If your ex husband chose to move far away from you and your children, how did you feel? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ex husband currently lives half an hour away, and he has the kids 3 days a week. We live in MI. He recently informed me that he is moving back to NC to be near his mom and his old friends, and wants the kids about 3-4 weeks out of the year.

I am shocked and very angry. I feel that he is abandoning his children, and leaving me to be their only parent. I am stressing big time. A small part of me is relieved that I can finally raise them how I feel they should be raised (my ex and I have very different lifestyles), but I am mostly angry, worried, scared, and feeling very alone. He doesnt HAVE to move. He just WANTS to. I feel he is being incredibly selfish and the kids are gonna suffer because of it. If your children's father moved far away, how did you feel and how did you handle it?
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Mine only moved 3.5 hours away and at the time I was relieved. It took a lot of the stress of trying to co-parent away. There are times that I wish he lived closer so we wouldn't have to do the commute - so the kids wouldn't have to be gone for longer periods but could go visit during the week or whenever they wanted to.

My ex and I also have very different parenting styles and just them being away every other weekend and them coming home telling me how they've been spanked etc. is hard to hear. I would think if he was even farther away then I wouldn't have to worry about his parenting - but I guess that's selfish on my part.

I think the 3-4 weeks out of the year that your kids see him will be really difficult - for the kids and you and your ex.

I would say that if that is the kind of parent he wants to be...maybe he will be better farther away. Maybe he's scared to be a single dad and lacks confidence in being able to care for them. It's hard to tell...all situations are different and I totally understand you're feelings (maybe on a smaller level).

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Old 07-02-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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he is abandoning them and i would be pissed. you dont get to stop being a parent because you feel like moving. now i dont like my ex but i deal with him because of the kids
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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That depends on a lot of things. How does he plan on staying connected with the kids between visits (does he plan on staying connected)? Phone calls? Web cams? Anything?

Why can't/won't he come visit them between the longer visits? We lived in Michigan then ds and I moved to Kentucky. It's about a 6 hour drive and I take ds about 6 time per year for the weekend back to Michigan to give his bio-dad a chance to see him (my ex is not involved though, there are other threads to explain that). Anyway.... all that to say if he wanted to he could take long weekends to come back to Michigan to visit the kids a few times through the year to keep in touch with them.

I have more thoughts on it but in general I say I would probably be pissed, especially since it's a want and not a need to move. But I might be less pissed if he has a plan to stay connected to the kids between visits.

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Old 07-02-2010, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He says that he plans to come up once a month to visit, but I know for a fact that it won't happen because we would be living 1000 miles apart, and it is a 2 day drive at best. There is no employer that will allow him to be off at least 4 days at a time so that he can visit, plus it is incredibly expensive to drive that far. Flying is out of the question. Yes, he knows all this, and believes he can be just as good a dad if he just calls them every night. There is more to being a parent than phone calls. There are parent/teacher conferences, homework, activities, sick days, and just the daily grind... he will not be an effective parent with this plan of his and the fact that his family is on board really makes me SICK!!! They are PAYING him to move back, PAYING him to basically abandon his kids. I am so incredibly angry and disgusted in all of them.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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is it possible for you to move too?
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not financially able to move at this point. I don't know if I would want to move back to the area he is moving to, because I originally left to get away from the crime. Also, he has a history of allowing his mother to overrule me when it comes to parenting my children, which is another reason why we moved 1,000 miles away. I can see nothing but stress and heartache if I moved back.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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are you sure "the kids are gonna suffer" or will they really be better off?
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How can they not suffer from knowing that their dad chose to quit his job and move 1,000 miles away so that he can hang out with his mommy and his old friends? This is going to devastate them.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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Are you officially divorced? Did you stipulate that either of you could move without permission? Most divorce decrees default on not allowing the parent to move more than 60 miles away or so from the hometown without permission.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are officially divorced, our agreement states that we cannot move the kids more than 100 miles without permission. It doesnt say anything about one parent choosing to move without the kids, though.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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My situation is different then yours but the longer "vacation" visits just aren't the same as being there to be in your children's lives. I would be upset too.
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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This is one of my biggest fears with my recent separation. STBX has started an online relationship with someone on the other side of the country. 3000 miles away. He swears he would never move while our daughter is still a child. But I worry that he will make irrational decisions (he has done so in the past) and move away. I would be incredibly angry and disappointed in him if he does this. I do think that is a form of abandonment and not fair to the child.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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My ex has intimated that he might move very far away (he has also said that he would never move far away from our dd; in short, I don't think he knows what is going to do or wants to do). My reaction was like a lot of yours when I thought about the possibility: a bit of relief at not having to deal with him anymore, really--but also anger and sadness on behalf of my dd. The fact is that she adores him and how in the world could it not be hurtful to know that your parent chose to move so far away?

