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ALittleLost posted 4/22/2013 09:31 AM

My son in a soccer fanatic. 2 months ago he tried out for a team, but did not make it; I cried for him. This weekend the coach approached him and told him he was handpicked for an additional team they decided to send. He is over the moon. He tried to call his Dad to tell him. Dad didn't answer, but called back when ds was in the shower. We called him back, but he was too busy with his new life/priorities to answer. He texted me after bedtime saying he would call the next day .... but surprise surprise he didn't (break promises much?!)

So I drafted a simple email to him, but I am conflicted as to whether or not to send it. Do I let him know the impact of his unavailability is having on our son? Or let him face the consequences (son withdrawing from him) of his continuing bad decisions. My draft:

DS was so excited to be chosen for a soccer team to represent JSSL arsenal next month.
He could not wait to tell you ..... but you didn't call him back - not on Saturday after he tried a few times to reach you or Sunday as you said you would.

It would be great if you could try to keep your promises to him. (A part of me then wants to include "I find it very sad and disappointing that I need to write this to you." But I think I will keep my feelings out of it ....)

STBWXH will likely never live in the same country as his children and will struggle in the best of situations to maintain a good relationship with them. I am currently thinking he needs to own this. I know it will hurt them that his is not involved in their lives, but I think this is his issue.


Nature_Girl posted 4/22/2013 10:01 AM

Don't do it. Don't send it. There is no way it won't come back to bite you in the ass.

tryingagain74 posted 4/22/2013 10:05 AM

I agree with N_G. There's no point in sending that. He'll get defensive, come after you, or turn your words against you in some way. Just keep being supportive of your son, encouraging him to call his dad and making him available for calls like you always have. Unfortunately, it is a hard lesson that your DS will have to learn on his own, but he'll also be learning that his mom is there for him and has his back even if his father chooses to be absent.

(((ALittleLost and DS)))

dmari posted 4/22/2013 11:29 AM

Don't send it. I am learning that my children will have to learn to cope with whatever "relationship" they have with their father. There isn't anything WE can do to make it better unfortunately. Of course your intention is good but your focus needs to be on providing an empathetic ear and soft place to land for your son as he deals with disappointments regarding dad.

TrustGone posted 4/22/2013 11:33 AM

Do not get involved in it. I learned that you can not keep making excuses for an absent parent or trying to make them see what they are doing. It is best to just keep quiet, be there for him yourself, and let the ex deal with his own fall out in the end.

confused51 posted 4/22/2013 12:30 PM

I'm dealing with something close to you as Ex went out of town and didn't include the kids again. I told the kids yesterday not to count on their dad for anything. If he does include them just thing of it as a bonus.

Amazonia posted 4/22/2013 12:59 PM

As tough as it is, the legwork of your ex's relationship with your son isn't your job.

You can, however, overcompensate on the love and excitement that your son gets from his Mom! for his sake, but it's dad's job to either maintain or destroy his own relationship with his kids.

Phoenix1 posted 4/22/2013 13:05 PM

He is responsible for his own relationship with his child, not you. Keep being the loving, supportive mother. His father will see the repercussions eventually, and it will be entirely his problem. Your son will arrive at his own conclusions, but as long as he knows he can always count on mom, you have nothing to worry about.

newlysingle posted 4/22/2013 17:32 PM

I agree with the others, you can't make him be a dad. I'm so sorry for your little boy. My STBX is the same way with my kids and it is so hurtful to witness. He doesn't even care about the baby, never asks about him.

I texted him awhile back to let him know that dd had read her first book by herself and maybe he could call her soon and ask her about it. She was so proud. Never happened.

SBB posted 4/23/2013 06:27 AM

I agree with the others. You can't make him be a dad.

He was a son once - he knows what he is doing. He doesn't give a shit - its not a priority.

I know it hurts to see your son hurting like this but you need to focus on helping him deal with this - and on being the present, interested, invested and loving parent.

