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Old 03-25-2010, 09:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alcoholic father & visitation

Hi, I'm new here and could really use some advice. My ex-, alcoholic, husband and I have been divorced for almost 2 years and living seperately for about 3 years. We have a 7-year-old daughter. I have sole custody and he gets supervised visitation. He has just enered rehab for the 3rd time during this 3-year time period. Supervised visits have been at my house. And he doesn't always show up or call at our agreed upon times. But I'm done. I do not trust his parents, I suspect they are "funtioning" alcoholics themselves and know they are enablers of his behavior. I want to cut him off completely. In my opinion he's made his decision time and time again, and it's been drinking - not his daughter. I don't think it's fair for him to keep popping in and out of her life like this. I WANT to cut him off...but is this the RIGHT thing to do for my daughter?? I'm trying to do whats best for my daughter. For the longest time I thought whatever relationship she can have with him would be best. But I'm beginning to think that's disfunctional and not what's best for her. Is it better for her to have her dad coming in and out of her life, with no stability or dependability? Or to not see him at all (in hopes that one day he will be sober and they can have a relationship at that time - but based on his current record who knows when or if that will ever happen)?? I no longer want the supervised visits to be at my house (I don't feel comfortable having him coming over drunk). But I don't want them to be at his parents where I feel she may be unsafe. And I don't feel it's fair of me to ask my family to sacrifice their time to supervise visits when he continues to drink and dissapoint. I want to do the RIGHT thing. Help!?! And, thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Out of curiosity, when he comes over for supervised visitation, who is doing the supervising?
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Me, just me.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have an attorney to confer this over with??
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, I've put in a call but haven't heard back today.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Question

You say, he's coming over drunk to your house?? He driving there to your house?

Can you talk with your x mil? Do you fell your daughter is unsafe there for a few hours visiting?

I don't blame you for not wanting a drunk x at your house!!
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm of the mind that supervised visitation should be in a neutral place. That being said, I understand your quandry.

My youngest daughter's dad was sober in AA 13 years when I met him. We lived 40 miles apart, never married, and around my 5th month of pregnancy, I asked him if he was going to be responsible as a father in any way shape or form. His answer was less than stellar.

To make a long story short, he wasn't interested in her, period. He didn't even know her name until we had the paternity test done as mandated by the state since I had no medical insurance for her and had a medical card.

He showed up once, unannounced, on my doorstep when she was 2 years old. I was livid. I told him I had been angry about his seeming indifference to his daughter, was still angry, and probably would be for a long time to come. I told him to hit the road and not look back.

For years, his income tax return had to be intercepted to make up for all the child support payments he didn't bother to make.

He fought the first and only increase in child support when she was 11. He lost.

I never talked badly about him in front of her, never.

When she was 8 years old, she started asking questions about him, and I knew the time had come where she was wanting a relationship with him.

I was terrified because I had no idea if he was still even sober.

I contacted him anyway, he was still sober (and I use that term loosely), and interested in starting up a relationship with her.

That lasted 1 year and fizzled out. The only reason she had any contact with her father after that was because her stepmother kept in touch, invited her over for visits, etc.

Her father wasn't there for his first set of kids (he's 20 years older than me) when he was drinking, and he wasn't there for his other kids he had after getting sober.

I have stressed to her time and time again that his lack of interest in being an active parent has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with him.

She's almost 22 now, and I know she internalizes to some extent that she wasn't worthy of her dad's love because of his rejection through apathy, regardless of what I have told her.

That has been apparent in her choices with men.

It hurts my heart, but I can't fix that. I know I did the right thing by giving him/her the opportunity to bond. He's the one who dropped the ball.

