I'm not sure this belongs here, but I am struggling - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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So the ex and I have been separated since December 04 and divorced since July 05. It's a long story, but I was basically involved with a friend long before I left the ex physically. He knew and that part is not the issue here. What I am struggling with is his (ex) lack of a relationship with the kids. Before we split for good we talked about how the kids would keep a relationship with him. How hurt we both were as kids when our fathers essentially abandoned us as kids after divorce. And honestly, I never in a million years thought he was the kind of guy to abandon his kids. But he has. In the last ten months I have had to pull teeth to get him to see the kids. He has seen them but a handful of times and has frequently been late with no call or a no show all together (including two long weekends they were planning long in advance). He lives with his mom and she says she is as upset about this as me. At first she defended him saying he needed to get his life in order. And I did not begrudge him that. I know after 10 years of marriage he needed time to set up a life of his own, but really this is ridiculous. He is 7 years older than me and for a 34 yo man, I feel like he is acting like a child. Through this time he has said that he did not like the child arrangement we had put in the divorce/separation agreement. While he and I DID IT TOGETHER, I figured OK, let's find something he likes better. He has come up with four different plans and not one has made it past the first week. I knew it was a control issue, but I felt like it would be better to let him think he is manipulating/controlling me if it meant the kiddos got to see him. But I have hit the end of the road. After all of the long talk about
"being there for the kids" and jumping through hoops to please him, I am done. He is in FL (we live in MA) on "business" for the last 2 wks. He missed his daughters 7th b-day and has refused to return the 3 year olds TWENTY some odd calls over the last FIVE DAYS. I don't know if anyone has any advice to give, but if you have btdt I could sure use knowing. Maybe then I will feel less alone.

Oh BTW. . . I do have an awesome SO who is wonderful with the kids. But a huge issue is that his DD is close to me youngest DDs age and when she is here my DD starts the whole "I want MY DADDY!!" thing. It is hard for the 3 yo the most. Thought the boys (9 and 8) have been making noise about their issues too. They have asked why daddy wants to be with his friends more than them and why he does not love them anymore. I am at a loss of what to say to them anymore. It breaks my heart. So I guess my kiddos are lucky to lucky to have SO, but I feel so guilty that I chose to have them with such a crappy biodad. Can anyone relate?

Oh and the kicker here . . . the last time I talked to the ex he was "unclear" if he even wanted the kids in his life or if moving on was "better". How do I handle that!??!

If you followed my ramble this far, thank you.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 12:16 PM
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I have not btdt, but I couldn't read your post and not respond. I'm so sorry your ex is doing that to his children. How sad for them... and for him.

I don't know much about what you can do about it - maybe you should cross post this in the single parenting forum. I have read a bit over there and it seems there are lots of mamas dealing with this type of thing.

It seems to me that he is power struggling with you over this (tragic that he doesn't see that his kids are the ones suffering), so you talking to him probably won't do much good at this point. Is there anyone in his life you still maintain a r-ship with? Like maybe his mother, or another relative? Any way you could talk to that person and ask that they talk some sense into him? It might be a stretch, but it might be worth a try.

I definitely suggest you get yourself into some sort of counseling about it. You can't control his actions, but you can control your own, and the more help and support you have going forward, the better.

I hope he pulls his head out from where ever it is and realizes what he is doing. I hope things get better.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 01:56 PM
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((HUGS)) I agree, x post this to single parenting also. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. He is his own person and will do his own thing. Best advice i've heard was to just explain to the children at an age appropriate way, that everyone makes choices for themselves, weather its the bet thing for everyone or not. And let them know its not about them, its him, him making his choices.
Good Luck mama, and again, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 02:53 PM
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My ex sees the kids 20 days per year. It is his choice. We live close enough he could see them everyday if he wanted to, but reality is, he doesn't.

At first, I went out of my way to call, arrange convenient visits, etc. and then I realized he doesn't want to be an involved parent and I couldn't do anything to change that.


The best thing you can do is let it all go. Make sure he knows how to reach his kids. Allow the kids to phone and leave messages or write letters or whatever, but after that it is none of your business what he decides to do with the kids.

I know it hurts. I know it breaks our mother hearts and is tough for little ones to understand. All you can do is be honest with your kids, let them reach out when they feel they need to and explain that you don't know why dad isn't calling back or coming to get them or whatever.

It sucks for the kids....and as moms, being an extension of our kids, it sucks for us too. But you can't change him, so the best you can do is be there for the kids and provide as many positive role models, friends and family members so they know they are loved.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 02:55 PM
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I've somewhat BTDT, things are slightly different here though.

