Unhappy children with ex & girlfriend. Advice?
21 May 2021 at 10:46 am #54447
1 of my children now does not want to go at all to his dads which my ex found very difficult to accept and his behaviour towards me and his son was awful. Despite trying to make suggestions that he is older and has different interests etc and maybe 1:1 time on a different day may work better he refused to be flexible calling my son disrespectful, calling him non stop and me non stop. Neither of us wanted to speak to him and he even calls my son at school! When he eventually did accept he should be more flexible and agreed to just a day visit he suddenly cancelled and told my son ‘not to bother!’ He is incredibly rude and childish and unfortunately I see some of the rudeness and horrible behaviour in my children.
My middle child also does not particularly want to go but has obviously witnessed how the older one has been treated as well as the upset it has caused everyone because he interrogates them and ***** me and my son off. He unfortunately does not see how damaging his behaviour is and believes that I should force them to go & that they are being rude if they don’t.
What I hear from them and what I see (in terms of changed behaviour) and how my ex has treated me and my son has led me take the stance that if they do not want to go and they are able to make their own mind up then they do not have to and I will support them with their decision.
His girlfriend is quite poorly and it sounds as if they are arguing quite a lot. The children don’t like hearing the arguing and have even had to comfort their 2 year old. When I hear this it breaks my heart and I question why I am allowing them to go there at all. I cannot speak to him on the phone as he always ends up being abusive towards me in some way and never listens properly so I try to just text him so that his behaviour does not upset me. He claims he cannot read the messages very well and encourages me to call. I’ve told him repeatedly that I don’t want to speak to him and that he has to stay in the car on pick up now, because of how he behaves. I’ve told him that I don’t want him coming into my house and shouting. Again he just sees me as being difficult taking no responsibility for his behaviour.
Everytime my children tell me little pieces of information that have upset them if I bring it up with him the following weekend they get told off and interrogated; being made to feel like they can’t tell me if something is wrong. I don’t know where to go from here.
Mediation may work but I think some of the issues stem from his girlfriend having different ideas on parenting and arrangements which is causing most of the problems, but I am not sure. I know the children are finding her difficult. Would mediation also involve her as I think if this is the cause she needs to be involved even if they meet separately to me and she has a chance to say what the problems are, rather than my ex blaming me or her and nothing ever getting sorted out so it is a happier place for the children?21 May 2021 at 7:42 pm #54526
How often do the kids stay with him?
It sounds like he is completely at breaking point due to multiple other stressors going on. It isy fair to blame you or expect the kids to tolerate it.
I often say this but if appeals to him through decent, understanding and diplomatic words don’t change anything, then possibly consider somehow telling a third party. A school counselor is my first thought. You can even go to them yourself and ask for advice in confidence. If he knows a third party is aware of the impact things are having on kids it could change things and improve his behaviour so they’re less upset being there.
It does sound like alot is going on for your ex tbh. I’m not excusing him but I imagine in his mind you are just another problem to his huge problems and now you’re trying to keep his kids away. I’m not saying that’s true but that’s prob what he thinks. I’m guessing being understanding and supportive doesn’t work if he is so aggressive?