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My baby's father dislikes my older son - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

You might want to move to all-email communication, too, so that you have a record of any future threats. Again, doesn't have to be a big dramatic declaration - just don't pick up the phone when it's him and send an email in response to any message that he leaves.
He didn't tell me that on the phone, he told me on person.

He blocked me from his e-mail in November. He told me that he got an e-mail from me that I had sent to everyone in my mailbox, though, so I don't know what is up.

I think things are going to get better. I wonder if he talked to his attorney and told him about our situation and if the attorney told him this wasn't a good idea, what we're doing. It was more okay for the first few months after the baby was born, but for some reason he pulled WAY back and got a lot more hostile. He was even taking us all out to eat for a few months. I don't know what made him do that or what made him stop. It was kind of awkward for me (what is this, a "date"?) so I don't really miss it. We just haven't settled into a situation where we are both comfortable. "Normal" vistation would definitely help.
post #22 of 41
I don't think it was too harsh at all. I had a parent choose their SO over me. My dad let her treat me and my sister like crap. I haven't spoken to him in 7 years and only then because he heard gossip that I had nearly died giving birth to my first child. He has never met my second child. Nothing angers me more than a parent putting someone else's wants above thier child's and that is just what this is. His requests are not reasonable and are at the expense of the OP's ds. Sitting back and just hoping that since things are better they will stay that way for awhile is not good for anyone involved. Things need to be dealt with with the courts so that these threats can be used in any future hearings. It is obvious that he is mentally unstable. He can love his daughter with all of his heart and still be unstable. He is already using the dd against the OP and it will only get worse. It will not get better. Sometimes being blunt with the truth is what someone needs to hear to make them realize the situation is actually more serious than they want to believe it is.
post #23 of 41

re: "family" therapy

In this thread, there have been several positive references to the idea of you and this man attending counseling together. Let me present for your consideration the opposite thought.

Therapy - when done well - involves significant time and emotional investment. (It's not just the time you spend in someone's office, but the time you spend thinking about what was said there, or what you want to say next time, or whether you're doing the work you agreed to do, and whether he is.) I think it's better and healthier to invest that time in relationships that have a future - or at least relationship which you hope might have a future.

Yes, this man will always be in your life because of your daughter. But she can't go to counseling with him. And it sounds like you and this man are not going to work things out and get back together. I know the therapy goal would be "co-parenting", not necessarily reconciliation. But if you were once "best friends" and lovers and you have a child togther, but your problems are too great for you to raise that child together, I can't imagine therapy producing results that will satisfy either of you. It would become a forum for dwelling on all the things that pushed you away from each other in the first place. Worse, if this guy is manipulative, it could very well become another way for him to try to control you. Manipulative people often use joint counseling as a way to say, "See? I told you you owe it to me to do such-and-such. And what I got out of that counseling session is that the therapist agrees with me."

In my experience, good co-parenting happens after two people give themselves time and space to adjust to the break-up, lick their wounds, get on with their separate lives, return to feeling hopeful and confident about themselves... and slowly realize there's just no reason to resent or feel threatened by each other anymore, since you're not trying to build a life together anymore. I think it would be harder for that to happen if you're engaging in the emotional intimacy of therapy together every week. And some people cannot get past all the old stuff, to become a good co-parent.
post #24 of 41
Boundaries. The feeling I get from you is that you and your kids are at the mercy of his whims and moods. This is not good. You said he was even taking you and the kids out to dinner for a while- but you were uncomfortable with it because you didn't know what [U]he[U] meant by it. A lot of this sounds like classic manipulative garbage- the hot and cold behavior, playing family one month and blocking you from his email another- this just isn't good.

I think what sounds really wrong here is about your son. If he was running around like a tasmanian devil one day when ex was over and you sent him to his room to calm down, ok. But if he spends whole visits in there just to avoid rubbing ex the wrong way with his normal personality, not ok. That is your home, your son's home, and in no way is it acceptable for ex to have that kind of control over the people who live there.

And how is that he gets to be "willing" to have his dd for visits? For crying out loud! Unless you agree that he can't be trusted to have her on unsupervised visits, there is no earthly reason for you, or anybody to supervise. None of this is supposed to be all on his terms! Healthy relationships just don't work that way.

