Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

in the beginning....

Community Member
When I first met my 2nd husband, I was working 3 jobs to provide for my daughter and myself. I got some money in the divorce settlement to help buy a house for my daughter & I. He wasn't working at all because of the weather,he was a concretor. So I helped out & paid his bills & gave him his 'play'money as well, because he said he would pay me back. So 6 mths together & I'm paying for his drinking&smoking& socialising while I'm waitressing, bartending & scrubbing houses, because stupid me believes him when he says when the weather clears up he will get heaps of work & will pay me back & spoil me. Stupid me even believed him on his thoughts about raising kids, marital expectations, & general life. Fast forward 10 years & twins,with me always buying little things to spoil him& getting nothing in return, no help with boys,not even help around the house. We are now separated & he wants all the little things back that he left here, even tho he said I could sell stuff to pay bills, & then makes me out to be bad guy"indian giver" in front of kids. So sick of his behaviour, but because he's an alcoholic, everyone says I'm supposed to give him support. He didn't want help when he was with us, so why should I go out of my way now. It's not just the financial side of things, it's everything he promised, but decided it was too hard to follow thru with. And his horrible way of treating me, apparently it's emotional abuse, hasn't stopped even tho he's not here. The boys are realising the way he says one thing & does the exact opposite is the wrong way to treat people, especially when he does it to them. I don't know how to stop their disappointment, he is their father & I'm not going to badmouth him or put him down but its just so unfair that he does that to me. All I want is the best for my kids but I'm finding it very hard...what do I do?
6 Replies 6

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

My view.

Be firm but not nasty, considerate with access to your kids but realistic about cost sharing.

Finalise financials if you haven't done so. End your financial and property connections forever. Once ended not an item should be given. You are separate.

Children are resilient, they adapt and accept easier. They will learn that dad us dad and his drinking us not mums fault, not their own fault and no one but dad is responsible.

You can't protect children from life's facts. Their innocent little minds must learn the harder of life's lessens.

Put up boundaries eg. Be welcoming for him when sober but flatly refuse discussions when not. Reject abuse. Make it clear perhaps that communication by text is preferable. It gives you time to think about child access with schedules rather than changing plans quickly.

Others with more knowledge on alcohol issues might chip in with other ideas.

Tony WK

Thank you for your kind words Tony. I've tried to be reasonable & fair in regards to his access to boys,he knows their schedule & knows he can see boys anytime he's just got to let me know. He pays minimal child support & I seem to be looking after everything else for them,(soccer& swimming fees etc),but if they really need it & he can't or won't help out then I'll find a way. I send clothes, shoes etc over for their w/e visits. When he brings boys home he ALWAYS tries to goad me into an argument or says something negative, I try to respond nicely & ask him not to in front of kids, & he make a stupid comment to kids as he's walking away. Then later in the day/night, depending on amount of alcohol consumed, he will send provocative texts to annoy or rile me, or asking why I stopped loving him. I don't think I ever asked anything too hard of him, but when I had to ask for the same little things over & over again & I still got no response, frustrations & resentments gradually crept in. Sorry for rambling, I just feel totally ripped off​ & stupid for believing him & now my kids are suffering from his selfishness too. It seems like I'm trying everything & nothing is working, but thanks for reading


dear Carey, and thanks Tony because I agree with you.
Carey 'the buck has to stop somewhere' and that's to get rid of your husband entirely who is only using you, and by saying negative comments back to the kids is not what they need, this will only give them a feeling of being not wanted by one parent.
Anything you lend him you won't ever get back no matter how much he promises, he can't be trusted in anyway and is bleeding you dry and to get work as a concretor is wishful thinking, he doesn't want to work but only take advantage of what he is given.
You must stop paying for his smokes, alcohol and what ever else he wants to do, and if he sends threats by text or phone calls then it's time to get an IVO order on him, which will also stop him seeing your kids, but do they want to see him anyway, but you can't work 2 or 3 jobs just to pay for his addications, it's taking money away from you and the kids, who are growing up quickly so their needs will only increase.
You're now divorced and there was a reason why this happened, so he should be on his own now, and hopefully he keeps paying maintenance for the kids.
You could change your phone numbers, I know a bit inconvenient, but if you want to ring him then use a public phone booth, I know it's not the best solution, but you could talk to your phone company to see what cn be done.
I really hope that you can get back to us. Geoff. x

