Here we go again...
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12-07-2016, 05:52 PM
RE: Here we go again...
Bonus granddaughter left Sunday to spend a month with her father and his family. He has been in the military and has spent little time with her. The last three times she spent time with his family it did not go well. Two of the times she came home with a terrible skin rash that required medical care. The other time she burned herself quite badly on the arm with a curling iron...really nasty burn. She was six...apparently no one was watching her.

His financial contribution since she was born was his military medical insurance coverage and nothing else yet he came home and suddenly demanded his month.

She is seven and has been crying for two weeks since she found out she had to go there for that long. Her mom won't stand up to him. You would think they would work something out that isn't so traumatic for a little kid.

I have to remember that it's not my decision to make. I can just hope that it goes better than we all think it will. Undecided

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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12-07-2016, 06:33 PM
RE: Here we go again...
(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  1. I have 2 kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11.

OK, so they're reasonably old enough to understand the situation.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  2. It's possible they are just homesick. They prefer being at my house as opposed to their dad's house.

It sounds like their dad is more of a disciplinarian, correct? If you have a more relaxed parenting style then living in a more restrictive house would chafe.

Tell them to suck it up, especially since they spend the majority of their time with you.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  3. More like their father insists on having a relationship with them. I mean, I don't think they truly hate him, but he is a controlling type and he will insert themselves into their lives even when they don't want it.

I'm on his side on this one. He should have a relationship with them. With the long distance, he may have to put more effort into having that.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I don't know that he gives them much of a chance to miss him because he can often be controlling from afar (this is what I perceive, anyway - it is much more prominent with my daughter because she uses her phone a lot and he'll often text and call her whereas my son is usually busy with other things and not easily available via phone). He was controlling and manipulative with me when we were married and can be the same way with the kids. That being said, there was no physical or sexual abuse in the relationship.

Too controlling can be an issue, but you mentioned that your daughter was seeing a counselor. Encourage her to talk about it, and if the counselor feels it's an issue then it can be addressed.

It may just be a father/teenage daughter thing. Or he may be an ass. Hard to say.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  4. They do not like their father's girlfriend. Both of my kids are picky eaters ...

Could you talk to the girlfriend and explain that to her? My kids are also picky eaters and some battles just aren't worth fighting.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Also the girlfriend constantly videotapes all outings they do....

Yeah, that would be irritating. Could you all sit down and talk about these things? It doesn't sound like insurmountable differences, but it does sound like issues that could fester and grow.

I can see why the kids are aggravated, but it also doesn't sound like they're experiencing hell-on-earth. It sounds like they are experiencing difficulties and situations that many divorced families go through. That probably won't make them feel better though.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  If that's possible, I am not aware of it. Back when I first talked to a lawyer, he said that the kids (or well, it would have only been my daughter at the time who was old enough) could say who they wanted to live with full-time but he did not say she could see whoever she wanted when she wanted or refuse whoever, whenever. I would have to look into it more, though.

Does their father love them? If he loves them and is trying to have a relationship with them, that should be a factor. You've said that he is not abusive and controlling behavior tends to backfire eventually.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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12-07-2016, 06:47 PM
RE: Here we go again...
(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  
(12-07-2016 12:45 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Remind me again how old they are?

It's totally possible once they reach their teens they can actually legally state who they want to be with full time and decide if they wish to visit the other parent at all.

If that's possible, I am not aware of it. Back when I first talked to a lawyer, he said that the kids (or well, it would have only been my daughter at the time who was old enough) could say who they wanted to live with full-time but he did not say she could see whoever she wanted when she wanted or refuse whoever, whenever. I would have to look into it more, though.

Some courts will appoint an attorney for the child (an advocate) who sees to the older child's best interest. More commonly a judge will accept a letter...

Some kids do better knowing the option is really up to them.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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13-07-2016, 11:26 AM
RE: Here we go again...
(12-07-2016 06:33 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  1. I have 2 kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11.

OK, so they're reasonably old enough to understand the situation.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  2. It's possible they are just homesick. They prefer being at my house as opposed to their dad's house.

It sounds like their dad is more of a disciplinarian, correct? If you have a more relaxed parenting style then living in a more restrictive house would chafe.

Yes, he is more the disciplinarian. It is not as if they have no rules whatsoever at my house, but it is more relaxed than at his, yes.

Tell them to suck it up, especially since they spend the majority of their time with you.

Yeah, but how to do that without appearing insensitive to their feelings? I feel like a hypocrite if I even try to convey that message (suck it up, you don't have to deal with him that often, etc.) because I left their dad because of the way he is.

So then it's like "Hey kids, after 10 years or so I decided I've had enough of your dad's bullshit so I'm out but you still have to spend time with him now and then," and that makes me feel shitty.

But at the same time, I know I could not have stayed with him and been okay. I had started trying to escape the situation through alcohol and it would have only gotten worse if I'd remained with him "for the kids" or even just be there as some kind of buffer between him and them.


(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  3. More like their father insists on having a relationship with them. I mean, I don't think they truly hate him, but he is a controlling type and he will insert themselves into their lives even when they don't want it.

I'm on his side on this one. He should have a relationship with them. With the long distance, he may have to put more effort into having that.

I think a father should have a relationship with his children, yes. I think that is ideal. I just wish they had a better father. Sometimes I think it might be better for them if he just went away, but I could be wrong.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I don't know that he gives them much of a chance to miss him because he can often be controlling from afar (this is what I perceive, anyway - it is much more prominent with my daughter because she uses her phone a lot and he'll often text and call her whereas my son is usually busy with other things and not easily available via phone). He was controlling and manipulative with me when we were married and can be the same way with the kids. That being said, there was no physical or sexual abuse in the relationship.

