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Here we go again......

(10 Posts)
Nelli29 Tue 16-Aug-05 10:03:45

Hi everyone, Nelli here. I hope you are all fine. I was just after your opinion on our latest situation. Let me briefly explain. My dh and I took sd (who is 6) away for the first time last may , just for 3 days as that was all bm could cope with which we accepted. We had a great time and sd was very well behaved and a pleasure to be with. All dh family live abroad which is where we took sd, obviously to see cousins, uncle, nan,grandad etc... she loved it! Our issue is that bm hates my dh family. (with absolutely no reason i might add) anyway, they obviously miss us and sd so we thought we would take her back just for 3 days in september. In the meantime bm is expecting and is due begining of sept. Not wanting to upset bm too much as she is not very reasonable at the best of times let alone with all those hormones racing around, we spoke to her husband who we've always thought was very nice. He said to go ahead and book it and he would work on it with her, so she wouldn't hopefully be too upset. Not that she should be as my dh is a wonderful father and we do everything we can for sd and yet we are only 'allowed' to have her every other weekend for 1 or 2 nights and never any longer than that in the holidays or at christmas! and its always on bm's terms.
Anyway we booked the flights for end sept, discussed with sd who said she couldn;t wait and could we go for longer!! Last night dh rang bm to 'discuss' and let her know what we had done. She has gone balistic, said we've gone behind her back , her husband denied having said anything to us at all!!! I was there I heard what he said!! So we now look like the bad ones and although sd really wants to go it will only take a couple of words from bm to change her mind!! Dh has now said he is going to take bm to court to sort out access properly, which I think is the only option we have left for the sake of sd and dh. Has anyone else been through this process? Are we being unreasonable?

NotActuallyAMum Tue 16-Aug-05 10:28:41

No I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. I have to say though that I don't think it was a good idea to speak to her husband about this holiday but I think you've already found that out!

I agree that it seems to be your only option to arrange access officially. That way you'll all know exactly where you stand and I think this is fairer on everyone - including you as you'll be able to plan your life better and not have to wonder when sd is going to visit

No experience of this to advise you on I'm afraid but I really do think it'll be better for everyone involved if you get something official in place

jojo38 Thu 18-Aug-05 08:22:59

I have to agree that not speaking to BM about this has probably got her back up. Power is a wonderful thing and BM madams will use it - to the detriment of the children if necessary - to wield power over you. Looks like this is what has happened here.

If necessary, you can go to court and have it out. Perhaps she needs to know that she has won some thing. I am sure a court will allow you to take your sd on holiday... after all it is a reasonable request.

Good luck

Caligula Thu 18-Aug-05 08:39:41

Yep, very bad move to go behind her back and I wouldn't have spent money on booking the holiday unless she had agreed. If her new baby is due in September, she may well want all her family together with the new member and may feel that you are deliberately trying to spoil what will be a joyful time in her life by removing her dd. OTOH, had it been suggested to her as an opportunity for her to concentrate on the new baby while DD was out of the way for a bit, she may have been more amenable to the suggestion.

It sounds like you have such a bad relationship with her that the only way contact arrangements can be sorted is in the courts. (And her new DP sounds like an arse quite frankly. What on earth does he think he's playing going behind her back and then denying he's been involved? What a destructive role he's played in this.)

otto Thu 18-Aug-05 14:26:46

You really do need a proper contact agreement so both sides know where they stand. This should include what you do at Christmas, New Year and other holidays. If it's any help, we do alternate weekends, alternate Christmas and New Year and roughly half of the holidays. Holidays away are taken during the time that we have pre-arranged to have sd.

tab3 Thu 18-Aug-05 17:10:56

Dont beat ur self up over talking to bm's husband. u did what you thought was best. Unfortunately with stepkids and not very nice ex partners the current wife can never win!(well thats how it feels) You are fortunate that you even wan to take the child away-im having great difficulty with my two skids-i just dont trust them. My hubby's boy is 10 but he's a puppet for him crazy mum. when we did have brief contact withe him-he used to insult my cooking and bully my li'l lad who was two at the time!! Very insuting as his mum never cooked for him, his aunties had to cook and wash his clothes because she could'nt be bothered!!
Im finding this whole situation quite tricky to deal with so any advice would be most welcome!!

Nelli29 Fri 19-Aug-05 09:25:11

Thanks for all your replies - The weird thing is after alot of hard work on all our parts, we had come to a good place in our relationship and all got on reasonably well. I was dropping sd home by myself and even going in for a chat with bm before driving home. I don't understand it. In the past I have rung bm when either sd wanted to talk to her or I felt she needed to know something and although she does tend to go up and down it hasn't been this bad for a while. My sister just had a little girl who my dh is godfather and her christening in on a sunday which is not our weekend but bm agreed to let sd come as she really wanted to. Now since all this she is saying that they will be 'busy'!! I am obviously aware that she is not mine but I was really looking forward to it as my family and sd have all become closer these last few months and its just so frustrating that you try to do so much for them and treat them as 'your own' and then it can all be taken away from you with one word from sd. Its hurtful , although inevitable I suppose.

otto Fri 19-Aug-05 13:49:13

I realise you are disappointed that sd can't attend the Christening on Sunday and it sounds as if this will probably upset sd. While I never agree with using children as weapons to get at exes I can see why BM is upset and is behaving like this. You did go behind her back to organise the holiday in September, so it is you and your dh who have upset the applecart on this occasion. I am a stepmum, so I do understand how tricky these situations can be, but I'm also a mum and would hate it if anybody did this with my ds. I think you need to try and look at it from her point of view. A contact agrement would help as you would be free to book holidays during pre-arranged access time.

shimmy21 Fri 19-Aug-05 14:01:54

hmmm - on one hand to be brutally frank if my dh (with whom I live very happily) booked my ds a holiday without my knowledge I would be livid, let alone if an estranged xp did it. If I was pg too I would probably flip and become a raving frothing lunatic.

on the other hand sd is dh's daughter too and he has as much right to book her a holiday as bm does and it can only harm sd for her not to be allowed to go and all the argueing.

What's in sd's best interets? I suppose my tactic here would be eat big humble pie. Try to build the bridges by admitting it was a mistake (even if you have a very good moral case too) and let bm win this one or there will be a lot of trust lost. I don't have personal experience but court always seems to be painful and not very effective experience for people who've told their stories on here. Happy to stand corrected though.

otto Fri 19-Aug-05 14:16:08

I don't think you have to go to court to have a contact agreement. Neither dp or his ex went to court at any point during their divorce. The contact agreement was drawn up through mediation, but something simple like that can be done without third-party involvement. I don't know how you would process it through the court though. The local county court will be able to advise. The problem with contact agreements is that there is no way of enforcing them, but this seems to be more of a problem with errant dads.

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