Blogs


Notices

Words of wisdom?

Old 09-17-2011, 06:25 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Words of wisdom?

AH has been seeing the girls nearly daily for a week or so (briefly each time). They seem to enjoy it and I am trying with everything in me to remember that it's important that THEY be happy/comfortable and my discomfort with having to have daily interaction with him isn't the issue.

But... knowing that pretty much daily I have some face to face interaction with him (even if I don't say a word to him, just seeing him, knowing he'll be by to see the girls makes my anxiety sky rocket bc I feel like I never know what to expect) is making me a bundle of nerves.

Any wise words, mantras etc... to help me with this? I am finding myself dreading the hours until he comes by to see the girls instead of enjoying my time with them.

I know this is MY issue. Not his. The solution isn't for him to change to accomodate my comfort but I am struggling with finding a way to calm myself...

Anyone have this same experience and have ideas about what I can do to center myself a bit?

I'm trying the serenity prayer, talking to my sponsor, deep breaths etc... and today none of it's working....
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:39 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 633
Daily contact is a bit much IMO. No one (myself included) has a custody agreement that outlines daily visitation. My exah demanded something similar (daily visits to my home to see our son who was then 13) and I said no. No judge is going to give him that and you don't have to either. Daily short visits are disruptive (to you and the kids). Why can't he take them for longer periods less often? If he is unwilling to care for them without you present that is very telling (he is more interested in seeing you than them).

IMO a visit to an attorney to get temporary orders in place (that do NOT include you and he being present at the same time) is needed.
hadenoughnow is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to hadenoughnow For This Useful Post:
marie1960 (09-17-2011), tjp613 (09-18-2011), vujade (09-17-2011), wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 06:48 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Freedom1990's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,182
I agree that daily visitation is too much. After reading your other post where D6 got upset, I can't help but wonder how all this visitation is affecting the children.

When I got divorced, visitation was set at every other weekend and then we rotated holidays.
Freedom1990 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Freedom1990 For This Useful Post:
TakingCharge999 (09-18-2011), wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 07:20 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CA
Posts: 428
WTBH I don't have experience with this but my thoughts were just like everyone else. Visitation everyday is a lot and especially if it is problematic for you. You count too and you should not have to stuff your feelings on this one.
Alone22 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Alone22 For This Useful Post:
TakingCharge999 (09-18-2011), wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 07:48 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Chaotically Peaceful
 
vujade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: A state of peace
Posts: 322
WTBH - I don't know if you remember but I'm in a similar situation. We have two children and live in the same VERY small town. Most of his friends live on my block and one of them next door.

How long is he staying for each visit? Is this something he's requested or something mandated by the courts?
vujade is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to vujade For This Useful Post:
wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 09:15 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Tuffgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 4,719
Blog Entries: 4
Can he take the girls somewhere else, so you only have to suffer through a brief pick-up time?
Tuffgirl is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 09:58 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
I'll try to hit on all the good questions you guys asked...

No it's not court ordered. We haven't gotten to that point yet. I've been delaying it I guess in part due to finances and in part bc ???

He is staying at his brothers which is a hovel and his brother is mentally ill and an alcoholic and makes AH look like he's got his stuff totally together so the girls are by no means allowed there (and AH agrees).

AH teaches high school and coaches and has games 2-3 days a week so right now the schedule is that on days he's done with practice/games before bedtime, he comes by for an hour to see the girls, read a story and put them to bed. I leave for that hour and come back as he's putting them to bed (since they both melt down if I don't tuck them in and for now I am accomodating that request). Then he leaves.

As far as the weekends go, he has a coaching committment for most of each Saturday and then sees the girls for some of Sunday.

I guess (ducking here) I feel badly saying "no don't come by to kiss them goodnight and see them for a few minutes" bc the girls seems to like it and AH does (I think). I don't stick around so really I am just bothered by the fact that I know he will be around at some point most days and I will cross his path. And frankly I think that this is 100% my issue to deal with and for me to ask him to not come each day simply for my comfort would be ridiculous.

