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Please Please Read and Give Me Advice. I feel so awful !!!!!!!! - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Based on what you've said (and I have to admit I skimmed. My time is limited today.) it sounds like you would be justified leaving him. Spending weekends passing out is a horrible example to his current child and your future child, in addition to being destructive to your marriage. You deserve to feel like you have a partner.

In your mind, you need to separate your feelings about the daughter. You have no right to resent her. And if being expected to care for her when you don't want to is the main thing driving your desire to leave, that's not a good enough reason. You married your husband knowing he had a child. When the actual parent is unavailable, it is perfectly reasonable for the step-parent to care for the child. That is not unfair to the step-parent. The problem here is WHY your husband is unavailable. He didn't come down with the flu. He didn't get called in to work for the weekend. He is CHOOSING to be too incapacitated to participate in his family life.

I sympathize with the stress of caring for a difficult child while pregnant, but that is also not the issue. Children are not always easy to care for, especially when there are problems with their parents. Some day your own child will be 5 and may be challenging and you may have another baby by then. You will not have the option of sending the 5 year old off because you don't want to deal with him. People find a way to care for children in all sorts of challenging situations. Again, the problem here is WHY your husband is creating this situation.

I'm curious - if your husband's visitation has been reduced because of his drinking, that sounds like his ex is aware of the problem. What is her position? Is she willing to send her daughter over every weekend, as long as you'll take care of her? (In that case, you may be the most stable adult in this poor kid's life.) Or is your husband wanting to go to court and ask for every weekend? In that case, if things are really as bad as you say they are, I think you need to warn him that you will have to be honest on the stand or with the custodial evaluator, that he is not taking care of his child during his weekend parenting time and why. That might be disastrous for your marriage, but it sounds like you want out anyway and the most important thing here is the little girl. If a judge or evaluator is trying to decide what's best for her, that person needs to know what she's being exposed to, in each home.

Good luck.
post #22 of 30
I think - until you get this all figured out logistically - that you should tell your DH, when he's sober before his DD comes next time - that you will not be responsible for her if he's drinking. Tell him that if he drinks you will leave and report that his DD is not being supervised to child protective services. If in fact her Mom won't pick her up and her Dad won't supervise her, she deserves to be protected. They can not dump this onto you right now. You are stretched too thin - and that's not a reference to going into labor. I mean your stress level. Take yourself out of this role and let him make his own decisions.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
I think - until you get this all figured out logistically - that you should tell your DH, when he's sober before his DD comes next time - that you will not be responsible for her if he's drinking. Tell him that if he drinks you will leave and report that his DD is not being supervised to child protective services.
I appreciate your sympathy for the OP, but think about the little girl! An alcoholic is not going to stop his drinking habits that easily. So, in effect, you're talking about creating a situation where the husband WILL drink when his daughter's there for the weekend and the wife will be committed to leaving - and leaving him alone with his daughter. How is she going to feel when her dad is drunk or passed out - or on the way - and the other adult she relies on to take care of her when she's away from her mommy walks out the door? Not to mention her safety: what if something happens to her before her mother or the authorities show up? The action you propose would be just as selfish as her husband's choice to spend weekends drunk. If the OP is going to leave him, she should leave him. And if she believes her absence from the house would place his daughter in danger, then she should notify the authorities. She should not make a point of staging her exit it in a way that intentionally traumatizes the kid!
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
She should not make a point of staging her exit it in a way that intentionally traumatizes the kid!
I wasn't suggesting she should traumatize the child. The point I made about discussing this with him before he drinks was so that he could make a choice. She talks about him drinking on the weekends. Therefore, in my uneducated thought process, he can make a choice when he needs to about drinking ie working during the week. If he can make that choice for working, he can make that choice for his child. Also, I never said wait until he's passed out drunk, leave and hope for the best. If he picks up a drink on the weekend, then is the time to act. Call the authorities. They can intervene long before he's passed out drunk. Also, for the record, I was thinking of this child when I made my suggestion. Her Mom won't protect her from her Dad, her Dad is drunk all the time, the step Mom is about to go into labor at any moment. What happens if the op has to go to the hospital at the last minute and leave the child with the drunk Dad? Then the op is worried about labor and the child. It really sounds to me like the op is out the door very soon one way or the other. If that's the case, someone has to look out for this child. I realize most people have a huge bias against child protective services - and for the record I've never suggested they be called before this - but this is neglect and this child deserves to have someone look out for her.
post #25 of 30
first off big big hugs to you, {{{hug}}} what a horrible situation for you to be in.

i belong to a number of sm sites and the first rule of thumb that we all adhere to is that we married the man, not the children. as much as we may love or take care of them or what have you, they are not our responisbility.
is there a shelter that you can get to? a transition house that you and your children can go to. will the police come and remove him from the home. i know that here in bc canada where i live they will remove him in a heart beat and take the little girl either to her moms or to cps. she is not your responisbility, you did not have any part in bringing her into this world, and the best thing you could do for her, the most loving is leave her to her mom and let her mom take care of what needs doing.
you need to focus on you and your children and your coming baby.
i may get flamed for this not being the most gentle answer, but somethings in life are not gentle, they are real and we have to do for our own children what needs doing. your kids deserve better than this toxic damaged man as an example of what a father figure or any male figure is in childrens lives. this crying over her picture is just plain creepy imo. and he needs some major help, which unless you are a professional you can not give to him.
you may have weeks left in your pg. i know i walked aruond dilated and effaced like you are for weeks and weeks before anything real happend.
please for the sake of your children and your unborn son, leave

hth~ viv
post #26 of 30
<i>I wasn't suggesting she should traumatize the child. The point I made about discussing this with him before he drinks was so that he could make a choice.</i>

I've spent way too much time around Al-Anon. My mother is the addict/alcoholic in my family. After years of trying to find a sane relationship with her, I finally cut all ties. I will not have an alcoholic in my children's lives.

