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Newest Member: MaggieO (60733)

User Topic: Say something or not? (re: kids)
♀ 31229
Member # 31229
Default  Posted: 6:39 AM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My stbxh is a crappy dad - it is the main reason I finally threw in the towel. He is very controlling, yells and hollers at them, makes comments like "what is WRONG with you?!" is physically agressive (grabbing them really hard by the arm if they aren't doing what he expects, etc.). when he was working overseas he rarely communicated with them. He would use the excuse that it was too hard to call with the time difference and the post office was too far away, blah, blah. I used to type and print letters to them "from him" because they used to ask why and I felt bad.

Anyway, now that we are separated he is doing the same thing. He sees them maybe a couple of times a week for an hour or so (he stops by here, eats my food, uses the bathroom and watches t.v. - I guess that's visiting them?). He never calls them to say goodnight or just say hi. They haven't said anything about it (just the normal expressing that they wish we wouldn't divorce), but I was a child of divorce with an absent dad and I know it hurts. I also know it affects who you become as an adult. It enfuriates me that he can't just call. So do I say something or leave it? I have really embraced the whole letting go of worrying about him and his crappy decisions and it has been freeing! But in this one area I don't know if I should be advocating for my kids, or just let him continue to eff it all up and let the chips fall as they may.

Anyone else deal with a similar situation?

Divorced! 4/1/16

Posts: 1502 | Registered: Feb 2011
♀ 28856
Member # 28856
Default  Posted: 7:08 AM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The problem with saying something, is that it will fall on deaf ears. You can't change his behavior. He's not going to change unless he wants to do something about it.

I think the best you can do is talk to your kids. Not telling them they have a lousy father, but just acknowledging their feelings and helping them advocate for themselves. If you can, have them in counseling or in a divorce care for kids.

I'm sorry your stbxh is such a douche. Your kids deserve better.

Posts: 467 | Registered: Jun 2010
♀ 31094
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I grew up with an absent dad, too. I know my mother struggled with this as well.

She never said anything to him. She said she finally realized that she couldn't force him to be a good father, no matter what she said. My father wasn't connected to us, and she couldn't make him be.

Personally, I think it was better that way. I learned exactly who he was, and was able to make my peace with it (with therapy).

Now, as an adult, the relationship I have with my father is one of MY choosing. I see/speak to him when I want to.

I think if he'd been forced to visit us/call us it would have been worse. We would have known that he really didn't want us around and that would have hurt more, I think.

Rejection sucks---but forcing someone to interact with you hurts, too.

Does that make sense??

Posts: 3446 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
♀ 31229
Member # 31229
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You're right, myturn, it might get better in the very short term, but he'll just go back to his normal ways after a bit and I'm sure I'll be frustrated again. And yes, the kids do deserve better. It's a shame he doesn't see it. Even when he does visit, it's all about him. How hard he's been working, hiw tired he is, blah, blah. He's very giving with his money, but selfish with himself/his time.

Ainteasy, yea, that makes perfect sense and your point about the forced interaction is right on. He is very disinterested in them and I'm sure they pick up on it. They've made comments about how he would
ignore them when he lived here, so obviously they've felt it already. This is just another little area I need to let go. It's hard as a mom because I dont want to see my kids hurting - I hate that he'll probably never "get it."

Divorced! 4/1/16

Posts: 1502 | Registered: Feb 2011
♀ 35812
Member # 35812
Default  Posted: 9:01 PM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You know, maybe you should just stop this cycle of him coming over and using your house as a man-cave "to see the kids" since that's not what he's doing. They may do better not having him ignore them while lazing about your house. He can either take them out to visit them or bugger off.

Imagine a ship trying to set sail while towing an anchor. Cutting free is not a gift to the anchor. You must release that burden, not because the anchor is worthy, but because the ship is.

D-Day, June 10, 2012

Posts: 9776 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: So California
Topic Posts: 5

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