Question about having step kids, but having no contact with them... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 08-10-2006, 03:50 AM
 
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I am going to try to say this as gently as possible. What are his children worth to him? My son has been hurt deeply because of his father. They do have a relationship but his Dad lives far away and he flys out there 2 times a year to visit with Dad. A couple years ago his Dad had the choice to be a father who was more directly involved but he choose to stay were he could make the most money (thinking of himself as always). My child was deeply hurt by this and it has harmed their relationship. A child needs their father every bit as much as they need Mom. Personally I would never marry a man who would let a conflict come between him and his children. Trust me his absence will hurt far more than conflict. Are you seriously thinking of having a child with this man?
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#32 of 41 Old 08-11-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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Everyone wants to jump in and say these men need to face the conflict however I'm sure ALL of you women know how much H *ll we can raise. I think that BOTH parties need to be looked at before these men are so severly criticized for keeping the peace. Two fighting angry miserable parents (yes even seperated) are far worse for anyone than One happy content parent. I know first hand that nothing is harder than being stuck between two people you love and adore that are constantly after one another.

*stepping down*
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#33 of 41 Old 08-13-2006, 03:17 AM
 
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I look into the board from time to time, especially now that we are expecting, when I came across this thread. I like to share in your experiences and learn along with you which is why I am here; I enjoy sharing DW's interests.

I felt I had to say something here, especially because this thread is about me.

First, the circumstances. I had two children with my ex when we were together, now aged 6 and 12. Our divorce was very civil; we agreed on a visitation schedule and child support. After our seperation, she moved 500 miles away to live closer to her parents - a 7 hour drive one way - so she could utilize their support. We maintained an amicable relationship; I visited as frequently as I could and we spoke often on the phone - both to the kids and to my ex when it came to things I could help her with. My ex will be the first to tell you that I was a great father to the kids.

Visitation was once a month at most. I wished it could have been more, but consider transportation to and from, 2-3 nights hotel stay, food and entertainment, and treating the kids like royalty (you have to when you are the non-custodial parent and do not see them often) and my visits were running $500+. Add it up. Then add in child support.

Then everything changed. My ex met a new guy. Initially I was thinking this would be great for her; I actually want to see her happy and in a good relationship. However, unfortunately my ex is very impressionable and persuaded. The new BF apparently had influence on her taking me back to court. And again. And again for medical benefits that aren't provided by my employer in her state (which I pay as a per month $$).

So here is what I would hope you will all see from a non-custodial fathers point of view. I have always tried to do the right thing. I'm not rich and actually work several jobs now just to stay afloat. I have always paid CS without complaint - it is an obligation I have no trouble with. What I do have trouble with is those that want to get blood from a turnip. My ex signed my name as obligator to several medical bills (that I did not know of) and summarily didn't pay them and almost caused me to not be able to buy a house due to problems she caused with my credit. I don't understand why past relationships turn into battles over inflicting as much pain as possible on the ex. I don't understand why (in some states) the non-custodial parent is liable to all medical charges and the custodial parent can carelessly incur whatever charges they feel (whatever it costs Doc, I'm not paying the bill). I don't understand for the life of me why women let bad guys off the hook and don't ever want to see them or make them pay CS... while they take good, responsible guys back to court over and over? Money is certainly the root of all evil...

Look, all of that aside, I love my children. I wish they didn't live so far away and I wish I could see them more often. After several battles (which I feel I lost), I decided that it was best for the children and myself if I just backed off. I didn't come to this decision lightly. My parents also divorced when I was very young, however the circumstances were very different. My father had drug, alcohol and abuse problems. He never sent a dime. No cards. Nothing. However, when I turned 18 I went to visit him with a clean slate. I was willing to forgive his past and start anew. Unfortunately, due to some things he did and said during that encounter, I elected to cease any future contact from him. But that was my decision.

My only hope is that I can continue to have the limited contact I have with my children and that at some point they will be able to decide for themselves that I am worth more. I'm not trying to shoulder this reponsibility on them, but I honestly don't know what else to do. Seeking custody isn't practical as the kids have a good relationship with their mother, and aside from our differences she takes good care of them.

