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What to do/say

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Breakingapart posted 7/17/2020 09:52 AM

Need some advice. WH texted this morning asking for me to help him re build his relationship with our oldest 3 kids (11,13,15) he hasnít seen them in months. They refuse to speak to him. He has never acknowledged their hurt.
I always ask them if they want to FaceTime him when he aks, I ask if they want to write to him or go for dinner. And...NO they donít. They are sick of him ďonly talking about himself and how hurt and sad he isĒ
I want to tell him that he made his bed....
It is NOT my job to repair his relationship!
How do I respond without showing emotion? Without starting another battle and only getting nasty texts back?
Advice please

99problems posted 7/17/2020 11:16 AM

You ARE helping. Tell him that. Idk what he thinks you can do... It's his relationship to fix or break. Not yours.

Breakingapart posted 7/17/2020 11:31 AM

He just wants to put it in writing that ďheís tryingĒ
Fact is he is not trying!
He also texted my 15 yr old stating that he is sad that this is the way she is acting...that he wants to be part of their lives, etc etc...all about him! His feelings...his hurt...
She said ďmom, he is self centrťes and his texts make me laugh a littleĒ
I just want to respond in a way that is to the point. I know he will retaliate in some way. Just trying to minimize my hurt!

hcsv posted 7/17/2020 11:46 AM

I have three adult children who don't have a relationship with their father.

I told ex very early on that his relationship with his children was his to repair or destroy. I was done making excuses for anyone. I was always the fixer. This situation is not mine to fix.

It's so incredible to me that EX cant see that these are consequences to his actions. Divorce affects the kids. His actions destroyed their family and it doesn't seem he is capable of saying the words they need to hear.

You are doing more than he deserves. I wouldn't get into a discussion about this. Whatever you choose to say, make it short and to the point and be done.

Chrysalis123 posted 7/17/2020 11:52 AM

Do you have a separation decree?

It is not your job to facilitate this at all. Tell more about any court orders you have and we can offer more specific advice.

Breakingapart posted 7/17/2020 11:58 AM

Waiting for separation agreement to be completed. Still waiting on financial portion to be completed. I donít want to have to force my kids to see him when they clearly are not ready! So...he sees our 8 yr old for dinner once a week and one night sleepover over the weekend. My 8 yr old doesnít want any more than that and has told his dad so. Despite his limited time with 1/4 kids, he decided it would be ok to have her there for my little guys visits. Itís all infuriating!

Justsomeguy posted 7/17/2020 13:06 PM

You are not his wife anymore. Time for him to grow up.

HalfTime2017 posted 7/17/2020 14:48 PM

I would say, "Ex, you have the ability to call, FaceTime, email and connect with the kids anytime you want. I will encourage the kids to have a relationship with you as long as you are respectful, and keep your promises to them."

That's it. Every time he complains to you about it, send him that exact message. Remember, you also want to CYA in case you brings up alienation charges against you. Your kids are now old enough to decide for themselves. You are no longer his wife or mother. He needs to fix it, and find another shoulder to cry/complain to. Other than that, I'd ignore his ass. No more discussions, and keep things short, or don't respond.

Breakingapart posted 7/17/2020 15:49 PM

What is CYA?
I simply responded with I have encouraged them since you left. I will not respond again.
I have documented the days he has contacted/not contacted them and I keep all of my texts.

Thank you everyone. Going through this is the hardest most heart wrenching thing I have ever experienced. I want to support my beautiful children. Iím struggling to show them that I can be strong, but Iím doing it. Iím also showing them that I love them no matter what and that I am reliable and selfless.

nekonamida posted 7/17/2020 16:32 PM

CYA = Cover Your Ass. I think your response was fine and anything more out of him should be met with crickets from you.

BA, you're doing a great job. Your kids can see your strength. It's your strength that is allowing them to also place boundaries with your STBX because they know you have their back.

Breakingapart posted 7/17/2020 20:38 PM

Thank you. Itís hard when you are making decisions and the one person you used to discuss things with is the person you are protecting yourself from.
I appreciate everything you all say...you help me feel less alone in all of this.
Not sure how to cover my ass other than to keep my texts. If it came down to it I suppose he could force my kids to testify...which would be bad for him....not me!
Iím hoping it never comes to that!!!!

He is certainly being consistent in his delusions. He has said from the start that everyone should be fine, life will go on as usual he just wonít live here. He will be happy and therefore a better dad. He continues to live in his alternate universe!!!!

StillLivin posted 7/18/2020 16:05 PM

If you are divorced already, don't respond. Simple. Who cares if he gets pissed? That's his problem.

Muggle posted 7/19/2020 12:44 PM

Need some advice. WH texted this morning asking for me to help him re build his relationship with our oldest 3 kids (11,13,15) he hasnít seen them in months. They refuse to speak to him. He has never acknowledged their hurt.

Your kids are in the middle, not young, but not young adults. They are old enough to have opinions as to if they want a relationship with their father.

You aren't his therapist. It's not your job to repair or save his relationship. It's hard to step out of the path to allow things to unfold. It's not easy to step back but their relationship with their father is HIS responsibility. Let him sink or swim.

