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Contact, mobile phones, inappropriate texts

18 replies

littlecritter · 13/12/2010 09:29

XP and I are going through a very acrimonious break up after I discovered his affair of 2.5 years with a family friend. DS age 9 says he does not want to see him but hopefully that will change eventually.

XP insists on texting him via my phone but the texts include emotive messages like, 'I never meant to hurt you and Mum', 'I'm sorry' and 'please look after your Mum for me'. The texts are not used to make any contact arrangements.

XP say if I withold the texts he will buy ds his own phone and there is nothing I can do about it. He says he will text him every day and ds can see him whenever he wants.

I have suggeted a more formal arrangement eg. contact every Wed and Fri unless ds chooses not to and ds can text xp whenever he want to, not the other way round. If ds asked to see xp in between I would try to accommodate it if possible but I am not going to drastically alter my life for this.

How do I get this arrangement in place? Any talk of solicitors will inflame the situation which could very easily break down even further. XP has never applied for Parental Responsibility but I want to be reasonable about this.

OP posts:
Niceguy2 · 13/12/2010 10:03

ok first of all I would say that him buying DS his own phone may not actually be a bad idea.

As for contact arrangements, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Trust me on that one.

All you can do is keep reiterating that the best thing for DS is to have a set routine. Doesn't really matter what said routine is as long as you both agree. The whole "can see him whenever he wants" thing is bullshit. It doesn't work.

My mate at the moment is doing it with his wife. I'm going to fire a rocket up his arse later this week as I'm losing patience with him. What usually is meant by this is "You look after the kids and I'll have them when it suits." Not fair and I think you are on the right track.

To be honest these things take time and whilst the emotions are high, it won't be easy to sort. Took me years to get everything settled with my ex.

littlecritter · 13/12/2010 10:23

Thank you, Niceguy. I agree that a mobile for ds is not a bad idea but only if there is also a regular contact arrangement in place aswell.

You are absolutely right about xp seeing ds "whenever it suits". I am left with all the responsibilities, decision making, daily drudge. What example is this setting ds about relationships and how men should treat women?

OP posts:
hairyfairylights · 13/12/2010 13:34

Actually, I think you are being a bit unreasonable.

Why do you need such formal arrangements for 'contact' (hate that word) - you could start with a 50/50 arrangement, if your DS wants.

I understand your own hurt, but as hard as it is, you must not let that cloud your son's relationship with his father.

hairyfairylights · 13/12/2010 13:35

Just to add to that.

'contact' implies a lack of responsibility, which is why I hate it so much.

It should be about both parents taking equal responsibility wherever possible, or as close to this as is possible (and that means both parents facilitating that to happen, rather than seeing it as 'contact').

Niceguy2 · 13/12/2010 13:49

Not seeing why asking for a formal arrangement is being unreasonable. It could be 50-50 or every other weekend. As long as they both agree, its fine.

What is a tad unreasonable is to tie the mobile issue with contact. I don't see why ex needs to agree contact for him to provide DS with a mobile.

littlecritter · 13/12/2010 14:08

I am worried about the phone because XP is sending ds messages that refer to our relationship and are not appropriate in my opinion. But, I agree, that is only my opinion and xp should have a 50% say in his upbringing.

But surely, if one parent leaves then they can't just expect to swan in and out of the family home when it suits them? XP is living with his parents and uses that as an excuse to stay overnight here in order to see ds (I work nights). It is true that his parents are elderly and ds is happier here. It would be a strain for ds to stay at his grandparents and I am being made to feel guilty about that. I have bent over backwards to maintain ds's relationship with his dad including telling ds some humongous lies so that he doesn't hate him even more.

OP posts:
hairyfairylights · 13/12/2010 14:13

No, he can't expect to 'swan in' to the family home whenever it suits. It would be far better if you do get a general arrangement of when the child will be with you, and when the child will be with him,(in his new, stable home with some flexibility if needed ). However in the interim, for the good of the child, he needs to be facilitated somehow to maintain the relationship with , and the responsibility for, the children/child.

I think it sounds a little as if you are looking for reasons not to have your son stay over at his father's parents, tbh.

he's left you, that is really hard, but it is both of your duty to ensure that the relationship is maintained.

Being elderly is not a reason for him not to stay Confused.

You should not lie to your son, but you should not tell the whole truth about adult matters either.

cestlavielife · 13/12/2010 14:53

if you working nights who would stay with DS if your ex not there?

get a separate PAYG mobile just for your ex to text on - or get 2 - one for you and one for your DS.

block him from your main mobile phone.

set routine is best for everyone so stick to saying "let's agree weds fri evenings after school and alternate weekends" roughly going for a 50/50.

if he stays n your house then he is still being part of your life and in your drawers who knows...

hairyfairylights · 13/12/2010 15:09

cestlavielife that's not 50/50 at all. Not enven roughly!

blocking him from personal mobile...hmmm... even if you have a seperate payg it seems a bit extreme - he's the child's father, they made the child together, they each need to be able to contact each other.

littlecritter · 13/12/2010 17:50

I would be highly delighted and so would xp's parents to let ds stay there when I work nights. If xp let me down (he never has) then they would probably be my first port of call so ds would end up there anyway. I have an adult dd but she also works shifts whereas gp's are both retired and in their late 70's. It is xp that says it is too much for his parents and to be fair they are his parents, not mine.

