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#1 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do they see your kids? Do you allow it? Do you think it is good?
I wish ds's father would shrivel up and blow away. Am I alone?
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#2 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 12:29 PM
 
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The bio father of my first born never had much interest in seeing my son. Esp. after we broke up and I got married to someone else. He calls occasionally, just to annoy me I'm sure, but he rarely asks about my son. Even though he's not "in my life" I also wish he would shrivel up and blow away. You're not alone at all!

Amy

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#3 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 01:07 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I can empathize--although I don't have an ex-husband that I wish would shrivel up and blow away, I've had that experience with an ex boyfriend. I can only imagine that it's much worse with a husband especially if you've had a child together.

The hardest part is that once you've had a child, it's never just about you and your ex. My perspective on this comes from my childhood. Mom and her family pretty much forced Dad to give up parental rights and allow me to be adopted by Mom's second husband. In an attempt to turn me off of ever wanting to know Dad, Mom told me that he was gay and had left her for anther man. It backfired, and I ended up feeling really empathetic for how hard it must have been to be gay and feel pressured to live a straight life...

When I was in my twenties, Dad's mother got in touch, and I eventually met my father and his three children. He's not gay--he's a card carrying, Jesse Helms voting, strip mall developing Republican. My relationship with him didn't last very long, and I now realize that Mom's family may have chased him away, but he didn't care enough to fight it. Still I have good relationships with two of my half sisters and am very glad that I had a chance to know my father and his parents even though it didn't work out for a long term relationship.

Although I'm pretty ok with things now, I experienced a lot of heartache over it as a child and later, after I got in touch with my father's family. I don't know exactly what I would do in y'all's situation. I know that it's difficult and complicated, but I think I would try very hard to keep some kind of connection between my child and his father.

With love,
Sarah
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#4 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ekblad6
The bio father of my first born never had much interest in seeing my son. Esp. after we broke up and I got married to someone else. He calls occasionally, just to annoy me I'm sure, but he rarely asks about my son. Even though he's not "in my life" I also wish he would shrivel up and blow away. You're not alone at all!

Amy
This is me! I feel like the only reason he wants to stay in contact is just to talk to me. He erroneously believes I am sympathetic to him. I wish he would just disappear. He thinks ds is a doll he can pick up whenever he wants to impress his friends by being a "dad" or whenever he is lonely because he latest girlfriend dumped him. He doesn't care about the ramifications of flitting in and out of ds's life. I just find it disruptive to the homelife dh and I are trying to create.
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#5 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sarah- I am just torn. I used to believe that contact was necessary for ds to be emotionally healthy but I was doing all the work. Now that I quit trying to do all the work, his contact is rare and inconvenient. I just am having a hard time seeing the benefit to him having any contact. He is an idiot.
I don't tell ds anything bad about him. And I want to. It isn't fair that my son loves this (curse word) who has done nothing for him at all when I have had to do it all alone. When is it okay for me to level with ds? That his dad would rather pursue his own dreams and young girls than pay a dime, come see him or even live nearby.
See, it is so tough. I am just needing to vent cause if I don't I am going to blow up.
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#6 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 02:10 PM
 
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Lara - How old is your son? I guess it's a bit different for me since my son didn't know his dad at all. The last time he even saw him, he was 2 yrs old and he's 10 now. He does know that my husband has adopted him and that his bio father "wasn't ready to be a dad". That's all I told him. I didn't tell him that he was a drunk deadbeat who beat up on me and cheated on me and never paid child support. He will know that in time, I suppose. When he's a dad with his own kids, maybe. I know if I would have hounded the bio dad he would've come to see my son. I just didn't call him and he never called me. He has slowly drifted away and signed off rights years ago for fear of having to pay child support. He has since impregnated one under age girl and another woman too. A real winner, huh? I guess I believe in being honest and up front with my son but not telling him things that he couldn't possibly understand at this age. A friend of mine hounded her ex to see her son. He would come around for a weekend here or there and then be gone for three years. Her son (he's 13 now) has been very hurt and affected by this. She was stemming off her own feelings of abandonment from her bio dad when she was a kid. She just really wanted her son to have a relationship with "his father". Finally, she told him not to call again. I think we have to look at the father's intentions and decide where to go from there.

Amy

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#7 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is 8. I am just like your friend. I thought I was doing the right thing but now I regret it and wished I did what you did. His bio-dad didn't have anything to do with me or ds for the first 4 years after I insisted he pay child support. I reinitiated the relationship and sent cards and sent phone cards. Since then he only sees ds 1-2x a year and then only when his parents make the arrangements and pay for the visits. He doesn't even pay his own child support (his parents pay it because they think he will go to jail if they don't).

I just resent that he gets love he doesn't deserve. Now that I finally found a man who can be a real father to ds, he is calling and emailing. I just think that is unfair. He isn't thinking about what is best for ds. He knows he won't keep it up. He'll quit calling as soon as he gets a new girlfriend.

