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to think that non resident parents should have to take some responsibility?

187 replies

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 10:59

EX H and have been separated for 4 1/2 years. He lives with someone else (who epitomises the evil step-mother and has been pushing and needling since they got together about my maintenace and how often they have access) and I am happy with my new OH - we don't live together.

He has them every other weekend and once in the week meaning he collects them from school one night and drops them off one morning (I work full time and have planned my working week around this for the last four years). This is all agreed in our divorce.

Him having them in the week means he also sees one of our DC who isn't his biologically but has called him dad since he could talk and who my ex decided wanted to continue to see after we split up. This DC sees the biological father every other weekend.

Decree absoloute came through last week.

First I knew about it was a nasty email from ex saying "congratulations" we are now divorced Hmm he is basically not going to do anything he has agreed to do, will not be helping with school runs or having the kids in the week (therefore not seeing one of our DC's anymore). I was at work and he phoned the kids before I got home and had a chance to talk to them, apparently he was at the airport and has fucked off gone on holiday to Spain for two weeks leaving me to deal with the fall out.

AIBU to feel incredibally angry that he has the audacity to think it is morally right to pick and chose what he does and doesn't do and just leave me to carry the can? What if I just decided I didn't want to bother doing everything I do anymore? Obviously I have no choice but to suck this up and deal with it, and support my children through it.

AIBU to feel throughly pissed off for my kids (esp the one who has basically been rejected by someone they have called dad) and at the attitude of some of my friends and family who think I should be grateful that he has "stuck around" at all - and for any scraps he throws at me.

This is someone who chose to have children with me and who I spent 10 years of my life with.

OP posts:
kreecherlivesupstairs · 30/05/2011 11:01

YANBU. Why would the completion of your divorce change things? If they had been ticking along well for the period leading up the the decree absoloute I don't understand.

cookcleanerchaufferetc · 30/05/2011 11:01

How old are the dcs?

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 11:03

Between 8 and 13, they want to continue to go, and have asked why they aren't "allowed" to go anymore.

OP posts:
DoMeDon · 30/05/2011 11:07

YANBU to feel angry for you and your DC. He is being irresponsible and selfish. Can you take him to court over this? He has made agreements in the divorce and is now not sticking to them. Ultimately you cannot make him be a decent father (or human being) though. As for his new wife - don't waste your energy - you have no idea what drivel he has fed this deluded woman and the scales will fall from her eyes soon enough.

Your family are completely wrong that you should be grateful - he is doing the minimum in seeing/paying for his DC. I would remind them that as their father it is should be his absolute pleasure to see them and any suggestion that you be grateful shows a lack of brain power on their part.

As for feeling you have no choice to suck it up - I would disagree. You have a choice - to be a good mother or not- you are choosing to be a good mother and deserve to take the credit for that Smile

chinam · 30/05/2011 11:09

What a prick. Sorry, can't think of anything constructive to say.

fuckmepinkandcallmerosie · 30/05/2011 11:11

Oh I have this from my ex. I've just had a tense phone call sorting out access over the next week and a half because he's decided to chop and change things. He has just tried to shaft me with having them next weekend, and if you search on my name you'll see that my DP has plans for the weekend, so I had to tell him no, I can't keep them. I am apparently a bad mother for not wanting to have my own children. Sad I do want them, but I want him to stick to what has been agreed and then I can plan my life and know what I'm doing. And I'm allowed a life with DP and we've arranged (well he's arranged) something and I should be allowed to stick to the plans wrt the kids. But it doesn't suit the ex so he wants to change stuff. GRRRR Sorry for hijack.

YANBU he's being a prick.

cookcleanerchaufferetc · 30/05/2011 11:11

Firstly you are not being unreasonable. It looks like your ex was being nice just to get the divorce. As he has left it to you to deal with I would tell the kids the truth in language they understand. The older one may see what a twat your ex has been anyway whilst the younger one won't so much. Keep it slightly vague and say that your ex will explain fully when he returns as you don't understand either. I assume your exs OH has had an input into your exs behaviour....she sounds lovely! Does your ex plan to see them at all? Is he paying anything? Hope you are okay. It is beyond belief how parents can hurt their own children.

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 11:26

Callmerosie, have had the same.

YANBU wanting to be able to make plans without your DC while their other parent cares for them.

She is horrible his new g/f I could elaborate but won't.

OP posts:
xstitch · 30/05/2011 11:30

Your poor DC :( Although I have the opposite problem XH wants complete and utter finite control of my life.

Yukana · 30/05/2011 11:50

I agree with cookcleaner. Tell your children the truth (in a way they can understand and won't drop a boulder on their heads of course), and in time they will learn to understand that their father unfortunately doesn't care, and that they should continue to be happy without him.

I probably worded the previous paragraph badly, but my father abandoned me and my mother from the word 'go' (basically when he found out she was pregnant), and yet still continues to be part of my life (about once a year, when he can be arsed). I realised from a young age that he's a crap father and no matter how much effort I put in he couldn't give a toss. In the end, I just learned to love my mother twice as much. :)

Make sure they know it is not their fault. They have not done anything wrong and are wonderful just as they are.

NulliusInVerba · 30/05/2011 12:00

YANBU. Society as a whole needs to change and sorry to say it, as i know you phrased your OP to say "non- resident parent", but it needs to change in terms of men and the attitude that they can father children left right and centre and just piss off. It is mostly men acting this way, and when a woman does it she has alot more grief from society than men do.

The father of my DC does absolutly nothing. Not a penny, ever, never see's her not a card or present in her life.

Apparently, in 2011, this is just fine.

I get very very angry sometimes, thinking why did i get 100% of the responsibility, all the bad bits, for a child that is 50% his.