If you can think of any ways I should be handling this differently, please let me know. Without bashing me. I only want to do the right thing.
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#34 of 41 Old 08-13-2006, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teenagersMom
Are you seriously thinking of having a child with this man?
I am more than serious No matter what his situation is with his kids, I know he is doing what he thinks is best for his kids, and that what I would hope to find in a father for my child. The reason I posted was not to have DH bashed or have people tell us that he should do more, it was more because I am frustrated with the situation. These kids are a part of DH and I want to know all of him. I want a good relationship with them, because that is what I would want if I were them - a stepmom that doesn't resent them. I accept how things are and although I welcome advice on how the situation could be improved, I really just wanted some ideas on what I could do to show them that I did not resent them once I did finally get to meet them.

I do really appreciate all the support and advice that I have received. That is the beauty of MDC - it is a great place to share feelings and solicite advice from other people who may not know you face to face, but who do care about what you are going through.

Oh, and I knew I found the right guy when he signed up for a MDC username, and I was reminded earlier when I saw him checking out the April DDC. He really cares about what is important to me
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#35 of 41 Old 08-14-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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Aris --

I am happy that you've had the opportunity to discuss this in detail with your husband. Quite frankly, I was concerned that there might have been a very unfortunate reason why your dh would not tell his kids that he married you (such as he wasn't actually divorced from their mother -- which actually happened to a woman I know).

For Aris' husband --

I am very sorry that things have played out as they have. It sounds as if you fell into the classic nice guy trap, trying to act fairly in the expectation that you would be treated fairly by your ex -- rather than fighting tooth and nail for your rights and assuming the worst of her until she showed otherwise (which is always the position I recommend to the guys I know who are divorcing with kids). Were you represented by counsel in this, especially with regards to the (I assume) readjustment of the custody schedule that occurred when your ex moved? If you were, it seems to me you were very poorly served -- in particular, I have seen some instances where the parent that moves away is obligated to pay for all travel costs relating to visitation, or at least, very commonly, 50%. In addition, it seems you should have gotten an extended visitation period during the summer to make up for the reduced visitation resulting from the distance.
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#36 of 41 Old 08-14-2006, 10:10 AM
 
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Aris' husband.
I am sorry how things turned out but still I have to say you being absent from their lives will hurt them even more. Call them, demand summer visitation and holiday visitation some is better than none.
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#37 of 41 Old 08-14-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teenagersMom
Aris' husband.
I am sorry how things turned out but still I have to say you being absent from their lives will hurt them even more. Call them, demand summer visitation and holiday visitation some is better than none.
I agree. I don't understand stepping away.
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#38 of 41 Old 08-14-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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Sounds to me like you're doing what you can. It's hard, and it's sadly common. You can try putting out some feelers, to see how conflict-ridden increased contact might be, but I understand where you're coming from.

Certainly more contact with dad would benefit the kids - in a perfect world where more contact wouldn't also come with being thrown in the middle of what would turn into a nasty conflict between the parents. Past a certain level, conflict is not good for kids, not good for adults, not good for new babies who may be born into it. I hear a lot of posters have sadness around parents who 'faded away,' but I'm not sure I've heard from many people who were happy that a parent stuck around for an extended series of court battles with the other parent that placed the child in the middle. You're in a painful position, and you're making the best of it. good luck
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#39 of 41 Old 08-14-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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I'm not going to bash Ari's husband because I don't know the whole situation.

I will say that I truly wish you luck in this situation and I do hope that you will consider re-initiating contact with your children and with your ex-wife. I know you're scared to pay more child support but maybe you could speak with your ex-wife and get back on better terms with her (perhaps call her cell phone directly instead of at home where the ex- could be a problem?).

I wish both of you good luck with the new baby!
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#40 of 41 Old 08-15-2006, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimiij
Ari's husband
I think this is the funniest thing! Ari is DD, and DH was a bit weirded out when he saw himself called "Ari's husband"

Thanks for your support guys. I'm glad DH stumbled over this thread, because he was better able to explain his thoughts and feelings that I was
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#41 of 41 Old 08-15-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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The longer you keep The Secret of the new wife/family away from ex-w, the bigger a gun you are handing her to blast you with.

If you should happen to wind up in court on ch supp or visitation enforcement issues, this continuing deception is 2.5 strikes against you. If I were the judge my first question would be "what income is he trying to hide?"

Please do not put the responsibility for "developing a relationship" on these children. It's the adult's responsibility 110%. If ex-w is preventing visitation, go to a legal aid clinic and get some accurate damn advice, not what people tell you the law is. Every freaking Tom, Dick, and Harriett has an opinion; you need professional advice. I'm an attorney and I spend a good portion of my day having non-attorneys tell me what they "know" the law is; 12 times out of 10 they couldn't be more wrong.

wild.gif  kickin' it old school
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