I think my kids relationship with their father is over. - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-26-2008, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My ex has basically just threatened to stop all contact with his children if I don't withdraw our claim with the child support agency. No phone calls, the irregular and occasional visits will get even more so, and when they grow up he'll tell them that it's all my fault.

I'm kind of struggling for words here. Part of me wants to reply to his (incredibly unpleasant) email dissecting it word for word, but I feel that would be somewhat immature and childish. I just can't believe anyone would actually do this

: My poor babies. They really don't understand this.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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for what its worth my xh tried this. he was gone for over two years. now he wants everything back . the judge said no.
i hope he comes to his senses, if thats best for your children

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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I am normally a SUPER pro-father voice around here, and I will say that in this situation his relationship with his children is a choice he is going to make. If he chooses not to have one, there's really nothing you can do about it. The best you can do is assure that you support your children in leaving the door open for him should he change his mind later in their lives.

If you are caring for them day after day, supporting their love for their absent father, meeting their needs, and building a loving and trusting relationship with your children... well, it doesn't much matter what he tells them later about you. Their opinion of you will be built on their experiences with you, and their opinion of him will be based on their experiences with him.

Is he saying that if he pays child support he won't be able to afford to visit? I can absolutely understand that concern, and I am sure that if it is a valid concern you will support him in building a relationship with his children depite the financial obstacles he might face.

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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Oh... *HUGS*

It will work out, I don't know how, but it will, you'll see Your kids will always know who was there for them and who wasn't. I'm a very non-confrontational person, but even I would be tempted to reply with something to the nature of "If you think this is what your kids deserve, then so be it". :

Anyway... Look at the bright side: you get to be their hero mama
He is missing so much, he can't even comprehend it! Your kids will adjust, with your love and support they'll be fine, really they will. They might grow up resenting their dead-beat dad, but they are not alone in this world, they have you after all.

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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That's really sad. Hopefully if you just ignore his email, some of the wind will be taken out of his sails and he'll realize that he shouldn't do that. He's thinking he can threaten you into withdrawing the claim, which is ridiculous.

Who does that to their children?
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mamas.

Aricha, he is saying exactly that. When we split, he moved 300 miles away. The divorce agreement says a visit every 2 months: this has never happened. We managed 4 visits in 2004, and that's the most frequent ever. They haven't visited him at all this year, though they have seen their paternal grandparents. He has always been marginally employed, btw. When he got his new job (three years ago), I waited for three months and then invited him to arrange payments of child support or regular visits. He said he wanted the visits. I waited a further two months for him to arrange the first date. It didn't happen. At that point, I applied through the Child Support Agency, which took over six months to do things. After they made contact with him but before a decision was made, he started offering to pay- 50 or maybe at a push 80 GBP. The decision was made that we're entitled to 230 GBP. Oh, and on a previous occasion he has chosen to leave a job, thus removing the burden of paying child support. In the years he wasn't paying, there were a lot of conversations about his stepdaughters extracurricular activities, things like that.



I wish I'd just run like mad 10 years ago when I got the bfp We wouldn't have Isaac, but I wouldn't have this either.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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What a terrible situation... I'm so sorry you're going through this. It seems, though, if he wasn't paying support before and still wasn't visiting, letting him off the hook for support now probably won't change that.

You sound like a wonderful mother. Keep doing what's best for your child, including whatever you need to in order to support him. His father's relationship with him is not your responsibility... allowing your child to have one with him is, but the relationship itself is up to your ex.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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I'd keep the email. I would send a copy to the court if there is s Child Support Hearing going to happen, so they know that he is trying to blackmail you. I would save a copy of it somewhere safe for your children, so that if someday he DOES say something nasty about how you kept them apart, you can drag it out and prove him wrong, there in his own words, in black and white. What a loser he seems to be. I am sorry for your children.