They only need one good parent - and you're a great one.

This makes me so mad and sad.

((ALittleLost and DS))

Ashland13 posted 4/23/2013 07:54 AM

Don't send it. I think it's good to write it and then throw it out.

We have that going on too. STBXH has missed a ton of DD's life events in favor of the A and it makes me ache for her. Her pain brings me fresh pain.

However, she is already seeing through anyone who doesn't keep a promise. She remembers each and every person who lets her down as if she keeps a journal of it. Sometimes she tells me a disappointment.

She told me several times recently, "I don't trust daddy. I go with him so it won't make a fight. He's moody and yells at me."

So I agree with the other posts and have seen this with other local split families.

Our neighbors, who I've posted about before on SI, have a teenager and elementary aged kids and they actually make fun of the dad now. The dad their is the XWS and has no credence or honor with his kids. It makes me sad because they lost that role model, but maybe he never was one?

They are starting to ask to not spend time with him, esp. when XWH and OW there wind up in the hopper while having their kid visits. Or don't cook dinner because they're drunk and the little DS9 tries to make the "family" dinner.

Karma with kids doesn't fail to come around, but as BS, it's really awful to watch our kids pain, isn't it?

Anyone I know who has been in your spot, ALL, has had it bite them. Then, there's pain on top of pain.

I hope you figure out what to do and get back to other things soon. For me, being the best mom I can is enough when that stuff happens and any other time. It's hard not to compare myself to Perv but it happens and its my feeling better to always do what I tell DS I will.

I also go to great length to make no promises to her and she actually told me on vacation, "mom, you're the only one I have who does what they say and is always there for me." This made me teary in a good way and was more validation than any other on the planet.

Kajem posted 4/23/2013 08:57 AM

Normally I would say Don't send it. But you also say your X will most likely never live in the same country as your son... He needs to realize that him not doing what he said he would do has a negative affect on his son. It will eventually have a negative affect on his relationship with his son.

How is your relationship with your X, Do you talk about your kids? Does he listen to what you have to say? or does he just dismiss what you have to say?

I think you need to look at your relationship with him currently, if you think he would be open to hearing how his actions hurt his son... Do not confuse who he was in your marriage to who he is now... if you can do that and think the letter would be received without malice. Then I would send it.

If you don't think it would change anything... then don't waste your time. Give the time to your son...



ALittleLost posted 4/23/2013 10:19 AM

Nearly unanimous - thanks everyone. I didn't send it.

Kajem - you bring up a really good point and something I have been struggling with. DS is 7 and when you are 7, your world is based on the one or two things that happened to you in the last few hours. Without some input from me, STBXWH will have almost no clue what is going on in DS's life. I am reading the SandCastle book on how to help children deal with divorce and it says you should try to give as much info as possible to the other spouse so that they can be involved in the child's life.

To be honest ... I am really divided. I don't want to own his relationship with his child, he should. And that means actively doing everything he can to be involved. And if he isn't, that is one more bad choice he will have to face consequences for.

On the other hand, when Daddy doesn't ask how he did in the tournament or check in on important dates in his life, he is going to feel abandoned and alone.

At the moment, my relationship with STBX is .... nonexistent. My anger is finally kicking in and it is exacerbated by watching him disconnect from the 2 most important people in our lives (our 2 DS). This may evolve, but I have a feeling he has moved in with someone (one of the OW or someone new - who knows?), so until I get to the "I really honestly don't care" phase, I will likely remain as NC as possible.

Kajem posted 4/23/2013 12:08 PM

My impression of the Sandcastles book was the it would work if Both parents were amicable or at the very least civil and willing to work together for the children.

My situation with XH was (for a lot of years) no where near civil.

In order to keep him advised of the kids (we have 4) schedules, I put everything on and online calendar and gave him access. This also helped to punch holes in his Parental Alienation Charges that I was keeping information from him. Maybe that is a way for you to tell him what is going on in your sons lives without actually have to contact him.



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