You cannot use your children to force a proven broken spouse to be a better parent.
She is going to her appointment. Will she call on the pregnant neighbor across the street to keep the kids? So the kids will see that dad is home but they aren't with him, they are across the street. And the drop off conversation is full of "Oh, thank you soooo much! I hate to inconvenience you but I asked Abondad and he was unwilling to help me out today.. tear, sniff"
This is not a simple "you are right" and "she is wrong" battle. Your kids are making assumptions about each of you and their own importance in your list of priorities. Yes, it is a shit sandwich, but wouldn't you eat it before asking your children to?
[This message edited by caregiver9000 at 11:16 AM, August 16th (Friday)]
You can't protect the kids from who she is. Why continue the fantasy way of life? It will not serve them well in the long run. And, there is nothing wrong with your children seeing you take care of yourself and that includes seeing you stand up for yourself and take time for yourself so you can be a better parent.
We are done fighting with each other and decide to fight FOR each other.
Use her power play to your advantage to establish that she is not capable of 50-50.
You WANT court ordered more time? Then take it when you can get it. And document to show that you had it.
Except you don't have a COURT agreement yet. You don't have a custody order. You have a custody dispute. You WANT court ordered more time? Then take it when you can get it. And document to show that you had it.
Your STBXWW will be hard pressed to show a judge that she's a 50/50 parent when you have solid evidence that she has yet to do so to date.
The Usual Suspects:
XWH (serial cheater with 12+ OW. Undiagnosed SA?)
Note: I edit often for typos/c
Brother, do you really put the kids first? Is this just a power game between you and her? Do you really believe she isn't capable of taking care of the children 50/50?
Well, you said it was all in text. Here's what just happened. You have put into evidence that when you had an opportunity to have the children extra time, you refused. You have implicitly stated that she is capable of taking care of the children, you are ok with the choices she makes as to where and with who she places them. What if her choice is the OM? What leg do you have to stand on to complain? She gave you what is called the right of first refusal. You did.
A custody battle is probably one of the most soul searing things a person has to endure. This is war! Each step, each action needs to be looked at as if your choice of deity is sitting on your shoulder. It will be weighed in a court of law. Don't buy her dazed look. If her representation is even halfway competent, they are rubbing their hands together hoping you continue to admit that she is a competent mother.
Take the kids every chance you get. Not just because it will look good from a legal standpoint, but if you truly believe what you have told us about her. Why would you willingly put your kids in the environment you have described to us anymore than you had to? Where is Poppabear AD?
Sigh, a single event is not going to make or break the case. However, a consistent pattern will. I'm concerned though. Other than revenge/*making her see reality* was there another motive? I can understand that to a point, but what priority do you give your kids? Is it worth it?
BTDT It's a shit sandwich all around. Don't serve it to the kids too. Using them to hurt her isn't right. Whether they knew they were being used or not. You're better than that.
I hope you don't feel like you're being pummeled again. I know it seems like the advice is conflicting. Stand your ground, don't let her manipulate you. But, let her manipulate you by taking the kids last minute...
You're doing GREAT! I understand why you made the decision you did and YAY for standing up for yourself! But I think maybe the other side has some valid points. Since you don't have a legal order, it would probably be a good idea to take them whenever. It also will show that you do want full custody and can handle it.
Hang in there my friend! You are doing fine.
Now I'm understanding what you are saying. It wasn't quite clicking before. Thank you. Although I wasn't intentionally using the kids to "get her," I see what you mean now and how my actions can backfire in terms of my getting majority custody.
I will conduct myself accordingly from now on.
For example: she originally was supposed to have the kids until Tuesday morning. (Part of the "See, I CAN have them 50% of overnights!")
Now of course yet another work-related change: "I may have to got out of town on Monday morning, so you may need to get them on Sunday."
My first reaction--prior to reading your responses--might have been to argue with her and demand that she keep her word and be with her children. . Instead, I just told her I would be happy to take them Sunday. (Which of course I am.)
Now I am understanding how the "game" is played.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
A further note that may seem to contradict what I just emphatically stated, yet is a crucial piece in the "game", is that you also need to be somewhat flexible with her regarding her visitation.(Already assuming you get primary custody ) The court would look upon you more favorably if you were to be flexible(within reason) regarding her work schedule. It may actually help pacify her somewhat as well.
What a delicate dance you must perform. Remember her favorite statement. "It's in the kid's best interests". Take that to heart and use it to your advantage.
My XH pulled the I can't take them ____, just about every weekend that I made plans with XSO. I always had a backup plan for my 4 kids. Would tell him "sure, no problem, I can cover this weekend." Then I would send them to friends houses for the night/weekend. XH would have a fit on Sunday, but what could he say to me? He refused visitation, I made alternate plans for them. Then on my weekends I would reciprocate for the other parents. The side benefit - I developed a village of other parents who loved my kids and would come to their aid when needed.
I only enforced XH to make alternate plans ONCE in 10 years. (Even then I asked his parents to be on stand-by in case he backed out) he called me at 10pm Thursday to tell me he was unable to take the kids on Friday . It was to late for me to call in my village for help. So I forced him to handle it.
The court would look upon you more favorably if you were to be flexible(within reason) regarding her work schedule. It may actually help pacify her somewhat as well.
It has never been my intention to keep my children away from their mom. That is not what this is about. (I'm not saying this is what YOU are suggesting, 545-:) She loves them, though her actions are reprehensible, and they sure love and need her.
Even when we went to mediation and "discussed" a 60/40 split due to her job constraints, I made it very clear to her that of course once the laws were in place, if she were available when she had thought she would not be (e.g., she did not after all have to go out of town), I would always want the kids to be with her and would never keep her from them. She is their mom.
But she wanted to skirt the law and dictate everything, expecting I would just agree. Thus I filed and gave up on mediation.
The main thing is to protect them and myself within the law FIRST. THEN we can be flexible.
The problem became apparent when it was clear she wanted 50/50 at least in part due to paying less in CS. And when it was clear that if she got 50/50, it really would not be and I would take up the slack while she did not pay her fair share in supporting them. (Plus of course I have always been their primary caregiver and they simply would be better with me and my lifestyle than with hers.)
Know what I mean?
I hope it doesn't sound like I am still "playing games" with the kids as pawns. I want what is best for them and the simple truth is that what is best for them--and always has been, to say nothing of her abhorrent actions of the past year--is that they spend the majority of time with me.
I hope that she sees the truth of this eventually. I doubt it. I believe somewhere deep in her NPD soul she feels guilt and is trying to assuage it by fighting for 50/50.
[This message edited by Abbondad at 7:15 PM, August 16th (Friday)]
Sort of a continuation of my precious post. Here is a good situation to "practice" my new approach.
My wife is in fact keeping the kids until Tuesday morning. She needs to get to work and so do I. The kids need to get to the bus stop.
She is "telling me" that I should pick them up from her place and take them to the bus.
Do I say, "No, you need to do it."
Or is this a good opportunity (thinking endgame/big picture here) for me to say, "Sure I will get them from across town, drive back across town, then drive back across town to go to work?"
And then document that she did not take them to school (?)
Personally, I'd tell her that if she can't handle getting them to school, then they should stay the night with you..
Nope, wasn't suggesting you deliberately keep the kids from her, but take EVERY opportunity that she presents.
I tend to agree.
So in my situation, I texted my wife to bring the kids to the bus stop rather than me driving to her and "taking" them from her.
(No response yet, BTW, from her to my "No, you need to take them to school or if you can't then you can bring them Monday." She's probably pissed that I dared refuse her order that I come and pick them up early Tuesday morning.)
are you starting to see the other side yet?