Had he not been 'sober', I would not have allowed the contact between the two of them.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for all your reponses. Just to clarify a few things...his drink of choice is vodka, straight vodka by the handles. He gets cleaned up stays sober for a month of so takes his first drink and then drinks by the handle at his worse. It's usually a quick spiral downward then he's back off to rehab - after detox, where he suffer's grand mal seizures and ends up in ICU. He's never gotten violent, but I am scared of him because of how crazy and desperate he gets. He's been verbally abusive, has yelled and cussed at us both and I just won't tolerate it. Drinking and driving are an everyday decision he makes. He's not gotten arrested, pulled over, etc. YET. But it terrifies me that he's out on the street, not only for all the innocent potenial victims of his carelessness but also for my own family and relatives who live near me and could be on the street and any given time during his visits. So yes, he drinks and drives and comes to my house after he's been drinking. Sometimes he acts "normal" and I can just smell it on him other times he's just biligerent. His parents, alcholoics themselves I suspect, are untrustworthy. They cover for him, make excuses for his drinking, hide things from me, lie to me and all I'm honestly trying to do is protect my child and keep her safe. Even though my relationship with his parents is rocky, if I knew she'd be safe with him under their supervision I'd have no issue letting her go over there for his visits. But I can't trust them and I'm at the point where I don't even want her around his parents alone, regardless if he's there or not. I can't take the chance of anything happening to my little girl. Although this has been rough for my daughter, so far I thinks she's pulled through incredibly. She's very confident and happy, doing good in school and other activities. I just want to do what I can to protect her and keep her this amazing little girl that she is. I don't want her father to break her because of his selfishness and choices. Her father claims to want to be a part of her life, but to me it's just a control issue and a way for him to continue manipulating our lives. Actions speak louder than words and so far his words have been lies and he's CHOSEN to continue drinking. When is enough, enough?
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would visit a lawyer.
I would see if you can legally require him to do a breathalizer before visits.
What about calling the cops on him when he comes over drunk so they can pull him over for drunk driving on the way home?
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When is enough, enough?
I think you must decide this, and I think it has been enough already.
Protect yourself and your daughter.

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Old 03-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sheesh, I think it's time to call child services.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Child services on me or him? My number one concern is her safety. He is not alllowed, by court order, to drive with her or be alone with her. So he doesn't and she never is.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Child services on me or him? My number one concern is her safety. He is not alllowed, by court order, to drive with her or be alone with her. So he doesn't and she never is.
On him, if he has any sort of custody. Actually, then again, that might not be smart.

My situation involves child services, only because my daughter lives with her mother, who gets checked up on regularly.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yea, I have sole custody but he does have "supervised" visitation rights. legally, based on his track record it would probably be easy for me to get no visitation for him. But my dilema is, is that what's best for my daughter? Not seeing her dad at all and not having a relationship with him. Or continue forgiving him, giving him more chances and allowing him to just come and go as he please and be completely undependable because he continues to choose drinking over her?
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't know the answer to your question. What a tragic situation.

Where I live there is a house where supervised visitation takes place. The county runs it and it is used when there is no other acceptable place of supervision. It is staffed. Is that an option where you are?
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if there is. If so, that would definitly be an option. I think I'm just at my wits end today and just so sick of the drama.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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One other thing I'd like to add are my daughters constant "when's daddy coming to see me?", "When's daddy going to call?", crying when he doesn't show up/call after saying he would. Now he's gone for another 30 days at least. She's sad, concerned, worried for him. I just hate the torture he puts her through.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think that the Al-Anon book for children could work well. I read it to my boys. I'm not sure, but you probably could order it from their website.

I'm sorry that I have forgotten exactly what it says (and its title), but the gist is that the alcoholic is sick with a disease of alcoholism.

Your husband probably does want to be a good father, but he doesn't know how like my husband. It didn't get modeled for him.

I stayed with mine (husband), and usually told my sons that we love their dad, but we hate the disease of alcoholism.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

(((((hugs)))))
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I do not allow him entry when there are visible signs that he has been drinking. I also tell him that I am phoning (doing it in front of him) the traffic police and police and then he speeds off. In this country any abuse (drunk visits count as abuse) against women and children is highly frowned upon. Unfortunately people do not have knowledge/ make use of this .

It might be dangerous for other people to do as it can lead to violence. As of lately my husband is scared of me due to me not backing off ever. He does not pitch when he drinks.

I document all the drunk appearances and the not pitching. he is welcome to visit when sober.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:52 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Just keeping you and your dear child in my prayers, and thoughts.

God bless
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