I am definitely going to buy a PAYG phone for ds which I think is entirely reasonable and a very good idea. I will ask xp not to refer to me in any of the texts. XP will still be able to text me on my phone. I don't feel the need to block him.

I will simply inform xp that I will be dropping ds at his parents' house before my next night shifts and will expect him to return him 48 hours later. Where they spend that time is up to xp but I don't expect them back at the family house without a good reason.

OMG, that sounds cruel and heartless of me. Is it?

OP posts:
hairyfairylights · 13/12/2010 18:33

All sounds fair and reasonable apart from the last bit. I think you need to make an arrangement that suits you both, rather than telling him you expect him to have your dc for 48 hours at a specific time.

Time between your dc and his dad is not "babysitting" time to cover your shifts. Also thought you said your son does not want to see him? If that's the case then it is cruel.

cestlavielife · 13/12/2010 21:23

my maths is cr*p i agree - mons weds fri and alternate weekends? i dunno what constiatues 50/50? anyway it sounds complicated by night shifts.

having a separate payg was the only way to keep my samity with an ex who kept on sending irrelevant abusive text messages.

op says "The texts are not used to make any contact arrangements." so why does she have to have them on her phone? if he cant stick to factual contact arrangements - he gets relgated to phone number 2.

littlecritter · 13/12/2010 22:21

Hairy, if I don't go to work then I don't get paid. I work 2 nights each week. XP has agreed that this is when he will have ds. We have both agreed this until I can find a job on days. He left 6 months ago and still hasn't got his own place. So on the days xp has ds I am still expected to get up, clean up after xp and ds, keep the fridge full and cook the dinner, empty the dishwasher, do their washing etc. I really think 6 months is long enough to find your own place when you earn £40k+. I know it's not megabucks but I'm only on about £17k so I'm giving xp a huge subsidy really.

And it's not about the money. It's the principle. If ds ever actually refused to see xp then I would have to take unpaid leave which is what I have had to do on and off for the last 6 weeks since it came to light that xp used ds as a front to conduct his affair - took ds round to ow's house etc.

OP posts:
hairyfairylights · 14/12/2010 21:17

So you need to find childcare or other arrangements, if you are unable to rely on him and shifts and time with his dad dont coincide.

What you are expected to do is not what you should necessarily be doing.

And sorry, but quite right that if he refuses to see XP then you need to make other arrangements for childcare. What other choice is there? It is frustrating, I know, but if that's the way it is, then that's the way it is.

He was very below the belt to involve your son in conducting the affair.

I'm not condoning his behaviour, but I think you are in a lose/lose situation. It's shitty what has happened.

Is your Ex not paying any support money for your son?

It's up to him entirely whether he gets his own place or not.

Clearly the only way to get a regular arrangement sorted will be to take the legal route.

I do worry about the part that your son doesn't want to see him though - how do you feel about that part?

littlecritter · 15/12/2010 20:58

Hairy, what can I do? XP introduced OW and her H and DD to the whole extended family several months after the affair started. In that time we got engaged, had a holiday with OW and her family, she started to offer to collect d from activities and became involved with the older 2 dc's. She babysat ds and cut his hair. And ds doesn't actually realise thi all happened within the context of an affair yet he doesn't want to see his father.

Sometimes I think if only ds knew the truth our lives would be much simpler.

OP posts:
cestlavielife · 15/12/2010 21:45

but which bit do you think your ds does not know? he must surely understand some of this stuff- ie his dad has left you for this lady - and that he was seeing this lady with dad on vissits long before dad split with mum. has your DS talked to you or anyone about this? maybe this is tied up with not wanting to see him?

i dont understand why you say "if only ds knew the truth " surely he has seen exactly what has happened as he has been taken along on visits?

what else is there he doesnt know?
has he been given a chance to talk about all this - what he has seen, how he understands what went on? not your version - his version?

maybe you do need open conversation let DS do the talking about what has happened an where you are all at now.

if not with you or with his dad or with both together then with someone else maybe a child therapist?

littlecritter · 15/12/2010 23:12

DS has been told that dad can't live at home because he had another girlfriend for a while and it made mum very upset. XP left becaue I asked him to and the relationship with ow is now over, apparently. He didn't leave me to be with her. He never wanted to leave me, just wanted to have his cake and eat it hence the relationhip went on for 2.5 years and ds (age 9) and her dd (age 6) were used as a front. That's the bit ds doesn't know. He says that dad did something wrong and he doesn't want to be with him.

OP posts:
cestlavielife · 16/12/2010 11:19

what does he say that dad did wrong?

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