The one and only sure way to deal with this kind of stuff is to mentally put your own boundaries where you feel comfortable having them, and then don't let them cross them. He will deal, really. He doesn't have any actual power in your life. When you have your parenting time, you are free to parent in your way, and same for him. He has nothing to say about your son, and you don't have to listen to him or have a conversation about him at all. I could go on. You can talk to his sister and be her best friend if you want to. Who cares what he thinks?
post #25 of 41
I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but it sounds like you are confused or in denial about what you want from this relationship. You say you wish things would go back to the way they were the first 6 months you were together. Your ex says that he doesn't want you to ever be in another relationship because he's so threatened by another man in your daughter's life and you seem to accept this as somehow normal. You say you don't want to get in another relationship in the future. I think you are hanging on to the hope that things with this guy will normalize and that somehow you will become some kind of family. It seems pretty clear that this is not going to happen but you are allowing this hope to put you in a position where you are manipulated by him. This is a very unhealthy dynamic. It doesn't allow you to move on. And more importantly, in this case, it's bad for your children. It's bad for your son because his self-esteem and relationship with his sister are being impacted by it. It's bad for your baby daughter because she will grow up without a clear sense of her relationship to her parents and them to each other. It will not end well.

I think you need to accept that this man will be nothing more to you than your daughter's father and move immediately to develop a mediated, court-approved custody agreement that spells all the terms out in very clear terms.
post #26 of 41
I agree with Jeanine that therapy is not the way to go. But mediation could be really helpful. Wouldn't it be nice to work this stuff out with someone int he room whose JOB is to make sure YOU are heard and what YOU want for your daughter is taken into serious consideration?

I don't think therapy doesn't have a place in your current situation, though. I expect it could also be helpful to you to have someone help you sort out your own feelings about your relationship with this man.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post
I think you need to accept that this man will be nothing more to you than your daughter's father and move immediately to develop a mediated, court-approved custody agreement that spells all the terms out in very clear terms.
I agree with this. The boundaries in this situation are really off.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
... He asked me the other day if my son played the same way with the baby when he wasn't around. I said, "yes". And I'm not going to lie, but I guess I should dodge the question next time. ....
It seems like it is perfectly fine to lie lie lie lie lie in this situation! Why on earth would you not lie to this guy, that clearly needs one specific answer!

Lying is fine for mama-bears protecting their young!!!
post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tndixiemom View Post
I don't think it was too harsh at all. I had a parent choose their SO over me. My dad let her treat me and my sister like crap. I haven't spoken to him in 7 years and only then because he heard gossip that I had nearly died giving birth to my first child. He has never met my second child. Nothing angers me more than a parent putting someone else's wants above thier child's and that is just what this is. His requests are not reasonable and are at the expense of the OP's ds. Sitting back and just hoping that since things are better they will stay that way for awhile is not good for anyone involved. Things need to be dealt with with the courts so that these threats can be used in any future hearings. It is obvious that he is mentally unstable. He can love his daughter with all of his heart and still be unstable. He is already using the dd against the OP and it will only get worse. It will not get better. Sometimes being blunt with the truth is what someone needs to hear to make them realize the situation is actually more serious than they want to believe it is.
I am SOOO sorry about your childhood situation. I don't think I'm choosing this man over my son. Believe me, if we didn't have this child together, there would be absolutely no contact. I feel the hackles raise on the back of my neck when I feel like my children are being threatened. But I don't want to do anything that will make me look bad in court, should we get there. My son and I talk a lot and I think at this point, he' s not too upset--we all think this man is being unreasonable.

Keeping things in perspective--most of the time--by FAR most of the time, our lives are conflict-free regarding this man's involvement. I think everyone is entitled to a "bad week" every once in a while. I think I have gotten some good advice here.

Thanks.
post #30 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

In my experience, good co-parenting happens after two people give themselves time and space to adjust to the break-up, lick their wounds, get on with their separate lives, return to feeling hopeful and confident about themselves... and slowly realize there's just no reason to resent or feel threatened by each other anymore, since you're not trying to build a life together anymore. I think it would be harder for that to happen if you're engaging in the emotional intimacy of therapy together every week. And some people cannot get past all the old stuff, to become a good co-parent.
Well, you may be right. It's a moot point, though, as we're never goingt to get family therapy anyway. He would never go for it, but your comments make me feel better about this point on which he won't bend.
post #31 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by singin'intherain View Post
Boundaries. The feeling I get from you is that you and your kids are at the mercy of his whims and moods. This is not good. You said he was even taking you and the kids out to dinner for a while- but you were uncomfortable with it because you didn't know what [U]he[U] meant by it. A lot of this sounds like classic manipulative garbage- the hot and cold behavior, playing family one month and blocking you from his email another- this just isn't good.

I think what sounds really wrong here is about your son. If he was running around like a tasmanian devil one day when ex was over and you sent him to his room to calm down, ok. But if he spends whole visits in there just to avoid rubbing ex the wrong way with his normal personality, not ok. That is your home, your son's home, and in no way is it acceptable for ex to have that kind of control over the people who live there.

And how is that he gets to be "willing" to have his dd for visits? For crying out loud! Unless you agree that he can't be trusted to have her on unsupervised visits, there is no earthly reason for you, or anybody to supervise. None of this is supposed to be all on his terms! Healthy relationships just don't work that way.

