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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really thing Wisconsin has the right idea. Apparently you have a year to get it all taken care of, otherwise the courts step in and decide things for you.<br><br>
We had mediation today, court-ordered. And I really liked the woman -- if I were divorcing anyone who was together, I'd vote for mediation with her in a heartbeat. Stbx avoided looking at me in the session, just stared straight ahead. He went from demanding shared custody to saying he just felt like he didn't get to be a real daddy with the current visitation schedule -- 2hrs M/T/Th/F, 4.5 hours including dinner on Weds., Sat 6 pm-Sun 6pm. Every week. So...36.5 hours a week. Said he felt like a nanny, not a daddy, and wanted another overnight.<br><br>
That sounds heroic on the face of it, and I was actually feeling for him in the mediation (not that I was going to allow another weekly overnight), but this is a guy who is apparently putting dd in timeouts because he can't cope with her behavior. He still can't work, the social worker had to help him find an apartment, he does his laundry at his mother's, and he cries in front of her -- OK for sensitive dude, but not great when it's your profoundly depressed father falling apart in front of you. This is also the guy who was blaming me for his feeling homeless, a year after he'd moved out of here and didn't like the place he'd chosen.<br><br>
And suddenly I recalled the pattern that crops up with every new thing he picks up -- he has to buy some giant amount of equipment, books, gear, anything that will delay the moment of actually doing the thing. There's thousands of dollars worth of unused hobby gear around here, still. I think this is essentially the same thing. He feels persecuted and shut out, and what will make him a Real Daddy is to be Really Involved with a routine kind of life he has trouble maintaining even for himself -- regular meals, regular hygeine, getting up and doing stuff. So the overnights are the gear, this time.<br><br>
I think I will have to go back and say look, he spends more time with her in a week than many dads find for their kids in a month. If he can't figure out how to feel like a real father for her in that amount of time, the problem is not with the schedule, and maybe it would help to work on both attitude and how he uses the time. I would love to share custody more equally -- certainly I could use a break -- but I can't see how it's in her interest.<br><br>
What's disturbing about it is that this isn't about her. It's about him.<br><br>
Meh. He came back with her today and she had chipped front teeth from a fall at the daycare. Not hugely chipped, but still. For some reason he was unable to pull out the cell and call me or a dentist. I called the dentist, we got an appointment for a half-hour later, and we went.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pranamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8154927"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">yikes on the chipped tooth! Hope it is ok still. I'd be a little miffed at the daycare for not calling immediately.</div>
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Yes, it's OK. Didn't get past enamel. I'm going to ask tomorrow what happened. She says she didn't tell any of the grownups because she was busy playing, but still, they should've noticed something happening and called. Stbx said it happened just before he got there, though, so maybe they'd been about to call. We'll see.<br><br>
funny thing, though..while we were at the dentist, he asked if she sucked her thumb, which she still does sometimes, and he went on for quite a while about how she ought to cut it out, he saw changes happening already. I said it wasn't the time for it, but that eventually we'd talk about it. By tonight, though, she had already put herself on a program of non-thumbsucking. Wanted me to take her blanket so she wouldn't suck her thumb. She wasn't frightened of what the dentist had said; it was just that it was clearly the thing to do, since the dentist said so, and he knew about teeth. I was a little surprised. She did something similar last week, when she found a big juicy raisin cookie in an unpacked bag of groceries from the night before, and asked at some ungodly hour if she could have it. Later, I said. She left it there, didn't take it. Could have, but didn't. Not four years old yet.
 

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I agree that it's sad he is only thinking of himself.<br><br>
I also agree that more overnights is not going to make him feel like a genuine dad.<br><br>
I hope, for all of you, that he is able to get the help he needs and get his life on track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, MsChats. I have to say that after 5 years, and what I know of the past he's got, I don't see help happening for him. I don't think his adult life ever really was on track -- he just struggled by between collapses, putting up a good front, until he was overpromoted at work and took on way more family responsibility than he could cope with. Good front all gone since then.<br><br>
It occurred to me today -- if I got extra visitation made contingent on his getting off disability and back to work, as a sign of improved mental health & ability to care for himself, I don't think it'd happen. I really never thought he'd be on disability this long. I'm just grateful that the mental-health people he has who can speak on his behalf for custody are easily countered, and that there are so many well-regarded local people and MH professionals willing to speak out and say, "No no no, he's a nice guy, but you can't give him custody."
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">saying he just felt like he didn't get to be a real daddy with the current visitation schedule -- 2hrs M/T/Th/F, 4.5 hours including dinner on Weds., Sat 6 pm-Sun 6pm. Every week. So...36.5 hours a week. Said he felt like a nanny, not a daddy, and wanted another overnight.</td>
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wow my stbx is doing 6 hours every two weeks.<br>
some working moms don't spend that kind of time with their kids..<br>
sounds like he's whining<br><br>
shiloh who is looking SOOO FORWARD to mediation...not
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He does this with just about everything. There's no such thing as moderation. He wanted to make espresso, so he needed a cafe-quality machine. Which sat unused on the counter for years. He started brewing beer, so naturally he needed a thousand-dollar setup. Who was going to drink all the beer, i have no idea. I shut him down the one time he used it, because he was firing the thing up from a propane canister directly under our daughter's bedroom. He's got a collection of racing bikes, and his regular bike is a $4K custom-built, and he built the wheels with another collection of equipment; about half the time he can't ride the bike because something's wrong with it. He thought he might play the guitar, so right away he's shopping in high-end guitar catalogues. The first step in any enterprise is to shop at the top. (Step two, frequently: Become depressed and abandon the project.) We are not, needless to say, wealthy. A decent income, yes, especially for where we live. But not set up for that kind of habit. The other side is a histrionic sort of living in poverty, walking around with nothing in his pockets, living on very little.<br><br>
All of it is fantasy, he lives in fantasy. It was a major problem in our marriage -- he would come up with these huge, bizarre plans, and since I have friends who actually do ambitious and surprising things -- I've been known to do them myself -- I'd be alarmed, thinking he really meant it. But he doesn't. His dad's much the same way, except I think his dad's got a tighter bead on reality.<br><br>
Anyway -- I don't think he'd know what to do with partial custody. They'd end up watching movies half the time, I'm guessing, and eventually he'd collapse and hand the custody back over to me, crying and with zero sense of responsibility for having created the situation, with dd bewildered. At least she understands he's sick.
 
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