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not able to put daughter first?

Old 03-09-2011, 05:55 PM
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not able to put daughter first?

Our 5 yr old has been seeing a child psychologist for about 5 weeks. AH and I went once to see her together and he all but blew up when she asked him about his drinking- I then heard for the next several days how I was "blaming" everything on him, despite the fact I said nothing about his issues and just spoke about myself.

AH has not been back with D5 since then. I've been taking her alone.

D5's therapist asked that we both come tomorrow to show D5 that we are committed together, as parents to making things as okay as possible for she and her sister while we are separated. Therapist said it would be best to be there together to tell her the same things at the same time.

I asked AH if he wanted to/would come. He said he needs to think about it and feels uncomfortable. I very briefly stated that my request that he consider coming was for the sake of D5 at the recommendation of her therapist.

He hemmed and hawed and said he needed time to think.

My thoughts at this point are: (tell me if you think I should do something different)

- I will not ask again. If he wants to come, he will/can let me know
- I want to believe that this is "normal" for an A struggling to stay sober-- he is unable to think of anyone, even his child, other than himself. To me I would walk across hot coals or cut off my right arm to help my child. To him, if it will cause him discomfort he's unsure he can do it. Is this A thinking/behavior or just the thoughts/actions of a huge *******/narcissist?!

I am beginning to think that left to his own devices he would talk a good game about how much he loves our D's but probably not do much with them alone if it were up to him... He saw them this afternoon at my moms for a few hours (not even-- more like 1 1/2 hrs) and sat them in front of the tv, didn't give them anything to drink with dinner, both were still hungry when I got back etc...

For a long time I was afraid to leave, thinking that if I did I'd have to share time with him 50/50 and worried about how the girls would fare with him alone. But I don't think he will want that that much, if at all... Shocking, sad, awful but also eye opening....

So, should I push the therapy appt issue for my D's sake or just let things play out as they will and if it means I go with her alone then so be it?
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:59 PM
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just let things play out as they will and if it means I go with her alone then so be it?

^^^ This ^^^
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:08 PM
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Your AH may show up. I wouldn't bet the farm on it though.
I won't pretend to know how he thinks but I'm w/ you I would walk through hot coals for my kids too.
HOWEVER, I have a father (A, of course) who barely speaks to me. simply put I know too much. He's not an active A, says he has a glass of wine w/ dinner once in awhile but doesn't drink other than that. I wouldn't know. Nor do I care to. His A is his problem.
I have reached out to him many times only to be turned away.
My mom, who although thinks he's sorry excuse for a man (although she's never said so) believes that it's his own guilt that keeps him away.
I kinda believe that too.
I'm the only witness to his manipulations, mistreatment and rages. He can't face what he's done to his family so he'd rather pretend I don't exist.
Maybe...your AH is doing the self preservation...because he can't face that he's caused your daughter harm... 5yo in therapy isn't exactly a gold star achievement as far as fatherhood. KWIM?
I"m giving him the benefit of the doubt. Is it right? nope. Should he go...absolutely. Do I think he will? nope. I think he's going to play the blame game about it too...to try to suck you back in.
Good luck and big hugs to your baby girl!
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
just let things play out as they will and if it means I go with her alone then so be it?

^^^ This ^^^
Good, guess my instincts are not totally shot! I thought this was the best bet but after years of being second guessed and made to think I am nuts, I have a hard time trusting my own judgement. KWIM?
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:18 PM
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Boy, have I been there--second guessing myself.

You've told him about the appointment. I wouldn't ask again. He'll either come or he won't. That ought to tell you something.

Document everything.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:19 PM
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Your AH may show up. I wouldn't bet the farm on it though.
That's what I was thinking too... and if he doesn't it will surely be my fault OR he will want a pity party and want me to tell him it's okay he didn't come and want his feelings to trump D5.

I won't pretend to know how he thinks but I'm w/ you I would walk through hot coals for my kids too.
I thought that was a given for parents and he will TALK a good game, but his actions say something different. What's infuriating for me is that when he does "show up" and do things with the girls he's the hero dad... He's never the one who says no, holds back hair when there is puking, has to set limits, gets up in the middle of the night etc... He swoops in to be fun dad for a few hrs here and there so the girls think he's a saint and it's irritating that he makes them believe in him so much (like he did me) and soon enough they'll realize he's all smoke and mirrors. I keep hoping he'll get it together before that happens but that's not for me to figure out...
HOWEVER, I have a father (A, of course) who barely speaks to me. simply put I know too much. He's not an active A, says he has a glass of wine w/ dinner once in awhile but doesn't drink other than that. I wouldn't know. Nor do I care to. His A is his problem.
I have reached out to him many times only to be turned away.
That's really sad... I'm sorry... I have a father who while not an A is extremely narcissistic and after one too many times of being hurt I've stopped accepting his self centered attempts at contacting me... Not the same as you describe, but I get the whole parent not being there issue...