I do appreciate the thoughts about whether the daily contact is good or not for the girls. I bought a book on divorce (the title is something about having it be amicable) and it says that with young kids, regular contact without too much disruption is good so I thought that I was doing what was best for the girls by agreeing with the come by to say goodnight thing...

Once his coaching gig is done in early Nov my plan (and we discussed this already though I don't think I'll hold my breath that he'll stick to it) is that he can be with them a few afternoons/evenings a week for longer periods of time and I'll have the others and we'll share the weekends. One of us one day, the other the next.

And to whomever asked about whether AH actually wants more time with them or to be alone with them vs wants to be around me I think there's something to that. Last night he came by and D6 was in bed already bc she was sick. I had dinner ready for D3 and left her with AH. I was gone less than an hour and got back and he had D3 in front of the TV, he was laying almost asleep on the couch and she wasn't ready for bed at all. I proceeded to do that and get her to bed and he just looked tired and annoyed. He made a bunch of quacky whiny noises about how tired he was and how he wasn't sleeping well and I ignored him. Then he left.

I think that he likes the IDEA of being a great dad but when it comes to actually spending quality time with the girls ALONE without me around to do the non fun parts of parenting, it appears he's a little overwhelmed at what tasks are involved in being a parent.

I guess I need to think about all of this and question whether the daily visiting is a good idea. I'd thought that his coming by to see them would be less upsetting to them than a phone call from him and having them upset wondering why he wasn't going to say goodnight, but maybe I am just trying to avoid the inevitable which is the girls realizing he won't be around each night and that's just how it'll be.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:03 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Freedom1990's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,182
I understand you want what is best for the girls, but they also need a mother who is strong in her own program of recovery and has set some boundaries.

For me, when I was stressing about something while my girls were growing up, I certainly wasn't able to be there 100% for them, and my anxiety didn't help either.

Take care of you first and those girls will have a present and emotionally stable mother. That should be your priority.

I'd have anxiety too based on your past posts, and with him seeing them every day, and I've got a pretty strong program of recovery.

Back up a bit and ask what is best for you, and in turn will benefit those girls?!

Sending you hugs of support!
Freedom1990 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Freedom1990 For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (09-20-2011), fedup3 (09-17-2011), tjp613 (09-18-2011), wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 10:06 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
dancingnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 342
WTBH I feel your pain. I wanted for my kids to have the best relationship possible with their AD. Of course just as I didn't cause, can't control and can't cure AH disease the same is true with his relationship with our kids.

My 10 yr old sees his Dad every other weekend and this has nothing to do with the courts. It is what works for me and keeps me same. In the beginning AH accused me of interfering with his relationship with his kids. It was a nightmare him coming whenever he felt like it. Soon enough my older two (14 and 17) just paid mind to what they needed and wanted, mainly being with their friends and contact with Dad became less and less. They saw the putting in a appearance that AD did for what it was.

Once I realized that I was not responsible for AH relationship with the kids I insisted on the every other weekend and told my son that was his special time with Dad. Sure enough there were some not so great weekends and times DS wanted to come home early. It is getting better now that AH is more into his recovery.

I had enough to handle accepting that I couldn't count on AH for anything so this was the best way to let go and give him the responsibility to do what he needed to do to be with our kids.

If I remember your kids are younger so having them spend the weekend may be more difficult. It took a DUI for my AH to get the bottom line of the kids safety coming first but once that was there it was up to him to figure out how to work it out because my bottom line was there was no more just dropping by whenever he felt like it.

For me it's important to separate the relationship I have with AH from the relationship he has with the kids. And of course, safety first and foremost which means my 10 yo has a cell phone and a list of people he can call besides me. As I said, AH is in recovery and he gets the safety thing so it is working out.

