Hopeless fathers

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  • Hopeless fathers
  • toyrobot

    I know this is a mtb forum but I’ve been impressed by the variety of ‘real life’ issues being dealt with and shared on here (we’re very 21st Century man, aren’t we) and something has come along that I thought I might vent.

    I live with my partner and her two fantastic little girls. They moved in in the last year and we’re very happy. Their Dad, her ex husband is a constant source of entanglement and problems though. Only one of which is that CSA have had to be used to obtain maintenance as previously he saw this is an optional payment. Today we have found out that he has decided to not work. He’s been off ‘ill’ for about 18 months or more and despite his employers willingness to have him back (they’ve been paying him sick pay AND holiday pay the whole time) he would rather survive on benefits – it’s obvious he’s become accustomed to the easy life. His illness is lung based so he’s taken his extended leave as an opportunity to take up smoking, such is his lack of interest in working ever again. So as of today we will receive zero maintenance. He sees the girls 4 days a month max and seems to think this will continue, despite it meaning us funding the journey – 95 miles each way. I think he thinks he has us cornered. If the girls don’t see him they will be gutted but he thinks that will be our fault and not his. He cannot take responsibility for the results of his actions.

    To top it all off, when my partner called earlier, to find out what was going on (she only found out about the halt of payments via the csa) he thought he’d dodge the bullet by telling her that he wants me to be nicer to him as he thinks he deserves more respect from me. I’m not openly hostile but I refuse to act as though we’re friends. I can’t pretend to respect him. I tried to get along when the relationship began but seeing how he acts toward my partner and how he takes little or no responsibility for his children I refuse now.

    So no questions here. I just needed somewhere to vent – my anger is for him so I’m not going to take it out on anyone who doesn’t deserve it. Despite this shadow my partner has had a good day and I want to end the day with that as the focus, so as she’s upstairs singing the girls to sleep, I’m here, boring you all to tears.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I’m here, boring you all to tears.

    not at all.

    My 2p is that you shoudl do what’s right for the girls. They’ll form their own opinion about him when the time comes.

    [edit] top marks for posting in the wrong forum too 😉


    haha, I tried changing it at the last second, as the spinny thing spun, but alas…


    My parents split when I was 10. At the time, I was too young to understand the reasons. However, my mother did nothing to prevent me seeing my father. Nor did she (often) express her views of him or his behaviour. She did the right thing and left me to make up my own mind. Hat’s off to her fella as well who raised me as his own but never expected anything in return.


    1) Go to France.
    2) buy as many of the very cheapest cigarettes as you can afford
    3) “sorry I’ve not been nicer to you, here have a present”


    Well the Csa are evil horrible bastards so absolutely no sympathy to either party where they are concerned but this guy sounds like a pathetic waste of space.

    I’d stop the 95 mile each journeys for a start. It’s Dads like him that have helped to make the good ones get a raw deal.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    Maintenance or child support ?

    If you married your new partner he’d not have to pay maintenance any longer, I think. Perhaps he’s narked at her living with someone else but him still paying maintenance and thinks she’s taking the piss

    I know someone who got the usual doing-over in a divorce and then family court failed to make her give him access to the kids – he seriously considered either taking a far lower-paid job or leaving the country as it was the only thing he had any influence over.

    Lack of any control makes people do stupid things sometimes – road rage being a prime example IMO

    Premier Icon ampthill

    Its a total no win all round including him, even if you do move the girls.

    I’ll I can say is you have my sympathy but as said above it is the girls first. (I’m not prejudicing what that means it could mean you emigrating for all I know, I’m just saying its them first as far as possible)

    I have a niece. Mum has always been short of cash. CSA never got a penny out of dad ever. Despite his income peaking at £80,000. He just made sure that his income was zero whenever he had to turn up in court or whatever. They sent her a letter for 18th birthday saying we have now given up getting you any money

    Any way best of luck. I hope things turn out as well as possible


    Seen this from all sides.

    Grew up with two parents arguing to the point where I became a ward of court.

    Took up responsibility for my ex’s little girl from the age of 3 (and much like your situation), she’s now 17 and a really smart kid.

