sigh - here we go again

(19 Posts)
TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 11:22:42

Just a vent really, there's nothing that can be done.

Since DH and I met, it's been one long roller coaster in relation to his DCs, who are torn between their feuding parents. There have been false allegations, court cases, social service reports, arrests, police involvement.

The chaos seems to follow a pattern - DHs ex gets upset that the DCs have a relationship with DH, and takes action to prevent it, which DH fights with limited effect, then his exW appears to feel guilty, so pushes the DCs into getting in touch/spending time with him, and then it all begins again.

We have been in a low/no-contact period for the last two and a half years - after ex applied to court to stop all contact and remove PR because DHs DS felt scared of DH and refused to come to our home because of me.

From my perspective, the last 2 years have been fabulous, no drama - DH has dutifully taken his DS out for father/son activities every other weekend for a couple of hours as that's all that DHs ex wanted him to do, and his DS wasn't prepared to go against his mum. I've not seen DHs DS in that time, and he's not come to our home.

Over the last couple of weeks, DHs ex has increased contact with DH via emails and calls again. DH has had no direct contact with her for over a year, as his DS is now teenage and old enough to liaise with directly, so he ignored her calls, and hasn't replied to her emails.

DHs DS contacted him last night and asked if he could pop round to our house today to drop off a gift for DH. DHs exW will be giving DHs DS a lift to get here, so she is obviously supporting this. DH thinks it may even have been his exW idea and that she may even have bought the gift as he knows his DS doesn't have the independence/money etc to go shopping etc alone.

I have a feeling of dread. I fear that it's all going to begin again - the allegations, the drama, the disruption, just as I'd let my guard down and dared to think we may have been free of all that. I know it's the price I pay for marrying DH, and I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's so exhausting.

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 13:03:10

Shit. His adult DD has now made contact with him for the first time in years, too. sad

Fourormore Wed 18-May-16 13:07:08

I want to be all optimistic and say perhaps this could be the beginning of things changing but that probably says more about my continued futile hope for my situation than for yours.
As awful as it must have been to come to the point of such reduced contact, it sounds like bliss in some ways and I'm not surprised you feel unsettled at that potentially being disturbed.
Keeping everything crossed for you flowers

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 13:21:06

Thanks four. - I've had those "new beginning" hopes before - only to have them shattered; by something that I am neither a part of or even aware of.

I had just started to make plans for a new career, which I fear I may now have to put on hold - another round of allegations and accusations while in the role I am hoping secure would result in very public embarrassment. If it was just me, I would probably take the risk, but my DD would also be affected.

Orangecookie Wed 18-May-16 19:44:00

Sounds demoralising... I get a feeling from you that you feel out of control.

I guess it's a case of protecting yourself as much as possible. Be selfish and I'd take the risk with the job.

navylily Wed 18-May-16 20:11:27

I can see why it's worrying.

Do you think that now they're a bit older though, and it's been a long while since either of them stayed over, it might be possible to move on to a different type of relationship with them? One where there aren't any expectations of them living with you and DH at all, where they are very clearly visitors and treated as such, so you're not ever really going to be left in charge of them much as your DH will be there if they're visiting?

Does sound like no matter how unwilling to share parenting your DH's ex is, she's not completely adverse to them having some sort of relationship with your DH, or ever coming into contact with you, which has to be good.

I wouldn't put your career plans on hold though. Just only get as involved with DH's DCs as you feel you can safely do without putting yourself at risk - eg only see them when he's around, or even only in public. Must be really hard seeing children you were once close to but haven't seen for such a long time, and unsettling.

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 20:14:21

It's not so much as feeling out control as the expectations of me, I think - after two and a half years, what am I meant to do? Welcome DHs DS into our home, forgetting about everything that has gone before?

He made false allegations about me, and lied about factual issues - such as how long he'd known me for.

Yes, he was, and is, a child, but he has demonstrated that he can say no do things that have significant impact on other people's lives. DH had to step down from his voluntary roles while allegations were being investigated, and I lost business contracts due to things DHs ex said to friends.

He's here now. After 2 and a half years, he can just turn up, as if nothing has happened. I'm not sure I'm a big enough person to cope with that.