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Old 07-26-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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File, keep a hard copy of the email, and don't look back.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've kept copies of every email anyhow. Being honest, we've been heading to this point for years

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
invited him to arrange payments of child support or regular visits.
Can you explain why he was given a choice? I have not heard of these things being an either or situation. Please enlighten me. Thanks.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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I've kept copies of every email anyhow. Being honest, we've been heading to this point for years
You and your son are entitled to the child support money. He cannot blackmail you this way and you really should share some of your e-mail communications with the child support office. In my state they automatically deduct child support money from the paying parents' paycheck. I wish they had a setup like that over there.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you explain why he was given a choice? I have not heard of these things being an either or situation. Please enlighten me. Thanks.
That would be me being a sucker and recognising that travel expenses are pretty hefty and he was saying that he couldn't afford to see them. Like the absolute blinding idiot that I am, I actually tried to make life easier for him The very lengthy rant is on the blog, if you want the full story.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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very sorry to hear this...hugs
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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That would be me being a sucker and recognising that travel expenses are pretty hefty and he was saying that he couldn't afford to see them. Like the absolute blinding idiot that I am, I actually tried to make life easier for him The very lengthy rant is on the blog, if you want the full story.


Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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, Oh Helen, this is just so hard. What do you do when the other parent doesn't really care to make the effort? how do you brace yourself if/when they come back into the child's life and make demands?

My only answer is take if one day at a time. Because I think that's all you can do. I wish I had a better answer, as you're always so full of advice and insight.

again.

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Old 07-28-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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, Oh Helen, this is just so hard. What do you do when the other parent doesn't really care to make the effort? how do you brace yourself if/when they come back into the child's life and make demands?

My only answer is take if one day at a time. Because I think that's all you can do. I wish I had a better answer, as you're always so full of advice and insight.

again.
:

I want to add my support...

My own bio-mom left when I was 4 and my sister was 1. My father was a single dad dealing with this woman who would promise to come see us, then at the last minute not show up, make idle threats if he refused to meet her conditions, and who was - in general - a crappy mother. He did everything in his power to make it easy for her to have a relationship with us, but screwed it up over and over and over again. Finally, after 3 or 4 years of this - of her coming and going to making promises she never kept - he put his foot down and asked her to relinquish her parental rights so that my stepmama could adopt us. We had to go to court and I had to tell a judge that I wanted my stepmama to be my mommy, not the woman who gave birth to me. Oh, the years of therapy that followed. But I have to tell you, I'm grateful to my bio-mom for letting us go, I'm grateful to my stepmama (now Mom) for making room in her heart for us, but most of all, I'm grateful to my father, who had the incredible foresight to know that although it would really suck for a while, I would be better off in the long run without this crazy, unpredictable person in my life. And I'm sure, without a doubt, that I am.

I'm not suggesting that you take this kind of drastic action with your XH, but I don't think we can go wrong if we keep the best interests of our children in the forefront. And sadly, sometimes that means cutting the other parent loose, recognizing that this is an adult, making his own decisions and will need to live with the consequences. You can and will give your children an excellent life whether or not their dad is in it, too. He needs strict boundaries that you never make exceptions to. It's not your job to make it easier for him to be a parent. It's your job to take care of your kids, at all cost. I don't believe that enabling a dysfunctional parent is the best thing for the kids.

Stay strong mama!

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Old 07-28-2008, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thankyou, Sarah. You've given me a huge gift, in giving me permission to stop trying to make his relationship with his kids work.
Teeny, I have no doubt that he means what he says at this moment in time. I'm expecting a battle with the extended family in the near future, but I'll cross that bridge when it happens.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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Look at it this way: what if you caved to his threat, and he stopped being in their lives anyway? :

Keep a copy, make him pay support, and if he doesn't do what is right, it's on him.

What a charmer.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
Who does that to their children?
I agree. How incredibly sad.

When I was young I remember my mom having a hard time getting child support from my dad. He made a lot of threats to her and she let him off easy when they divorced, even though he had cheated on her for years. She let him off easy so he would continue to see us and pay child support. He was hardly ever around and anytime us kids did anything remotely bad he would threaten to stop paying and would hold money back if he thought we weren't doing well in school or behaving. He was really mean. He's a good dad now that I'm an adult and a great grandfather, but back then he was terrible to me and my siblings and I've forgiven him but I haven't forgotten about it all.

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