    Now left my ex and my own 2 girls 400miles away, but she refuses to let them stay with me for holidays etc.

    In Scotland unless you’re married you have very few rights to the kids,but I’d never stop providing for them. So women can equally be as difficult.

    Just grin and bare it, but never speak out of turn about their Dad in front of them.


    Sadly this sort of thing is a major problem in families, just perhaps if people talked or got mediation.

    But then again the girls dad may be so upset at losing his wife and kids, he cant think rationaly.


    Who moved the 95 miles?


    Let’s be clear about something. He’s not ‘thinking’ like this because of his wife leaving with the kids. My partner separated from him because he thinks like this. I’m know there are many Dad’s who have had a hard time because of separations. He’s not one of them. He brought it upon himself and was given more than his fare share of chances to do something about it.

    Coming from separated parents myself I understand the need to let the girls have a relationship with their Dad – there’s no question there. I just wish he would do more to facilitate it.


    Been there for the past 18 yrs….. No matter what you do the ex will fail to contribute in any meaningful way expect token contributions and glory parenting…..

    In 18 yrs we’ve received nothing and done everything…..

    However I wouldn’t change a thing….. Support and encourage the kids contact …..make sure they never miss a birthday or fathers day or his new partners…. no matter how annoyed you are….support your other half as well…

    I’ve over heard my step kids explaining to friends …. ‘No that’s my biological dad’…. This is my real Dad….


    Shoe on the other foot for a moment – you’ve been told you are no longer wanted & have to shift out of the family home but continue part financing it whilst some other guy slips into your shoes – probably a fairly bitter pill to swallow i imagine.

    My comments above might not represent the facts in this case but still might be worth giving it a view from his perspective if you can. Best of luck with it all anyway – I found it best to just bite my tongue & always put the kids first whatever other *** was hitting the fan at the time.


    Anger is a waste of energy, time and life.

    Accept this guy for what he is and move on. Dont let his actions define you or your life with your partner.

    Good luck & Best Wishes

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff

    Well I feel for you he sounds feckless (ohh get me, proper word not swear filter avoidance). Quite liked wreckers suggestion.


    Lung problems and carries on smoking he deserves **** all. Be civil and don’t bad mouth him to the kids. Tell him to grow up, there is **** all else you can do.


    im in a similiar spot toyrobot, i dont have to tell the oldest who is his daughter any hometruths, she used to think the sun shone out his rear end, past year she has seen for herself…… i hope he dies this year, 8)


    If you have to fund the 95 mile each way journey, buy him a coach ticket. Leeds London is about £9 if you time it right.

    If he complains, explain money is tight but you feel its important he sees his kids.

    And as has been said, leave a few Gitanes for him…

    Premier Icon stimpy

    +1 wwaswas:

    My 2p is that you shoudl do what’s right for the girls. They’ll form their own opinion about him when the time comes.

    +1 T1000:

    Support and encourage the kids contact …..make sure they never miss a birthday or fathers day or his new partners…. no matter how annoyed you are….support your other half as well…

    And +1 to others in a similar vein too. No matter how hard it is for you or your partner, it’s so much harder for your kids and they didn’t ask for any of this.

    I’ve seen exactly the same with my step-daughter and her biological dad. She made up her mind about him too when she was old enough. It didn’t work out well for him. And she’s fantastic.


    I tink the important point you need to consider here is this line from your OP

    I live with my partner and her two fantastic little girls

    part of the reason they are fantastic, will have been their father’s influence to some extent

    I can understand your frustration, but playing devil’s advocate here slightly, I can’t really see how you can legitimately attempt to impose your values on him..
    As long as he is meeting his obligations, and is not putting the children in danger then is it really up to you to dictate how he spends his days..?

    He doesn’t sound uncaring or unloving from your description, just unhealthy


    Impose my values on him?
    My values being that I’d like him to take some responsibility for his children? Maybe put some clothes on their back or contribute in any way to their up bringing? Not smoke because it upsets his daughters who cry and ask me why he won’t stop as it’s making him ill?
    The point is, he’s not meeting his obligations, in any way what so ever. He does nothing for them. And no, I can’t dictate how he spends his days but I think it’s not unreasonable to point out that I’d like it more if he spent at least some of them doing something for his children.


    sounds like a job for.