Ex-h and I seperated in late 2002, but because of money, we still lived in the same house. By 2003 I met and started seeing SO (ex-h was fully aware, unhappy, but aware).

In October 2004, DD and I moved to be with SO. Now after we seperated, ex-h had started distancing himself from DD, but would still play with her here and there. I was still the #1 care-taker. As a matter of fact, he quit his job, so I was pretty much the only care-taker. The money he had in his account, if I had to feed DD, I had to 'borrow' it from him, and later pay him back.... That's a whole other story though..

So, DD and I move out in OCtober 2004, almost a year now, and ex-h decided that was it. He's done playing daddy, and has NO contact, period, with her at all. Not a card for her birthday, not a phone call, NOTHING. He wants to know how quickly he can terminate his parental rights. Oh, but he won't pay to get this started, he wants me to.....

In the last 11 months, he has contacted me ONCE, and DD zero times. He only contacted me after the county filed for child support (which I do not recieve), and wondering WHY he should have to pay anything... His reasoning was, that IIII was the one who left and 'took her away', so that means I don't deserve child support... *sighs*

So, I can kinda relate. BUt not totally, since my ex-h has nothing to do with us period, and doesn't even pretend he wants to try...

I'm sorry things are so rough, but am happy you have your SO in your life
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#6 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 03:58 PM
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I vented about this a couple of weeks ago- it's somewhere in this forum. I TOTALLY get what you mean, and I really wish I didn't.
The only advice I can give is, know that this is it. This pitiful excuse for parenting is the best he is willing to give and some day he will have to atone for this. I know this doesn't help, at all, when nurturing young men who don't understand why their father has completely rejected them, but this is all I can do.
I'd suggest distracting your daughter as much as possible- short of taking her to Disneyland every time her stepsister visits or her spending half her life on the phone, this is really all you can do. I know it really really stinks, though.
Big hugs.

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#7 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 11:05 PM
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there Is Nothing You Can Do To Make Him Be Involved With His Children!
This soooo needs repeating. And this:

The best thing you can do is let it all go. Make sure he knows how to reach his kids. Allow the kids to phone and leave messages or write letters or whatever, but after that it is none of your business what he decides to do with the kids.

Aw heck, the whole post but my copy and paste isnt working for some reason.

We too have btdt. Dh ex pulled the "not sure if I want to be a mom" and left us to pick up the peices. We held them when they cried; said we were sorry they were dealing with this; and that she did love them, she's just having a hard time right now. That seemed to help. Never badmouthed. Ever.

She did come back, maybe he will too.

For what its worth, I read a book some time ago about men and divorce and kids. In general, it said that men sometimes find it so painful to leave the kids after a visit, they find it easier to not see them at all. It made sense. I figured thats what happened with my kids biomom.

anyhoo, enough about me.
I'm sorry you and your kids are going thru this. Good luck!

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#8 of 8 Old 09-25-2005, 10:28 PM
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I know that I felt that way too when my parents split up.
My ex, the father of my two girls. We battled a very long and hard custosy battle. He was into alot of things, that I knew would eventually prevent him from seeing the girls altogether. I didn't want that to taint them as to what a real Daddy was like. Now that I have my b/f that is Daddy to them. I glad I did what I did. I fought all the way to the point where I even rejected the idea of recieving child support. If he was going to be out, he was going to be completely out. Not half @ss. I knew that is what he was going to do. He was very irresponsible, and very unconsistant. As much as it hurts to see your children go through this, I understand the pain. I like you dealt with my father abandoning me. He basically adopted my 3 step siblings. Left me in the dark. I feared for their mental, self esteem, and all levels of their life. If he doesn't want to see them, you can't force him to do so. In the end, he will have to deal with what he has lost. As for your children, I hate to see any child go through that kind of pain. My daughters were 2 1/2 and almost 3 months when I left him. The youngest has no memory of him, the middle child she remembers "bad stuff". Now she knows, him as the "bad daddy doing trash (drugs). I am thankful that I completely removed him from further causing damage. Sorry if this offends anyone. But the stuff that happened, I can't speak about. For the safety of my children, I felt the risk wasn't worth it by allowing him to be involved. My girls now know that a real Daddy, loves them, cares for them, spends time with them, nutures them and provides for them. I wish there was something else that can be done. But in all reality you can't change someone else's mind. Even if you are RIGHT. Because you are. No child should have to suffer the consquences of a break up...no child. They never asked to be brought in the situation, and they should never have to feel the affects of rejection and neglect. Hugs for you.
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