Hugs to you. You will find a way. Take care of you so you will have a better time of doing the great job of taking care of your kids that you are already doing.
dancingnow is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dancingnow For This Useful Post:
wanttobehealthy (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 10:08 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Less drama from him is best for me and the girls and I suppose there's a part of me that's sticking with this arrangment until the coaching thing is done so that I don't have to hear whining about how I'm "alienating" him from the girls.

So I guess I'm trying to appease him partially but my primary reason for agreeing with this is bc the girls seem to want to see him on each of the days that he comes by.

I just really really have this visceral reaction and not a good one to even the thought of him coming by and seeing him interact (even when there's nothing "wrong" with what's happening-- just the laziness I guess is what bugs me) with the girls.

I am managing much much better to not let his crap toward me bother me as much as it used to but now it is soooooo glaringly obvious that his behaviors aren't just isolated to me. I used to think his lazy, unwilling to pitch in, excuses, etc... were just a way to be passive aggressive toward me. But seeing him lounging while D3 watched tv and seeing that he hadn't done anything to get her ready for bed really just demonstrates he's a lazy person toward everything and everyone that doesn't directly benefit him. I need to find a way to not let this bug me so much but right now it is.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:13 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Dancingnow- I too am trying to separate my r/s with AH from that of the girls' r/s with him. I am dismayed though thinking about the fact that if he's so obviously ignoring D3 when he knows I'll be back and observe that fact, what will he be like for a whole day or god forbid a weekend with the girls? My girls are 6 and 3 and his manner of being with them involves watching tv, feeding them whatever they want or playing outside with them (as in they play and he sits and drinks with the neighbor). I've sort of thought that agreeing with this come by and see them on days there are no games plan worked for the girls and I bc it meant that they weren';t spending lots of time elsewhere alone with him where I don't trust that he'll be responsible/keep an eye on them etc... This way they are here and the time with him is limited... Maybe I'm trying to control too much I don't know. I want them to have time with their Dad and I don't want to interfere with that but I also want to be sure they are safe and looked after and I really don't trust his judgement or his ability to put his laziness aside and step up and do what parents should with their kids...
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:23 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
dancingnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I really don't trust his judgement or his ability to put his laziness aside and step up and do what parents should with their kids...
This was something I had to accept about my AH and it took me a long time to do that and yes, my kids are older so that makes the safety concern easier. Once safety is out of the picture AH is responsible for the kind of dad he wants to be and I am responsible for the kind of mom I want to be.

It's a hard journey but the more I take care of myself, the easier it gets.
dancingnow is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:30 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
dancingnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 342
Quick question WTBH - Is your AH in recovery?

With my own recovery and with some recovery going on with AH I can more clearly see how the constant blame, irresponsibility and quacking affected my decisions and choices.

That's what I meant by it getting easier. The more I see this, the more I stop second guessing myself and am able to make better choices to help me get healthier and do what is best for today and not worry about tomorrow until tomorrow.
dancingnow is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:31 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
I'm struggling with that line between "he'll do what he'll do" (which is fine relative to how he is with me) and "protecting my kids". I have no "evidence" that he's unsafe other than anecdotal observations that tell me he isn't attentive and that worries me a lot. D3 is feisty and he has a VERY short temper with her and I worry about his lazy attitude toward anything involving responsibility and what that means for the girls when he's with them alone.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:47 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
dancingnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 342
There were times when I had to treat my AH as if he was just a friend and than I had to decide if I would let my kids do something/be with this friend.

It was those times when I stopped letting AH come by whenever he felt like it and it was those times when I had to cancel my weekend plans because I wasn't comfortable with having DS spend the weekend with his AD.

It was a time I was so overwhelmed (not as much as you can get with younger kids, but enough) that I was a basket case about AH not being there for the kids and a friend of mine looked at me and said - you are still trying to rely on your AH and the truth is you can't. It was then that I stopped taking responsibility for my AH relationship with my kids and just did what was best for them and for me.

That was over a year ago and I am just now starting to see the recovery in myself and saw from the beginning that my kids were just fine.

