we looked at a holiday for us all, checked with his ex, after four weeks she decides the dates are fine, we book the holiday and pay for it, a few weeks later DH ex decides to tell us she needs DSD back two days early as they're going on holiday! We were only in England and she expected DH to drive DSD the four hours home and then drive back to me and our DCs, losing a day of our holiday. DH told her she either picked DSD up or DSD would have to miss out on one or other holiday. It was hard and risked DSD being upset but we'd just got fed up of DH ex messing us about when we'd planned a day out or something special. In the end she came and picked DSD up but wasn't happy about it she's not messed us about since though.

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 20:05:57

The thing is if she wanted to go away then we'd say ok and take oct half term every other year or something but she's not... She's just saying she doesn't know... So we think what will happen is she won't book anything (or will go away at another time of year) and then the kids will miss out. I will still go away in oct as I can take ds and if my partner wants to come then no doubt he will be given a hard time for not taking his kids.

I wouldn't be so annoyed if she was saying "actually I really want to do x in October" but it's... "You can't book incase I might want to".

Income wise her and DP prob have about the same disposable income as he pays a lot of maintenance and pays all the mortgage on the family home (still on the market).

(Me and my partner don't live together. I am a highish earner but no idea if she knows that or not...)

Parasites Mon 17-Nov-14 20:06:58

That would be my kind of stance krazycat!!

NessaYork Mon 17-Nov-14 21:05:37

Forgive me, I hasn't thought about airline flights; those of course are not transferable. If it was just accommodation and she pulled out, you could have an inlaw/aunt/uncle etc on standby to take over the room booking (which is transferable) so no one loses out in £££.
Some really good suggestions on this page. And I'm impressed with the breadth of experience, compassion and wit #lovingtheMumsNet

HesNotAMessiah Tue 18-Nov-14 08:07:24

Hi Parasites

Read your other thread wehe I think you say your DP and his ex have been split for a year and you've been together for six months.

A year after a split really isn't that long a time for two people who have been operating as a family and parenting unit to separate themselves from that when the kids are young and they are trying to minimise the impact of the split on them.

You may feel that she plays too much a part in your life with DP, and you'd rather oragnise what you get up to with the kids without her 'consent'.

In reality that's the way it has to be, unless you want to start stressing the relationship, which the kids will sense and react to. Trust me, it's not worth it.

Appreciate the holiday plans, and I think I'd go with the deadline. I suspect she's not playing hard ball, more just seeing what a agood idea it is and wondering qwhether it should be her turn. Perhaps if your DP reminded her she has the opportunity to take them away ni Spring and Summer she'd relax a little.

Try and ignore the ex, concentrate on life with DP, and how you can enjoy the time with the kids wehn they're with you. Happy children are the key to persuading their mum you're not a bad person.

It's not about control, she just wants teh best for her kids, she doesn't sound anywhere enar as manipulative or deceitful as some ex's !

springalong Fri 21-Nov-14 22:22:06

My ex is very organised, wants to book months in advance. I don't or cant. So I accept and state that he can book what dates suit him and I will work around that. I think this is fair and reasonable - I accept that he gets to book dates first. The only consideration I do ask is that over the summer when I have the bulk of the childcare to arrange that a holiday not be booked bang in the middle. He quite happily told a magistrate this summer that me not giving him holiday dates months in advance was a problem for him. So no matter how flexible and accommodating you are, some people will complain about anything.

HonestLie Sat 22-Nov-14 09:30:33

To be completely honest I would be inclined to leave it until around February when how the children are spending that break is discussed.

There is no formal agreement so there really isn't much you can do. Does it absolutely have to be in October that you take your holiday?

swingofthings Sat 22-Nov-14 12:46:11

Sorry, don't want to seem like I'm picking on you, but I personally think that expecting a parent to make a decision re. holidays a year in advance and only expect two weeks notice is unreasonable. The reality is when you are a separate family, it is often unrealistic to be able to make decision about holidays so long in advance.

You don't need to book so long in advance for a good deal, you will still get plenty of choice in 6 months time, especially for October break. If it was me as the mum, I would feel very pressured. Just give her more time, your partner can ask every there and then without being pushy. She did agree to you going this year, so you know it is not an issue with her not being happy to let the kids go with you.

Parasites Sat 22-Nov-14 17:04:43

She agreed to him taking the kids for oct half term but at that time probably didn't know I was going.

It's not just the availability but the cost. It's significantly cheaper the further out we book. She will have had a month then to decide. I think that's reasonable. I think it's that up until now she's just told him when he should take kids and now he wants to have a say in the planning it's put her nose out of joint...

Parasites Sat 22-Nov-14 17:05:32

Correction... She told him she wanted him to have them October half term. Then we booked our holiday

Catsarebastards Sat 22-Nov-14 17:17:37

Well perhaps it would be fair to allow her next october half term as he had the Dcs for this one.

With my ex if i plan or want to plan something i just tell him the dates and he says ok. He does the same with me. In 4 years there has yet to be a clash as we just work round each other.

Catsarebastards Sat 22-Nov-14 17:19:25

Oh so you booked a holiday despite knowing she wanted to have the DCs for october half term and she then agreed and let him take them? Well i can see why she might be being awkward about next year after that tbh. Cant you?

Catsarebastards Sat 22-Nov-14 17:20:57

Just re- read and ive got it wrong. She told HIM he was to have the kids for oct half term? In that case ignore my last post.

Parasites Sun 23-Nov-14 08:14:47

Yeah - she's just always told him when she wants him to have the kids and gone on hols when she wants and that's been fine for him.

If She wanted to go on holiday next oct then we would accept that and do alternate years. The issue is that she's refusing to commit and having previously said she wanted to take them away feb half term since finding out we want oct she's decided she might. Tbh I'm just not going to let it rile me. Ds and I can still go away whatever. My partner would join us but is worried the ex will say she will take them away then end up not booking anything and it'll look like daddy went on holiday with me and my son and "left" the girls out...

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Nov-14 08:27:30

I think you are going about this the wrong way,

He emails/sits down with notepad to her 'let me know which weeks during all the holidays I am having the kids, so that I can plan them.'

Holidays are:
Spring half term (put x date until y date)
Summer half term
Summer holiday
Autumn half term

Then they discuss him having half of those dates.

Then work your holidays around that.

If it has been decided and she changes her mind then you need to just go. There will always be holidays and stuff done without some people being involved, if others move the goalposts.

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