Playing ''Devils Advocate'' and you were the one that didn''t see your children daily.....
You too may be desperate to grasp at straws and anything no matter how unworkable.
In divorce it is easy to project the blame onto the other parent and he obviously feels that you are preventing this contact.
This is his frustration and desperation showing here.
My suggestion is that you are able to set up a time for Skyping - the visual will help a the children focus their attention (albeit not for long) and maybe he can read them a story.
By seeing them wandering off and playing with their toys your stbx can also see it is not you stopping contact - it is just natural toddler behaviour.
I can see how each party can interpret the situations and I can also see how it can continue to escalate. Because the kids are so young and you will both have to communicate for quite a few years still, I would suggest attempting to draw a line in the sand over past events and starting afresh.
You have rightly pointed out that all parties - even the children are affected by this conflict.
It''s time to put what''s happened in the past behind you and move forward with a clean slate.
You can’t use adultery as the reason the marriage broke down if you weren’t aware of it! You will have to use unreasonable behaviour, but you need to have his agreement on the specifics to avoid a long drawn out and acrimonious process.
I hope you will take what I say next in the spirit in which it is meant.
I’m sure many of the old hands here – the 5,000+ posts brigade – will have read your original post with a sinking feeling. It is almost a text-book case with the potential to escalate and end up in court – all the warning signs are there.
For a once-loving couple to end up in court squabbling over their children really is the worst thing that can happen to a relationship and the worst thing for their children. It can be terribly traumatic, hugely expensive and can drag on for years. All separating partners are full of self-righteous indignation about the other’s behaviour, often with good reason, but it really is better to turn the other cheek, walk on coals, eat humble pie; in short, submit to any cliché if it prevent the parental arms race from accelerating and enables the couple to stay out of the courts.
So I beg you, I implore you, I entreat you: do all you can to stay out of the courts. Only the lawyers will win.
I''m with Whiterose, Skype would be a much better prospect for your children given their ages. The novelty of the children seeing their dad on screen may keep them around for the phone call a bit longer and your stbxh will be able to see his children. A step up from just normal phone contact in my opinion.
You dont have to do it every day, and you dont have to sit and wait to see when he will call. Set up a schedule when he can skype the children once or twice a week between certain times. If he misses it, thats his fault. My stbxh originally had phone contact with our daughter once a week, did it once and then forgot! He doesnt have it now, partly because he cant keep to the schedule, partly because i was fed up of my daughter being left upset and partly because he doesnt have my phone number anymore due to abusive texts and calls!!
As for the divorce, using adultery will require either his confession, photographic evidence or an illegitimate child. He may agree to it now but that doesnt mean he will when the papers are ready and it could be a costly mistake. Unreasonable behaviour is one of the few, if not only grounds where you dont need consent. If you Petition on the grounds of UB, which is more widely advised, if your stbxh doesnt fill in the appropriate paperwork you can have a process server serve him the papers and fill in a deemed service form and the divorce can go ahead. He might drag his feet but whether he agrees or not you cant still get a divorce.
Thank you ever so much for your replies, I really appreciate it.
I encourage contact between my children and their dad but this current way of trying to get my 3 year old to say more than a word or two is actually not good for him as he gets frustrated and irritable the concept.
I think the ideas about cards pictures and letters is a great great idea and I will suggest this to my husband
My husband''s father, who I''ve always had a good relationship with came on the phone last Friday. When my son dropped the phone, I said "xxx speak to Grandad, Grandad is speaking to you "and continued changing my daughter''s nappy. An hour later, I received a jumbled text telling me never to speak to his father again and then another saying I was not to involve his father or attempt to make contact with him again. I could not believe it, I was really shocked. One, because I didn''t speak to my FIL directly and secondly, I didn''t know I wasn''t supposed too and, thirdly, they had called my phone and my husband relies on me to facilitate conversation. It really upset me
I thought it would start getting better, it seems worse. Does it ever get better. I feel so anxious. I just want the best for my children but also can''t handle all this conflict hence not wanting to speak to him on the phone.
I can only try to help by telling you how it works in our case - the children are 5 and 3 now, but then the first Contact order was issued, they were 4 and 2. There was a clause about indirect contact between the children and the non-resident parent by either telephone or Skype, every day between certain hours. Try to have this limited to lets say until 6pm, as then you start the children''s evening routine like bathing, having dinner, getting them to bed, etc, and any later phone calls/Skype would not help them to calm down. And even then, you cannot make the children to talk to someone if they don''t want to. You could put your phone on loud speaker somewhere where the children are and they can hear your ex and talk to him, or if they just wonder away, they will wonder away. They are little children, so what. As said previously, Skype will be better for children, they love the interaction there. See how you get on, don''t prevent the indirect contact, but after you pick it up and the children don''t want to talk to him, there is not much you can do