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End of my tether

(18 Posts)
wheresthel1ght Sun 06-Mar-16 21:13:10

Have been away from Mumsnet for a while, needed to get away from some of the negativity, however I find myself needing some advice from people who might understand.

Background being;
I am not the other woman, exw kicked dp out after she had an affair.
She has made life an absolute nightmare and uses the kids as pawn.
Exw lives with om and he has residency for his girls, om refuses to have dscs in the house when his kids aren't there
Low level neglect that has thankfully been dealt with but still issues
I have gone out of my way to try and be friendly but it is met with sustain and petty rudeness.

So this weekend was dp's contact weekend, it's the first time Mother's Day has fallen on his weekend. He spoke to his ex and asked if she wanted to swap weekends or just have the kids back early so they could spend time together. She refused. Then when he collected the kids on Friday he was told she wanted them back at 2 which he agreed to.

My dd had to be rushed to A&E this morning for a serious health issue. Dp works nights so was in bed. I asked his exw if she could collect the kids early as I didn't think it was fair to make them spend hours sat in A&E, they are not old enough to be left in the house and dp has had this row with his ex before.

She point blank refused and told me they were my problem not hers. I am ashamed to say I lost my temper and gave her a few home truths.

Luckily the hospital was quiet and we were in and out in a couple of hours so we're home just in time for her to collect at 2pm. She never showed up and then text saying she would be there at 3. I told her she had asked for 2 and therefore she needed to be here on time.

I am so fed up with us having to cut contact short or miss it completely because it doesn't suit her but when we need to alter something due to a serious issue she point blank refuses.

Dp has backed me up and has told his ex he is sick of her attitude and her refusal to be flexible and then expecting us to be flexible and getting arsey when we can't or he won't to prove a point.

I do not want it to be like this, it isn't fair on the kids. They wanted to be with their mum today and were really upset that they had to be with me/their dad.

How do we get her to see that she is hurting her kids?

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 06-Mar-16 21:30:08

I don't have any advice for you OP but it sounds grim and I'm sending you flowers. I hope your DC's on the mend and better soon. Must have been a tough day all round.

Good you and DP are on the same page, that's worth a lot.

wheresthel1ght Sun 06-Mar-16 21:40:21

Thanks. Dd is ok thankfully but it could have been a very different outcome.

What really annoys me is Dss is a sensitive soul, he is 12 but a very young and immature boy. He struggles to cope with people being ill. I had Hg when I was pregnant and he wouldn't leave my side when he was at our house. He was terrified this morning to see his little sister so poorly (she is 2.5). His mum knows this, she knows he cannot cope with seeing Sick people and hospitals give him nightmares - his grandma died of cancer 2 years ago and he desperately wanted to see her but it scared him rigid. She knows how upset the prospect of hospital visits make him and yet she still couldn't bring herself to prioritise her kids.

In the end my parents had them so I didn't have to subject him to it but they are not my parents responsibility, surely it should be that if dad can't have them then mum is the first port of call? She expects me to drop everything when she can't have them or arrange childcare so why does that not work in the reverse??!

OutToGetYou Sun 06-Mar-16 22:35:55

You won't change her. Be the bigger person and suck it up. The reed that flexes in the wind survives the longest.

And make dp do all the direct contact, it's not your responsibility. If he's on nights, he has to get up. Hard luck, if he was on days and his kid was sick in the night, he'd get up. Or if he was single and it was his kid, he'd get up.

Wdigin2this Sun 06-Mar-16 22:45:20

I never understand how anyone could. use their DC in battles with an ex? However, I agree with Out....your DP should have got up to look after his children while you took yours to the was an emergency!!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 07-Mar-16 00:27:33

Just be sure not to be flexible for her in the future. If you are taking the slack here, you and DP need to protect your own time and energy, so you can focus on your household and all the kids, including situations like this where you won't get support from their mum - prepare your DP so that he'll take them in future.

RudeElf Mon 07-Mar-16 00:33:17

Tbh i think you should have woken your DP to watch the DC. It was his contact time and up to him to step up in an emergency which this was. Its possible she had plans and was in the middle of them or on her way to somewhere.

