I separated from my husband just over 6 months ago because of his ongoing mental health and drinking problem. To cut a very long story short, I didn’t feel it was safe for me or our children to continue living with him 😢
He is supposed to visit once a week after school and they see him about 2 or 3 weekends out of 4 for an afternoon (not the whole weekend). We don’t have a fixed agreement of every other weekend because he is unreliable and if he cancels one weekend, then I try to make sure he gets to see the children the following weekend (even if it’s unplanned) so they still get to see him. This is a bit of a nightmare for me because it means I can’t plan anything, but I believe it’s better for our children to spend time with him.
He was never a very involved dad and doesn’t want to look after the children now on his own (he says he finds it too difficult/stressful as they are 3 and 5) so all his time with the children is spent with me around too. I am also fine with this because of his mental health problems, but I still think it’s right that the children get to see him regularly. He can be a lovely dad when he is in the right mood.
However, he isn’t very reliable and often doesn’t come when we’ve arranged to see him, because he isn’t feeling well, he says he’s just not in the mood or he’s got some work (he doesn’t have a job so has to take cash in hand/odd jobs if he can find it). I’ve learnt to expect this and most of the time the children are fine and happy and don’t notice if they haven’t seen Daddy for a while.
However, yesterday, my youngest daughter got upset out of the blue (after seeing her dad) saying ‘I miss daddy’. I’ve told him this and asked if he can make time to see them more but he doesn’t want to. I’m at a loss what to do or say?
I try really hard to always be positive about their dad in front of them, but what can I say if they want to see him more and he doesn’t want to see them more often?!
My 5 yr old seems happy and well adjusted to our current situation and arrangements, but I’m worried what to say to the 3yr old.
I’ve tried talking to him but his mental health means he is very self-oriented at the moment and says he just thinks the children are better off with me.