The one and only sure way to deal with this kind of stuff is to mentally put your own boundaries where you feel comfortable having them, and then don't let them cross them. He will deal, really. He doesn't have any actual power in your life. When you have your parenting time, you are free to parent in your way, and same for him. He has nothing to say about your son, and you don't have to listen to him or have a conversation about him at all. I could go on. You can talk to his sister and be her best friend if you want to. Who cares what he thinks?
You know, sometimes I forget that a dysfunctional relationship can be made to be more healthy/functional and I don't have to just adapt, or learn to live with the craziness.

I woke up this morning early and in a good mood. I'm not going to let thie man dictate ANYTHING to me. I have my life to live with my kids, he has his life to live how he wants it. I'm SICK AND TIRED of walking on eggshells, feeling like I have to stifle my personality, fearful that I'll say or do something that will set him off. I need to take care of myself and my kids and let this 38 year old man deal with his own issues. I spend so much energy wanting to help him to be happy, thinking we'll all be better off if he is. But I have gotten to feel terrorized by him. REALLY, HE IS A BASICALLY GOOD, REASONABLE PERSON most of the time. But I think by giving him too much control, it hasn't been good for either of us.

I am a good mother, my kids are healthy, happy, well -adjusted and I think they'll stay that way. I want to be happy, too, and he's been robbing me of joy and peace. I don't know how manipulative he is, if any of this is on purpose, or not, but as long as I do my own thing, mind my own business, and build and maintain good boundaries, I think the court system will be on my side, should he push that.

I honestly think my fear of him taking the baby illegally is ungrounded. I need to quit dwelling on that.

And I also decided this morning, that if my daughter's aunt wants to be friends, I'm not going to hold back any more than I would with any other mother I'm friends with. I'm not going to annoy her--she just got here and I'm going to leave the ball in her court. She has already expressed a desire to get together with the kids. I think we could be good friends if I can ignore her connection to my baby's father. I pray that her coming here will be a good thing.
post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
It seems like it is perfectly fine to lie lie lie lie lie in this situation! Why on earth would you not lie to this guy, that clearly needs one specific answer!

Lying is fine for mama-bears protecting their young!!!
I think I'll just say, "The children always have a great time playing safely together. They are blessed to have each other."
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post

He has made comments about taking the baby away if I get remarried or if I otherwise "mess up", and before I got pregnant he had told me that if he couldn't find a wife, he'd want to hire a surrogate and have his sister or mother raise the baby.
Umm...He has issues. He may not be a monster, and he may not be a bad person, but he has major issues.

How did you come up with your joint custody agreement? Was it ordered by the court? If its not court ordered, I would consider going to court to get that modified.

And really, at 19months he should be comfortable having her without your supervision. Especially if its just at the park for a few hours. just my .02.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
You know, sometimes I forget that a dysfunctional relationship can be made to be more healthy/functional and I don't have to just adapt, or learn to live with the craziness.

I woke up this morning early and in a good mood. I'm not going to let thie man dictate ANYTHING to me. I have my life to live with my kids, he has his life to live how he wants it. I'm SICK AND TIRED of walking on eggshells, feeling like I have to stifle my personality, fearful that I'll say or do something that will set him off. I need to take care of myself and my kids and let this 38 year old man deal with his own issues. I spend so much energy wanting to help him to be happy, thinking we'll all be better off if he is. But I have gotten to feel terrorized by him. REALLY, HE IS A BASICALLY GOOD, REASONABLE PERSON most of the time. But I think by giving him too much control, it hasn't been good for either of us.

I am a good mother, my kids are healthy, happy, well -adjusted and I think they'll stay that way. I want to be happy, too, and he's been robbing me of joy and peace. I don't know how manipulative he is, if any of this is on purpose, or not, but as long as I do my own thing, mind my own business, and build and maintain good boundaries, I think the court system will be on my side, should he push that.

I honestly think my fear of him taking the baby illegally is ungrounded. I need to quit dwelling on that.

And I also decided this morning, that if my daughter's aunt wants to be friends, I'm not going to hold back any more than I would with any other mother I'm friends with. I'm not going to annoy her--she just got here and I'm going to leave the ball in her court. She has already expressed a desire to get together with the kids. I think we could be good friends if I can ignore her connection to my baby's father. I pray that her coming here will be a good thing.
This post made me realize something. NO HE IS NOT A GOOD REASONABLE PERSON. He is emotionally abusive. You should not feel terrorized by him or anyone else for that matter. If he's threatening to take your baby from you, then you have every reason to believe what he's saying. Start tape recording your conversations with him, then use them in court against him if you need to.
post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post
You say you wish things would go back to the way they were the first 6 months you were together. Your ex says that he doesn't want you to ever be in another relationship because he's so threatened by another man in your daughter's life and you seem to accept this as somehow normal. You say you don't want to get in another relationship in the future. I think you are hanging on to the hope that things with this guy will normalize and that somehow you will become some kind of family. It seems pretty clear that this is not going to happen but you are allowing this hope to put you in a position where you are manipulated by him.
I think you need to accept that this man will be nothing more to you than your daughter's father and move immediately to develop a mediated, court-approved custody agreement that spells all the terms out in very clear terms.
I do wish we were friends. I miss being able to act "naturally" with him, like I do with my other friends and family. I miss him not criticizing me unfairly. I miss feeling safe with him.