Dear Carey

The guys have given you great advice. As Tony says, get your finances settled and your divorce if this has not yet happened. No need to change your phone number or email address. If he continues to harass you, simply put a block on his number. Make hard copies of his comments and if necessary get an AVO.

If he has the children at the weekend then he must provide clothes for them. I know several divorced couples where child custody is shared. If they live primarily with one parent but spend several days with the other parent, then the weekend parent must provide clothing.

I suggest you be home when the children arrive but do not let him in. He can handover the children at the door. Allowing him into your home gives him the impression you are OK to have him there. My marriage was not good and when I left I was so relieved. However he still came to my home on family occasions. He still thinks he has the right to make sarcastic remarks and general put downs, also to tell me how to manage my life, so now I have said he is no longer welcome. If my (adult) children want him at these times then they can host the occasion. I will still go and keep away from him.

Have you made a formal agreement about child custody? As I understand it, these agreements must go through the courts. It will be better for you and the children if this happens. Then there will be no way for him to complain about access. Also the court will decide how much maintenance he must pay. The money will be taken out of his wages by the court. If you cannot afford a lawyer go to the Women's Legal Service in your state. They will give some free advice and point you in the right direction.

It is hard to refuse contact with anyone, but this sort of harassment does you no good. You need to feel secure in your life, not worrying about any demands he may make.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep in contact here for support and suggestions.


Community Member
Hi everyone, hope you all have had a better few days than me. Just feeling low ,& let down, again. Hope a vent might help. He only had the boys overnite on Friday cause his cousin had a big 50th party sat nite, & he said it wasn't really a kids party,oh duh! I agreed & said he wouldn't be able to look after them when he'd be drinking/drugs. So before they came home on sat morn, he took them their soccer game, then to see new Finding Dory movie, then shops to buy a new "machine" . I'm not good with tech stuff but its a galaxy something tablet, anyhow something I can't afford. The boys already use sister's i pad & have a 'lazer tablet'. He got this new thing with them & said ask mum if you can keep it at her place. If I said no leave it at dad's for when you go there or just no they've got enough stuff, I would have been the mean mum. It's not fair, how am I supposed to deal with this rubbish behaviour from him? Especially when I've asked him not to several times. I've said go to park/ride bikes etc with them instead =give them your time & he always makes some comment about if he still lived here & if I still loved him he could, I say but you didn't when you were here, you were drinking instead, he'll walk off mumbling something stupid. I don't know what to say or do to try & explain to the boys & that makes me sad. Sorry that rambled all over the place but that's how I'm feeling too.

Hi redgirl-blackdog. Your ex is doing everything in his power to manipulate the kids against you. I think you're going to have to take a firm stand and start basically laying some ground rules regarding his access. He's using his freedom to see the kids whenever he wants and with you being afraid to set boundaries, he's having a ball. I would tell him that if he buys the kids something when he has them, he should keep them at his house as he bought them for his time with them. When they're home with you, that's your time and you and them do your thing together. Electronic equipment is his time with them and should be treated as such. I would explain to your kids that 'mummy's hopeless' with electronics and if something goes wrong, you would have no idea how to fix it. Therefor keeping it with dad means if they have problems, dad's there to sort it straight away. I would also ignore his behaviour, as all he's doing is trying to get a reaction. Once you can 'switch' off, he will stop. It may take a while, but when people realise they're not getting any reaction, they soon give up. When he uses the kids as pawns, that's also to get a reaction. Once you don't react, eventually the kids are going to start seeing dad in a different light, and may comment. This then becomes his problem.