My mom, who although thinks he's sorry excuse for a man (although she's never said so) believes that it's his own guilt that keeps him away.
I kinda believe that too.
Makes sense. But it still hurts and it still sucks.

I'm the only witness to his manipulations, mistreatment and rages. He can't face what he's done to his family so he'd rather pretend I don't exist.
Maybe...your AH is doing the self preservation...because he can't face that he's caused your daughter harm... 5yo in therapy isn't exactly a gold star achievement as far as fatherhood. KWIM?
Yup, I do know what you mean. I've said over and over that this isn't his doing or my doing-- it's our collective "dance" that has made things unhealthy at our house and D5's behaviors got concerning enough that I said let's do something about it. He was all for it until it actually meant talking about what home life is like. No matter how much I said "here's what I do" all he heard was "it's all your fault"... His issue.

Good luck and big hugs to your baby girl!
Thanks. D5 is wonderful, very sensitive and sadly reminds me FAAAARRR too much of myself as a kid. Hesitant, scared of her own shadow, afraid to upset others, won't say what she thinks, takes her feelings out on her younger sister (in my case my sister took her feelings out on me!)... Her therapist is great and has really helped a lot. Whether H comes or not, it will be good to bring her tomorrow.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Verbena View Post
Boy, have I been there--second guessing myself.

You've told him about the appointment. I wouldn't ask again. He'll either come or he won't. That ought to tell you something.

Document everything.

My therapist told me the same thing this week. I started doing so last night. It is really disturbing to see how much of the past 4-5 months has been constant chaos... Not fun. I've avoided documenting things bc I haven't wanted to face reality. But deep down I've known this was coming bc I have saved and fwd'd texts and voicemails and even turned the video camera on (with H's permission) during several of his rants at me. He believed it would show that I was out of control and boy was he wrong.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:54 PM
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Since you told him about therapist's request and asked him to come to the appointment, just relay that to therapist. She will put it in her notes and when it's time for custody issues, it will not be to his benefit that he didn't come.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:46 PM
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You have no control over what he does or does not do. You told him what the therapist requested. That is the end of your responsibility. He will either do the right thing, or he won't. As long as you do what you know is best, your side of the street is clean.

L
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:09 AM
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He wrote to tell me he is coming. I wish he weren't. He is not a stupid man and I would bet my life on the fact that his coming is bc he knows it will look bad if he doesn't. It has absolutely nothing to do with caring about our D and being willing to be honest about his issues.

Ugh.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
He wrote to tell me he is coming. I wish he weren't. He is not a stupid man and I would bet my life on the fact that his coming is bc he knows it will look bad if he doesn't. It has absolutely nothing to do with caring about our D and being willing to be honest about his issues.

Ugh.
He ain't there YET.

He could still get 'sick'
Have a flat tire
The car won't start
He couldn't find the office

Do I need say more??
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:39 PM
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I think you said it best yourself...

...when you titled the original post, "Not able to be there for his daughter."

That's exactly it. He is not able to be. He may also not want to be, but that's another issue and as long as he is drinking or struggling with his recovery you'll never be able to know for sure. It simply isn't possible.

One of the biggest gifts recovery has given my wife is her ability to be there for our daughter.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by blwninthewind View Post
He ain't there YET.
Exactly what I was thinking. But I'm biased. XAH's GF wanted to switch DS's visitation weekend plans so XAH could attend an 'adult only work event' that was 'really important' to her without DS. Superbowl Sunday. His team was playing.

Since I was 'so unreasonable' with the changes in schedule that would work for DS and I, it was Fine! GF will pick him up so XAH doesn't lose his time with DS! Then just before pick up time, one of his friends had an 'emergency.' The game was still going.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:34 AM
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He showed up. It was unpleasant. The therapist met with the 3 of us and then H and I individually separately. When it was my turn to meet with her she said she had noticed that D5 was far less willing to talk about anything with H in the room than she is when she and I go alone to see the therapist. All D5 did was act silly and when asked how she felt, she kept saying happy in a baby voice when all 3 of us were in there together. She would only sit with me as well FYI.