Houseworkavoider Mon 07-Mar-16 01:28:07

The ex sounds like she has some issues that she needs to deal with.
Your Dp on the other hand.. I'm sorry but how useless is he?!
He slept through your dd needing emergency hospital treatment and wouldn't even watch his own Dc so you could concentrate on her.
His ex might be a pita, but why are you accepting this from him?

lunar1 Mon 07-Mar-16 06:03:51

Without question your dp should have got up. Who can sleep when their dd has a health emergency?

And even so how old are all the children? If one is 12 he could have supervised while your dp dozed. Hope your dd is ok now.

wheresthel1ght Mon 07-Mar-16 06:52:10

I do understand your comments however, my partner works 12 hour perm night shifts in a job where if he doesn't have his wits about him people's lives could be at risk. He also suffers a condition that makes it virtually impossible to wake him once he is asleep.

The kids are by no means old enough to be left with being fully supervised.

This post was for advice on how we deal with the double standards imposed by his exw not for you to attack him.

cansu Mon 07-Mar-16 07:06:18

She may well be a massive PITA but it is obvious that your dp should have got up especially as your dd was very ill. The stuff about him being hard to wake and doing v imp job is just bull really and I think you probably know that. The fact that you didn't get him up says a lot about him really. If he had been out then you may have had a point here.

davidcameroon Mon 07-Mar-16 07:29:10

12 year olds are old enough to be left supervised. You have a tv, games console or Internet for easy Internet right?
I think it's very unusual for a boy his age to not want to stay home and wake up his Dad if he needed. (I'm assuming he and you have phones so he could get text updates on what's happening with his half sister.)

Friendlystories Mon 07-Mar-16 07:49:38

Waking DP was my first thought too however my DH is also impossible to wake (no diagnosed condition just sleeps very heavily) and we both worked perm nights for years so I understand the effect it can have. We have also had a similar set of circumstances with DH's ex and her lack of flexibility wrt the DSC over the years so again I can sympathise. She would always happily agree if we wanted extra time with them but would kick up a fuss if we (very occasionally and only in an emergency) had to miss seeing them. She would also regularly not be at home when we went to drop them off, very upsetting for DSC and frustrating for us as it could be hours or even overnight sometimes before she showed up. I wish I could say it got better but actually it never did, DSC are young adults now and closer to us than they are to their mum even though they still live with her. We managed her behaviour rather than trying to change it after a while, expected that we would have DSC longer than arranged and basically made sure we never relied on their mum being there for them. Family support really helps, PIL's live 200 miles away so we had to rely on my parents in an emergency in much the same way you had to yesterday. It did seem unfair in one way but we've been fortunate that my DM in particular just accepted DH's kids as part of our family and treated them no different than her biological GC's. You can't change the ex's behaviour as a pp said so the only thing you can do is adjust your mindset to assume she will be unreliable so at least you're not constantly thrown for a loop when she changes arrangements at the last minute. We found it the only way to circumvent the anger when she let us (and more importantly the DSC) down and I think (hope) they felt more secure because they knew we would always be there and have time for them even when their mum didn't. I do think it's reflected in the relationship we have with them now, it's us they come to if they need help or advice and we see a lot of them considering they're typical teenagers with busy social lives. It seems odd advice I know, like saying you have to accept being messed around and treated with no consideration but ultimately it's the children who are most affected by an unreliable parent who doesn't put them first and they need to know they have someone who will be there for them. We found it easier in the end to just assume arrangements would be open ended and we would take them back when their mum was ready rather than at a set time, it meant the kids weren't upset because she wasn't there when she was supposed to be and we didn't get wound up by her messing us around. Hopefully incidents like yesterday will be few and far between but explaining things to extended family and enlisting their support so you know you can ask them in an emergency takes the stress out of it for you and DSC if you should need help in the future. flowers for you and I hope things are better with your DD now.

OutToGetYou Mon 07-Mar-16 10:20:41

"This post was for advice on how we deal with the double standards imposed by his exw"

You don't 'deal' with it at all I'm afraid, you just learn to live with it and be the bigger person. In other words, you suck it up. Trying to do anything else will drive you into the ground I'm afraid.

My dp's ex is a PITA, but hey ho. How does it help dss if his dm lets him down again and we bitch about it, or refuse to allow her not to have him (for the umpteenth time)? It doesn't. The kid/s come first - if their own mother won't prioritise them then you must.