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 20:17:07

Do you think that now they're a bit older though, and it's been a long while since either of them stayed over, it might be possible to move on to a different type of relationship with them?

Only if that's what DHs ex wants. If she wants DHs DS to stay over (possibly because other overnight cover when she's working has broken down) , then either DH agrees, or we'll have another round of drama as she tells everyone what a dreadful father he is and how I've poisoned him against his own DCs.

Fourormore Wed 18-May-16 20:21:10

He's here now. After 2 and a half years, he can just turn up, as if nothing has happened. I'm not sure I'm a big enough person to cope with that.

I'd take it slowly. It sounds like the whole situation has had a devastating effect on everybody (except the exW, typically!). It'd be abnormal to not need quite some time to recover from that.
I know you know about Karen Woodall's work and I wonder if anything she's written could help you, or whether you could access their support services for a session or two to support you?

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 20:31:13

Day has seen Karen four - unfortunately following her advice escalated the situation and she conceded that it's unlikely that she can help.

I know the theory, I just need to learn to deal with my emotions - I'm certainly not ready to see either of DHs DCs again yet, and it did hurt to see our pets rushing to greet DHs DS like a long lost friend.

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 20:31:38

DH has seen Karen, that should say !

Fourormore Wed 18-May-16 20:36:34

I can really understand that.
Our situation is on a knife edge at the moment and I'm really struggling with the DSC being in our house because it just feels like a reminder of the damage she's causing.
It's such a lonely and isolating thing to go through. I can't even begin to imagine what's it's like to hear that an "expert" in PA can't help or what you do then.

I'd just look out for you for a while. You'll get there, one way or another flowers

Janefromuptheshops Wed 18-May-16 21:18:32

When you say she's tried to get in contact recently what kind of things was she contacting him about?

I would find it very tough to have someone in my house who had actively lied about it.

But.....like you say, he was a child at the time. When you say teenager how old is he?

I have to say I don't believe in parental alienation and am glad the courts don't also. Karen Woodall is really something else!

Janefromuptheshops Wed 18-May-16 21:19:01

*about me

Fourormore Wed 18-May-16 21:22:52

am glad the courts don't also

This isn't factually correct.

navylily Wed 18-May-16 21:24:49

I don't think you should have to suddenly welcome them into your home if it's caused you so much harm to have done so in the past. If your DH's ex wants him to look after DS could he babysit at hers, rather than having him at yours? Or just say that no that's not feasible right now - he'll go on taking him out at the weekend like he's done before. Or take him away if it's just the odd night. Your DH has been denied overnight contact for 2+years. I can't see why he should suddenly be required to go back to it. And he's not been asked to do that yet has he? If his DS is now a teen then he's maybe getting old enough to leave home alone anyway, so that should lesson the risk of your DH being needed as childcare.

Janefromuptheshops Wed 18-May-16 21:32:11

Fourormore

How so? In my experience they take a very dim view of people citing parental alienation. I would be interested to read anything that says different? (Just not a Karen W link!)

Fourormore Wed 18-May-16 21:39:31

From Re S 2010:
44. In my judgment of 15 June 2009 I accepted both the concept of alienation and the fact that S is alienated from his father.

There's a host of PA related case law on The Custody Minefield website.

I agree, they do take a dim view and often they act too slowly. The term "implacable hostility" generally describes the same phenomenon and is more readily accepted.

PA Syndrome has been widely discredited and I agree with that. The problem isn't the child, it is their environment.

TimeforaNNChange Wed 18-May-16 22:49:19

My DHs DS is not old enough to be left home alone navy - he's only just a teen. His Mum works regular night shifts and relies on grandparent care - if that is breaking down, then DH really is the only option.

The recent emails have been about incidentals - things that DS had told DH about, or reiteration of arrangements that she had sent through previously.

There is no court ordered overnight contact - but what Dad wouldn't want to re-establish that kind of relationship? DH is so torn - he knows I'm struggling, but desperately wants to be a part of DS's life.

Sadly, we went through something similar with DH's DD - several years of no contact in line with her mums desire then a re-establishment of contact, only for it to break down chaotically after thefts, emergency medical care and police involvement. I'm really not sure I can go through all that again, with either of them.

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