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Am I being a control freak? About Ex access overnight....

28 replies

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:36

hi, am having ongoing problems with ex, wont bore you all with big details but basically it has been a real battle to get him to see DS and after 3 years have got to the stage where he will see him every 3 weeks and will have him overnight one night.

The problem is that in the last 7 months he has had him overnight at 4 different places.

Last night he had him overnight somewhere I had expressly told him I felt was unsuitable for DS and only admitted it when DS told me he hadnt stayed where I had thought he was staying.

I feel it is unsettling for DS (he has started things like soiling his pants and having nightmares in the days after overnight visits), but ex says he should be able to have him wherever he likes.

What do you think? Any impartial thoughts welcome as at the moment ex is making me out to be some sort of control freaky mother. I just want some stability for DS. And its upsetting when DS says "am I staying at such and such a place with daddy" and I have to say no that he's staying somewhere else or else I dont know.

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themulledmanneredjanitor · 05/01/2009 11:37

i wouldn't want my child staying at random places. stayig at 'daddy's home' is one thing but being taken hither and thither wuld not be on for me.

DustyTv · 05/01/2009 11:40

I don't think you are being control freaky at all, children need stability. Your ex should want the same for your DS. It is obviously having an adverse affect on your DS WRT the nightmares and soiling himself.

I hope you are able to come to a decent compromise with your EX, although from what you say it doesn't sound like he will want to compromise.

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:42

oh god, thank you.

he just doesnt see that its a problem though.

I dont want to stop him having DS overnight but I dont want DS dragged from pillar to post.

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mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:42

oh god, thank you.

he just doesnt see that its a problem though.

I dont want to stop him having DS overnight but I dont want DS dragged from pillar to post.

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mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:42

obviously so grateful for replies I posted twice. oops!

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Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 11:44

Manky without knowing more I'd be inclined to stop the overnighters. Especially if ex isn't prepared to allow for ds's obvious need for stability in his routine etc.

Can you work it so that you wait till he is a bit older before trying again? I don't think it is necessarily essential that he stays overnight with his daddy. xx

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:47

Thanks Flight... that is my instinct too. I have fought tooth and nail to get him to this stage so will feel guilty if I do, but at least i know im not stopping him seeing him I guess.

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Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 11:47

I also don't know if it's relevant to you but I have had a few threads about not being sure if I should pursue ds1's dad and try and get him to see him.

He is making it clear he sn;t interested and most people have told me that I ought to take that at face value.

I do think ds is more stable and less liable to be hurt because he just doesn't see his father atm.

Stability first, fathers later - a boy's main person is his mum till he;s about 7, then he'll be more into his dad.

My guess is that your boy may be picking up on the vibe that his dad doesn't really want him around or want to make the effort which must feel awfully sad to a little child.

does ds say he doesn't want to go? Or is he keen?

themulledmanneredjanitor · 05/01/2009 11:48

what would worry me is-where is he being taken? and who is there? you don't know what might be going on or what your son might witness. i don't want to be worrying you, but do you know what i mean?

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:50

Thats really interesting, a friend sat me down a few weeks ago and basically said what you've said...

Why have I spent all this effort forcing ex to see DS?

DS does like spending time with ex, but he does get upset the day after he sees him because its so long between visits and I think he's never really sure he'll see him again.

After a few days though he's perfectly happy, doesnt mention his dad (apart from the occasional chat, I did this with daddy, type of thing).

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mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:52

TMMJ... none of the places I think are bad in terms of anything serious. One place was at an ex girlfriend of exP's and I never met her but she did have two kids of her own and I spoke to her on the phone and she seemed really nice and genuinely fond of DS.

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mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:52

sorry, when I mean serious, i mean i dont think he's likely to be somewhere where there's drugs or violence.

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Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 11:53


yes. I think with me it was because I was furious with ex, really. I got so angry that I really wanted to force him to be a committed father and he just ran.

I am glad now as he would have let ds down a lot.

