How to deal with unintentional neglect from my ex

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  • #40573 Report

    Hey everyone, wondering if anyone can offer any advice. Also would just love to hear other opinions about this because I don’t know if I’m being dramatic, or should be acting when I’m not because I’m too anxious about the conflict.

    My little girl is 2 and a half, my ex and I separated when she was 10mths old. He was never around when we were together anyway so he didn’t really learn to parent as such and it definitely didn’t come naturally to him – he would ignore her and leave her crying etc. Since we split, he mainly takes care of her at his parents’ and I know she’ll be ok. But it’s obvious when they haven’t been there because she comes back with nappy rash/hungry/upset/always late. He regularly cancels and expects us to fit in around him if he wants to see her, and I get told I’m making it difficult if I don’t let him see her the next day even though we have plans and he will happily go 3 weeks without seeing her. Last week he took her out, saying he was taking her for a walk for an hour to see the animals and to his parents’. He brought her home an hour late, she was hungry, her teatime and bedtime routine was ruined because of it, and when she came back home she said she had been to a new house and met someone, which i now know is his new partner. What would anybody else do in this situation? Being late etc is annoying, but it feels one step too far lying about taking her somewhere, particularly at the minute when she has been with me constantly for 8 weeks, to then take her to an unknown house to meet a stranger. And the impact it had on her shows with her clinginess and asking b=me about it. I try to make agreements with my ex in her best interests and he regularly then disregards them because he changes his mind, he has no respect for her routine, he doesn’t make sure she’s had enough to eat or drink, she came home and the car seat straps were too loose…. I know he wouldn’t intentionally cause harm to her, but by not listening he is doing harm to her emotional wellbeing and not meeting her basic needs. I have suggested mediation and he has ignored me… I don’t know what else to do? My daughter can take him or leave him, and I’ve pushed to keep their relationship positive, but I’m not willing to do it if he won’t put the effort in himself unless it suits him – he’s out of work at the minute and obviously bored, so wanting to see her a couple of times a week, but I dread it because I just can’t trust him. Am I being too dramatic? Any advice or hearing from others would be so helpful, thank you

    #40575 Report


    Hi, I think you have every right to feel concerned about your daughter’s care and it sounds to me like he’s not interested in being a fully responsible parent. Unless he wants to commit to a formal arrangement where he provides consistent care, how will he play a positive role in your daughter’s  life? Protect your little one, give him some clear boundaries of what you expect from him and let him initiate arrangements.

    #40622 Report

    Thank you so much, it’s so helpful to hear it from someone else

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