    Sadly dude there’s both good and bad around everywhere. I got physically removed from a party for pouring champagne over one errant dad last year. I was erm, lubricated, and he was bragging about how he doesn’t see his son, I had recently taken my ex to court to get access to my girl so have a strong opinion in the subject… I listened and nodded and wondered, do I plant him one or pour this glass. As it was my wife’s best friends party I did the later. It caused a bit of upset but I’d do the same again tomorrow.

    Edit: it made me feel better, it upset my wife and her friend, I doubt it changed the guys opinion towards his son but I still feel better for it. In the days that followed a lot of people said it was time somebody shut him up. Some even congratulated me on the night. But all I really proved was I have low tolerance for idiot parents like him. Sadly you can rarely change a persons opinion or actions. Shame but true.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    it’s obvious he’s become accustomed to the easy life

    A life on benefits isn’t an easy life, even if benefits have been rebranded as a ‘lifestyle choice’ by millionaire etonians – if he’s choosing that over paid employment then that points more towards depression than opportunism. Taking up smoking when you have lung problems that are already keeping you off work is self harm.

    He may well be an arsehole but it doesn’t strike me that he’s a happy arsehole


    Ti_pin_man – good skills!


    exactly as Maccruisken says..

    I don’t wish to upset the OP but you have only repeated the assertions in your original post, citing that he is not doing as much you would like him to financially and that he smokes.. but it seems that he’s in no position to help out financially..
    Yes smoking is a bit shit.. I gave up a lifelong habit during the first year of my first child’s life, but we are not all equipped with the faculties to do it.. such is life

    I may well be mistaken, this guy may well be an uncaring and arrogant tosser that’s laughing at his ability to wriggle out of his responsibilities, he may well be like the character in Ti-pin-man’s post but it certainly doesn’t come across that way in your description..

    sorry if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick here


    I don’t see how it’s a question of doing as much as I would like. Is it not he case that when you have children you have a responsibility to them? He is in no position to help financially due to his own lack of responsibility and his willingness to let his ex wife take complete care and shoulder all the weight of raising children. You know those people they talk about in The Sun who are happy to claim benefits and be provided for by the state? That’s him. It’s not something that deserves sympathy – he’s had more chances than any person I know and he’s just too feckless to make anything of them.

    Go with your second guess, that he may well be laughing as he wiggles out of all responsibility – you’re closer to the truth there.

    I’m surprised by the amount of posts willing to offer sympathy to a Dad who is happy to sit back and make no effort to support or raise his children. Fair enough, you can’t possibly know all the details and I have no wish to share them, but it seems disappointing that people are willing to find sympathetic reason for someone who has no interest in lifting a finger to improve the life of two small girls he brought into the world.

    For anyone thinking he has reason to act poorly as the children have moved away – that was never plan A. It was always everyones hope that the children would live close to their father but after about a year of trying this, he made it completely impossible. My partner was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and her move was motivated by desperation and self preservation brought on by his behavior.

    It’s not a question of money either. It’s a question of having a back bone. You bring a child into the world, from there on in you owe it to them to make your life about supporting and doing your best for them or have I got that wrong?

    This was possibly the wrong forum (literally) to bring this up. I just needed to get it out without it being directed at the wrong people.

    Let’s all be friends and talk about bikes – the best thing I could do to clear my head is get out and blast some trails.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I think you need to accept he’s not going to meet the standards you feel are appropriate – either becaue he’s deliberatly failing to or because he’s incapable of it.

    All you can do is model what you feel is good parental behaviour, continue to allow the girls to visit him and give it time.


    Blimey! It’s not about standards I feel are appropriate. It’s a complete lack of any standards. It seems like it’s being suggested that I have unrealistic expectations in thinking a father should show some willing to make some effort in life for his children. I don’t think a couple separating is a reason for any parent to wash their hands of responsibility – this may not be the commonly held belief that I thought it was.