I don't really WANT another man in my life. My life is complicated enough with this man and it really makes me feel horrible to have a man trying to interfere in my children's lives. Me wanting a man to have a romantic relationship is WAY DOWN on my list of priorities. Yes, I want someday to have a man in my life whom I love and who loves me. But my focus is on my kids right now.

We have a court-approved agreement, but it doesn't spell out every little detail and I think we both appreciate flexibility. My ex-husband and I have a detailed parenting plan, but we don't follow it and we're both satisfied with actually implementing a more flexible schedule.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
before I got pregnant he had told me that if he couldn't find a wife, he'd want to hire a surrogate and have his sister or mother raise the baby.
Wait, what?
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
I'm SICK AND TIRED of walking on eggshells, feeling like I have to stifle my personality, fearful that I'll say or do something that will set him off. I need to take care of myself and my kids and let this 38 year old man deal with his own issues. I spend so much energy wanting to help him to be happy, thinking we'll all be better off if he is. But I have gotten to feel terrorized by him.
I recommend the book Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger. It was life changing for us. It allowed us to regain control of our life and set and enforce real boundaries with my husband's ex.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
I recommend the book Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger. It was life changing for us. It allowed us to regain control of our life and set and enforce real boundaries
YES! YES! YES!



Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66
And I also decided this morning, that if my daughter's aunt wants to be friends, I'm not going to hold back any more than I would with any other mother I'm friends with. I'm not going to annoy her--she just got here and I'm going to leave the ball in her court. She has already expressed a desire to get together with the kids. I think we could be good friends if I can ignore her connection to my baby's father.

NO! NO! NO!

Go ahead and get together with the kids. DO NOT GIVE PERSONAL FAMILY INFORMATION. You have no reason to trust that this person has your best interest in mind. Why would you want to open up another avenue of manipulation for your daughter's father to use? This is much like spending time with his new girlfriend if he had one. Her loyalties are not with you, even if they are not against you. Your dd may spend time with her, she may a be a great person; but you have no reason to trust her. None.
post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 

update

Haven't really changed anything, but recently baby's dad and I had a blow-up and then a good discussion about this issue. I think we cleared the air and I'm expecting more consideration and respect all around.

Today my 2 older kids took the Red Cross Babysitting course and are "certified". After the class, we went to the park and soon the baby's dad came for his "parenting time" and his sister and her family were there with him and I was talking to the sister for a few minutes before I left with my older kids and the baby's dad went to a "adult" swing and put the baby (toddler, actually--it's hard to not call her "baby") and her cousin in that swing and they were enjoying being pushed very high. My son told me he was concerned that the girls were being pushed too high. That swing was sitting on a concrete pad and if one of them suddenly decided to jump out, it could lead to severe injury. I agreed that although the girls were sitting well back in the swing and seemed to be settled in and still, they didn't need to be pushed so high. I told the baby's dad my son was concerned, and he said, "Okay" and slowed down. My son was afraid the baby's dad would be mad, but he didn't seem to be. I was impressed that my son seemed so "safety conscious".
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
The baby's father thinks my son is too rough with the baby (who is now 19 months old) and will cause her serious injury.

<snip>

The baby's father has told me he is consulting a lawyer to see what the consequences are for me, my son, and my son's father if the baby is hurt, and he told me he would get a restraining order if he could to keep my son from the baby.
Maybe I have a twisted imagination, but when reading your posts, I think to myself....what happens when your son is 17 and your little one is 7 or 8 years old? What will he be accusing your son of then?

Quote:
I'm afraid I have given the impression that this man is a monster--he isn't. see him ever hurting his own child in any way.
What about YOUR child? Your son does not need to feel like he's unwelcome in his own home. You definitely need boundaries with this man, and legal documents drawn up.

Good grief.....back when I was in the Navy, I had male friends (single and in their 20's) who were more than willing and glad to hang out with my toddler for awhile, and they weren't even his dad. They would take him for pizza, to the video store, to the playground. I was pregnant and my husband was deployed a lot, and they would come over to give me a break. I had female friends who would do this, too, but I'm just making a point about men. I really can't imagine a child's father being unable to visit with his toddler for a short time without help.
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