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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Disengaging from Kids?
Sparkles
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Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My husband left me and our four very young kids in the beginning of April.

He went away for business and called the next day to give me the ILYBINILWY speech. I'm pretty sure he is seeing someone else. He basically just started his new life without us. No explanation and wouldn't agree to go to counseling. I have moved to be closer to family. Since that time he has come to see the children only once. He calls them maybe every ten days, sometimes less. I have always made it clear that he is welcome to see/talk to them. I am just shocked that he can just completely ignore them (and me!) and move on like this. He just pretends like nothing has happened and life goes on. He is still supporting us financially. Has anyone experienced this? Do they completely physically and emotionally abandon their children after the divorce is final?


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
lieshurt
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Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 1:03 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do they completely physically and emotionally abandon their children after the divorce is final?

Mine basically did. I divorced when my son was 6 and he's now 16. He's seen his dad less than 10 times since our divorce. He basically got a text message, phone call or facebook message once in a while...and a whole lot of empty promises. Last year, my son told his father off and hasn't spoken to him since.


Walk away from anything or anyone who takes away your joy. Life is too short to put up with fools.

Posts: 13807 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
ButterflyGirl
♀ Member
Member # 38377
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My STBX barely saw the kids till mediation and child support determinations came around. Then he wanted more time of course to lower his child support payment..

It's really a hard balance. Some of us wish our exes would just go away and leave us be while still supporting us financially. And the other side is the sorrow of complete abandonment.

You can't really control what he does as a father. Just be the best mother you can be. And keep documentation of what he does.. Hugs..


xBW~ 35
Two DS~ 7-Eleven
"I've wiped the shit off. It can be wiped off you know." ~ asurvivor

Posts: 2316 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Florida, USA
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the response LiesHurt.

I have a feeling thats the direction its headed for us as well. I have 3 six year olds and an eight year old. They still think he hung the moon... empty promises have already begun.


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's really a hard balance. Some of us wish our exes would just go away and leave us be while still supporting us financially. And the other side is the sorrow of complete abandonment.

I completely get this! I'd be happy to never see his face again, but they love their Dad. I don't understand what he has become.


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
suckstobeme
♀ Member
Member # 30853
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think it depends.

I've seen some dads that are divorced, one who I suspect left his wife and small children for OW. He is very involved with his children, has them fifty percent of the time, coaches their teams, and calls them every day. If he had an A and left, I don't respect him as a man, but at least I can say he didn't completely abandon his kids. This is probably the best case scenario and could be pretty rare.

On the other end of the spectrum is what you described and what a lot of us here have experienced. My exWH gave me the same speech and moved out within a few months. I was only able to confirm his A with OW after he left.

Once he left, he started out somewhat interested in the kids. That was most likely because he wouldnt dare bring her around them yet. He doesnt have family here or many friends so his focus had to be on the kids when he had them.

Now - almost two years post D - he has moved in with OW, who also has two kids. He still sees our kids when he's supposed to, but does the bare minimum, likely so people won't think he's a complete asshole. He has definitely pulled away from them. He never spends quality one on one time with them and has made virtually no memories with them. OW doesnt really want my kids around and he seems to follow her lead.

He never calls them when he doesn't see them. He doesn't attend their performances or recitals. He doesn't even know the names of their friends. He never takes them to the doctor or the dentist and has barely acknowledged their birthdays.

I honestly can't tell you exactly why. I also don't discourage his relationship with them and consider myself to be a good ex wife. I don't say much unless I need to. As long as he gives me the CS check and my kids are not being hurt, I realize he's not my business anymore.

My IC has said that we - the spouse and the children who were left behind - are their emotional mirrors and they will do whatever they can to avoid looking at us. Deep down, they know what they did was horrible but they are too weak and selfish and full of shame to want to see. My exWH is a guy who consistently takes the path of least resistance. He hates conflict and can't stand it when people don't characterize him as the nice guy. If things get too hard, he runs. I never thought he would be that way with his own wife and children, but it's all connected.

At this point, you have to help the kids pick up the pieces and learn to somehow accept their fathers abandonment. It's not easy, especially when we are still reeling and grieving too.

