You are here

Are exes phone calls invasive?

markwvualum's picture

My wifes ex husband and father of her kids calls her every night he knows Im off work wanting to "talk to his kids" and say goodnight. Normally I would find this great that he cares enough about his kids to call them but here's the kicker: He sees his kids 2-3 hours a week MAX and he lives 5 minutes away! Also the only time he seems interested in spending time with his kids is if he can pick them up and drop them off at our place when Im at work and my wife is there. He never obeys the court order which states he's supposed to have the kids every second weekend, ALL WEEKEND and the entire day wednesday. My wife makes excuses for his lack of parenting by saying he works a lot, has a small apartment etc. He's off every weekend. Its all an excuse. So basically we have the kids all the time and he seems happy letting her and me raise them. I find his lack of parenting irritating. I find his invasive phone calls irritating. If he thinks thats what it takes to be a dad he's delusional. We get no breaks form the kids and have no alone time and his phone calls to "speak to his kids" when he knows Im off work and spending time with them and my wife are invasive. Ive encouraged my Stepkids to call their dad whenever they want. They know how to use the phone. They dont ever seem interested which says a lot. Also half the time he calls the kids never want to speak to him. We hand the phone to them and literally tell them to talk to him and they seem annoyed by him calling to say goodnight. Im here to vent. Anyone else find this invasive?

Redin's picture

Can you start answering the phone so that he doesn't get the pleasure of talking to YOUR wife. Thats what I had to do when dhs ex called. She thought just because they had 3 kids together she had a right to communicate with him all the time. Emergency phone calls only otherwise she could talk to me or she could get him by email. She quit calling once she realized it was me she would get.

twoviewpoints's picture

The kid is eight (per your other posting), let the child answer the phone when his father calls. While you can't make a kid answer a phone, there is no reason an eight year old needs an adult to pick up a phone and hand it to kid.

If the father has phone calls as part of the CO, there is usually a time and days for calls. If the CO agreed calls fall on the same days you are home from work, it doesn't mean you can tell Dad 'no'.

If the calls are not in CO and you or wife start telling the father to stop calling to say goodnight, Dad is likely to go back to court to have calls put in. Dad is probably going to win on the calls.

The most Mom can do if seek number of calls allowed and length of calls (example, three times a week for ten minutes at x time). It's a reasonable agreement and no judge is going to care if the few minute calls take away SF/skid time.

With that said, while kid would have to be available for the calls, no one can force a kid to actually speak. However, at eight years old, surely the kid can manage a quick 'goodnight' and encouraged to do so. The quicker kid speaks and gets it over, the quicker the evening goes back to normal. If kid is ready to hang-up in three minutes, not much anyone can do about it.

beebeel's picture

He's probably calling on the nights you work, too. If his kids only bother to talk to him half the time, that would explain why he calls so often.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

Your wife needs to give him a specific time at night that he can call in the evenings, like 8pm or something. That way you can know when to expect the call and it's not a random intrusion into your evening. Like the other poster said, you answer the phone, be friendly and hand it off to the kids. If he asks to speak to Wife, just tell him she's busy and he's welcome to drop her an email. As for the visitation issue, is child support based on him having them those 3 days a week? I say document, document, document. If he is not exercising his visitation rights, go back to court, have the schedule officially changed and slap his butt for more child support. Your wife can even forewarn him in an email. "Hey, Ex, I have the kids 30 percent more than what is written out in the custody agreement. That costs me 30 percent more in groceries every month. Are you going to follow the court order or should we go and have it modified?"

Boundaries, my friend. Set them up and enforce them religiously.

futurobrillante99's picture

Nothing is stopping you from hiring a sitter or asking family to watch your step children so you can take your wife out for dinner or away for a weekend.

The advice you're getting about setting boundaries is good. Specific time for calls for a specific amount of time so as not to disrupt your household routine.

Also, your wife can give the kids permission to say "no thanks" to talking to dad on any given night if his calls are annoying to them.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

It's not ignoring him if they tell him don't feel like taking. Why force it? It will only make them resentful of both parents.

Harry's picture

If he sees his kids two or three hours a week. Is he there father ?
That about dead beet as it gets

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

Yes! Exactly. The biodad pays child support so he can continue a close personal relationship with his ex, who has moved on. Maybe if he pays a little more each month, OP couldn't complain if Ex comes over sometimes and fondles her goodies.

markwvualum's picture

About his child support payments, to be honest he pays so little we wouldn't even notice if he quit. My wife gets the checks not me. It covers two grocery bills a month, thats it. I make a lot more for a living than he does and so does she. just to add, I make roughly twice what he makes. I have hired a sitter many times so my wife and I have some alone time but if I dont do that we would have none. Ive never heard of a father never taking his kids for the weekends and seeing them so little after a divorce but then he has the audacity to call the house at night to act interested in his kids lives. Its a joke really.

Goodluck's picture

Mark what do YOU want?

TWO grocery bill cs payments can be 600 total, maybe it I 400.00. Don't knock that cs payment. Some custodians pay 25.00 a week for a kid. Some pay 500 a week.

Do you want bio dad to tpr (terminate parental rights) so you can adopt the children and YOU will be 80 to 90 percent on the hook for all medical, child support, cars, car insurance, college IF she wants out of the marriage?

You can be forced to pay up to 80percent of cs calculations, IF wife files for divorce because statistics on 2nd marriages succeeding are very low.

Don't forget the $$$$ lost since you may have tapped into your 401k to pay your lawyer and Wife's attorney to the tune of 40k on the low side.

Mark, what do you want? FREE couple time?

How about you talk your wife into giving dad full custody of the kids. Then you and she will have all the free time you want. Standard visits are eow and most of summer. Split Christmas, split Spring Breaks. Would that work? Nahhh, ruin the summers, right?

Mark what do you want?

Do you want him to stop calling his kids? Non-custodial parents do not have to exercise visitation. Many can not afford to or the moms make it so difficult.

Maybe being a step parent is not a good match for you. No harm in exploring that possibility.

Mark what do you really want, rhetorical question.
YOU must put YOU first. Give yourself permission to peel back the layers of the full family dynamic onion. THIS includes bio dad.

Dad calling 5, 6, 10 times a day would be intrusive. It doesn't stop there, Bio dads "the grandparents" also calling a few times a day is intrusive. THEN bio dads neighbors, pastors wife, cousins calling one after another IS intrusive. Dad walking into your house uninvited (bm's have done it to ex-husbands) is intrusive. DAD putting GPS tracking on phones he insists kids use IS intrusive. BioDad calling your wife every day during your vacation with the kids,, insisting on talking to the kids to see if they are ok,,is intrusive. Dad showing up at your hotel during your family vacation is intrusive. Bio dad filing motion after motions every year is intrusive.

Hope you never experience any of what I wrote in the above. They are not made UP either.

secret's picture

It sounds like you're not really pissed that he's calling, but that really you're pissed that he's calling only WHEN YOU'RE NOT HOME.

Sounds like you're insecure.

Also sounds like maybe, since your wife seems to always be making excuses for him, that maybe SHE told him to call when you're gone... maybe she doesn't want to hear your bitching about her ex.

Yes, you're the one who is around all the time. Yes, you're the one with no free time.

You're NOT the one the kids get annoyed at having to talk to.

Look at it this way... you have some douchebag feeling so low that he only feels he can call when you're not around, probably because he feels like such a piss-poor excuse of a man, knowing that YOU'RE the man who takes care of his kids. You win.