Need advice with ex - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-05-2002, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, dads (and moms), what should I do?

Ds's father is basically a boob. Over 30 and still not supporting himself. Dropped us both when ds was 3 months old and when I insisted that he pay child support like our mediation agreement stated, quit having anything to do with us including paying anything. I wrote him when ds was 3 and wanted to know who his father was. Since then he has seen ds 1-2x a year only when his parents arrange and pay for the visits.

I just got married and all of a sudden I am getting numerous emails where he keeps telling me how much he loves ds and wants to see him more, how he wants a relationship with me and dh, etc. (BTW, he has no legal visitation and his parents are paying his child support which is set at the unemployment rate- since I got it court ordered 4 years ago.) My dh wants nothing to do with him. Dh thinks he is a dirtbag for not giving a crap about his kid. Dh wants me to tell him no way, that dsf can only see Tay 1-2x a year like he has been. (Honestly, I think dh wants me to cut him off all together but he knows I won't go for that).

I have been ignoring the emails hoping they would stop but they obviously aren't going to. What should I do? I do not think he is a good role model for ds and I don't appreciate the way dsf and his parents disregard my rules when I send him to visit (ie last visit they completed no homeschool work for the entire week even though I sent specific instructions and a workbook I made with all the materials in it). They also encourage ds to call dsf "daddy" which is a title I have never given him nor do I think he deserves. (We call him "birthdaddy").

Ok, help...please...
laralou is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-05-2002, 09:00 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It all sounds very stressful. Personally, I don't think that someone who has taken no interest in a child for three years should suddenly be allowed to step in like this, especially as he is not supportive either financially or in your parenting style. Being a biological father (or mother) is not the same as being a real father. I think that the father/child relationship is something you build, not something you 'deserve' by providing a sperm.

It sounds like your new husband is the real father to your child. Personally, I'd change my email address, and refuse all contact, especially as you don't legally have to grant it. If you can afford it, I'd turn down his parent's money too. A man who has shown no interest so far is not going to suddenly become the father your child always needed. That is now your husband's role.

I would then be honest to your son. If I would tell him what he will understand at an age appropriate level. I'd focus on the positive - your husband, rather than the negative, that this man does not have any genuine interest in him.

I think your husband has a very reasonable - actually, too reasonable - approach. Personally, I think he would be justified to ask that you should cut this man out, at least until your son is older and may decide to see him of his own accord. By which time he will probably work out that the man is a waste of space and not want him in his life anyway, preferring his 'real' daddy.

Why wouldn't you agree to cut the man out of your lives? I'm just curious, not accusing. He cut you and your son out for three years, and has effectively done the same now, he doesnt take responsibility. It's easy to visit a couple of times a year if someone else funds and organises it! Doesn't sound too committed, does it?

This is just my objective opinion, I'm not the one in the midst of the situation. I hope to have given a perspective though, some other opinions should help you to work out what you want to do. Hope it helps - and good luck in your new marriage!
Britishmum is offline  
Old 02-05-2002, 09:11 PM
 
Nee Nee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: under a mountain of dog and cat hair
Posts: 367
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Myself I have no patience for fathers that do not provide child support for their kids! I agree with everything Britishmum said, maybe when your son is a bit older, then you can talk about the situation in greater detail, and leave it up to him if he wants to see his birth father! I agree, if you can go without the money from the ex inlaws, it would be good, because you prob feel indebted to let them see him, because of it. I dont know what your ex inlaws are like, but it wouldnt be fair to cut them off from visiting you DS, they cant control what their son does, and it is their grandchild, maybe only let them visit on your turf!!
Just my 2 cents, good luck with whatever you decide, sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, and a supportive DH!

Love Renee
Nee Nee is offline  
Old 02-05-2002, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do hold his parents responsible for the way he is. They agreed that he shouldn't have to pay support so he could go to school and work for "our future." They pay the support now only so he doesn't go to jail and so he won't have to quit school to work (he can't do both).
But to answer your question, I just feel it is wrong since I asked dsf to come into his life at 3 1/2 that I should ask him to totally butt out now that I have a man. I know, stupid! It infuriates dh because it is more about being fair to dsf and his parents than it is to ds. But I don't want them telling ds when he is older, "we would have visited you but your mom wouldn't let us."
So are you all saying that I should tell him that he should shut up and be grateful that I let him see ds at all?
laralou is offline  
Old 02-05-2002, 09:36 PM
 
Nee Nee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: under a mountain of dog and cat hair
Posts: 367
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"So are you all saying that I should tell him that he should shut up and be grateful that I let him see ds at all?"