With the kids, it's a different hurt. My pain has died down a lot since I'm a few years out. Their pain though - i see that it will be a lifetime of disappointment from one of only a few people who are always supposed to be in their corner no matter what. That's hard for them to handle and hard for me to understand. My kids are realizing it more and more and I suspect they will one day pull away from him as well.

I'm sorry you are in our circle of betrayed spouses who also have to watch our children get discarded too. The thing to realize is that you can't control him or his choices. In the end, it's his loss and those kids will know who and love the one who stuck by them forever.


BW - me
ExWH - "that one"
D - 2011
You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve.
Hard as it may be, try to never give the OP any of your power or head space.

Posts: 2840 | Registered: Jan 2011
Phoenix1
♀ Member
Member # 38928
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My POS left in March and moved out of state. Haven't seen him since. DD16 has only received a text from him a few times, but after she didn't respond he stopped. She hasn't heard from him in about two months now. Since she is older and knows the whole story she realizes what a real POS he is. He walked away and hasn't looked back. He even secretly came back to the state to retrieve some of his things (not at our house) about two weeks ago and left without even trying to meet up with the kids to say goodbye in person. Our divorce is not final, but he has already abandoned (physically, emotionally, and financially) his family. It will definitely be better for us this way.


BS - Me
XPOS - too many OW/OCs over 20+yrs
Kids - DDs 23,18 -DS20 Deceased
M Dissolved 2013

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet


Posts: 1189 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Rising out of Hell's ashes!
Reality
♀ Member
Member # 39077
Default  Posted: 1:37 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In my experience, most detach. I think a lot of it has to do with what initiated the divorce. In amicable divorces I can see people co-parenting and being friends, etc. In situations more traumatic, especially when one partner isn't remorseful, I think the kids get lumped into all the dissociative attitude and ignored.

Shrug. It's the ugliest part of the whole deal - and that's saying something. In all honesty, the partners that DO betray and choose terrible things are in lousy places emotionally/physically/morally/responsibility wise to BE parents. It can be for the best when they detach.

I'm sorry, Sparkles. I think, perhaps, the kids are better off without seeing him in the state he's in now.


Posts: 292 | Registered: Apr 2013
ButterflyGirl
♀ Member
Member # 38377
Default  Posted: 1:38 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Somehow for us it's all about the kids.. And somehow for them it's all about themselves. I can't understand it, and I honestly don't want to. I don't think I will ever be able to put myself before my children, especially not when they are so young and I have so much to teach them about the world..


xBW~ 35
Two DS~ 7-Eleven
"I've wiped the shit off. It can be wiped off you know." ~ asurvivor

Posts: 2316 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Florida, USA
Housefulloflove
♀ Member
Member # 38458
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"My IC has said that we - the spouse and the children who were left behind - are their emotional mirrors and they will do whatever they can to avoid looking at us. Deep down, they know what they did was horrible but they are too weak and selfish and full of shame to want to see. My exWH is a guy who consistently takes the path of least resistance. He hates conflict and can't stand it when people don't characterize him as the nice guy. If things get too hard, he runs. I never thought he would be that way with his own wife and children, but it's all connected. "

Suckstobeme, if I didn't know better I would swear you wrote this about my stbx! That perfectly describes him especially the need to be the nice guy (or Mr. Good Guy as I call it) and ALWAYS taking the path of least resistance.

OP, my ex was disengaged from our kids while we were living together. As our son got older (he's 8) and was more willing and able to do what Ex likes, they began to do more things together. However he will only very briefly do anything that isn't what he is interested in doing so almost all child-related things were left up to me and he did pretty much nothing with our girls. He has actually been MUCH more *physically* involved with the kids after we separated but he did so little before then that it didn't take much to be a vast improvement.

Emotionally he is COMPLETELY closed off even with his own children. He won't acknowledge their feelings or talk to them about what is going on (he expects them to lead a conversation with him about how they are doing and feelings when they are all 10 and under) and I cannot have a conversation with him about anything they are dealing with because it's like he can't understand English if you are asking him to see something from another person's perspective. He immediately began to talk about himself whenever I tried to talk to him about what was going on. Rather than acknowledge that this is a lot for the kids to deal with he tells me that as long as we are friends for the kids sake and basically act like nothing major has happened, everything will be OK! I eventually gave up and I stopped seeking his input.

