Another thing I suggested was that we don't phone DS every evening when we are not with them as I thought it was damaging to him as it was us controlling contact. I believe that it should be up to DS to phone us whenever he wants to. xWS agreed to this but only after saying it was unfair on him as he only saw his children at weekends. Well I guess that it what happens when daddy has an affair and doesn't even try to fight to save his relationship or family! Anyway, I always remind DS when he's at mine that he can call his daddy whenever he wants to and he always says no.
So last week xWS and I were texting regarding DS feeling depressed and xWS said that he felt that DS not being able to talk to him daily could be causing this. He even accused me of cutting contact with his children. I would never use my children against him as I know how much they need their father. We agreed that he would phone daily again starting last night.
Well guess what, he didn't phone DS!
I am so upset that he made such a big deal of this and then didn't bother phoning. I don't want him screwing with my sons head. I sent him an angry text about this and he accused me of trying to fuck with his head and make him feel like a bad father. I think he does a good enough job of that himself. He can't even get past his own ego and take responsibility for his own actions and I'm tired of hearing his excuses.
My question is, do you think it is healthy for xWS to phone his son daily or do you think both parents should just focus on being with their children separately without the other parent phoning. I think the latter but would appreciate your advice.
Sorry for the long post!
If the Ex's want to mess it up by not calling that is on them, and as the children get older they can decide how much contact they want. I say give him the option to call every night if he wants but not a stipulation that he has to. That way you are not getting angry at him, and you DS gets to talk to his dad.
That of course is just my opinion, you do as you wish, but I have found if you can separate the anger and hurt, you work more effectively as parents ( I know that is a perfect world scenario, and not always feasible).
In answer to the question, I do believe it is normal and healthy for a parent to want to speak to the kids when they don't have them.
My ex doesn't call my kids at all. I think that it is abnormal to not see your kids for days at a time and not even have the urge to talk to them. He did call in the beginning, but, even then, the conversation lasted less than two minutes. He wouldn't ask about their day, their friends, what happened at school, etc. He never calls them anymore unless there is some reason that has him guilty enough to make a duty call.
I have to tell you that when they don't call and don't act as though their own kids are important, it kills us. He doesn't hurt me personally anymore, but he now hurts me through my kids. Every time he ignores them, doesn't return a phone message, and doesn't come to a recital or concert or other special event for them, it hurts me. It hurts because even though they are too young now, they will one day notice that he sees them as an after thought. My DS is starting to see it now and it has changed who he will become as an adult. He was 7 when my ex walked out the door and recognizes the difference in his dad now as opposed to when he lived with us and paid him lots of attention.
Your kids are small so whatever patterns are established now is what they will remember.
My point is that, regardless of his horrible choices and awful treatment of you, he is still their father. Please don't ever be the cause of the demise of his relationship with them. If he's going to fuck that up, he's going to do it all by himself. You never want those kids to think that you didn't support their relationship with the only dad they will ever have. That could backfire big time and create resentment from them.
I know it sucks. I know. I regularly curse having to eat this shit sandwich and I regularly wish that asshole would drop off the face of the earth. At the same time, I love my kids way more than I hate him and know that they need him in their lives.
I don't know if you are in IC, but it may be beneficial. It might help you flip the thinking a bit and learn how to handle the emotions when it comes to having to raise kids with this jerk off who chose to leave. I still go to IC more than two years later and this is a lot of what we talk about.
I'm sorry you are hurting and having a rough time with all of this unfairness.
Calling nightly is part of our routine. My kids seem to like it. my xWW calls, most nights, near bedtime. The calls aren't lengthy unless the kids want to jibber jabber. Normally they don't. Instead, the calls are more "goodnight, I love you" calls. I don't see it as controlling contact with them. Yes, I guess it is. But I don't see it that way. I see it as giving them a chance to hear their mother's voice that day and for them to know that she has told them she loves them.
Also, I've found that the kids pick up on my attitude about the calls. If I am excited for them, they are more likely to be excited. If I say, "Uhhhhh. Bad timing. It's mommy."', that also sets their mood, just in the opposite way.
If my xWW forgets to call when she said that she would, I'll ask the kids if they want to call mommy. If she doesn't call and hadn't said she would call, I just ignore it and so do the kids ( at least they never say anything about it).
On another note, I have a few thoughts on anger. I'm catching glimpses of it hiding in plain sight. For example, my DD said something to me the other day about my tone. She had asked me why I was angry. I said that I wasn't. Se said, "we'll, you don't have to use your angry voice." She was right. But, my point is, I didn't realize I was using my angry voice.
