Advice – Co parenting issues
16 May 2020 at 10:10 am #40065
So I separated from my husband in September last year, and moved out of the family home with our 3 year old daughter. We made a agreement that he would have her every other weekend, and the other weekends he would pick her up from nursery for a few hours 1 day a week and have her overnight on the Sunday. He is a self employed plasterer, and I work full time in a office.
The first few months after I left were awful, he is very argumentative and very clever with twisting situations to his benefit. I spent the majority of our relationship living in hope and scared to speak up in case I upset him. SO when he was constantly late, sometimes not even bother turning up until I rang him and he would say he “just woke up” I would just let it slide. He also has a tendency to just ignore calls and texts and says he doesn’t like confrontation and apologises. But then it happens the following week and so on.
with the current situation with Covid, my daughters nursery closed, and I was asked to work from home. As with most parents this is a struggle entertaining a 3 year old alongside attempting to work. Her dad didn’t even offer to help I had to ask him to have her a few hours on a Tuesday and Thursday evening so I could play catch up with work, housework etc and he reluctantly said yes and would also have her at weekends. This worked well for a few weeks then the old habits crept in.
He didn’t turn up one evening so I was ringing and messaging to check what time he would be picking her up. No response for 2 days. He said that he had to ring British Gas and go to the bank so didn’t have time sorry for the inconvenience! I explained to him that the only inconvenience is trying to co parent with someone who doesn’t communicate effectively he agreed and apologised (again)
fast forward to this week…he looked after her for 2 hours on Thursday and said he cannot pick her up until after 3pm Saturday as he “has to work”. As noted above he is self employed so organises his own work diary. He is VERY money driven (another story in itself) so even mentioning this activates his anger. I have tried numerous times to explain to him that I am really struggling to do everything and we are supposed to be co parenting. I understand he is self employed however given the circumstances he has to help more. He agrees then just continues taking the mick!
I think because I was so petrified of his reaction I have let him get away with this for so long however, not that I have built myself up again I am not afraid to stick up for myself and daughter.
I guess what I wanted advice on is what is the best direction to go into to get visitation formalised? The informal arrangement is clearly not working and as I have let it go on for so long I guess he just sees me as a doormat that won’t question it (which I know is my fault but hey ho live and learn).18 May 2020 at 1:08 pm #40117
I had to reply when I read he ignores calls then apologises and says he doesn’t like confrontation. My ex says exactly the same and makes me feel like I’m aggressive when I challenge his behaviour.
Unfortunately I cannot help and give advise on visitation as I never went down that route! However, 3 children and 8 years post-split later I wish I had. My ex was exactly the same. I ran around trying to keep his relationship with his 3 children going consistently rather than let him see them sporadically when it suited him. I am a great believer in routine and father figures.
Fast forward to two teenagers who barely engage with him, only on a polite level. I am now left with my youngest at 7, who I still try to advocate for. However, I am tired and frustrated with the constant idleness of him, last year I decided to give up the ghost and the effects were remarkable! He saw her weekly for as little a time as possible, sometimes not even over night, all his choice, citing he had to work. My youngest then subsequently integrated with my finance like never before and was more settled than ever.
Now, due to covid 19 my youngest is not interested in seeing her father and is the happiest child and way more content than my other two were at that age. I think maybe because I’m not forcing it?
They communicate on the phone and still have the option to see each other when ever they want, I have never put restrictions in place, however, it is becoming less and less. This is sad but a natural progression and consequence of his unwillingness. I see it as his loss.
The downside is the single parent part when trying to work from home, painful! I am less stressed now though since I just let it all go and accepted mine and my child’s fate, albeit years later.