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Handling selfish behaviour

  • Onelife
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15 Jul 07 #1359 by Onelife
Topic started by Onelife
Hi

My ex husb has children (boy nearly 14 girl 10) eow at his parents tiny two bedroom bungalow. Eh mother is disabled, and lives in the sitting room, her bed, her special chair and commode are all in this small room.

Eh father has recently been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) and is the primary carer of of his disabled mother. He sleeps in one bedroom.

My children have bunk beds in bedroom 2, and my husband shares the room with them sleeping on a pull out mattress on the floor as there is no space for a third bed.

Both parents are approaching 70.

Although finances are tight, he can afford to rent somewhere but wont because a)he has applied for a council house and he thinks this situation will help him. b) it would limit his personal spending money.

This has been going on since September last year. Prior to this, he had a rented 2 bed cottage where my son shared a room with his dad and my daughter had her own room.

He goes out to the pub most nights of the week, and late night drinking at the weekend.

I have several "issues", the living arrangements - he promised me it would only be temporary.

Since he split up with the ow, he leaves the children with his parents on his Saturdays to go out with his mates till the early hours. If my son or daughter has a sleepover at a friends house on one of his Saturdays, he will find a friend for the remaining child, invite that friend to sleepover so that he doesnt have to entertain them and then still goes out. He is 42. When he has other peoples children over to sleep, he sleeps in the hallway. I also know that he doesnt tell the parents of the guest child that he will not actually be around.

My children are upset and hurt, and feel "dumped". They look forward to seeing him but have (quite rightly) worked out that their father doesnt actually want to be with them, although he will argue he does and that his children are his world. He just doesnt want responsibility of any kind or restrictions on his freedom.

I have tried to reason with eh about what he's doing. How he isnt being fair to his parents, to the children or the parents of the child visting, but he doesnt think he is. "The kids are being looked after" is his argument.

Last night, he left my son, my daughter and her friend with his parents and was seen leaving a club at 3.30am. My son was sleeping in the hall, my daughter and her friend in the bedroom.

Apart from ceasing all overnight access - which will cause more rows and upset, especially to the children, what on earth can I do to get through to him that this whole situation is not good?

I'd be so grateful to hear other peoples views. Is it me? Am I over-reacting? I know his life is none of my business, but my childrens lives are.

Thanks for reading :S:(

  • Princess Fiona
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15 Jul 07 #1360 by Princess Fiona
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The problem is when you don't have a good working relationship with your ex any suggestion is likely to be met with resentment and resistance. Most parents have their children's interest at heart and although you may feel the situation is not ideal I think you need to trust your ex to parent in his own way. It is, after all, only alternate weekends. Your children are old enough to tell him they are upset and hurt

  • gone1
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18 Jul 07 #1451 by gone1
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I dont think you are over reacting. You are concerened for your kids. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon. To be honest I would go out a lot if I was in his shoes. The kids are looked after whilst he is away. They are 14 and 10. Although not old they of an age to know whats what.

I would just let this go for a while. If it was all the time then I would object. Not that this is relevent but when I was a kid we slepped 3 to a bed sometimes (ok a lot of times) and it didnt hurt me. Chris

  • Onelife
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18 Jul 07 #1452 by Onelife
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Thanks guys. Y'know, it just upsets me as well I think that he doesnt cherish the 48hours he is with them, and take them out to the cinema or a family pub or something instead, or just generally organise things that involve them.

My ex mother in laws health really gets her down and makes her quite difficult to deal with, (she is a very large woman and cant move out of the chair) and she does tend to snap and be short with the children. They feel they have to walk on egg shells. My eh knows this - but still wont stay with them to act as a "buffer". Something I never mentioned before is that she sleeps in the nude with the door open to keep the room cool, and the children are not allowed past the room until she is awake and covered up. This is difficult because you have to pass the room to get to the kitchen and it is directly opposite the bathroom. It really isnt much fun for them.

I guess I just dont get it. Why he wont fit in with their lives (after all its only a couple of more years for my daughter and probably very soon for my son before they dont want to go anymore) rather than expect them to fit in with his. If i'm being honest I find it really unfair because my whole life is organised around the children, I only accept social invitations on my weekends that include them, and I just wish he would give the same level of commitment to them.

I find it hard to deal with the way his priorities have shifted so greatly.

Still on the plus side - It is making me working really hard to help him find somewhere to live, and he seems to appreciate that.

  • Onelife
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18 Jul 07 #1453 by Onelife
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Thanks guys. Y'know, it just upsets me as well I think that he doesnt cherish the 48hours he is with them, and take them out to the cinema or a family pub or something instead, or just generally organise things that involve them.

My ex mother in laws health really gets her down and makes her quite difficult to deal with, (she is a very large woman and cant move out of the chair) and she does tend to snap and be short with the children. They feel they have to walk on egg shells. My eh knows this - but still wont stay with them to act as a "buffer". Something I never mentioned before is that she sleeps in the nude with the door open to keep the room cool, and the children are not allowed past the room until she is awake and covered up. This is difficult because you have to pass the room to get to the kitchen and it is directly opposite the bathroom. It really isnt much fun for them.

I guess I just dont get it. Why he wont fit in with their lives (after all its only a couple of more years for my daughter and probably very soon for my son before they dont want to go anymore) rather than expect them to fit in with his. If i'm being honest I find it really unfair because my whole life is organised around the children, I only accept social invitations on my weekends that include them, and I just wish he would give the same level of commitment to them.

I find it hard to deal with the way his priorities have shifted so greatly.

Still on the plus side - It is making me working really hard to help him find somewhere to live, and he seems to appreciate that.

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