All you cynical nay sayers

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  • Salaman 22 Sep 2009 12:47:51 22,146 posts
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    You were right.

    I think I posted here at the start of Feb and if that's too long ago to recall or you missed it, here's the recap.

    After 7.5 years, I broke up with my (German) girlfriend and moved back to Belgium.
    Once back in my home town, I contacted various friends and acquaintances whom I hadn't seen in years. I had a few Friday night drinks in the pub with a whole group of friends.
    I had a few "come to my place and I'll cook you some dinner" nights with girl friends who were single and I'd wanted to catch up with.

    Jesse and I had a great night like that, had a a great steamy night of hot sweaty sex and turned it into a regular thing, making us effectively sex buddies.

    After about 4 weeks of this, she got pregnant. (yes, we used condoms, no not always strictly and religiously, yes my own fault, yes she probably was hoping to get pregnant out of this, none of that rally matters now anyway. )

    I didn't need and want a kid at that point, so I'd have been happy if she'd decided to abort. I knew she wouldn't though and I was happy to accept she'd keep the baby. In that case though, with a kid of mine coming into the world, I wanted to be actively involved with this kid.

    I guess the obvious course to an outsider must seem that Jesse and I would have a go at it as a couple. Although I like her as a friend and she was great as a shag buddy, I couldn't really see us working as a couple. Neither did she.

    I imagined we'd be able to make it work between us though. Jointly take responsibility for the child even though we weren't together.

    Pretty soon after though she started to clamp up. She didn't respond to mails unless prompted. She didn't answer her phone nor returned calls.
    She said it was all a bit much to take in and she needed some time to come to terms with it and it was all very emotional for her and she'd prefer to have a bit of a cool down period and no contact.

    This seemed reasonable and acceptable at first but as time went on, it became increasingly frustrating and she basically just froze me out and the only response I was able to get was via email and mostly to do with how the baby was. She'd give brief updates to those queries. (had check-up, all is well, xx cms. xx Kg)
    Anything else she ignored.

    It seemed blatantly obvious that she was hoping I'd just give up and walk away form it.

    At the start of September, after the latest update (healthy, 40 cm, 2 Kg) and with some vague promises about me getting to visit once the baby was there but being unable to commit to anything, we'd have to wait and see how things were once the baby was there, I asked some practical questions. What about names, let's start discussing that, birth announcement cards, etc.
    Her reply was that the cards had already been ordered. She could order some additional if I wanted some as well.
    She'd already decided names for both a boy and a girl (we don't know the sex) but she didn't want these to be known yet, I'd be the first to know though.

    At that point I went to see a lawyer to see what I can do.
    On the one hand she keeps claiming that she recognizes me as the father and won't stop me from getting involved with the child.
    On the other hand she grants herself the sole right to decide what our child will be called.

    I made an agreement with the lawyer about visiting rights during the first two years and co-parenting from 2 years on.
    It looks like she's been to see a lawyer and heard that there's little she can do, so she's come back with a counter proposal on visiting rights not too far off from what I suggested.

    So whoever said that this could get ugly (Otto I think).
    Yup. Well called.
    It's nearly countdown time now.
    The baby is due October 11. I get to go see it at the hospital.
    Then starting November 1st, I go over twice a week to see it at her place.

    Should make for some rather tense and awkward hours spent at her house.

    We'll see how it goes.
    Sorry for the long rambling post. I thought I'd update everyone.
    All in all I'm really happy at the moment though.
    Having the lawyers in the process of ironing out the details feels like such a step forward over the last nightmarish months of knocking on a closed door without any reply.
  • Pirotic Moderator 22 Sep 2009 12:49:19 20,639 posts
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    I stopped reading at the sex buddies part, so unless you can assure me it all goes wrong and you are miserable by the end, I'm not reading it out of spite.
  • Salaman 22 Sep 2009 12:50:35 22,146 posts
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    It all goes wrong, I was miserable for months but things are looking up now.
    Your call.
  • Pirotic Moderator 22 Sep 2009 12:54:17 20,639 posts
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    Starting off a moan with how you had steamy sex with a no strings attached friend isn't the best way to get sympathy btw ;) But I shall read it.

    (I read it really - hang on in there, sounds like your are doing the right thing and keeping a cool head over the situation, her thoughts will be all over the place considering her situation so cutting a lot of slack is a smart move. but, are you going to get a DNA test? if she's into casual sex, is that something you are at all concerned about or is she trust worthy?)
  • jonsaan 22 Sep 2009 12:58:40 26,540 posts
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    Just remember that her emotions are all over the place at the moment and she WILL be unpredictable, just sit tight and keep making her know you are in it for the long haul. She'll come around I think.
  • Roos-V 22 Sep 2009 13:08:44 464 posts
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    Hope things work for you Sal. I can only agree with Bill, your child will be the best thing to ever happen to you.
  • Salaman 22 Sep 2009 13:17:00 22,146 posts
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    Not done a DNA test or plan on getting one, pretty sure it's mine and she wasn't sleeping around with half the town at the time.

    The worst is over to be honest. My main concern was her dictating her terms in everything and allowing or denying me access to the kid based on her mood and schedule.
    With the lawyers finalising an agreement that fixes all that, I'm a bit more at ease now.