Your ex sounds like his is having a bit of a paddy, a spiteful childish one at that. I'd say he is looking for a reaction. Dont give it to him.
After his two weeks away, with no phonecall from you asking why and begging for him to be a good dad, he might just think to himself "oh dear, im not the be-all and end-all and im not holding all the cards" . Then once hes calmed down from his little power trip you can decide what you and the DC's want.

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 12:16

Totally agree with you Nulluis.

Also wonder what kind of man finds attractive the "quality" in a woman who has actively destroyed our friendship and encouraged him to cut links with his own kids.

I love my OH's kids and bend over backwards so we can have them.

OP posts:
NulliusInVerba · 30/05/2011 12:59

Yes, I wonder wether she will feel the same when its her own children. Also what do women find attractive about a man prepared to dump his own children? Another society issue, how its become acceptable. If I had a new partner and found out he had children that he didnt bother with, it would be over.

Newbabynewmum · 30/05/2011 13:07

NIV I think exactly the same thing constantly! How can people be with a man like that?!

Op I'm very sorry. Really shitty for your DC's and you. I for the idea of not contacting him and then when he gets in touch tell him how you and your DC's want it to work. Keep a diary of all this too for the future if you ever go to court etc

Sylvaniasandwich · 30/05/2011 13:07

Oh wow, that is horrible. You need to be very very careful with the way you talk to your kids. If they have a selfish dad it is even more important that you - their mum - protect them and look after their emotional needs.

I agree you should say that they can talk to their dad when he gets back from holiday - say there is some confusion about what is happening and you all need to talk to ex to sort things out. Assume that this is a hiccup and that their dad is not rejecting them.. and then deal with the fall-out if that is indeed their case.

I would also talk to your solicitor - because your maintenance may well have been based on him having the dcs for one night a week. If he isn't, there are costs involved and he may need to pay a bit more. Check out where the situation will leave you.

And - as a stepmum - I would urge you not to focus your anger on the other woman, which will not help the current situation and will certainly not help your children, who need to have a reasonable relationship with her.

ladyGeraldine · 30/05/2011 13:10

Yanbu. He will wake up one day to see how vile he and she are. Like animals some stepmums want rid, only difference is nowadays it is done covertly with games.

fuckmepinkandcallmerosie · 30/05/2011 13:12

My new DP has no kids. DD said the other day "If I was stuck and I needed picked up I'd phone you and then I'd phone

ladyGeraldine · 30/05/2011 13:15

It amazes me how people fall for the lie of the bitter ex wife, and allow dead beat dads off the hook.

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 13:20

She put one of her own kids into care when they were 11 or 12 Hmm.

He doesn't communicate with me at all.

I emailed a while ago over concerns that she was being very mean about me to my kids (she has never met me - in 3 years). He didn't reply he and she just printed the email out and read it to the kids Hmm.

They can't stand her and her controlling ways (unfortunately he moved into her house - and all his parenting values have gone and now morphed into hers which are very different) - they choose to go because they want a reltionship with their father in spite of her.

I feel he is in a very abusive relationship and have contacted his parents expressing my concerns but they have ignored me/not responded.

I replied to his email very calmly pointing out that in the end he will be the loser.

OP posts:
QuackQuackSqueak · 30/05/2011 13:21

What a wanker!

skeletonbones · 30/05/2011 13:25

YANBU and I'm sorry to hear that your ex is acting this way. I think the best course of action at this point is as NulliusInverbia said, take the next couple of weeks while he is away to consider what you and DC's want in regards to future contact. Tell the kids the truth in that you are not sure why he is acting like this and you will discuss things with him when he returns and try to find a solution.

I too get regularly infuriated with the way some people view an absent parents rights and responsibilities, some of threads on here which start with 'my ex pays £53 a month for my four DC's 'or something like and then replies are 'you should think yourself lucky mine pays nothing' or 'my ex is aften drunk, lives in a filthy hovel with two walls missing and regularly leaves my two year old on her own while he goes out to buy more cider, should I stop overnight contact?' and replies go 'no you unreasonable woman he is their FATHER and therefore sacred and allowed by some magic rule to disregaurd all norms of decent behaviour' often astound me!

slightlyunbalanced · 30/05/2011 13:37

I don't have a leg to stand on legally - and this is what pisses me off tbh, we've gone through all this agreeing this and that and the other and it all seems pointless if he can just do this.

I am totally restricted (can't have my partner move in - get married without having to pay him his share of the house when I have payed the mortgage alone for 5 years argh!!) while he swans around dictating to me what he is and isn't going to do for OUR children.


OP posts:
perplexedpirate · 30/05/2011 13:41

I wonder if these men know the utter disdain their children will feel towards them in later life? I last saw my father when I was 3, twenty -ahem- years ago. Watching DH with DS now, I just cannot imagine what would make a parent turn their back on a child. There really is no excuse, it's the worst kind of wankerdom.
It really pisses me off when people bang on about "single mothers" and how dreadful they are (not on here, I'm talking generally). Shouldn't it be absent fathers we're focussing on? Why is abandoning your family somehow more acceptable than staying and bringing up a child alone. These women are the ones who stayed with the child, we should be praising and supporting, not condemning them.

OP, you obviously have the best interests of your children at heart and sound like you're an ace and very supportive Mum to them. As long as they've got that they'll thrive.
I did Smile.

ladyGeraldine · 30/05/2011 13:48

Another midlife fool, sigh. These planks male and female live in fantasy land with the fellow deluded new partner and abuse and lie, mostly a few years later they come back to reality and depending on the level of shame will take responsibility or more likely create more fantasy and blame the new partner. Grandparents generally will do sod all but look out for themselves then cry and pretend to be victims.

xstitch · 30/05/2011 13:51

The law is always on the side of the absent fuckwit IME :(

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