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Kids dealing with separation

Stressedstepparent17's picture

All has been fairly uneventful as of late hence no blogs! Trotting along just nicely and then SD has returned to school. 

We're not 100% sure what's happened but we can gather a conversation at school has happened where kids have said they live with both parents and they see their daddy all the time. Cue tears to the point of wetting herself. She wants to know why she can't see her daddy all the time. Why he doesn't live with her. 

Now I've tried to explain to OH that he needs to tell her some parents don't live together, that she comes to stay whenever daddy doesn't work (he now has a new job!) And that it can be a good thing not living with daddy as she gets 2 birthdays, 2 Christmas and treats when she stays. 

All he can focus on is the guilt. That he needs to live closer. Baring in mind we live in the same town and 10 mins away in the car. He won't leave town for a better house or better chances of work because he'll be too far away. 

I won't move. Flat out refusing. Call it selfish but 1- we can't afford to move 2- where we live is also bang right in the middle of everything shops, both our jobs, SD's house. Takes 10 mins to get anywhere in town. 3- where she lives is the s***hole part of town. 4- if we move there I'll have to drive him to work as he either cba getting public transport or never has the money for it. 

He says if he lives closer she can come over whenever she wants. I say she can't because he'll be working. The reason she only stays 1/2 days a week is due to us both working. And they're not always sociable hours. His response is course she can. And he wants her to be able to. Be able to see him whenever she wants. 

Eventually he wants to get a job where she can see him all the time. Then get full custody. I said I don't want to be the one going out to work all the time supporting them. I've even offered to walk away, let him be the single dad. I'm sick of being taken for granted, used and just expected to live like this. 

I feel he never had any intention of having me in his life for good. Just wanted some one to help him get his daughter then toss me aside. I'm sick of having the same conversation time and time again. 

He's irresponsible with money, can't look after himself, selfish, smokes weed, likes a good drink, there's no way he could be a full time dad. Not a chance in hell. But he seems to think he could do a better job than BM. Because he knows what she was like to live with 3/4 years ago he somehow knows everything and that SD is living in hell. 

The school haven't expressed any concerns, SD doesn't ring in tears asking to come over, will go days without ringing him, seems perfectly happy where she is, albeit apart from whatevers gone on at school recently. I say why cause any problems when it's been working as it is. Just needs a conversation with her to explain the situation. 


Winterglow's picture

What makes him think he'll get full custody? That's nigh-on impossible. He'll get 50-50 at best unless bm is an unfit mother (and good luck with trying to prove that).

Stressedstepparent17's picture

He says it'll take time but SD will want to come live with him eventually she's old enough to say so (and he says she's starting to say now so it won't be long) he thinks BM is an unfit mother and SD will be much better off with us (or him by the sounds of it!) 

Winterglow's picture

He's pretty delusional , isn't he? First off, the child is how old? Five? The chances of her getting to actually voice her opinion and be heard by a judge won't be for another ten years or so ... if at all. Secondly, no judge is going to listen to his opinion and make a decision on it. If he can't prove that her mother is a danger to her then he's wasting his time. Thirdly, what's the point in moving if you're only ten minutes away? Soon enough the child will be able to WALK that distance unaccompanied! Good grief! The man's a loon!

Put your foot down. Can you imagine how much money he's liable to throw away to achieve his dream? And fail? 

Stressedstepparent17's picture

Yeah she's just turned 5. Ridiculous isn't it. You can't expect her to make a decision. Of course shes gonna want to live with him, he treats her. But she wont understand that means she won't see her mum or sister. And won't have all the sweets and girly nights like she gets at her mum's. She's not a terrible mum, just needs some help. They're both as bad as each other if I'm honest. If it wasn't for me she wouldnt have half the stuff at ours. Wouldn't have a roof over her head, food in her belly and all the treats. 

SteppedOut's picture

Are you married? If not, I think you should consider moving on... and, it sounds like you already are.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I went crying to a school counselor once because I was super worried my mom was going to die because she smoked. To me, it was a REALLY big issue. But that doesn't mean that my mom needed to immediately quit and feel guilty about it.

Same goes with SD. Of course she wants to see her dad everyday. She also likely wants a pony, and to eat ice cream for breakfast, and never to have to go to school again. Unless she isn't functioning in her life, there is no need to uproot everyone and everything. This isn't an issue with SD; this is an issue with your DH feeling guilty that his decisions have impacted his daughter, and instead of giving her coping skills, he wants to give in to her.

She wants reassurance. If he moves, all he's telling her is that she can kick, scream, and cry and get what she wants. She has to learn that there are reasons why things happen, even if they hurt.

If your DH moves, I highly recommend letting him and you stay or find somewhere else to go. I'd have separation papers ready so that as soon as he breathes in the direction of moving, you can financially protect yourself from his foolishness.

10 minutes is nothing. That should be the minimum distance that exes live apart, if for no other reason that it makes co-parenting easy but meddling would require work.

Stressedstepparent17's picture

And it's not detrimental to her that we don't move closer? Because that's all he seems to think about. That it's making her life better us moving closer and nothing else is important. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm not sure how much closer you can realistically move. What, does he want to live on the same street? In the same neighborhood?

Living closer will ONLY be beneficial if HE is actually around more. If HE can facilitate 50/50. If HE won't try to alienate SD from her BM. None of this sounds like anything he is willing to ACTUALLY do.

Stressedstepparent17's picture

Yeah he wants her to be able to walk home from school to ours, pop her head through the window and see if we're in so she can come round. What a joke! 

Daisymazy2's picture

I am assuming with BM and your DH seperated, your DH was fine with the custody arrangement at that time.  Now, that he is married to you, has decided BM isn't that great of a parent and he needs full custody now.  Unless he can prove BM unfit or if BM is willing to give up custody, it will not happen.  I have dated several men who were divorced with kids.  Once things turned serious with us, they always wanted to seek full custody of a child that had been with BM for years.   I am assuming they didn't feel much like doing that when they were single.  They wanted the single life and to go where they want when they want without being tied down to a kid.  Once they were settling down, they wanted custody.  Family members are very quick to jump on the bandwagon of how horrible of a Mother BM is as well.   

He is 10 minutes away.  Does he want to live next door to BM?  Geeesh...10 minutes is close enough.   You do not need to move any closer.  Most  dad's would love to live 10 minutes away.

Most kids that go through divorce will want to have mom and dad back together again.  Like you said, he just needs to reassure SD that everything is going to be fine.  She will function better on a schedule.   She needs to know the day she will see him and when she is to go back to BM.  

The fantasy land that he lives in right now, says that she misses him and wants to be with him.  If he had her full time, she would miss BM and want to be with BM full time.  Imagine the chaos if kids were in control.  


Stressedstepparent17's picture

You've hit the nail on the head! He used to get her Saturday afternoon and drop her back Sunday afternoon, sometimes not even 24 hours apart. He's a hell of a lot more hands on now then he used to be. 

tog redux's picture

What it also means is that now, with you, he has a "replacement mommy" and in his mind, you will take over for BM once he gets SD away from her. 

Stressedstepparent17's picture

Oh it's certainly what I'm thinking! I've told him all his pointing towards me leaving him to be the single dad he wants so much to be. 

Stressedstepparent17's picture

Haha! I've said that before if he wants to see her that much move in with her!