Ultimatums don't work. People have to get sober for themselves. If they get sober because they were threatened with consequences, it doesn't stick. Even if they manage to get sober, the marriage ends up failing because they resent the spouse for forcing them into a choice that wasn't their own. It pretty much causes the marriage to fail every time.

Even when the person chooses to get sober, the marriage fails 90% of the time. A marriage that works when one person is drunk and one person is co-dependent usually doesn't work when one person is sober and one person is not.

OP can't save her husband's child. She doesn't have any legal power to do anything for that child. It's up to that child's mother to do the best she can.

OP needs to think about the effects that living with alcoholic will have on her own children and do the best she can to minimize those effects for her children. Living with an alcoholic is very damaging for children.

Following the ex-wife's lead and getting the hell out is an excellent start.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post
Ultimatums don't work. People have to get sober for themselves.
I agree ultimatums don't work. I just don't see where my suggestion was an ultimatum. She is telling her husband what she's capable of doing and what she's not capable of doing. Everyone - from what is being presented here - seems to be allowing the op to enable their behavior by allowing the situation to become op responsibility, no matter what. Well, it's time to say no more enabling. It's not benefiting anyone, especially the poor child! Enabling is a horrible situation where a person doesn't even realize what's going on until they're in full enable mode. This op realizes she can't do it any more. Or at least feels overwhelmed in her role of enabler. I was suggesting a way to remove herself from the enabling role, while still making sure the child was watched out for.

This is totally not snarky at all, but I would be interested in your view on un-enabling since you have experience with it. Some people will allow the rest of us to take care of their lives and responsibilities as long as we don't draw the line in the sand. This op sounds ready for the line. I was just trying to offer a suggestion that would allow her to draw a line without leaving the little girl hanging. (Which is what sounded like her concern to me.)
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivvysue View Post
i belong to a number of sm sites and the first rule of thumb that we all adhere to is that we married the man, not the children. as much as we may love or take care of them or what have you, they are not our responisbility.
Yikes. I find that really sad. No, of course you shouldn't stay in an awful or abusive marriage for the sake of your step-kids, but the idea that they're "not our responsibility" or that we didn't marry them when we married their dad sounds harsh, to me. My husband and I both feel that we married each other's kids from before, when we married each other. It's hard for me to understand how a parent could truly feel bonded and partnered with a spouse who felt no responsibility for their children - who ought to be their very heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
She is telling her husband what she's capable of doing and what she's not capable of doing. Everyone - from what is being presented here - seems to be allowing the op to enable their behavior by allowing the situation to become op responsibility, no matter what.
I don't think anyone's encouraging her to enable him. I think people are generally saying if he's a drunk - and the fear of losing his family hasn't made him stop yet - she needs to accept how he is and make decisions for herself and her unborn child based on how he is, not put her energy into finding just the right way to threaten, manipulate or cajole him into changing.

Personally, I also think she should decide whether to stay or leave based on her relationship with the man she married, not his child. Is the problem that he's spending every weekend drunk? Or is the only problem that she has to care for his kid when he's drunk? If he were a wonderful, sober guy with custody of his kid and had to work some weekends, she wouldn't sound nearly as reasonable if she said, "I'm leaving if I keep having to watch his kid while I'm pregnant!" When people have prior children - step or bio - they often have the work of caring for them during subsequent pregnancies. The kid is not the problem. The husband is. If she's going to leave him, she should do it because of him.
post #29 of 30
jeaninne:
i totally see what you are saying. this isnt about loving and truly blending a family, this is more about not having any real recourse... either via the law or any other governing body that would allow the op to actually do anything that could help her sd. all she can really do that will change things right now, is leave it to the authorities that can step in, they are the only people other than the sd's parents who have true power to help her sd.

i adore my sd's they are like my own dear children, but in the end in the eyes of the law or any real authority i am just another person in their life who loves them. even with the legality of marriage, without them being adopted by me or given over by the other parent or the state/province... in truth i am legally nothing. i hope this helps clarify what i was meaning. it is so hard sometimes in text to get across the truth of your heart. i hope this helped you see i am not callous nor unloving or cold.

*op i urge you to get out as soon as you are able. you can not save him. you can not make him change, it isnt about love for him or his love for you or his love of any of the children either. it is about being an alcoholic and toxic to the children in your life, both his own and your own, and the one you share. they need to be protected from him.
i am so sorry you are having to go through this during your pg, i have been keeping you in my thoughts and sending good energy your way for some sort of positive change,

vs
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
I think - until you get this all figured out logistically - that you should tell your DH, when he's sober before his DD comes next time - that you will not be responsible for her if he's drinking. Tell him that if he drinks you will leave and report that his DD is not being supervised to child protective services. If in fact her Mom won't pick her up and her Dad won't supervise her, she deserves to be protected. They can not dump this onto you right now. You are stretched too thin - and that's not a reference to going into labor. I mean your stress level. Take yourself out of this role and let him make his own decisions.
I agree with this. CPS won't be able to do much, unless they are able to see exactly what is going on, they can't rely on heresay. If you leave *if it were me* I would do it on a weekend, call authorites when he has dsd in his care while intoxicated, that way this little girl can get help. I've had to do this before unfortunitly, and learned the hard way that CPS needs to see proof. I usually HATE the thought of CPS, but they are good in situations, for example this one. CPS could make a rule that dsd is not able to come over to her fathers until he is sober ya know. The whole crying over the picture thing creeps me out a bit, I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing he was alone with her.
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