I would like to say.... if it were me, I would tell your ex to take a hike and not let him see DS at all, but since I dont walk in your shoes I have no right to say such a thing. Of course you dont want your DS to grow up and be told, that they(grandparents and birth father) werent allowed to visit, because mom said it wasnt alright. This prob wont become a problem unless your DS and your new DH dont bond for some reason, this is when later on as a teenager he may try to reach out to his birth father

, Oh, Laralou, I dont know what to say, this is really a difficult decision, I guess just take things slowly and dont do anything permanent until you are sure what is right for you and your family!!

much love,

Renee
Nee Nee is offline  
Old 02-06-2002, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I thought of something else later on last night. I also am afraid that if I cut them off completely that dsf's parents will finance him suing for visitation which would be infinitely worse than what I have right now. I couldn't bear having to share Christmas!
I allow them one week in the summer and one week around Christmas (not during!). I only just started allowing him to visit them alone in 2001. Before that they had to fly me and ds anytime they wanted a visit.

I just don't know if I should tell dsf what I really think or if I should ignore him. I don't want to inspire him to action but I feel rude not answering the emails. Here are some quotes:

"Hey...just dropping you a line to say hello and happy birthday to my boy again....i tried to call on sunday..but i couldn't get through...i'm not sure if i have the right number....i hope that his present got forwarded...I'm worried that you haven't had a chance to check your email since you've moved...so you have no idea that i've been trying to get in touch....i hope not....I'll call again this week and double check the number with my mom....hope things are going well....take care.....hug my boy....."

"I hope things are going well for you and (dh), that you are happy. There is so much I want to talk about , i wish i could just drive across town and see you and (ds) and meet (dh)....I'm trying to save money for a trip sometime in the spring or summer....I think back over the past eight years and sometimes my spirit drains out of me.... i've done things this way, because I was trying to look to the future...but now this is the future...my family has done more than I believe anyone should to allow me to pursue my goals, and now I've met them, for the most part....and I want to be closer to everything that matters...I feel like I'm on the moon...i might as well be...but I've got to start some where. How's the home schooling going? Keep him in as many extra curricular activities as you can...i know you already know that....I'm wondering about money....do you have any kind of account set up for (ds) - a college / money to do what his heart desires fund...just something to get him started later ....there's so much...Give (ds) my love, and send me some kind of contact info....even if it's short term....talk to you soon."

This is all such bs!
I don't want to give him our number because it disrupts ds and dh's relationship when they talk plus he had our number for 4 years and never used it. Now when we move he suddenly has to call? I want to tell him that we are not going to be "buddies." I also want to tell him that I will never support my son to "pursue his dreams" when he neglects his own child like his parents choose to. I just want him to shut up and act like he has for the last 4 years instead of wanting to be insta-dad.
I am just afraid of starting something if I address him. I don't know what to do. Everyone close to me has an opinion that is biased, so I really need some unbiased opinions.

Thanks, everyone, for your time and consideration. I really appreciate anyone's opinions here.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-06-2002, 04:24 PM
 
Elphaba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well, i have a few questions: how old is your son? how far away does birthdaddy live?
Elphaba is offline  
Old 02-06-2002, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ds is 8 now. Dsf lives on the farthest end of the West Coast while I am closer to the East coast (Detroit for now). Dh does contract work and we move frequently. We have a homebase on the East coast 700 miles from his parents, where we spend holidays and in between jobs. Here is the scariest thing yet: dsf's city is on the list of where we may go next! Yuck!

To clarify, we met and lived on the East coast, then after ds was born, dsf took off for the far West coast and hasn't moved back yet. His parents live on the East coast within a day's drive or a direct flight. That is where they see each other for visits. Ds has never stayed with dsf at dsf's residence, always at the grandparents.