Stay neutral, don't facilitate, speak for him, or gloss over things. Allow him to do all the heavy lifting to repair his relationship. Until he's willing to walk through fire barefoot to repair his relationship and to acknowledge their suffering and pain, he's going to stay shut out by them.

If he's serious he would try some counseling or spend the time it takes to hear them out. He needs to shut up, and genuinely listen to them. They have suffered, and need to free themselves of that burden. It festers when they hold onto that pain, and the release is talking it out with him.

I've had the same experience with my young adult kids. He refuses to discuss how they felt. He wants to stay in the present and forget the past. They have almost no contact with him. I call him the Hallmark dad. Card on Christmas, cards on birthdays, and no real context or interest in the occasional phone calls. He checks in, tells them how he's doing, complains about his life, and spends maybe 5 minutes asking about them. It's never really about them, it's him being lonely.

Stay calm, tell him once that he's in charge of his own relationship with them and that you aren't the middle man. You won't relay messages other than simple stuff like "he's picking you up at 5pm". Stay in the shadows in case things go south and he upsets them. Encourage them to speak direct to him if they have problems. Listen to them but lovingly explain to them that he is an adult and you are there if they need you, but he is responsible for any interactions they wish to participate in. Don't force them.

I remind mine once that Father's Day is in a few days, I do that as a courtesy for them, in case they forgot, but ultimately if they don't want to send something they don't and I support that. I make sure I offer to pay for small things so they never have to feel as though they are being punished for loving the other parent.

He doesn't do the same for me, and they see that, and it opened their eyes. He told mine once that if they spent a penny of the money he gave them at Christmas on me he would take it all back. BAD MOVE. They all used a small portion of his money for my Christmas present. They remember these things and his relationship with them is sinking faster than the Titanic. I keep a life boat ready in the wings to come save them, but they've learned life lessons about who he truly is and they don't like what they've seen.

Breakingapart posted 7/19/2020 15:56 PM

Thank you muggle.

Stinger posted 7/19/2020 16:09 PM

Right, go crickets.

betrayedafter20 posted 7/22/2020 19:20 PM


I get you because my kids are 14 and 16 and the younger one has special needs.

Do you find your self wanting to help him not to help your WH, but to save your kids from the pain of feeling abandoned or reprocussions of having self-esteem ?? That is what I worry about the most.

For years I have "coached" my WH how to stop saying things that were belittling and/or make efforts to be an involved father. He actually often took my advice although many times it was a day late and a dollar short and the damage had already been done.

I have learned from friends here that we may be doing better as a parent by them by letting them discover who their dad is on their own - That we may be perceived as a weak parent for rescuing them from damage - helping our former WS could actually reinforce that we think it's okay to be friends with a person whom has behaved terribly and hurt us deeply.

I'm preaching to the choir because as we speak I am texting with WH and he is asking me for help on some stuff. But I redirected it into his ball park. I recommend the same for you.

They do it because we've enabled them so long.

Something else that I would probably do (a little passive aggressive) send him an article on how to do it and then say something like "I'm not their dad so this is something you may have to work out now that things are different.
This may be helpful but you'll have to do your own homework".

But even that is too much help and probably nicer than most would recommend here...

Breakingapart posted 7/22/2020 20:59 PM

He was a good dad. It makes this harder to swallow.
I responded with ďi haveĒ
He doesnít deserve it, but I have chosen to be the better person here.
Itís NOT my job to fix his relationships....and truthfully I donít think he will ever have the same relationship with them again!!!

betrayedafter20 posted 7/22/2020 21:13 PM

He has said from the start that everyone should be fine, life will go on as usual he just wonít live here. He will be happy and therefore a better dad.

He was a good dad.

Take this with a grain of salt because I'm newer here. But I'm a quick study.

Admittedly I haven't read your whole story so please understand if I'm out of context.

I have been trying to digest this myself and as time goes on I see that it is the truth. A PERSON WHOM HAS LIED AND CHEATED TO THEIR MOTHER IS NOT A GOOD DAD. Period.

A good dad sets an example of what a man should be, for himself and for his family and for the MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN.

He hasnít seen them in months. They refuse to speak to him. He has never acknowledged their hurt

Really??? This is the same guy you said was a good dad?

Gently - you said it's hard to swallow. What is.. the fact that he really isn't/wasn't a good dad?

Breakingapart posted 7/23/2020 08:37 AM

What Iím having trouble with is that he chose this person and new life that he new for months over his family. How can someone fake being a decent human being for so long.

Iíve gone camping with the kiddoes. We are with his parents and his sister...my second family since I was 16.
Using our tent since I refused to use our tent trailer that he used with OW...
He hasnít even tried to call them or text in 5 days...
Whatever....his issue. Just heartbreaking for my little guys.

Thanks to everyone for their responses. This site is so helpful 💛

Breakingapart posted 7/24/2020 07:11 AM

Well...my little guy said he missed his dad last night. So I told him he could FaceTime anytime he wants. He proceeded to FaceTime his dad. They spoke for 15 mins.
Thatís 15 minutes in 5 days asshole!!!
He didnít thank my son for calling....
Guess we were interrupting his ę†happy†Ľ life...

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