what to do?

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    After four years of separation and more or more less successful co-parenting we are hitting a brick wall. My ex is on her third boyfriend now and things are rapidly going downhill. Two boys, 17 and 10, eldest one lives here full time, visits his mother from time to time after having at least one day per week with her over the last three years. She never wanted more and wasn’t even always around, when he was at her house. He has a girlfriend now and spends most of his spare time with her naturally. Little one gravitated to us over the years from two days per week to four to five more recently. His mother was always busy and her priorities where Job and boyfriend, whereas I was more flexible with my time due to structure of work and a very child centred love life ( I do love our children but not that way, I mean I organized it around them without interfering too much with them ). We as parents struggled but somehow managed to keep the lid on the explosives. Corona now has us presented with a double whammy and it is really hitting me hard. Due to corona their mother has to work from home. One result was her previous relationship faltered, and  she started a new one,  youngest one is unhappy because his mother is much more present than she used to be and a usual volatile mother has converted into a tinderbox unable to control her temper. She again tries to somehow set up an alternative family by order de mufti and brute force but as little one is ten now and after two failed attempts he is obviously not keen on the third try. He has decided enough is enough and wants to reduce his time with his mother. This in turn has fuelled her anger even more and things are really getting out of hand. He tells me stories of prolonged shouting, him spending hours alone in his room and silent treatment.

    And he obviously doesn’t get along with number three as he seems not to be the brightest light in the candelabra and responds really sensitive to irony and sarcasm of which little one is master. So he has sent his mother to tell him, his answers are rude, as I think she should have told him his questions were an insult to intelligence.

    After four years of step by step diplomacy and swallowing so many frogs that I start to croak, we are back to square one, and she can’t start a sentence without shouting at me and all attempts to make her think about what is best for the child are leading into the exact opposite of what is intended. I have primed the ultimate weapon and have instructed a solicitor and will eventually go to court to bring little one out of her firing line. But of course I would rather have some advice from here and hear how others have dealt with similar situation. I am thinking of future Christmases and weddings, also my funeral, where I want my family united in sadness, not brawling about anything else but how bad a father I was. I tried my mother-in-law. She was sympathetic but said her daughter doesn’t talk to her much and listens even less to what she has to say.

    I tried to make the story a bit funny but you can trust me, the reality isn’t. So what can I do?

    #43313 Report




    It sounds as if you are taking legal advice about this matter.    If you  have concerns about emotional abuse, ring the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000.

    The Gingerbread helpline can provide advice and signposting on a range of matters for single parents so if you want to talk to us you can ring us on 0808 802 0925.

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