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Should I allow XP to see his children?

28 replies

Supercherry · 20/07/2009 15:03

I don't know what to do for the best anymore. We have split up repeatedly for a while. He is verbally abusive, has serious anger issues and breaks things in the house, he threatens me.

He has told DS, 17mths, once to 'shut the fuck up' when he was crying.

He lacks patience with DS.

I am just picking out the bad bits.

On this basis, would you feel justified in cutting him out of DS's life aswell as my own?

I just want to do the right thing by DS and my unborn child, due October.

OP posts:
Niceguy2 · 20/07/2009 21:58

If reasonable is an objective word Niceguy, then please tell me what 'reasonable' care of a child amounts to.

XP would keep DS fed, changed etc but I'm concerned about DS's emotional wellbeing. Shouting frightens children, I don't want my child subjected to his dad's temper, impatience and swearing. XP thinks nothing of using words such as 'cunt' in front of my son.

OptimistS · 20/07/2009 23:14

Niceguy, I think you've made a very well-balanced argument there for why a child should continue to see a less-than-perfect NRP. However, violence and threats of violence cross a line. Shouting "shut the fuck up you little shit" in a moment of temper is one thing, saying "if you don't shut up I'm going to smash your head against the wall" is in quite another league. My children are wonderful most of the time and we have a very laid back household. However, they have driven me to the point of insanity many times, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't ever lost my temper with them. However, I have never resorted to physical violence or the threat of violence, though I will (ashamedly) admit to having sworn at them once or twice.

My ex has supervised contact. Despite his faults I happen to agree with you that he has something to offer our DC - namely the knowledge that both their parents want them and love them. The reason I have to keep it supervised is because he has no impulse control. As SGB says, small children can be intensely irritating, and to someone like my ex, who choses to relieve frustration with verbal abuse or physical violence, there are simply too many opportunities for my ex to give in and damage our children. By being present, and by having established clear boundaries with my ex, I can defuse these situations before they get out of hand, either by distracting my children or warning my ex to control himself or leave.

OP, you have to separate your relationship from your ex with his relationship with your DC. However, it is worth remembering that any man who is capable of treating the mother of his children with abuse (either physical or psychological) is also capable of treating his children the same - even more so, in fact, as children are more vulnerable and have less effective boundaries. Ultimately, you need to do a risk assessment. If you feel that there is any risk (which you probably will do at this early stage post separation), supervised contact is the way to go. He is an abuser, and therefore the onus is on him to prove that he deserves the opportunity to see your children. Neither do you have to see your X in person. You have the right to use a third party, be that a relative, friend or a professional.

Good luck.

Supercherry · 21/07/2009 11:17

Thank you Overmdeadbody. I need to look ahead and stop looking back and concentrate on the positives. I do actually feel a little better today

SGB, for the foreseeable future, XP will be at his mum's so DS will be well looked after there but it's certainly an idea to push for supervised access. I did text XP and ask him to an anger management/abuser course before seeing DS but he hasn't replied to that. I also text him this morning saying I wont try and stop him seeing DS or his brother but it would be on my terms. I thought he'd be pleased and agree. He must still be angry, however, because he said, basically, no, not if it's on my terms and accused me of using DS as ammunition. I'm not though, I can assure you. I didn't bother trying to reason because I know from experience it gets me nowhere just sucked into further rows and upset.

Niceguy, thanks for going to the effort of trying to explain, but I don't think you quite understand my issues with XP. I quite agree, shouting and maybe, the odd bit of swearing, in context, is not particularly damaging to children. I'm not naive and I have certainly not led a sheltered life, but the way my XP has been carrying on could have been damaging to my children if I had let it continue. He would go into a rage over nothing. The time he told DS to 'shut the fuck up', DS had been literally crying for a couple of minutes, no-one could say XP was at the end of his tether.

The last incident (though by no means the worst) was Saturday. I had arranged with XP a week earlier to help me tile my mum's kitchen on the sat. I had asked him, he agreed and my mum was takig DS out for the day. First thing sat morning as I was getting ready to go, XP announces that he has a job to do on his own house. Understandably, I think, I objected as in 'but you agreed to help me......'. He flew into a rage, calling me a selfish bitch and pushing the living room back off it's hinges, cracking the door frame. I asked him to stop shouting in front of DS who looked frightened. He went anyway and I spent the day tiling my mum's kitchen untterly depressed. (He did come and help later)

To put things into context, 4 out of 5 nights that week, XP had arranged various things to do after work, bearing in mind he worked long hrs so I was home alone with DS most of the time already. Most wknds he would arrange stuff, but never checking with me if I had plans or wanted to do anything. It was aways assumed that I would be OK looking after DS and quite honestly, I don't think he gave a shit either way anyway. Just telling you all this so you know him calling me selfish is in no way justified.

Thank you for taking the time to reply OptimistS, I just might go for supervised contact. I will certainly b using a third party for handover's I can't face seeing him.

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