I've also found that when I am angry with my xWW, my life is worse. I am trying not to get angry at all, but I try even harder not to get angry with her. For example, she didn't send me some important information, which I needed right away. She said would, but she didn't. I wasn't happy about it, but instead of being angry toward her, I was polite and nice. I sent a simple reminder email. She responded right away and sent the information. No drama.
Toward the man who betrayed you, I encourage you to encourage his good behavior, versus waiting for failure and shining a spotlight. For example, the other night he forgot to call. Instead of stewing and fuming, 30 minutes before bedtime you can simply call him. Your child can talk to him, or if he's not there, they can always leave a message. You already know your xWH isn't "Man of the Year". Now it's time to work around, deal with, handle, versus fight. Angry emails to him do what for your kids?
Infidelity sucks. Divorce sucks. Kids being dealt a bad hand early in this life sucks.
Good luck to you and good luck to me in dealing with it.
[This message edited by nomistakeaboutit at 6:30 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]
For the most part things are very amicable between xWS and I especially concerning our children. I think the reason I got so angry was due to the fact that he accused me of cutting contact from him when all I suggested was some temporary changes to see if it would help settle our youngest. He agreed to this. Then last week when we agreed he should phone DS again and didn't bother, and my son expected it, I was sad for my son.
I am seeing an IC and it is helping immensely. I know it is still early days in my healing journey but I will take take note incase I am feeling angry and my children pick up on it. I really don't want for that to happen. This is not their fault and I want what is best for them.
Thank you again for your replies.
Anger is a hard thing to let go of. There are days where I want to ask EXH if he expects me to wipe his A** too because he is always asking me about DS' sports schedules. The same schedules I email to him regularly. ugh.
Just take a deep breath and let it go. Leave the communication open and available and hope that your Ex takes advantage of them. If he doesn't well then it is his loss.
When he calls, I don't care. When he doesn't, I don't care. At first I tried to take a more active role in the arrangements for his visitations, discuss the little details like calls and update him on what the kids have been saying they feel especially when they told me how they felt about him (even young children can tell when a parent is unapproachable and doesn't listen AT ALL.) I very quickly learned that he has selective hearing even when it is about our kids. Any comment that wasn't rainbows and sunshine = an insult to him and he got defensive and became too busy telling me all the good things he thought he was doing and didn't process a word I said about the kids.
His relationship with our kids is on him now. 100% on him. He can do it right or he can be as horrible of a father as he is a husband. All I can do is be the best mother I can be and help my kids as they grow and realize on their own that their father is an ass.
At this point our discussions are only about when he will pick them up and when he will drop them off. We recently tried to change our pickup/drop-off location and it was a disaster! When we couldn't agree and I asked that we leave everything the same for now, he threatened to stand the kids up to bully me into doing what he wanted (the kids were in the living room packed and waiting for him to show up!) He hopefully learned that his PA bullshit doesn't work anymore. He used that as an opportunity to vent about how I drive HIS car, use HIS money, how he takes the kids as a favor to me...blah blah..idiotic blah. He can't focus on our kids for more than a few minutes because he has to make everything about him.
It's HARD but sometimes you have to stand back and let them be the jackass that they naturally are. Outside of child support, there isn't much anyone can do to make a dad (or mom) step up and you can't make them a good parent.
STBX abandoned us by sneaking out at night and though I don't want the calls myself, I can't stand in the way of her relationship with him-in this way. She went bezerk at the beginning of his absence with worry over his health and not knowing where he is, so it was a way that I could help her.
We've made adjustments to it and I understand your pain-at the beginning I had a lot of tears to help clean up and some other messes he made, but I won't do it anymore. He screws up with her, I'll comfort her of course, but won't make excuses for him.
He's treated me much the same you say your WH treats you and now that I have a lawyer, I tell the lawyer and don't bother telling STBX when they don't stay within the boundaries. He doesn't give to sh's about me or my wishes, but the law is black and white and the one thing in life he respects-to stay away from.
It's terrible to see our kids in pain and to know that he caused her tears and didn't have to is something I live with every day, every night and she does as well.
And yes, people who try to be glittery like he does or my mother does but aren't really part of DD's life-she already knows and senses that something is off-base. She's 10, if that helps to know she can recognize it at such a young age.
I'm sorry for your frustration and hope that things will smooth out. I find STBX much more respectful-if at all-since I got a lawyer, like I said.
And it's really hard to do, but I don't contact him when I'm angry or emotional-it just backfires. I'm still looking for another place to vent it.
The only thing that stays the same, is change. -M. Etheridge