What happens with your kids?

Old 01-09-2011, 07:03 AM
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
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What happens with your kids?

I haven't noticed many posts dealing with the situation of having children with an alcoholic (and leaving).

I have 3 little reasons that are keeping me firmly in place for the foreseeable future ... the idea of leaving, and having to give them up to visitations, is unnerving.

I'm just wondering if there are any stories/experiences to share from people who have left an alcoholic spouse with young children involved. Like, what can be done about visits (if the other parent is interested, of course).
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:12 AM
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My children live with me, and I am seperated from my ah. However, it sounds like your kids would not live with you. If I were you, I would document anything you can about your spouse's drinking, behavior etc especially involving the kids. I think having kids with an A is perhaps the hardest thing. For me, the decision to leave was knowing my kids would be with me.....would that be possible for you??? Can you ask your spouse to leave?
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:28 AM
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Oh, sorry if I gave the wrong impression, our kids would live with me full time.

I don't believe my husband would be suitable for unsupervised visits.

FreeingMyself - does your ah have any access to the kids?

If my dh weren't interested in seeing our kids, it'd make things a lot easier, but I daresay he'd want to have some level of contact.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:21 PM
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Hi, maverick. I left XAH over 2 years ago now. DS was 3. Our first year free was the best thing ever. Unfortunately, I had to deal with an A who wasn't interested in being a dad or adult, and he was couch surfing. DS did not see his dad much that year and most definitely did not stay overnight. Not unexpectedly, XAH blamed his living arrangements on me and blamed where he was living for his failure to see DS.

DS wasn't ok with this, but it was familiar. XAH wasn't involved with much beyond his vodka while we lived with him.

Fast forward a bit. XAH met a new Codie enabler GF who has 2 kids of her own. Moved in with her the same month they met. And he decided to play the 'I'm such a good father, but she's such a vindictive b---- and keeps my son from me' game. All of a sudden the last-minute calls asking to take DS started. DS refused to stay the night, so there were several late night returns with XAH all po'd and DS in tears. And again, that was all my fault. I tried to set a schedule, he got angry and abusive towards me again.

The court set up a visitation schedule with visits being supervised by his father or sister. The visits started thinning out with the excuse that both supervisors had to work that weekend. (His dad is 80yo and retired.)

The final divorce hearing is held. The judge allows GF to be a supervisor and tells her she's the canary in the mine. She's supposed to sing if he drinks, behaves in a angry or controlling manner, etc. Not a single visit has been missed, because GF comes alone to pick up DS every weekend. But she is not singing the way she supposed to. I have to continue the journal of visitation issues.

DS is having a really hard time with it all. I've found an amazing counselor for him to see, who specializes in play therapy. She is some one who is a neutral party in this whole scenario. DS can tell her whatever he wants without worrying about hurting my feelings or his dad's.

If you're looking for advice, my single biggest piece of advice would be to document everything. The good, the bad, the ugly.

It's going to be hard on them. Be open with them in an age-appropriate way and assure them both of you still love them. If it starts to look like it's getting to be too much for them to handle on their own, don't be afraid to find some one for them to talk to.

And don't forget to keep your support lines open and at hand too.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:38 PM
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Maverick, you can work out visitation and such in a separation or divorce agreement. Initially, my ex would only have supervised visitations (until his sobriety was somewhat established) and it was mandated that they had to be preceded by breathalyzer tests. I stated from the beginning that I wanted to gradually expand visitation, as he was able to handle it, to a point of joint custody (without specifying what that would mean).

He's been sober for five months, and he has the kids every other week, full time. I've been rock hard about not bailing him out on "his" weeks (which infuriates him). I have actually been amazed at how well he's doing with the kids -- he's more of a parent now than he has ever been, but I won't lie, it has been incredibly hard to step back and not intervene when he calls and says "I can't handle it when X happens, you have to come help me"... I've just said, "you wanted the kids half the time; you deal with it."
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:43 PM
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I don't have personal experience with this but a young friend of mine has two daughters with an alcoholic father.

She is fortunate to have a good ex-MIL. She takes the girls every other weekend and their father can see them only under the supervision of his mother. He has taken the girls out to dinner etc. but only with his mother along. He doesn't always show up for his visits.
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