Advice and just needing to get it off my chest

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    This is possibly going to be quite lengthy so I am going to apologise and thank anyone that reads all of it and/or replies to begin with. I am new to Gingerbread having searched the internet for places that can give me advice as the last few weeks have been the toughest since I split from my husband just over 4 years ago.

    A little background info to start with to get details into context. I was the one who ended the marriage as I felt a single parent for many years, possibly for as long as we had our first child and we have 4 together. He was the bread winner and would go to the pub every evening  straight from work and also go during the weekend. I would never begrudge him having time to himself yet the time spent at the pub was straight from work and returning home would be around 7pm by which time school was over, tea done, homework/reading done, baths and pjs done and settling for bed if not already asleep. Coming in at this time during the week would mean the children getting very (understandably) excited and push bedtime back – when I managed to get them up to bed they were still over excited and so messed about instead of going to sleep (they still mess at bedtime even now) By the time I got to sit down with him he was part way through or finished a bottle of red and snoring at the other end of the sofa – I eventually couldn’t take anymore and ended things. With the house in his name he wouldn’t leave and so I rented a property as I just needed out. I was not allowed to take anything from the home apart from personal belongings with me and was so thankful family offered to help with necessary furniture.

    He asked for shared custody of the children and this in his mind is having the children each weekend Friday – Sunday. In the last few months he has collected from school on a Friday every other week but this is only because I now work every other Friday. Prior to this and on the Friday’s I am not in work I take the children to him and more often than not collect on a Sunday because he can’t be bothered (mug I know). He gives me an amount weekly that is quite frankly shambolic and has to be asked for – I have contacted child maintenance before but he has threatened to sell the house which is for our children’s future or to disappear so no one can find him and have a penny – I know I have asked for help but please don’t judge too much, whilst he should pay more its never been about the money for me but that our children have a relationship with him as I didn’t have the best with my dad which is why I have gone with the £ agreement until now.

    Three weeks ago today the children were collected by me and they were told see you Friday as we left then as I woke on Friday morning I checked my phone to find a message sent at 4am saying can’t have the children this weekend – that was it – no reason and no contact upon my trying to find out why. I had booked, paid for and done the first part of a first aid course for the Saturday which he knew about and as such ended up not being able to do that and losing out on the cost as well as the children missing out on their usual routine – as I wasn’t expecting them home at the weekend I had next to no food in also and limited funds to get much also. There was no contact at all – our eldest daughter was also trying to contact and she got no replies either – by the Sunday there was still no contact and the children were upset and concerned, we drove to his home where our eldest hammered on the door and windows with no reply – our eldest contacted the local pub to see had he been in as she was that worried after going to the property. Fast forward a few hours later and his sister had been in touch with him so let my eldest know he was ok but has some issues going on with work so just needs some time.

    Fast forward to the Tuesday and he made contact to speak with the children, he sounded down and was on the phone for no more than a minute before the line went dead and the phone just rang out and out when we called back. I contacted on the Thursday to ask if the children were seeing him this weekend – he had never not seen them of a weekend unless we had pre-arranged and agreed so the children were naturally asking as they are so used to their routine, I received a reply in the early hours of the Friday saying no I hope you understand. Once more any attempt to make contact went amiss – I text to say that I understood but the children didn’t and I didn’t know what to say anymore as they were questioning more and more what I had said and I couldn’t really answer. I did mention that I understand because I suffer with mental health but that I had to get up and be there for our children regardless and that being with them may help how he feels. I heard nothing at all back and come the Saturday afternoon my daughter was trying to contact him and the phone went to voicemail all the time – come Monday voicemail was still in place and the local pub told our eldest when she contacted them (again) that he hadn’t been in all week – our eldest was very distressed and I ended up reporting as missing by the police who contacted later that day to say he was safe at home but was suffering with mental health due to problems at work and needs support.

    Come Wednesday he made contact and we had a conversation that turned nasty. I’d asked was he ok to be told he wasn’t but was seeking help and I should understand more than anyone that he couldn’t see the children. I did say I do understand but reminded him that I ensured our children were looked after even when feeling so bad myself and he hit the roof and tore into me saying how he was suffering mentally now because I just ****** off and left a load of shit. I didn’t hang around to be abused and hung up.

    The next day everyone I asked couldn’t help with the children on Monday for me to work so I tried to call him, there was no answer so I sent a text asking him to please contact me and the messages I received later that day were vile.  I didn’ reply and after sending several vile messages he stopped and I had no contact with him until yesterday when he rang whilst I was in work. As he wanted to speak with the children and couldn’t he contacted them again today. As soon as our youngest said hello the next thing said was when am I coming to see you? The response was, soon, if I’m allowed. I’ve not mentioned anything about his not seeing them so don’t understand why this was said. However, part of me also has thought would I be wrong to stop contact? Yet, I also know and have always said I won’t use our children as a weapon so I can’t say no.

    I’ve spent the day worrying, anxious and not knowing what to do? How do I approach him as things need to change and I need to lay some ‘ground rules’ moving on in relati0n to seeing the children as I feel its needed now. Letting him know I have contacted CSA as the chi8ldren deserve to receive funds and the paying in cash at our agreed amount isn’t working so to ensure this doesn’t happen again as I’ve not received any money for a month.

    I needed somewhere to rant and if any replies are given to see the thoughts of others.

    Thank you for taking the time for me.

    #57185 Report



    as you mention he is suffering from mental health issues, it would be better to give him some space. he may not be in the right frame of mind to care for the kids. maybe it’s better to wait for him to contact you, and arrange to see the kids. It’s very good of you to encourage him to see the kids. I talk to plenty of dads who have to fight to see their kids and go to court. but even then the courts can not force them to see the kids, the court orders just get the resident parent to make the children available to them on set days/weekends. I agree the children are entitled to maintenance. however I have a feeling now that CMS are going to make situation worse for him and his mental health issues.

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