Too controlling can be an issue, but you mentioned that your daughter was seeing a counselor. Encourage her to talk about it, and if the counselor feels it's an issue then it can be addressed.

It may just be a father/teenage daughter thing. Or he may be an ass. Hard to say.

I certainly think he's an ass. Tongue But I divorced him, so don't take my word for it. He'd have his own side of the story to tell.

(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  4. They do not like their father's girlfriend. Both of my kids are picky eaters ...

Could you talk to the girlfriend and explain that to her? My kids are also picky eaters and some battles just aren't worth fighting.

Uh, well... I don't really talk to his girlfriend and don't feel it would be my place. I figure, their house, their rules. I understand how it is to be a picky eater and to be in stressful situations in regards to food, but they face that at school and friends' houses as well. It is something they'll need to confront and overcome in their own time, if they ever do. I can't be too angry at them (my ex and his gf) for "making" the kids try new foods, but at the same time I feel bad for the kids because I know their pain.

However, I know my daughter's counselor knows how the food issue stresses the kids out and she has talked with my ex-husband before but that doesn't mean he'll listen to the counselor over his girlfriend.


(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  Also the girlfriend constantly videotapes all outings they do....

Yeah, that would be irritating. Could you all sit down and talk about these things? It doesn't sound like insurmountable differences, but it does sound like issues that could fester and grow.

I can see why the kids are aggravated, but it also doesn't sound like they're experiencing hell-on-earth. It sounds like they are experiencing difficulties and situations that many divorced families go through. That probably won't make them feel better though.

There is no talking to my ex, honestly. And I wouldn't feel comfortable talking to his girlfriend. What usually happens is that my ex goes into one of his control tizzy's and does something over the top and totally reactionary and then I finally have had enough and lay into him. Things calm down and then he's at it again. It's just who he is, for whatever reason, unfortunately. As far as the girlfriend taping them, on the surface I don't see a problem, but the thing is, the kids didn't know about it.

But yeah as far as talking stuff over with them, I don't feel it's my place. Besides, sure as the world if I try to tell him how he needs to do with the kids when they're with him he'll have some "advice" for me as well and I don't want his advice.


(12-07-2016 03:48 PM)Escape Artist Wrote:  If that's possible, I am not aware of it. Back when I first talked to a lawyer, he said that the kids (or well, it would have only been my daughter at the time who was old enough) could say who they wanted to live with full-time but he did not say she could see whoever she wanted when she wanted or refuse whoever, whenever. I would have to look into it more, though.

Does their father love them? If he loves them and is trying to have a relationship with them, that should be a factor. You've said that he is not abusive and controlling behavior tends to backfire eventually.

My answer is totally biased here. I don't know that he loves anyone. Not really. He likes to use and take advantage of and control people for his own purposes. That is all I can see in him now. I used to think he loved me and I found out that was not true. He just wanted to use me. I used to think he loved the kids, but I think that is not the case. People can want to be in your life and not love you. If they can get something out of you to their gain, they might stay with you just to get those things, even if they don't really care. That is how I see it but in this regard I am largely still bitter and angry over past hurts I've received. So I can't see him objectively here. I see him do things that are not loving or go against what I would call love so to me he doesn't love them. But I'm sure he'd say he does.

My answers are in bold above. Smile

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13-07-2016, 01:58 PM
RE: Here we go again...
Wow. It does sound like a tough situation.

Your point about hypocrisy is a valid one. I do think that a child's feelings do not always need to be top priority. It's a really tough call.

The father does have rights, and while the children do have rights, the wishes of the parent(s) often trump those of the children. I don't think you should feel too badly about it, though. The relationship between two spouses is different from that of parent and child.

If you feel unable to speak to the ex and NGF, maybe the children could. Can your daughter talk to her counselor and get advice for conveying her issues tactfully? I guess, manipulating the manipulator, although that sounds bad.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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04-08-2016, 10:09 AM
RE: Here we go again...
if they don't regularly visit with him, it takes time to build a relationship. Until that is built everyone will be uncomfortable.

You don't seem concerned for their physical care, except for the diets (which I totally get).

While they are miserable, they don't seem to be coming under any harm. Sometimes that's the best you can hope for.

it might actually do them some good to have you tell them that they just have to make the best of it (suck it up). They will learn a valuable life skill- how to deal with difficult people.

Have you ever worked on a group project and been assigned to a group of people or a topic that you just can't stand? And you hate it, but once you accept the fact that you still have to do it, you just grin and bear it, often times by the time you reach the end, you atleast have a greater understanding of what makes other people tick, and sometimes, it turns out to not be so bad as when you were first assigned.

give the kids an assignment....to find 3 things they like about the ex and his gf. Everyone isn't an ogre 24/7. We all have good & bad points. Try to get them to look positively. And I would limit you conversations with them-not cut it off- but if they are calling you over every annoyance they encur then you will never find solutions.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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04-08-2016, 11:45 AM
RE: Here we go again...
In these situations, what's there to actually stop kids from just deciding to not see the parent they dislike? Are parents punished regardless?

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04-08-2016, 04:34 PM
RE: Here we go again...
(04-08-2016 11:45 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  In these situations, what's there to actually stop kids from just deciding to not see the parent they dislike? Are parents punished regardless?

Whenever it is my ex's designated time with the kids, it is my understanding that it is my responsibility to see that the kids get over there. If I don't get them there, I could be in trouble. Same goes for him when it is my time with the kids.

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