Reach out to others as much as you can for support. Only you can make the choices, but healthy people can and do provide support for where we are in life.
dancingnow is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dancingnow For This Useful Post:
StarCat (09-17-2011)
Old 09-17-2011, 11:07 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: California
Posts: 693
I'm finding that daily contact (so AH can see the kids) just doesn't work for me because it's like continually ripping off the scab of a wound trying hard to heal. Each contact with AH really brings the grieving back fresh, and I just can't function in that state. Seeing him every few days works better as I can get myself on an even keel better in between. See if you can do every 2-3 days instead, but maybe for a longer period. Easier on everyone. I think the daily contact is too much ---- and what incentive does your AH have to change when he has it all? He sees the kids daily and then goes home to drink. Great life.

I want my AH to FEEL what it means when he chooses alcohol over his family. That means he sees the kids 2x/week, that's it. On the off days he doesn't get to wander over here and hang out and stay for dinner because that's really enabling to a degree ---- he needs to feel lonely in his depressing little apartment.
SoaringSpirits is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:10 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Problem is that AH thinks he's a fabulous Dad and I can't imagine what he'd do if I said "I don't feel you're responsible enough to be with the girls today...". I don't care one bit about changing my plans or having the girls more often-- I just think that it will be battle royale to get him to agree to not see them daily and right now the thought of them spending an entire day alone, let alone an overnight with him is totally overwhelming. This never occurred (him being responsible for a whole day alone) when we were married.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:44 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 633
IMO by letting him come by daily you are allowing to him to set a status quo that he can use later to argue that you have no concerns about him, his previous abuse of you and his care (or lack therof)of the children.
hadenoughnow is offline  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:24 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Originally Posted by hadenoughnow View Post
IMO by letting him come by daily you are allowing to him to set a status quo that he can use later to argue that you have no concerns about him, his previous abuse of you and his care (or lack therof)of the children.

Hmm, I was thinking that the opposite was true. He comes here for 1 hr on average 3 days of 5 during the work week and I leave for about 45 min of that time. I think that plan, as opposed to him taking the girls elsewhere demonstrates that I am concerned about them spending excessive time with him and having him drive them (which I am concerned about).

And, the way he treats me aside, I haven't gotten a court order keeping him from being here ( I tried and the court didn't give me a RO) so he has a right to come and see the girls. Surprisingly, he's been agreeable about coming at x time and leaving at x time and doesn't just "show up".

At the moment this solution, while not ideal for me (ideal would be having him disappear from the face of the earth) seems to be working for the girls. They get to see him and I get 99% of the time with the girls myself.

I posted this because I am struggling in my own recovery with how to not let my seeing him get me all upset. That's MY issue. Not his or his fault.

All the responses have actually helped me a lot. They've made me realize that I should be grateful that all he wants right now is an hour here and there with the girls and instead of my focussing on how I don't like that, I am now focussing on being grateful for the fact that I am not battling him over time with the girls (he threatened this pre-separation but hasn't followed through). I think my biggest problem with this arrangement was getting my mindset in a better place.

This could be a lot worse. I could be having to ship the girls off to his place for full weekends or any number of other scenarios that are far less appealing to me than this one. I think rather than focus on what I'm bothered by, I will focus on all that I have.

For ex/ tonight, he saw them for a couple hours but then I fixed them dinner, watched a movie with them, we laughed, made popcorn together and all cuddled on the couch. I can live with AH being around for a few hrs now and then, given how much I am getting in return. Peace for all the hours he isn't here, wonderful times with the girls and the time he is here with them is really a drop in the bucket.

I think I just needed to re-frame how I looked at this and thanks to your replies and my thinking this through, I think I've done that!

Thank you, all of you!
wanttobehealthy is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to wanttobehealthy For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (09-20-2011), StarCat (09-18-2011)
Old 09-18-2011, 12:48 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
A jug fills drop by drop
 
TakingCharge999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,783
WTBH
TakingCharge999 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:22 PM.