Does that make sense? Ask as many questions as you need to give advice!
laralou is offline  
Old 02-06-2002, 06:56 PM
 
Elphaba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well, i'm going to be in the minority here, and suggest that you leave the door open for him. maybe tell him to write letters, not emails, to your son, and let them get to know each other that way. you should also make it clear to him that he must respect your rules and parenting choices.
he's been a giant ass, there's no doubt about that, but maybe it took your recent marriage to turn a light on in his head and say, "oh crap, i have a son out there, and another man will be raising him, making me obsolete." perhaps he thought that as long as you were a single parent, his place as father was secure.
your son is old enough to see when someone is a loser.
it always hurts me when i hear of parents not seeing their kids, either by choice or not. my sister has been a single parent for most of her life now. the biodad denied that her children were his, and he has approximately 20, yes 20, other children with various mothers. my nephew used to cry every father's day. now he is 15 and his attitude is, if he doesn't want me, i don't want him.
i think if your ex is as big a loser as you describe, than it will not take long for your son to figure this out. if you keep them apart, or tell your son his biodad is worthless, you'll be the bad cop. give him enough rope to hang himself, right? think about it, your son is old enough to ask him where the hell he's been for 8 years, why didn't he call, or write, etc. your son can hold him accountable, and if he's like most kids, he won't pull any punches.
and you never know, he might just surprise everyone, including himself, and be able to at least maintain a relationship with your son. or he may make a giant ass of himself and your son may tell him to get lost.
Elphaba is offline  
Old 02-06-2002, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have sheltered too much I think, because ds doesn't have any bad thoughts about birthdaddy. It really hurts me for him to love this jack*ss who hasn't done anything for him when I sacrificed EVERYTHING. Dsf doesn't even use his own money to buy gifts at Christmas time. His parents buy things and put his name on it.
I have a lot of resentment obviously. I just hate how this renewed interest is going to affect dh. Dh really wants to be a real dad to ds. It broke his heart when ds came home from the visit last Christmas calling dsf "daddy." He cried and said, "I am the one who does everything for him and he calls that sh*t 'daddy.'" I agree with him frankly. I have never encouraged him to call dsf "daddy" even when he didn't have anyone else to call that.
I appreciate your input. This is just such a hard decision and I am still confused because of my conflicting loyalties to myself, ds, dh and dsf & his parents.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-07-2002, 01:24 AM
 
Alexander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Just moved to Framingham, MA
Posts: 1,529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No doubt in my mind.

Cut him off altogether.

Let nothing tainted enter your new family.

be done with it.

Reliquish all ties lest he be remembered.

He had his chance and he blew it.

Now that the child is not in dirty nappies, he wants in

no.

No way.

no no no.

Hope this is a clear male perspective.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
Alexander is offline  
Old 02-07-2002, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks guys (and girls)! I just needed to get some unbiased opinions to help me make up my mind. I appreciate the male perspective too. All I have in that department is dh and he has an obvious bias in this area. I appreciate ya'll taking the time to read this all and give thoughtful replies.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-08-2002, 04:33 PM
 
papabliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bet if you make him pay his child support upfront in cash prior to any meeting with ds, you'll never hear from him again.

Isn't that what happened at first?

Just a thought.

Actually I have no experience in these matters except for being male. However, I would venture a guess that his motives are purely selfish and he is competing with your new dh.

It's a guy thing, but we will chase after almost anything that moves just to keep someone else from getting it. Even if we don’t want it in the first place.

Football, basketball, soccer, hockey, hunting, car racing. It’s all the same; we like to chase things just like our furry k-9 retriever friends. But if nobody else is chasing the ball, we loose interest. It seems that your new DH is now chasing the ball (your ds), so dsf is back in the game. At least until no one wants to play anymore. Or he has to pay up front before he can play.

Cheers and good luck.
papabliss is offline  
Old 02-08-2002, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks, papabliss! That is what I suspect too (the chase theory). I just don't want him disrupting what dh and ds are slowly building. Unfortunately, his child support goes through the state but I can threaten to take him back to get back support for those 4 years he didn't pay and to get a cost of living increase. That is a thought.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-18-2002, 11:54 PM
 
Dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first day on the board and already I'm going to get myself in trouble by being too sympathetic with the lost cause everyone else is down on!

No wait! Let me ask a question first. What about that schooling you have mentioned? Does it actually represent an accomplishment? Is it something he deserves a little credit for or is it just an excuse to put off his entry into the real world?
Dale is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 05:33 AM
 
parisfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: paris, france
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would allow contact, but only on my turf. I would be afraid to send my child off alone to visit people like that. (sorry, I've read too many news reports of kidnappings and the like, don't mean to add to your stress)