    Just a matter of waiting until the kid is there. Then seeing it twice a week for 4 months, after that I go pick it every Sunday for a few hours.
    Once he/she hits 2 years old I want it to spend every other week with me, which she's currently not willing to commit to but we'll start with the weekly thing for now and if 1 year down the line she's still not happy to go 50/50 when the child turns 2 years old, it should be easy enough to get that sorted through court as it's the default arrangement the courts make these days when couples are divorcing.
  • deem 22 Sep 2009 13:18:33 31,653 posts
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    why is your name in black
  • otto Moderator 22 Sep 2009 13:38:23 49,322 posts
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    Looks like they're marking group threads in black (or rather the names) and main forum ones in blue.

    Anyway, sal, sorry to hear of the problems you've been having, guess you and CasperCCC (it was him right?) should get together and exchange notes. Sounds as if you've done absolutely the right thing about getting a lawyer involved in a non-confrontational but firm way to insist on your rights. Off on a bit of a tangent here, I get FUCKING FED UP at the way women seem to want to have their cake and eat it on the parenthood front, on the one hand we evil bastard men are supposed to give up our lives and careers to pay for the consequences of one spunking (which personally I sign up to fully, you're responsible for your actions), on the other hand they try to exclude us from all the pleasures of parenthood. Heads we lose, tails they win. Fucking sick of the way men are treated on this issue in this day and age. /mini rant
  • Salaman 22 Sep 2009 13:46:49 22,146 posts
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    Yeah, it's a subject that seems to stir quite some emotions with lots of people.
    A neighbour of mine mentioned the situation at work and people got quite heated about it. None of them even know me.

    Luckily the Belgian law is pretty good and grants fathers the same rights as mothers.
    So if you do a runner, you'll be made to cough up and pay which I think is fair.
    If you choose to be involved, you get co-parenting which means you have the kid 50% of the time and you don't pay. Since each has the child half the time, each has the same costs to bear. It depends if there's a massive difference in incomes and such but in my case I think we both make the same and she's going back to work as far as I know.
  • otto Moderator 22 Sep 2009 13:49:30 49,322 posts
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    The main thing is to stick in there for the early years, you don't necessarily need (or want) 50% access for the first couple of years but you want to be part of the child's life and be recognised as such not only by the child but also by the mother and grandparents. Then down the road as the child's needs expand to include a bigger role for the father you'll be there and won't have to fight so hard. Also, it keeps your foot in the door in the event that the mother finds a partner who tries to supplant your role.


    /raises fist
  • CasperCCC 23 Sep 2009 14:07:52 1,087 posts
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    Wow. That's a pretty enlighted approach that Belgium has got. Chances of getting a week on/week off over here are, I think, slim to zero.

    But anyway - yeah, you're going through the worst bit now. It's miserable. You want to be involved, but you can't - she's pregnant, but your relationship is with the child, not her, and so all you can do is hang around and wait until the child shows his face. I felt like I was being cut out of it when Alice was pregnant - but that's the way it's always going to be.

    Don't make too many plans about what's going to happen in two years' time. Things won't work out how you expect them to. Don't even make plans about what's going to happen in two month's time. I was all for fighting for as much contact as possible right from the start, but it's really hard when the baby's really small. It's almost a case of biding your time for six months, spending as much time as possible and making that early bond with the baby, and then as he gets older, the relationship can really blossom.

    Seems like in every thread, I crap on about slings, but in my (our?) situation, a sling was great in the early months. C didn't really do much apart from sleep and look around at first. Spending two hours with her in my ex's flat was a bit odd. It was great - but what do you actually do?

    So I loved being able to load her up in the sling and take her for a walk, even though she'd fall fast asleep as soon as she was in the sling. Was a great feeling to have my tiny baby daughter hidden away, fast asleep and totally trusting that you'd take care of her.

    I'm now in an extremely good place. On Mondays and Wednesdays I pick C up from nursery, take her back to her mum's flat and feed her/play with her/put her to bed. Then I have her overnight three weekends in four - two Friday night/Saturday days in a row, then a Friday night/Saturday night/Sunday day stay.

    In a funny way, I think she gets more contact than she would otherwise. When I see her, she gets full-bore, 100% attention from me. And she's an absolutely awesome baby - just had her first birthday and keeps on getting more and more fun.
  • CasperCCC 23 Sep 2009 14:11:27 1,087 posts
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    Apologies. "In an extremely good place" is horrible, horrible therapy talk. "Things are going really well" is better. :)
  • otto Moderator 23 Sep 2009 14:16:42 49,322 posts
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    Sounds really positive though Casper. You probably see rather more of your daughter than I do of my 1 year old, and me and her mum are 100% together (I just work away all week). And like you say, when you're with her, it's really quality time. Nice one.
  • Whatsfor 23 Sep 2009 22:10:50 2,187 posts
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    Casper, don't be alarmed but Richard Attenborough seems to have slipped into your dinner party...

  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2015 23 Sep 2009 22:20:52 45,923 posts
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    Fuckin' hormones eh? My wife is all over the place at the moment (mind you I'm no better).

    October 11th is my birthday too. It's when all the cool people are born.
  • Deleted user 25 November 2010 10:54:52
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