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Old 10-05-2011, 08:47 AM
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What do I do?

I am sure I will be told to not remind AH but...

Tonight is D3's preschool open house. The girls live with me, I pick up and drop off, I get all the mail. AH doesn't have the school calendar (sure he could call and get one of his own) and I can't recall whether I mentioned that the open house is tonight or not.

I am torn.

Do I send an email stating the facts and not ask whether he's coming but just relay the time?

D3 has been asking if Daddy is coming and I've just told her I don't know and assured her I am coming.

I am not wanting to enable him but if I can avoid having D3 sad that he's not there I feel like I maybe should send a note about the time.

What would you do?
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:57 AM
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I would send a reminder and leave it at that. I still remind my long time ex-husband of things related to the kids. Showing up/participating/etc. is on him.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:59 AM
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TG, that is what I was leaning towards but I didn't have any experience to base it on.

Your friend,
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:06 AM
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ok. thanks. i was inclined to do that but really didn't know whether that was enabling him or not...

thanks...
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:26 AM
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I think it's okay to call him and remind him. Give him the details so he has the proper information. He is their father. It would be wonderful if he attended for your daughters's sake. Just don't have any expectations from him and divert all of your attention to your daughters/children. Put all of your positive and loving focus on your children and their big day, for them. If you are there for them with your undivided attention fully engaged, your children will absorb all of that positive energy from you--the parent that is present! Sure, they may wonder about their daddy and miss him being there (if he doesn't show up). You can talk to them age-appropriately about daddy not being there and acknowledge their feelings of sadness or whatever they are feeling, if he doesn't show.

The most important thing is that you are there for them and they can count on you to share the important moments of their lives with a loving, engaged parent/adult.

When I reflect back on my own mothering (before my own recovery), I realized how much I focused on my alcoholic husband. I wanted to be the best mother I could be yet living with an active alcoholic, I realize how much my attention was on the active alcoholic (his actions, his inactions, his words, his drinking, his mistakes, etc.) I think I was inadvertently and unconsciously passing on my worries & concerns to my child (from the time she was in my womb). I used to worry about whether my husband would show up or not. I used to worry about whether my child would be hurt or disappointed. I tried to take on everything.

Even if we don't say anything, our children absorb our energy. I am an adult child of a sober alcoholic and married an A who is now sober. I realize how much I, as a daughter and wife of A's need to work on how I handle life situations so I can best cushion my child from any further harmful effects of alcoholism/addiction as well as do my best *not* to pass on co-dependent behaviors (and obsession with the parent/adult who isn't present).

Your husband is an adult. You can be courteous and considerate by reminding him and giving him the specific information of time, location, etc. Beyond that, it's up to him. Your daughters and you should enjoy the Open House to its fullest!
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:34 AM
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Be courteous and let him know the details and then leave it at that.

I'm finding that my AH is a lot more responsible about attending events now that I don't hound him about them. Interesting.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:00 AM
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Is it awful that a part of me is REALLY IRRITATED with the fact that I even have to consider reminding him? He's an adult like me. He keeps track of his work and soccer schedule and yet can't/chooses not to (the latter I think) keep track of his kids' events. I realize I'm doing this (reminding him) for the girls sake and really, that's the only reason I am doing it. A part of me feels like it enables him to continue to be an irresponsible dad bc he really isn't expected to remember/keep track of things. Oh well, if it's this or see the girls upset bc he forgets, I'll do this.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:04 AM
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Send him the entire schedule for the year and be done with it. Let him know not to expect any reminders since he now has the entire schedule. If the girls ask why he's not there, let them know he has the schedule.

The more I treated my AH like an incompetent, helpless child, the more he acted like one. You cannot control whether he shows up or not, and you cannot control whether your children are disappointed by him. You can only be there for them and be the best parent you can.

L
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Send him the entire schedule for the year and be done with it. Let him know not to expect any reminders since he now has the entire schedule. If the girls ask why he's not there, let them know he has the schedule.
The more I treated my AH like an incompetent, helpless child, the more he acted like one. You cannot control whether he shows up or not, and you cannot control whether your children are disappointed by him. You can only be there for them and be the best parent you can.

L
I finally did this. I have so say it relieved so much stress, anxiety, anger, etc. from my life - and of the kids. There was no more phone calls, waiting for a response, guessing what was going to happen. The kids also let go of some of the former anxiety surrounding the endless game of 'does dad know is he coming. I sent it in an email, along with all other information he should have (babysitters, after school programs, doctors etc.), and links to the school website and calander, city calender, etc. I saved the email. We have school reach which is a system where the school calls parents with cancellations and some upcoming events. I added his number to that. He would occasionally say he lost it or whatever and I'd just resend the same exact email, over and over, without any other comment. He finally stopped asking.