Then again, I have an uncle who moved far from his dd (for his job, but it was ultimately his choice) when she was quite young and he has managed to remain fairly active in her life despite this fact--calling her almost every day, visiting her often and eventually paying for her to visit him regularly. I don't know what her private thoughts and feelings are about things (maybe in fact deep-down she is hurt and resentful) but they seem to have a pretty close relationship. So I guess like a PP suggested, it kind of depends on how he intends to keep up contact with his children.

FWIW, *I* can't imagine moving away from dd for the reasons that your ex has given--never in a million years--and I bet most of the moms here can't, either.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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I am so, so sorry for you and your children. I was in that situation--except that I was the child. he told me two days before he moved. He didn't even tell my mom first. I hated my father. I stopped speaking to him for months. He would come see us once a year for like 2 days. He got married and didn't tell us. It never got better. I was in 8th grade when it happened (so like 13 yo). I am now 37 and I haven't seen my father in 15 years. He has never seen my two younger children. It is a sad situation.

Unfortunately, as a mother in the situation, just like as the child in the situation, you have no control. You can tell him that you hope he changes his mind, and that the kids need him to be a parent every day, not just 3 weeks in the summer. As the mom in the situation it also stinks cause you will be the only parent and will have to shoulder all the responsibility.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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He says that he plans to come up once a month to visit, but I know for a fact that it won't happen because we would be living 1000 miles apart, and it is a 2 day drive at best. There is no employer that will allow him to be off at least 4 days at a time so that he can visit, plus it is incredibly expensive to drive that far. Flying is out of the question. Yes, he knows all this, and believes he can be just as good a dad if he just calls them every night. There is more to being a parent than phone calls. There are parent/teacher conferences, homework, activities, sick days, and just the daily grind... he will not be an effective parent with this plan of his and the fact that his family is on board really makes me SICK!!! They are PAYING him to move back, PAYING him to basically abandon his kids. I am so incredibly angry and disgusted in all of them.
You are so right. I think I was too gentle in my original post. Of course there is more to being a parent than phone calls--the proof for me is that I could never imagine (and neither could you, clearly) in a million years convincing myself that I could leave my children and still remain an active, engaged parent just by calling and visiting a few times a year! I am so sorry for you and I'm sooooo sorry for your dear children. You have every right to feel hurt and scared and angry.

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Not quite the same, but my husband's ex moved away. Initially, it was with their child. But due to her extreme resistance to my husband visiting, he now has custody. And despite the ex's flowery assertions that her son's the most important thing in the world to her and that she bases all her decisions on what's best for him (including moving him away from his Dad), she has remained 2,500 miles away, even while her child has lived here for the last 2.5 years. She's also in a new serious relationship and is rumored to be getting remarried, so I assume she's out there for good. My husband volunteered to waive child support so she'd have money to come visit monthly, like he used to do (which was a huge financial sacrifice for him - she sure as heck did not volunteer to reduce C/S to facilitate him visiting!). But she only comes here twice a year.

Realistically, how could someone feel other than betrayed and outraged by such choices on the part of a parent? Before people flame me for being judgmental: Yes, I can imagine scenarios in which extreme circumstances give a parent no other choice than separation from their child. But regarding my husband's ex - and the OP's - the NCP has consciously failed to prioritize their children over other things they want for themselves - proximity to their own childhood family and friends; a preferred lifestyle; a preferred job, etc. That's crummy! And while most people get used to whatever life they have (i.e., the OP and her kids will get used to the ex/Dad not being around), that core disbelief and outrage over the NCP's choice not to be there doesn't go away!

