We sperated 9 months ago, very amicable at first and on paper it should still be very amicable and clean. I left the family home (mutual agreement) and continue to pay way above CSA child maintenance
rate plus the normal extras that teenage girls cost (age 12 &15)
Our original arrangement was to be flexible as possible, and as the girls are strong independent young women they should have a say.
I see my girls almost every day, I take them to school and pick them up, regular breakfast and dinner. Plus they did stay with me around 2 - 3 nights a week.
Sadly the manipulation games are making our amicable CO parent relationship difficult.
My ex is cleverly encouraging the girls to want to be with her more over me... especially sleeping over
This may sound trivial but it’s a huge problem for me and difficult to explain.
Some of subtle manipulation techniques she uses
1) she will ask this sort of question... do you want to stay at dads or are we going shopping, spar, favourite restaurant, nail salon etc??? Ask a teenage girl that, you’ll only get one answer, especially when dad can’t afford such luxuries
2) when I have the girls, she’ll text them during the day and tell them about the exciting plans she has that evening, knowing the girls will want to go back to mums. Mum will pick them up after work and after I’ve done the school run dinner etc.
3) she got them a puppy, new fancy bed, decorated bedroom, new tv, and made it attractive to invite friends and boyfriend over.
4)I have the younger child more than the older one, but my ex will text her while she is with me and send her photos of them having fun, taking the dog on the beach, shopping etc.
5) she doesn’t dad mouth me, but she’ll use her anxiety and depression to encourage the girls to comfort her.
6) she has become ‘fun Mum’
The list goes on.
At first this was an annoyance, but now the girls rarely stay over. I still see them every day but not over night. Older child never stays over and younger one only once / twice a week.
Now my ex is asking for more money because they don’t sleep over as much. I currently pay £750 per month plus extras teenage cost... I don’t want to be a pay ver view dad. I’m now dad taxi and dinner.
We both work and earn exactly the same money.
Sadly, I’m feeling that if she didn’t have so much money she couldn’t afford to be fun mum, I could afford a better house and fancy bedrooms. I want the best for my girls and I don’t want to get into a psychological battle on who is most fun.
- kids are smarter than we give them credit... the cracks will appear
- try to see the bigger picture. It’s hard right now but being a taxi driver are windows of opportunity... more so as they become teenagers. My lad talks to me more in the car than in the house. Go into his room and your invading his space. In the car it’s less pressured and very little eye contact .. the perfect podium for you and your girls.
My ex did all these tactics ... even buying him a motorbike. I just did as I always do... because I knew he couldn’t keep it real in the long term.
As soon as he met someone else his life moved on. Thus far taken two women on holiday and not our boy.
The motive ... ultimately they are hurting and incredibly insecure. They see children as exstentions of themselves ... my ex told our boy that he is responsible for his dads happiness ... like that’s a huge burden as not even a lottery win and harem of woman could make him happy.. he’s just incredibly empty as a person..
Your ex is emotionally damaging the girls but also their relationship long term ... you see this and you care, you are already 10 steps ahead because awareness is everything..
Be the constant ... keep it real and they will gravitate to you naturally ...
Re the finances .. pay what is asked of you via the CMS. Do you have an order? Re the children stay with you two nights a week. If not get one... present to the CMS and regardless of whether the girls miss a night you have an order... she may stop the games then as their is no financial gain.
My ex pays through the CMS and will pay nothing more... since has purchased three cans of Coke Zero for our boy.. if they are together I have to either send money or he brings him home... what’s my son learning? I just send the money ... even money for lunch at college..
You couldn’t imagine doing that could you? Because morally it’s wrong ... and you will continue to be a great dad .. as I a mum
Hang in there and use the blogs for times when you just need to vent ... we have been there and there is hope I promise.