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Situation with ExH

(178 Posts)
badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 10:30:19

Always had a good co parenting relationship with ExH.  Split 7.5 years ago.  Quick online divorce in April 2012.  Split equity etc. I’ve had a new DP for 5 years although we don’t live together.  

ExH moved 130 miles away to be with his new DP and her 4DC in January 2016 and since then our relationship has completely gone to pot.  He has reduced his maintenance to the CSA (ok, fair enough, but this wasn't what was agreed when we split) stopped contributing to school fees, stopped attending parents evenings, plays ets as, ‘she thinks he should make his own appointments’, doesn’t call our children, or show much interest, on his weekends doesn’t take our children to their activities or parties as she insists he takes them back to theirs. 

It has got to the stage where we no longer speak and the atmosphere on the doorstep at collection /drop off is awful.  When she is not around we are civil to each other and have a conversation.  She insists on being at every collection and drop off, albeit in the car, so that he no can longer pop in for a coffee and catch up re the children.  He has admitted she is jealous and insecure about me but there is no reason for her to be.  It has got really nasty over email and text.  I know he needs to stand up to her and grow a pair but I can’t help blaming her.  She has caused this shift in our set up. It was fine before she stared throwing her weight around.  He has blocked my mobile and will 'no longer answer emails', so how am I meant to make arrangements?!

My DP has 2DC with his ex and they co parent as we did previously and I have absolutely no problem with it, surely it’s about the children and their needs?

It makes me feel so down and upset for the children that it has come to this.

AlternativeTentacle Mon 11-Sep-17 10:32:54

Open door, close door, stop responding to the nastiness and if you get no response about arrangements, then you get no response.

Not alot you can do really.

Bibidy Mon 11-Sep-17 11:17:11

I sympathise badgerread, it's a tough position to be in.

It can be very difficult for the RP when the NRP gets into a new relationship and things begin to change when they've been settled for so long.

As difficult as it may be, I'd suggest inviting both of them in (purely because it sounds like you'll never get him alone) the next time they drop the children off to discuss communication. You need a way to contact your ex in case of emergency. Will he respond to text messages?

To be honest, I'd also urge you to think carefully about how much you really need from him, rather than focusing on the annoyances. If he's paying his maintenance and keeping to his planned visitation with the children, then do you really need more contact than that on a regular basis? Does it really matter if he attends school plays or parents evenings separately?

Think of ways around it - could you send a note with the children when they go to him, if anything important crops up re school etc that you think he needs to know? Or you could keep a diary that goes back and forth with them that you could both add things to?

I know it must be frustrating to feel that this woman has arrived and turned things upside-down, but if you really think about it you might come to find that you don't necessarily need the level of contact you had previously and you can manage fine without it.

It's his loss, he's the one who won't be hearing about his children's daily life.

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 11:34:49

Thanks Bibidy. I think that's what upsets me. That he's gone from a completely hands on interested Dad to just, not? I just can't get my head around why he doesn't want to be involved anymore and why he doesn't just tell her that he is going to carry on as before? I would never let my DP dictate to me about my children like that. I just need to let it go. As you say it's his loss 😔. I just feel for the children. You can just see them feeling really uncomfortable at the door.

SteppingOnToes Mon 11-Sep-17 11:43:17

Why are you blaming the girlfriend, blame your DP.

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 11:45:41

I said in my pp I realise he needs to stand up to her and grow a pair but I can't understand why she wouldn't encourage him to play a bigger part in his childrens lives? She has 4 of her own. She should understand?

RandomMess Mon 11-Sep-17 11:49:15

She wants him as Dad for her DC, she is putting her DC first.

Mama234 Mon 11-Sep-17 11:51:07

Totally his fault

Bibidy Mon 11-Sep-17 12:01:15

badgerread I guess living 130 miles away there's only so much hands-on involvement he can have now. And it makes sense to me that he wouldn't be able to take them to activites or parties on his weekends since he's that far away.

At new PU/DO could you suggest a weekly Skype for him and the children? That might be nice for them smile

From your first post (obviously I'm sure a lot is missed out so I could be way off the mark) it doesn't necessarily sound like he's not interested in the kids or that he doesn't want to be involved with just sounds like he's trying (probably, yes, at the behest of his girlfriend) to cut down extra contact with you. It might be that she has a more business-like relationship with the father of her kids, so she's questioned why he needs so much involvement with you etc etc.

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 12:06:46

The thing is he does have the opportunity of staying at his parents on the weekends he has them so he could take them to activities and parties. Which is what he did before he moved away. Football is their passion yet they are having to miss games because she insists they go back there? I don't think it's fair?