I love my step-son. I'm happy to do motherly things for him. And honestly, it's easier on me to have no competition for the maternal role, most of the year. It's simpler for me to just treat my step-son like one of my own kids, because he's not spending time with his Mom EOW, so I don't have to worry about stepping on her toes. It's also nice for my husband and me to be so far from the oppressive, relentless conflict with his ex. REGARDLESS, every time I chaperone one of my step-son's field trips, plan his birthday festivities, take him to the doctor, cut his hair, hem his clothes, meet his new teacher, attend his parent-teacher conferences with my husband, comfort and counsel him through conflicts and misunderstandings with friends; when I'm there, cheering, at every single one of his sports games; when I attended his 5th grade graduation... in the back of my mind there is incredulity and anger that his mother chooses not to be here, to participate in these things.

My step-son (who's 11 now) has a pretty level-headed approach to it all. He's close to his mom and loves her and feels sure she loves him. He also wishes she'd move back here. In fact, he thinks it was a "bad idea" for her to have moved away in the first place. But he's very certain that she won't move back, because "she's happier where she is". He knows it's important to her to live near HER parents and childhood friends and that she prefers life by the coast, in a bigger, more cosmopolitan city where she has a fancier, more impressive lifestyle than she did here. He's calm and matter-of-fact about this, as though he thinks it's right that HE should be the one, being happy that SHE'S happy, not the other way around.

Expecting an 11-year-old child to understand that these things are more important to his mother than being a daily part of HIS life; expecting him to understand that she spends money on all these showy things, but doesn't spend more money coming to visit him makes. me. want. to. puke!

OP, I have no doubt you'll feel similarly. There's no way around it. But your kids have you. They'll adjust and be OK. It's rotten that they have to be, but kids are resilient. You will have to be, too.

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Old 07-04-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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We are officially divorced, our agreement states that we cannot move the kids more than 100 miles without permission. It doesnt say anything about one parent choosing to move without the kids, though.
I am not real sure, but I think if this is in the divorce decree, then him moving over the specified amount of miles forfeits his visitations. I would look for clarity on this if I were you. If he still chose to move that far away and gives up physical visits (except when he came to the children) that would seem ideal in a situation where the father is more mainstream in parenting style, cause then he wouldn't be able to spank them, etc.

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Old 07-04-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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You live in MI, are your sure his job is that secure or good? I know people in Detroit and surrounding areas are really struggling. My ex-in-laws live in Ypsilanti. They say it is getting really rough on people even if they have a job. Their church is struggling because of the new demands on outreach they have never had befor

Remember you to are divorced, you don't know everything about his job. He could be abridging a lot of information he doesn't feel that is his ex-wife's business.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The job situation is precarious. He works for an employer who doesn't make good business decisions, and as a result his paychecks often bounce and he has not had insurance for the past year because his boss simply cannot afford to pay his part of the premiums, even though he has the money to buy new cars, campers, boats, ect. So my solution to that dilemma is that he go back on the road, as he used to be a trucker, and still has his CDL. He could have a regular route, his job would be secure, and he would still get to have his kids every weekend to every other weekend. His answer to that suggestion is that he wants to have a life, and would find it hard to finish his online college courses. Those answers, IMO, are not good enough to walk away from his children, and I am very stressed, worried, disapointed, and angry.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I am very... disapointed, and angry.
And you have every right. There's not much else anyone can tell you that will help, because he's going to do what he's going to do. But you are not the unreasonable one, or the one with impossible expectations, or confused priorities. He is. His kids are more important than classes or "a life" or whatever and he's crazy if he thinks he's going to be a true parent to them over the phone.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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The job situation is precarious. He works for an employer who doesn't make good business decisions, and as a result his paychecks often bounce and he has not had insurance for the past year because his boss simply cannot afford to pay his part of the premiums, even though he has the money to buy new cars, campers, boats, ect. So my solution to that dilemma is that he go back on the road, as he used to be a trucker, and still has his CDL. He could have a regular route, his job would be secure, and he would still get to have his kids every weekend to every other weekend. His answer to that suggestion is that he wants to have a life, and would find it hard to finish his online college courses. Those answers, IMO, are not good enough to walk away from his children, and I am very stressed, worried, disapointed, and angry.
You may not like my thoughts here, but you are not his wife any more. You may not know all the details of his job situation, and even if you did, you don't get to make his career decisions. If his best semi-local option is to be on the road all the time, then it's reasonable for him to go someplace where he can have a life. This is not for you to decide, and it doesn't automatically make him a bad father.