I think the guys are right, this is just male competition. Your ex has a right to try to have a relationship with ds, but on your terms. ds will see everything. Have you asked him what kind of contact he wants with ex? I would tell him the whole story, and explain your reservations. My dad left when I was 8, and I would have loved some straigt talk. My mom was pretty upfront with me, and I appriciated what she did tell me.
parisfrance is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dale, I guess any degree is an accomplishment of sorts but frankly, I am unimpressed with a 30 year old man whose parents still pay his rent, bills, tuition, child support (for the last years only and only because they thought he would go to jail if he didn't), and even give him cigarette money. It took him 10 years to graduate. I don't care about his accomplishment because the boob chose following his dreams and his new girlfriend over being near and supporting his child in any way (financial, emotional, or physical). I on the other hand quit school and immediately got a job, lived with my parents until I had enough money saved to buy a home in a nice neighborhood, and devoted my life to parenting my child. He may not be worth your championing, I hate to say.

parisfrance, I am afraid that in believing you shouldn't talk ugly about your child's father, I went overboard and actually made him look good. I am trying to repair that mistake now, delicately. We talked about what it means to be a real father and he concluded that dh is his real dad.

Anyway the update is the jerk got his mother to call my dad and get the number (supposedly for her to call). He has called twice (and got the answering machine both times-ha! because you guys know I am always online) and sent 2 more emails. Dh and I have decided that I will write him back and tell him that he may write as much as he likes and continue to see ds twice a year like always, but that I do not want him calling until he can prove that he will be consistent in his communication. I am telling him that ds is not a toy to be picked up and put down at will, that he is a human being and that he (birthdad) doesn't have a history of being consistent. I am also telling him that I have saved all the letters that he and his parents wrote me telling me how he was going to school to provide for Taylor's future. So if that is true, he has been in the working world since sometime last year, he should now make up (voluntarily) for the years he never paid child support by paying me a substantial back payment and he should voluntarily up the amount he is now paying (which is set at the unemployment rate). We are pretty sure that will shut him up.

I am not trying to deny my son a decent father. I am trying to protect him and his bond with dh from the jealous and sporatic interference that he may cause. Thanks for all your help. I was really struggling and it helped to hear all your ideas.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 11:39 AM
 
reverendmother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: MI
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
GET A LAWYER!
Eventually you are going to need a lawyer in all of this -- if the "birthdaddy" really wants to go after a realtionship with ds. You don't have to take him (birthdaddy) to court just find out about the laws in Michigan (are you residents here?)
My husband is a lawyer and deals with custody issues almost daily. What I have learned form listening to him -- once you get the court involved you are sunk, so try to work something out staying within the guidelines of the law. I don't hink you are going to beable to keep "birthdaddy" away from ds -- so try to set it up so everyone is happy. Still, I would be prepared with a case and a lawyer for that moment when he decides to take you to court....
reverendmother is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks, reverandmother. We do have a lawyer but believe me I do not want to have to use him. I realize that if we go to court, he will get legal visitation. I just think that having to pay more child support will deter him. He is basically a selfish guy. He doesn't really want to spend time with ds. If he did, where was he for the last 8 years?
I am not trying to keep him from ds totally, I just don't want him dropping in and out of ds's life like a yo-yo. He has gone through moments like this in the past where he has renewed interest (ALWAYS tied to wanting to reinitiate a relationship with me). It usually lasts a month and it is over. I don't think it is fair to ds and I don't think it is fair to our family.
My husband has unlimited financial resources so should he (and by he I mean his mother as he has no money or real sincere interest in ds) decide to fight, we can give it a serious fight to get what I believe is ds's best interest.
laralou is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 06:58 PM
 
parisfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: paris, france
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you have the right idea with the writing and two visits and upping the child support. REAL responsabilities, not just playing around will probably scare him away again. It sounds like your ds knows what's true and good in his life, namely you and dh. Though it's easy for me as an outsider to say, "oh, what a louse that guy is", I understand about your not wanting to speak ill of him to your ds. I remember getting really mad at my mom for speaking ill of my dad (who left when I was 8).

Hang in there!

Michelle
parisfrance is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks!
laralou is offline  
Old 02-19-2002, 10:15 PM
 
Dale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are people who behave irresponsibly because they are fundamentally exploitive of others. Such people seldom change in any meaningful way, even if they find a new hat to wear that makes them look as though they have. Then there are people who behave irresponsibly because they are immature. Such people often grow up late in life.

I think it is possible that dsf belongs in that second category. If so, he may surprise you by turning out to be a better man, and a better father, than you currently expect. He may be more sincere than the "chase" theory gives him credit for. Then again maybe not. I'm glad I'm not the one making those decisions.

One more thought, and I'll quit "championing" him. I hope that dh and dsf can make peace with each other. Such a peace may become very important to ds as he grows.
Dale is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off