Or is my exH being inonsiderate.
JakeBullet · 15/06/2013 12:49
I'll try and be as brief as possible about this.
I have been separated from my exH for the past 5 years. When we separated he agreed to pay me £200 a month towards DS.
In that time he has mostly paid it every single month bar one.
Recently it has gone into the account in dribs and drabs, so £50 here and there. It's a nightmare as planning is harder for me.
Occasionally I have had to borrow from my Mum and she has not a good word for my exH, she actually hates him for his behaviour (the reason he and I split...not DV).
He lives 250 miles away, rarely takes DS away and is self employed as an actor which he gave up a secure job for. He gets regularish work, but his pay is dependant on people paying him on time.
I am feeling a tad miffed at the moment because he has booked himself a holiday without DS. He has booked it in term time for cost reasons but I feel he could have booked a cheaper place in school holidays and actually taken DS away.
In the meantime I have had £50 in the past 5 weeks and it is a struggle.
DS is autistic and as he has got older and harder to manage I have had to give up work so am reliant on benefits. The last time I raised the money issue with him he ranted away that it had been my decision "to give up work" and the he was waiting for money to come in and had been phoning round all the morning to try and get money for me. He then posted a "woe is me" status on FB to the tune of "I've been accused of being a crap father" which his friends and family then piled in to with their thoughts about me. Not least was his sister's reference to me as "the benefits queen" despite the fact that I have 30 years of full time work behind me (am quite old).
I am trying to gather my thoughts at the moment in order to approach him again. I think my concerns are:
The holiday when he has never taken DS on holiday ever. He works all summer and takes DS with him so he can take part but it isn't a 1-1 father/son time.
The lack of regular money from him. To be fair, when he HAS money then he is helpful and has done things like buy DS trousers. I realise that many many Dads out there never contribute anything so I feel in a way I should be grateful tht he does.
The lack of 1-1 time spent with DS in general. he has never done the "very other weekend" thing that many Dads do. If he DOES take DS away then it is to his parents so that he ha no hotel bills etc to pay, plus in-laws are generous in buying meals etc.
I also have spoken to him recently about his handing of DS. His last girlfriend finished with him as she felt he was bad tempered and was unhappy bout how he grabbed DS when DS was being difficult. Then two weeks ago while I was in town (exH was with us) DS was being a bit argumentative. ExH literally grabbed DS by the neck of his T-shirt and yanked him towards him. I went absolutely spare as DS was sobbing, and I told exH that it was absolutely NOT acceptable to handle ANY child like this and definitely NOT to handle DS in this way. I told DS later that what his Dad had done was NOT okay and that I wanted to hear about it if he ever did that again. DS says that "Daddy DID say sorry Mum" so I know it was regretted immediately.
But it's all niggling at me. AIBU or should I be grateful that he IS paying something and DOES show some interest and express love for his DS.
kim147 · 15/06/2013 13:01
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Message withdrawn at poster's request.
jammiedonut · 15/06/2013 13:26
Is this a formal agreement on maintenance? Im a bit confused by your post. It seems odd that you don't see £200 a month (bar one month) as not regular. I think the only way you can solve this is by going through the csa to get a set date that money goes in, unfortunately you may find that due to your exh's unsteady income you may receive less than what you agreed with him. Also, why would you want your exh to take your son on holiday when you are unhappy with the way he handles him?
I'm by no means sticking up for your exh, he shouldn't be considered a good dad purely because he pays for his son and sees him/ displays love and affection- these are bare minimums that should be expected of any father, but I'm not sure what would make you happy or what your expectations are. You would for instance be very unreasonable to expect a 500 mile round trip every other weekend so he could be like 'other dads'.
How old is your ds? Can you work part-time at all to pull in extra funds or does he need constant care due to SN?
JakeBullet · 15/06/2013 14:56
Yes it was an informal agreement and tbh I wait until he has been paid until I ask for anything from him.
No I honestly do not expect him to do a 500 mile round trip to do the "every other weekend" thing but quite honestly he makes no real effort to spend time with DS.
I was working part time and before that full time, I gave up work when it became apparent that the lack of sleep was making it difficult for me to do my job effectively. I was making errors of judgement which as a nurse is not acceptable. I am currently doing other things and hopefully this will lead to work in schools. I am also volunteering to support other parents as well.
Yes the holiday thing is more because I feel exH needs to spend more time with DS so that he learns how to cope with him effectively. At present he is staying in the spare room when he works in this area. He tends even the to leave things to me and does not make much effort to interact with DS. Instead he sits with his laptop.
I can cope with him staying as generally things are amicable between us and DS likes being with us both.
DS is 10 and as he is getting older is challenging me more and more. This has now been witnessed by DS's counsellor who said she feels he "crosses a line" and expressed concern about my safety when DS is melting down.
I'd like his Dad to give me much more help practically but it seems he cannot cope with him. I feel this can only be addressed by them sending more 1-1 time together than is currently happening.
I don't think I am explaining things well either. It doesn't help that my Mum who really dislikes exH is very negative about him to me. I accept some things and then Mum makes me wonder if I SHOULD be just accepting the status quo iykwim.
livinginwonderland · 15/06/2013 17:10
Re: the money - could you not get him to pay you weekly? Instead of £200 every month, maybe £50 a week as standard might be easier for him to come by and it would mean you could plan things properly. It does seem as though his pay is irregular, which could mean that by the time his maintenance to DS is due, he owes bills/rent/etc. You would miss £200 in one go much more than £200 spread out over four weeks, if that makes sense.
Re: his behaviour. He's not around DS regularly so he probably doesn't have much of an idea of how to handle his meltdowns and his behaviour. He obviously regretted what happened but if he's not "used" to it, he probably finds it a bit difficult to deal with (not that you find it easy!) - I hope that makes sense!
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