I don't know how long he will continue to physically be involved with the children. Right now they are young and don't expect too much from him. Considering that he has no ability to empathize and is mostly motivated by what makes HIM look and feel good, I don't hold much hope that the interest he shows right now will continue as the kids get older.

[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 1:57 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]


Me-29 Starting over
ExWH-29 Probable NPD, PA, manchild
3 beautiful young children
DDay 1/20/13 Admits PA
No remorse so NO R. DIVORCED! 9/2013

Posts: 541 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: USA
dmari
♀ Member
Member # 37215
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((((sparkles and children))))) Unfortunately as many have confirmed, yes, they do physically and emotionally abandon their own children. I don't care what the excuse is because it is inexcusable. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Not only will you have to heal from his betrayal but you will have to be there to support your children as they deal with his abandonment. It's not easy or pretty but you just have to do it.


Me (BS): 43 Children: DD 19, DS 15
Divorced September 30, 2014
"It's always darkest before the dawn ..."

Posts: 2270 | Registered: Oct 2012
ExposedNiblet
♀ Member
Member # 30803
Default  Posted: 2:53 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can't speak for everyone, but I will tell you of my experience. XH has disengaged, for the most part. He pays his CS religiously, and for that I'm thankful, but as for spending time with the boys, he does the absolute minimum required, and even that's dicey at times.

There was a glimmer of hope there for awhile, right after he and OW split, when I thought that he would try and mend his relationship with his sons. For a month or two, it actually appeared that way - he'd call more, he'd take them out more (or at least ASK if they wanted to) and he seemed to genuinely want to be there for them.

Sadly, the Next Girlfriend came along, and XH switched back into Sometimes Father mode, doing the exact same shit that he did before when he was with OW; sporadic (if any) phone calls, bringing them home early from visitations, lamenting his money woes, not really doing anything with them because of said money woes, blah, blah, blah...

I think that a lot of them feel as long as they're paying support, they've fulfilled their responsibilities. They don't really care what's in the best interests of the kids because their focus is on themselves and what they need.

It's so sad. I really weep for this next generation; so many future Moms growing up without mothers and many more future Dads growing up without fathers.


Divorced
Me ($39.95 plus S & H)
DS1(17), DS2(15)

Enjoying this chapter in my life.
Learning that being alone does not mean being lonely.
Discovering that where I've been is not as important as where I'm going.


Posts: 355 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Right Here, Canada
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 5:44 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for all the input. I suppose I kind of know he's going to disappoint the kids and yet somehow I still find it hard to really believe. Everything has happened so quickly sometimes it doesn't seem real.

I also find it incredible that so many of these men do the exact same things yet think they are some sort of special case.

Phoenix1: I also found out from my old neighbors that literally an hour after I finished up with the movers and got the kids to the airport my stb ex drove up and got his stuff that I left for him out of the garage. He was in the same state! He hadn't seen the kids in 3 weeks nor ever really said goodbye! He never said a word about it...


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
TemporalReset
♂ Member
Member # 40125
Default  Posted: 11:47 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We have a 6 year old boy whose father lives on our street. He visits his father only on Saturdays and Sundays. This boy spends most of his time at our house. A couple days ago little boys comes over and we have to leave so my wife says to him:

Her: DS has to go now LB (little boy!), maybe you could go home and do something with your dad?

LB: He only wants to sit on the back porch and smoke. (verified, every time I go over there he's on the back porch smoking, awesome role model)

H: Maybe you could ask him to read with you or play something?

LB: Yeah! Maybe we could finish the lego set we started!

H: That's nice, what lego set?

LB: A spaceship...I think, we started it so long ago I don't remember.

Really? I cannot imagine being like this with my children. They are the light in my life and every day I want to show them love, wonder and support.

Some people never grow up and act like spoiled children themselves.

(((Sparkles))) You don't need him nor want him. A man like that is not a man and your children are better off without him.

