Disrespectful Ex!

Pam - posted on 09/19/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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So...my ex-husband calls 30 minutes before he is supposed to pick up our children for his Tuesday visit to tell me that he "has to switch tonight for tomorrow night". I am a full time student and have class on Tuesday evenings so I had to arrange for a sitter at the last minute but never agreed to switching nights as I did not get to see them at all on Tuesday night....Wednesday night is our time! He informed our 4 year old and 13 year old that he was picking them up tonight (Wed) without consulting me and I told him that unless he was respectful of me, my willingness to do the same would end. I also told him that they needed to be home by 7:45 as our daughter is not getting enough sleep and it's a school night. So.....he drops them off at 8:15 with my unbathed daughter almost sleeping and I tell him that she was exhausted and I was not happy about it because I didn't have to let him see them tonight in the first place. To which he replied with a "Oh Shut Up!".......IN FRONT OF BOTH KIDS! I immediately told him to get out of my house which he refused to do after repeating it a dozen times. My daughter is confused and upset as is my son. He then sends me a text that states....."if you have a problem with me, fine. But NOT in front of our kids". I responded with "You tell me to shut up in front of our kids and I am the one with the problem? You are not longer welcome to come in to my home. I will bring them to the driveway to meet you at pick-up times." I'm not sure I did the right thing and I do not want to continue this debate as this is exactly what he wants......to continually engage me. HELP!!!

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Lacye - posted on 09/20/2012

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He does need to stop disrespecting you. Instead of talking to him, have you thought about sending e-mails? Sometimes it is better to express things and if you two happen to have an argument, it won't be in front of the children.

Gwen - posted on 09/20/2012

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You don't have to tell him WHY pick up will be outside and that switching will not be an option "until he learns to work with me..." Again, that is sounding like a parent lecturing a child. You are no longer married, which means you don't have the right to lecture and he is not obligated to listen. My attorney has always told me I do not owe my ex any explanations. The court order clearly states what is required of both of you.



This is how I would say it:

"In the future, when you come by to pick up the kids, I will have them ready to meet you on the porch. We also need to return to our court ordered visitation days. I'll let the kids know you will be here Thursday at 4:00 to get them."



End of conversation. It is not argumentative or accusatory, just a simple statement of fact.

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2012

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Soudns like a good idea......I don't mean to be critical, but honestly, I've been there, and in hindsight, it never ends well if you can't communicate effectively. I understand being pissed off and wanting to address it there and then, I really do. Patience, however will be your friend.



Do you have a court order on visitation? I only ask, because if you decide to lay down the law, he may have grounds for taking it further if it isn't court ordered :)

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Pam - posted on 09/20/2012

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I have made more attempts than I can count to communicate with him via email or text and it's just another round-about and solves nothing. You cannot win a argument with him nor does the possibility of finding middle ground exist. His sister was previously married to my older brother and their kids are so far gone (child alienation syndrome) that he never sees them and I am just so afraid that that will happen with us. The only reason it has not thus far is because I have full custody.....if the tables were turned you can bet your ass I'd be suffering the same fate as my niece/nephew. It's beyond sad. He is rather like a child in that any attention is good attention regardless of how bad it is. Sad and frustrating.

Pam - posted on 09/20/2012

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Oh, I have no intention of telling him "why" pick-up will be outside. What I was attempting to convey was that it will be as such until, and if, a time comes when we can work together on this. He can either figure it out or continue to pick-up in the driveway. Thanks for your input! :)

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2012

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Oh, I wouldn't be appalled at the child support....I get $30 a month for a 15 year old.



If the court order states it, then you need to take care of what works for you. By going to classes, you are doing the right thing to make things better for yourself and the children, he can't dispute that. It sounds like you have their best interests at heart. Just try to stay away from the verbal confrontations, and make sure that if you have an issue with something, try to discuss it away from the kids, and hopefully you will find some way to settle into a routine that can suit you both. Good luck!!

Pam - posted on 09/20/2012

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We have an order stating the dates and times for visitation but thus far, have been able to be flexible as I am currently a student so am home (and at his beckon call) the majority of the time. He is also irate because our daughter is in pre-school and it's not free. Long story short; I am in class and need day care for the first time ever and the free pre-school in our area would require me to have day care as well as arranging a ride to and from.....without the assistance of her father. It would have cost more to send her to the free one but he doesn't hear that. It's just unfortunate that he is behaving this way.....I have always provided the care for our kids and it pisses him off that he has to actually spend money to do so now......In his words...."it's not my problem that you have class". Actually, it is. My classes are no different than his job; they are necessary and we need child care. You would be appalled at what he pays for child support for two kids......but it's not worth the turmoil to have it increased. It's just not worth it. I really appreciate your input. :)

Pam - posted on 09/20/2012

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You're right. I shouldn't have said a single thing. I simply need to set the rules and tell him why we will now be handling pick-up outside of the house and switching nights is no longer going to be an option until he learns to work with me to raise our kids rather than against me. It cannot be a one-way street. I cannot continue to be the only one that gives. Thanks for your thoughts!!

Jodi - posted on 09/20/2012

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Ok, I agree he needs to be more respectful of your time, but.....



You did start the conversation in front of the kids. You shouldn't have lecture him in front of the kids either. I absolutely agree it isn't acceptable for him to have told you to shut up in front of them, but you were also giving him a bit of a lecture, and that was never going to end well. I would suggest that in future, if you want to discuss his irresponsibility, you try to do that without the kids around too.

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