Hi all. I haven't posted in a really, really long time, but I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what I should do.
My ex is "off", but I've always tried to include him in all of my son's activities. I practically beg him to go to school events, baseball practices and games, etc. But a few things have happened that makes me think I should seriously reconsider. My ex's problems include being impulsive, explosive (yells at me and son a lot), and is an addict. I do my best to finesse his behaviors with my son, and just point out to him that his dad never learned how to handle himself, but that my son can learn how to better manage his feelings.
But the fact is that my ex is embarrassing and potentially harmful. He was asked by my son's baseball coach in the Spring to step back as a parent volunteer, which is unheard of. I've never heard of a parent who volunteered to help coaching be asked to step down. But my ex was really wacky. He acted irritable and angry and would do stuff like talk under his breath and yell at the kids.
My son is continuing to play baseball on another team. My ex was a no-show for the first game because he was gambling (his addiction) even though he claimed it was important for him to go. I was mad, but little did I realize that it was probably for the best because during his second game, I drove my ex to the game, and my ex acted bizarrely. He would come to me every few minutes fuming that my son's team was over-matched and that he was going to pull my son off the field and leave. Other parents were staring at him. BTW, he is very much capable of that because once he did in fact yanked my son off the course of a golf game my son was playing because he thought my son was getting too frustrated. My son cried for hours (he was 6 or 7 at the time). At another point at the second baseball game, my ex told the coach who was pondering whether to fit in another inning or not (he wanted to show the kids that they should persevere), my ex told him "I can make the decision easy for you." He meant that he would call it quits. Ugh!
My son doesn't know what's going on because I never tell him about all the bizarre behaviors. I don't want to diminish his father because that would hurt him, I think. But I no longer want to actively make the effort to include my ex, like driving him to the games. He wouldn't be able to go if I didn't because for one thing, he'd get lost. In fact, he did get lost on the way to a very important pracitce. My son was devastated. He's like, 'my dad keeps getting lost." I don't think it's healthy for my ex and I to spend any more time together. The problem is that my son wants his dad at the practices and games. He does know that my ex is explosive, but he doesn't realize how embarrassing and uncomfortable his dad is making people feel behind the scenes and that his dad could do something that would psychologically harm him, like yanking him off the field in the middle of the game. I don't want to tell him anything negative about his dad, but now that my son is 9 years old, I have to have a good reason for not trying so hard to include him.