TR

H:


Me: BS 40
Her: WS 32
Kids: 3,6
A1 - Summer 2009 PA, 2009-2011 Incomplete or False R
A2 - 2012-2013 EA
Status: NC AP, MC & R

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jul 2013
nomistakeaboutit
♂ Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 5:37 AM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I completely get this! I'd be happy to never see his face again, but they love their Dad. I don't understand what he has become.

...or is it, who he always really was? Only certain types of people can abandon their children so easily. My xWW did it, in large part, so I can relate. But, my point is that when I look deep I can see that she was that type of person all along. I just didn't fully recognize it. I suspect your H wasn't the warmest father with the closest connections to your kids. He also sounds extremely selfish.....which is an understatement.

You must be in a lot of anguish right now. Strength to you and your kids.


Me: BH 58.........Her: WW 45
DD: 8..........DS: 5
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 953 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
kiki1
♀ Member
Member # 37184
Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I happened on this site looking for information on how to disengage myself from my own relationship.

Every single one of these posts broke my heart and i give each and every one of you a huge hug for the extremely strong but hurt people that you are.

I'm so sorry all of you and your children have experienced such abandonment and pain.


Posts: 617 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: new york
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Sad  Posted: 5:25 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you for all the support and comments.

...or is it, who he always really was? Only certain types of people can abandon their children so easily.

I have thought about this so often. As time passes, I realize how blind I was to so many things. People look different when you stop looking at them through loving eyes. In hindsight, its so easy to see... I wish I had the ability to see the red flags before we got married and had children. I would have made better choices. I chose him. Now my children have to pay the price for my bad judgement.


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
suckstobeme
♀ Member
Member # 30853
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sparkles,

I used to think that way too, that it's my fault I brought such a shitty person into my life and chose him to be a part of their life forever.

I stopped hanging myself with that rope a while ago and you need to too.

Everyone displays some flaws and flags. Everyone. We're all human and all have faults. When you genuinely love someone, you tend to overlook those flaws and learn to accept them. I used to tell myself, "that's just him. He's great in lots of other ways.". I didn't know what certain things meant and how things were connected. I simply didn't know it was going to be this way and neither did you.

You saw him with love and the shittiest part about this whole thing is that he took advantage of your love. It's real easy to lie and deceive when someone really loves you.

This is all on him. His choice to hurt his kids and leave them behind is all his. You have no part in that and can't pile that blame onto yourself.

I know these thoughts will go through your mind as you wind your way through this mess. It's nothing that any of us haven't thought before. But, believe me, it's not worth it or warranted to place blame where it doesn't belong.


BW - me
ExWH - "that one"
D - 2011
You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve.
Hard as it may be, try to never give the OP any of your power or head space.

Posts: 2840 | Registered: Jan 2011
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 6:05 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"suckstobeme" - You are a smart cookie! (God, sometimes I have to laugh when I address people with their online names)

I didn't know what certain things meant and how things were connected. I simply didn't know it was going to be this way and neither did you.

At least we are now armed with better people reading skills. Although I would have preferred to have learned them some other way.


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: NW
solus sto
♀ Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 6:16 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, my husband has almost completely disengaged from the kids.

He actually blames them. They don't reflect, back to him, what he wants to see about himself. So it's their fault.

It's terribly sad. My son has suffered a crushing depression--one that had me fear for his life--and is clawing his way back with great determination. It was very scary for a while. It made me detest his father.

Our daughter ...well. She strives to keep contact infrequent and superficial. Anything more is too painful. She knew him before he was as floridly disordered. She knew him when there weren't cracks in his mask. It hurts her too much to see them.

(Our son? He never knew a normal father. Furthermore, he knew of the last affair before I did; keeping the secret made him physically ill---protractedly, horribly physically ill in a way that required painful biopsies and brain scans. Once I learned he knew of the A, it struck me: the poor kid was DEPRESSED---but his mind took it out on his body because he was so young at the time, and just didn't have the capacity to deal with it emotionally. Once I figured this out, and said, "OMG, you're depressed!" it got really scary, really fast. Thank God for good psychiatrists.)

Mr. Trac-Fone of course picks up on this. Our son's pain bugs him. Our daughter's aloofness pisses him off. It's all about him. So he stays away---and then wonders why the kids feel like strangers.

It's because they ARE.

His loss. His enormous, enormous loss.


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 53, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8844 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
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