You have hit the nail on the head re contact. She is totally no contact with her ex..

thatdearoctopus Mon 11-Sep-17 12:13:36

Why is it "fair enough" that he's reduced his maintenance through the CSA? Was he paying more than their minimum suggestion previously?

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 12:37:13

Yes he was. He then unilaterally decided to reduce it...

Bibidy Mon 11-Sep-17 12:40:08

That's good that he has the option of staying with his parents but tbh I'm not surprised he's not too keen, I guess everyone would rather be in their own place. Unfortunately I think it's pretty normal that if the NRP lives far away that the children may be limited to EOW when it comes to their hobbies, though obviously it's not ideal for them.

Plus as the GF has 4 children of her own, it might also be that he wants your kids to get to know them and be part of the household in that sense. I've just seen another post with someone saying how hard it is to spend more time with your partner's children than your own, so it may be that he likes to include them in his home life rather than hosting them with his parents.

I thought that would be the case re her own co-parenting relationship.

TwoDots Mon 11-Sep-17 12:59:48

As hard as it is you need to accept he's moved on and has a new life. He's not ignoring the children, still has a relationship with them etc and sticking to arrangements. It is YOU he is detaching from and putting his new relationship as priority. I know it must hurt, but as long as he's still maintaining his responsibilities to his children then there's no concern if he doesn't pop in for a chat and coffee at pick up

I think expecting him to stay at his parents EOW is a little unfair

TwoDots Mon 11-Sep-17 13:01:08

And if he wants to go to parents evening separately then let him. At least he is going

ZenNudist Mon 11-Sep-17 13:08:07

The paying minimum maintenance is an issue. Why has he done this. And not paying school fees. Was that a devision you took together to go private.

Id be asking for a meeting to discuss money.

As for mot coming in a pu/do and not staying at his dps to facilitate kids activities it seems reasonable.

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 13:21:16

I have reams and reams of emails regarding money and his contribution to school fees but he says he has very little spare now due to 'additional responsibilities'. He agreed private yes. I can just about afford it but it obviously leaves me short. He still rocks up to school events (not parents evenings, plays etc but the occasional match) with her though while not contributing which grates a bit..

He doesn't atten parents evenings. At all. My DP does instead and has done since he decided not to....

TwoDots Mon 11-Sep-17 13:29:04

That is a shame about the parents evenings etc and I can understand the hurt there. I suppose with work commitments and the distance it is tricky

School fees are another area of unfairness but I don't suppose there's much you can do

Have the children said anything about the changes?

thatdearoctopus Mon 11-Sep-17 13:30:39

Two dots, as long as he's still maintaining his responsibilities to his children then there's no concern hmm
Didn't you read the OP? He has reduced his maintenance to the CSA..... stopped contributing to school fees, stopped attending parents evenings, plays ets as, ‘she thinks he should make his own appointments’, doesn’t call our children, or show much interest, on his weekends doesn’t take our children to their activities or parties

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 13:33:11

Not really. They do enjoy their time there although our eldest is becoming more resistant in going. He is a teen, has friends here and wants to hang out with them.

The younger one still enjoys going as apparently he is allowed free rein on technology 😁😁

TwoDots Mon 11-Sep-17 13:36:26

No I apologise. Read it too fast and missed or misinterpreted key points. Will teach me for reading at my desk

TwoDots Mon 11-Sep-17 13:37:28

I think if it's not affecting the children then some of it has to be let go, but dropping the school fees is very very unfair and needs to be addressed

MadMags Mon 11-Sep-17 13:43:38

You can't expect him to stay away from home every weekend so they can get to matches and parties.

Ideally, he wouldn't have moved so far away of course!

It's a shame about the maintenance but again - have his costs increased? I don't mean with her dc I mean fuel, living costs etc?

As a PP said he's perfectly entitled to withdraw from you and not have coffees etc. You should be able to contact him though!

Bibidy Mon 11-Sep-17 13:43:45

Problem with school fees is that if he says he can't afford them then there's no way to make him pay.

It may be the case that he genuinely can no longer afford to pay his share. Was he living with his parents beforehand so had a lot less expense to pay out?

badgerread Mon 11-Sep-17 13:48:43

He was contributing up until December then stop as I asked to swap weekends so that the children could attend my DM's surprise 70th party. He refused (for no reason whatsoever) didn't bother taking the swap and said that because of that he would stop contributing towards the fees. So he had been living with her for a year before stopping.

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