I could blast him for being such a jerk but I am trying to ignore him because I don't want his parents to get him to sue for visitation. I am planning on allowing them to see him 2x a year like they have for the last 4 years but I don't think they should change it just because he feels threatened.

I don't want ds to ever think it is okay for a man to make a baby and then financially and physically abandon it. His bio-dad moved across the country with the girlfriend he picked up while I was pregnant. He says he can't move closer so he could see him more because of his career-- he just graduated college last year after 10 years of being supported while he "found himself."

I wish I had done what you did. It would make it so much easier in forming this new family and giving ds the dad he has deserved. BTW, he calls my dad "Dad", bio-dad "birthdaddy" -even though they make him call him dad when he visits- and my dh by his name.
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#8 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 05:06 PM
 
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Don't be so hard on yourself! You didn't do anything wrong. You were doing what you thought was best for your son. I know it must be hard for you now. Hopefully your ex will lose interest soon enough. Kids are so resiliant (sp?) and your son will be fine. The most important thing in a child's life is that he has people that love him. It sounds like your son has more than enough love! That's what's really important. I think you're doing the right thing by just letting things happen. I know your ex will lose interest!

Amy

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#9 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Amy!

I don't know if you still check the aath board but I said there that I read your letter to the editor in Mothering and wanted to say "You go girl!" You did good.
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#10 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 07:09 PM
 
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laralou,

My feeling inside is that for the sake of your son, not to tell him to much truth about his father. Just by letting him know that his birth-dad cannot be present nor be constant because of his own issues may be enough. It may backfire if you tell him more, because in a sense part of his identity is wrapped up in an image of what he has created out of his birthdad, whether it is true on not. By blasting the dad, you may rupture a piece of your son who has projected this 'ideal' onto him. Does that make sense? Your son feels love. That is healthy. Your son is developing his own anima (the masculine), and since he is a healthy-feeling being, he projects love onto those around him. Someday, on his own as he matures and can handle the realities of 'bad' people, much less his own birth dad, then he will discover the truth. And that will be his own journey of self-knowledge.

You are doing a great job of bringing healthy people into his life! Definetly though, be protective of him, that is your job.

Blessings
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#11 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sanna, thanks. I haven't told ds that his bio-dad is a jerk but I want to. I am trying to hold out because dh thinks he will realize it in his own time.
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#12 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 08:04 PM
 
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Hi Lara! I think I accidentally unsubscribed to AATH. I'm going to resubscribe after our remodeling is done. I really liked reading the posts. I was unsubscribing to a homeschool list and I accidentally hit all of them or something.

OK, that was off subject but I had to throw it in!

Amy

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#13 of 22 Old 02-26-2002, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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still OT-- I like the articles too! I have gone to a couple of things so far but not a ton. Maybe one day I will get to meet you!
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#14 of 22 Old 02-27-2002, 03:31 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to drop back in and say that I have lots of empathy for y'all. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to know that dad is a jerk and want to blow off steam about it, but at the same time protect your kids. I hope I didn't sound like I was pressuring you to do the impossible--if the biological father isn't trying to keep in touch at all, none of you can make that relationship happen, it seems clear to me that a one sided attempt is destined to fail.

I'd still say (without actual experience of being in this situation with my own children) that not bad mouthing the bio father is pretty important because it so often backfires. It's easy for a child to idealize an absent father and easier if the family they live with says bad things about the father (even if they are true). I think some things are better left to children to figure out on their own as they mature. I know there are many important things that I figured out about my mother and father in my late twenties and early thirties...and I'm sure I have even more stuff to figure out. The hard part is that you might have to wait until your children are adults before the fully understand, but it will be a more authentic understanding if they come to it on their own.

Meanwhile, be patient, vent with sisters and friends and hang in there.

With Love,
Sarah
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#15 of 22 Old 02-27-2002, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, Sarah, your advice is helpful. If everyone told me to tell him to buzz off, I just might do it, so it helps to hear someone tell me to be reasonable. I won't really tell ds he is a jerk, no matter how much I want to. Dh finally figured out his dad is a jerk after years. I just worry because bio-dad is a charmer. He says all the right things. He just has no follow through which shows his true self. I wonder if ds will see this.

The only thing I do tell ds is about not having kids out of wedlock-- (he's only 8 I know)-- so that his kids won't grow up without a dad like he has had too. We talk about what it means to be a dad (ie so he can see that dh is his dad). I just say his biodad lives far away and can't be around. I don't say that he chose it or that he chose a mean girlfriend who encouraged him to not have contact or that he sends no money. Ds doesn't even remember that bio wasn't around at all for the first four years.

I am keeping him in the dark about the dark side but I just have secret dreams of moving and bio having no way to reach us and telling ds what a jerk he is. But I won't really do it; I just like to fantasize about it. KWIM?

