Contact & Communication
29 May 2021 at 9:09 am #54736
Hi there – I’m new to Gingerbread / this forum
I’m recently divorced but had separated 2 years prior.. I had to give a large amount of money to my abusive and alcoholic husband who hadn’t worked at all for 5 years prior to our separation and not much before that which I have to admit, has been hard to swallow. Now he has received the settlement I don’t think he will ever work again. He does not contribute towards the children.
Things aren’t what I’d call amicable – I had hoped we’d be communicating at least about the children though.
I have 3 children; boy almost 13, girl 10 and girl 7.
My son has refused to go to his father’s house since we separated over two years ago. They last spoke about 4 months ago and my ex has made minimal effort to do anything about that. My son was at the receiving end of some of the abuse, witnessed too much of the abuse aimed at me and heard his father make numerous threats, drive off drunk etc. He doesn’t feel safe with his father essentially.
We have an agreement that the two younger girls will go their Dad every other weekend and for dinner every other Tuesday.
My 10 year old is starting to say she doesn’t want to go. She witnessed some of her father’s behaviour but nothing like what my son witnessed. Last night when my ex came to collect them she became hysterical and refused to get into his car. My 7 year old had hopped into the car quite happily – mercifully she was too young to witness much of the behaviour at all.
When I refused to physically force my 10 year old into the car (my ex-husband refused to get out of the car to help) he called me a “sick *****” in front of both girls and sped off with my 7 yr old in the back.
He refuses to engage with me at all either by email or text message. I refuse to speak to him over the phone because of how verbally abusive he is.
He won’t even respond to things like “E has a bad cold, do you have liquid Sudafed at your place”?
If anyone has any advice over a) what to do about my 10 year old refusing to go and b) my ex-husband refusing to communicate with me at all I’d appreciate it.
Thank you.29 May 2021 at 10:49 pm #54742
I agree with you that it would be wrong to force your child to get in his car and spend time with him. wouldn’t want a child to be kicking and screaming, and made to do something they don’t want to do. I think all you can do is encourage them to see dad, even though you both don’t get along. am not sure what can be done about your ex being abusive and having little to no communication about the kids. are you able to go through a 3rd party?30 May 2021 at 8:13 am #54747
I’ve asked him to attend mediation but he won’t (I think because he knows he’ll be challenged over his behaviour and won’t be allowed to shout at and over me which is the only way he chooses to communicate). He says he doesn’t have the time but that’s def not true.
I’ve arranged to speak to a child barrister friend after half term to get some advice over my 10 year old and what my obligations are in terms of ‘forcing’ her to go.
My ex is having our youngest until Tuesday night because of half term and my 10 yr old has agreed to go tomorrow morning for a night so that’s something.