That being said, 3-4 weeks a year sounds like pretty paltry visitation. Does he intend for it all to happen at once, like in the summer, or over a few visits? Can you help facilitate contact? Video calls may not be everything, but they are great at keeping everyone close. Worlds different than just using the phone.

If he is a good dad (I'm not saying he is or isn't), he may not yet realize how hard this will be for both him and his children. See if you can get him to commit to visits, calls, letters -- whatever contact he will.

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Old 07-05-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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Uhm, and a rather important consideration--who is going to pay for these visits? That is a rather huge distance. Will he have the money to pay for air fare? Or is he going to expect you to do it?

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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Old 07-05-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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The job situation is precarious. He works for an employer who doesn't make good business decisions, and as a result his paychecks often bounce and he has not had insurance for the past year because his boss simply cannot afford to pay his part of the premiums, even though he has the money to buy new cars, campers, boats, ect. So my solution to that dilemma is that he go back on the road, as he used to be a trucker, and still has his CDL. He could have a regular route, his job would be secure, and he would still get to have his kids every weekend to every other weekend. His answer to that suggestion is that he wants to have a life, and would find it hard to finish his online college courses. Those answers, IMO, are not good enough to walk away from his children, and I am very stressed, worried, disapointed, and angry.
My mom and her husband works for the railway. The transportation industry is scaling back. He might night be able to get that job back. Also, for long term livelihood school can be very important.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:29 AM
 
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I'm going to go out on a limb and wonder if you're not upset because his leaving will mean that YOU won't get a break from being a parent. Which I totally get, and is COMPLETELY understandable. (and keep in mind, I don't know what your KIDS' relationship is with their father - in my case, if this was our situation, my kids would be THRILLED after the initial adjustment period, unfortunately).

So what kind of support can you line up FOR YOURSELF? daycare/camps/afterschool care? One of the universities out here has an all-day Saturday or Sunday 'school' which is REALLY well done. And no, it's not having a parent. But it still gives YOU a break which allows you to be a better parent when you ARE with them KWIM?

Go back to your divorce agreement. If there's no child support or daycare allowance because you have 50/50 custody, well, if he's moving, seems to me you need to revisit that.

Sorry you're so upset. Hang in there honey.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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oh MPJJJ i am soooo sorry.

your children will be losing regular contact with their father. no matter what the reason, they will all have to readjust to a new kind of relationship. and YOU are the person left behind to deal with the tears and sadness.

we as parents are we not essential to our children? can we be replaced or pulled away?

many mothers like the buddhist nun Pema Chordon have regretted that they should have stayed parents longer instead of following their calling.

next year I will be moving. to the next town over, half hour to one hour away (during bad traffic) and it bears heavy on my mind. i dont want to take either parent away from my dd. that is the very minimum that's required. i could go to any university. but i choose not to. however our visitation will have to change and i am not sure how it is all going to work out. it still concerns me that our dd gets as much as each parent as she wants and how life works out.

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Old 07-05-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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Do you feel that you could convince him not to move? There are financial issues that arise when a parent moves that far away from the custodial parent, especially in Michigan. You can have your child support re-figured to include childcare, which will probably go up since he won't be available to parent the children. Also, he will more than likely have to foot the bill for all visitation. Has he thought of how the visitations would work?

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