I hardly ever take pictures but when I do I upload them to a seperate photobucket account and he has the password (also sent in an email I can resend). I do not edit, sort, order prints for him, or any of that. He can do what he wishes with them.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:55 AM
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I would not even mention he has the schedule if he doesn't show up. Why add more heartache. I spent years protecting my youngest daughter from her absent, selfish father's actions. (The workaholic, not alcoholic,)

I would tell her white lies, I would say things like I know dad would be at your volleyball game if he could. Some of the stories I told her made me want to puke. The older girls knew the truth, but they also agreed she needed protection. She was such a fragile, sensitive little girl, we knew no other way.

She is now 24, she knows the truth, I never lied to protect him. I lied so she wouldn't cry herself to sleep. I had to restore security to our lives, and if it meant I had to cover his ass, that's what I did. Our older daughters were already teenagers and were less affected, busy in sports, boyfriends, part time jobs, and high school activities.

I met him for lunch back in August, he doesn't understand why the girls aren't spending more time with him. All I could think of was the song, "Cats in a Cradle" think Jim Croce sang it. Life has its own way of settling the score, it all comes out in the wash...............
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:57 PM
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WTBH, I deal with this dilemma all the time. My ex missed his youngest child's preschool graduation. I had told him about it 2-3 times in the 2 weeks proceeding, but just KNEW he was going to forget. However, I made the conscious decision not to remind him on that day. And he forgot it. And he missed it. But I was there. And so were my parents...who didn't forget when I told them the week before.

It occurred to me that my ex didn't HAVE to remember because I ALWAYS remind him. He never has to face the natural consequences of forgetting something important and letting people down. I've always done it in the name of sparing my boys' feelings but I realized (finally) that his relationship with his kids is HIS responsibility, not mine. I might have to help them through the pain they feel as things happen but as long as I am nurturing my relationship with my kids, I am doing my part.

I know it is so hard because our kids aren't old enough to understand the complexity of the situation. We HATE to see them in pain. And if we can spare them that pain, it is in our parental nature to do that (at least it is for MOST of us). However, I had to accept that their dad is who he is. I can't make him be a better dad or a more responsible person (I mean...if I could have done that, we wouldn't be here...). And I can't protect them from who he is forever. It's better to hope that letting my ex experience the true consequences of his behaviors will give him incentive to turn things around. If that can't happen, then helping my kids deal with the disappointment in the healthiest way is the best thing I can do for them.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by marie1960 View Post
I would not even mention he has the schedule if he doesn't show up. Why add more heartache.
Well, in my case, because my codependent behaviors were also ingrained in my children, they would blame me for him not showing up. Did you tell him? Did you remind him?

I wanted my kids to know that I gave him all the information. I never lied to cover for him, but I didn't go out of my way to tell them details either. Like when he showed up for my daughter's volleyball game and then left before the game started because he had band practice scheduled. He told me he would rather disappoint one person (his daughter) than four people (his bandmates). I didn't relay that lovely bit of information to her. I just told her he had mistakenly scheduled band practice for the same time as the game. No lying for him, no blame. (Although I was furious inside.)

I want my kids to trust me, and in order for that to happen, they need to know that I will be honest with them. Even if they don't like the truth. Now that they are older, I make a conscious effort to stay out of their relationship with their dad altogether. They can make their own decisions about spending time with him and inviting him to things.

Not saying you are/were wrong. Just saying what works for me. As parents, we can only do the best we can. As sad as it is, we cannot prevent our children from being hurt.

L
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:22 PM
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I guess I am caught between the "I want him to have all the info" and "he's an adult and should figure it out on his own" (he told me NOT to give the schools his brothers address where he's staying and I told him if that's his choice he won't get mail/info etc...) Of course the result is that if I don't give him any heads up about events, it will be my fault (to him) and the girls will be upset....

I guess I'll copy the schedule I have and hand it to him and that should take care of it. That seems like a happy medium right now to me...

Thanks much everyone!
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I guess I'll copy the schedule I have and hand it to him and that should take care of it. That seems like a happy medium right now to me...
Given his past unpredictable and violent behavior, I think it would be better to mail or email it to him. JMHO

L
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I want my kids to trust me, and in order for that to happen, they need to know that I will be honest with them. Even if they don't like the truth. Now that they are older, I make a conscious effort to stay out of their relationship with their dad altogether. They can make their own decisions about spending time with him and inviting him to things.

Not saying you are/were wrong. Just saying what works for me. As parents, we can only do the best we can. As sad as it is, we cannot prevent our children from being hurt.