    But thanks for the kind words and support. Yep, I know what I need to do. Believe me. It’s easier to take him out of the equation in my head than it is in reality though. It’s difficult, it builds up and sometimes I get frustrated but in a way, the less he does, the more he fails them, the more I feel their Mum and me are determined to get it right.

    Perhaps coming from separated parents but still being able to say that my Dad was probably my closest friend as I grew up I have a particular view on the situation.


    toyrobot, don’t get sucked in by the trolls, you weren’t out of line in anything you said or thought, some people just make crappy parents.


    i can give you some advice, right now you dont want to hear it, but in future my words will echo round your head.

    get out, get out now, if you want any sort of a life for yourself pack up and walk away, the children will never love you, they will never respect you, they will never see what you have to see in their father. Worse, they will forever be the number one reason for your partner to go on living anything you contribute will be background noise, she will not love you, she will not respect you, she will bleed you dry. Its not about you, its about them and they will outlive you. If you are happy to forever sit in the background, be an after thought and feel like a visitor in your own home, then crack on.


    I’d be cutting down on the 95 mile journeys – tell him you think it is fair you take it in turns – you’ll bring the kids down this week (at your expense) he can travel up to you next week (at his expense) it is a reasonable plan so he can’t really complain. (he won’t like it though)

    other than that just accept him as he is and move on – don’t bad mouth him in front of the kids, just give them oportunity to make their own minds up as they grow up.

    My sister-in-law has recently devorced a complete scumbag (we knew what he was like before she married him) he goes out of his way to wind her up, and regularly uses the kids as a weapon – I just hope one day they see him for what he really is.


    toby1, thanks. Mind at ease.
    If it all goes wrong we’ve always got the comedy stylings of soobalias to fall back on.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    Blimey! It’s not about standards I feel are appropriate. It’s a complete lack of any standards. It seems like it’s being suggested that I have unrealistic expectations in thinking a father should show some willing to make some effort in life for his children. I don’t think a couple separating is a reason for any parent to wash their hands of responsibility – this may not be the commonly held belief that I thought it was

    I’m not disagreeeing with you.

    What I do think is that no one has the same standards as you (or me or anyone else) – we all parent in different ways.

    I know some great Dads but the way they interact with their children isn’t the way I’d do it.

    In this case you have a bloke who’s for whatever reason foumd himself ill and living 95 miles from his family. He’s probably depressed and angry and not showign either emotion in a very positive way.

    You can judge him and find him wanting but it’s not goign to change anything and your bitterness towards him will be picked up by all around you.

    You need to concentrate on forming positive relationships with the girls and maintaining a civil one with him for their sake. Driving back from every visit slagging him off is not going to help anyone.

    On a positive note – if he’s so crap then you can be a brilliant step-Dad by comparison and show them what it really means to care and nurture.


    I get what you’re saying..
    If you had kids of your own, you would hope to be a better parent than he is being at the moment.. fair enough
    I’d very much hope that I would be too in his situation

    I refer you to my post in the king for a day thread 😀


    toyrobot, haven’t seen my dad for over 20 years, don’t care waste of space. I know of too many cases of people not taking responsibility. An aquaintance of the SO is currently, in her own words, trying to get pregnant because she wants a baby, she already has a 6 year old daughter who is shoved in front of the tv day in day out. She isn’t actually bothered who the father is hence rather alot of blokes on the go. As for working, Quote “not really for me, bit hard, gets in the way”

    I think alot of the comments reflect a desire amongst a certain type of person to do the best they can and a failure to understand that there are a lot of people who really don’t give a s*** and are happy to play the system.


    mrmo has a point..

    I’m not trolling, I truly believe that I would handle the situation differently, I always like to try to find the good in people, especially where family are involved, and like it or not, this guy is family..

    I’m aware that some folk truly don’t give a shit, my own dad, my wife’s dad, and my niece’s father all spring to mind.. I think that most well adjusted folk, on reaching a certain level of maturity should forgive and forget where possible though.. none of us are beyond reproach

    Matey might well be an utter wrong ‘un.. it just doesn’t come across that way in toyrobot’s posts

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I always like to try to find the good in people

    I think there is an element of this in what I was trying to say too.

    I’m like yunki. It drives my wife potty.

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