PLEASE READ and advise if you can.
29 March 2020 at 1:04 pm #38467
First time posting – I’ve got 2 children 6&7 with my now ex partner (split 4 years ago).
Long story as short – he’s been absolutely crap in every aspect since approx 3 years ago – we split due to his constant partying and recreational drug abuse/alcohol consumption.
For the 4 years since we split I’ve tried consistently to establish a good amicable relationship for the sake of our children – even to the detriment of a new relationship I was in – ‘was’ being the imperative word as we are no longer together because of this situation.
Over the 4 years he has paid probably less than 6 months of maintenance even though he’s always worked and at one point was driving around in a brand new sports car – I’ve been through CSA who agreed they would start the “enforcement” stage – PLEASE, has anyone had any actual success with CSA? The only time in 4 years they’ve managed to get a penny from him was when he signed on to benefits for a short period and we were given £7 per week.
Moving on to more recent times (like I said I’m keeping this SO brief – I could write for days to tell it all) he was accused of rape – subsequently he had all his windows smashed and then his whole house set on fire – for obvious reasons I kept the kids WELL away from him but continued to allow him to talk to them on the phone as ultimately this was an accusation and I didn’t believe it for one minute – it was only recently I found he was charged and went on trial where he was acquitted which obviously changed my whole opinion of him/the situation.
Fast forward to now – he last spoke with the kids on Christmas Day 2019, he’d promised back in September 2019 to send them a phone to speak to the kids so we didn’t have to have any contact – this hasn’t happened.
In February, we travelled more than 5 hours (to visit family but he lives in the same area) and I messaged to see if he wanted to see the kids – he didn’t – it was my fault as I hadn’t given him enough notice, even though he has not seen them now since March 2019 (for a few hours again arranged and facilitated by me)
Now, I’m pretty sure anyone reading this would say why am I bothering, leave him to it, let him get in touch etc – which in turn seems easier said than done when the kids are breaking their hearts – more so my daughter who is diagnosed with ASD, she really struggles emotionally and writes her Dad letters OFTEN asking him to come back and that she loves him more than anything, and because I’ve not wanted them to feel rejection and heartache I persisted for SO LONG – at the detriment, as mentioned earlier, of so much.
That was until, New Years Day this year it just clicked, I could feel me losing myself to uncontrollable depression and anxiety and my kids NEED me, I’m all they’ve got – so I sent my ex a message to say I won’t be contacting him anymore, explaining to the letter why – all of the inconsistency, the lack of maintenance, the lack of everything really.
I then changed my number and done my best to get on with my life – roll on 3 months and he’s popped up on my social media asking to speak to them there (bare in mind he promised to send a phone) – I haven’t and don’t intend to reply as I said all I had to say in the last message I sent him – he’s since miraculously found maintenance to put in my bank account as though thats the reason why I’m withholding the kids from him – still I haven’t responded and that’s where we are.
I suppose I’m wanting someone to read this and tell me their thoughts, its easier when there’s no bias or personal involvement to look at subjectively – so please, if that’s you, I’d love your thoughts.
I’m at a loss completely as to what to do and why to do it – its been going on so long that I feel like I’ve lost myself, I’m desperate to come to a resolve with this before I never find myself again.
Thanks if you’ve got this far x29 March 2020 at 3:32 pm #38474
While I can’t imagine all the crap you and your children have had to deal with, I thi8nk I’m allowed to admire your courage to keep going, and to put your children first. So well done, you brave person!
As a Single Parent with one daughter I had an initial struggle with the CSA but eventually they came through. My ex kept cunningly switching jobs, which restarts the whole process, but they are GOOD people and they don’t give up. They have to go through a plethora of red tape in order to finally get to that point where they can start taking from your ex’s wage packet, but they WILL get there. So have patience and keep your expectations at bay, because it does take a while! Also tell the CSA when he sends you any money, because they need to know.
Whatever communication you have with your Ex, record it. Log it. Write it down if need be – as and when it happens. Every phone call, message etc. from him to you or vice versa, with dates and times. Because if you ever have to go to Court, for whatever reason, every piece of information you record ‘in a timely fashion’ (ie. at the time it happened) can be admitted. Besides which, having such a record goes a long way to show any Magistrate that you are a responsible, forward thinking parent. But enough of the lawyer stuff..
You may be totally tired and completely wrung out, but hang in there. Stay true to yourself. When you catch yourself doubting, remember that you are a miracle, who made two more miracles happen. And that nobody on this Good Earth loves your children more than you do.
From your brief account, what you’ve done so far is absolutely right, within the Law, and entirely understandable from any third person’s perspective. It’s hugely important that you understand that, and re-discover your strength as a mother, and as a person.
You have *not* lost yourself. You face challenges you never thought you’d have to, that’s true. But you *will* overcome them. It might be an odd thing to say, but it takes a certain courageous step to tell strangers that you need help, which you have done here.
I would suggest you take that same courage a step further, and find a local support group if you haven’t already. There is bound to be one, because struggling single parents are everywhere. You’re not alone. Gingerbread’s existence is a testimony to that.
Take heart, take a breath, and believe in You.