L
Well said! The last and only time you had control over the other parent's relationship with the child you share, was (presumably) when the child was conceived. After that - barring child abuse - one parent has little right to try to control the other parent's relationship with the child. Even if the relationship the other parent chooses is no relationship at all.

It is very important to me that my child trust me - after all, the other parent likely will still cause hurt and disappointment, no matter how much you try to avoid it. If that child also loses trust in you because you tried to "protect" them, then your child grows up trusting neither of the two people he or she should trust the most. Better my child have just me, than neither of us.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:06 PM
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Such a good thread. I understand the struggle. My stbxah shows up for lots of the girls activities, sports, etc. I believe he does this as a way of convincing himself he is fine, he doesn't have a problem. Not realizing that showing up for an hour long game does not erase the alcoholism. But I digress...

I sent soccer website and coaches name so I would not need to keep communicating every detail. Yet on first rainy Saturday I got text "is game cancelled?" I felt same as you do. Why am I the gatekeeper of this info? You are an adult.!! You can check the website same as I had to. I do not have special "sober parent super powers". I'm a busy mom of five, a full time RN, handling home and bills on my own. You are unemployed & living on your own. Find the f-ing soccer info yourself and leave me alone to do the real hands on parenting. All u need to do is show up for random activities---figure it out. I don't have the luxury of a personal secretary, why do you?

Sorry, guess this was hot button topic! Lol bitter much?

I also provide the basics: schedules, coaches names, websites. The rest is up to him. I did too much for way too long. I still do. I am definitely partly to blame. I went right along w/ these behaviors for years. Taking on all the responsibility. No more. I will be the mother. He will be the father. The kids will be ok no matter what. They have one strong, loving, sober parent. And that's good. You are lucky- your kids have the same!!! Hugs...
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:07 PM
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Such a good thread. I understand the struggle. My stbxah shows up for lots of the girls activities, sports, etc. I believe he does this as a way of convincing himself he is fine, he doesn't have a problem. Not realizing that showing up for an hour long game does not erase the alcoholism. But I digress...

I sent soccer website and coaches name so I would not need to keep communicating every detail. Yet on first rainy Saturday I got text "is game cancelled?" I felt same as you do. Why am I the gatekeeper of this info? You are an adult.!! You can check the website same as I had to. I do not have special "sober parent super powers". I'm a busy mom of five, a full time RN, handling home and bills on my own. You are unemployed & living on your own. Find the f-ing soccer info yourself and leave me alone to do the real hands on parenting. All u need to do is show up for random activities---figure it out. I don't have the luxury of a personal secretary, why do you?

Sorry, guess this was hot button topic! Lol bitter much?

I also provide the basics: schedules, coaches names, websites. The rest is up to him. I did too much for way too long. I still do. I am definitely partly to blame. I went right along w/ these behaviors for years. Taking on all the responsibility. No more. I will be the mother. He will be the father. The kids will be ok no matter what. They have one strong, loving, sober parent. And that's good. You are lucky- your kids have the same!!! Hugs...
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:23 PM
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Let him know he can call school and request copies of all info also be sent to him.

You can call school, let them know all is civil, and when he (HE) requests his copies it's legal.

You take care of you & legal stuff, he can do his part-address & phone #.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:42 PM
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It is a fine line sometimes. I have a court ordered visitation agreement in place and am required to provide him with some types of info. Beyond that my kids were old enough to ask if I let him know and invited him, they wanted to call him, etc. The drama for everyone continued if I hold out to prove my point. I decided that it was easier to put every scrap of info in an email and send it off. I could assure my kids their dad had the info, I could re-send it with a key stroke, and there was no further communication needed. I did not answer my phone and he mostly leaves his off so I can't call him anyway and lucky for me - the man doesn't text. Email is a GIFT for me in communicating with him. I still don't hardly ever talk to him on the phone because even though he is 95% decent now I'm not up for the 5% gamble. If he called for a contact name or schedule - I just re-sent the email, no additional info etc.

PS: I am also required to list him as a parent and contact on all school, daycare, camp, medical, etc. forms. He could raise a ruckus if I deliberately left him off that info. He wouldn't know because he doesn't follow up with the kids in that way but just a heads up for others. Check your papers if you have them. Some are quite clear on what your responsibilities are.

This might also be quite co-dependent of me but I still want to be reasonable. I am their custodial parent. I am the keeper of all that info. I suppose he could call 15 people he doesn't know to find out who is volunteering as soccer coach and then call that person (who probably only has a cell phone so unlisted number) and then be told there is no set schedule, the info is shared on the side lines at unpredictable times. It seems reasonable to me to just give him the info. Once, or in an email that can be re-sent, but I would give the info to a grandparent or anyone else not living with the kids ya know?
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