Therapist said AH should have no unsupervised visiting with the girls at our house (should have time with them regularly in public places) and told him this. I was glad to hear that someone besides me thinks it's reasonable to worry about kids safety when they are with an active alcoholic. AH seems to think that bc he can go a day or two without drinking or "only" drink a handful of beers after the girls go to bed, that it's "safe" for them to be with him alone under such conditions.

I disagree and so does D5's therapist.

I think the only reason he came is bc he is VERY savvy and knows that to not show up would look bad. He cares about his IMAGE above all else and is able to put on the show he needs to at work, in public, with friends etc... to give off the image he wants to believe really reflects him. It's only at home with me that the real him comes out.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:44 AM
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It's only at home with me that the real him comes out.
It seems the therapist is able to pick up on his less than perfect projection of himself.

And yes, I certainly agree that a childs safety is more important than an active alcoholics feelings about it.

I hope you feel better after getting validated by the therapist. I know I felt better when someone from the outside would point out the obvious or "be on my side."
that is what my ex called it. geez.

Beth
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:02 AM
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wanttobe,
isn't that a great outcome, though?
Therapist sees the dynamic and the impact of AH on your daughter and makes recommendations that correspond with your concerns?

You've been validated, you aren't crazy! A professional agrees that being around your husband is harmful to your kids. Your instincts were right. You are becoming healthy.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:11 AM
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Remind me...what does the court order say? Is there a court order? There should be, to make this "recommendation" of unsupervised visitation enforceable, in case your AH decides to push things (and I say this because I'm paranoid, a mom, and the ex spouse of an A).
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:27 AM
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No there is no court order other than no alcohol- whatsoever- until the trial which is in may. The State, not me, brought the charges and I am pretty sure (based on my lawyers statements when I asked this this week) that I will be asked about what I saw re: his drinking during this time. The no contact order was lifted with the stipulation being no police calls to the house, no drinking etc... So I am guessing the State will want to know how that went.

But as far as the kids go, there is nothing in writing about that. I do think the fact that he is drinking in spite of a court order is pretty stiff "evidence" that it's unwise to leave the girls with him anywhere but in public...

I had hoped to get the trial issue dealt with first and then deal with a visitation agreement bc if I go and start saying why I want a visitation order with certain rules, that's going to be a sign that he's not following his bail conditions and financially we can't afford for him to get fired right now.

So, I've left to protect myself and the girls and I think he knows the hot water he is nearly in and I can't see him arguing with me about seeing them under the conditions the therapist is recommending.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:40 AM
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hmmm, I see.

In the end though, you hold a very LARGE stick. I suggest that you, on your own, decide what visitation schedule is convenient for your daughters and yourself, and offer those times to your AH, in writing, so that there is proof that you are not witholding any time from him. In your offer, clearly stipulate that on the recommendation of your therapist, you will not leave him unsupervised with the children for any length of time.

If he protests in ANY way, very clearly indicate to him that you are ready to begin custody proceedings demanding a legally binding order prescribing supervised visitation considering his continued addiction, which, if it got out, would most certainly threaten his job.

I know it's cruel to do it this way, but you aren't left with other choices. You are walking a very fine line here.

I think it's been suggested to you in other threads that you begin securing other forms of income considering he isn't going to be reliable for very much longer...
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:57 AM
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I have heard that financial advice and here's the bottom line. I work full time +, my kids are in daycare/before and after school care, I have a mortgage, student loans etc...

Even if I worked 24 hrs a day I would not be able to earn enough to pay all our bills alone.

I didn't buy a home thinking "can I afford this on my income alone?"... and I am not crazy about the idea of accepting that if need be I can declare bankruptcy, default on my mortgage etc...

I would LIKE the ability to retain my credit so that if I divorce my H I can have the ability to get my own house someday or even rent an apt.

I have a professional job, make good money and live in a SMALL state with a terrible job market. My field is laying people off left and right. I should know by next week whether the budget for the coming year means that I and many others will still have jobs or not.

I am not helping my H keep his job but I really don't want to go out of my way to help him lose it either. It doesn't benefit our kids for that to happen. Frankly I don't care if he drinks like a fish (living alone) but maintains a job. I care that he provide for his kids. I am not going to act in a way that will impact this particularly when I am not in harms way nor are my kids anymore...

Not sure if that makes sense...
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