Thanks everybody. It helps to get this off my chest and lessens the chance that I will break down in a fit and scream "YOUR BIRTH DAD IS A JERK!!"
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#16 of 22 Old 02-27-2002, 07:21 PM
 
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No sweat Lara,

So scream at us anytime, as much and as often as you want: "You're bio dad is a jerk!" I think, although I'm not there yet, that one of the important jobs of a good parent is keeping healthy boundaries--our kids get to vent to us, act out and tell us whatever they want to. But we shouldn't do the same to our kids...I'm not saying that we should lie to or keep stuff from our kids (I found out adopted dad was not bio dad from a fellow classmate in 3rd grade...not how you want your kid to find something important out), but there's lots of stuff that we appropriately discuss with husbands and friends, not our children. Keeping those healthy boundaries is exactly what you are doing when you tell us instead of telling your son that his bio dad is a jerk.

It also sounds like you're having some healthy conversations with your son about unwed fatherhood, the responsibility of parenting, and what makes a good parent. My father, too, is a charmer. For the first few years that I knew him (from age 23-25), he came on like super dad being very involved in my life and very generous. He sent really thoughtful gifts and sometimes even Fed-Exed letters that he was too impatient to send via regular mail. At first I was seduced and felt really angry that I had been kept from this wonderful man, but as I got to know my siblings and see how he treated them, I began to see the bigger picture. He couldn't sustain it and now we're virtually estranged. I still value some of the special things that he did, but I also see his many flaws and have a lot more empathy for my mother than I did before. Someday, your son will probably see his father as a whole, not perfect person as well. As your son becomes a man, especially when he starts a family of his own, he'll probably realize his father's shortcomings without you having to tell him. Then, he'll appreciate your restraint.

Also, for another supportive anecdote. My uncle died when my two first cousins were very young--like two and three. My aunt remarried not too long after, and her new husband was a father in all the important ways to my cousins. During childhood and adolescence, they complained bitterly about their stepfather, but now that they are adults (early thirties), they really appreciate him. The younger just named her second son after him.

Love,
Sarah
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#17 of 22 Old 02-28-2002, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Sarah! That really really helps! I am mostly over it right now unless the calls and emails start up again.

I will have to come back and reread these posts everytime I feel the urge.
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#18 of 22 Old 03-07-2002, 01:10 AM
 
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Laralou, i am so with you!! I completely understand how you're
feeling. I am also newly married (2 yrs actually, but it still seems new) and feeling like my ex is trying to sabotage my life and our family. But in my situation, he demands visitation. I can imagine how hard it is for a child to grow up not knowing bio dad and not understanding why he's not around, but in many situations i believe it is far better that way. Oh, and Sanna, (sp?) thank you for that advice, it helped me too! Good luck Laralou, I'm with you!!!!
PS... I started a new thread on this subject if you didn't already see it.
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#19 of 22 Old 03-07-2002, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He is calling again, arg! I want to kill him but I will write him an email instead. I tell you all what it says when I write it. MamaLuna, I'll check your thread out.

BTW, when he has called, he talked to dh and to my mother, and both times he said he had to talk to ME! Not ds, me! He doesn't really want contact with ds. He just wants to manipulate and try to get me to think he is a good guy. GAG! I am telling him that he can have contact with his son but that I have nothing to say to him unless we are setting up a visit. I am not letting him visit during the school year (except on Christmas break) or go anywhere that requires him to change planes. I think this may be enough to get him to shut up again.
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#20 of 22 Old 03-10-2002, 11:54 AM
 
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Lara, you would think that getting (re)married would mean something to him...My ex-creep emails sometimes everyday, supposedly to dd, but in his emails, he brags about everything he's doing, so it makes me wonder who the emails are really meant for? DD could care less about what he's doing. Also, for months after I got married, the few times he did pay child support, he wouldn't write it out to me in my married name. LOL. GRRRRR. So did you email your ex yet?
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#21 of 22 Old 03-11-2002, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not yet. We are in the middle of a big move (and I am not giving him the new number) plus we have had 2 deaths in the family this week. So jerky will have to wait.
I hate that I ever gave him my email. It is useless as a way for him to communicate with ds because ds doesn't do email. It is just a way for him to wax on to me about how much he loves ds.
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#22 of 22 Old 03-11-2002, 11:48 AM
 
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Well, I have had my share of problems in the past but ds1' dad has always wanted to see him and has almost always paid child support. The times tht he didnt see him were because I didnt let him, he was so busy with his now wife that he would make plans and not show for them.
Now we are actually friends. Yuk, I know but we do get along. My ds2 adores him when he sees him. Big yuk!
For the last couple of years I have been watching his and his wifes son every day while they wuld work. I actually saw him more than they did.
Now they have a new baby(6wks), who slept over the other night. When I started taking Ken(older one) it was because I wanted to mke sure he and Shawn(my son) had a good relationship w/eachother.
Shawn's stepmom was even my maid of honor at my wedding!

I was going to watch both boys when she went back to work again but having them sleep over the other night made me realize that would be to hard for me alone and take attention away from the babies that they deserve.
Good luck to all!!!
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