Can you ask ds if he wants to keep going to daddy's or would he rather just leave it?

(how old is your lad?)

themulledmanneredjanitor · 05/01/2009 11:53

but why was your son staying at your ex's , ex girlfriends? what is she to your son?? i agree with you that he needs stability and should be staying at his fathers home.

Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 11:55

Btw I can see it is often a v good thing for children to see their dads, so I'm not saying your reasons were the same as mine or bad or anything - and there's a lot of pressure on single mothers to enable contact too.

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 11:58

He is 3 and 4 months. Im not sure he would give a reliable answer at that age would he?

DS stayed at my exPs ex girlfriends when she was his current girlfriend. He stayed there because exP promised me it was a long-term stable relationship and because he had no-where else to have him overnight.

That turned out not to be true on many levels (and they've now split up).

He cant stay at exP's home, its totally unsuitable IMO, but this is where he took him last night.

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themulledmanneredjanitor · 05/01/2009 12:00

right-well if his own home is unsuitable then he shouldn't have him overnight and you should say 'no over nighters' until he does have somewhere suitable.


sorry to be simplistic when it's not me in the situation but that is my gut instinct.

Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 12:01


I would leave the overnight stays. He is tiny.

My mother is quite hot on child psych. and said I should stop worrying about whether ex might demand overnight stays. She said no way until the child is at least four.

Btw i agree, not likely to get a reliable answer!

Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 12:02

...But if he stops having nightmares etc you will know...

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 12:04

Have to pop out for a bit but thanks so much for replying.

Flight... thats reassuring re. your mums advice.

exP will go mad, even if its just for show though !

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Flightattendant7 · 05/01/2009 12:06

Good luck and don't be hard on yourself, you were in am impossible position. Ex has no right to be cross.


aseriouslyblondemoment · 05/01/2009 13:02

you're not a control freak
children need stability in their lives whether they're with mummy or daddy
the fact that it is causing your ds considerable distress is cause enough for your concern

mankymummy · 05/01/2009 16:00

thanks everyone. im hoping if i say he cant have him overnight he'll finally sort himself out with somewhere suitable to have DS but somehow i doubt that will happen.

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oldraver · 05/01/2009 18:21

I have to agree with you about being worried about where your son stays and his need for stability. I would feel exactly the same. You could refuse overnights until he has more suitable accomodation but run the risk of him using it as an excuse to drop the contact that you have fought for your son to have.

I take it yours is an informal agreement to contact as you have had to persue it for a long time ?? The thing is if your ex insisted I really dont think there would be anything you could do or have any say in where he stayed. If it went to court all they would be interested in that it was a safe enviroment for your son so it wouldn't matter if it was a g/f's etc. I know this sounds wrong but this has happened with so many mothers. That said if you refuse overnight contact he would either have to do as you ask or would have to fight it through court. Do you think he would be bothered ??

ELOB · 05/01/2009 21:28

personally speaking, i assume you have good reason to say his dads home is not suitable. in what way is it not suitable? also, if his dad isn't making an effort to see his son then clearly his son does not mean as much to him as he should and therefor i would be surprised that your little boy feels wanted, loved or needed when he is with his dad. if his dad isn't bothered about stability & routine at this age, especially if he knows the efect it has had on him regarding soiling etc then he shouldn't have him, it shows he doesn't care. it also sounds like your ex is using other people to look after his son. even with a girlfriend, if they dont live together there is no need to take your boy there. his dad should be giving his full attention on his boy given that he doesn't get much opportunity. i think that although he is very young you can ask him gently if he enjoys going to his dads or not. let him know that you want him to do what makes him happy. i would drop the overnight visits personally. your ex doesn't sound like he's really all that bothered. better for a child to feel love but not love from one parent and indifference from another. for a boy to sense this from his father must be quite upsetting internally. he's not old enough to express his true feelings of emotional hurt but he will let you know if he is happy so its not always easy to know when a child this age is really tearing apart inside.

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