My husband and I have been married for about 18 months. He lived with us (three kids, ages 4,6 and 8 now) for about 6 months prior to us getting married. My children are spirited, stubborn and incredibly smart. My 6 year old has borderline Aspergers, and my 8 y/o has ADD. At first, he was very patient with them. Followed my parenting leads and style and seemed to get the hang of it, although I knew he was a little "emotionally constipated"... :-)
Slowly, he began showing less and less patience towards my kids, and his own who comes EOWeekend. So for the last year we have been arguing almost daily about our parenting differences, his anger and how kids will be kids.
We use the 123 system as discipline and it works well- unless he starts yelling. :(
At this point, I have full physical custody of my children, and their father gets them one weekend per month. He has always been pretty disconnected from the kids, more like an uncle, but decided to sue me for full custody on Christmas. He has since stepped it down to wanting 50/50. I've always extremely against 50/50 for my kids for several reasons, and I know that it would be disastrous. The environment at his home is very different from ours. Sometimes he wants to be a dad, sometimes he doesn't. There is a lot of animosity between us, unfortunately, and they come back form his house confused and very out of sorts. The kids tell me he says bad things about my husband and I.
My issue right now is this: What is worse? An angry step dad that makes them feel like crap or a not-so-great dad who is manipulative and leads a lifestyle completely different from ours now? We have been referred to a court appointed counselor to interview us separately and make the decision for us since I won't give in. She told me off the record that she usually advises the judge to rule in favor of 50/50, and I'm wondering if I should just let it go and save everyone the pain of a nasty court battle.
Them being with their dad for a week at a time (shudder) would give my husband time to decompress.... but that's not fair to them. I'm sooooo torn!! :(
Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?