Struggling with Agreeing
6 January 2018 at 8:59 am #6630
I feel like a failure because I’m having to write this post. My son is 6. I split with his dad, my partner of 10 years around June 2017. I suffered years of control and occasional physical abuse (on one occasion i scratched his face in self defence but he told everyone i attacked him) and the relationship ended when I found him emptying my bag on the kitchen table after I went out with my family.
Since we split I tried to be as fair as possible setting up a parenting plan whereby he took his son to school twice a week and picked him up twice a week. And he had Friday to Sunday on alternative weekends.
I work full time and on 4 or 5 occasions in 3 months was running late from work and asked him to pick up from school on my days. I thought was reasonable he lives 5 mins from the school and doesn’ work.
He suffers from cystic fibrosis and has spent 6 weeks in 3 months unwell or in hospital therefore missing 3 of his weekends. Weekends where I’ve made plans and cancelled to care for my son.
I then requested we changed the plan for 3 months until he has recovered. To him having Friday to Saturday every week. I also put my son in afrerschool club twice a week for this term as I finish work at 5.15 and my son finishes at 3.15. So if he cant pick up i only leave work early oncr a week. Just to create some routine and stability for my son and allow me to complete 2 full days at work. He would not allow my family to help out despite my family being teachers and social workers. He always has ostracized my family as he finds them snobby and judgemental as none of his family work. His family dont speak to me and my son had told me they don’t like me.
He objects to the new plan and was giving me £50 a month but has stopped this demanding evidence I’m spending it on my son not on bills or my mortgage. After school club alone costs £72 a month. When objecting he came out with the barrage of allegations over being concerned about my son’s hygiene. I explained he can only bath 3 days a week because we get home at 6pm three days a week. By the time dinner is done and he’ done his spelling and reading it 7 and bedtime. My son is not dirty and His dad is claiming he never bathes in my care. I said its reasonable for him to bathe once at his dads as hes there two evening a week. He then claimed I didn’t act appropriately when he got oral thrush following an allergic reaction at school. My son left school early on the Friday violently sick. He threw up all weekend – which is normal when hs has a reaction. His dad gets him on Monday morning and I explained he was too unwell tor school and explained his symptoms and requested he went to the doctors that morning. Months later he is now saying I should of taken him walk in centre on the weekend (the wait is usually 3 to 4 hours).
He wants every other weekend but my son is so disappointed when a weekend comes and he can’t go. And punishes me for it continuously as he then doesn’t see his dad overnight for 3 weeks. I felt that once every week would mean if he missed one my son would only need to wait another week to see him.
My son disclosed that his dad doesn’t use his car seat for him as his new girlfriend (who was well known as a heroin addict locally) needs it for her daughter who’s younger. I did stop contact briefly when finding this out and he claimed he stopped seeing her but my son then disclosed being in her flat.
I feel constantly ground down by this man. To the stage I’m baring functioning at work and crying myself to sleep each night. He won’t do mediation. He claims I’m the bully and he had show the communication between us to his disability social worker and counsellor. He is claiming I’m using his disability against him. I’ve asked him to apply to court but he wont. He will just call my son’s tablet and arrange to get him. Or turn up at my house and beep his horn. I’m the bad one if I then stop my son going.
I dont know what to do for the best anymore6 January 2018 at 9:42 am #6631
Honestly, reading this brings back some pretty harsh memories from my own past. Im 18months on now, and what I see when I look in is that ‘I allowed’ my ex partner to continue dictating my life even after we separated. He’d removed so much of me over the years that I questioned my own judgement. Work out what you consider reasonable, use the forum and advice of others if you need help to set up a plan (building on what your ex has agreed with in the past), always based upon your sons best interests. If your son is happy/safe with your family then let them help you, your priority is now to build a secure future for you and your son. I agree there’ll need to be a degree of flexibility with his illness, sounds like your son enjoys the time he spends with dad (like mine), but it’s about it working for you and your son too, as opposed to dad dictating what’s happening.6 January 2018 at 9:51 am #6632
DMP thank you for your reply. It sounds like you overcome such a difficult situation quite simular. It is so isolating and soul destroying to think i made the brave move of leaving yet he continues to in control.
I suggested a plan and said we could modify some places if he didn’t agree and we would review the plan when his health improved but he point blank refused to negotiate.
I tried to explain that this is for our son but also as I work and he doesn’t it needs to work for me too. However he claims I’m narssastic and only care about myself. His words this week were ‘I don’t care if you lose your job or house’ I’ll then get my son. He lives with his parents and brother.
He expressed my job is replaceable his health isn’t so I should just quit work and care for my son when he can’t.
I totally broke down at my mum this week – after keeping everything I’ve been through the past 7 months to myself. I broke down saying maybe I should just hand my son over to him.
Thanks so much for your words of comfort6 January 2018 at 10:01 am #6633
Although you feel like it’s isolating and soul destroying, it is actually the beginning of something really special for you, a rediscovery of who you actually are 😀 You can make suggestions, there’ll always be something that doesn’t quite suit him. I no longer communicate with my ex unless absolutely necessary, i realised it wasn’t ever going to be constructive, I suggested…he declined! I also work full time and study so I can provide for the kids. Don’t keep trying to keep the ex happy, you’re setting yourself up to fail xx6 January 2018 at 12:00 pm #6635
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your advice and positivity. I cried through your message. Had a bath and realised you’re 100% right.
This is the start … I won’t communicate any further as it’s always negative and I’m left feeling much worse. He will always pick at me but deep down I know I’m going an amazing job of bringing up an amazing little boy.
Onwards and upwards 🙂6 January 2018 at 1:45 pm #6636
Indeed 😁 Onwards and upwards. Just make sure you offer ‘fair and consistent’ opportunity (as part of a structured plan) for your son to spend time with his dad. Once you have the routine established then it will become easier as you’ll all know where you stand. If you struggle with getting agreement on days/times then actually ask a mediation company to send him a written invitation to attend, rather than you ‘pecking’ at him (like I did 😬) and getting nowhere. His response might be different coming from them. Good luck xx