The example you have given is very weak - it wasn't her responsibility and he reaction was completely fine. But I am sure she does lots of annoying things. Just ignore it all. It won't help you to dwell on it - be as flexible as you can. And make your DP deal with all the contact with her.

wheresthel1ght Mon 07-Mar-16 11:25:18

Fern that is how we have been trying to deal with it but is becomes wearing!

It's the kids I feel for the most, they are constantly palmed off on other people by her (she refuses to let do have them on his days off for example in school hols and then whinges that she has no help with childcare) and yesterday may be a poor example but is just one of many many occasions when she demands flexible contact because she needs to change something but refuses to be flexible when we need to change things.

We have asked a handful of times in 4 years and the answer is always no. Yet she kicks off if we say no.

My family are brilliant with the kids and like yours Fern they treat them no differently to their blood related GCs which I can't thank them enough for. I just think it is so sad that she cannot prioritise them. Especially as she drove past us yesterday and the kids noticed. She tried to tell dp that they had been out from early morning and been really busy until Dss pointed out she was lying.

Friendlystories Mon 07-Mar-16 14:49:20

It is unbearably sad for them, I remember feeling exactly the same seeing my DSC little faces fall when DH got back in the car having knocked to find she wasn't there when we'd gone to take them home for the umpteenth time. You can't understand why she can't prioritise them because you're a decent person and a good parent, I get it, we just got to the point where we stopped trying to understand it and, honestly, it was easier from that point. You shouldn't have to accept her being crap, her DC shouldn't have to accept her being crap, but the trouble is she is crap and fighting to understand or change that drains your emotional energy. In the end we put that energy into trying to be the best we could for the DSC, fill the hole she left with her crapness for them as best we could, it wasn't easy and it wasn't fair but it was the right thing to do for them. I used to worry myself sick about them when they weren't with us, she would do stuff like spending all her money on stupid things like tattoos (pics all over FB so we knew that's what she'd done) and then texting DH that she had no money for gas and electric so we would drive over at 6am after a full night shift and shove money through her letterbox so we knew the kids had heat and light. It sucked but we got to the point where we just did it without comment, even to each other, it just was how it was. Somehow they've grown into amazing young people, kind and respectful and both wanting more out of life than the example she's shown them, I'll be honest I take some satisfaction from that because I know it came from me and their dad. I got the sweetest message from DSD yesterday, wishing me happy Mother's Day and thanking me for all I do for her, it's been worth every minute I've spent worrying about them and bending over backwards to fill the gaps the ex left.

wheresthel1ght Mon 07-Mar-16 15:16:06

That's so lovely Fern! And you are right it is easier to just shrug and think we'll I know she is crap so why let it bug me. But and here is the thing, she is the one telling everyone how shit my dp is and kicking off to anyone who will listen because I refuse to take time off work to look after them. I get the bear minimum of holiday and it doesn't cover the time off my childminder has so I can't then use it for hers too unless it coincides with my childminder.

It's everything from agreeing Xmas visitation and then changing her mind with no notice. They are resident with her so we can't do anything and the kids always end up hurt.

I try so hard to compensate but it is really hard not to feel resentful. I love those kids with all my heart and it breaks my heart to see them idolise her when she couldn't give a stuff about them.

My mil summed it up just before she died when she said the kids were nothing more than a fashion accessory to her

Friendlystories Mon 07-Mar-16 17:26:53

Sounds awfully familiar OP sad including slagging DH off to anyone who would listen. It's funny though even her own family have no time for her now and their attitude to DH slowly changed over the years, it became obvious by the fact that he was always there for the kids and by their obvious love and respect for him as they got older that she was talking utter shit. It doesn't help at the time but people will see over time which parent puts themselves out for the DC and which one can't actually be bothered, ex's sister actually apologised to DH a few years ago and said she could see he'd been unfairly judged. It's bloody hard going trying to work round an inconsistent ex and I wish I had more practical advice to combat the things which are causing you problems, ultimately all you can do is your best for the kids and try not to expend too much energy getting wound up about the shit she puts you all through. The pay off (and it's bittersweet because the DSC will realise by then that their mum has let them down) is the relationship you will end up with when they grow up, our two know without a shadow of a doubt that we did (and still do) our best for them and that's the best you can hope for really, you can't change the ex only the way you react to the things she does flowers

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