There is some wonderful support here, but i just wanted to add, my post wan't written to my children, it was written to other parents who maybe have some input. Because i seek support to try and work thru the situation, i would hope, already shows I am making a concious effort to feel 'better' about this, rather than have it blow up on my kids.
Counselling after years of abuse is a given, but i was reaching out to see if other relate, and obviously some do.
Being a *father* is more than biological to me. thier bio father without any communication with me (or them) moved away. He does not spend time with them when they are at his house every weekend.. After two years he still does not know thier teachers names at school. He has missed every dentist appt, every play, every important event they have asked him to be included in. But still my partner and I slap on a smile and tell the kids EVERY single weekend that thier dad does love them, I drive the 45 minutes there and back to his house so they can visit him, I come all the way there to pick them up to take them to birthday parties, or get them if they are sick, because he wont take care of them. and than i bring them home where my partner spends entire nigths without sleep rocking children and cleaning puke, to get up early and make breakfast and read to them. He reads to them every night without fail, he goes to every meet the teacher night, he helps with homework.. all the things fathers do.
At what can he not be considered a father to them, and not just some tacked on second to thier birth dad? *i* feel like he is thier father The children do not care much about the word and love both of them, but they turn to my partner.
This migth sounds really deffensive, but really I am trying to explain why *I*feel like my partner is thier father. I didn't go to court and take away rights,. or lessen his visits, it was supposed to be half and half.. he just stopped coming one day..i don't question that he loves them. But my eldest is almost 12, she has turned to me on a number of times and shared that she feels so guilty for not enjoyign her time with him.. every week (still) the kids look forward to seeign him, and every week they come home crushed and turn to my partner and I for support.
I truley hope that anyone here who would be bothered by my coment can also see that how *i* feel is natural reaction to this situation and not a statement abotu step-fathers and fathers, it is about the role yuo personally take on with your children.
They still see him because he insists they still see him. Because depsite having a boring time there I still think it is important to see their dad. and because they feel guilty not going.
My ex was not abuse to them, only me, but there is still an impact on the children. But despite my own feelings i am the one who is trying to remind these kids he loves them, just becasue I seek support for myself to move thru something does not mean i am exposing my kids to my issues, it means i do not want to , so i am trying to move thru it.
So I am just taking this all one day at a time. I think they should see thier dad. But there is no automatic answer here, I can nto say what would be worse, to have a dad who pays them little mind, but still wants them to visit him.. or for the not too,
I was really lookign for support about my issues with them looking like my ex tlakign, remidnign me, which stirs up hard memories for me, which i never want to associate with my own babies.
edited to add: sorry my typing is HORRID.. n.a.k, and i can't even fix it rigth now.. sorry!!