Devoted Parent or Stalker? He said/she said. You decide.

The first in a series of true scenarios presented in mediation.  Reasonable? Unreasonable? Does it matter either way?

Chris and Sam have separated. Chris (Mum) lives with the children (aged 4 and 5) who see Sam (Dad) at weekends. 

Chris: We agreed the arrangements for the children. He sees them at weekends and speaks to them by phone one evening during the week but he doesn’t think that  is enough.

Sam: I get to see my children for a few hours at weekends.  It feels very false.  I have to take them to my sister’s house as they can’t come to the place I’m staying.  I really miss them during the week. I used to be there for bedtimes every evening.

Chris: I’m not inclined to increase the contact because frankly he is acting very strangely and stalking us.

Sam: I drive past the house on the way home from work. I used to be there every evening for bedtimes and I’m just desperate to see them. I park across the road sometimes just to catch a glimpse of the children. It is all I have.

Chris: I sometimes look out of the window and see him watching the house, just staring.  I now  have to close the curtains to feel safe and also because I don’t want the children to see him and get upset.

Sam: Sometimes she looks out the window and then goes around the house closing all the curtains.  It feels like I’m being cut out of their lives.  I just sit there not knowing what to do.

Chris: I’ve been told I should report him to the police for harassment.  I haven’t done that because I don’t want to cause trouble for him as he is the kids’ Dad but if it continues I’ll have no choice.

Sam: It makes me feel closer to them just being there, outside. I feel I’m still part of my kids’ life.

END

Have you been in this position or do you know someone who has?

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Welcome to the conversation! Insights into how people help themselves during divorce. Or don’t.

Hello from a newly retired family mediator.

I’ve spent many years of my professional life working with couples who have broken up and I have heard  not just one but both sides of the story.  I’ve seen the inside of divorce and separation in around 7,500 break ups.

That’s 15,000 stories from people who are often confused, hurt, in pain and mourning the loss of all those plans and dreams, perhaps facing an uncertain future.  Or people who have already moved on and are just waiting for their bewildered ex to ‘get to grip with things’ and accept it is over and that they need to get on with selling the house.

I would like to share some of my professional experiences with you.  I’d like to show you how people can get themselves into a hole and just keep digging. Or how people who once loved each other can hate each other with a passion that is breath-taking.  Or how people use up every penny they have in a battle with their ex.  Or how people swear that they would do anything for their children, anything that is except allow them to see their other parent.

Most of all I’m looking forward to hearing from readers, to know what you’d like to know (if that makes sense) and what you’d like to get from a blog that shares the inside track on 7,500 breakups. That’s a lot of heartache and hope.