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I've been debating about divorcing my dp for about the last 7 years. There are many reasons, but the one that matters the most, and makes me the most conflicted, is his parenting.<br><br>
He's not physically abusive (though I've seen him visibly stop himself from hitting the kids a number of times). He is sometimes verbally abusive. The big issue, though is that he's just not very involved or interested.<br><br>
I do almost all the parenting. He generally doesn't want to even spend "fun" time with his family (when I do all the work). It's obvious even to our 2 year old that Daddy would rather spend time with his computers than with us. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> He spends as much time berating our 10 year old as he does speaking to him nicely, and the kid is becoming bitter about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
I've talked to him about it OVER AND OVER, and he either makes empty promises or acts like I'm being a demanding b*tch.<br><br>
I've been worried about depriving the kids of their dad, etc. But then I wonder-- am I looking at it all wrong? Maybe if he got to have "his own life" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> he'd be less stressed/less of a jerk? Maybe he'd appreciate his kids more? Honestly, he'd spend more time with them on a visitation schedule than he does now!<br><br>
And of course, if he runs away instead of stepping up, at least I don't have to deal with him, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Did anyone's dp become a better parent post-breakup?<br><br>
Thanks in advance for humoring me.
 

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honestly, stbx has definitely spent more quality time with dc since we separated almost six months ago. sad but true.
 

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I can't shed light on the divorce situation because my DD's dad and I were never 'together' after we had DD, however, I just wanted to ask if you'd be okay if he potentially never came around anymore?<br><br>
Granted that's "worst case scenario" but would his current disinterest turn into abandonment if you filed for divorce and he didn't live in the same house as them? Again, not meant to hurt or call him a bad parent, just trying to give you another angle to look at <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Also, keep in mind that visitation does not mean he's being a good parent. It just means he has physical custody of the kids during that time. If he's pissy and morose, or just ignores them, and there's no one else around to be human for them, then that's not so good either.
 

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i wanted to add more because i've been thinking all evening that my earlier response was kind of quick...<br><br>
it's true that visitation doesn't mean good parenting but i feel that for stbx the release of the pressure of being with us all the time has improved his whole attitude toward dc. not that it's stellar material but him really seems to want to see them and enjoy them in a way i've not seen in the almost six years since dd was born. it's true that he largely gets to be super-fun-dad but right now dc are enjoying that and when they are older they will be able to see through it.<br><br>
right now dc enjoy the time they have with him, i have them about ninety percent of the time and i don't have to live with him anymore. so to answer your question, it is possible. however before you jump to anything i would recommend a serious dose of marital counseling if you think your relationship can be saved. it will give you a clearer answer if you haven't already tried it.<br><br>
best of luck to you!<br><br>
p.s. boy, do i remember me and dc coming in a not so close 2nd place to the computers...don't miss that one bit.
 

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Well, in my own situation, my ex-dh became a <i>much</i> better parent after we separated, & a much better human! We were together a total of about 12 yrs., married for the last 3. Our relationship sucked, there was a lot of anger, we had no business being married to each other, we had nothing in common. My ex-dh was SO SO so negative, that was my #1 gripe in marriage counseling. He was so angry at me all the freaking time that it just made him into a negative, depressed, yucky person. Once we separated (over 3.5 yrs ago now), he found his joy again & is such a better person now. I just brought out the worst in him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">
 

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unfortunately, in my case, his parenting went downhill after he left. he used to be a great dad. now, he's not really around much and when he is, he's more like an uncle than a daddy. i think part of the reason he left was because he was overwhelmed with marriage and parenthood. checking out seems to be a viable option for some men. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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So many of these stories are like ours, it's freaky. I'm in the middle of a divorce, moving my kids 2,000 miles away from their dad. He didn't even object.<br><br>
Whatever is up with him right now -- early midlife crisis, adolescent trauma, broke under the weight of too much pressure too young, whatever -- right now what he wants (and what I truly believe he NEEDS) is to be by himself. He's never been a terribly involved father, but for the past three to four years, especially (starting around when I had to be hospitalized on bedrest on bedrest with our fourth), he has been noticably disconnecting emotionally from both me and the kids.<br><br>
He comes home from work, boots up the laptop, immediately starts IMing his girlfriends before he even says hi to his kids. Doesn't do stories, play games with them, play outside with them, unless he feels really guilty or I nag him until he does. And yeah, the kids know and feel when a parent is present physically but emotionally absent, and it hurts. He loves them, but more than he loves them, he resents them. He resents them for what they represent -- him being oppressed, unable to make autonomous decisions for himself.<br><br>
He just wants his freedom, and he's willing to have his kids 2,000 miles away so he can have it. Maybe someday he'll regret it, but I don't expect that anytime soon. The truth is, he's just solipsistic and selfish by nature. Most of the time, when he did do things with the kids, it was forced -- an act to get me off his back or to impress someone with what a great dad he is.<br><br>
So, like you, I'm hoping that this divorce and the move will end up making him a better dad to them when he is here. He plans to fly out here several times a year to see them (we'll see how long he keeps that up), and maybe not having them in his life all the time will make him appreciate them more.
 

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It's a mixed bag here, echoing parts of lots of PPs stories. When we were living together ex seemed to take DS's presence for granted, and while he wasn't IM'ing or gaming, he found plenty of other ways to check out when he was home.<br><br>
Soon after we split, from reports from DS, who is 7, it sounded like ex was a more engaged, involved parent. It sounded like he was more playful, more actively engaging DS, and he was becoming more involved in DS's school. I knew that some of it was ex trying to position himself as a loving, involved parent for custody purposes, but DS was clearly benefitting from his dad actually paying attention to him for stretches of greater than 25 minutes.<br><br>
A year later, and the Disney Dad stuff still continues. I know that will fall flat as DS gets older, especially when he is an adult. And I now see some of ex's *involvement* for the control issue that it is.<br><br>
I wouldn't say that ex became a "better" parent, just that there is more quality to the time he does spend with DS now. And he has to engage DS, he <span style="text-decoration:underline;">has</span> to provide dinner and do bathtime and story time and answer DS's questions because there's no else around to do it for him - or, rather to do it for the sake of DS.
 

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My mom said that when she divorced my dad, he was pretty clueless about how to care for us kids, but he really stepped up after the divorce and did what he had to. So I definitely think it can happen.
 

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My ex was mandated to get substance abuse treatment during the custody battle, and since then his parenting skills have gotten a lot better. I credit that to him being sober though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Seven years!? Wow, that's a long time to be debating something like that.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br><br><br><br>
I was in a similar position (interestingly, for a similar amount of time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> ) and although I really believed that after he and I split up, he'd be a better parent since he'd 1) have the opportunity to straighten his life out and find some sense of responsibility, and 2) he wouldn't constantly be stressed out over our relationship issues. But once we finally split up, he just completely removed himself from the picture. My kids haven't had any real time with him in about a year now, he doesn't pay child support, and he's so far ignored the court ordered weekly visitation order. So I guess my advice is ~ be prepared to handle the opposite of what you want.<br><br>
I'm sorry you're going through this; it's a really hard thing to deal with. And especially for so long. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 
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