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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Off Topic » Is my decision about my kids not talking to/seeing their dad a moral one?

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Author Topic: Is my decision about my kids not talking to/seeing their dad a moral one?
jenniferk32
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He's an alcoholic, has been on and off drugs for years, and was very emotionally abusive and critical towards me when we were married. Before they stopped seeing him, he was becoming emotionally abusive towards them, probably because they're not so young and cute anymore and they have minds of their own.

He was in rehab for a year, got out and was okay for a few months and had them every other weekend at his sister's house where he was staying. The girls started telling me things like him telling them their hair was ugly because they had it cut, yelling at them all the time and hitting them with a belt.

The last straw was when they said he was drinking beer and said it was soda but they could smell it. Before that, he had called me a couple of times and sounded like he used to when he was on meth, but I doubted my intuition.

So the last time he saw them in January, I picked them up and he acted buzzed and I clearly smelled alcohol on him. The next day he called to talk to the girls and I told him I knew he was drinking again and suspected he was doing drugs too.

I told him to leave us all alone, and if he wanted to see them then he'd have to follow the custody orders EXACTLY, including paying child support that he has never paid and that I never enforced, because I don't need it.

I knew he wouldn't do that, because he does nothing for himself or his kids. When they saw him, I drove them there and picked them up, brought food sometimes because he didn't have money to feed them, gave him money to take them to do things instead of sitting at home, etc. I had to call him one year to remind him it was our youngest daughter's birthday!!!

I did all that because I couldn't stand seeing my daughters cry because they miss their dad. Plus stupid me feels sorry for him sometimes (he's had a hard life, blah blah blah).

But when I realized he is never ever going to change and that he was starting to become with them the way he was with me when we were married, that was it. He never denied me accusing him of drinking again or using drugs. He stopped calling altogether and made no effort to follow the visitation schedule.

So it's been 5 months, and today he called my mother and told her he would be calling the girls on saturday and to please tell me to answer. He also said he's going to send a present for our oldest daughter's 9th birthday.

The thing is, they don't even care that he's not around anymore. But I know if they talk to him that it's going to stir up feelings in them again and then I'M the one who has to deal with the crying. I'll probably feel guilty that I'm not bending over backwards anymore and doing all the work to keep him in their lives while he makes no effort whatsoever.

So I'm planning on not answering the phone and not giving my daughter the present for her birthday. But I feel guilty even saying that, like somehow the girls are going to think I kept their dad away from them. Especially if he sees them when they're older and he tells them it was all me keeping them from him, when he could have fought to stay sober and kept to the visitation orders.

Plus I have this deep, dark fear the he'll kill himself over this and that would be horrible. Or that he'll die of an overdose and they'll never have had the chance to talk to him before it happened.

And it WILL happen- the guy has a congenital heart defect, sky high blood pressure that he never takes his medication for, and his drug of choice is methamphetamine.

So should I let him talk to them? What if he tells them it's me keeping them apart? I can reason with them and tell them all the reasons that's not true, but what if it sticks in the back of their minds?

I really don't know what to do....Please help?

Posts: 107 | From Hesperia, CA | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dmc
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no matter what your girls are gonna love their dad. Do NOT hold back the present from your 9 year old.

Do not prevent them from talking to him on the phone.

Contact your divorce lawyer & get his/her advise about "should you honor the visitation arrangement?".

The more you try to control your daughters feelings or their contact with their dad the more you're gonna pay with resentful teenagers.

Been through this crap w/my brother who has custody of his kids, cause the mom is drug/alcoholic bipolor.

The more he tried to contol the worse the girls wanted their mom. Since he backed off, the see her for who she is & on their own decide to stay away from her.

[ 05-06-2011, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: dmc ]

Posts: 2675 | From ct, usa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LabRat
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I really don't think it matters much one way or the other, sounds like they would be just as well off without him. My worry would be that they might come to regard him and his actions as, ``normal''. If your parents sat on the porch and howled at the moon every Saturday night, that would become your norm, if you catch my drift. Anything you decide to do, could in hindsight turn out to be the wrong thing. (or maybe the right thing) This didn't help at all did it?
Posts: 1887 | From Corpus Christi, Texas | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
momindeep
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Safety for your children should be the priority here. If you are concerned that he would kill himself over this, then how can you trust him to take care of the children if he cannot take care of himself?

Your children are not old enough to make the decision for themselves...that is why they have a mother, right?

Too bad if they turn into rebellious teenagers over it...WHAT teenager isn't rebellious about something or the other anyway?

Rebellious teenagers grow into adults and eventually mature and understand that you had only their best interest at heart...period. Some children are actually relieved that the decision was made for them, although they might not admit it at the time.

Posts: 1512 | From Glenwood City WI | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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